Interview with the boss – January 2015 – Chimps, Injuries and Getting Lost in Scotland

February 4, 2015 Off By Peter Carol

We have a list of questions based around our values, culture, vision and mission at ProAdventure, and we have just begun asking them of each other. So seeing as it is me who introduced the idea here is my first set of answers.

What Adventure Have You Done recently?

The second Saturday in January thinking my chest injury from a week before was only minor, I paddled the Upper and Middle Sections of the River Conwy with my eldest daughter (including her first grade 4 rapid).

How has it changed or added to who you are?

You can dig deep when you have committed to something and the portage is longer than the rapid. I thought I was OK, but my diaphragm kept going into spasm, which was rather, how should I say it, character building.

How did it make you feel?

Great that B paddled her first grade 4, upset that I wouldn’t be able to train until it got much better.

What have you learned from yourself?

I have some great ideas, but the execution takes lots of little steps to work towards a vision. I have a new project on the go which I am very excited about, but it is also daunting.

What have you learned from a colleague?

Recruiting for attitude and cultural fit is the way forward. Both our new shop staff Gabs and Kristian are doing brilliantly. We have had some great tips from Albert Dorp, who runs Tentipi Gatherings in Europe, who has given us some great advice for our first gathering in April.

What have you learned from a customer?

Lots, I love to hear customers adventure stories. We’ll have one to share soon from a regular who is a commission based artist.

What have you learned from a child?

I have been reading the Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters (psychologist to British Cycling and Canoeing), and have realised, with my kids help, that I need to keep on top of my psychological needs (lots of hugs and exercise) or can be rather cranky and not too logical.

What have you been enthusiastic about?

Lots! Boating, writing, making our facebook interesting and increasing the interest from followers with many more interactions and views. Telling stories, hearing stories and our vision, purpose and culture at ProAdventure. I spent two days at a Lead Wales Branding Boot Camp with Sid Madge of MadHen and it was brilliant.

What new experience have you had?

I’ve been to Cardiff for the first time, seen the big stadium and all the great sporting facilities they have in the Welsh Capital.

Who have you questioned and why?

Staff, customers, family friends, they must be getting sick of it by now, but I think we have all gained from it.

Who have you listened to, and what?

Ken Skates, our Welsh Assembly Member and Deputy Minister came up with some good ideas for my new project.

Who have you taught and what?

Teaching staff about our new vision and purpose at ProAdventure and how it fits in perfectly with our company culture.

How have you made someone’s adventures better?

Supplying good kit that suits peoples needs, explaining how the BCU Coach Education system works to a couple of people so that they can go on to give many more people adventures.

Describe an adventure story you have shared?

The day after my second year exams at Loughborough University in 1988 (Mathematical Engineering BEng).

New Galloway, SW Scotland, Capricorn Two Day Mountain Orienteering Event.

I was silly tired, lost in the mist on the wrong side of a mountain, completely off course. I sat down, ate a little, worked out where I was and headed off to the finish, rescuing another lost competitor on the way. What I Learnt that day -Getting lost is fine, but relocating is the most important skill, I haven’t worried about getting lost since that day.

When did you smile?

On the phone, to every customer who came in through our door. Meeting friends and family, listening to my 93 year old grandmother. I aim to smile like a four year old, hundreds of times a day. I’m doing it now.

What will you start doing?

Training again – the canoe slalom season starts in March

Who helped you succeed?

My Osteopath – Sharon Tyler, superb diagnoser and fixer of my injuries over the years.
My Coach – Richard Lee from Bala

Ton’s of others, too many to mention.

Peter Carol
Founder ProAdventure