I was studying at Auckland Uni whilst working as a personnel manager in a manufacturing company. I was experimenting with self-managing teams to see if we could achieve better attendance results and a reduced accident rate. I was asked to do a presentation on that experiment to my fellow HR managers. I nervously gave my first ever presentation: someone in the audience asked me to speak at their conference and a speaking career was born. I’ve always been clear that I’m a consultant who speaks not a speaker who consults.
30 years and an aging body later I temporarily stepped out of speaking to fulfil a lifelong dream. During the quiet times over the years I renovated old houses and I’d always wanted to design and build a beach house from scratch. We now live out at Clarks Beach enjoying fabulous views and a truly relaxed environment. During the build, and because of that aging body (which aged even more building a house on a tight budget) I realised it was probably time to totally rethink my career path. I was finding being on my feet all day tough, and was tiring of endless travel. At that exact moment Donald Trump was elected POTUS. Overnight my focus moved from speaking and writing about teams to speaking and writing about Leadership. In one year I wrote ‘Lessons in Leadership: 50 ways to avoid falling into the ‘Trump’ trap and soon to be released ‘Leaders Behaving Badly: What happens when ordinary people show up; stand up and speak up’. Via Trump, we are witnessing the worst example of leadership I’ve experienced in my lifetime.
The phone has been quiet since I wrote the first book; I know it’s a tough topic and who wants to be even more depressed and concerned than they are already? What’s interesting in the life of a speaker is how the journey twists and turns. As a result of the book I put together two new presentations: ‘I have one nerve left and you are getting on it’ and ‘FEAR: feel it; face it; harness it’. I announced the two topics in my regular newsletter and lo and behold – got bookings immediately.
So my advice for speakers is know that the twists and turns have a purpose; never miss the messages around you and do whatever you can to help your audiences through difficult times. I now write regular articles on LinkedIn. Various articles have been picked up in strange ways. I’ve done a radio presentation from one of the articles; been part of an international online conference on creativity and am one of 50 futurists invited to be part of a book on ‘Humanising the next 50 years’. But my big message to speakers is and always was; never give up. You will have highs and lows; you will have quiet times. They are all part of YOUR growth. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t miss the messages.
Life Member since Feb 2018. www.mikehandcock.net
Mike Handcock is one of just 32 people globally out of 55,000 speakers to have the achievement of being a Global Speaking Fellow.
Four times Speaker of the Year plus six other speaking awards, the Author of 13 Books, Owner of 5 Multi National Businesses, Flim Maker, Publisher of LEAD Magazine and Musician, Mike has been mentioned for his Philanthropic work by President Bill Clinton. He has worked in fifty countries globally with over 300,000 people.
Known for his innovative thinking, use of quantum physics, new business disciplines and ancient wisdom in his talks Mike brings a flavour of unique knowing to the stage.