Blogs from Lawrence Jones

Thoughts for Today

Are You Safe on Social Media?


How often do you share your life on social media? It’s all too easy to become caught in a cycle of one-upmanship, of sharing every aspect of your life on social media to keep up with and compete with your peers. But what’s the real value of what you are sharing? The ‘new home’ photograph with geotags or location enabled, combined with your ‘countdown to holiday’ post suddenly gives anyone who’s looking your address and...

How to Make a Million


How do you stay motivated? How do you achieve more? One of the greatest foundations of success is incredibly simple: goal setting. Of course, if you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know just how much weight I put on the value of setting goals. It’s absolutely essential. It’s also scientifically proven that there’s value in writing your goals down. Everyone in the UKFast team has a notebook with a section for their goals....

Many Hands Make Light Work


With the first event in our new auditorium coming up on Thursday, and faced with a building site instead of an events space on Monday, it was all hands on deck. The night before the event, there were still wires hanging out of the ceiling, wet paint on the walls and dust everywhere! Usually at this stage for any normal event, the room would be dressed ready for final rehearsals the next morning. It’s safe...

Something to celebrate


UKFast is certainly a unique place to be! One of our football parties at UKFast Campus. At a time when we’re so divided as a country, it’s amazing to see how a simple matter of football can bring people together again! It might only be for a few weeks and, usually ends in collective disappointment for British football fans, but there’s no denying the impact that the World Cup has. Whilst it’s not everyone’s preferred...

A Drop in the Ocean


We’ve all heard of the phrase strength in numbers. Well yesterday I got to see that phrase in action: I was beaten by a team of six year olds! Meeting a team of Bitesize Bootcamps youngsters, we took part in a few activities and took some photographs. I am not ashamed to say that when challenged to a tug-of-war, the team of little ones claimed a resounding victory! It’s amazing how much more strength you...

A Voice for the Future


In life we have a choice. Do you settle with what you’re handed, live within your existing circumstances, or do you use that to inspire you to keep growing? I met an extraordinary young man last year, cycling through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and climbing to the top of Africa’s tallest peak with the STRIVE Challenge. At 18 years old and with just a day’s notice and no training, Jeremiah Emmanuel took on the...

Effort vs Talent


“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke Climbing Mount Snowdon It’s an age-old battle isn’t it: the talented worker who doesn’t put in the effort and the one who puts in huge amounts of effort but isn’t as talented. Who would you rather have on your team? At UKFast we call it skills vs attitude, and attitude wins every time. We can always teach new skillsets and qualifications, you can’t...

The Importance of Innovation


With two of our teachers and apprentice Tinisha. From the very beginning of UKFast we’ve placed huge focus on innovation. Our focus is always on developing the latest technology to meet the constantly evolving needs of our clients and the ever-changing tech landscape. For us it’s about making our clients’ lives easier wherever we can. Hosting providers can’t just rely on shifting tin. The hardware alone, no matter how incredible or cutting-edge it is, isn’t...

The One Thing That Great Leaders Never Do


Imagine this. You’re waiting for a meeting to present your ideas. You’re sitting with one of your senior colleagues chatting through your plans before heading into the room. Working around the table, the senior leader takes their opportunity to speak and shares all of your ideas as their own! I’ve had that exact experience in a meeting room, long before the days of UKFast. It was soul-destroying. I left feeling demotivated, embarrassed and frustrated. The...

The Truman Show


Imagine being watched by the world 24/7/365, having every move scrutinised, having thousands of people invested in your life and wellbeing, purely for entertainment. Last week I wrote about a sci-fi writer who’d made an uncanny prediction on how our lives would be affected by smartphones. It seems that David Gerrold wasn’t the only writer whose work became accidentally prescient. Twenty years ago, The Truman Show gave us a peek into a world where everyday...

LJ Blog

The Next Generation


Some of the incredible children at the UKFast Breakfast Club at Holy Name RC in Moss Side. Our future is in the hands of the next generation. It’s that simple. So, when I heard that the number of children living in poverty surged by 100,000 to 4.1 million in just one year, my heart sank. Children across the country are going to school without the absolute basics. I’m not talking about unclean uniforms, worn shoes...

Belonging


Uncle Peter It’s often said that bad luck happens in threes. Whilst I am not superstitious, this year has been particularly challenging. At the beginning of the year we had my Uncle Phil’s funeral, an amazing man, and whilst it is always a huge blow losing someone special, he was 105, so it was expected. Pretty much straight after that, a few days into our holidays with our kids in the Maldives, we then learned...

Friendships and Feedback


With Gail, UKFast marketing director Kristina, and Jacqueline de Rojas. If you are striving to be the best in anything, whether that’s in sport, business, music or life, your journey requires a degree of sacrifice. And sacrifice doesn’t mean sitting on the sidelines believing in something, however passionately; sacrifice means dedicating your life to making a significant difference. That means there will be times when it’s quite lonely and there’s inevitably a lot of discomfort,...

The Changing Face of Apprenticeships


With two of our teachers and apprentice Tinisha. Reading that there has been a 24% drop in the number of people starting in-work training, I can’t help but feel that Britain has somewhat lost its way with higher education. Just a couple of years ago there was a huge drive towards changing the face of apprenticeships. Families were coming around to the idea that university was no longer the only option for young people after...

Royal Welding


Everyone loves a special occasion. Events that bring people together are always the most fun. To have one that manages to do that across the globe is unusual, let alone the country. Yesterday’s Royal Wedding was one of those rare occurrences that meant something special to so many people around the world, not just to the direct family members and the bride and groom. What I love about the story is that it’s a normal...

Off Switch


The UKFast leadership team on one of our Snowdon trips. When was the last time you switched off and I mean really switch off? No phones, no screens, no distractions? There are very few times these days that I feel completely disconnected. There’s always someone or something providing a distraction from the task in hand; usually phone notifications buzzing non-stop. It doesn’t help having around 15 businesses either as there are always leaders in each...

The Alex Ferguson Way


When you are wanting to develop as a leader, where do you look for inspiration? In Manchester it’s been easy, as when you think of a world-class, extraordinary leader, we have one our doorstep: Sir Alex Ferguson. His leadership style at Manchester United is one I don’t think we’ll ever see replicated. Certainly at his old club and arguably in sport in general. He is a perfect example of a Level 5 Leader; a concept...

Everyone’s a Superhero


Our latest recruit – Russell Feingold, director of CSR and fundraising. I often say that you cross paths with people for a reason. More often than not you don’t know what that reason is until much later. I met a man called Russell Feingold through our work with Cash for Kids. For many years we supported the Key 103 charity through Superhero Day and Mission Christmas campaigns. It was an amazing experience in the early...

Are You Really Living?


Why do you work? Whilst many of us would say to have a better life, I wonder how many are enjoying a good life in the process. If you’re working to be able to improve your life, it is imperative not to sacrifice your time and wellbeing along the way. All too soon, you find you’ve spent half of your years exhausting yourself in the hope of a nicer life in the future. This doesn’t...

A Never-Ending Marathon


George and his running team at the Brighton Marathon. What an extraordinary sight to see thousands of runners in blazing heat, racing over Tower Bridge earlier today. The London Marathon is an epic challenge even on a grey day, never mind when it is the hottest on record. Amongst the runners were the usual fancy dress costumes, a knight in shining armour and local runner David Wyeth of Chorlton Runners who last year hit the...