S1E11 Paula Dunn MBE / Focus your energy


Learn how to focus your energy.

In this week's show we meet Paula Dunn. Paula is Head Coach at British Athletics Paralympic Programme.

Paula knows all about World Class performance having competed at the World Championships, Europeans, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. In the 1990s she was the fastest female British sprinter!

Since retiring from track, Paula has worked for British Athletics. Today, she leads a team of athletes and coaches helping them focus on Tokyo... 2020. 

In this episode, we sit down with Paula at her local athletics track. We discuss being proactive and how she focuses her energy.


01:30 Introduction
05:45 British Athletics
07:55 Professional, Passionate and Purposeful
10:00 Better communication is key
14:12 Being a great coach
21:38 Final few questions
24:40 Key lessons
26:03 Close


British Athletics

UK Sport

UK Sport Elite Coaching Programme
Press release

Trafford Athletics Club

S1E10 Dave Walker / A bias for action


In this week's show we meet Dave Walker. Dave is a Senior Product Engineer at MSM Aerospace, an advanced manufacturer, based in North Manchester.

Dave started his working career at Ferranti — at the time — one of the largest engineering firms in the UK. He later worked at Bellhouse Hartwell before joining MSM aerospace in 2002.

Dave is widely known for his ability to overcome challenges and get things done. So today, we sit down with Dave to talk about being proactive and why having a bias for action is so important.


01:30 Introduction
03:12 Developing trust and motivating others
06:52 Getting things done
13:16 Developing an interest
18:30 Switching off
22:28 Key lessons
23:55 Close


MSM aerospace


S1E9 Gary Lovatt / Freedom to choose

Special guest

Learn how to make better decisions.

Today, we welcome Gary Lovatt to Twelve Scholars. Gary is Chief Executive of Social Sense and a Serial Entrepreneur.

Gary has a passion for social change. He has worked with the National Health Service (NHS), the Police and schools up and down the country, to help people to make better decisions. And through the subtle art of digital persuasion, he has improved lives and reduced pressure on our public services.

In today’s show, we sit down with Gary to discuss being proactive and how we all have the freedom to choose.


01:25 Introduction
03:51 How we make decisions
08:15 Social norm theory
11:58 Developing a mindfulness programme
18:50 Sustainable change programmes
22:32 Final questions
23:40 Key lessons
24:51 Close


Social Sense 

Social Sense Community Interest Company (CIC)


S1E8 Ben Grimes / Develop a 'can do' attitude


Learn to achieve more by saying yes to new challenges.

Since joining AO.com, Ben has completed a number of physical and mental challenges that have pushed him to the absolute limit.

Today, he draws on that experience to help others become more proactive and develop a ‘can-do’ attitude.

In this episode we discuss mental resilience, training for a triathlon, what it’s like working for AO, and why climbing the highest Mountain in North Africa changed his life forever.


01:30 Introduction
03:14 Mount Toubkal
09:00 Coast to Coast
09:27 JOGLE
10:12 Training for triathlon
13:45 12½ hours
16:25 The culture of a fast-growing online business
21:12 Final questions
23:50 Key learning points
25:08 Close



Ride Across Britain (JOGLE)

Ironman UK

Mount Toubkal

S1E7 Lizzie Kelly-Dyson / Step outside your comfort zone


Learn how living outside your comfort zone can leader to greater things.

Lizzie Kelly-Dyson is a UX Designer and co-founder of Ladies That UX. Lizzie grew up in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, before moving to Manchester to study web development. She's worked as a UX Designer for BBC Sport, Booking.Com and dunnhumby. Always looking for the next challenge and step outside her comfort zone, Lizzie is also co-founder of non-profit global organisation that promotes women in tech. In this episode we discuss being proactive, equality and helping others step outside their comfort zone.


01:33 UX defined
04:26 Ladies That UX
08:48 Talk UX
13:35 Dot voting
19:00 Daily routine
21:23 Advice to others
23:20 Key learning points
24:24 Close


Ladies That UX

Talk UX


S1E6 Geoff Liberman / Study successful people


Geoff's story is one from rags to riches... from growing up in a council house in North Manchester, he's travelled the world and now lives in a leafy suburb near Altrincham. He started his first business aged 25, and over the past 3 decades has built and sold many businesses. He credits much of his success to studying people such as Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar. Find out more about how Geoff first got started.


02:04 Introduction
05:32 The subconscious mind
07:22 Geoff One and Geoff Two
08:00 Going the extra mile
11:44 Zig Ziglar and Co.
15:00 Recommended reading
16:52 Business success
21:06 Key learning points
22:18 Close


Research & Development Specialists

Rhinoceros Success, by Scott Alexander

Being Happy! by Andrew Matthews

S1E5 Natalie Yates-Bolton / Stay proactive

Special guest

Learn how to stay proactive no matter what life throws at you.

Natalie is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Salford, and a founder member of the Salford Institute for Dementia. Natalie is also receiving treatment for cancer — her fifth cancer diagnosis since the age of 19. 

Despite Natalie's health setbacks, she hasn’t let it interfere with her life and has gone on to tackle some amazing physical and mental challenges.

We visit Natalie (and her two dogs) to find out more about her story and what keeps her going.


01:44 Introduction
04:58 Discovering cancer at University
09:00 Florence Nightingale
10:42 Sacrifices and choices
12:48 A passion for running
17:50 A hidden talent for millinery
20:00 Daily routine
22:25 Key learning points
23:43 Close


Hatilly — bespoke, original hats and fascinators

Florence Nightgale Foundation

University of Salford

Threshold Sports

S1E4 Ben Upfold / Achieve more with others

Special guest

Ben Upfold has established himself as one of the leaders in the fitness industry. Ben is co-founder of OperationFitUK and CrossFit Ancoats. He has recently opened a new gym (aka 'a box') in Manchester — a dedicated fitness space designed specifically for high-intensity workouts. We explore the benefits of group exercise and share some practical advice on how to become more proactive in your daily life.


01:36 Introduction
02:14 Being proactive
04:22 Overcoming procrastination
05:54 Planning for the future
08:22 Achieving more with others
11:37 Bob's experience with CrossFit
17:58 Accountability partners
19:04 Manchester's newest Box
23:32 Close


CrossFit Ancoats Manchester

OperationFitUK Personal Training

S1E3 Ged King / Contribute to create change

Special guest

In this week's show we meet Ged King — founder of Skullfades and the Skullfades Foundation. Ged has established himself as a successful entrepreneur with a thriving barbershop. He also runs a charity committed to ending rough sleeping. He’s worked not only on improving on streets of Manchester, but also Paris and Calais.


01:52 Role models
04:52 Finding a bigger purpose
09:46 The Skullfades Foundation
14:56 Contributing through business
17:10 The six human needs model
21:30 Working example
24:16 Continuous and never ending improvement
25:24 Supporting the Foundation
27:24 Close


Skullfades Barbershop, Sale, Manchester. M33 7XN www.skullfades.co.uk

Tony Robbins www.tonyrobbins.com

S1E2 Jennie Johnson MBE / Set your own standards

Special guest

In this week's show we meet Jennie Johnson — founder and Chief Executive of Kids Allowed. Jennie is committed to raising standards, not only for her team, but also the wider teaching profession.


01:25 Backstory to Kids Allowed
03:55 Excellence framework
07:35 Why good isn’t good enough
12:50 What makes a Kids Allowed alumni
14:33 Raising standards in teaching profession
17:42 Investing in professional development
20:49 Advice to younger self
25:20 Further information
26:56 Close


Kids Allowed, 7 Christie Way, Manchester. M21 7QY www.kidsallowed.com

Ofsted education inspection framework www.gov.uk

S1E1 Elliott Norcliffe / Invest your time wisely

Special guest

In this week’s show, we meet Elliott Norcliffe — a hair stylist by day and property developer by night. Always keen to maximise his day, Elliott will challenge you to make the most of your day too!


01:50 Being proactive
03:22 Early career
11:44 Getting on the property ladder
16:33 Top tips for time management
22:04 Key lessons and practical advice
23:56 Close


NAM Restaurant, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats. Manchester. M4 6AJ. www.nammcr.com

Monroes Hair Salon, Powell Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire. www.monroes-hair.co.uk

S1B1 Dr Howard Awbery / Pilot episode


In this week’s show, we talk about time management, management dyads, triathlons, how to combat corporate burnout and something called ‘Pixie Dust’.

We’re also delighted to announce that our team here at Twelve Scholars is expanding, and we’re on track to deliver our first printed publication this Spring. Check out our website for more information and click the button to subscribe to Twelve Scholars. www.twelvescholars.com

Special guest

Our special guest this week is Dr Howard Awbery — Founder and Managing Director of Awbery Management Centre. A specialist in leadership and management development. Although Howard doesn't live or work in Manchester, he's been pivotal in my personal development and will be watching Twelve Scholars with great interest!


00:46 Introduction to Howard Awbery
01:46 Top tips for time management
04:40 Triathlons and lessons learned
06:00 Pixie Dust I... a tale of management dyads
08:22 Pixie Dust V... how to avoid corporate burnout
14:14 EGSP excellence framework and 'the art of leadership'
20:02 Final questions
23:43 Key lessons and practical advice
26:16 Close


Dr Howard Awbery (2015). Pixie Dust V: A tale of combatting corporations burnout - protecting your talent. ISBN 1784562297

Gill Edwards (1999). Living Magically - A new vision of reality. ISBN 9780749939984

Trailer to new podcast

First version of Trailer uploaded. I’d be grateful for any feedback. Please email rb@twelvescholars.com with any thoughts. or suggestions. Thanks in advance. Bob


In this new podcast we’ll meet the movers and shakers who are transforming Manchester into a Global City… the people who are improving the classrooms and corporate life, the skylines and street life, our transport and quality of life.

Our guests reveal their vision for Manchester, and offer practical advice for anyone wishing to succeed. 

Sharing insights and global perspectives, we explore, what ‘excellence’ looks like today — and in the future. 

Subscribe to TWELVE SCHOLARS and take your performance to the next level.