National Happiness Awards 2018 - Judge's whats and whos

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From huge dogs and unsuspecting husbands to matching damson knickers - get to know the happiness awards judges a little bit better as they answer some 'probing' questions!


 

David Bowman – Crown House Publishing

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently? 

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and David Sedaris.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

There must have been many, but I can’t actually remember any!

What makes you truly happy?

Seeing family members, friends, colleagues and sports people/teams I support succeed.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Human capital.

What would be your superpower and why?  

Seeing into the future. I’d love to know which books will sell before I publish them!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Study something you have a passion for at university, not something sensible that will get you a job.

What would fix the world?

If everyone could put themselves in other people’s shoes before making judgements about them or their behaviour.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Jim Lovell (commander of Apollo 13) – I followed the drama avidly as a boy and it’s now my favourite film, Bill Bryson – need I say more? David Cameron – lots of interesting questions for him, Tim Henman - the hill will always be his.

 


 

Karen Dempster – Fit2Communicate

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

Watching my huge dog (a Gordon Setter called Skye) try to sit on my unsuspecting husband’s lap.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

It’s generally when I say something totally innocent that comes out meaning something very different (and clearly funny to everyone else) – which I only realise after I have said it.

What makes you truly happy?

Spending time with my 11-year-old son and seeing him laugh. He’s the centre of my universe.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

I have a pet hate of jargon and acronyms. You might expect that as I am a communication specialist. The worst one is ‘leveraging synergies’ but there are lots more. I’m a big fan of clear and simple language.

What would be your superpower and why?

A photographic memory and speed reading (that’s two I know). I hate forgetting things and would love to be able to absorb more of the knowledge around me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in your gut – it’s usually right.  And stop worrying about what other people think.

What would fix the world?

I’d have a world without ego – it’s not an attractive quality and manifests itself in ugly ways.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

David Walliams (for fun), David Attenborough (for education), Chris Hemsworth (for more fun), Anna Kendrick (for fun and great singing) and Miranda Hart (for such fun!)

 


 

Aaron Alburey – LACE

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

The company of friends.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

I once fell off a table, landed against a glass door and ripped my trousers from knee to ass!

What makes you truly happy?

The success of the people I mentor and my kids, of course.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard? Thought Shower still drives me

mad.

What would be your superpower and why?

Time travel so I could eliminate the dictators of the world before they came to power, oh and win the lottery!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen to your heart.

What would fix the world?

Universal wage would help.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Easy – Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Lance Armstrong, Baby Spice and David Bowie.

 


 

Gill White - CIPD

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My lovely husband and his best friend doing comedy sketches on what’s app copying the fast show.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Spilling tea down a white blouse before a keynote speech, so I had to place my name card around my neck more like a bow tie to hide the stain!

What makes you truly happy?

Being in my garden late at night sitting quietly and the wild hedgehogs (whom I’ve been feeding for years) running about around me.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Mind shower, feed forward, with the greatest of respect, endgame, think outside the box, ……….

What would be your superpower and why?

I would remove the ability to be prejudiced in any way and then I’d get all the fighting nations around a table and start them talking again.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You are Enough (put any word you like in front of it – good, fast, clever, kind)

What would fix the world?

Question 5 - + plus all companies using plastic being forced into only making recyclable stuff.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Lenard Cohen, Malcolm Gladwell, Cheryl Strayed, Brene Brown, Ben Zander, Dali Lama.

 


 

Kerry James – Burges Salmon

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My husband’s answer to question 6 but that’s best not repeated.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Performing the paso doble with a banking lawyer in front of 700 colleagues. It was our Strictly Legal dance competition. The music was ‘I want to be in America’ from West Side Story. I wore a damson-coloured dress with a frilly lace skirt. Just as well my damson knickers matched. I shall say no more!

What makes you truly happy?

Family gathered in. Sunny day. Cliff path overlooking the sea after a long walk. Picnic with boiled eggs and someone remembering to bring the salt. 

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

A personal favourite is ‘I’m reaching out to you….’ I have at least 50 e-mails a week where people are reaching out to help me with training courses, recruitment, my career, the office party, a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Prague for free, my dog’s halitosis. You do not fool me! You are trying to sell me something! Consider yourself deleted.

What would be your superpower and why?

There was a TV programme years ago called ‘Bewitched’ where a good witch would wiggle her nose and things would get done around her (usually tidying up and things that mums ask their kids to do). I’m sitting here in our café thinking how interesting it would be to be able to wiggle my nose and move coffees and papers around the tables. What would people do? What would happen next? It’s not much of a superpower but there would be so much scope for fun and mischief!

What advice would you give your younger self?

You were NEVER fat.

What would fix the world?

Too many people have thought they knew the answer to that one with disastrous consequences. The latest is Donald Trump! He'll fix us all unless we fix him first. In the meantime, for mere mortals, I think it would help for people everywhere to listen, keep an open mind and be kind. 

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party

This would be a grand opportunity to meet family members from long ago - provided that they aren't smelly, scary and mouldy and they are prepared to eat avocado and curry (not necessarily together). Finding out who they were and how they lived is tricky when your ancestry is made up of Smith, Jones, James, Thomas, Lewis and Williams from the Vale of Neath.

 


  

Justin Robbins – Fit2communicate

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

There was a very funny moment during my recent family holiday in Italy, but you will have to buy me a drink to find out the details!

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Putting something in email that I shouldn’t have which ended up in the boss’s Inbox.

What makes you truly happy?

Relaxing and having fun with family and close friends.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Anything related to colour - blue sky thinking or green field site are two.

What would be your superpower and why?

To time travel - I am fascinated by how technology is driving so much change in how we communicate so it would be nice to get an idea of what is around the corner as well as show my children that there really was life without mobile phones.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Take more risks and worry less what others think about you.

What would fix the world?

Rid the world of negativity as positive thinking makes such a difference and really does make for a happier day!

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Assuming there are no restrictions on past or present I would invite Robin Williams who was the master of impressions to entertain us all night, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) who is hilarious and reminds me a lot of my daughter, Jack Black who is funny and also plays a mean rock track, JK Rowling who has the most incredible imagination in case things get boring, Sir Bradley Wiggins who is a cycling legend with a very dry sense of humour to keep us amazed and amused and Amanda Byram (Total Wipeout co-host) for when we’re drunk and the games get silly!

 


 

Rob Woodhead – Simply Better Events

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My Mum’s warped sense of humour. I think she’s the only person I know who will call her 9-year-old grandson into the kitchen and then jump out on him in a clown mask. It’s a good job he can take a joke too, although we did have to peel him down from the ceiling.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Probably the day after I ate too much coconut. Coconut is a laxative. I was sat in my office all day. ‘Nuff said.

What makes you truly happy?

Going completely back to basics and stripping the material things out of my life for a while, whilst spending time with those closest to me. I spent 20 minutes laying in a hammock with my 7-year-old daughter yesterday just hugging and watching the rest of the world go about its business, which was truly beautiful.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

A facilitator at one of our events saying to a member of the audience “That’s a great idea, let’s put it in the fridge and snack on it later”. I think I did a little bit of vom in my mouth.

What would be your superpower and why?

Mind control. So I could make my kids actually do what I ask them to do.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your gut feel. Especially if it’s telling you that you need a poo.

What would fix the world?

If everyone in the world went out of their way to do their own little bit of good every day.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Just my family and friends from past and present. I don’t have the desire to be surrounded by pretentious celebs!


Nominations are open for the National Happiness Awards 2019


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