Guest Speaker Series – Gary Blunt

Apr 2, 2021

"Be the idiot in the room, ask questions and learn"

This week on our Academy Guest Speaker series we welcomed Gary Blunt. Gary worked for twenty three years in private school education, served in the Royal Marines and was a Physical Education Officer in HM Prison Service – quite a repertoire! Here we capture some of the nuggets he bestowed on us.

‘Bounce-back ability’

Gary is a firm believer in the power of ‘bounce-back ability’. As he explained: “Failure is learning”. There is always a chance that Plan A will go wrong, but as long as we “control the controllables” and find a way to fix things, we will succeed. This is a trait that he explained was critical during his time in the Royal Marines but still can be easily transposed to more ‘normal’ activities and that we should embrace rather than fear it.

I’m sure all of our students are well aware by now that in sales you need a plan B and C when pitching to an opportunity!

Get up and get going

He also highlighted discipline as another important attribute to have and it all starts with our morning routine. Gary prides himself on “being able to get up and get going in the morning”, to ensure he gets out of bed on time he puts his alarm clock far away from his bed, so that he has to physically get up to turn it off.

I think this is something I should consider – too many iphones have been flung across the room at 6am in my household!

Self – centering

Finally Gary talked about the importance of self-centering. Being a fan of the extreme athlete Wim Hof, he uses deep breathing techniques to centre himself for the day during his morning routine. Looking after oneself should always be the most important objective of all.

Key takeaways

  • Find a purpose
  • Don’t waste a minute
  • Stand out!
  • Do volunteer work
  • Seek failure
  • Conquer your limitations
  • Be the idiot in the room, ask questions and learn
  • Don’t worry about what other people think

Gary’s empowering personal stories made it a guest speaker talk that I’m sure we will all remember for a very long time and his practical pieces of advice can be applied to various aspects of life. To end, Gary showed us his glass of half-drunk Coca Cola and asked whether we saw it as half full or half empty, to which his own answer was that he sees it as overflowing.

Will Koning

He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful start-ups in the UK over the last 10 years.

He is passionate about Sales and disruptive Technology. In particular, elevating the Sales development industry in the UK to new levels.

Outside of work, Will spends his time split between London and Folkestone in Kent where you’re likely to find him sampling English beers and walking his dog by the sea,

Follow him on LinkedIn here

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