Wednesday 30 October 2019

A word or words to guide your choices and actions

For the past 4 years I've been following the 3 word ritual I learned from Chris Brogan.

He says: I practice a ritual called “My 3 Words.” The idea is that you think up three words that will help guide your choices and actions over the coming year. This has become quite an event, with thousands and thousands of people working their way through the ritual and planning their year based on their own three words. Read more from Chris.

My 3 words this year have been people, processes and progress which have really helped me to hone my performance personally as well as with my clients.

For 2020 I'v chosen just one word. I learned about this concept from Dr Jason Fox. Learn more from Jason here, and in his short video here.

I'm going to lean into my one word gradually which is why I've begun this quest early!

I like Jason's insight that he shares in the video of choosing a bundle of behaviours to do with his one word. I'm working on this.

I love Jason's idea that the one word we choose is a gift to everyone around us and that we can draw on others to live our one word.

My one word is
What will your one word be?

or if you are going with 3 words, what will they be?

If you take Jason's advice to heart you will sit with these ideas for a time. He says let it percolate. When you're clear please let me know your decision so that I can help you.

Be remarkable.

Monday 28 October 2019

Aligning your personal and business goals with those of the United Nations

Below are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. You can learn more about them here.

I'm noticing more and more people individually, in business and in partnerships aligning with these goals.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday 25 October 2019

Make your message a 'Micro-Statement’ (Macro-Statements Tell, Micro-Statements Compel)

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

One sentence introductions or the traditional tagline are meant to be “Read rather than said” to quote presentation guru Graham Davies who calls them Macro-Statements.

I swear by Graham’s book.

In his book regarding Macro-Statements Graham says “they’re meant to be a floodlight rather than a spotlight.”

Graham recommends Micro-Statements for live, spoken presentations.

“A Micro-Statement is a sequence of words that quickly and compellingly captures the essence of your presentation in a way that is specifically shaped for the needs of a specific audience at a particular time.”
Graham Davies

You can get Graham's book here.

I take Graham’s advice to heart in my preparation for every presentation, communication and conversation in my work with clients. I create the Micro-Statement first for each audience, each time.

In preparing the content for each presentation, communication or conversation I use a Pink Sheet, which is a wonderful tool created by Matt Church and Peter Cook, as well as Graham’s insights.

You can get your copy of Think here.

I have Pink Sheets for all my main areas that I work with clients on. I just up date them or modify them to suit each piece of work.

Below is the Pink Sheet I created for one of the conversations I hosted about shared-view.

I find the explanation of the statement valuable for conversations in particular.


Macro-Statements Tell, Micro-Statements Compel. To inspire people to take action however you need a model, or a metaphor, a study or a story. Sometimes you need all four!

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Do your work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

What is your change process?

A lot of my work with clients continues to be about thriving on the challenges of change.

People being and doing the best are following a process like Bernadette Jiwa's one below or John Kotter's underneath Bernadette's.

I also have my own change process that some clients follow. The version of this pictured below is overlapped with the original process I learned over 40 years ago that originated with W. Edwards Deming Plan - Do - Study/Check - Act.

What's your change process?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday 21 October 2019

The BIG three pathways the most successful leaders are travelling

Since I began working as a mentor professionally 30 years ago I've worked with over 1000 leaders, women and men in all kinds of roles and situations, in a myriad of industries, and in over 40 countries.

What all these highly motivated people have in common is a deep desire to keep on getting better, wiser and more valuable.

Three BIG pathways have emerged that each of these successful people are travelling in their own best way. The three are people, processes, and how progress is measured.


The most successful leaders put their people first and ensure that they are working in the right roles for them.

In the workplaces of these leaders every person is working on a personal and professional development plan to see and bring out their best.

These plans focus daily communication, conversation and presentation.


The most successful leaders are ensuring that strong processes are in place that mean it's simple for people to bring their best to their work.

Processes include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems.

In the very best workplaces all of these are under constant review and are being improved and updated regularly by the people doing the work.


This is the area that I've witnessed the biggest shifts by the most successful leaders.

Profit is just one way to measure progress. Increasingly the very best leaders are seeing profit rightly in my view i.e. it's a result of being good at business never a reason for being in business.

Increasingly the best are embracing a five-fold bottom line. I couldn't say this when I first introduced the concept almost 20 years ago.

In addition The Progress Principle is being widely embraced. This is all about "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

How are you tracking in these three BIG pathways of people, processes and progress?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

The Five-Fold Bottom Line as I first articulated it in the year 2000

"Economic Prosperity:  Making monetary profit is essential for personal and business sustainability and growth; and for our being able to choose our lifestyle now and in the future.

Social Responsibility:  All organisations are made up of individual people.  The cost, and not just economically, of unhealthy and unhappy workers is probably immeasurable. Therefore every organisation has a role to play in helping to prevent social ills.  Businesses must be responsible members of the communities in which we operate. Corporate citizenship is now much more than a sneaky way to promote our brands. 

Environmental Sustainability:  Once, most of us turned a blind eye to waste disposal and a myriad of other environmental disasters. Thankfully most of us no longer do.  As the simple weekly collection of recyclable items in many Australian neighbourhoods demonstrates we can save our planet if we work together.  All businesses have a clear obligation to obtain and dispose of resources in ways that protect and sustain our environment.

Universal Harmony:  We are living in a global village.  The Internet in particular makes it possible to do business with almost anyone, almost anywhere, almost any time.  We are also at war in many places despite the obvious fact that war never leads to peace. As businesses we must ensure that what we make, sell and deliver does not, in any way, contribute to local or global disharmony.  Organisations increasingly have a role to help bring about and sustain universal harmony. 

Spiritual Validity:  In survey after survey what we repeatedly find is that people want, above all else, to be genuinely valued.  For a business this takes much more than being socially responsible.  At no previous time in history has there been such a search for meaning.  Many people are searching outside of the church for spiritual answers. The workplace can no longer be a place where people are treated as mere commodities, or God forbid, resources. 

We must build workplaces that are uplifting for the human spirit.  A bottom line that honours and values the spirit of all people leads to greater performance in all other areas. Organisations who ignore this do so at their peril.

These five bottom lines must be our targets."

Friday 18 October 2019

The awesome opportunities to innovate that happen every day

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

It amazes me that in organisations everywhere problems/challenges/disruptions are not seen as opportunities to innovate. Set yourself apart from the rest and innovate every day.

I define innovation as changing what’s normal when sameness or the status quo is no longer serving you. Four steps precede sustainable innovation. They're pictured below.

The first step, the fertile ground is the insight, idea or inspiration.

Often these come from a problem/challenge or disruption and a subsequent dip in performance. 

Often the insight, idea or inspiration is all there is. The politicians infamous thought bubble is a great example. In their case very rarely does anything innovative actually happen and the status quo is returned too or worse.

In the best organisations the dip in performance is seen as the great opportunity. When this is grasped implementation of insight/idea/inspiration actually happens.

An after-action-review should be a game-changer because the best time to review performance is as soon as possible after the performance. This is why all of the top sports coaches speak with their players in the rooms straight after the game!

Integration of new perceptions with what is already working well for you should be done next. 

I recommend the following 5 stage format for after-action-reviews and integration work:

1) Review one implementation action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans and co-promises on a page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices.

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Moving on from the disgusting and dangerous political game of creating us v them

This is a very powerful TED talk by author and academic Juan Enriquez. I hope it spreads so that we can move to #grownuppolitics and move as far away as possible from the Trumpian cultism we have been sucked into.

Be remarkable.

Monday 14 October 2019

Technology for the common good not just making a few people rich (Doug Rushkoff)

Wonderful 34 minute talk from Doug Rushkoff about how technology should and can be for the common good, not just making a few people rich.

My key takeaways

"Mass production disconnects the worker from the value they create.
Mass marketing disconnects the producer from the consumer.
Mass media disconnects the consumers from one another."

"Using technology to do something to people rather than providing technology for people to do things."

"Optimise an economy not for growth but for flow. Not for the extraction of value and its storage in share prices, but for the velocity of money, the velocity of transactions."

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday 11 October 2019

21st century leadership and management (post and podcast)

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

Much has changed since I entered the workforce 48 years ago.

When I began bosses were seen as God’s. They were revered or hated.

My first boss loved to say “It’s my way or the highway.” I eventually chose the highway.

Today 7 out of 10 people some research suggests don’t leave their employment, they leave their bosses.

When I first became a manager myself I was fortunate that my boss was a people as well as process person.

We arrived in the small town together. He knew the town and the people. I didn’t.

His advice to me was to go and meet everyone in the main three streets and find out how I could help them and then within company policy help them achieve what they say.

Regarding my two staff members he advised me to see their best and to focus on inspiring them to bring that best to their work.

I didn’t really know any better and his advice made sense so I followed it. I was very successful and within a year was promoted to managing a larger office.

It was there that I first began to really understand that leadership and management are two sides of the same coin and that leading is about people and management is about process.

Fast forward to now where I’m closing in on 30 years of being a mentor to leaders. Over this time I have been privileged to work with more than 1000 leaders, women and men in over 40 countries and across a myriad of diverse industries.

My conclusions are that my enlightened boss was right on the money with his advice to me as a brand new manager.

Is success in the future about leadership or management? is a question I am often asked.  My answer is that success is always about both leadership and management, never one or the other.  Therefore it is essential to understand,  appreciate and value the difference between them.

This is where there is often trouble.  For many management is still seen as controlling people and dictating what they feel, think and do and don’t feel, think and do.  This is a nasty hangover from the industrial revolution where it was assumed we could treat people like machines.  The headache this hangover has been allowed to cause is a massive barrier to progress in the 21st century in almost every aspect of our lives.  It is a fundamental reason for non-achievement of what is possible or just plain mediocrity in business, politics, education, family, religion, you name it.

My definitions of leadership and management are therefore sharper than ever.

I define leadership as the art of inspiring people to see and bring the best out in themselves and other people. I define management as the practice of making it simple for people to bring out their best.

For some management is still about command and control. This is fine in emergency situations otherwise it has reached dinosaur status. Don’t be a dinosaur.

Modern management is about ensuring processes mean it is simple for people to bring their best to their work. Processes include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems.

Modern management needs modern leadership and vice-versa.

I suggest a primary action is upgrading all of your processes, policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems over time with your people because you will increase their ownership of and commitment to them. 

Then focus on leading. Just make sure that one of your processes is checking that all the other interconnected processes are working as intended. In today’s language we call this risk management.

This work is that of the Systemizer, one of 5 roles that are essential to master in order to see and bring out the best in people including yourself. Here is the performance possibility pulse check that enables you to see how you’re going in each role and where you can shift to.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Tough-minded, tender-hearted and Temperament

The best, authentic leaders have created harmony for them between being tough-minded and tender-hearted. This harmony is how people describe their temperament.

This behaviour is in stark contrast with many political, religious and business leaders worldwide at the moment. Disharmony characterises many of these people. Trump, Johnson, Morrison come to mind. They're in disharmony with themselves and us.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday 7 October 2019

28 proven exercises to access your full capabilities from Ryan Holiday

I've contemplated and acted on this wonderful guest post by Ryan Holiday on the Tim Ferris blog.

And I've ordered the book!

My favourites from the blog post are:
Realise you have plenty.
Develop your values - memorialise them.
Be present.
Detach From Outcomes.
Take walks.
Cultivate relationships.
Do Good.

Your favourites?

Be remarkable.

Friday 4 October 2019

Unplugging for best health and well-being (post and podcast)

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

A year ago I took a month off from all forms of media, social and mainstream.

I learned many things including the immense value that comes from having a couple of hours extra per day to be a better human, and to better experience nature and other humans.

I learned that conversations in person and online are so much better when there isn’t a smart phone distracting or disrupting us.

I learned life is so much better with less negativity, self-interest and bias, and the bullshit (fake news, lies and propaganda) of all forms of the media.

Overall I became much more relaxed.

Since then I’ve integrated being unplugged from technology as a part of my daily life. I feel a better human.

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

In person with family, friends, colleagues and clients is the place to be for me. Online still has a place in my future particularly in increasing the value of my relationships with my community through technology like Zoom as well as conducting a lot of my mentoring with clients also using Zoom.

The big difference is that I’m much more deliberate in scheduling my time online. I've lost interest in algorithms and their undue influence.

Just sitting and thinking and often just sitting are more of my practice now too. I’m less distracted by technology and more distracted by life in a non shallow way.

I’ve become more valuable to the people who matter in my life.

Is being unplugged from technology a key part of your daily routines and rituals?

The great paradox of all this for me is that I am being more productive than I’ve ever been!

When was the last time you switched off from all forms of technology?

Being unplugged from technology daily is a part of the work of the Simplifier, one of 5 essential roles for seeing and bringing the best out in people, including yourself.

Simplifiers are masters at achieving results through quantum leaps, i.e. small significant shifts, and aggregating marginal gains.

Here's a pulse check for you to complete to see how you’re going in each of the 5 roles.

These are three great books that have helped me to integrate being unplugged for a part of each day. I highly recommend getting these books yourself Essentialism, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism.

The essence of being a essentialist is the concept of “less but better”.

One way that I have embraced “less but better” is to have my daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly rituals documented on one page.

Here's my one page rituals document.

I highly recommend developing your own rituals on one page as a key to being unplugged for your best health and well-being as well as living your most productive life.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

M.I.C.E could be the reason we lack grown up politics

My wife and I are really enjoying the series about Danish politics on SBS called 'Borgen'.

We're into season 3 and a comment by a spy in one episode got me thinking. He said there are many reasons why people betray their country Money, Ideology, Crime and Ego.

Could explain a lot as to why we lack #grownuppolitics in our world right now. Your thoughts?

Good news though. Trump, Johnson and Morrison are doing their best to free us from them through their own extraordinarily dumb rhetoric.

The photo below says it all for me. Source unknown.

Be remarkable.