• Johan Taft

    “I help bright individuals and leaders in business, competitive sports and show business rapidly and powerfully improve performance, reduce fear, get fully focused, gain peace and certainty and generate extraordinary results putting the sparkle back in their eyes!”

    If you'd like to know more, get in touch here.

Welcome!

My latest webinar appearance on “Bobby D Live” from Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

As featured on NBCCBS and a host of other media, on Saturday June 3rd I appeared on Bobby D Live’s inaugural show live from his brand new impressive webcasting studio in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
His new weekly show focuses on promoting, developing & inspiring human potential.

I appeared alongside star guest James Arthur Ray (the only personal development specialist to make the Inc. 500 list) and a handful of other accomplished skills development specialists from around the globe.

I present just before James  at around the 1 hour 44 minute mark.

Enjoy!

My latest podcast on BusinessofArchitecture.com

Visit the site here:  Winning in business

or click below

 

Latest feature in PR Moment.com

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Read it here: “Creating Leaders

 

 

 

 

What is a Leader really paid to do?

“One cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it”

– Albert Einstein.

Yet many executives and talented individuals keep trying harder as a strategy for success, caught in the exhausting “react and response” mode where circumstance and emotion rather than wisdom and possibility dictate their every decision.

What is a leader really paid to do? Is it not that he is paid to thin9967026-illustration-of-a-samurai-warrior-with-katana-sword-in-fighting-stance-done-in-cartoon-style-on-isol-stock-illustrationk at the highest level? To work as much or more “on” the business” as “in” the business?

Samurai warriors of ancient Japan understood this. They spent more time developing their mind than doing anything else. A slow, cloudy, tired, upset or unfocused mind could cost them their head!

One might say that the Samurai example is extreme.

Perhaps, however judging by the immense disruption and adversity that industries like the PR, hospitality and even legal sectors are experiencing where expertise is becoming commoditised and revenues drastically eroded, I fear that it may not just be the leader’s head that could be at stake, it could be the very existence of the organisation itself.

One brilliant idea or enlightened move could make all the difference!

Perhaps it is time for Leaders to re-sharpen the “sword” that is their mind.

‘Mistakes of our time’

Diet concept nutrition dilemma healthy fruit or fast foodWhen we were teenagers, my brother and I used to help the local farmer with the straw harvest at the end of the summer. It was a tradition back then that local kids would assist the farmers; a tradition now lost to heavily mechanised intensive farming.

He and his wife were good friends of ours and although it was hard work, we always enjoyed our time at the farm.

One day when we were 13, over a cup of coffee, farm-baked bread with pork dripping (saindoux) and freshly made strawberry jam, the farmer’s wife spoke to both of us and said: “If there is any piece of advice I could offer you boys, it is this: learn to protect yourselves from the mistakes of the times you live in“.

Karl and I nodded and thanked her for her wisdom but when we reached home we looked at each other with inquiring minds and I remember saying: “what do you think she meant by the mistakes of our time?”

He replied: “well, one big mistake I can think of is food. Look at all the rubbish people eat and look at all the fat unhealthy people around. We don’t want to become like that do we?

I knew he was right and could not argue with him.

So thus, with a very approving nudge from our father (who was a vegetarian) we began to substitute sweets, chocolates, pastries and biscuits for fresh fruit, raisins and nuts; soda drinks for apple juice and water, fried foods for fresh foods. We reduced our intake of dairy products and ate more green vegetables.

Now, bear in mind that we grew up in Belgium, the land of chocolate, pastries, “frites” and delicious – but very fattening cuisine.

We knew it made sense and immediately felt the benefits especially in all the sports we did. We had more energy and for longer. Our skin looked better and we were less tired in the afternoons at school.

The farmer’s wife’s words of wisdom created a profound paradigm shift for us with something that we so took for granted every day and later on in many other areas of our lives.

So what are some other damaging mistakes of our time that we ought to protect ourselves from today?

 

… Oh, and I really hated the pork dripping on the strawberry jam sandwiches!

“The more sweat we lose in training, the less blood we lose in battle”

(anonymous army general)

Read more »

My next public talk

Time to Improve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The topic: “RAISE YOUR GAME”

At The Lecture Club in West London (Holland Park)

on Tuesday 12 February from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm

Click here for further details or to book your place

 

The B-52’s avoided me!

B52

During my recent holiday in Vietnam I had the pleasure of becoming friends with a tea merchant who, over many cups of fragrant green tea shared with me stories of his experience as a Viet Cong Lieutenant during the American Vietnam conflict and later the even more horrific Cambodian Vietnam war.

After an intensive 4 month training period in the North Vietnamese infantry jungle-warfare training camp, he was assigned to the Viet Cong, the covert branch of the North Vietnamese Army.

He and his unit, dressed in black cotton clothes, rubber sandals and traditional straw hats walked for 6 months through the rugged mountains and unforgiving jungles of North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to deliver weapons and offer support to the North Vietnamese fully uniformed army (or “NVA”) operating in South Vietnam against the US backed South Vietnamese Army and the US forces.

That’s a half a year walking through thick jungle carrying heavy equipment and weapons! Upon occasion surviving weeks without food or water re-supplies, it was an iron-solid determination to oust the invading force from the homeland that kept the pain and mind in check. Three days motionless in a hole with just his head and his AK47 weapon sticking out of the ground, waiting to ambush an enemy patrol. Mosquitoes, snakes, spiders, countless other insects, relentless heat, heavy rain, mud, hunger, exhaustion and thirst being just some of the things to cope with – let alone the endless waiting and, for some, the added misery of diseases such as dysentery or dengue fever to name but a few.

Stories of extreme endurance and suffering, determination and despair, intense fire fights, hand-to-hand combat and then his injuries: a bullet through the hand and bazooka shrapnel to his head. (for which he received good medical and psychological care and today receives a war pension of $400 a month, fairly good money in Vietnam).

This man had gone through hell and back and yet is leading a happy fulfilled productive life today. This I put down mainly to his full ownership of his participation in the wars. He took total responsibility and had already decided that he would pay the ultimate price to help oust the enemy. He had become okay with the worst case scenario and decided to participate full-on with complete mindfulness. Mind over circumstance. Determination over complaint.

As his stories unfolded I was becoming more and more aware of the power of this small framed short man, his commitment and leadership.

But it was when I asked him the following question that I truly realised how powerful his mind is;

“Lieutenant, if I may ask, how many of you made it back”?

“On average 20% of the unit’s men made it back. Dengue fever, dysentery, mines, fire fights, heavy artillery and B-52 bombings of the jungles got many”.

“How did you manage to avoid the B-52’s?

“I didn’t; the B-52’s avoided me!”

“Let us not look back in anger

nor forward in fear

but around us in awareness”

(Leland Val Van De Wal)