Kirby Brennan from Collins McNicholas with Pádraic Ó Máille from Smácht at the Horizon Summit in Galway.

Kirby Brennan from Collins McNicholas with Pádraic Ó Máille from Smácht at the Horizon Summit in Galway.

We have all experienced day-long events where lunch is approaching and there is a lot of nodding heads and heavy eyes but this certainly wasn’t one of them!! Right from the start, everyone was completely engaged by the intriguing and entertaining speakers at the first Horizon Summit, a leadership conference aimed at helping businesses in Galway and across the country reach their full potential in 2016. The speakers shared personal experiences of where they were and how they have gotten to where they are today all delivered in a humorous manner with Pádraic Ó Máille keeping everything on track acting as MC for the day.

Eric Fitzpatrick kicked off the morning with a little audience interaction by demonstrating that we can be more productive if we are clever about it. He then went on to discuss what gave him the drive and motivation to where he is today –  being told that he couldn’t have a company car. He devised a plan where at the same time the following year his manager would undoubtedly be in no position to refuse, he decided not to hit his target, not to surpass it, but to blow it clean out of the water. Eric made us privy to the structures he incorporated in the following year – breaking down targets, clients, territory and investing in himself educationally and personally.

Ciara Conlon was next to the stage, a self-proclaimed unorganised person, she spoke about how to be productive and the organisation it takes to do so. She highlighted some very easy tricks that everyone should incorporate into their daily lives; to get to inbox zero once a week by using one of the following: Delete, Delegate, Defer or Do. If something takes less than two minutes, do it straight away. If it takes longer, mark a time in your calendar to do it. If it’s junk mail, get rid of it, and if you’re in a position to delegate and it is not a task that you and you only can do, then delegate.

After a quick coffee, and of course some networking, the Dragons Den star Gavin Duffy took to the floor. I say ‘floor’ as he energetically moved through the audience for the entire presentation keeping everyone captivated by his entertaining stories of how to give a compelling business proposition and how many have failed to achieve this. Gavin also drove home that we are now out of the recession with the fastest growing economy in Europe so it is time to start charging the right price for our services and stop selling yourself short!

Dermot McConkey followed highlighting the importance of emotions in business and why as a result women will be the leaders of the future. He emphasised how a few very simple changes in language can result in getting people to really think and visualise our offerings and how they could benefit their business; instead of referring to products, highlight choices and options; instead of goals, give an outcome; instead of text, put it into context.

Last, but certainly not least, Pádraic Ó Máille spoke on how to stay motivated. From a recent spell of serious ill health, Pádraic came away with many positives, one of which is a recipe on how to stop worrying and start living, something I think all of us Irish can benefit from. Pádraic instilled a great metaphor for us all to ponder – Cows are one of the first animals to be aware of a storm approaching, they start running. Although they have evaded the storm for a period, they run slowly staying in the midst of the storm for longer. The buffalo, however, doesn’t move, it waits until the storm is about to hit and charges toward the storm, with the effect of the storm being intense but brief. So don’t prolong the torment, become the buffalo.

Horizon Summit was a massive success that was made happen from the team at Sales Master Minders – Bernie Turley, Darragh O’Connor and Ronan Walsh. With the event being sponsored by One Page, CRM, Connacht Tribune, Galway City Tribune and Vhi Healthcare.


Kirby Brennan – Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group – Galway