If you’re connected with me via any social media channel, then you might have noticed that I had a special Birthday recently. I certainly feel like I’ve celebrated in style, with 11 days of celebration. I don’t like being the centre of attention (I love being on stage/speaking but that is always about the audience, not me) so I didn’t want a big party or ‘a fuss’. There have, however, been loads of parties and lots of fuss! The 11 days have been amazing and I just wanted to share some of what happened and reflect on some things.

 

It started with Connecting HR Manchester, a ‘networking’ event that we organise for HR-ish people in Manchester.

Gemma Reucroft insisted that I go outside for a photo with the other northern members of the 2015 CIPD Annual Conference blogsquad:

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And when I got back into the event, it had turned into a Birthday party for me!

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I was brought to the front and Damiana Casile said some lovely things and presented me with a Twitter Birthday cake.

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Twitter Birthday cake

 

And then I was presented with a huge framed picture containing 50 good things that friends/clients/associates said about me.

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Huge thanks to the very lovely Damiana Casile for a hugely special evening and thanking the very lovely Dawn Smedley (an Appreciatologist at OC Tanner) for the idea of #50GoodThings! Damiana wrote a great blog post reflecting on the evening.

 

Things continued with a very thoughtful present from Gemma Reucroft, personalised cufflinks:

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And then a present from Simon Heath, something beautiful that he painted for me:

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And for my family party, my wife made me a cake featuring a few of my favourite things (we do have a Border Collie with one blue eye!):

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And a the wonderful people at Tangerine PR presented me with a lovely present at Friday Bar, with a book full of lovely messages from everybody at Tangerine PR. Thank you Sandy Lindsay MBE!

Tangerine

 

On the night of Connecting HR Manchester, I said “I’m just having fun being me and helping people” (I remember saying it, because Phil Marsland Tweeted it) and that really does summarise how I feel about my life. I spend my time helping people connect with their strengths and put the very best of themselves to good use, and I try to be authentic in living that myself. I trained with Gallup as a strengths coach and I use StrengthsFinder in a lot of my work. My top 3 strengths are Relator, WOO, and Learner and I’m just being me in doing what I do but I feel hugely appreciated for putting those strengths to work. There is real power in appreciating people for what we are, rather than constantly focusing on what we’re not.

 

I feel hugely humbled, loved, and appreciated. To those I’ve mentioned, and to the many others that I haven’t, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

It seems appropriate to close with a video from the nice people at OC Tanner – Appreciation changes everything.

 

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