Friday, 28 April 2017

3 actions to achieve the remarkable

On pages 34 and 35 of the Achieve Remarkable Things ebook is the wonderful story of Paul Cummins the ceramic artist behind the 888,246 ceramic poppies that once surrounded the Tower of London.

Paul did 3 things. You can too.

Download the ebook here.

Be remarkable.

PS Next Monday I'm beginning a special series to celebrate my key lessons from 10 years of blogging. All the posts will be gathered together in an ebook that will be made available to you as a gift at the end of May. A feature is the fact in my view that 'Remarkable is the new normal'.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Maintaining Momentum Online Master-mind Groups

I've been engaged in master-mind groups as a participant and as a leader/moderator for almost half my life. The journey began 35 years ago when I first read the great book 'Think and Grow Rich'.

I currently lead an in person group that meets monthly in Ballarat, my place of birth. I also provide 1:1 mentoring for members in between group gatherings. Find out more here.

The most remarkable leaders I know are in the habit of regularly stepping off the field of play to work on yourself and on your business.

Because of the wonders of technology the majesty of master-mind groups can now happen online where we can tap into the wisdom of peers operating in non-competitive businesses and from different countries and cultures.

I regard having a mentor/s and belonging to a master-mind group/s as the top two essentials for personal and business growth.

I'm excited to call for expressions of interest in 'Maintaining Momentum Online Master-mind Groups'. Please download the details here and then get in touch.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 24 April 2017

How To Achieve Remarkable Things

I was doing some research over the weekend for one of my posts in the special series I'm doing next month to celebrate 10 years of blogging. I'm calling the post 'Remarkable is the new normal'.

This ebook from the folk at TomorrowToday offers a lot of great insights into how to make achieving remarkable things a way of life.

You can download it here.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Better practice is the key to better results

I found the video below at this website after reading the book which I recommend.

I actually found the website, which has more excellent videos, to be a great companion to the book which I reflect in my Amazon review here.

Embracing the concept of deep practice presented in the book is a key to consistent optimum performance.

Every day I witness the best performers are those who are mastering deep practice.

There's a great connection to the idea of deep work. See more about this here.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Home Ground Advantage

The sign above hangs on the wall at Lisa and Brendan Hanrahan's cafe and cakes shop at 125 Sturt Street Ballarat. 

I stumbled on their place originally. Now I go there deliberately because you get a genuinely different experience on top of the great food (made on the premises) and coffee.

Futurist Roger Hamilton says

"We now live in a world where all content is becoming free. But while people are spending less money, time and attention on content, they are putting more money, time and attention into their experiences."

At Home Ground Cafe and Cakes in Ballarat it costs a little more than down the road, yet the fast growing list of regular customers like me proves we're prepared to pay for our experiences.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS something else unique at Home Ground - buy 5 coffees get the 6th free!

Monday, 17 April 2017

3 key ways to set your moral compass

More from Gerd here.

3 key ways to set your moral compass

1) Determine "key human indicators" a concept  from Gerd above. They're of far greater value than the tired, old KPI's.

Ask What does it mean for me to be a human being fully alive? Let people know this is what you stand for. Be a role model.

2) Embrace enlightened self-interest in your own best way

3) Turn your values into virtues

More about this here.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The delights of decluttering

I found the image above here while googling for more on decluttering by Marty Neumeier after I read the following by him in his great book Metaskills:

Clutter is any element that doesn't contribute meaning or usefulness 
- a form of pollution that make life harder to navigate

I find it very valuable every time I write, prepare a talk, write a report for a client, whatever, to scan for meaning and usefulness and then eliminate anything that doesn't pass the test.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Here's my 3 words. What's yours?

The following 3 words are my guides for sustaining positive momentum this year:

Why THREE Words? I'll let Chris Brogan explain. His full post and his 3 words are here.

We choose three words so that you can use them for triangulation. One word seems to fade away from our memory too quickly. Two words sets our brain up to think of “this or that” kinds of logic. Three words gives us a way to think about the situations in our lives from many dimensions.

I’ve tried four words and it was a bad year. Everyone’s tried one word and you get mixed results. Three seemed right, and I’ve been doing it since 2006, so I’ve had lots of practice at this point.

What's your 3 words?

Be remarkable.

PS Next month I'll be celebrating 10 years writing this blog. Each of the 14 posts in May will be related to my 3 words and I'll be combining the posts into an ebook as a gift for you.

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Gifts Symposium

As you may know I'm in the process of giving away my learning, unlearning, and relearning from my life and work that can be provided digitally, and that I believe you as a purpose-driven leader will highly value.

The access page to my gifts for you is here.

These symposiums are your opportunity to explore with me personally and other people of like heart and mind, the gifts I'm providing. 

Read more of the philosophy here.

The subject for this first symposium on May 4th 2017 is Change Leadership.

We'll be embracing one meaning of symposium - a drinking party or convivial discussion. The drinking is optional. I'll probably be having a whiskey. Convivial discussion will be the focus; to be precise candid and convivial.

We'll be exploring: 
why change management is an oxymoron, 
why we need a change processes and not change programs, 
and why all change is personal first, relationships second, and organisational a distant third.

Registration for this symposium is also a gift. 
You can claim your place here.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Metaskills you and your children need in order to thrive

This is a wonderful book.

I've added it to my recommended reading list

You can download my full list here.

My Amazon review of Metaskills is here.

I also highly recommend the author Marty Neumeier's personal website here. Check out the Steal This Idea section.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tapping into the fact that most people are passionate about progress

To help my clients to remove the cause/s underlying their stress I introduce them to the science of quantum leaps:

We then work together through the following change process:

Soon people become much less anxious about the future and only focus on the next quantum leap.

A key to sustaining positive momentum (and not feeling the strain of negative stress) is the visualisation of progress.

I work with my clients to create appropriate scorecards and scoreboards so that progress is always visible.

This is not all just pretty pictures. The science is known as The Progress Principle, one of Harvard Business Review's breakthrough ideas. The key, and what people are passionate about is, "making progress in meaningful work."

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS If you'd love some help with making progress visible in your workplace please contact me on +61 418 807 898.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Do yourself a favour and end measuring employee engagement

"What companies really need to measure is not how engaged their employees are, but rather how consistently energized they feel. That means focusing not just on inspiring them and giving them opportunities to truly add value in the world, but also on caring for them and providing sufficient time to rest and refuel."
Tony Schwartz, CEO and founder of  The Energy Project

I read the above in this article that Tony wrote for 15Five. I was drawn to it from this 15Five article and this article by Human Resources Today about their Top 10 human capital trends for 2017. The picture below comes from this article.

All of the above has got me thinking what a disservice we have done all humans by using labels like human resources, human capital, and employee engagement.

When you think about it these labels, and the other dreadful one referring to people as assets, all come from a dead industrial revolution concept that we can treat the earth and people as means to end.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

My hope is that part of your answer is to drop all the BS labels and just treat people as they want to be treated, The Platinum Rule as Dr. Tony Alessandra calls it.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The powerful purpose of regular personal and business check-ups

A one-off and regular professional service that I provide is a Business Vitality Check-up.

It's a bit like the quarterly in person check-ups I have with my oncologist.

I've been battling the melanoma disease for over 40 years and the check-ups ensure I'm winning the battle.

Using blood tests, PET/CT scans and other tests, combined with the expertise of my doctor and his colleagues, we stay on top of everything that matters. In particular we can spot trouble early enough that it can be dealt with quickly and not be costly in the long term.

One of the biggest benefits is the peace of mind that we're doing everything necessary to win.

The powerful purpose of these check-ups is to “give continuance of life” (vitality). 

In the same way I use proven tools and techniques and my expertise to put your business under the microscope. And I provide you with a succinct report including suggested actions to take to guarantee the long term health and success of your business.

This is my latest tool for undertaking your Business Vitality Check-up.

It's one of several available. You can download them all here.

We choose together the most appropriate tool to best suit your circumstances. I also tailor-make tools whenever appropriate or requested.

To arrange a Business Vitality Check-up or to discuss further please call me on +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

PS If you do not yet have at least an annual personal health check-up arrange it now. You may save your life. At very least your peace of mind will be worth it.

Monday, 27 March 2017

I've now rectified last weeks BFBO!

I'm sure that you like me have BFBO's (Blinding Flash of the Bloody Obvious).

My latest was realising that it wasn't clear to people that I provide one-off as well as regular professional services.

I've rectified this now at my website and via the one page flyer (pictured) which you can download here. Most importantly where appropriate in conversation I'm letting people know.

What is it about your product/s and/or service/s your best customers/clients are actually unaware of?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Is any CEO worth a 100M yearly compensation package?

I know that 100M is a lot of money because during my corporate career I led a business unit of that size. Over 500 people were needed every day to keep that business growing and doing well.

I have a CEO client today who leads a 100M+ business and they employ more than 1000 people!

It's not uncommon today for one CEO to be paid 100M in yearly compensation. Here's a few examples.

Personally I don't believe any individual is worth 100M a year, regardless of how many people the business employs, or even if they've found a cure for cancer.

Why? No-one needs that kind of money personally in my view.

How much is enough for you? 

The synonyms for greedy tell a story - avaricious, acquisitive, covetous, rapacious, grasping, venal, cupidinous, materialistic, mercenary, predatory, usurious, possessive.

The underlying cause of many of the world's biggest problems - greed.

How much is enough for you? 

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Gratitude and Happiness

I've been thrilled and challenged by the number of times that the words of Epicurus below have shown up in my world in the past week.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

These words have been both inspiring and annoying at the same time in the past week, 3 days of which I spent in hospital, for the first day in agony, the second being tested for all manner of things, and the third almost pain free and sent home to recover from the so-called episode.

I did a lot of reflecting when the pain was under control and all I could do was sit still or lie down.

Being grateful for my life, loved ones, and the remarkable people I get to work with was where I settled.

It's a remarkable place to just sit or lie in is gratitude.
Be remarkable.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The keys to embracing performance leadership and letting go of performance management

I'm hosting the monthly Appreciative Leader Accelerator online seminar this evening for members of The Appreciative Leader Community and owners of The Appreciative Leader handbook and thought the diagrams below might be valuable for you too.

They overview key performance leadership practices, and the key differences between 21st century performance leadership and the old (dead) 20th century performance management.

More about gifts here.

Be remarkable.

PS Should you like some help with any of the above please give me a call on +61 418 807 898.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Catch conflict before it negates your value, values, and feeling valued

My client, whom we will call Mark, and one of his most relied on employees, whom we will call Stephanie, are barely speaking to one another.

This is a sad scenario I see often, one where initial conflict, difficulty or disagreement was small and yet because it wasn't addressed it has now grown into a major barrier to high performance. Of course there's a domino affect too, other people are now involved and unhappy too!

Catch conflict before it negates your value, values, and feeling valued, and, if left unaddressed, your relationship

Step one is to see conflict, or difficultly, or disagreement as a positive sign everything in a relationship is not as it can be. Addressing friction is a grand opportunity to reestablish shared-view or common-ground.

In most of my presentations and master-classes I explore shared-view. You can find out more about shared-view and the seven areas of significance where you must have it in order to sustain a high performance culture here.

Mark and Stephanie had both lost sight of ours and were trapped in yours and mine.

Step two in addressing conflict, difficulty, or disagreement is to use feeling language.

"I feel Stephanie's work is a great gift and so do you." I said looking Mark straight in the eye.

He nodded sheepishly.

"I feel we should explore how your work is being delivered Stephanie." I said looking her straight in the eye.

She nodded sheepishly.

As an outsider not emotionally involved, yet aware enough to pinpoint the actual problem, I was able to facilitate a candid and convivial conversation between Mark and Stephanie that led to restoration of shared-view and their relationship.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017

Your life and work are precious gifts

All my life I've been passionate about gifts and giving.

It all began with being born on Christmas Eve and what became a habit of others in giving me presents. They'd say "This is for your birthday and for Christmas."

For many years at other people's birthday parties, and especially at Christmas time, I resented other kids because they got more presents than me!

Then one day in the school yard during football practice a teacher pulled me aside and told me "You have a gift for reading the play. Never waste your gift."

This experience caused a major shift in my thinking and my attitude - gifts weren't just something given to me by other people, they were also things I already had that were of great value to others.

I was also influenced by a strong philosophy lived by my parents and grandparents, the concept that we are happier giving than receiving. It took awhile for this one to become part of my being!

For a short time in my late teens I studied the Ancient Greek language. I was excited when I learned that the word for gift had a transliteration meaning charisma. 

I also learned that gift was another word for talent, and that talent was inherent, yet also could be learned. Later I was to learn that enhancing the inherent is a key to self-leadership, leading for others, and leading for leaders.

During my time studying Ancient Greek one of my lecturer's proclaimed that "life itself is a gift." This was another defining moment in my life, and when learning about gifts and giving, and applying and sharing my learning, became not just my my passion, but also my vocation.

Here's my 5 key learnings over the 45 years since:

1) Giving without attachment to getting back paradoxically means getting back more than we ever imagined possible

For a long time I struggled with giving my gifts away. I struggled particularly with attachment to getting back, or the feeling that I was not getting back as much as I deserved. Many times I was taken advantage of, and often derided for being too generous.

Eventually I let go of my attachment to what other people do or don't do. I learned I am only accountable for my intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions/behaviours, never other people's.

Today I give everything I've learned that I feel purpose-driven leaders will value away here. I know that a small percentage of people highly value a bespoke/tailored experience and will pay handsomely for it, hence I am able to make a great living as well as give more away.

2) Unleashing and enhancing gifts (your own and other people's) is the number one role of leadership

Enhancing their gifts was a concept I learned from my best friend Terry Jenner and his work with Shane Warne and many other spin bowlers worldwide, that I applied to business. Terry and myself spent many, many treasured hours over 20 years discussing the concept. When embraced by business leaders in your own best way this concept leads to profound performance improvement.

You can read more about this concept here.

To get started unleashing and enhancing your own gifts and those of other people I highly recommend two books. 

You can purchase Sir Ken's books here. They are even more valuable than his great TED talks. 'Element' is his word for gift. In 'Finding Your Element' there's over 50 great questions to discover your unique talent.

If you'd like further help please get in touch with me.

3) Candid and convivial communication and conversations are critical to gift and life enhancement

My mother used to say that I could talk under water with a mouth full of marbles. 

I can tell you that turning my gift for talking into one of communicating and conversing is one I've been enhancing for over 30 years. And I still have a long way to go to be the best version of myself even though a substantial part of earning my living comes from sharing this gift.

Here's 13 ways to be a remarkable communicator and connoisseur of candour.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar and President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios has many great insights into candour.

I was inspired to get the book after watching Ed here.

The video and the book intrigued me because of Ed's insights into and work with candour, a key to the huge success of Pixar and Disney films created through the leadership of Ed and many other people.

Being a connoisseur of candour (a constant work in progress) is a key to all my work. People are sick of spin and BS. Being able to cut through the crap gives my clients and myself an edge.

Being a connoisseur of candour is a one of the eight roles Appreciative Leaders play remarkably well. 

If you'd like some help with being 'connoisseur of candour' please get in touch with me.

4) Every human being is remarkable

The follow is an excerpt from The Appreciative Leader handbook (see above link).


We are all unique. 

Not a single duplicate in the 100 billion lives that have walked planet earth. 

When we bring our best, free of BS, we are all remarkable.

Everyone's birth is remarkable. 

Being born at all is even more remarkable. For most men only one or two of the 500 billion sperm cells produced in a lifetime reach the female egg, one of less than 500 eggs that each woman produces in her life.

The fact that any of us is alive at all says to me that every life has a profound purpose.

Robert Louis Stevenson put it this way: “To be who we are, and to become all that we are capable of becoming, is the only purpose in life.”

Being an Appreciative Leader is living this purpose and inspiring others to do the same.

2 Possible working on yourself and/or your business actions

1) See yourself as remarkable. Become who you see, one small step at a time. 

2) Help everyone else to see themselves as remarkable and to become who they see.

Remember that many people have forgotten they’re remarkable or haven’t even as yet realised it. 

Therefore you’ll need to inspire and/or persuade some people. For now choose one person and work with them for the next 90 days.

5) Your work is a gift

I was attracted to the video below because of the title and because it was recommended by Bernadette Jiwa whose work on story telling and story sharing I really value.

James Victore is yet another great example of how being true to ourselves is a key to success.

You will enjoy the interview James did with with Bernadette Jiwa as well.

Your work is indeed a gift. Do you see it as such? Do you value it as precious? And are you doing your work for people who truly value it.

A great way to answer these questions is to ask the people you work with what value they want from you, and the best ways to deliver such value to them, and then take action accordingly.

Be remarkable.

PS To apply these 5 key learnings in your own best way I highly recommend embracing the concepts of 'deep work' or 'deliberate practice'.

PSS A synonym for gift is charity which is from the same root Ancient Greek word meaning charisma or 'gift of grace'. There have been many positive advances in charity work in my lifetime meaning that what we give actually gets to people who need our gifts. One of my lessons has been to truly understand that when a lot of people give a little big things can happen. Two great examples are Buy One Give One where I am proud to be a life-time partner, and World Vision where my wife and I have supported one disadvantaged child at a time for decades and yet have been a part of schools being built and all kinds of wonderful work.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Reduce costs or increase value?

This is very wise advice from Seth Godin.

I reckon Mr. Buffett would concur.

It's wise to always be keeping a close eye on costs and reduce them prudently. It's wiser still to focus on increasing value.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The 3 essentials for maximum ROI&I from your leadership development

Highly successful leadership development is essential for the longevity of every business, yet meaningful ROI&I (return on involvement and investment) eludes the vast majority.

In 'Why leadership development programs fail' McKinsey experts Pierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen, and Kevin Lane, suggest sidestepping four common mistakes can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money, and boost morale.

The four mistakes:
"Overlooking context
Decoupling reflection from real work
Underestimating mind-sets
Failing to measure results."

Through working with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries since 1991, I've seen plenty of evidence of these mistakes, and the necessity to avoid them. They also point to three underlying causes of failure that I've consistently witnessed.

The 3 underlying causes of why leadership development fails and proven solutions to each one

1) Leadership development is seen as a tick-the-box exercise rather than an essential ongoing experience that is integral to personal and business growth.

A. Begin all leadership development design with the purpose of leadership firmly in mind. For me Mary Parker Follett nailed this purpose nearly 100 years ago

B. Ensure unleashing and enhancing gifts (talents) is front and centre.

As a starting place I highly recommend Sir Ken Robinson's books. He is a genius and his books reflect his gifts as much as his most watched TED talks.

You can get the books pictured above here. In 'Finding Your Element' there are many great exercises to undertake to find your element (gifts).

2) There's an attachment to the methodology rather the seeing 'the way or ways' as simply the processes that encourage the journey.

There is no model or methodology that's perfect. Should you be using external experts to help you with your leadership development, and they're attached to their way, fire them. Methods matter, however what really matters is people following proven principles in their own best way.

3) The development is a present time event without appropriate consideration of the past and inadequate follow-through to guarantee desired future.


Books, mentoring, online courses, conferences, coaching, training courses, diagnostic tools, tests, workshops, classes etc., etc., etc., can all have a role to play. The key is the framework within which the tools will be used.

The three primary ways that we learn and develop (our own experience, through other people’s experience, and through formal courses and programs), must be in alignment to fully enable us to bring the best version of ourselves to our work.

70:20:10 is a great framework for leadership development and learning and development in general. The percentages vary of course according to individual situations. For example I have a current client where the percentages are 50:25:25.

Pictured below is slide 26 from an excellent slideshare by Charles Jennings. It is an excellent summary of the framework. Here's a link to the slideshare. There's an amazing toolkit here.

A key to effective use of the framework above is to use it in conjunction with a change process which puts your leadership development into a past, present, and future context, as well as ensuring there is continuous alignment with people's actual work.

Below is my change process. You'll find more about the process, the truth about quantum leaps, and how the process is used when working with you bespoke here.


Leadership development can provide remarkable ROI&I (return on involvement and investment). It is hard work, yet highly rewarding. I accept that I've only scratched the surface in this article however get the 3 essentials right for you and you'll be on your way:

1) Leadership development is an ongoing experience that is integral to personal and business growth. Successful design is grounded in the intentions of creating more leaders, and unleashing and enhancing their (your) gifts.

2) Methods and models are simply processes that encourage the journey.

3) A framework and a change process enable proper consideration of the past,  the most appropriate present learning, and the best possible follow-through to guarantee desired future.

If you'd like some help please give me a call on +61 418 807 898. How we can work together is overviewed here.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Re-imagining capitalism

There's a lot of common-sense wisdom (counter to current conventional wisdom) in this video interview with one of Britain’s leading and most respected economists John Kay. Global Managing Partner of McKinsey's Dominic Barton adds a lot of value too.

My favourite piece (at about the seven and half minute mark) is when Kay says "Capitalism and markets only work if they're embedded in a social context." 

There's also some great insights into separating corporate donations from politics, CEO salaries, purpose-driven or conscious business, and why human capital is a bad description of human beings.

Another favourite is when Barton, talking about some Canadian wealth funds, where a quarter for them is 25 years not 3 months!

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 3 March 2017

The very special combination of wisdom and compassion

There's a lot of truth for me in the following attributed to Fred Kofman, a leader in the conscious business movement:

Wisdom without compassion is ruthlessness,
and compassion without wisdom is folly.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Your most valuable space

One of the most valuable skills I've learned and continue to hone in my public speaking work is the pause.

Long ago my speaking coach David Griggs taught me to never speak while moving on the stage, rather to wait until I was still. Another coach Max Dixon calls the pause 'a beat beyond.'

I've learned that careful and considered short pauses, and sometimes long ones, are powerful ways for engaging an audience small and large. I've also learned that silence is indeed golden.

Yet most of all I've learned the power of the pause in every day life. I believe the pause as Viktor Frankl describes it to be your most important space.

My friend and colleague W. Mitchell says: “It’s not what happens to you.  It’s what you do about it”

Whatever happens to you this week, don’t react.  Instead pause, use the space, and then respond in a way that will likely lead you and others to the best possible future.

The moment something happens it’s the past.  We can’t change the past.  We can respond in the present in ways that determine a better future.

Everything depends on how we use this most valuable space, the tiny moment between stimulus and response.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 27 February 2017

When people are quiet inside they're often loud outside

No doubt you've noticed that politicians and Governments usually lose elections rather than win them.

In my observation a key reason for this is the lack of 'cabinet solidarity', or more to the point those outside the cabinet speaking their minds in public in ways that are contrary to the positions of their Government.

Of course this chips away at public confidence and trust in the government, and providing the opposition parties maintain solidarity, they end up in Government.

In Australia right now the former Prime Minister is playing this sorry game, I suspect this is because he feels he is not being heard inside his party, his ego is out of control, or both.

There's a great lesson here for you and your team, and your whole business.

Are your people speaking up? Is dissent encouraged and valued?

The chances are if people aren't speaking up, they are doing so away from your business.

The old adage about what people say and do when you're not around is your culture holds true too.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Here's two suggestions:

1) Become remarkable at communicating and having candid and convivial conversations with others that leads to people being inspired to stay on the same page with you, and be able to consistently bring the best version of themselves to their work.

2) Become remarkable at listening and letting others know that you've heard them and understand and appreciate their feelings and thoughts. When people feel appreciated and acknowledged they're much less likely to show dissent outside your business.

Should you want some help with these two essential leadership skills please give me a call. My number is +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Distraction is hurting your business long before it becomes disruption

Everywhere I look people are distracted.

Of course when I'm looking I'm distracted too!

Everyone is glued to their computer screen or mobile device. It's downright dangerous to walk on the footpath these days because very few people are actually looking where they're going.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents.

In your business how much meaningful and valuable work to others is actually being done?

My educated guess is a lot less than you believe.

Distraction is hurting your business long before it becomes disruption.

3 actions you can take today

1) In collaboration with your employees create and implement a policy that limits the use of smart phones. Read this article on how doing so increases productivity first. It's where I first saw this picture that says it all.

2) Make a carefully considered decision to do less 'shallow work' and more 'deep work'. Encourage others to do the same. Read more about 'deep work' here.

3) Make it a daily practice before you turn your computer on or look at your phone to write down what you're grateful for.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

“If you start work at nine, don’t check your emails until 10. Instead, use that hour to be creative and be working on your business rather than in your business.”
Michelle Bridges

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Every person is accountable for sustaining a remarkable culture in your business

Corporate anthropologist Michael Henderson says

"Culture is;

“ What it means to be human here.”  (‘Here’ being wherever you are referring to when talking about a culture.)
“ An unwritten social contract that turns a person into a people."

and Michael says A High Performance Culture is;

"A culture that clearly defines and inspires people to be at their best, perform at their best and serve others."

These definitions align with my foundational model for purpose-driven business success pictured below:

Every person is accountable for sustaining a remarkable (“conspicuously extraordinary”) culture in your business.

If you’re culture is less than remarkable your business is vulnerable to disruption.

You need culture champions everywhere too. These people are recognised and looked up to as role models.

This is particularly essential when your business has more than one location. If you only have one location, you’re the culture champion, right!?

When you have more than 50 employees it’s critical that a member of your leadership team has accountability for people and culture.

The purpose of such a role can be stated as follows:

Ensuring there’s leadership commitment and capability in place that means the majority of people feel valued and are living values.

Ensuring there’s management (policies, procedures, practices, processes, and systems) competency in place that mean it’s simple for people to consistently bring the best version of themselves to their work, and to deliver value to fellow employees and other stakeholders.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 20 February 2017

For your best business results, turn your values into virtues

When I left the corporate world at the start of the last decade of last century to begin my own practice as a mentor, speaker, and strategist, for the first couple of years a lot of my work with clients centred around helping them to create or upgrade their vision, mission and value statements, and better align strategy and execution.

I stopped doing this after something profound happened as I share in the video below:

This encounter was the catalyst to finding a better way. 

In the early part of this century I discovered over the course of a 3 year project with one client, that the better way was, through collaboration, to turn values (usually single words) into virtues ("behaviours showing high moral standards").

In the case of this client 18 behaviours were the result of significant work. (we subsequently learned that 18 is too many!)

As behaviours became the focus, or as one of the leaders involved described it "As soon as living our values became our intention, and the key focus of our attention, performance dramatically improved."

I was astounded by the performance improvement and observed two other deep factors at play. The more values were lived, the more people felt valued, and the greater value they delivered to other people. I also learned that sustaining a high level of feeling valued, living values, and delivering value, depended greatly on leadership, management, and culture.

My foundational model (pictured below) for co-creating remarkable workplaces was born.

In the 15 years since many clients have successfully adopted this model, in their own best way (the key to their success). And profoundly, industry, country, or economic climate are irrelevant.

A 14th May 2010 New York Times article by one of my favourite authors and writers, Thomas L. Friedman, drove another stake deeply into the ground.

"So more and more of us are behaving by, what Seidman calls, “situational values”: I do whatever the situation allows. Think Goldman Sachs or BP. The opposite of situational values, argues Seidman, are “sustainable values”: values that inspire in us behaviors that literally sustain our relationships with one another, with our communities, with our institutions, and with our forests, oceans and climate. Of course, to counter this epidemic of situational thinking, we need more and better regulations, but we also need more people behaving better. Regulations only tell you what you can or can’t do in certain situations. Sustainable values inspire you to do what you should do in every situation."

The Seidman Thomas Friedman refers to is Dov Seidman, the C.E.O. of LRN who help companies build ethical cultures. More about Dov here. Please read the full Friedman article here.

Sustainable values are for me virtues ("behaviours showing high moral standards"). And sustainable values are a key to your sustainability as an organisation in a world viewed by a few as "post-truth", "fake news".

There's more to your sustainability, and by definition remarkability too.

I recently created a pulse check to help you to assess where you are and where you may need to move to. It's called 8 awesome actions for raising the vitality and positive impact of leadership, management, and culture.

I recommend this pulse check to you. You'll find it directly under the Gifts For Purpose-driven leaders heading here. No email address, sign-up or subscribing required!

Be remarkable.

Other Valuable Reading

'Big Arrow Behaviour'

Mental Virtues

Business Values - do they exist?

Values or behaviours? Where to focus your culture efforts

Values for working together and professional behaviours

Culture & Values/Behaviours Mapping

Friday, 17 February 2017

Ensuring everyone owns the strategy and execution plan

I’m deeply into Marty Neumeier’s book at the moment.

I’m also loving the great visuals inside the book.

The visual below Marty succinctly explains here.

I love how Marty differentiates mission and vision.

And I love this piece from Marty

“Also notice that purpose is on a higher level than both mission and vision. That’s because even when the mission isn’t going well and the vision seems like a mirage, a strong purpose will keep people coming back to work day after day.”

I would add the following to Marty's model

If you would like some help with creating or instigating any of the above please give me a shout. My number is +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Raising The Vitality and Positive Impact of Your Leadership

The most valuable lesson I have learned about workplaces, through working as a mentor with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries since 1991, is that when people feel valued, live values, and deliver value, the enterprise is highly successful, regardless of industry, country, or economic climate. 

There are two caveats to the above equation:
1) There has to be sound and ethical financial processes and systems in place, and 
2) Products/services being provided are grounded in a unique understanding of what customers/clients need and want, including their experience preferences.

Building and sustaining a valued, values, value workplace requires an ongoing investment of time, energy, and money, remarkable leadership, management, and culture, and the steadfast application of proven principles in your own best way.

In the past decade I have witnessed the addition of a further criteria to this success equation. It's a game changer - leaders must be purpose-driven. This has come about through both evolution and revolution. 

Often in my work I explore this with clients in an historical context as pictured below.

You can read more about this in this previous post where my terms of differencemakers and insightpreneurs are explained.

You might also be interested in my top 21 recommended business books for purpose-driven leaders. You can view and download the list here.

I have been doing a lot of 'deep work' in the past few months to create a simple yet profound diagnostic tool to enable you to assess all of the above. I've also been locking myself away to create a new flagship leadership development program. 

I'm excited today to announce the release of the

It contains 58 statements to check your current vitality and positive impact leadership pulse.

Emailing your aggregated team results to me enables you to schedule a complimentary, no obligation online mentoring session with me. This means that both of us can accurately assess if a tailored program is for you and your team or not.

You can download the pulse check here. 

Details of how we can work together are here.

I'm also going to conduct the program as a 6 months intensive open to individuals.

You can begin with the standalone half-day master-class in Ballarat on 22nd March. You can register here where you can also download the pulse check.

Or you can come straight into the intensive choosing one of the three beginning days. You can also download the pulse check at any of the following links.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Involuntary = challenge; Voluntary = Opportunity

In this interview with Philip Adams former Greek finance minister talks about two causes of dissatisfaction/disruption in the world and why people are moving away from status quo politicians - involuntary under-employment/unemployment, and involuntary immigration.

This is also a great reminder about change (innovation) in your business. If people feel like they have volunteered, positive change is likely. If it feels like change is involuntary, there will be resistance, and no change, or worse negative change, is the consequence.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Stop Focusing on Engaging Your Employees

The Corporate Leadership Council 2004 survey of 59 organisations and 50000 employees was the first major piece of research that I took notice of concerning employee engagement.

The findings blew my mind.  They were: “13% of employees actively disengaged from their work, 11% of employees fully engaged in their work, 76% of employees open to persuasion through increased emotional commitment.”  It was the 76% figure and the accompanying words that blew my mind.

Guess what? Despite billions of dollars being spent on employee engagement nothing much has changed.

The 2012 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study involving 32000 workers found that nearly two-thirds (65%) are not highly engaged.

The latest Gallup research here says "87% OF EMPLOYEES WORLDWIDE ARE NOT ENGAGED AT WORK."

Engagement is a lag measure. It's a result. To improve results we must stop focusing on them and get better at lead metrics. (There's more on lag and lead and performance metrics here.)

Possible action you can take - Stop trying to engage people and focus on helping them to feel valued

Help people to feel better about themselves and their work and they'll become more engaged.

The good news about poor employee engagement is that the magic is in the middle.

First step in recommended action. Start helping people in your business who are neither engaged or disengaged to feel valued.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS If you have recent results from your employee engagement survey on your desk (or worse your drawer or cupboard!), start collaborating with your employees today in taking action.

PSS If you're like many businesses I see who either don't take action on surveys or their action is perceived by employees as inadequate, or it's taken too long to take action after results are in

My best advice is to stop doing your survey, because your inaction is a major contributor to employee disengagement!