Tag Archives: standards

UPBEAT – Ordinary bloke, extraordinary New Zealander

UPBEAT – Monday Morning Motivation
Edition 116 – First published Monday 14 November 2011
Clinton Jones

Keeping up with the Joneses

Hi, the road back to fitness is a long winding one, there is the odd hill for good measure. I have had setbacks and these have thankfully been off set with some little wins along the way. I will never underestimate the importance or value of fitness and health nor will I ever not listen to my body again…..time is a great healer. That said I am ahead of schedule (of course) and happy with my progress. No,Cameron Brown the champion Iron Man is not shaking in his boots yet but he needs to keep an eye out.Boris the injured Jones cat is also proving time is his best friend as he continues to recover slowly. The minor birds who nest annually in our letter box are thankful Boris is temporarily off the predator list! After making do for a number of years with a make shift BBQ and resisting the temptation to upgrade I finally weakened, mortgaged the house(again) and got a new one ! Crikey it is scooby doo, almost too scared to wear it out, I am sure I will get over it as the summer and festive season approaches rapidly…..bring it on.  

I hope you had a relaxing weekend with family and friends. Have a great week, cheers Jonesey!

Harry Jones the #1 BBQ assistant hound chef welcomes the new oven with open paws!

Selling the Sizzle

It has been very humbling. It shows that New Zealand is full of good bastards.”   
Jup Brown….Kiwi Legend

I love reading inspirational stories about ordinary blokes or blokess’s just like you and I who achieve extraordinary things. I have been following one such story about someone who fits the bill perfectly.

Jup Brown is definitely one of those people in my eyes. He has just completed a run of 2900km in 67 days through New Zealand . That is one and a half times the length of New Zealand and 40-50km for every day along the way! The 38 year old plumber from Wanaka ran to raise awareness and money for The Stroke Foundation. Tragically there are 45,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand who need help to reach their full potential.

He was inspired and accompanied by his good mate Nick Chisholm, the amazing thing about that is Nick became a stroke victim as a 27 year old after a rugby accident. It left him unable to walk or talk! Incredibly Jup ran a 100km fundraiser earlier that raised $40k to buy Nick a special bike so he could make the NZ run! Two ordinary blokes combining their amazing enthusiasm and determination to do their bit for many other similarly affected kiwis, an extraordinary success story

I remember watching an interview on Campbell live as they set off and being moved to tears as they were both interviewed with Nick answering questions by pointing to letters on a board that made the words of his reply !…incredible. I will also always remember Jup saying to the reporter that the marathon he was about to embark on had taken on a special significance as his dad had also recently had a stroke! In classic bloke style he had said to his dad after the stroke “you better not die mate or I will come to the funeral and punch you in your coffin.” The following is a powerful extract from the article that sums it all up perfectly, I hope you get something positive from it to launch your week!

 “Jup has simple advice for people who are battling adversity in their own lives:”Keep trying and believe that nothing is impossible. We all have challenges in our lives but you never know what you can achieve if you keep at it. Dream big because you determine whether you will get there or not. I know that after running this I will never say that something is impossible again. But the best advice I can offer is…get a lot of people to support you. The people I have met have given me the power and mental strength to achieve this.”

“There are always people worse off than me, and we need to remember that” Jup Brown (ordinary bloke, extraordinary New Zealander)



UPBEAT – Monday Morning Motivation
Edition 114 – First published Monday 31 October2011
Clinton Jones 

Keeping up with the Joneses

Hi , I have never liked surprises and believe it or not I also dislike being the centre of attention! Bit strange for someone who has always loved the sound of his own voice!!

I was however totally surprised on Saturday evening to receive unexpected recognition from the Central Park Toastmasters Club at their 20 year celebratory dinner. I joined in 1991 and am currently the longest serving member something I was vaguely aware of but never that fussed about.

I was reluctant but honoured and proud to be recognised by my peers for my contribution to the club over the years. When you love doing something,you do it with enthusiasm and passion so you never notice the time it takes or the years that roll by because you always receive more than you give.It has never been about me, my buzz, my return on my investment of time and energy is delivered via the development and growth of others. Mentoring and coaching people I have met in, or introduced to, this excellent organisation has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I have ever done. Like anything we do I firmly believe the more you put in the more you get out x2.

Conversely a lack of commitment, enthusiasm or passion will invariably result in failure. Again like everything in life there is only one person that can make that call about anything we do…yes YOU !!!

We did a bit of our own ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ on the weekend catching up with Mum and Dad for brunch on Sunday, crikey we have to that more often. Unlike many others I know I am lucky to have two healthy happy parents living close by so need to make the most of that !!! hmmmmmmmm I hope you had a good one with family and friends, have an amazing week,…… Cheers Jonesey!

Harry the hound bet me I couldn’t write without using the r (rugby) word, hows that bro!

Selling the Sizzle

“It is never over until the fat lady sings” Dan Cook

Although Hayley Westernra would have something to say about this famous quote above it is invariably the larger singers in the Opera that signal the finale.

Just like a good special events rubbish man knows….”the event is never over till the last piece of rubbish is removed”

Crikey we had been doing a perfect job for 12 days from delivery on the 14th right up to extra service and removal on the 26th! Most events last a couple of days but the Taste of Auckland event ran over 2 weeks from set up to pack down. A real test for the budding Green Gorilla team but one we looked in the eye and fronted up for with our A game.

Instructions were clear Victoria Park was to be handed back to Auckland City in sparkling pristine condition by 2pm on the 26th. Our bins were to be removed no later than 1pm, the team was briefed and we were sailing along smoothly until the unthinkable happened……..

A late influx of over sized rubbish that would not fit into the remaining bins, no trucks or larger bins in sight or likely to be, deadline approaching, organisers and Council sign off/hand over approaching.  After almost 2 weeks of perfection it all came down to this, 2 large rolls of soggy carpet and the 6mx3m Audi sign stood between the GG team and stardom only one thing for it….time to call GREEN GORILLA MAN!   As fast as a speeding Ford Mondeo and fresh from a recent spinal reconstruction he swung into action and with the amazing help of the tallest Hirequip Manager in the country impending doom and special event disaster was averted as the offending oversize matter was removed with 15 minutes to spare. The clean sheet perfect record was maintained on the surface and by all appearances but like a lot things behind the scenes she was a thin line of 15minutes between hero and zero !!,bit like ‘that game !!! Remember Hirequip corner of Daldy and Packenham streets Auckland City for all your hire requirements !! Its never over till its over, don’t count your chickens before they hatch and never underestimate a GREEN GORILLA haha… have fun and a big week.

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough” Og Mandino

UPBEAT – Setting the Example

UPBEAT – Monday Morning Motivation
Edition 94 – First published Monday 13 June 2011
Clinton Jones, President of Central Park Toastmasters

Keeping up with the Joneses

Hi, I am a hoarder from way back I think I inherited this from my dad who was always and still is reluctant to throw anything out! I have combined my passion for hoarding with a love for wheeling and dealing.

To this end I have a fixation for buying and selling on trademe. I am particularly interested in buying rugby memorabillia and selling anything I get sick of or pick up that I think has a resale value. I get a huge buzz out of both buying and selling and seldom don’t have anything listed for sale or on my watch list to buy. I figure everyone needs to have a passion ,interest or obsession and mine is hoarding,collecting or selling.

I recently sold a large black buoy I found on our local beach for an undisclosed sum, I figured it was worth it after nearly killing myself recovering it and lugging it home ! Then I was able to save the future of full size cardboard cutouts of the legendary Sean Fitzpatrick and Zinzan Brooke from remaining in the hands of South Islanders by outbidding all comers to bring them home to Auckland for the Rugby World Cup (for an undisclosed sum !) I now have full life size cut outs of Dan the man Carter, Grizz Wylie, Captain Fantastic Richie McCaw and Zinny/Fitzy in my gym at home (scary in the dark when you forget they are there!). Such a buzz! Its so much fun bidding on or running an auction, if you havent done it before, have a go!

Crikey , tough going for Blues supporters with loss # 4 on the trot, time to step up boys (yeah right).

Thank you for the encouraging feedback from last weeks ‘Upbeat’. On the back of this I watched the movie “The Kings Speech”,a great endorsement for the need to effectively communicate,check it out.

We had a cool weekend catching up with family and friends, hope you did too. Cheers Jonesey

Harry the hound is over the Blues and says the sooner I am the better!(yeah right).

Selling the Sizzle

“The standard you set is the one you choose to walk past” Fulton Hogan

I had a ‘minties moment’ Friday when I slipped and fell on a wet, slippery underground supermarket carpark surface. I was lucky not too hurt myself but got a big fright and smashed a number of bottles as the liquid supplies and contents therein went sprawling across the surface with me.

Once I had recovered from the embarrassment, shock and laughter/lack of assistance and fumes I cleaned up the mess and felt sorry for myself whilst considering what to do next.
Ordinarily I would have accepted the blame for being uncoordinated and clumsey and either re purchased the broken goods or disappeared embarrassed and angry with myself for being a dipstick.

However the Health and safety side of me urged me to take action! So I approached the manager to make her aware of the hazard the wet surface presented to customers. To her credit she was apologetic and agreed that the surface was a problem and one they needed to do something about. She also conceded that she and a number of her staff had also slipped previously. I suggested at the very least they put signs up warning customers of the hazard. She agreed to take some immediate action and without prompting duly replaced all the smashed items in my bag (Foodtown).

Imagine if I had not said anything and done what I guess so many of us would have done and accepted we were at fault and to harden up and get on with it?  Who knows how many people have slipped over and smashed stuff or hurt themselves previously and not said or done anything?

This experience relates directly to the quote above from Fulton Hogan who encourage all their staff to report rather than ignore safety hazards. Clearly anything you see and know is wrong but choose to ignore is something you are accepting is ok. Yes we live in an over legislated and PC world but common sense needs to prevail. In my case I am glad I said something, I feel good that I have contributed to making a difference by doing so. Too many of us accept rather than challnege things these days, time to preserve standards by pushing back and taking a stand. Good luck with that.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing”. Albert Schweitze