Rowan Gray's Blog (15)

Meeting John Smith

Exploring my identity with masks

I am looking across the room at eight people facing me. 

They are quietly staring back, observing me, waiting for me to say something. 

I’m feeling uncertain.

My hands are slightly trembling. 

I’m on the edge of…


Added by Rowan Gray on January 23, 2017 at 9:00 — No Comments

Welcome your ignorance

I was with a friend last weekend when he made an offhand comment that struck me as unusual:

“I am struggling to find a mentor to support the next phase of my career”.

It was odd because he isn’t lacking access…


Added by Rowan Gray on October 16, 2016 at 21:30 — No Comments

A Dying Passion

I recently returned from a trip where I cycled to Barcelona.

Starting in London, I cycled with my friend Felix and broadly followed the 2016 Tour de France route over the Pyrenees and into northern Spain

We were meant to be competing in the…


Added by Rowan Gray on September 12, 2016 at 9:30 — No Comments

Riding with purpose and fear

My friend and I travelled down to Dorset in the West Country last weekend.

Except we cycled there. And back. 

Starting in London, it was two days of pedalling through sleepy villages and lost lanes. The weather was glorious and the scenery was stunning.

Yet I mostly struggled to appreciate the views as I endured a roller coaster of hills and…


Added by Rowan Gray on June 8, 2016 at 10:30 — No Comments

Taming the ego

I’m tightly gripping my handlebars. My breath is laboured and I’m desperately watching the back wheel of the bicycle in front of me. 

Then without any warning the wheel surges ahead. I let out a groan. There’s a steep hill ahead and I know my friend is going to ‘attack’ the 12% gradient. 

I get out of my saddle and push hard through my pedals to bridge the gap…


Added by Rowan Gray on April 18, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

The Paradox of Risk

‘We need more innovation!’

It was our weekly sales meeting and we were clustered around the Head of Department’s desk to review new work in our pipeline.

The pipeline wasn’t looking bad, but it wasn’t great either. The Head of Department had joined the team a few years earlier with an entrepreneurial background and many great ideas for the future direction of our…


Added by Rowan Gray on October 14, 2015 at 14:00 — No Comments

The Difference Between Rest and Recovery

Resilience is essential for anyone that wants to create change.

We did some research a few years ago by interviewing leaders in business that challenge the status quo.

Through these conversations, and our own experience, we noticed a number of common behaviours of what it takes to create a positive disturbance in a department, organisation or…


Added by Rowan Gray on September 15, 2015 at 14:00 — No Comments

Using Movement to Inspire Change

I can’t believe it’s nearly eighteen months since I joined Relume.

The learning experience has been steep. To work at…


Added by Rowan Gray on July 15, 2015 at 11:30 — 1 Comment

New Ways of Working

I was at an event last week and one of the participants quoted Leo Tolstoy who once said:

“Everyone wants to change the world but no one wants to change themselves”

What a great sentence. In a single line he hints at why we find it so difficult to change ourselves – because it’s hard. There is no avoiding this simple truth.

Yet if we really want to…


Added by Rowan Gray on April 15, 2015 at 12:00 — No Comments

A Racing Mind

It’s 10.30am on a Sunday morning and I’m in a bad place.

When most people are enjoying a lazy start to their day I am 10 miles into a marathon distance race in northern Spain and I’ve already gone to the dark side.  My body is holding up fine but my mind desperately wants to stop already. I know this is bad news as I’m unlikely to be feeling much better in another 10…


Added by Rowan Gray on March 11, 2015 at 9:30 — No Comments

The Labyrinth

“Rowan, we need a labyrinth for Challenger Week. Can you find us one?” asked  Claire Genkai Breeze one morning last October.

For a moment I pictured one of those hedgerow mazes found in children’s theme parks and National Trust estates and wondered how I could possibly transport one to a…


Added by Rowan Gray on January 9, 2015 at 14:30 — No Comments

Made to Move

Are you sitting down at the moment? My guess is you probably are. Now pause for a moment and think about how it feels to be sitting. Do you have that satisfied feeling that comes after a long walk or run, or is the feeling more sluggish? Perhaps you’re mentally exhausted?  

I believe that we were made to move. Yet bizarrely most of us spend the greatest part of the day sitting. Need to eat?…


Added by Rowan Gray on October 15, 2014 at 10:00 — No Comments

A walk in the mountains - reflections on movement and resilience

I have just returned from a walk in the mountains. By this I mean nine days trekking through the French and Italian Alps. I briefly passed through these mountains a few summers’ ago and have since wanted to spend time there.

I quickly fell in love with the towering spires of rock balancing precariously high above me and the green…


Added by Rowan Gray on September 10, 2014 at 19:00 — No Comments

Good Morning Vietnam

A month ago I did something scary and different. I decided I was going to leave my job after six years. It wasn’t an easy decision, but ultimately the offer to join the Relume team was too special an opportunity to turn down.

I will talk about this decision in a future blog but today I want to tell you about another scary thing I did last month: cycle from Hanoi to Ho Chi…


Added by Rowan Gray on May 12, 2014 at 10:30 — No Comments

Why I Took A Sabbatical

It was January 2012 and I was exhausted. It was the start of a new year and I was supposed to be refreshed and optimistic for the year that laid in wait for me. This is the point where I would normally set a number of goals for the year – professional and personal – and then chase them with enthusiasm. It is certainly the way I have operated in the past and it has served me…


Added by Rowan Gray on January 7, 2013 at 18:30 — No Comments

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