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Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.  This section is updated regularly with a wide range of techniques, tips and ideas that we hope you can take into either your personal and or professional life.  If you have any questions about the below information or would like to know more please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


5 Whys! Quickly Getting to the Root of a Problem

How to use the 5 Why technique,

The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: "Why?" and "What caused this problem?"

Very often, the answer to the first "why" will prompt another "why" and the answer to the second "why" will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy.

Benefits of the 5 Whys include:

It helps you to quickly determine the root cause of a problem.

It's simple, and easy to learn and apply.

How to Use the Tool:

When you're looking to solve a problem, start at the end result and work backward (toward the root cause), continually asking: "Why?" You'll need to repeat this over and over until the root cause of the problem becomes apparent.


High Performance in Employment

Mentally tough performers are disciplined thinkers who respond to pressure in ways which enable them to remain feeling relaxed, calm and energised because they have the ability to use positive energy in crisis and adversity. They also have the ability to have the right attitudes to problems, pressure, mistakes and competition.

Mental toughness includes self confidence, knowing that one can perform well and successful. Negative Energy Control, handling emotions such as fear, anger, frustration and coping with externally detrimental events. Attention to Control (Focus) visualisation and imagery control, thinking positively in pictures. Motivation and willingness to persevere through personal conflict and attention to detail

Mental toughness is having the natural or developed edge that enables you to cope better than your competition with the demands of business and lifestyle to reach high levels of consistency.

1. Flexibility. Executive leaders have the ability to absorb the unexpected and remain supple and non-defensive. They maintain humour even when the situation becomes tough. If something isn't going well or doesn't turn out as expected, they remain flexible in their approach and look for new ways to solve the problem. Just like a player faced with a broken play, a leader may have to decide quickly on a different way to get the ball down the field.

Also, leaders must continually be open to re-educating themselves, even in the basics, which they may have taken for granted for too long. They need to exercise caution in defensively falling back on ideas they know and are comfortable with rather than looking for new ways of doing business.

2. Responsiveness. Executive leaders are able to remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment. They understand that they need to think differently about how their environment and business operate.

The problems we encounter now are messier and more complicated than ever before. They often can't be solved in the ways others were. Executive leaders look for new ways to think about these problems and, more important, look for fresh ways out of these problems. They have a sense of urgency about responding to the changing face of business.

We must pay close attention to and understand global, national, regional and local economic trends, market trends, consumer trends, industry trends and competitor responses. Relying on old assumptions about how business operates and assuming that last year's trends still hold today is dangerous. Leaders make decisions and act based on up-to-the-minute and in-depth knowledge of what is really going on in business now.

3. Strength. Executive leaders are able to exert and resist great force when under pressure and to keep going against insurmountable odds. They find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game. They focus on giving their best and fighting hard until the end, with persistent intensity throughout the planned year forecast.

Just as athletes dig deep to find the physical and psychological strength to continue through adverse and tough situations, executive business leaders must exhibit the same strength. As James Loehr puts it, top athletes think, "While this is tough, I am a whole lot tougher." Executive business leaders bring the same intensity, through all the continual pounding.

4. Courage and ethics. Game-ready leaders do the right thing for the organisation and the team. They suppress the temptation to cut corners or to undermine others so they come out on top. They have the courage to make the hard but right decisions for the organisation.

A famous story as an example of courage and ethics in sports is that of the tennis player Andy Roddick. In 2008 Roddick was the No. 1 seed at the Rome Masters. He was at match point and about to win. The umpire called his opponent for a double-fault serve. Walking to shake his opponent's hand, Roddick noticed a ball mark on the clay--in bounds. Roddick got the umpire's attention and pointed out that the ball had nicked the line but was in fact in bounds. The match continued. Roddick went on to lose the match, and his beyond-the-call-of-duty honesty made him famous as an upstanding person, an opponent who would do the right thing. Game-ready leaders in business do the same.

PepsiCo provides a great business example of this. A disgruntled Coca-Cola employee and two other individuals attempted to sell proprietary information to Pepsi. Pepsi received a package containing a sample of a new Coke product and other information. Pepsi immediately informed Coke, which contacted the FBI. Executive business leaders ultimately win by making the right and courageous decisions.

5. Resilience. Executive leaders rebound from disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities and get right back in the game. They have a hardiness for enduring the downs of a situation. They remain optimistic in the face of adversity and quickly change when necessary. They resolve to make things better and are experts at figuring out ways to do more with fewer resources.

6. Sportsmanship. Executive leaders exhibit sportsmanship. They don't let the opponent know when he or she has gotten them down. "Chin up,". Clearly we all experience disappointment, attacks from others, an occasional blow to the stomach. However, the behaviour exhibited by executive leaders after losing or being attacked by others or the situation sets the tone for the rest of an organisation.

We all need these same markers of toughness to succeed and lead in today's business environment. We cannot succeed on technical skill alone. Companies have tough questions and situations to address. Game-ready leaders go into today's business environment with their best mental game and with the attitude of "Bring it on!" After all, who doesn't love the challenge and fun of a demanding, complex game?

Critical Questions

How do people respond when they encounter challenges?

How do they respond to criticism, usually when mistakes happen, will they comeback stronger or wither?

Will they hide, have excuses and blame or see people take responsibility for their actions?

Do they choose the easy or the best option?

Do they prefer to push themselves or stick to their comfort zone?

How do they respond to pressure situations, would they resemble a rabbit in the head lights or peak to maximum performance?

Answers will tell you a lot about employees, often not the ones who shout loudest create most noise or upper most in intimidation have the loyalty and strength to achieve. Sometimes fear can be dressed up as toughness, a sign of weakness rather than strength.



Self assessment in the work place


Do you like working in detail or are you more of a big picture person?


Are you a meticulous planner or are you more spontaneous?


How comfortable are you working in high pressure situations?


Do you like to be the leader or the helper?



How have you handled any failures at work, either your own or others?


How comfortable are you talking to people you do not know?


Do you like a set routine or do you welcome interruptions?


How competitive are you?



Would others describe you as more of an optimist or a pessimist?


Do you like things to be perfect or are you happy with good enough?


How creative or artistic are you?



Do you like to blend in at work or do you enjoy being different?


Which do you enjoy working with the most: facts and figures, abstract concepts, practical things or people?


Are you an original thinker? Do you like to look at new ways of doing things?


Are you results orientated or is the process as or perhaps even more important to you?


Would other people see you as more of a doer a thinker or a people person?


If you manage staff, how would your staff describe your management style for example consultative, commanding


Do you prefer working with things equipment or hands on tasks rather than intellectual or emotional challenges?


How comfortable are you with taking risks?



Do you like working as part of a group or team or more independently?


How important is it for you that you are physically active in your work?


Do you like helping or caring for people?



Do you like working to targets and deadlines or do you prefer a looser structure?





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Please get in touch initially by email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Mobile: 07906 101179

We can then arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss your requirements and to provide a quote.

We look forward to hearing from you!


David Sheridan

Managing Director of Executive Solutions4u has a significant range of industry specific formal qualifications, these coupled with his vast experience and success (which you can see for yourself in our Testimonials) go a long way in making him one of the leading individuals within the industry.

Whether you are looking for coaching in your personal or professional life David has the skills necessary to give you the tools you need to succeed.  Whether you have; suffered a crisis in your personal life and need guidance, find your work life overwhelming or need to motivate yourself to achieve more in life we can offer you the support that you need.

Here are just a sample of his qualifications:

Master Practitioner NLP - City and Guilds (ongoing 2013)

Executive Business Coach - LCA Level 7 2012

Diploma in Life Coaching - NCC Learning 2011

A1 Assessor Units updated - Central Training 2011

IOSH Health and Safety Management - St. Helens Council 2010

Facilitator Skills in Restorative Practice Level 3 - International Institute For Restorative Practice 2009

Awareness in Restorative Practice Level 1/2 - International Institute For Restorative Practice 2009

Saints Multi-Sport Coaching Award Level 2 - Rugby Football League 2009

Rugby League Leaders Award Level 2 - Rugby Football League 2009

Foundation Degree in Youth and Community Studies - Liverpool John Moores, July 2008

Certificate in Post-16 Education Lecturing - Liverpool John Moores, July 2004

D32/33 Assessor Award - St Helens College, 2004

Prince’s Trust Assessor Award - Prince’s Trust, 2002

Prince’s Trust Team Leader Training - Prince’s Trust, 2000

Level Three Youth Studies - St Helens College, 1994


Get in touch with us for a no obligation discussion about how we could be developing your business or yourself.  Call David on: 07906 101179, or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Keith Mayer

Keith is a Senior Tutor for the Football Association (FA) delivering a variety of courses, including the FA's Level 4 Psychology Course. Keith recently lectured on the Asian Football Association Pro-license Course in South Korea, which is among the highest football coaching qualifications in the World. He is an internationally renowned and esteemed coach, who has been developing the skills of some of the most elite athletes and business professionals for many years.

For over 30 years, Keith has cultivated relationships and acquired skills, knowledge and experience to make individuals and teams he works with the best they can be, both on and off the field, and in the business world. An influential force in the training and development of players, coaches and management. He works diligently to facilitate the learning processes in areas where football programs and players, and business need improvement.

Keith has an unwavering devotion to continued personal development and the pursuit of knowledge, where he regularly attends educational programs and seminars that allow him to remain abreast of modern techniques across all aspects of coaching. By maintaining excellent coaching principles and demanding the highest standards of commitment of his athletes and business professional, he has seen players represent their country at full international level, win World Championships and achieve great successes in the business World among many other achievements.


Toured with Manchester United on their Pre-season tour of South Africa and China, coaching as part of the Manchester United Soccer Schools – Supporting the development and nurturing of team based projects and coach education.

Mentor and coach at an English Premier League club – Developing coaches and players alike to reach their full potential.

Mentored Senior Management and Coaches of both Great Britain’s and England’s Cerebral Palsy (CP) Football Team – Developing team culture and inclusiveness.

Managed the England U20’s CP team on their winning trip to Brazil.

Personally Mentored

CEO’s and Senior Management at major blue chip companies

England National Football Association (FA) team coaches

Premier League footballers

Key personnel from the South Korean FA

World Champion Athletes

A Pride of Britain Award winner

PGA golfer

Assistant Managers of Professional Football League Clubs


Whether you require life coaching, business development support or advice, management training, senior management coaching, motivational training for sports or something similar to develop yourself personally or professionally Executive Solutions can help.  We offer solutions tailored to you or your business, from 1:1 sessions, workshops and taught sessions.  Our offices are based in St Helens, Merseyside however we are fully mobile and can deliver training across the North West and frequently deliver training nationwide.


Executive Solutions 4U Limited has the ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, areas of work, and levels of ability and authority.

We have seventeen years experience of working in a variety of settings from government departments to grass-roots sports clubs and many in between.  We are comfortable working both one-to-one and in groups, with the ideal group size being up to twenty for more intense work, or up to 50 for more general information sessions.

Before a piece of work is to commence we would want to have a meeting to establish your desired outcomes from the workshop or course.  Our uniqueness hinges on the fact that sessions are tailored to your needs, and not ours.


Please read some of our testimonies below from individuals and organisations who we have worked with.

“Dave has been working at the Attendance Centre since my appointment as the Centre Manager over four years ago. Initially he was employed as an Instructor in the Fitness Suite and Gymnasium working with challenging young people, some of whom had little or no appetite for physical exercise. Through his interaction with them, there was a noticeable increase in levels of self confidence of the young people. The role not only involved physical exercise for the young people but also the raising of their awareness in terms of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Dave has now expanded his role within the Centre to the extent that he now regularly takes a leading role within the educational role of the Centre in a classroom environment. He has presented inputs to the young people on issues such as Vehicle Crime, Drugs Education and Violent Crime, in particular issues surrounding Knife Crime. The material he has utilised on these subjects is mostly self – generated which he has researched through various media outlets.

He has an excellent attitude with the young people and has been able to offer various exit strategies to them upon completion of their time at the Centre.

His innovative ideas on the Centre’s programme are invaluable to all staff members.

He has also assisted me with in presenting the Centre’s aims and objectives to local Magistrates at Court meetings. Local Magistrates have also made a number of visits to the Centre and have commented positively on the work Dave undertakes at the Centre.

Mark Jones
Officer in Charge, Prescot Junior Mixed Attendance Centre


“Because of my role as Training and Development Manager of Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), I was highly recommended Executive Solutions by a work colleague who had previously used them.  I needed to access a wide range of bespoke training, from ‘Managing Conflict when working with Young People’ to ‘Facilitation and Public Speaking Skills’ for Sefton CVS staff and the wider children’s workforce in Sefton.

Executive Solutions responded quickly to my range of needs, by arranging a one-to-one meeting then developing appropriate training packages, which were high quality and embedded “equalities” within them. I am now recommending them to you.

Comments made on how the training will benefit work included:

“The things that were covered in the sessions helped me to understand good practice when dealing with children and young people.”

”I expected to be learning about how to deal with certain situations regarding conflict in a particular way.  However, I believe this course has challenged me and how I deal with conflict in my work. Delivery was fantastic and I would strongly recommend it.”

”We will be able to implement different aspects of the course by managing situations of conflict a lot better and look at situations in a more positive manner.”

”It was a brilliant session and produced a lot of discussion and thought.”

”It will help me be more confident when meeting with young people. It will help me set future goals in my work and support my personal development”.

“It was brilliant and the sessions packed a lot into them”

Gillian Blane
Training & Development Manager, Sefton CVS


“Two years ago, my company Positive Solutions St Helens, was in my opinion, very busy but not as profitable as I wanted it to be, and I was at a loss to see how I could take the business on to the next level.  After all there are only so many hours in the day!  After working with Executive Solutions in the areas of prioritising workloads; delegation; and focusing on the future, I began to see the light.

“Over a period of 12 months, with one to one sessions with myself and my staff,  plus team building and personal effectiveness workshops, we achieved all of our short-term and long-term goals that were set out in our business plan which was made achievable with Executive Solutions.

“I am not saying that it was done without any hard work or pain, and it certainly took us out of our comfort zone for a period of time, but the destination has been worth it, in my opinion thanks to structure put in place by Executive Solutions.

“We are currently maintaining the standards put in place with the help of our monthly one to one sessions and staff meetings and this is now embedded in the culture of my company.”

Many thanks to Executive Solutions
Kevin Simpson IFA, Director, Positive Solutions St Helens

“I am an ex GB International Rugby League player now concentrating on helping amateur rugby coaches improve their players and themselves through my online coaching website.  During my research into setting up the coaching site, I heard from several people that Executive Solutions would be a great help on the sport education side of the site. After speaking to Executive Solutions, I was blown away by the advice and guidance, especially on the implication of Action Plans and Lesson Plans for young rugby players aged 6-16.  Their knowledge and professional approach when dealing with young people is second to none and I would highly recommend using this company.  In addition, the skills and guidance are easily transferable to any age group, not just to young people.”

Neil Harmon

“Within various professional capacities,  I have referred vulnerable and disengaged individuals to work with Executive Solutions in order to support them with personal development and to address risky behaviours and lifestyle issues. They have always responded professionally and with bespoke ability in relation to meeting the needs of individuals. It is inspiring to see the development of such innovative support programmes and approaches to engaging and achieving outcomes with some of the hardest to reach clients. Executive Solutions has also provided constructive and motivational one-to-one support to assist me in planning team approaches to work and how to manage and influence change. This has helped me greatly in progressing as a strategic lead and I thank you greatly for this.”

Simone Hill, Every Child Matters Co-ordinator, Sefton CVS

“I have worked with Executive Solutions in a role where I am volunteering with the rehabilitation programmes of offenders between the ages of 18-25 years of age. Executive Solutions have acted as a mentor offering advice, guidance and support whilst assisting and teaching rehabilitation programmes to offenders.  They have excellent knowledge of health and fitness within the programme that has helped the individuals change their lifestyles.”

Chris Millikin, Mersey Tunnels Police Officer

“We are working closely with Executive Solutions to develop short- and long-term action plans for both the staff and the organisation as a whole.  A Planning Day helped us to share aims and to get our focus back on our future and the development of our services.  The day ranged from light-hearted team-building to intense strategic planning, and was unique in that it was tailor-made to us.  Some similar companies arrive with their own ideas of how they think we should be working, but at the end of the day, when the Planning Day is over, it is still down to us to manage the future.  Executive Solutions were very useful in providing me with challenging but achievable targets which I was confident we could meet as a team, with support from them if we need it.”

Deafness Resource Centre Limited

“I have attended a few training courses throughout my career, so as I travelled to the Executive Solutions leadership workshop, I thought there was nothing new to learn – how wrong could I be?!  The Prison Service changes annually to meet cuts and targets.  I had always struggled with change – believing it would just result in more work, less opportunities and less job satisfaction. But Executive Solutions have always been so positive about change and they taught me great techniques to motivate my staff, to help them to develop and get rewards to make change work for them.  I have also found a great mentor who I can always rely on.  I would recommend Executive Solutions to anyone wishing to take their business or personal skills forward to meet these demanding times.”

Senior Officer, HMP Liverpool

“Many thanks for donating the raffle prize of 2 free tickets to the Wakefield Trinity Wild Cats home game on 26th February 2010. This was extremely generous and very much appreciated.  The prize was won by Tracy – she was absolutely delighted!  The tickets attracted a lot of attention and were a really great prize.  I will soon be able to inform you how much was raised for our charity.  It was a very successful evening, enjoyed by many who supported the Charity, the stallholders and the venue.
With Regards and Thanks”

Barbara Wood, Breast Cancer Campaign (Manchester Group)

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