It’s been a fantastic few months - speeches in Geelong, Australia; Hong Kong; Delhi and Kolkata, India.
And a recent three city tour of Poland – Gdansk; Lodz; and Warsaw. A speech at a conference in Poland (July 18) for 70 professors of entrepreneurship from 30 countries, and speaking and handing out awards at Hadlow -Britain’s top land – based industries college.
In between, catching brilliant concerts of The Webb Sisters; and Jamie Cullum – with Brad rocking on drums.
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Graham Webb: A Unique Motivational Speaker
Book Graham to speak at your event here.
Welcome to my website!
My website reflects my unexpected journey, after letting out my lifelong 'secrets' in my autobiography, and me beating the challenges and coping with the hassles of being born with Spina Bifida.
My story describes my business and family career going 'up', whilst my spina bifida symptoms were taking me 'down' - an interesting contradiction of emotions and experiences. I am SO touched at the IMPACT from my speeches, and similarly for those who have read my book. See 'reviews' on this website.
In 2005, I had the most unexpected experience when I was honoured with the MBE at Buckingham Palace 'for services to business, and charity work in Kent.'
I was appointed as a 'Kent Ambassador' in 2002 - speaking up for Kent, where I live in England.
In my speeches, and book, I recount my entrepreneurial and personal journey, giving 'take away' tips for success, made easier with the love and support of my wife Mandy, my best friend of thirty six years, and for the joy (and constant encouragement) of my four 'children' who not only send me frequent messages before each speech 'Go dood, you are going to be great!' - but also invite me (and Mandy) to be 'groupies' at their concerts and gigs.
I hope you find my website inspiring, and thank you for your interest.
Do click on the 'reviews' and 'photos' and links and if you have not yet ordered my book please click on ‘The book’ at the top of this page. If your organisation seek an inspirational speaker, please contact email@example.com
And always remember - It CAN be done!
In May 2010 I received a telephone call from Procter & Gamble - "We will be 'sunsetting' the Graham Webb brands from January 2011." ''Excuse me", I said, - sunsetting? ......I then realised this was a phrase wrapped in cotton wool, (some would say 'BS'), meaning 'eliminating' the brands. I was in shock, coming just weeks after receiving a surprising note from P&G Chairman of the Board A.G. Lafley, "You continue to be an inspiration to many of us at P&G, myself included!" My planned October tour was off, and my position as 'Goodwill Ambassador' in North America was over. This abrupt end came nine years after the GW company was sold to Wella, seven years after P&G bought Wella (and thus the GW brands) and twenty years since Robert Taylor and I successfully launched the brands into the North American marketplace.
A few weeks before that call from P&G, there was controversy in the UK with the news that the US food giant Kraft had purchased the famous British chocolate company Cadbury. UK newspapers wrote editorials about potential job losses and the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown even became involved, sharing his concerns that a historic British company had been sold. There was an editorial in the UK broadsheet The Guardian, with the headline 'What about the Curly Wurly? ', (a popular Cadbury chocolate product in the UK and Europe, but not globally.) The article stated that, 'Huge corporations tend to be in thrall to global products. Multinationals are keen on stamping out local names in favour of those recognisable worldwide and there is a very real danger that some brands will disappear. Whenever there is a big takeover, a company will look to improve productivity and profitability. A brand is not safeguarded simply by being profitable.' So this probably explains what has happened to the Graham Webb brands, despite their profitability, success and popularity with so many customers and despite reassurances that the brands were safe with P&G.
But as one large door closed for me, unexpected opportunities arose.
An old friend, Mike Dembinski, asked me to give a speech in Poland at the Warsaw School of Economics. I knew Mike when he was Editor of CBI News in the UK. Mike's parents are Polish and moved to the UK after the 'Uprising' in Warsaw in 1944. I knew Mike had moved to Poland in 1996 with his family, and I had often thought about him. In early 2010, I 'googled' and discovered he was now 'Head of Policy' at the British–Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw. This led to my speech invitation. The day before my talk, The Webb Sisters were singing with Leonard Cohen to 7,000 people in Katowice, Poland. It was such a thrill sitting in the VIP seats with Mike at the concert. Next day we took the train to Warsaw where I delivered my speech.
HM Ambassador to Poland, Ric Todd, introduced me. The event partners were the British Embassy; the British Council; the Princes Youth Business Trust and the British – Polish Chamber of Commerce. The follow-up letters and e-mails showed that my speech had been a great success. I am now touring Polish cities in May 2011. I have also had unexpected speech opportunities, speaking in Hong Kong; and India for the British Council through my friend Ruth Gee; and, through former Kent Ambassador colleague Bec Casson, for the City of Greater Geelong, Australia, These all follow my 2009 speaking tours in China and Hong Kong. At the invitation of another friend, Craig Tiley, Head of Tennis Australia and Tournament Director, Australian 'Open,' Mandy and I were Craig's VIP guests during the 2011 tournament. It shows that when a door closes, a few more open. It also reaffirms that 'people buy people first' and that good lasting relationships do make a difference! However, questions keep arriving from customers not understanding the demise of GW products by P&G, so this remains tough for me!
And finally... an update on my offspring. Brad is touring the world drumming for Jamie Cullum, The Webb Sisters, and for zany Australian pianist/comedian Tim Minchin. Rod is a Brand Manager for a Kent UK-based French food supplements company, still drums in weekend concerts and is a Dad too with Vincent Rocco and Curtis. I'm now known as 'G-Pa'! Charley & Hattie have released a new album - 'Savages'; have played 247 Leonard Cohen world tour concerts and also recorded in New York with Sting.
Hattie Webb House
Video of Hattie Webb, Graham's daughter, opening up Hattie Webb House, a support house for people with spina bifida in Kent, England.
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