By Paul-Stuart Greenough
We work and collaborate with some of the best and brightest thought-leaders.
We decided to speak to the man in the know, one of our directors Jonathan Stanger about his top speakers at the moment.
Firstly, Jonathan picked Ben Smith, who’s been on board with RTB for about two years but recently become exclusive with us. Jonathan said: “Ben’s just a terrific, awesome, inspiring individual. He has a really diverse story.” Most people know Ben for the incredible achievement of running 401 marathons in 401 days; what is of greater inspiration to those who are aware, is the backstory underpinning this monster feat. After being bullied in his school years for being gay, Ben felt unable to openly be his true-self. For years he hid his sexuality and married a woman. Feeling that he wasn’t being honest with others, but particularly with himself, the stress led him to eating and smoking more, causing him to put on weight and eventually have a mini-stroke. Ironically having such an awful thing happen to him, is what led him to not only be his true self, but his best self. It spurred him on to be open and honest, change his lifestyle and to start running.
“So many people got behind the story and began sharing stories of the struggles that they were going through, but his whole thing is about being authentic. So, his talks cover diversity inclusion, bullying, authenticity and pushing the limits. What’s good about Ben is he just rocks up and tells it from the heart. He’s very engaging and covers a range of different aspects.” Have a look at Ben here.
Next up we have Claire Lomas MBE, “Who’s just an unbelievably inspirational individual”. An avid horse rider, one day Claire was thrown from her horse and became paralysed from the waist down. A life-changing incident that could have very easily broken her spirit, however Claire chose to act in defiance of any expectations or assumptions people may have had for her after such a monumental accident. Claire went on to use a robotic suit in order to walk again; against all odds she competed in marathons and “…she even rides motorbikes. She just has a really compelling story to tell and you can’t help but feel motivated by all she’s done and achieved.”
She is a speaker whose stories can affect a room full of people. Her ability is far from just the physical aspects of her story, she, as an engaging speaker can relate to a whole range of clients, from schools, businesses, public sector and private sector. “She’s an absolute joy to work with as well.” Check out Claire here.
Then we come to Professor Steve Peters, who wrote a massively successful book called the chimp paradox. “A lot of people have heard of him, he’s all about mind-management and how we manage our own inner talk. Realising we all have an inner voice and using that to our advantage rather than work against you.” With thirty years of speaking and lecturing behind him and a vast knowledge of neuroscience, he has a great story to tell. He has worked closely with sports teams like the England football team and athletes and sports stars such as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pembleton to help train their mind to advance their sporting ability. “It’s such a useable and workable model that he’s developed. It’s just great for all sorts of audiences. Steve’s in huge demand.” To find out more about Professor Steve Peters, click here.
Hayley Barnard is Jonathan’s fourth choice, she is an unconscious bias expert, having a great understanding of the intricacies of human connection and the thought processes that we all unknowingly go through with every interaction. “She really understands the decisions people make on certain individuals, whether it is race, religion, gender, whatever it is.”
Inclusivity has become for prevalent in the cultural zeitgeist in recent years, utilising this is advantageous and beneficial to all people, regardless of industry. “It’s a huge focus right now in society. How do we use this to our advantage? How do we create a culture of equality? She is a real thought-leader in that area.” To read more about unconscious bias, click here.
“Finally, I would say psychologist Jamil Qureshi.” He is very much a business-psychologist and helps teams to perform to their optimum. He’s also done work in sport, with the likes of the Ryder Cup team. “He’s very professional, very well spoken – he’s going out more and more for us now. He focusses a lot around change, actions to change, implementing change, all that good stuff.”
Jamil understands the impact that change has, how it can often create confusion and difficulty for people who don’t know how to work with it. He talks about the positives of change and how to turn what can often be seen as a worrying thing into something exciting, necessary and positive. To find out more about Jamil’s understanding of change click here.