Weaving business and people together

Launching a website… the oscar speech…

November 26th, 2013


George Bernard Shaw

Sorry about the letter, I didn’t have time to compose a postcard.


I’ve always been a little squeamish about the whole ‘personal branding’ movement.  Not my narcissism of choice. Putting  a website together has, therefore,  been exceptionally challenging. However, every cloud and all that… I’ve learned a huge amount, and have never been gladder that I work in a range of sectors, as there is much wisdom to be gleaned from the drivers in different organisations…

Learning from:

  1. PR: brevity is the soul of websitery. I  thought I was clear about the business, what it does, what it stands for, until I had to produce something under 200 words. Ha! George Bernard Shaw’s words about ‘sorry about the letter, I didn’t have time to compose a postcard’ never rang truer. ( and yes, I know this blog is too long for classic blogging…)
  2. The auto industry:  now here’s an industry which practices genuine partnership. Some of my dearest clients and coachees from all over the world have been immensely helpful as ‘critical friends’, as I tested out various trains of thought. I am amazed at how much you guys invest in genuinely understanding your suppliers and helping them to be better, partly knowing there will be a knock-on effect for you, but mainly because you really practice continuous improvement.
  3. Those I coach. You can be just as challenging back. Thank you.
  4. The creative arts: trust the visuals. They say more than you realize.
  5.  Social enterprise. Just do it: the 80/20 rule. Perfectionism is the enemy of action. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be started.
  6. Competitors. they’re only competition in your head. Helping those you supposedly ‘compete’ with raises the standards for everyone, and clients benefit.
  7. The process: although I often broke into a sweat at the thought of asking for comment on something that feels so personal, I was hugely touched at how much thought and personal research people put into helping; and although this wasn’t my intention, as a consequence I now have coachees and clients who feel committed to the look and feel of my brand.

Oscars all round, I think. Thanks everyone, but particularly the enormously talented and infinitely patient Alice at GroganShaellDesign.


  1. Annie, it was a real pleasure to work with you. Your determination to market test the product we were developing was admirable and you showed a great wisdom in how you balanced feedback with professional guidance whilst listening to your own gut instinct. I guess this is a real measure of how great you are at what you do.

    by: Alice Shaell on November 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm
  2. The weaving metaphor is inspired. In an increasingly interconnected world the old, hierarchical models don’t work (if indeed they ever did). Your approach, Anne, really gets to the heart of this and frees us to be the leaders we ought to be.

    by: Anita on December 13, 2013 at 8:40 am


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