Tuesday 02, October 2012   |   making more of your money

How billionaires party

  • 8  How to be a winner
  • 32  How billionaires party
  • 36  Rolls-Royce Phantom
  • 44  The lost legends of Formula One
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How to be a winner

What gives one man the winning edge over another of equal – even greater – talent? It’s all about winning the mind game and the same  lessons apply whether you’re on a sports field or in the boardroom. Here’s how…

What makes one man successful over another man? Particularly when the two men have equal levels of the relevant talent or skill? It comes down to the mind game, says Kris Morton of Gazing Arabia, a human performance management company.
The winner on the sports field or in the board room is the man who does not lose his head under pressure and stress, says Morton, someone who can recognise and process his emotions.
Easily said but how can someone master mind control? Even the world’s best athletes can succumb to the intense pressure-cooker stress of a championship final. Like Mike Tyson who, in the heat of the moment, ruined his life and career comeback in a ‘red mist rage’ moment that saw him bite Evander Holyfield’s ear. Or when Michael Schumacher almost killed himself and Damon Hill on the Formula 1 track as Hill went to overtake him and potentially take the championship. Then there was the ongoing All Blacks World Cup choking curse… finally broken in 2011 but not without a great deal of effort. Morton should know; the All Blacks team hired his company to train them in mental strength to overcome the ‘choke’ curse. It paid off. That final game against France was probably the worst show of rugby from the All Blacks throughout the whole tournament but still they won and this came down to their dogged, steely-focused, ‘never say die, just grind out the basics and keep a cool head’ mental attitude. Such mental strength under such extreme pressure doesn’t happen by chance, you need to train yourself in this, says Morton.

THE QUIET MIND

When it comes to success, what separates two people of equal talent, or two sportspeople of equal physical strength, is the mind game – knowing how to quiet the brain chatter that stops you performing, says Morton

“When you’re executing a gold shot on the final green on the final day of the tournament, your mind is either going back and forth with negative and positive self talk or there is complete trust. The back and forth self talk is, ‘oh heck, I missed one of these the other day… no, come on you can do it, you know what you’re doing…’ but if you have complete trust in the process based on countless hours of practice, you’re in that space of intuition, trust and quiet mind that allows you to execute under pressure as opposed to the guy who’s trying to talk himself into it or talk himself out of it.” Morton says.

“In a sportsperson, the effect of the mind on the body is much more obvious. For example, in putting it’s called the Yips when the golfer can’t control the putter head. You’ll either see the putter shaking or he’s got a stiff elbow so he can’t naturalise the movement, it becomes mechanical or jittery. The impact of stress is clear and immediate but it works in a similar way in business.

“If you look at people like Tiger Woods, certainly for the majority of his career, what differentiates him from the rest of his field is not so much having more talent or a better swing, but his mental strength. His ability to perform under pressure, trust his intuition and shut out the distractions to focus on the execution. His ability to do that has meant that he can make more of his talent that most of his competitors.”

ALPHA BRAINWAVE MALES

It’s all about brainwave patterns, says Morton. As we’re going about our day, our brains are active and in beta wave state. This refers to the frequency range of human brain activity between 12 and 30 hertz per second, in other words 12 to 30 cycles per second. Compare this to delta brain wave, which the brain is in during deep sleep or coma where it’s cycling at zero to four hertz per second.

“Beta is where most of us are, most of the time while we’re awake,” Morton says, “but if you’re a high performance sportsman on that final putt, you want to be in the alpha state, one level below beta at eight to 12 hertz per second. When your brain is in alpha, your mind is quiet.

“It’s like when you first learn to drive a car and you’re concentrating hard and thinking, ‘ok, now I have to signal, now I have to look in the side mirror…’ but when you’ve driven for years, you don’t need to think about it, you rely on your intuition so you can free up your mind and think about other things on your drive, you can be in that intuitive alpha state and other perceptive doorways open up.

“What’s misleading for a lot of people is the belief it’s all about trying really hard. Yes, you must put in the effort and the hard yards and the training but when it comes to executing in the moment, you can try too hard.”

At the crucial moment, you need to be in the zone or flow, says Morton. However, in order to execute something automatically in a flowing way, you need to have it repeated it countless times to carve those neural pathways deep into the brain.

STRESS AND PERFORMANCE

The biggest killer of a man’s presence of mind, says Morton, is stress. Men’s brains are not genetically wired up to deal well with the long, ongoing levels of stress that modern life can bring. Their hunter-gatherer cavemen brains are more suited to short, sharp bursts of the ‘oh no, a dinosaur is chasing me’ variety aka the ‘fight or flight’ stress response. From an evolutionary perspective, there was a good reason for this, says Morton.

“If you electromagnetically scan a man’s brain and a woman’s brain, the piece in the middle that joins the right and the left hemispheres is much larger and more lit up, more active on a female.

In men, the left hemisphere tends to be more dominant and that’s where you’ve got analysis and pure language. The right brain is more to do with pattern, perception, perspective and language from an emotional perspective. That’s where your emotional centres are; your amygdalas. One of the reasons women appear better at communication and talking about their emotions is because the left brain deals with language and the right brain deals with emotions. A woman can link those two, tap into her emotions, process them and understand them in a logical way using language in her left brain.

Men find that more difficult and we think it’s down to our evolutionary path. When a man’s going out hunting and his life is in danger, his emotions are going to be ones like fear and desperation. What he needs to be able to do is cut those off, focus on analysing the situation and be task orientated.”

The modern man though needs to be able to process their emotions, says Morton. “It’s not about denying your feelings because that just builds up,” Morton says. “It’s about recognising them, acknowledging them then letting them go so you can get back to focusing on the task at hand.

“I think most men, when they’re being honest and taking their CEO armour off, would admit they don’t process emotions well. With men you get more of a biological response, this aggressive, ape behaviour. Anger is a very easy emotion to understand and process, it doesn’t make us feel vulnerable. Although what’s behind anger is usually a very vulnerable emotion, someone’s said something that’s made me feel like I’m not good enough, or not worthy and all this goes back to childhood conditioning.”

Part of the problem, says Morton, is that most men don’t even realise they’re not coping with stress. This is due to the ‘normalisation’ of ongoing, low grade stress that’s often part and parcel of modern life but the results eventually manifest as physical issues.

“An ongoing stressful work situation will impact your physiology. Your energy, clarity and posture will suffer, your heartbeat will raise, your digestive system won’t function properly, you’ll suffer insomnia and so on.

“If you look at the proliferation of chronic fatigue, of bowel and digestive illnesses, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, high blood pressure… these things are often the result of a mentally stressful lifestyle.”

MIND CONTROL

So the million dollar question is, how can a man best deal with stress that is impacting his performance? The answer is loads of things but is there an all encompassing, integrated solution? No. One size does not fit all. While one man might be open to ‘touchy feely’ practices like meditation or psychoanalysis to talk through childhood traumas, other men shudder at the thought and prefer behavioural modification techniques. Others might find daily exercise helps.

“Meditation is a great thing to do. For someone like me who can find it hard to switch off, I find meditation great for getting into those alpha and theta brainwave states. The question is, how do you integrate that into your daily life? Yeah, I can meditate every day and feel calmer but when I’m back in my office, or on the sports field, but how do I integrate that into my job?”

It’s about focusing on the process and the bigger picture – not focusing on the outcome, says Morton.

“By focusing more on the process and being better at what you’re trying to do, rather than being overly fixated on the outcome. Instead of ‘how much money did I make?’ the focus is ‘how can we serve our customers better, or make better products this year, or engage our employees better this year?”

“That, I would suggest, is going to lead to higher performance than being overly focused on outcomes that we can’t always control. What we can control is the input, the things that we do to get there. Higher performers have much more focus on the things they can control, the processes, the skills, the behaviours, the mindsets, the feelings... Those people who have equal talent but are more stressed and very outcome focused are less successful than those who process their emotions and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

“A good question for a man to ask himself is, ‘am I enjoying the journey?’ if the answer is no, something needs to change.”

 

Gazing Arabia is part of Gazing Performance International, a business that works with clients worldwide to deliver sustainable improvements in performance.

www.gazingarabia.com

How billionaires party

The Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix is back… you know what that means? Excesses and hedonism as the über rich and famous come out to play in the UAE capital city. WEALTH reveals what millionaire mayhem usually involves…


Like moths to a flame, nothing gets the world’s wealthiest all in one place faster than a Formula One Grand Prix.
It’s a seductive and head-spinning cocktail of testosterone, petrol fumes and adrenalin that has the world’s bazillionaires and celebrities jetting in on their mega yachts, private planes and limousines in order to party like rock stars on steroids (which, in fact, many of them
probably are).
So, when the likes of Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton come to wage war on the race track, Abu Dhabi is going to be the scene of millionaire mayhem once again. With Yas Island and the Yas Marina Circuit being at the eye of the storm, much of the action takes place at the various bars and clubs on the island. Cipriani bar and restaurant as well as Allure nightclub upstairs, both located in the Yas Yacht  Club provide no end of opportunities to spend vast amounts of money and every year race goers seem happy to oblige.

CASH SPLASH
At the F1 after-party held there last year, one frivolous gentleman spent AED 300,000 on three bottles of bubbly – barely finishing one before ordering another.
Other bills for an evening’s entertainment came to AED 500,000 while famous faces in the crowd included Paul McCartney, Steven Seagal, Adrian Brophy and Mark Ronson, as well of course Giuseppe Cipriani himself, the man at the helm of the global Cipriani empire who counts
people like Naomi Campbell and Bernie Ecclestone as close personal friends.

What can we expect at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix this year? One new feature of the festivities at Yas Island is the Flash
VIP lounge at Yas Marina, hosted by Cipriani. This will be place where the VVVIPs will be hanging out, including the F1 drivers, Eminem,
Kylie Minogue and Nickelback, international celebrities, as well as a Who’s Who of local and global very VIPs. The lounge is where the glitterati will be hosted and given gifts such as spa services, cosmetics, fashion and accessories, and of course food and beverage. There  will also be Middle Eastern brands and designers who will provide the visitors with regional products.

‘Normal people’ won’t be able to get into the Flash VIP lounge but they will be able to hang out in the Mumm Champagne Lounge, which will be set up outside the Yacht Club, as well as in the eatery Stars ‘n’ Bars. Special events will also be held nightly in the new and improved Yas Viceroy Hotel at the Rush Bar and Skylite Lounge. Party plans are also underway at Cipriani and Allure which will involve international DJs, the world’s biggest stars; entertainment from dancers and acrobats in elaborate costume and of course no shortage of expensive bubbly.

BILLIONAIRE PARTY BOYS
How do the really rich celebrate? Here’s an idea…

Lakshmi Mittal, 62, Indian steel magnate
Net worth $20.7 billion
When Mittal married off his daughter Vanisha in 2005, the family sent out 20-page invitations contained in silver boxes. Mittal paid for 1,000 guests to stay for five days in five-star Paris hotels. The reception was held at the Palace of Versailles and concluded with a  celebratory fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower. Total cost: $60 million.


Andrey Melnichenko, 40, Russian minerals and private banking billionaire
Net worth $10 billion
To celebrate his wife Aleksandra’s 30th birthday, Melnichenko spent a reported $2 million to fly J.Lo, one of his wife’s favourite singers, to perform at her birthday party at their home in Berkshire, England. Christina Aguilera performed at their wedding two years earlier while other Melnichenko parties have included performances from Whitney Houston, Mark Anthony and Enrique Iglesias. Aleksandra herself was
once part of the Yugoslavian band, Models.


Philip Green, 60, British retail billionaire
Net worth $5.3 billion
For his 50th birthday he flew 200 guests in a chartered Airbus A300 to a hotel in Cyprus for a three-day toga party, where they were  serenaded by Tom Jones and Rod Stewart. For his 55th birthday, Green flew 100 guests by private jets to a five-day all-inclusive jaunt at an exclusive Maldives resort on a private Indian Ocean island. Guests were told to pack bathing suits and instructed to arrive at England’s Stansted airport from where they were flown to the island. There, the 100 lucky revelers were serenaded by George Michael and Jennifer Lopez.


Ron Perelman, 69, American
Net worth $12 million
Born on 1 January, this billionaire businessman’s annual New Year’s Eve–birthday party in St. Barts is one of the world’s most exclusive social events. The billionaire takeover artist hosts the gathering on Ultima III, his multi-million-dollar, 188-foot yacht with 200 of his closest friends. Past guests include Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, former Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman, Eddie Murphy, Jon Bon Jovi, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Jerry Bruckheimer, Owen Wilson, Usher… and more.

Roustam Tariko, 50, Russian liquor and banking baron
Net worth $2 billion
The man who launched Russia’s first domestic premium vodka ferried guests from Manhattan to New York City’s Liberty Island for a 2005 bash to celebrate the launch of his newest vodka brand, Imperia. Guests got private tours inside the Statue of Liberty. Duran Duran performed for partygoers including supermodel Natalia Vodianova and hip-hop impresario Damon Dash.

… yet topping them all is the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal
Bolkiah’s 1996 bash for his 50th birthday on which he splashed out $27.2 million. Guests were treated to a $16 million Michael Jackson concert, the world’s most exquisite caviar and finest champagne.

Rolls-Royce Phantom

Magic carpet ride: Robin Amlôt spends a spirited night out with a pair of Phantoms

Rolls-Royce is not a company that likes change for the sake of change. That goes for names as much as anything else. This is not the first Phantom II – a model with that name was originally introduced back in 1929. Nor does Rolls-Royce rush out new models every year. The 2012 Phantom Series II family, consisting of the Phantom Saloon, Phantom Extended Wheelbase, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé, is the first new model range from the company since the Phantom launch in 2003.

What we have here is an ‘incremental’ update, making what the company claims, admittedly with a fair chunk of justification, to be the best car in the world even better.

So what’s new? Perhaps the key element is the new eight-speed automatic transmission and new differential, resolving the nearest thing to a complaint some drivers had about the previous Phantom. But that’s not all by any means. There are new electronics and a few cabin changes.

The coachwork has been tweaked but not so the old Phantom looks, well, old (the customers wouldn’t like that!). The Phantom II may be the new kid on the block but it doesn’t shout the fact from the rooftops. However, put the two models together and you would notice the softer lines of the Phantom II; walk around and maybe you would also note the new rear bumper and rear window surround.

The big differences that you would spot straight away are the new rectangular LED headlamp clusters, indicator strip and new front bumper design. In fact, Rolls-Royce is the first car manufacturer to offer full LED headlamps as standard, incorporating curve light functionality and adaptive headlamps for enhanced road illumination – headlights, in other words, that can ‘see round the corner’ as you turn.

I realise I haven’t talked much about the interior. Well it is all you could expect and more – described by the company as ‘an oasis of calm’ (until you crank up the Harman speakers, that is). It is lush, plush, comfortable and, of course, quiet – if you want it to be. Otherwise, turn up the sound and you could be in the front row, next to the orchestra, making this a Phantom of the Opera!

Driving the Phantom II Saloon is little different to the model’s previous incarnation but smoother thanks to the new gearbox and the ride quality continues to offer the ‘waftability’ the company believes it should albeit this is a fairly heavy magic carpet at more than 2.5 tonnes. But the Phantom II offers more than just stately progress; you may, should you wish, ‘put the pedal to the shagpile’ and, with the barest hint of delay, the car will respond – a magic carpet with ‘go-faster’ stripes, perhaps.

The Phantom Coupé, built on the same chassis, is slightly shorter and slightly faster. It is more of a driver’s car and the cockpit layout and seating reinforces that impression. Yet I can’t help feeling that it is a little like watching an older relative dance at a disco – the Saloon remains my preference. Even Rolls-Royce have described the Phantom as a car ‘designed to lower the pulse’ rather than raise it!

ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM II

Price : AED 1.85 m (approx.)

Engine : 6 ¾ litre V12

0-100 km/h : 5.9 seconds

Top speed : 240 km/h (governed)

Torque : 720 Nm at 3500 rpm

 

With thanks to AGMC, authorised Rolls-Royce Motor Cars dealer in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

Dubai: Tel. +971 4 339 1555

Sharjah: Tel. +971 6 544 1111

www.rolls-roycemotorcars-agmc.com

The lost legends of Formula One

Tim Elliott considers the legend - and the legends - of one of the sporting world’s safest bets... Formula One.

First, the entertainment. Kylie Minogue with her own particular brand of pretty, pouty pop music, Nickelback for those among us who prefer a rock ballad with a healthy dose of chest hair.

And Eminem shouting at us rhythmically, too.

I’m having trouble getting my head around the slightly disturbing thought of F1 attendees putting their hands in the air and waving ‘em like they just don’t care for Eminem.

But music taste aside, Formula One is big news. Wherever and whenever the F1 circus rolls into town, it’s a big deal... for both motorsport and political reasons in this region.

From a sporting perspective, this year the F1 blunderbus has seen the dominance of Red Bull recede and podium positions for more drivers this season.

F1 is a safe bet these days. It’s supremely popular; it gets people talking and gets a country noticed in international sporting circles. As the UAE continues its baby steps towards economic recovery, the Grand Prix is now a firmly entrenched social sporting event.

How things have changed, though. Growing up, in the days when the mobile device of choice was a Walkman (if you could afford one), Formula One was all about the Hawaiian Tropic girls. They were there at every Grand Prix, whatever the weather, bikini-clad with all the Factor 4 you could ever wish for.

Back then, when I was a 15-year-old schoolboy concerned mainly with music and how to speak to the fairer sex, priorities were different. The cars, the drivers, the teams, the circuits were all secondary but being friends with a few die hard F1-heads at school, guys who lived and breathed the sport, it was hard not to accumulate a working knowledge of F1.

It just never occurred to me to ask why the Hawaiian Tropic personnel were in bikinis in the drizzle of Hochenheim.

I was vaguely aware of 1970s-era F1, a decade when sideburns were mandatory and when Fittipaldi, Scheckter and Hunt ruled. That was when Bernie Ecclestone bought Brabham (1971), became President of the Formula One Constructors’ Association and rearranged the management of Formula One’s commercial rights. Plus transformed the sport into the billion-dollar business it is today.

While I spent many an hour musing over what it’d be like to be a Formula driver, the deaths of Gilles Villeneuve and Ricardo Paletti in 1982 made me reconsider my career path.

It was the first time I’d considered the possibility of death in the pursuit of glory. How would I balance the speed, the risk, the glory, the thrills, the spills, the glamour? The realisation that here were highly skilled sportsmen who could die for their sport was a concept that took some time to fathom. It’s something I still wrestle with, if I’m honest.

The dominance of McLaren and Williams in the 1980s and 1990s stands out... as does the rivalry between McLaren- Honda drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost - when Senna won the title in 1988. It was a sporting rivalry that survived Prost’s retirement in 1993 and, ultimately, it survived the death of perhaps Formula One’s greatest ever driver in 1994 at San Marino.

Since then safety in the sport has been transformed - not least through the efforts of a man who sadly died recently. Professor Sid Watkins was the sport’s medical delegate from 1978 until 2004. He was instrumental in introducing many of the safety improvements in the sport during that period. As trackside doctor, he helped save the lives of several Grand Prix drivers after heavy crashes.

He was also a close friend of Ayrton Senna. The story goes that he once tried to persuade him to retire, telling him he had nothing left to prove. “Give it up and let’s go fishing,” he advised the three-time world champion. Senna replied: “Sid, there are certain things over which we have no control. I cannot quit. I have to go on.” A day later, Watkins attended to Senna himself after the Brazilian’s fatal crash.

Ayrton Senna was the last driver to die at an F1 World Championship Grand Prix.

Years later, the Hawaiian Tropic girls are no more, Formula One is wrapped in the tightest of safety regulations and is a truly global sport. And rightly so. It’s a technological spectacle and a marketing marvel. It’s a sexy, racy mix of adrenalin and speed remains, in essence, unchanged.

It’s the safest bet in sport, still has the edge and is still the sport of teenage dreams.