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At BlueSky Experiences, we are focussed on helping people to achieve their goals and delivering team fun and learning for all. To continue to develop and grow our business and celebrate its values, we have embarked on an exciting journey to expand our reach beyond Scotland to the four corners of the United Kingdom through licensing our brand and the unique team building and team development services we offer.
Now, as we enter December 2015, we are thrilled to introduce our very first licensee, David Bradley.
From fruit farming to leading soldiers into warzones in some of the most dangerous places on the planet, David has an incredible wealth of life and leadership experience that makes him ideal for building his very own team development and training venture, with the added support and expertise of BlueSky Experiences.
Originally from Kent, David’s story and path, which has led him to set up his new licensed training business, Red Apple Thinking, is a truly inspiring one.
“I think I first got a taste of what it was like to help people reach their potential was when I joined the army”, David explained. “I enrolled at Sandhurst in 1992 and was commissioned into the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in 1993 as an infantry officer. For several years I served in Northern Ireland, Kenya, Germany and Canada.”
By 2004, David was the commander of the regiment’s B Company and embarking on a difficult tour of Iraq during the Shia uprising. It was here that David’s life was changed forever when he was severely injured in an explosion during a patrol mission.
After 4 years of rehabilitation, David was medically discharged from the army. It was during his long years of recovery that David began to discover a new potential career path.
“After I was medically discharged, I went to work back on the family fruit farm in Kent. While throwing myself into this work, I began being invited back to Sandhurst and further afield to talk to cadets about leadership and teambuilding. I was getting the opportunity to help people to develop these skills and realised quickly that, as much as I enjoy working on our family’s farm, this, working with and helping people, is what I love to do.
“With a background in the army, my expertise is very much on the leadership side of team work. Teams need a leader, but leaders also need a team! I’m passionate about teams too and turning a team around through training would be hugely satisfying.”
After making the decision to pursue a career in training and team building, David began his search to find the best way to make his dream become a reality.
“I knew from very early on that I needed a partner to develop my vision. In early 2014 I went to the Farm Business Innovation Show where I met James and Suzie from BlueSky Experiences. They were such an interesting, engaging and inspiring couple and I was really impressed by what they had achieved with BlueSky. So much so, that I knew pretty quickly that BlueSky was the right fit for me as I could tap into their experience and it would enable me to grow.”
Since joining BlueSky Experiences’ growing extended family, David has been learning as much as he can from his new licensors and coming up with a plan to launch and develop Red Apple Thinking in 2016.
“The BlueSky Experiences team have been providing me with advice on what services to offer, how to plan and organise a development day. I have seen a lot of the activities run at their HQ in Methven near Perth. All of their activities are extremely well delivered and have purpose so, at the moment, I’m figuring out which of those activities work best for me and learning as much as I can about them. It’s great to see the team in action as it has really confirmed to me that this is what I want to do.”
As well as the hard work of building a new business, there are lots of exciting challenges that David can’t wait to get his teeth stuck into.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the positive effects of the training I have delivered on a team’s performance. I saw it in the army many times and it was always really rewarding to be part of. I love being able to see people go far, from underperforming, then to understanding what they need to do and finally, improving.
“To create a flourishing business, I know that I will have to spend lots of time on developing the business at the start. I have already began attending networking events to get the word out that Red Apple Thinking, which was aptly named as a tribute to our family fruit farm, will be fully functioning in early 2016.
“A venture such as this would definitely appeal to people who have a passion for leadership and teamwork and the passion to pass on their skills and experience to others. These are very exciting times for me. Building the business won’t be easy, but I know, with the support of the BlueSky team and lots of drive and determination, it will be worth it.”