Last year my guiding words were purpose, process and progress. Learn more in the post here.
Why THREE Words? I'll let Chris Brogan explain here.
In 2018 I'm staying with the same three words. I've not done this before. I have unfinished business.
I'm crystal clear on my purpose. I'm here to help reputable business owners and leaders, in your own best way, to create and deliver remarkable value in ways that are difficult to emulate (giving you competitive advantage), and achieve better business results at less personal cost.
I can be better at process and in measuring and making progress visible.
What's your three words and why did you choose them?
Because of my birthdate Christmas has never had any great personal meaning. I do get into the spirit of it and enjoy the family time. For me Christmas is not about anybody's birthday or buying more stuff or giving people things they don't need or want. Christmas for me is just another day to feel valued, fulfilled and loved, and to help others to feel the same.
Today I'm celebrating 44 years of marriage to my beloved Carol.
A key to our enduring love is that today isn't the only day we celebrate. We're grateful for every moment of every day.
What's worth celebrating in your life really? and What can be better?
I've been asking myself these two questions every day for more than 40 years.
I believe they're two very powerful questions because they ensure I began every day grateful and focused.
Try the above yourself for at least a month. It will help you to ensure that 2018 is your best year yet. Maybe this will become a life-long habit.
For more than a quarter of a century these two questions have been the foundation for informal and formal performance review conversations by my clients. Several clients began their team meetings with answers to these questions.
These two questions are critical in the quest of competing with yourself and collaborating with everyone else.
You can download my Changing What's Normal book with my compliments here.
"... But of course, rather than democracy and diversity all we've got from the digital revolution so far is fewer jobs, an overabundance of content, an infestation piracy, a coterie of internet monopolists, and a radical narrowing of our economic and cultural elite."
At this point of studying this book I agree with the author. My distrust of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz has increased. Their tagline "Software Is Eating the World" is something I actually hate!
For your thoughts on the status of the Internet please email email@example.com
I'll share my final thoughts on this book (and your thoughts with permission) in a blog post soon.
The above are the 3 stages of leadership that the best leaders flow through every day.
1) Central to change leadership is self-leadership. No one can lead successfully without first leading self. Success is based on the following premise:
The mantra for leading self is compete with yourself and collaborate with everyone else.
Learn more through my Changing What's Normal book which you can download with my compliments here.
2) Appreciative leadership is all about leading for others. It has much to do with fully appreciating
Learn more through getting your copy of the signed numbered limited edition handbook here.
3) Being a leadership valueologist is all about leading leaders
Leadership Valueologist (verb): person fully committed to the art, life-long learning, unlearning and relearning, and daily practice of fully appreciating and getting the best out of themselves and other people, and ensuring people feel valued, live values and deliver value.
Join me for the leadership valueologist experience in 2018. Learn more here.
Change leadership (self-leadership), Appreciative Leadership (leading for others) and Leadership Valueologist (leading for leaders).
A great insight from the book 'Humans Are Underrated' referenced in my previous post here is about the shift from knowledge to relationship workers.
This is a common topic in my conversations with clients and a key to success in this purpose age.
"In all past ages profit was the key driver. Knowledge was power. During the Industrial Age society became part of the economy, arguably our biggest mistake as a human race. It’s meant we have plundered the earth’s resources. In the current age purpose (our reason for being in business) is the key driver. Trust is power. Profit is seen as it should be, a result of being good at business, not a reason for being in business."
The above is from my ebook 'Meaningful Work and The Meaning of Life'.
Should you acknowledge the shift from knowledge to relationship workers then you will find my ebook a must read. You can download it with my compliments by scrolling down here.
The 15th November 2017 was a significant day in Australia's history as we announced the results of a question put to the people about same sex marriage. Below are the results:
An overwhelming victory for Yes which compels the politicians to change the law.
Since the announcement politicians have been debating the bill to change the law lodged the day after the above announcement.
Debate has centred around so-called protection for religious, conscience, speech and education rights.
This has mystified me because marriage in Australia is a civil ceremony not a religious one. The marriage law (old and new) has nothing to do with conscience, speech or education and certainly not religion.
About 70% of marriages here are conducted by civil celebrants. My wife is one. Even when religious people conduct a ceremony they must be an approved authority by the Attorney General's Department and say the legal words.
What's mystified me most however is that there already seems to be adequate protection for religious and indeed non-religious people.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976 in accordance with Article 49 of the covenant.
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is recognised in Article 18 of the ICCPR. Article 18 protects not only the ‘traditional’ religious beliefs of the major religions, but also non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The right recognised in Article 18 is simultaneously an individual right, and a collective right.
The only conclusion I can make is that the no voters are still trying to get their way through the back door. It's disgraceful I think. You?
In my previous two posts about thriving on the challenges of change here and following the appreciative leader change process here, I've set the scene for this post about leadership valueology.
The Art, Practice and Legacy Of Being A Leadership Valueologist book will complete the trilogy of work that began with a personal experience in early 2007. This book will primarily be case studies from people who undertake the experience. Learn more here.
In 2007 I was privileged to present to members of the board of Oxfam Australia. While waiting in their boardroom I copied down the words of a poster on the wall by Community Aid Abroad. It was headed ‘Basic human rights for all’ and read
*enough to eat
*a safe environment
*protection from violence
*equality of opportunity
*a say in the future
Tears welled in my eyes as I read these words for they capture what I stand for and explain why I got up this morning and every morning and go out into the world to influence leaders in whatever you do to be doing it for the good of people and our planet.
Legacy is a part of the mission of every authentic leader. For me it's being able to remark on hence my use of the word remarkable for more than 25 years.
Very soon after the encounter with Oxfam in 2007 I began to create a workable model to help my clients thrive on the challenges of change and be appreciative. It centred around people feeling valued, living values and delivering value
Helping people to become Leadership Valueologist's is the next stage of the process.
Leadership Valueologist - person fully committed to the art, life-long learning, unlearning and relearning, and daily practice of fully appreciating and getting the best out of themselves and other people.
Thriving on the challenges of the above journey takes your leadership to what I call the Appreciation level reflected in the following change process:
I am deeply indebted to the work of many people who use the concept ofAppreciative Inquiry,the work ofDuarte,and to my Grandfather Sherriff for teaching me the law of the farm.
The fertile ground is Appreciating what is (the remarkable, the great, the good, and the bad and the ugly).
The better you Appreciate what is, the more fully you can Imagine what can be (the ploughing).
Clarity around what can be enables precise planning around the tiny shifts (Quantum leaps - the seeding) that you will take to move from what is to what can be.
Leaping (the nurturing) leads to the harvest of positive momentum, which is the key to achieving better business results, at less personal cost.
One quantum leap at a time action is also the best way that I know of to reduce stress.
Inside The Appreciative Leader handbook are considerations and possible actions you can take to co-create and implement a change process for your business. You'll never need to think about a change program ever again.
Find out more about the handbook, and the associated companion resources web page and private online community here.
At the companion resources web page via the above link you’ll see examples of specific actions.
Who will you become? What will you do next?
PS I’m very grateful to the work of John Kotter on leading change. For many years while developing the Appreciate - Imagine - Create - Leap - Momentum process I used in my own best way his 8 steps process in my work with many clients.
There’s an excellent ebook about Kotter’s 8 steps here.
The book version that I plan to publish in 2019 or 2020 will primarily be case studies about people who undertake the scheduled experiences, learn more here, or an in house experience, learn more here.
I am very excited about this work and look forward to seeing you register or to exploring in house options with you.
I'm currently studying this great Ryan Holiday's book and the subject of stoicism.
One of the highlights has been to revisit, reframe and take action on what we describe in the vernacular as 'controlling the controllables.'
“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices. — Epictetus
More great insights from Ryan and other stoics here.
The former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Barnaby Joyce is currently campaigning to win back his job after being forced out of the parliament because he was deemed illegible by the High Court because he unwittingly had citizenship of another country. Mr Joyce is one of several politicians suffering this fate.
There's no suggestions whatsoever that anyone deemed ineligible has committed treason or is involved in conspiracy yet if you listen to the media and opposition politicians you would think so.
Hyperbole (exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally) is one way to describe their despicable behaviour. Another is political expediency, and another rank self-righteous, self-interested opportunism.
What happened to common sense? Yet again it's missing and more tax payers money is being spent totally unnecessarily.
As far as I can tell there are many things in the Australia constitution that need updating like still referring to pounds in some sections whereas dollars have been our currency since 1966.
image courtesy of rootreport.com
The simple no cost solution to the constitution crisis of dual citizenship in Australia
Give everyone amnesty for their foolishness and carelessness and move on. No needless by-elections or other wasting of taxpayers money.
Lesson for your business
What policies, procedures, practices, processes, systems need to better reflect reality? Where does hyperbole, self-righteousness and self-interest exist in your business? How will you get rid of it. If your business has a constitution, charter or whatever, when was it last updated? Does it accurately reflect what you want it to?
There are many great lessons in this article by Andy Raskin about pitching. For me the following in the second last paragraph is the standout.
"Product differentiation, by itself, has become indefensible because today’s competitors can copy your better, faster, cheaper features virtually instantly. Now, the only thing they can’t replicate is the trust that customers feel for you and your team."
Who will you become? What will you do? to increase trust levels between your employees and with your customers?
To say that I'm dissatisfied with the results of politics would be a large understatement.
In the main what we're getting is mediocrity.
Here's the 9 actions I'd take to replace current arrangements that exist in democracies.
1) Make political parties and factions illegal.
(The only good thing I can see so far from the Trump fiasco is that he has demonstrated that non politicians can win elections.)
2) People who stand for election must be able to demonstrate their ability to collaborate and to lead.
(The idea that we have opposition parties and allow them to say no to whatever the Government suggests is so 19th century.) (The idea that they are holding the Government to account is nonsense. We the people are the only ones who can do that.)
3) Make political donations and lobby groups of any kind illegal as well as influence from religious groups or other belief systems.
(You can believe whatever you like. I respect that. When making decisions for all however bias to personal beliefs is an oxymoron)
4) Give all candidates the same limited amount from the public purse to conduct their campaigns and don't allow rich people to out spend anyone else.
5) Vote for a leader and let that person pick their team from those elected. Those not selected to the leadership team (ministers or whatever) would have equal say into the performance standards of the team.
6) Make 10 years or two terms the maximum time people can serve.
7) No person who has been a politician in the past would be able to stand for election again.
8) Reconfigure accountability for public servants so that the buck stops with those executing the strategy of the leadership.
(It's a given that the executors would have input into and own the strategy).
9) In Australia I'd eliminate state governments and just have local and federal governments. Included in this over time would be a move to uniformity of laws regarding education, health, aged care and other areas that affect citizens everywhere.
I'm a big fan of Seth Godin. I often reflect on his words opposite and leave the time of reflection with renewed energy to make a difference in my own best way.
I think self-disruption is a key to ongoing differencemaking.
The following, which I found in an article by David Clarke here, is a brilliant way to go about self-disruption as a business: "(My company name) didn’t kill the (my industry) business. We disrupted ourselves by (constructing an entirely differentiated experience).
Anybody can follow a path into the future by walking in the ruts that others have made. Today’s intrepid pioneers are those who carve out their own roads in unforgiving terrain."
Self-disruption in your business is essential to create your best future. So too is disrupting yourself as an individual. Below are links to previous posts to refresh your memory about disrupting yourself personally.
I know from 26 years of work with more than 1000 business owners and leaders worldwide is that a sure-way way to better business results at less personal cost is to increase the number of people in your organisation being remarkable and doing meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work.
Remarkable. Meaningful. Valuable.
Therefore when I came across this paper I devoured it straight away.
You can learn more about this paper and those who wrote it here.
Aside from the use of the word economy which I detest the paper is a great contribution to the new world of work and the new world in general.
My trusty Google dictionary says propaganda is: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
as an aside it also says a committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.
I laughed out loud when I read this second definition.
When I Google fake news I get the following from Wikipedia Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.
When I Google news the following is prominent newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events. and information not previously known to (someone).
Why am I on this trail?
Recently while enjoying conversation over a coffee with my wife in one of our favourite coffee shops it suddenly occurred to me that everyone else in the shop was on their so-called smart phones! This observation led us to explore what news is.
One of my conclusions is that we mostly scroll, watch and listen to news that is actually someone else's propaganda. This is a major distraction in our lives that has us trapped.
What's your thoughts? I would genuinely like to know. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org I'll publish your answers (with permission) here.
Referring to his home state Nick Xenophon on announcing his intention to quit Federal politics and contest a state seat said "We have a government that deserves to lose, and an Opposition that does not deserve to win."
This is a very sad state of affairs that I believe applies to all levels of politics worldwide. Mediocrity is a consequence.
What's also interesting is that Xenophon still has 5 years to sit in the Senate so his decision is driven by self-interest more than the national interests or the interests of his state which he loudly proclaimed as his reasoning for forming a party and gaining extra Senate seats.
I despair at politics and political systems worldwide.
The key lesson for business leaders is say what you mean and mean what you say about your purpose, and never abandon it.
Here's my first post on this topic on 6th February 2012.
High values, high value business are continuing their rise for 3 key reasons:
1) Generation Next, currently aged 36 and younger, will soon be half the workforce. They are attracted to organisations who live their values more than any group of people ever have been
In previous surveys, Millennials have told us that businesses’ greatest contribution was the financial benefit associated with job creation—but they see this as an outcome rather than a guiding principle of business conduct. So, to better understand their values, we asked Millennials, “What are the most important values a business should follow if it is to have long-term success?” They responded that businesses should put employees first, and they should have a solid foundation of trust and integrity. Customer care and high-quality, reliable products also ranked relatively high in importance. Attention to the environment and social responsibility were also mentioned by a significant number of Millennials.
One of the keys to values is that they must be behaviours not words as I explore in the 4 minutes 35 seconds video below:
2) Machine's are taking over routine work and therefore it's easier that it's ever been to find your dream role
Machines can do algorithmic work. Soon they will do most of what's simple, routine and repetitive.
This represents a great opportunity for us humans.
According to 80000hours.org there's 3 keys to finding a dream job
"The bottom line To find a dream job, look for: Work you’re good at, Work that helps others, Supportive conditions: engaging work that lets you enter a state of flow; supportive colleagues; lack of major negatives like unfair pay; and work that fits your personal life."
In my work I go a step further and help people to do remarkable, meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work.
There's a plethora of research about this. The premier book to read is 'Deep Work' by Cal Newport. Learn more about this here.
A key to helping people to do remarkable, meaningful to them and highly valuable to others work is through what I call the number one role of leadership, 'enhancing their (your) gifts. I explore this in the 4 minutes and 57 seconds video below.
3) The rules have changed in the new world of work Two of the books that I added to my top 21 recommended reading list last year were and The Purpose Economy and Technology vs Humanity.
I unwittingly slumped in my chair a little as my client told me he was back to spending 50% of his time reacting or responding to emails, and about 30% of his time locked in meetings where mostly he was wondering why he was there.
“I know, I know” he blurted out loud in frustration and in response to my slump.
I regained my composure and engaged in conversation with my client using my four standard accountability conversation questions: What happened? What do you need to do to get back on track? Is their anything I can do to help you? Anything else?
As a consequence my client mapped out the following course of action. It may help you as much as it’s helped him get his life, his time and his mojo back.
Firstly three key principles to apply in your own best way:
1) You have control over most of the 168 hours you have at your disposal every week.
2) The consequences of pushing back on unsolicited, unwarranted or unclear requests are never as bad as you think they might be.
3) "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." William James
3 rules for better meetings encompassed in the one rule of only participating in meetings that have one of the three as their purpose
1) Assessment/review of data meetings where the purpose is to extract usable insight.
2) Decision-making meetings where an agreed process is followed.
3) Learning and development meetings where there's been pre-work and when there will be post work to integrate the learning with what you're already doing well.
It's a disappointing waste of time, resources and talent to spend money to work on a problem that actually should be a conversation first. Seth Godin
2) Only send emails that inform, inspire or invite.
3) Only read email newsletters and other subscriptions once a week.
3 rules for other forms of message exchange
1) Let other people know your preferred ways to receive information. Mine is telephone and second preference texting where text is short and sweet with a link if appropriate and clear expectation of a reply request or not.
2) Ask people what their preferred way/s are for receiving information from you are and do that.
3) Use proven digital collaboration tools when working on projects with other people.
In my world while accepting VUCA I help people to focus on the opposites - Dependable, Predictable, Simple and Clear.
VUCA is certainly one side of the story and we should never ignore it, however focusing on the bright side of dependable, predictable, simple and clear leads to a better life and better business results.