Alastair Jones runs Cadence Leadership, a business that inspires leaders to reach their full potential, through training, coaching and consultancy. As a Dr of Chemical Physics and a previous CEO of a national youth work charity for over 5 years, he now works with clients from construction through to manufacturing and the science/tech sector, as well as across charities.
I heard someone speak about Freshwalks at a business exhibition who has since become a good friend through Freshwalks. Although I am a cyclist and hadn’t hiked for some time, I really liked the concept of combining the great outdoors with business as I knew I would meet many other like-minded people.
I’ve lost count, however, I think since December 2017 I must’ve done between 60-70 as I try and do one every month with an occasional extra one or two. Even during incredibly busy months, I find it provides me with a fire break from the busyness that helps to restore my equilibrium and give me some perspective. I view it as an investment in my well-being to make me sustainable in my work.
The quality of people I meet on the walks and those who I have got to know well are a real asset as people to bounce ideas off, build friendships and do business with. The community extends beyond the hills and for me has reached as far as The Edinburgh Festival, gigs and staying sane during the Covid lockdown.
The Shining Tor walk is my all-time favourite as it goes through what I think is one of the prettiest areas in England, the Goyt Valley, and also includes two ascents over the high peaks, so you get a really good mix of terrain and views. It’s not an easy walk but I do like a challenge and, actually, it is often surprising what people achieve with the encouragement of the group.
Sweets to share. They’re great for a quick burst of energy to get up that hill and it’s just nice to swap different tastes… my favourite is Liquorice Allsorts if you’re asking, but Jelly Babies seem to go down well for others.
We had been walking into a blizzard in winds of 70mph towards the top of Kinder Scout – very wisely the walk leader called us back, cutting the walk short and we spent an afternoon warming up in front of a log fire in The Packhorse in Hayfield with amazing food and company.
It was knowing the value of my business and what I offer to be pitched at the right level for the customers I was serving.
I’ve received direct work from conversations with senior leaders and had referrals or leads for work, although the opportunity to share good practices with other Freshwalkers and the wealth of contacts from the community have been invaluable to me.
I work with senior leaders and that type of work only comes through relationship and trust, which is impossible to achieve over a bacon sandwich and a cup of coffee before 9 am. Freshwalks enables the freedom to get to know each other, build a relationship over the day and journey together in a way that helps you to leave a positive impact on each other’s lives.
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