Alan Fine is the president of the very successful executive coaching company InsideOut Development. He decided to share some of his pearls of wisdom with the world in his book You Already Know How To Be Great.

The self help genre of books is not one that I delve into with any great regularity and some are so tedious they should be prescribed as non addictive sleep aids!

Something caught my attention in the press release for You Already Know How To Be Great, so throwing caution to the wind I jumped right in. I am glad I did, Alan Fine writes with authority and humor. The anecdotes used as examples are pulled from reality, and unlike many writers he shares stories from his own personal life, including his family.  You can find my review here.

I love interviewing people, it has become a large part of my  ‘post corporate America’ career. I had a hunch that Alan Fine would make a great subject, and I was correct.

He is a fascinating man who has led an interesting life. He was born in South Wales, he became involved in Tennis at school, that led to a tennis coaching position. From there he expanded to Golf coaching, and business coaching.

He bid wales farewell at the age of 22 and moved to the US. By reading his book it is easy to understand why he has been so successful. He is not an alchemist with some dark and secret formula, rather he uses simplicity and plain old common sense (an element that is sadly lacking in today’s world).

There was one part of the interview that I found very amusing. The nature of his business means that he travels a great deal. In fact the first time I spoke to him he had just arrived at New York’s JFK. For years I was a Road Warrior, breakfast in San Diego, lunch in Denver, dinner in Orlando, and luggage in Chicago! I posed the question to him, what is your most memorable war story of being on the road? I was expecting something akin to Bill Gates demonstrating a new operating system to a huge audience and getting the dreaded ‘Blue screen of death’, or the more recent Steve Jobs Wi-Fi debacle at the iSomething (or other) roll out. Alan Fine did not miss a heartbeat. Every trip is a war story, he explained, there is just one word to describe it, ‘Airlines’.

I just about fell out of my chair laughing! In retrospect tat response was exactly what I should have expected from Alan Fine. It demonstrates exactly his straightforward, no nonsense approach.

If you missed the live interview, you can listen to the recording here.

Simon Barrett

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