“Missile launch, five o’clock…” My right hand slams the stick across and we tip over sideways. I tense my stomach muscles to accept the punch in the guts from the g-suit, which clamps my legs tight to force the blood to my brain and stop me from blacking out.
Flying a multi-million pound fighter jet in hostile territory is not an everyday career and it comes with a high degree of pressure and responsibility. It’s a dream job that takes years of ambition, training and commitment, but for Mandy Hickson, it was a dream that became reality
Mandy Hickson was born in Cheshire in 1973. She has over twenty-five year’s experience in aviation. Mandy joined the Royal Air Force in 1994 and was only the second woman to fly the Tornado GR4 operationally. She operated in hostile environments, including patrolling the ‘No Fly’ zone over Iraq, completed three tours of duty and flew fifty missions over Iraq with No. II(AC) Squadron.
Since leaving the RAF she has retrained as a facilitator in human performance factors. Her talks draw on her experience of calculated risk-taking, decision-making under pressure and the critical role of the human in the system, where she transfers vivid lessons from the cockpit to other management and leadership contexts.
Mandy is in high demand as a keynote speaker across a range of business and education sectors, where she talks with humour and great passion to inspire those around her. She has been invited to share her insights with some of the most successful organisations across the world, where she describes the strategies and behaviours that can be adopted when the stakes are at their highest.
“Imposter syndrome! The adrenaline is driving, my heat racing only I’m not standing at the summit of the Matterhorn - that was last year - or surviving a gun fight in Afghanistan - that was several years before that - I am in fact about to stand in front of 25 lawyers and talk about leadership. I am terrified and my brain is racing”.
Tim Bradshaw has never won an Olympic medal or sold a multimillion-pound business. He went to a reasonable school followed by Sandhurst. Since then, he has served as a helicopter pilot, a covert Intelligence Officer, has climbed Mount Everest, summited the Matterhorn, completed an Ironman, cycled a mountain stage of the Tour Du France and ridden the Cresta Run - all #BecauseICan
Tim has spent a lifetime designing and refining coping strategies and building a tool-kit that has enabled him to be effective.
Tim’s keynote speech provides listeners with a robust practical guide to achieving their aims. How to becoming more effective whether at work at home or in achieving that lifelong ambition. He is a sought-after speaker who inspires audiences with his #BecauseICan attitude. Listen to Tim inspire an audience with how they too can achieve …
“I’m patrolling in the poppy fields and irrigation ditches of the Helmand river, it is 50oC and our IED detection dog has just collapsed with heat exhaustion. Now what? We are a long way from home and I don’t fancy carrying the dog that far? Up to this point I had not admitted to my soldiers that I was a veterinary surgeon back in the UK, they just knew me as the new shiny captain from the reserves. I step forwards, “I’ve got this guys, I’m also a vet”.
Paul was an officer in the British Military, before re-training as a Veterinary Surgeon. He then flexed his entrepreneurial passion by building up a large national chain of veterinary practices serving the agricultural sector, before selling the multimillion pound business to Private Equity. He is now a principal with Sandstone, delivering training, coaching and consulting assignments.
Paul’s skills range from being an expert in cattle reproduction, to a qualification as a military escape and evasion instructor. He is ‘not very good at a very large number of things’ and he loves discussing portfolio careers and lifestyles, and how to adopt a flexible mindset that helps to steal ideas from different sectors and to re-package them in new ways, and in new sectors.
What skills can the worlds of high intensity combat operations, farm animal veterinary care and mountaineering bring to business? Can a portfolio career be valid for many in the modern business environment? Listen to Paul explain – he is well known as an engaging and uplifting public speaker.
“There are 60,000 people in the stadium. It’s a World Cup 7’s match and there are only minutes left. All I need to do is catch the ball and head for the try line. I drop it! I’ve spent thousands of hours training for this moment. I’ve lived alongside my team mates and now I’ve let them down”.
Colin is the former Scotland Rugby 7’s Captain. He has played at the World Cup and Commonwealth games, and is Scotland’s highest scoring player. His focus has always been on giving positive feedback and nurturing talent.
Accustomed to training and playing at the very highest levels under huge pressure, Colin’s insight to what makes high performance teams tick, and how to develop elite performances is a must-watch for any firm looking to develop its performance.
His techniques and ideas based around relieving pressure not adding it, in order to increase performance, may surprise some. They have been formulated and proven in the crucible of elite sport.
Colin’s key-note presentation will leave the audience understanding what high performance is, how to achieve it, and how to nurture and maintain your team at the highest levels.
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