Select Page

Russell Thackeray from QEDOD talks to Graham and Kevin about personal resilience

About Russell Thackeray

Russell Thackeray hails from Newcastle but now lives in the south of England. Another exiled Geordie! He is a remarkable chap, a serial entrepreneur.

Russell Thackeray is an expert in personal resilience and applying the principles of resilience to the entrepreneur. He built a large training consultancy which he divested in 2016. Now, Russell applies psychology to business. We want to know how we, our customers and our staff tick. Resilience takes psychology and makes it practical in a business setting. He has turned resilience into a set of tools for businesses.

Russell started life in an orchestra, playing Les Miserables, week in, week out. He got involved in the business side and eventually got interested in ‘emotional intelligence’. Understanding yourself and emotions.

What is Personal Resilience?

Resilience is about your mental toughness. Your ability to think and get the results you need. This helps you to look after yourself, have great relationships and allows you to cope with whatever life throws at you.

Resilience is building the capacity to avoid failure. No such thing as failure only feedback. Failure is just another step on the journey. The best entrepreneurs have failure in their past.

How do you use the way you think to make yourself successful. How can you turn life events to make yourself successful and make the most of your talents and potential, relative to what you want to do in your life.

Russell is a qualified business psychologist and has 3 Masters qualifications and holds a doctorate in the subject too. Academia challenges evidence. He has found it a joy to find evidence of resilience. It’s not pop-psychology.

Russell provides an example – goal setting. It is suggested if you write down your goals you are more likely to achieve them. He says, there is NO evidence of any study which proven this. Non-academics make spurious claims.

Research says… be careful when you hear this. Listen out for the actual source for the research.

Personal resilience is linked to stress. Some stress is good, but if it comes problematical and we cannot process things fast enough, resilience is a toolkit to help get control of ourselves. When things start getting tough.

The ROPES Model for Personal Resilience

Russell Thackeray uses the ROPES model to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with a framework for increasing personal resilience.

R is for Regulation

Self-awareness, the ability to KNOW YOURSELF. Choose how you feel. If you cannot choose how you feel you rarely feel how you want to.

O is for Optimism and link it to confidence.

A confident person is a good person around you. You get attracted by confidence. Showmanship is often the opposite of confidence. Such people have the fear of being found out. Gurus talk of imposter syndrome – from lack of confidence/self-esteem. That comes from not knowing yourself.

P is for Purpose – why am I doing what I am doing.

Often talk about goal setting – Russell goes against SMART objectives – he uses them in a different way. Russell suggests SMART work if they linked to something grander. Dreams and goals. DUMB objectives – dream, you, methods, behaviours. Thinking about change, its about learning new habits. In the next 100 days what is the new habit you are going to bring about?

Write down the design of life you want to have. Russell found he had got what he wanted, but wasn’t doing the thing he wanted to do to get to where he wanted to get to.

Future focus. Where do you want to be. Write in the present tense in the future. Confirmation bias, the brain serves up the things you are interested in to get to the place you want. The brain notices the things you want to achieve.

E is for Energy – optimise your brain

To optimise you need good sleep; good nutrition; and good exercise. How do we oxygenise our brain so it can manage and harness the brain.

is for Stamina – stop mythering and just do it.

Cortisol, too much relative to the amount of effort that you need to get things done. Too much to do too little time. Think about the things you can control. Avoid stressing about the stuff you cannot control. How much do I have to do? Do the big projects at the beginning of the day and just after lunch. Get them done when you have most energy. Close down other distractions – Skype/Facebook. Headphones on.

We need to renew our batteries. You can grow your grey matter. Mindfulness is about living your life without judgement in the moment. Meditation and being in the moment. Renewal and energising – helps you have the capacity to cope with a quick shock.

Simplest thing to get mental fitness. Drink 2.5 litres of water per day. Just water. Plus 10,000 steps. Make sure there is NO sugar in your diet. Plus, get a good night’s sleep – most of us do 7-9 hours per night. It is not macho to sleep less. Be effective, don’t just work hard.

The key of entrepreneurialism is to figure out what to STOP. Make choices is about stamina. It’s a myth that we can multi-task. Do something now, one thing at a time and stop doing other stuff.

How Do I Find Out More About Personal Resilience?


To contact Russell Thackeray –

Russell is also part of The Next 100 Days Facebook group. Join him in the group and join in the discussion.

The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby