Thank you Joyce and Gordon; People of Influence

After you have read this blog, I would like to suggest that you view the excellent 16 minute talk given by Dr Martin Newman at the Sheffield Business School on the subject of Emotional Capitalists. It is a listening and viewing delight, superbly illustrated by the accomplished @simonheath1 .  (See below)

This seminar started me thinking about 2 of the people who have been huge influences on my life. There are many others, but I can see that these 2 especially had many of the qualities talked about in this video. Here is a little overview of those people

Joyce Strachan – Mrs Strachan (I would never have used her Christian name) was a Sunday School leader in the early 70s in the church I attended in Sittingbourne. Physically diminutive, her strength of determination and staying power was legend. She displayed an amazing amount of self control and optimism, and through her great relationship skills helped me to see that maybe I had some public speaking skills. It is now what I spend my life doing, so I guess she was on to something. She was straightforward in dealing with me, and showed empathy beyond normal expectations.

Gordon Harrison – Gordon was the export director in a wallpaper company called MacGregor Wallcoverings where I worked as an export clerk in Peterlee when I was 19. My role was usually deskbound, apart from when I would have to move to the telex machine . One day Gordon came up to me and asked me whether I had a passport, as he would like me to accompany him on his sales trip – something I could never have dreamed of before. That trip to Milan, Rome, Athens and Thessalonica was to be my first foray into sales, something that was to become my career, for which I owe him a great deal. He was an extremely self confident, straight forward and optimistic character. I never did get to thank him, as it was a while before I realised what a difference he made.

I have a desire and maybe even a need to be as inspirational and supportive as they both were. I want to know that I have impacted lives and made a difference by displaying the characteristics highlighted here.


It’s always good to reflect on how people have influenced you, and then to take stock and think about how you are influencing and supporting others. The greatest leaders don’t always have leadership titles. You might just be one of those people.

This will be 16 minutes well spent

About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
This entry was posted in Interaction, Leadership, Learning, Memories, Uncategorized, Wellbeing, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thank you Joyce and Gordon; People of Influence

  1. Pingback: Is what you see what you get? | Mark Catchlove's Blog

  2. Tilly Harrison says:

    Some time ago you tweeted Tilly_H (me Tilly Harrison) to ask if Gordon Harrison was my father – actually Harrison is my married name and my husband’s family are from the Midlands. I thought your query was about family history (in which I’m very interested) but I realised when I read your blog it was more about acquaintances. Hope you find Gordon’s relatives though! If you were interested in your own family history, you’ll soon realise what a blessing it is to have a less common name 😉

  3. Pingback: What shaped me – inspiration and revelation | PeopleViews

  4. This is just adorable! I really love your baby picture. Have a beautiful day.

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