Biography: Duncan Stickings

I was asked by one reader to provide a biography, with a photograph of myself. I have finally got some decent pictures of myself scanned in, with the help of my friend Alan Higby (Thanks Alan!) I was told by a few people that the last picture looked like a mafia mug shot!

See also my dream which outlines my personal mission statement.

I am the author, editor and publisher of [Big Dreams] the monthly newsletter on personal development & small business topics.

I was born in England and lived most of my life there.

I got a degree in Computer Science, from the University of Bradford in England. It is a place not far from Leeds. There, I learned the skills needed for eating hot curry and drinking large quantities of beer.

About eight years ago I moved to British Columbia Canada, where I now live. I have a wife and three daughters. They provide my life with meaning and balance, and also an unlimited supply of learning opportunities.

I have spent most of my working life in the software industry, both in Europe and North America. I have been involved with various aspects of communications software development. More recently, I was involved with quality assurance, ISO 9000, SEI and something called Trillium (all related to process improvement and quality).

Looking back, when I started, I liked computers because I had control over them. I could make them do what I wanted them to do. I shyed away from people in favour of what I knew best. Over the last decade, I have moved away from computers and towards people. I now see that doing things with computers is not the solution. True improvement comes from working with people. From my experience, the biggest payoff comes from personal self-improvement.

I recently decided to follow my dream and practice what a preach. I now own my own training business. I think that to be qualified to help others to achieve their dreams, I should have done as much myself.

Steven covey says If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. I see training as helping people develop their talents and abilities so that they can make their dreams come true. That is why I am in training.

I am involved a lot with Toastmasters, which is an organization devoted to the development of communication and leadership skills. I have been charter member of two clubs, founder and president of another. I teach various courses including public speaking. I do a regular presentation at UBC on Software Engineering in the Real World.

I found the experience of starting a Toastmasters club very valuable. As a non-profit organization, it has all the elements of a for-profit organization: customers, management team, mission, budget, promotion etc.

My favourite foods include Dim Sum, Indian curries and chocholate. Before moving to Canada, my favourite beer was Sam Smiths. I don't drink anymore, since becoming a Bahá'í.

So now that you know something about me, why not send me an e-mail and tell me something about yourself. I like to hear from my readers.