Friday 29 July 2016

3 events that happen every day that you'd be wise to ignore

Every day there's 3 events you'd be wise to ignore:

1) Feedback you didn't ask for.

2) The voice inside your head that says "I can't""I should", or "I would if I could."

3) The first 17 minutes or so (i.e. pre the sport and weather forecast) of the nightly news. There's rarely any good or positive news presented.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Monday 25 July 2016

Feedback is the least most important conversation

"We've listened to your feedback" say the politicians, business, and other leaders. How well you've listened will be determined by your actions.

Feedback on it's own though is the least most important of the conversations we have. Feedback is about the past. In my case I'm from the Alan Weiss school - I ignore feedback I didn't ask for!

Feedback has some value yet nowhere near as much as 7 other crucial conversations as follows:

Imagine the leader who announces to her team/community/constituents:

"I've heard myself say to myself lately that I haven't really connected with you on X.

I believe I can explain my intentions, feelings, and thoughts much better.

I'd really appreciate your help."

Do you feel/think most people would respond positively to such statements? I reckon most people would.

And so the door is now open for feedforward which is of far greater value than feedback.

Feedforward is a great concept from Marshall Goldsmith.

Feedforward is suggestions from others that provide insight and foresight for you to change your behaviour.
Feedforward helps to make peer review conversations more candid and convivial.

Peer review is the daily conversations you have with your peers that appreciate remarkable work and help everyone to be accountable.

Having focusing tools is paramount. Role Clarity Statements and individual Performance Possibility Plans (PPP's) are essential.

After Action Reviews are next.

These are structured conversations that appreciate what was remarkable, great, good, bad, and ugly about a specific action; imagine what can be next time; create/update PPPs in ways that reflect agreed personal and business behaviour changes, and stay, stop, start actions.

After Action Reviews are powerful when you and your colleagues are in the habit of sharing your self-talk, and are engaging in feedback, feedforward, and peer review.

Weekly Check-ins ritualise conversations.

These are short, sharp, weekly meetings online and/or in person where individuals and/or teams review what's happened and what's next, and agree on actions and accountability for the coming week.

Weekly Check-ins are also great for continuous celebration of what's going well and to explore what can still be better.

Appreciative Leaders have mentors and are being mentors for others and so Mentor Moments are integral to conversations.

Mentor Moments are informal and unstructured as well as formal and structured conversations.

If you aren't yet enjoying the high value of Mentor Moments as both a mentor and a mentee then get started today if not sooner.

The vast majority of successful people I know are part of one or more master-mind groups (people mutually committed to each others’ success who meet regularly).

Each of the 8 conversations that really count explored above are critical to successful master-mind groups.

The most successful teams are master-mind groups. Is yours?

Are you a member of a master-mind group with peers external to your business?

Candid and convivial communication and conversations are essential to your success as a leader.

I explore this subject in more detail in my soon to be released handbook 'The Appreciative Leader'.

Find out how more here.

Be remarkable.

Thursday 21 July 2016

The secret to success in life is to understand that there’s no secret

The secret to success in life is to understand that there’s no secret, just be the best version of yourself at home, at work, and at play.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

E + R = O

The foundation to my colleague Paul McGee's SUMO principle is a very simple formula. E + R = O.

Simply put Paul say's, "it's the Event plus my Response that influences the Outcome."

Another of my colleagues W. Mitchell says "It's not what happens to you. It's what you do about it."

Whatever happens today, any day, or in any single moment, it's your choice as to how you respond.

Be remarkable.

Monday 18 July 2016

Story-sharer of significance - one of the 8 roles appreciative leaders play remarkably well

Published in 1949, four years before I was born, this book holds a treasured place in my library.

I refer to it often.

Inside Joseph Campbell explores the 'mono myth', the single story that has been a part of every culture since the beginning of time.

You might know it as 'The Hero's Journey.'

This is a book I highly recommend to you as essential reading in your quest to be a story-sharer of significance, one of the 8 roles appreciative leaders play remarkably well.

I call this the traction role of being an Appreciative Leader.

Master this role and you will transform your life and your business.

There's more recommended resources to help you in the update to handbook #4 that you can download here.

Be remarkable.

In next Monday's Appreciative Leader Accelerator we'll be exploring being a story-sharer of significance in more detail. You can claim your complimentary place for the Accelerator here.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

The soul of speaking

I've been speaking professionally for 25 years.

I was fortunate to learn in the early days that there are three primary keys to success as a public and professional speaker.

Firstly it's to be yourself (never as simple as it sounds), and then to share insights through stories that other people can feel themselves in, and thirdly, that people feel compelled to act on what is shared in their own best way.

I've attended many conferences, undertaken many classes, and paid for coaching and mentoring. I've also read many books on speaking. This book is up there with the best of them.

You can read my Amazon review here.

The ability to communicate, converse and present are required skills for the modern leader, and this book is therefore essential reading whether you ever give a TED talk or not.

Be remarkable.

PS More on sharing stories coming in next Monday's post.

Monday 11 July 2016

How many pencils are there in your business?

About 40% (5 million) of Australian jobs will disappear in the next 10 - 15 years due to technological advances according to this report.

I've been wondering if these will include the 75000 people who have been manually counting the votes that we all made with a pencil Saturday week ago in the Australian Federal election.

The Opposition Leader conceded defeat and the Prime Minister claimed victory only yesterday, and bizarrely we still don't know the final results!

Apparently we don't yet have the technology we can trust that would enable most people to ditch the pencil and vote electronically.

This got me thinking. Where in my business am I using pencil technology and manual labour when there are more productive ways to work if there was more trust?

Odd question yet I hope it's gets you thinking, being, and doing as you begin another week on the journey of being the best version of yourself.

Be remarkable.

Friday 8 July 2016

The Appreciative Leader Handbook

I've completed two thirds of the writing of the penultimate draft of 'The Appreciative Leader' handbook.

This is the most practical of my books and I'd love your practical help to finish it.

Would you be willing to read my work and provide me with candid feedforward and feedback?

If so I'd be very grateful and would acknowledge your contribution inside the handbook when it's published in September 2016.

You can find out more and email me from here.

Thank You in advance.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Why a minority believe the unbelievable and the majority suffers

Minority parties in the Australian federal election stole the show with record numbers of people voting for them, meaning the two major parties capable of forming Government both received less primary votes than they needed.

This means it all comes down to preference votes, a pretty much unique system to Australia, and which I personally believe is a stupid system. Any person who received the most primary votes can actually lose under the system, and, a party can form Government even though they receive less than 50% of the two party preferred vote.

Why did this happen?

I expect fear actually stole the show.

One major party ran a scare campaign that the other party would privatise the health system.

There was no substance to this, yet the party using the scare tactics handed out over a million fake health cards and ran a fraudulent text message campaign. A high percentage of people bought into the lie and voted accordingly. Their fear of loss overrode logic.

One minor party pushed a false message about immigration yet tapped into a genuine fear for some people that some how they would lose if people of a certain religion were allowed to expand their base. Absolutely no substance to the message and yet a minority believed the unbelievable.

The Prime Minister rightly warned that a vote for minor parties and independents was a vote for chaos, which is exactly what we now have.

Fear of loss or losing something held dear, even though such is more often than not a figment of imagination, is a strong driver for a minority of people's decision making. Don't let such fear into your business.

Whatever change you're contemplating in your business make sure you address people's fear of loss or losing, otherwise the change you desire won't happen, the tail will wag the dog, and the majority of your people will suffer, as will your business results.

Be remarkable.

Monday 4 July 2016

Candour precedes creativity and innovation

There's a standout reason that at the time of writing this that the Federal Election results in Australia are unknown two days after votes were cast - a lack of candour. Instead we've had spin, deception, and a failure to name the elephants in the room.

Don't let your business fall into the same traps.

"How long will it take you to find out why we're not being as innovative as we need to be?" asked a prospective client.

"About an hour." I replied.

For 25 years I have been walking into organisations as an adviser and I am told, usually within an hour, of what could be better and yet no one has raised issues with insiders for fear of reprisal or fear for their jobs and other nasty reasons.

A common reason is a cultural issue of not talking about what can be perceived as unpleasant.

Sometimes I name the elephants myself. Once or twice I have been thrown out for doing so! Usually I mentor people to name the elephants themselves.

The outcome usually is relief and very quickly elephants are humanely removed. Soon creativity and innovation happen. Often the reaction is why was this not spoken about before?

Speaking up and speaking out are characteristics of being a 'connoisseur of candour', a role Appreciative Leaders play remarkably well, and the subject matter for today's Monday Morning Momentum video below and the update to handbook #4 that you can download from here.

Be remarkable.

I'd love your help

I've completed two thirds of the writing of the penultimate draft of 'The Appreciative Leader' handbook.

If you'd like to read the handbook and are willing to provide me with candid feedforward and feedback I'd be very grateful.

You can find out more and email me from here.

Friday 1 July 2016

Safety, simplicity, sensemaking, sensibility, and above all common-sense

The only real difference politics has made in my 44 year working life to date is that it is now harder by a long stretch for myself and my clients to do business than it was when I began.

There's more hurdles to jump, barriers to get around, and gates to open.

I'm law abiding, ethical and do business with integrity. I'm conscious of the diversity of our world and celebrate difference. Every day I get to help people with different personal beliefs to collaborate for the common good.

I want governments to be crystal clear on what the playing field is and the rules of the game, and then to get out of the way.

The bottom-line for me as I cast my vote in the Federal election in Australia tomorrow is five-fold.

I've asked and answered for me which political party that I believe will be best at

1) ensuring a safe environment for me to live my life and carry on my businesses.
2) allowing it to be simple (read less complicated) for me to do business.
3) enabling me to give greater meaning to my experiences (sensemaking).
4) appreciating and responding to the complex issues of our wider world.
5) taking common-sense actions.

The incumbent Government and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are clear winners for me.

The alternative Government haven't shown themselves to me to be an alternative. They've engaged in fabrication, scare tactics without substance, and silly personal attacks.

As an outsider my view is that these same actions led to a leave the EU vote by the British people, so you never know in politics what the outcome will be until the people vote.

Most of all for me, despite acknowledged coaching in presenting, the opposition leader Bill Shorten doesn't come across as believable because his body language isn't in alignment with his words and vice-versa, with even his key messaging of "putting people first" failing to resonate.

I'm hoping that whoever wins tomorrow that common-sense will become the more common thing.

Regardless I'll just keep on jumping the hurdles, moving around the barriers, and opening the gates, and staying grateful that I live in a country like Australia.

Be remarkable.