Posted by: Simon | June 25, 2008

On a meme theme

I got tagged by Laugh in the Sun to answer a few questions that (may?) shed a little different light on who I am and, in the spirit of having a little fun, here goes:

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was working as the leader and manager of a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency team of approximately 50 people. I was in my late 20s and I found it quite challenging to deal with the volume and variety of ‘people’ issues that were thrown my way. I had been used to focusing almost exclusively on operations to that point. No two issues were the same and I often felt like I was on the back foot in trying to make the right decisions. For example, I had to deal with a chronic under performing staff member from overseas that everyone previously had put up with or overlooked (the individual was sent home). I had to help people cope with the aftermath of a head-on collision involving my people that resulted in two lost lives and three critically injured others. I chose to push for certain people’s promotion in spite of their outdated personnel systems that said it couldn’t be done. I learned a lot.

My 61 year old dad was also going downhill rapidly. The mesothelioma crippling his body was very aggressive. In less than 18 months from diagnosis he had become a shadow of his former self. About this time of year I flew to where he lived again with my eldest boy who was almost 3 years old, leaving my wife and 6 month old son at home. We got to spend some time together without others around which was very special. We weren’t great communicators but we were close – I am his only child. We had some special moments reminiscing about things we had done together. I said goodbye. Only a few short weeks later he passed away. We talk about Poppy so much still today that even my 7 year old daughter thinks she has met him :) .

2. What are 5 things on your to-do list today?

- Complete Quick Reference Guide content on how we will use in my account space (am over the garbage in, garbage out situation)
- Call my mechanic to book car in for repair (head gasket leaking a little oil – am sick of smell!)
- Complete client ‘supervisor’s report’ for one of my people (needed to maintain security clearance)
- Speak with kids about Parent-Teacher interviews next week (one child has brought home the note, two haven’t!)
- Book ticket to Robin Sharma seminar in Sydney next month

3. What snacks do you enjoy?

Nothing riveting here:

- chocolate
- nuts
- bananas

4. Things you would do if you were a billionaire.

- Keep working
- Help family
- Invest the majority
- Travel to slightly unusual destinations
- Test drive many different cars

5. Three of your bad habits.

My wife assures me I’ll have trouble narrowing down a long list whereas right now I’m actually struggling to come up with any! Okay…how about:

- Sometimes giving advice when an ear was all that was sought
- Driving a little too fast at times
- Losing track of the time on the computer

6. Five places you have lived.

- Melbourne, Australia
- Southport, Australia
- Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Sydney, Australia
- Alice Springs, Australia

7. Five jobs you’ve had.

- Paperboy (5am on a rainy morning – not fun!)
- Barman (at an airport – fascinating way to study people and I got to serve some really cool people – Eric Clapton was the best with former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange the worst)
- Research Officer (first job after university – there was so much I didn’t know)
- Business Consultant (problem solving for grown ups)
- Account Director (all about talking with people at the end of the day. I’m constantly learning something about myself and others as a consequence)

8. How did you name your blog

My aim is to make my life as free flowing as possible by seeking happiness, simplicity and productivity in all that I do. I also like the concept of flow as described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and think it is worthwhile pusuit. And, more than anything, it seemed a tad better than ‘Simon Hill’s Blog’ :) ………


  1. How interesting to see what is a Simon Hill! We have a few things in common. I too struggle with the time on computers. WHile I probably wouldn’t test drive cars if I had all that money, there are other things I would do. I would have fun impacting others with it giving to various causes and people.

    10 years ago I was also saying goodbye. I was saying goddbye to my mom who had a type of sarcoma cancer. That was a difficult time but my mom taught me about dying. She taught me how faith in God is what will comfort you during that time. To look forward to CHrist rather than stay stuck in your cancer. Her last words which came with her last breath were, “Jesus is good.” I miss my mom but I want her to stay right where she is.

  2. I would like to know more about the NZ Prime Minister! Even I learnt new things about you :)

  3. @Alyson: Let’s just say that in retirement some people are pleasant, graceful and inspiring….and then there’s David Lange!! Well, that’s being a bit harsh – let’s just say he was having a bad day :) .

  4. @Laurie: I miss my dad too. One of the challenges I have every year is the day my dad passed is also a close friend’s birthday. I want to be happy for my friend but at the same time I get quite reflective about my dad. Time has certainly helped there though – it’s easier than it was.

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