Thursday 10/09/15

Some people are born leaders, others learn the traits required. Regardless; the role of a leader, a real leader, is to protect, lead and care for the people who look to them for guidance. Some people seek leadership because they believe it should provide them with power and privilege. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In everyday situations, we are surrounded by people in leadership roles; from supervisors through to managers and CEOs. Some of these leaders do a great job; and others..... not so much. Looking beyond the business world, sturdy leadership is required in everyday life too. Outside of family life, the most important leadership situation is during an emergency. In a worst case scenario, people’s lives may be in danger.

In an emergency situation, the person most suited to take charge isn’t a business leader, or community representative. It is the person who remains calm and can quickly come up with a solution to the problem; the person who can guide others to safety.

It is entirely possible that people may turn to you for guidance in times of trouble. You don’t think so? If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, and making use of the information, you will have accumulated a lot of safety and survival tips. If so, it would be safe to assume you have shared your new-found knowledge with those around you. It is also safe to assume these same people will be keeping track of your increased knowledge and self-confidence, and will turn to you during a crisis.

This idea might seem daunting to you, but it makes sense. In times of crisis, people will turn to someone who knows more than they do. You have already displayed a willingness to learn, and to make use of knowledge they don’t have. If others turn to you in a crisis, don’t shy away. These people need you; have the courage to meet the challenge and to do your best.

Thursday 03/09/15

The Phonetic Alphabet is the only reliable way of pronouncing the letters of the alphabet so everybody understands what’s being said. I had to learn the Phonetic Alphabet in my early teens, because I was a member of the local Bushfire Brigade, and the local search and rescue team. Both organisations relied heavily on CB radios, and in an emergency situation, you might only get one opportunity to relay information (so you had to make each transmission count).

“I’m not a member of any rescue team. Why would I need to know the Phonetic Alphabet?” l hear you ask. You don’t have to be a member of anything to need the Phonetic Alphabet. If you have to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance service, the operator might ask you to clarify some of the information you have provided. Trust me; they will appreciate hearing the Phonetic Alphabet far more than the garbage used on TV game shows (absolutely no dispatch operator wants to hear “L for lollipop, D for dolly, S for slippery-dip”). Improvised alphabets have too great a margin of error in translation. The Phonetic Alphabet has been refined through trial and error, using a list of words that can’t be mistaken for any other words.

The Phonetic Alphabet is very useful for relaying information, such as license plates, or if you need to spell out a street name. I have listed the Phonetic Alphabet below, including the correct code word and pronunciation of each code word.


phoenetic alphabet     


phoenetic numbers


I’ve provided you with the information, now it is up to you to practice it. Don’t have the time? Make a habit of running through the Phonetic Alphabet in your mind as you drive to and from work, or even as you drift off to sleep each night. Trust me, you’ll master it in no time.

Thursday 27/08/15

Exercise; some of us love it, some of us loathe it. Regardless, it is an essential part of life; especially if you have a job that isn’t physically demanding.

When you were younger, exercise was almost unavoidable. Sport was part of the curriculum at school, and after school you usually had an hour or two to play before your parents got home. You also had the option to participate in your favourite sport or playing with your friends all weekend.

After you graduated from school, life got a little more complicated. You got a job which took up more hours every day than school ever did. Your social life shifted into overdrive, filling your weekends with socialising and family responsibilities. Unfortunately, this was the same point in time your teenage metabolism bid you farewell.

But don’t despair; all is not lost. Getting back into exercise isn't as difficult or intimidating as it appears. The key to success is your attitude. You have to accept that your body isn’t as fit and strong as it used to be; and you have to accept that results won’t happen overnight. Don’t think of fitness as one massive job; rather a series of small steps.

Before you throw yourself into the next boot camp, or sign up for an intensive exercise program with a personal trainer, you need to get your body used to moving again. Walking is the ideal starting point. Yes; simple gentle walking. Start small and work your way up; a couple of minutes at an easy pace, on flat ground. Increase the distance and your speed as your body improves. Your target should be a 30 minute walk at a brisk pace, 5 to 6 days a week.

Once your body is a little stronger, you should consider doing squats. Again; this isn’t as ominous as it sounds. If you can sit on a chair, you’re half way there. Instead of sitting down and staying down, stand up again. Remember to engage your core muscles, and use your glutes (bum muscles) instead of your knees to do the work. When you’re strong enough, do it without the chair. Correct technique includes keeping your back straight and looking toward the horizon (both ensure you don’t curve your spine). You are looking to work your way up to 3 sets of 8 reps.

Push-ups are another exercise to consider. Find a sturdy section of wall and place your hands shoulder width apart and take one step back. Engage your core muscles and perform your first rep. You want to achieve 3 sets of 8 reps. When your strength builds up, increase the difficulty by taking another step backward. From there, move onto push-ups on your knees, and eventually full push-ups.

These exercises require no equipment, and will help you improve your strength, endurance and overall health. These steps will take you a few weeks to get comfortable with; but once you are confident, you can move on to bigger and better things, such as joining a gym or self-defence class.

Don’t be too harsh with yourself. Every step you take is a step in the right direction. Remember, you don’t find the time to exercise, you make the time to exercise.