'Balls out!' shouted by my dad is my secret work weapon

Zoe Harris, group marketing director at Trinity Mirror Group, on what helps her 'think braver and convince harder' at work.

Having 'balls out!' shouted on a ski slope helped Zoe Harris build confidence at work
Having 'balls out!' shouted on a ski slope helped Zoe Harris build confidence at work

My secret work weapon comes from my dad, which will definitely come as a surprise to him as he has absolutely no idea about marketing or what I actually do. He would say the only support he gives me is religiously buying the Mirror every day, to, as he says, ‘help keep you in a job’. But he actually gave me my secret weapon long before I started working.

It may not be the most PC of language, but it was an amazing lesson that has stood me in great stead

I was about 13 years old and we were on a skiing holiday. He was at the bottom of a black slope, I was at the top. I lost my bottle and refused to move. I vividly remember him yelling furiously up the mountain at me to "stop being such a big girl’s blouse", and then, even louder, "balls out".

Deciding he was scarier than the run, I took a deep breath, got to the bottom in one piece, and then excitedly asked him, ‘Can we do it again?’

It may not be the most PC of language, but it was an amazing lesson that has stood me in great stead.

At work, when I need to tackle something difficult, challenge the status quo or fight for a campaign I really believe in, I hear him saying "balls out" in my head, and know I have to go for it. It inspires me to think braver and convince harder.

And when you get that type of win at work, it’s a bigger buzz than a black slope any day.