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© 2008 HARDING & YORKE they looked after us really, really well and we had no major traumas or upsets.' The only downside to John's childhood – if it can be classed as such – was school. ' I left school at 16; I couldn't stand it,' John says. ' I thought it was a waste of time and joined House of Fraser as a Management Trainee. I've always been industrious, always wanted to earn money.' John later returned to his academia, however, studying for his ' A' levels at night school. This tells us that John is a practical man. ' What was missing for me at school was the " why",' John explains. But this is not the whole story. ' I like the practical side of things, yes, but my attempt at hanging baskets were usually a disaster!' His driving has been far more successful. ' I love cars,' John says. ' I always have.' So, has he had many dalliances with the automobile world? ' Oh yeah,' he grins. ' I've had everything, Porsche Boxster, Porsche 911, Maserati, Mercs, Range Rover, Jaguar… but it all started with a Vauxhall Viva – an SL with bucket seats!' As well as the cars, the skiing and the clay pigeon shooting, John enjoys the finer side of drinking and smoking. We love wine,' he confesses. ' Maybe a bit too much! Actually, we don't love wine, I love wine!' But his favourite thing in the whole world is Cuba - and anything to do with Cuba. ' I love the cigars, especially San Louis Ray ( Frank Sinatra's favourite cigar),' John says. ' When I've had few drinks I'll have a cigar. As I am an ex smoker - I stopped smoking when I was 21 – it appeals to me because of the naughtiness of it!' This fascination with Cuba led to John decking out his garden shed as a shrine to the Island State, complete with the humidor, the drinks cabinet and the straw chairs. ' We actually called it " Cuba" and put a Cuban sign above it,' John laughs. ' I would announce every now again that I'm just off to Cuba for my cigar. Alas, Cuba was destroyed when we had the garden landscaped!' You can imagine the Walsh household being a lively and entertaining place to be. One can see that this sense of humour and boundless enthusiasm would be hugely dynamic in the type of training environment provided by Breakthrough Change Management. He's almost hypnotic! ' Oh, I am a qualified hypnotherapist,' John reveals. This is an unusual revelation. Have we all been fooled by Mr Walsh? But no, this isn't an illusion. Of one thing we can be quite certain: when it comes to good humour, high spirits and inspirational guidance, John Walsh is the real deal. 17 THE LINKS Cath Cartridge Nickie Hawton John Walsh ? Contact John: 07887 788 511 john@ breakthroughchange. com

YOUR EMPATHY PROPHET ™ - ISSUE 2/ NOVEMBER 2008 THE NEED FOR HONESTY 18STORYTIME THE RETAILER'S DILEMMA A simple situation with which most businesses are faced every day is, JAMIE LYWOOD believes, an ideal insight into how commerce has become unnecessarily complicated.