‘Your protection will keep me safe’

I guess it’s time to pick up from where a very personal illness stopped me in my tracks.

Last year I was diagnosed with radical prostate cancer, which required immediate life saving surgery. Sitting opposite your consultant who has just informed you that unless he operates immediately, ‘you will die’, has a profound effect upon your immortality.

I realised that being a leader, being a husband, being a father and being a son all merge into one with the same principles applying at every turning point.

It was not fear that consumed me at this moment, but a knowledge of the impact this news would have upon my six children. As a father I know intimately how each of my children handle emotion and have always encouraged them to allow their feelings to be known. This, I feel, is a massive strength and as the reality of my personal situation began to unfold, how each one of them would react came straight to my heart.

One would listen, then refuse to believe, one would logically decide ‘this happens every day and you’ll be fine’, one would smile and say ‘it’ll be ok’, one would realise the enormity but look on the positive side. One would totally break down and for two days be unable to function, and finally one would follow me around like a lost sheep for two weeks whenever I was there.

In reality leadership is all about:

  • Love
  • Emotion
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Listening
  • Story-telling
  • Transparency
  • Authenticity

So there it is.

I then went on to achieve a full recovery, thanks to the brilliance of my consultant, the love of my family, the prayers of my friends and above all my faith.

Being a small business, cash flow is obviously a huge part of its day to day operation. My clients pre and post surgery have been absolutely amazing. Two of them paid invoices twice; one for my business and one for myself – an unbelievable gesture which allowed me to recover without any financial worries.

Since my return to work in January 2017 my diary is full until April. For this I say a humble thank you.

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