Eager, enthusiastic and excited are very accurate descriptions of me. When I set a goal, I do everything I can to achieve that goal, and at times, at all costs.
Having decided last year that I was the ideal candidate for the newly created position of the North of Tyne Mayor and being the first person in the North East to publicly announce my decision in October 2018, I hadn’t realised what I would have to sacrifice in doing so. Deciding not to stand was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, especially given the incredible amount of support from so many people, many whom I had never met. But it was the right decision.
Reflecting on my ‘power of three’ methodologies, I have written and spoken numerous times about the importance of Desire, Direction and Discipline. Desire is having a goal, Direction is developing a plan and Discipline is being single-minded, laser focused on achieving that goal. So having realised a goal, and developed a plan, it was highly unusual, even unheard of, for me to change my mind. But one of the greatest things I have learned over the past few years is the importance of being agile, and pivoting so realising when something isn’t quite right and changing course or direction. More importantly being patient and making sure timing is right.
The key reason for deciding not to stand was primarily family orientated, having a six year old son, six month old daughter and an eight month old granddaughter – interesting dynamic – whom selfishly, I want to spend as much time as possible before they all grow up and become interested in other things or other people.
Other major factors affecting my decision being the amount of things I would have to give up or positions that I would need to resign from, due to potential conflicts of interest. These include the not for profit social enterprise Asian Business Connexions that is celebrating ten successful years of connecting, supporting and promoting the Asian and wider community, the Primary Inspiration through Enterprise Charity that I established which brings real enterprise activities into schools teaching young people about business and preparing them for the world of work, the North East LEP board and the Progression Forum. All of the other charities and trusts that I could not continue actively support either, including the Cadet Apprenticeship Pathway, TWAM or Tyneview Primary School where I am Chair of Governors.
The key dilemma I have was that I really enjoy what I am doing working with likeminded people to make a significant and sustained impact for the whole community across our North East. And I don’t want to stop, especially as some of the organisations that have been established and are making a difference, I have grown from inception. So whilst it was a tough call, it was the right decision for now. I am ever so grateful for the tremendous show of support and a heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my heart. But don’t stop me now as I am having good time.