Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A 'war on talent' is a bad idea

I notice that the phrase 'war on talent' is about the place again.

I think it's a bad idea.

All war is a waste, particularly an unnecessary waste of human life.

And a war on talent I think is a chronic waste of time, energy, and money, particularly when what is spent is usually on the few rather than the many.

The phrase ‘war on talent’ was introduced by some McKinsey consultants in the late 90’s.

The poster child was Enron. Enough said right?!

Good people aren't hard to find. Ensure your current employees feel valued and are able to live values and deliver value. Then they'll be your best source for new employees.

Focus on the many, not the few

If your leaders are getting all the learning what does that tell everyone else?

Instead focus on everyone and particularly those in the middle.

The magic is in the middle. 

In most organisations this is most of your employees. They're doing their job but not much else.

Are you engaged in a so-called war for the so-called top people? or are you focusing on helping the majority of your people do a little better?  Do the math.

I believe lasting success is about talent and effort

This I know beyond any shadow of a doubt - every human is born unique.  

We all have gifts/talents and a one-of-a-kind way of using them. We need to put in the effort to enhance what we were born with and what we learn in our lives.  

The real job of leadership is to inspire and influence people to become all that we are capable of becoming, which Robert Louis Stevenson once remarked is the only purpose in life.

If you are engaged in a war on talent I suggest you stop today. It’s a chronic waste of time, energy, and money.  

Instead invest in enhancing the gifts/talents of your average performers, more than likely the majority of your workforce.  The magic is in the middle!

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS If you'd like some help please do give me a shout.

Monday, 19 November 2018

65 powerful and proven principles to apply in your own best way

This is my latest ebook.

You can download it via page 21 of my complimentary resources file. It's one document that enables your access to all my writings and recordings. Here's the link. Enjoy and take action!

Be remarkable.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The three kinds of change in three key areas

I like the insight from Kevin Roberts that there are three kinds of change:


Read Kevin direct.

Kevin says: Great teams, great companies use all three approaches.  The Leader’s job is to ensure the right kind of change is implemented at the right time for the right reasons.

While I agree with Kevin the key I believe is accepting that all change is personal first, relationships second, and organisations a distant third. Maybe 1 in 100 believe this. You?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The great battle is not good v evil rather self-interest v enlightened self-interest

I recently completed a study of this book.

It contains many great insights. So many I'm begun to read the next two books the author has written since this one, 'Homo Deus' and '21 Lessons for the 21st Century'!

Through reading this book and watching videos like this one I've become a fan of Yuval Noah Harari.

One insight that's really intrigued me is the concept of 'Imagined Order' or 'Imagined Realities'.  This concept highlights that the world's systems, legal, economic, political, business and religious, are all made up by us, for us, and increasingly obvious to me for the benefit of the few rather than the many.

Studying this book has rekindled my passion for standing for enlightened self-interest and standing against self-interest.

Enlightened self-interest

"Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest." Source Wikipedia

Enlightened self-interest for me is simply acting to further the interests of others without attachment, knowing that my own interests will be taken care of as a consequence.

Zig Zigar had a lovely way of putting this

This is very different to self-interest which seems to drive many of our politicians and so-called business leaders who act according to their own selfishness.

All over the world I see self-interest destroying businesses, families, lives in general, and of course, being in the grip of self-interest means we are not yet able to avoid the catastrophes caused by our inability and unwillingness to live in harmony with our planet.

The good news is that I also see productivity and positivity going through the roof, and the changing of what’s normal for the good of people and our planet, when the awesome power of enlightened self-interest is at work. 

In an article almost a decade ago in CSR Wire, John Elkington, one of my heroes, and the father of the triple-bottom line, said:

Properly understood, sustainability is not the same as corporate social responsibility (CSR)—nor can it be reduced to achieving an acceptable balance across economic, social and environmental bottom lines. Instead, it is about the fundamental, intergenerational task of winding down the dysfunctional economic and business models of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the evolution of new ones fit for a human population headed towards nine billion people, living on a small planet already in “ecological overshoot”.

John's dream can easily be achieved. 

We simply reimagine our systems and models and replace the nineteenth and twentieth century ones!

Of course the stumbling block, the barrier, the mountain to climb over is self-interest.

In his 'Sapiens' book Harari walks through key moments of The Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century. More has happened i.e. been invented and imagined in the last 500 years, than at any other time in history.

One of the triggers for this revolution no doubt was the idea of the earth revolving around the sun by Nicolaus Copernicus. Prior to his publication in 1543 the so-called infallible sources such as religions believed that the earth was the centre of the universe.

Questions to consider and act on

Is enlightened self-interest driving you? Could you do more for your world and therefore for yourself?

How many of your actions yesterday feathered your own nest and cost somebody else something they didn’t want to give away?

In your lifetime what have been the ideas, theories etc once accepted as truth that are no longer believed in or relevant?

In your business what 'imagined orders' in the forms of processes, policies, procedures, practices and systems will you reimagine and replace?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS I've been a keen student of what the last 500 years of history has brought us and the consequences for most of my adult life.

Below is a selection of works I recommend in addition to the 'Sapiens' book referenced here.

Here's my full recommended reading list.

Elkington, John; Hartigan, Pamela; The Power of Unreasonable People, Harvard Business Press, 2008

Flannery, Tim; The Weather Makers, Text Publishing, 2005

Friedman, Thomas; Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin
Books, 2008

Friedman, Thomas; The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Anchor Books a division of
Random House, Inc. 2000

Friedman, Thomas; The World is Flat, Penguin, 2006

Gerzon, Mark; Global Citizens, Rider, 2010

Gore, Al; The Assault on Reason, Bloomsbury, 2007

Gore, Al; The Future, W H Allen, 2013

Goldin, Ian and Kutarna, Chris; Age Of Discovery, Bloomsbury, 2016

Grayling, A. C.; The God Argument The Case against Religion and for Humanism, Bloomsbury, 2013

Grayling, A. C.; The Age of Genius The Seventeenth Century & The Birth of The Modern Mind, Bloomsbury, 2016

Heffernan, Margaret; Willful Blindness, Simon & Shuster, 2011

Hitchens, Christopher; God is Not Great, Allen & Unwin, 2007

Holiday, Ryan; Ego Is The Enemy, Profile Books Ltd, 2016

Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell; What Matters Most – Business, Social 
Responsibility and the End of the Era of Greed, Random House, 2004

Hollender, Jeffrey and Bill Breen; The Responsibility Revolution, Jossey-Bass,

Hurst, Aaron; The Purpose Economy, Elevate Publishing, 2016

Keen, Andrew; The Internet Is Not The Answer, Atlantic Books, 2015

Kiel, Fred; Return On Character - The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, Harvard Business Review Press, 2015

Korten, David C; Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The People-Centred Development Forum, 2nd edition, 2010

Laloux, Frederic; Reinventing organisations, Nelson Parker, 2014

Leonhard, Gerd; Technology vs. Humanity The coming clash between man and machine, Fast Future Publishing Ltd 2016

Macdonald, Hector; Truth How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality, Bantam Press, 2018

McKeown, Greg; essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Virgin Books, 2014

Neumeier, Marty; Metaskills: Five Talents For The Robotic Age, New Rider, 2013

Newport, Cal; Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, GrandCentral Publishing, 2016

Peters, Tom; The Excellence Dividend Principles for Prospering in Turbulent Times from a Lifetime in Pursuit of Excellence, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2018

Pinker, Steven; Enlightenment Now - The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Penguin 2018

Porritt, Jonathon; Capitalism as if the World Matters, Earthscan, 2005

Raworth, Kate; Doughnut Economics Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, rh business books, 2017

Sisodia, Raj, Sheth, Jag, Wolfe David B; Firms of Endearment, Wharton School
Publishing, 2007

Yunus, Muhammad; A World of Three Zeros, Scribe Publications, 2017

Monday, 12 November 2018

Competency based assessment is only a tiny part of the success story

Competency based assessment has a place however it is a small place compared to all the others pictured.

To improve recruitment, induction, and retention of employees, everyone’s overall well-being, and ultimately of course performance, assess all seven pictured.

If you’d like some help please give me a shout.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The great story of Change Please Coffee and Virgin Trains

This is a great enlightened self-interest story of big business helping a social enterprise make a big impact in solving a social problem.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Words to eliminate from your business language

I like this article by Eric J. McNulty and the diagram below is from his article.

What words have you/should you ban from your workplace?

I also like Eric's use of the word harmony in his article. I much prefer harmony to alignment or balance. Here's my best example of harmony.

Language is the fertile ground (starting place) for achieving your personal and business purpose and any outcome you desire. When language elevates conversations and conversations enrich relationships the work (transactions and interactions) is enhanced and results take care of themselves.

The model above is a favourite with my clients.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 5 November 2018

When your call is not urgent or important

The tram is jam packed. Some of us are literally hanging from the rafters!

A guy two bodies away from me is oblivious. He's on his so-called smart phone speaking loudly on a call that's obviously not urgent or important.

In my view this guy is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few minutes after I get off the tram a young girl runs into the old lady walking near me because she's glued to her phone. She doesn't apologise or even recognise the older woman.

In my view this girl is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few hours later I'm on the train going home. A middle aged man opposite me never stopped taking or making telephone calls for the next hour. I now know lots about him, none of which is very impressive.

In my view this man is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

When your call is not urgent or important don't make it. You don't need to be on your bloody phone every waking hour.

According to recent research from Harvard Business School, being always on lessens our effectiveness. Read more.

I gave up on a 24/7 always on world a long ago. I knew it wasn't good for me or anyone else. I choose when to email, when to call, when I do anything. I also choose when to receive calls from others and when to read anything others send. You?

By all means take pictures whenever you like, however please show respect to other people and their privacy. And please don't forget to experience the wonders of life in the moment without your bloody phone.

One of the great joys of life is to ignore electronic devices for as much of every day as possible.

I personally love the weekends because most of the time my electronic devises are switched off and in the cupboard out of sight.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Making progress in meaningful work visible

I’m currently presenting and hosting a series of master-classes as I complete the writing of this final book in a trilogy.

Learn more about the master-classes held in Ballarat on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Each master-class is standalone and is on one of the 9 fundamentals of value-driven leadership aka law of the farm leadership.

The 9 are pictured at the bottom of this post along with a link to the pulse check where you can assess where you're at and where you can move to in each of the 9 as well as the other key areas of value-driven leadership.

This post is from the content component in the change leadership section of the book.

In a nutshell

For most of my 48 years working life I’ve observed that in the very best workplaces progress towards shared objectives has been visible via scorecards and/or scoreboards of some kind.

When ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ concept began to be adopted from 1996 not only did the pictures get better, so did what was being pictured.

In the last 8 years there’s been a further raising of the bar as the wisest people apply ‘The Progress Principle’ which was rated by Harvard Business Review as the breakthrough idea of 2010.

You can learn more about ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ and ‘The Progress Principle’ via this link.

The key for me about ‘The Progress Principle’ is the insight "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

I’ve never thought much of the idea that what gets measured gets done. I’m much more aligned with the following:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
William Bruce Cameron in 'Informal Sociology' published 1963.

3 recommended actions

1) Have a candid, convivial and compassionate conversation with your team about your keeping score philosophy.

Ask these questions:

How much is our focus on tangibles or outcomes/results?

How can we get better at focusing on intangibles or processes or routines/rituals, i.e the things that lead to our outcomes/results.

2) Explore the concept "making progress in meaningful work visible” with your team. 

How could you embrace it and make it integral to daily work in your workplace?

3) Use visual formats and processes that the people involved relate to

Beyond traffic lights, graphs, thermometers and the like, what visual formats will you use to “making progress in meaningful work visible,” and that people really relate to?

Recommended Deep work

1) Over time create harmony between Key Human Indicators and Key Performance Indicators.

I first learned the phrase Key Human Indicators from futurist Gerd Leonhard.

I also love Gerd’s idea of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

In my work with clients the behaviours that demonstrate the living of values are key human indicators. Here’s an example from Jamie Wilson, Sales manager for Victoria, Australia for Haymes Paint:

“In all interactions and transactions with fellow employees and business partners we perform with passion, pride in our work, professionalism, and the highest levels of honesty.”

Key Human Indicators are also the essential skills required to thrive in the new world of work.

Below is a partial list of these skills. What would you add to the list?

empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships. Source.

Influence, Self-leadership, Communication, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity,
Vulnerability, Humour. Source.

2) The skills referenced above are all critical to value delivery. What other lead value delivery indicators need to be maximised in your workplace.

The format is which people receive what they want is one such lead indicator.

Elements of your customer’s experience when doing business with you are indicators.

I love the insight that it's jobs being made redundant not people. Learn more about this.

Make a list of the jobs that you believe will never be redundant? What you've listed are a key to value delivery.

Being of value is the great quest we're all on. As Einstein put it:

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value"
Albert Einstein

3) Create and execute a plan over the next year to improve your communication, conversations and presentations in general and also about "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

These are the outer ring of the essential skills and attitudes essential to thriving in the modern world. Learn about my unique program where you can improve in these areas in your own best way.

Be remarkable.
Assess where you're at and where you can move to in each of the 9 above as well as the other key areas of value-driven leadership by completing the pulse check from here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Simplify Your Slides To Enhance Your Presentations - Guest post by Michael Dodd

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Michael Dodd, and HT to friend and colleague of us both Derek Willians who features.

Imagine you’re told that a great guru has something vital to tell you.

The guru lives at the top of a mountain – as gurus do.

You cross deserts and crocodile-infested rivers before climbing the rugged slopes to reach him.

Finally you meet.

But instead of looking you in the eye and spouting wisdom, the guru holds up a big sheet of cardboard with lots of tiny writing on it.

He expects you to read all the words.

This is difficult because, while you try to decipher the meaning, the guru looks at the cardboard himself and simultaneously seeks to explain it.

You don’t know whether to focus on what the guru says or the written words.

Eventually you give up trying to read – and give up listening to the guru.

By now you don’t think he really is a guru – and you’re almost asleep.


Alas this experience is much the same as when you sit through a poorly planned presentation with a bad set of wordy slides.

Presenters who do the equivalent of this to their unfortunate audiences may know masses of useful stuff.

But little enlightenment usually takes place – and, in the end, such presenters undermine their status as potential gurus.

This happens with particular frequency to audiences in high-tech industries.

I know because I’m increasingly asked by those in high tech industries to rescue them and their unfortunate audiences.

It’s a pleasure and privilege to do so, especially as technical experts frequently prove to be quick, keen and delightful improvers with important things to say.

But while they’re not typically what you might call “natural” presenters, techy folk like to know useful formulae, quick tips and simple guidelines to put them on the right track – and they often surprise themselves with how well they can put it all into action.


Here’s the key tip for everyone who wants to avoid inflicting bad slide presentations upon their audiences.

Make your slides better by using fewer words and more pictures!

As a real guru on presentation might say: Too Many Bullet Points Kill.

Ask yourself, how many words are there on the front of a great movie poster that you remember – or a great book cover or a great pop album?

It’s very few.

A great slide can often help you get your message across in a similar way if it’s largely pictorial.

If you look closely at the picture below you can see a speaker showing slide of a movie poster with just one word – “Jaws”.

One emotive image (in this case a set of fierce set of shark teeth) enables a speaker to grab attention visually and say something verbally at the same time without overloading audience members and while looking directly at them.

If you need to convey a lot of factual information, make a self-contained written handout that everyone can read through afterwards when you’re not talking to them at the same time!!!

A good graphic slide doesn’t need to be self-contained, because you can add information verbally as it’s examined.

But a good handout must be self-contained, so it can be understood by audience members on the train or plane on the way home.

If the graphic slides in your presentation are memorable, audience members will understand the handout all the better.


Let me tell you about one single effective slide from a colleague in the Professional Speaking Association, Derek Williams.

Derek is a fantastically positive person who has built an organisation designed to give positive feedback to those who deserve it.

Rather than catching people doing things wrong – as so many do – Derek and his organisation catch people doing things right.

Derek also reckons many companies are more geared towards dealing with complaints than to receive praise.

In his presentations, Derek conveys this with just one slide.

It just takes a quick glance at the slide, with a short verbal explanation to get point!


Derek’s business is called “The WOW! Awards”.

It helps deserving organisations and their people to avoid the problem of too many complaints and not enough praise where its due.

This is good for morale, engagement and productivity.

There’s more at: the wow awards. 


If you want to know more, there’s a chance you can get a ticket to a hugely positive WOW! Awards ceremony at the Tower Of London on 30 November.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this possibility, email:

Warning: there will be a lot of positive “wow” stories at the Tower.

This could be a shock to the Tower Of London itself, as the venue is better known for less positive things like hanging and torturing.

But it is a place of intriguing stories.

And stories should make up a chunk of what your presentation contains – ideally supported by largely pictorial slides, or no slides at all.

Telling the right stories or informing people about real life examples is a great way to enliven presentations.

If your team would benefit from knowing how to do this, you can book a keynote speech for your conference on “Becoming Inspirational Communicators”.

There’s more at:

And to ensure you and your team fascinate your audiences – rather than kill with too many bullet points – you can book master classes or one-to-one sessions on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact And Pizzazz”.

Details are at:

I'd also highly recommend Michael's great book. 

Free chapter and more here.

Monday, 29 October 2018

The big power of small to medium sized businesses

The following describes what Mittlestand, or small to medium businesses stand for. Learn more about Mittlestand and my source.

Family ownership or family-like corporate culture
Generational continuity
Long-term focus
Emotional attachment
Investment into the workforce
Lean hierarchies
Customer focus
Social responsibility
Strong regional ties

My clients reflect the above. It's why I love them.

When I work with listed companies I want to see these characteristics.

My belief is simple: profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business.

My clients put people first and shareholders last. After all shareholder wealth is a result not a reason.

Be remarkable.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Friday, 26 October 2018

What if it's jobs not people being made redundant?

I love this headline:

In the future of work it's jobs, not people,
that will become redundant

Read the full article by Leena Nair Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever.

Hat tip to my friend and colleague David Ednie for letting me know about this article

Leena ends her article with the following:

We need to reimagine the future of work and employment by redefining the employee cycle as well as how workers help deliver our business and create a mechanism that integrates the two.

This is the new social contract of work. Jobs become redundant from time to time but people do not need to. It is possible to create employment for life if we are willing to learn, unlearn and relearn our entire lives.

I couldn't agree more.

Very much fits my picture of the new world of work where humans focus on being remarkable and doing work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Good is the new average and remarkable is the new normal

I like this piece by Bernadette Jiwa about good being the new average.

Yet what I'm helping my clients to achieve is to be remarkable.

When I undertake performance assessment with my clients below are the criteria:

The quest is to be remarkable because remarkable is the new normal.

Be remarkable.

PS You can download my 'Remarkable is the new normal' workbook with my compliments from here.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Monday, 22 October 2018

What experience, aspiration, lifestyle are you offering?

In an article 'Special Isn’t What You Think' David Clarke, PwC’s global chief experience officer, suggests 4 ways to assess your business to see if you really are special in what you're offering.

1) Your friends and family have workplace envy. 
2) You’re spending less on media.
3) People love to work for you — like, really love it.
4) You’re not a want anymore, you’re a must-have — a new need.

I recommend taking a closer look at these by reading the full article.

Another way you assess your standing, which the article hints at is, what experience, aspiration, lifestyle are you offering your customers/clients?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 19 October 2018

There can only be trouble when everyone is telling and no one is listening

Simon: I think you just summed up the problem in our country today: too much telling and not enough listening. The left is trying to tell the right, the right is trying to tell the left. The pro-gun lobby is trying to tell the gun control lobby, and the gun control lobby is trying to tell the pro-gun lobby. Everybody is telling everybody what it should be and what they should do, and nobody listens. If I had a friend in that position, I wouldn’t tell him anything. I would ask, “Are you happy? How are you? What is going on?” I would shut up and listen.

I think this is one of the most essential skills in life that has almost completely fallen by the wayside and in modern America, which is the art of listening, the skill of listening—a very difficult skill that requires education and tons of practice. If you do it right, active listening makes you exhausted by the end because it takes so much energy. Where you don’t just hear the words that are spoken, but you understand the meaning behind those words. Where you seek out common ground, to try to find whether there are common values—only then can you actually start to have a discussion.

I think the lesson is best captured by a story that Nelson Mandela used to tell. He was asked once, “How did you learn to become a great leader?” What people don’t realize is that he was actually born the son of a tribal chief, and he said, “I went to tribal meetings with my father when I was a boy, and I remember two things: They always sat in a circle, and my father was always the last to speak.”

The above is from this great interview with Simon Sinek by Jordan Harbinger

The image above is from this article (which was referenced in the Sinek/Harbinger interview) It's title in part Conversation Is a Skill. I couldn't agree more.

A lot of my work with my clients is helping them to become remarkable at conversations, what begins them and whats flows from them because my great conclusion from my work is that

Enlightened Language elevates conversations,
Conversations enrich relationships,
Relationships enable business.

Be remarkable.
Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Monday, 15 October 2018

Value delivery is the essential ingredient for success whatever business you're in

The following is an extract from my Remarkable is the new normal workbook.

You can download the full workbook from here.


We are all regardless of our product/s/service/s in the business of delivering value to all our stakeholders, value that they demand, desire, and feel that they deserve.

If you don’t know what value each of your stakeholders wants you had better ask them and quickly because if you don’t know or wait to long to find out your business is on the slippery slope to extinction rather than distinction!

What Employees Really Want From Employers
(from my research over the past two decades)

Appreciation. The eminent psychologist William James observed: “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
To be held to account via regular, constructive performance feedforward and feedback
Opportunity to master something
Role satisfaction
A feeling that their work contributes to a higher purpose
Knowing that their work is helping them to achieve their aspirations
Open, regular, truthful, information gathering and sharing
Remuneration perceived to be at least equal to effort
Trust and trustworthiness
Happy and healthy working environment
Fairness in all dealings
Hope for the future

How well are you providing your employees with the above?

How can you do better?

Would you add anything to my list?

What Employees Really Want From Each Other
(from my research over the past two decades)

Goal and strategy alignment
Promises kept
Open communication
Understanding of personal needs
Trust, trustworthiness, and confidence
Appreciation, support and encouragement
Sense of family
Acceptance of the merit of ideas
Mutual respect 

How well are your employees providing each other with the above?

How can your employees do better?

Would your employees add anything to my list?

What customers/clients really want

Geoffrey James has sold and written hundreds of features, articles and columns for many publications including Wired, Men's Health, Business 2.0, SellingPower, Brand World, Computer Gaming World, CIO, The New York Times.

Geoffrey believes all customers want the same 12 things, regardless of who they are, who is selling to them or what they’re buying.

In my work over the past 25 years I would concur with every one of these.

 They want to feel important.
 They want to be appreciated.
 They want you to stop talking about yourself.
 They want you to stop talking about your firm.
 They want you to truly listen.
 They want to be understood.
 They want to teach YOU something.
 They want and need your help.
 They want to buy something.
 They want you to delight and surprise them.
 They want to pretend they make logical decisions.
 They want success and happiness.

On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being remarkable how well are you delivering on the above 12?

How can you and your employees do better?

Would you add anything to Geoffrey’s list?

You can download the full workbook from here.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The power of making progress in meaningful work visible

I was staggered recently to view a Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) document. None were indicators they were all desired outcomes for the year.

I took the person I was meeting with through this 2011 post about lead measures.

Our conversation then moved to discussing the progress principle and the power of making progress in meaningful work visible.

Below are three previous posts about this topic that summarise what we talked about.

The Art and Science of Scorecards/Scoreboards and Meaningful Metrics Matter Most

The principles of progress and the progress principle

"Key human indicators" trump the traditional and tired KPI's

In your workplace is progress in meaningful work visible?

If not making this happen is one of most remarkable actions that you can take. Should you love some help please give me a shout.

If you're in my neighbourhood join me for the master-class on this topic in Ballarat on the 24th October. You can register here.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

5 ways to get away from The Greedy Bastards

In my country Australia bastard in the right context can be a term of endearment. Not in this article.

In my life-time (I’m 64) we have shifted from the economy being part of society to society being part of the economy. I for one am on a mission to change this. You?

Why? Economic growth and the pursuit of it is killing us (think oil, data, privacy, elections, you name it), and our planet.

One of my heroes is Sir David Attenborough.

He says “Anyone who thinks we can have infinite growth on a finite planet is either a madman or an economist.”

And yet growth dominates the language of our politicians and business leaders.

Growth is high on the agenda of BREXIT. As I write it’s looking like BRINO (‘Brexit In Name Only’)!

Why? Greedy Bastards.

Just ask the people of Greece. And Italy. And Spain. Ask anywhere!

In particular be aware of greedy bastards wearing suits of doing good. Wolves in sheeps clothing for sure.

BREXIT was a dumb idea in the first place. It smacks of blaming your next door neighbour for the weeds growing in your garden.

And Trump. Don’t get me started. He is greed personified. His charade will end in tears and America will take a generation to recover.

I’ve got everything crossed that he doesn’t take us all into demise.

This is all one reason that I’m focused on thriving in my professional practice rather than growing. I also want to get away from the greedy bastards.

I admit I’m towards the end of my tilt. Nevertheless I’m a decade into the thriving business.

I began in 2008 albeit then, unwillingly.

The 15th September 2008 collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers was arguably the peak of the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis.

Our world hasn’t recovered.

I was going gangbusters then. I was traveling all the time and doing over 50% of my work outside Australia. The greedy bastards in the financial system brought it all to a halt.

I went back to surviving and gradually moved to thriving. I set goals to thrive not necessarily to grow. And I created systems and processes to ensure sustainability regardless of what the greedy bastards do or don’t do.

There’s strong evidence of course that our financial system is still a shambles.

Here in Australia our financial system is currently under the microscope via a Royal Commission.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne's interim findings take your breath away, including he says “greed is the root cause of bad behaviour in financial advice.”

The good news is that there is an economics that’s good for everyone as Kate Raworth explores in her wonderful book Doughnut Economics.

While we’re bringing in the new financial system we need to beat the greedy bastards. 

Here’s 5 recommendations:

Greed is defined here as selfish want for something beyond one's need.

And typically greed is associated with wealth or power.

1) Resist and stand against talk about growth for growth’s sake

Let’s talk about thriving, living in harmony, leaving the earth better than we found it and acting on this talk.

2) Let’s stop talking about the economy and instead talk about society. 

A good rule before making any major decisions is to ask “How will this be good for my grandchildren?

3) Lobby Governments to ditch GDP and other useless measurements

This idea comes from The Rules ideas into post growth.  They say:

"We could start by ditching GDP as an indicator of success in favor of a more balanced measure like the Genuine Progress Indicator, which accounts for negative “externalities” like pollution and material depletion.   We could roll out a new money system that doesn’t pump our system full of interest-bearing debt. And we could start thinking about putting caps on material use, so that we never extract more than the Earth can regenerate.”

4) Live within your means

Global Debt is about $250 trillion of which approximately a fifth ($50 trillion) is household debt.

Take a close look at your debt levels personally and in your business. Can you honestly say you are living within your means personally and in your business?

If not immediately begin to take corrective action.

Recently my wife and I updated our wills and created powers of attorney our children had to sign. My daughter asked if she would be left with any debt. The answer is no yet it is a good question to ask.

5) Limit the number of products and services you buy that are produced and provided by listed companies

The ABC News in Australia stock market report by Alan Kohler makes me laugh a) he has a sense of humour and b) listed companies here make up about a third of the economy.

The real economy, mostly made up of small to medium enterprises, hardly ever rate a mention.

The stock market is licensed gambling. I don’t want people running companies financed by gamblers (shareholders) to have any influence in my life therefore wherever possible I buy from non-listed companies.

When I do buy from listed companies I’m always endeavouring to ensure that the companies are purpose not profit driven, are known for their ethics, and are genuinely being good citizens.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

“Blasphemous is the dogma that greed is godly and markets are sacred” say Frederick Bird and Henry Mintzberg in their great article Nailing Corporate Reformation to the Door.

Be remarkable.

PS I highly recommend the work of Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna.

Greed and greedy bastards in my view were part of the modern dark ages which preceded the new renaissance explored in this book.

Goldin and Kutarna compare discoveries of the great European Renaissance (1450 - 1550) to the New Renaissance happening now (since 1990).

At around the 11 minute mark in Chris Kutarna's video below he talks about the irrelevance of GDP in today's world.

Friday, 5 October 2018

The delights and delusions of decision-making

I like this New York Times article by Steven Johnson about decision-making.

I particularly like the concept of “premortem” from psychologist Gary Klein.

“Our exercise,” Dr. Klein explains, “is to ask planners to imagine that it is months into the future and that their plan has been carried out. And it has failed. That is all they know; they have to explain why they think it failed.”

The article also references work by Professor Paul Nutt whose work I myself referenced in this slideshare

Ian Berry - the right decisions, at the right time, by the right people from Ian Berry

Please note that most of the last slide in the above no longer applicable. My phone number is still the same!

Who will you become?

What will you do next to make better decisions?

I highly recommend reading this book as one great action you can take.

This is a great book about the reliability and unreliability of the intuitive and conscious minds and human rationality, irrationality and other thought provoking concepts. It makes my top 21 books I recommend you read.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Best Workplace on Earth

According to workplace researchers Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones what makes “the best workplace on earth” are the following:

IDENTITY: “Let me be myself”
TRANSPARENCY: “Tell me what I need to know to get my job done”
TALENT: “Help me develop my skills”
PRIDE: “Give me a place where I can say I’m proud to work”
MEANING: “Give me work that’s meaningful, not menial”
SUPPORT: “Don’t get in the way with stupid rules”

I recommend taking the "dream company" diagnostic by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones to see how you're going in each of these areas.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Enlightened Language elevates conversations, Conversations enrich relationships, Relationships enable business

As mentioned in this previous post, during my month away from using all forms of media I significantly upgraded my intellectual property which is all available digitally with my compliments here.

This has also led me to upgrading my professional services offerings to focus on helping you to adopt in your own best way the proven model pictured below and summarised thus:

Enlightened Language elevates conversations, 
Conversations enrich relationships, 
Relationships enable business.

You can learn more about my upgraded professional services via my website.

A completely new service is a mentoring your mentors program which ensures participants become maestro mentor. Learn more.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 28 September 2018

The New Leadership Paradigm

I like the diagram below a lot. Download yourself.

I also like these 4 X factors. You can read the article about these here.

Who will you become?

What will you do next to enhance your leadership?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Why free speech is vital and how we keep it a basic human right?

My friend, colleague and psychologist Peter Milligan and myself have had a number of conversations recently about free speech. We've decided to record them with the view to widening the conversation. Here's the first

Be remarkable.

Monday, 24 September 2018

My 9 key lessons from not participating in social and mainstream media for a month

It's now a month since I started my experiment of not participating in social or mainstream media for a month and seeking more human to human connection. You can read my reasons for doing this here.

Here's my 9 key lessons:

1) I've enjoyed and given and gained great value from conversations in person and online where there wasn't a smart phone distracting or disrupting us.

2) I have a couple of hours per day to be a better human, and to better experience nature and other humans.

I'm better and wiser for the experience particularly as I can invest in more deep work a concept I love.

Here's an example of this: since Monday the 3rd I've invested 30 minutes a day of my extra 2 hours using the Pink Sheet process from Matt Church and Peter Cook at Thought Leaders to upgrade my intellectual property.

I combined this with previous work. Result is that what I've got in store for my clients is "less but better."

3) Life is so much better without the negativity, self-interest and bias, and the bullshit (fake news, lies and propaganda) of all forms of the media.

4) As a consequence of unsubscribing from emails that are just fronts for trying to flog me stuff I don't want or need my in-box is much easier to empty every day and my replies to other emails are better and more valuable to the recipients.

5) I'm much more relaxed. I feel a better human. I'm free of the false feeling of the need to be liked, instead I'm more loved by family, friends, colleagues and clients (and my dog!).

6) Living a life without the constant noise of the media in the background means that my life is more peaceful and in harmony and flow.

7) My social network more than ever now is being in person with family, friends, colleagues and clients. Online still has a place in my future particularly in increasing the value of my relationships with my network through technology like Zoom. The big difference is that I'll be much more deliberate in choosing when, where and what. I've lost interest in algorithms and their undue influence.

8) Just sitting and thinking and often just sitting are more of a practice now. Less distracted by technology and more distracted by life in a non shallow way.

9) I'm more valuable to the people who matter in my life.

What would happen to your life if you stopped participating in social and mainstream media for a month?

Be remarkable.

PS This blog will now resume 3 posts per week, Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's. If you feel this should be less please let me know.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Public wanted ex-PM yet party didn't, why I'm giving all media a rest

Below is the opening paragraph in a article of July 16th 2018.

Malcolm Turnbull has widened the gap as preferred prime minister in the latest Newspoll, extending his lead over Bill Shorten to 19 per cent. Mr Turnbull has increased his preference rating by two points to 48 with Mr Shorten dropping two points to 29 in the last fortnight, according to the poll published in The Australian.

And yet just over a month later Mr. Turnbull has been taken down by his own party.

Even Parliament was suspended because the Government couldn't sort itself out.

In my view it should never have ended this way for Mr. Turnbull.

He strikes me as having the civility, dignity and the skills to lead us. Yet a few out of touch with the people members of his own party, behaving like bullies, believe their way is the only way, not the people's way. Classic tail wagging the dog.

The good news is that the bullies lost. We now have however a more conservative leader who I doubt can lead for all.

I predict that because of this and the chaos that led to his election, Mr. Morrison will lose the next election. This means we will have a Labor leader (so-called) who wasn't the preferred person by his own rank and file and is devoid of leadership skills.

From my perspective mainstream media is complicit in all this appalling behaviour. I have lost faith in most journalists now as well as the Parliament.

Just another reason I'm having a media (mainstream and social) free month from 5 pm tonight as I announced last Monday.

See you in a month. And as per the link above please give me a call.

Be remarkable.

PS Why Everyone Should Watch Less News by Ryan Holiday

PSS and a very interesting piece from Dr. Jason Fox The Post-Social Media Era

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Matching conversation type to situation

I'm currently presenting and hosting a series of master-classes as I complete the writing of this final book in a trilogy.

Learn more about the master-classes held in Ballarat on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Each master-class is standalone and is on one of the 12 fundamentals of law of the farm leadership aka fully human leadership.

The 12 are pictured at the bottom of this post along with a link to the pulse check where you can assess where you're at and where you can move to in each of the 12 as well as the 5 foundations and 5 faces.

This post is the 'Matching conversation type to situation ' chapter of the book.
In a nutshell

Leadership has much to do with building and sustaining high value, mutually rewarding relationships.

A key component is seeing/hearing behaviour (acceptable and not), calling both out and facilitating conversations that appreciate acceptable behaviour, help people to be accountable when there's been slippage, and sustain or restore alignment.

Post these conversations it's important to document agreements and how progress will be made visible.

Mastery of 8 styles of conversations (includes communication in general as well as presentations) and 7 situations are essential for success.

These 15 elements are the subject matter for my ebook pictured below. Here's the download link.

3 recommended actions

1) Download the ebook above and commit to mastering each of the elements.

2) Undertake the performance possibility pulse check inside the ebook involving as many people who you work closely with and who know you well.

3) Commit to undertaking the pulse check regularly and sharing it and your proposed actions with your colleagues.

Recommended deep work

1) Commit to formal learning each year that means your continually improving your communication, presentation and conversation attitude and skills.

2) Work with mentors both inside and external to your workplace who will help you to apply your formal learning.

3) Become a communication, presentation and conversation mentor yourself to people inside and external to your workplace.

I encourage you to share your progress as you do your work at a first Monday of the month Accountability Accelerator.

Below are the other fundamentals.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Are trillion dollar companies good for society?

If I was on the jury determining whether or not  trillion dollar companies are good for society we'd be undecided. What's your thoughts?

In my lifetime (I'm 64) society has become part of the economy instead of the economy being part of society. This leads to misplaced priorities and poor decisions.

I confess to being a satisfied Apple mac user. And I like what CEO Tim Cook says, nevertheless I'm nervous about companies having more cash than countries. Your thoughts?

"(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Thursday that the iPhone maker’s $1 trillion market capitalization was “not the most important measure” of the company’s success but was instead a result of its focus on its products, customers and company values."

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

7 essentials for ensuring your best communication, presentations and conversations

The unique combination and nuances of your communication, presentations and conversations attitude and skills are paramount because they determine the value of your relationships both personal and in business.

The value of your relationships of course determine your personal and business success.

Your ability and willingness to be candid, convivial and compassionate in all your communication, presentations and conversations are both the fast track and the best way to sustain high value, mutually rewarding relationships.

Here are my 7 essentials for bringing your best:
Be remarkable.

Monday, 13 August 2018

The unique combination and nuances of your communication, presentations and conversations

For me leadership is the art of ensuring people feel valued.

Only when we feel valued can we be the best version of ourselves, that one-of-a-kind human being that each of us is.

To succeed as a leader you must value yourself first which is why self-awareness is the number 1 essential skill of leadership.

Awareness of others is the number 2 essential leadership skill. We must invest time and energy in getting to know people so that we can truly value them and therefore embrace the art of ensuring they feel valued.

The unique combination and nuances of your communication, presentations and conversations attitude and skills are paramount because they determine the value of your relationships both personal and in business. 

The value of your relationships of course determine your personal and business success.

My latest ebook will help you to ensure that your communication, presentations and conversations are candid, convivial and compassionate which I regard as both the fast track and the best way to sustain high value, mutually rewarding relationships.

Inside the ebook there's a performance possibility pulse meaning you can assess where you're at and where you can move to.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 10 August 2018

To be or not to be?

My wife's passion for and involvement over many years in the theatre meant a pilgrimage some years back to the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

On our pilgrimage I bought a fridge magnet that holds pride of place on my office whiteboard.

“To be or not to be” really is the question.

And “This above all. To thine own self be true.” really is the answer.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Your brain is a better camera than your smartphone

I love this article If you really want to remember a moment, try not to take a photo by Manoush Zomorodi and this image from the article.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

because your brain is a better camera than your smartphone.

Be remarkable.