Ten Million Reasons to Ride
It's quite an historic day for the Tour de Cure as we officially tick over $10 million of funds raised since 2007 for the research, support and prevention of cancer in men, women and children.
In 2007, Geoff and I sat in a coffee shop with an idea. Could we have forseen $10 million, the chance to talk face to face with 30,000 children about cancer, an award winning television documentary and a wonderful relationship with some of Australia's biggest corporate brands and television network? No! But we dreamt each little bit along the way, continued to challenge ourselves, innovate, never sit still and keep our eye on the next part of the dream. We are not a not-for-profit. We are all about profit because the more profit we make, the more we have to give to researchers and the people doing the hard yards to find a cure for this dreadful disease. We thought differently about charity from day one, and we will continue to do so. To all our supporters who've sent through notes of encouragement or who've dug deep to donate, I can't begin to thank you enough.
In the Back Room - 2013 Tour de Cure
There's been a lot happening behind the scenes at the Tour de Cure as we are getting ready for this years Signature Tour. We had a busy Board meeting last week where we closed off 2 very successful events that have taken place in the last couple of months, being the Victorian Country Tour and the Melbourne Iron Man project. Both worked particularly well in building awareness and ambassadors for our cancer project and also in generating some much needed funds to go to the people who are doing great work in the areas of research, prevention and support of cancer in men women and children.
No sooner had we drawn breath than it was time to focus on the 2013 Signature Tour from Adelaide to Canberra that starts in just 3 weeks. Josh has been doing a great job in getting the assessment rides together to ensure everybody is in good shape for the ride. Our corporate partners have been showing some amazing support with events at the Commonwealth Bank and Optus just last week as well as the upcoming Tour de Rocks in Armidale which is going to be an epic 3 day off road event, hosted by the Armidale community, that will raise many thousands of dollars and much awareness around our cause. With only 21 days to go, now is the time for each team to pump up the volume to ensure they meet their own personal target and that their legs are ready for the ride ahead.
We even welcomed an international guest all the way from Hong Kong. Our own Andrew 'Max' Walker has been training in the smog and insane traffic of Hong Kong to get himself ready for this year's ride. We haven't yet worked out how to guarantee us some great weather, but I'm sure Geoff will think of something.
To view my blog, please click here.
8 To Go - 2013 Tour de Cure
There's only about 8 weeks to to until the Tour de Cure team haul out of Adelaide en route to Canberra. This year being my 7th year, I've decided to do somthing different with my preparation and training. For the last 6 weeks i've been following the primal lifestyle. There's been a lot written and talked about in terms of primal, ancestral or paleo living, and being on the land now, it suits our lifestyle and eating habits.
Essentially it's about eating high protein, high fat, all grass fed meat and zero grains or processed food. The first couple of weeks were a bit tough as my body adapted. Although I was pretty close to this lifestyle already, some subtle changes did make a difference. The biggest influence for me was Mark Sisson's book 'The Primal Blueprint'. I've also taken a different approach to training with less intensity, more regularity, more strength work and more cross training. Time will tell whether it pays off, but if wellness is any indicator, then this is definitely a lifestyle that people should investigate.
It's good to change things up and with 6 Tours in the bag and the 7th about to happen, I like the idea of challenging nutrition, wellness, exercise and the overall nature of personal health. I certainly won't be one of the youngest on Tour which is even more reason to go down this primal lifestyle path, as it is a good anti-ageing antidote and good for the mind. I guess the other thing about this way of life is that it's totally anti cancer. Who knows, if it works we might even try to introduce some into other areas of the Foundation.
I will be blogging regularly in the lead up to this year's Tour and also while on Tour. To follow the journey, here is a link to my Tour Blog: http://www.mytourdecure.com.au/garyb/?p=5
The Day of Inspiration 2013 - Sydney
This year's Day of Inspiration in Sydney was another outstanding event which covered the secrets of achievement in business, leadership, sport, endurance, commitment and showing exactly what the human heart is capable of.
Endurance athlete Pat Farmer, the amazing Sam Cawthorn, the evangelist of truth Dan Gregory, the high flying Dale Elliott, leadership expert Rachael Robertson and sports stars like golden girl paralympian Kelly Cartwright and one of our nation's greatest ever swimmers, Matt Welsh, embraced the crowd with their succinct messages to help them be better in every aspect of their lives. Guests also benefited from the business insight of a panel of Australia's best business leaders, including Channel 7 Sunrise host David Koch, former CEO of the Commonwealth Bank Ralph Norris and the effervescent and uber successful leader of Aussie Home Loans, John Symond.
This week we move to Brisbane to another full house at The Hilton Hotel with another great line up of speakers. You can find details at www.dayofinspiration.com.au.
Who Stole My Mojo? eBook
Heading into another new year, it's the perfect time to download a copy of Gary's book, Who Stole My Mojo?
During the Christmas break, try to take some time out for yourself, even if only for short bursts at a time, and really re-connect with your inner Mojo. Who Stole My Mojo? will definitely get you in the right frame of mind to start the new year with all cylinders firing and a new outlook and energy to inspire you to make the most out of every day.
- Gary is interviewed by Centor -
Describe a Day in the Life of a Marketing Expert
A day in the life of a marketing expert should be concentrated around two things - curiosity and discipline. A good marketing person is constantly on the look out for the next great idea. They're questioning everything, looking at what's going on around them and listening to conversations just in case somebody gives them the spark for the next great idea for their marketing campaign and ultimately to build their brand. Then comes the discipline of making sure that everything they do meets the tone, values, look, feel and message of their brand. What they do needs to be reviewed constantly, making sure that it is on the right path and consistent with where they want the brand to go and ensuring that no-one or nothing is distracting them from what their brand is all about.
What other industries or professions have you worked in?
I have worked with a wide range of industries in my current business, ranging from luxury cars, biscuits, soft drinks, computer games, aged care, funeral homes, IT, manufacturing, Government, education, social profit and the list goes on. In previous careers I have worked in retail, radio, the music industry and corporate training.
What made you decide to get into Marketing and Branding?
I never got into it as such, I think I was always in it. When I first started in business I was totally clueless about marketing or brand. I was just doing what I felt was right and what seemed like the logical thing to do to win business. It wasn't until many years later that I learned that I was actually marketing and creating brands.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The unpredictable nature of every day - no two days are ever the same. Each day working with a different company and unlocking new and interesting ideas and concepts for their business. My days are full of writing, thinking and challenging people and businesses to think differently for a better outcome.
How were you introduced to Nigel and the Centor Board of Directors?
I met Nigel through an organsation called TEC (The Executive Connection) which is Australia's leading organisation for helping CEOs to be better leaders. We have since bumped into each other at various TEC functions and enjoyed each others thought provoking approach to business and hence the introduction to Centor.
How do you find the Centor Board meetings that you have attended so far?
The Centor Board meetings are a breath of fresh air. Smart people who are excellent at what they do, coming together to think differently about the strategy for a wonderful Australian company. The meetings are animated, thought provoking, strategic and focussed on one thing - making Centor the best business it can be.
How do you believe Centor is benefitting from an external advisory board?
There is no doubt that what's missing in business today is not the doing part, it's the thinking part. By having external advisors who can look objectively at the business from the outside, whilst hearing what's going on inside, making suggestions for the betterment of the company with no vested interest, has to be a good thing. The expertise brought to the room by the advisory board comes from a range of different businesses and people who have learned from the good, the bad and the ugly of their experiences and can provide an objective point of view from which to launch the Centor dream for the future.
Fire Up Your Mojo 2013
Now's the time to start preparing for an outstanding 2013 and there is no better way to do so than by attending the Fire Up Your Mojo session!
Spending two days with Gary, focussing on yourself, your performance and your thinking will be invaluable in terms of getting clarity around your plans and goals for the year ahead. And on top of that, you will reconnect with your Mojo mindset, cementing the thinking that you need to ensure your best year ever!
Fire Up Your Mojo has sold out in previous years, so book now to make sure you don't miss out on your place!
Tickets are now on sale for A Day of Inspiration 2013
Tickets have just gone on sale for next year's Day of Inspiration in Sydney (13th Feb) and Brisbane (20th Feb). For the last 6 years, the Day of Inspiration has brought together Australia's most inspiring key note speakers to share their amazing stories of life, business, achievement, courage and determination. Not only will you have the opportunity to hear from speakers including world leading neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo, the amazing Petrea King, ultra marathon legend and humanitarian Pat Farmer, 2012 Gold winning paralympian Kelly Cartwright and former CEO of the CBA Ralph Norris plus many more, you will also be making an invaluable contribution in the fight to cure cancer. Bring along your team, your colleagues, your customers or your suppliers and let them share this incredible day with you. The last 2 years have sold out, so don't miss out! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.dayofinspiration.com.au
Gary's books are now available from EBL.
Ebook Library (EBL) is a web-based ebook lending platform which delivers ebooks to academic and research libraries. Patrons using iPads, iPhones or Android devices can download and read EBL content, and functionality includes allowing multiple people to read books at the same time, online and offline access, read aloud for all books and browsing before borrowing. We were very pleased to learn that Gary's books were available on there!
How Strategists Lead by Cynthia A. Montgomery
Really interesting article worth a read.
A Harvard Business School professor reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies.
Seven years ago, I changed the focus of my strategy teaching at the Harvard Business School. After instructing MBAs for most of the previous quarter-century, I began teaching the accomplished executives and entrepreneurs who participate in Harvard's flagship programs for business owners and leaders.
Shifting the center of my teaching to executive education changed the way I teach and write about strategy. I've been struck by how often executives, even experienced ones, get tripped up: they become so interested in the potential of new ventures, for example, that they underestimate harsh competitive realities or overlook how interrelated strategy and execution are. I've also learned, in conversations between class sessions (as well as in my work as a board director and corporate adviser) about the limits of analysis, the importance of being ready to reinvent a business, and the ongoing responsibility of leading strategy.
All of this learning speaks to the role of the strategist-as a meaning maker for companies, as a voice of reason, and as an operator. The richness of these roles, and their deep interconnections, underscore the fact that strategy is much more than a detached analytical exercise. Analysis has merit, to be sure, but it will never make strategy the vibrant core that animates everything a company is and does.
The strategist as meaning maker
I've taken to asking executives to list three words that come to mind when they hear the word strategy. Collectively, they have produced 109 words, frequently giving top billing to plan, direction, and competitive advantage. In more than 2,000 responses, only 2 had anything to do with people: one said leadership, another visionary. No one has ever mentioned strategist.
Downplaying the link between a leader and a strategy, or failing to recognize it at all, is a dangerous oversight that I tried to start remedying in a Harvard Business Review article four years ago and in my new book, The Strategist, whose thinking this article extends. After all, defining what an organization will be, and why and to whom that will matter, is at the heart of a leader's role. Those who hope to sustain a strategic perspective must be ready to confront this basic challenge. It is perhaps easiest to see in single-business companies serving well-defined markets and building business models suited to particular competitive contexts. I know from experience, though, that the challenge is equally relevant at the top of diversified multinationals.
What is it, after all, that makes the whole of a company greater than the sum of its parts-and how do its systems and processes add value to the businesses within the fold? Nobel laureate Ronald Coase posed the problem this way: "The question which arises is whether it is possible to study the forces which determine the size of the firm. Why does the entrepreneur not organize one less transaction or one more? These are largely the same questions: are the extra layers what justifies the existence of this complex firm? If so, why can't the market take care of such transactions on its own? If there's more to a company's story, what is it, really?
To continue reading, click here
Here's an inspirational snippet from an interview with 'Blade Runner':
"My mother used to tell us in the mornings, 'Carl put on your shoes, Oscar you put on your prosthetic legs... So I grew up not really thinking I had a disability. I grew up thinking I had different shoes."
- South African runner Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed 'Blade Runner' because he races on carbon fibre prosthetic blades, talks about growing up playing sports with brother Carl.
Join Us On the Road to Curing Cancer
With only two weeks to go, the Tour de Cure will depart on their annual Tour on Thursday the 5th of May, which this year will take them 11 days and 1,656kms to ride from Brisbane to Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. Channel 7's Sunrise sports presenter will be joining the Tour again this year and you can see what he has to say about it here. The goal is to raise $2 million dollars in an effort to prevent, educate and support men, women and children who have been affected by cancer. Get involved in this worthy cause and donate today by clicking on this link.
Our Inaugural 'Cancer Awareness for Country Kids' Tour in Victoria begins today!
This is an exciting addition to the Tour de Cure calendar whose purpose is to improve cancer's shocking regional statistics and grow our state hubs.
The inaugural 'Cancer Awareness for Country Kids' Tour will be held in Victoria from Wednesday 14th March 2012 to Saturday 17th March 2012.
This four day 600km tour, starting in Geelong, will share the cancer awareness message with our Stickman book to 1,500 Victorian country kids.
The route will be scenic yet challenging and will see a team of 20 Riders and 5 Supports be joined by Guest Riders for Stage 4 (Apollo Bay to Geelong).Total raised for this tour so far is $68,218.36Donate to the Country Kids Victoria Tour HERE.
Check out 6 Strings 4 Cancer on CMC
Late last year Australia's national Country Music Channel featured a 2 minute clip on Gary's fantastic charity 6 Strings 4 Cancer. Check out the clip by clicking on the link here.
6 Strings 4 Cancer Media Video
6 Strings 4 Cancer is a nonprofit organisation which brings live acoustic music to the bedsides of those people living with and going through cancer treatment in hospital.
Read all about the 6 Strings 4 Cancer Launch Event!
6 Strings 4 Cancer is a not-for-profit organisation which brings live acoustic music to the bedsides of those people living with and going through cancer treatment in hospital.
The 6 Strings program launched on Wednesday the 20th of July 2011 with a visit to the Palliative Care ward at Greenwich Hospital, where 95% of patients are dealing with cancer related illnesses.
The performers were Drew McAlister and Geoff Robertson, both professional musicians who kindly volunteered their time. Drew is part of the successful country duo McAlister Kemp, while Geoff is one half of the ARIA nominated, The Robertson Brothers. About 20 patients, family and staff tapped their feet and sang along in the education room with Drew and Geoff working their way through some classic hits and a number of requests. The performance was a welcome break from the daily routine on the hospital ward and something for patients and families to look forward to.
After a 30 minute performance in the Education Room, Drew and Geoff visited a number of patients and their families in their rooms. These room visits were very special and touched everyone in their own way. There was a family who requested some Elton John and Beatles songs to remember happier times with their mum on road trips together. A husband and wife who held hands, closed their eyes and lost themselves in a love song. The music drifted down the corridors of the ward, lifting the spirits and mood of other patients and families, many of whom listened from their rooms and doorways.
The visit was coordinated by 6 Strings 4 Cancer and Greenwich diversional therapist Hadyn Quinn: "There were a lot of tears and emotion displayed... families commented on how special it was to be able to relive some of those happier memories."
With such great feedback from our launch event, 6 Strings 4 Cancer is currently putting together a monthly schedule of performances for the Palliative Care ward at Greenwich Hospital and launching the 6 Strings 4 Cancer program at Sydney Adventist Hospital with a performance by Amber Lawrence on Wed 28th September 2011.
For more information visit www.6strings4cancer.org
TDC Books Available Now
As part of this year's Tour de Cure event, two gorgeously inspiring books have been published to help in raising awareness around the prevention of cancer.
Stickman Rules written by Terry Hawkins, is a children's book that creatively and enjoyably guides it's little readers through the importance of exercise, good food and happy thoughts in maintaining a healthy body.
What I Wish I Knew About Cancer, co-written by Gary Bertwistle and Marty Wilson is a beautiful picture book full of wisdom from the people who have been touched by cancer, including some of the Tour's own riders, and who want to share their reflections and advice.
Click on the links above to take you through to each book and support to the Tour de Cure whilst also receiving a wonderful experience in sharing the journey's of Stickman and the generous people who have openly shared their experiences around cancer.
Buy The Vibe from iBook
Much to our recent and happy surprise The Vibe is now available on iBook. Purchase it from here.
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