How to Bring Your Best Self to Work

How to Bring Your Best Self to Work-Strategies for Career Success is my latest book and this blog post is not about marketing or selling my book. I just want to reflect on where I am in my own life and career pathway. If you have been following my blogs over the last few years you will know that leadership, career enhancement and personal fulfillment were the focus of my blog post writing.

I have had a long and varied career in leading and developing organisations and people. Inevitably, I have gained considerable knowledge and experience over the years, in a variety of leadership roles in both the public and private sectors in Ireland, and as the president of the European Federation of Education Employers.

I have had a particular interest in what are the ingredients for career success and what makes a good leader, and both are connected. Over a 30 year period, I have observed why some people are more successful than others. There are many factors at play but key factors are attitude and mindset.

In my youth I was never considered to be an outstanding or brilliant student; I was very average until I decided that I could be as good as most other people if only I believed in myself. I reckoned that if I didn’t have resolute self-belief I should not expect others to believe in me. I had to make choices and I had to decide what would be my focus and purpose in life.

Like all young people I was enjoying life and not really caring about the future. But that had to change and I needed to decide whether I wanted a career or a job-and there is a difference. After some serious self-reflection, I soon realised that I needed to be happy about who I was as a person but unhappy about what I was doing with my life. A change had to happen.

One of the chapters in my book is headed Confidence and Self-Belief are Your Engines for Success. In my late teens, I had already observed that most successful people had an air of confidence about their role and mission in life. I knew that I also needed to work out what I believed in, what were my values, and what really mattered to me. In travelling this pathway I evolved from being a carefree, somewhat reckless young man to being a more rounded person. Life teaches us lessons and I like to think that some wisdom comes with age.

Experience has taught me another important lesson-to be genuine and authentic and not try to be a fictional me. You must present the real “you” to the world as any fictional version will be obvious to most people.

Life experience has taught me also that optimistic people have a better influence on the world and on those they engage with. People are attracted to those who genuinely have a positive outlook and are optimistic, no matter what circumstances prevail. The good news is that we can all learn to be more optimistic and more positive in attitude and not just when times are good. Your attitude controls your life so we need to manage our minds and not default to negativity. Train your mind as you would train your body.

In my book, I discuss these topics and many more in 35 chapters under the general categories of Your Best Self, Health and Wellbeing and  Leading to Leadership. It has been endorsed by some national and international leaders. How to Bring Your Best Self to Work-Strategies for Career Success is available on or

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