Friday, 10 July 2020

We all win when everyone is playing their role

This post is preceded by the short video and post here.

In writing more of my Heart-leadership book this week my focus was on joy. Today’s post part of what I wrote.

Upgrading to role clarity statements

With your people document who their customers are (relationships) and what value must be delivered to and/or exchange with each person.

Here's a template:

I’ve helped 100’s of my clients to dispense with job descriptions and replace them with role clarity statements. Below are the headings we use. 

In conjunction with Performance Possibility Plans or plans-on-a-page that I explore here, role clarity statements enable conversations about performance to be elevated and lead to greater accountability.

Do this work and in the space of a few weeks you can expect greater value being delivered and exchanged by everyone, meaning happier employees and happier external customers.

What would you and your employees write under these headings?

Workplace or Business Purpose
Role Purpose
Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities
Key Performance Measures and Key Human Indicators (Lead measures)
Key Relationships of the role and the value that must be delivered to each person
Key outcomes of role (Lag measures)
Required levels of commitment (will) and competency (skill)
Key gifts/talents (essence) required and that need to be enhanced to excel in role and prepare for future roles
Learning and development and career path opportunities

All of the above can be outlined on two sides of an A4 page at the most.

People don't have jobs. We have relationships with other people where value delivery and exchange is paramount to the enjoyment of the relationships and the success of workplace.

Hawthorn Football Club case study and Bill’s story

In 2015 the Hawthorn Football Club won their third successive Australian Football League (AFL) premiership. This feat has only been achieved 6 times in the history of the AFL.

I'm not a supporter of the club. I do admire them greatly.

Their Play Your Role campaign is one action you can emulate and immediately improve your business. Learn more here. 

For over a quarter of a century I've been helping my clients to dispense with job descriptions and replace them with role clarity statements. It all began when I met Bill.

Bill's story

I first met Bill in the early nineties. I was in the early days of doing discovery work into how I could best help Bill's organisation. This meant meeting with lots of people in the offices and factory.

I began to notice that each time I exited a conversation Bill was close by leaning on his broom.

Soon curiosity got the better of me and so I made a beeline for Bill. After explaining who I was and what I was doing I asked Bill "So what's your role?" "I thought you'd never ask me." he replied and then said "I'm the Assistant to the Managing Director.”

Bill's job was Head Cleaner. His role was of far greater significance.

I invested several hours with Bill and learned everything I needed to know about the organisation. Included in what I learned from Bill were two insights he had previously passed on to the management team that they had failed to act on. When they did take action the bottom-line improved by 4 million dollars!

What have your employees been sharing with you lately that you haven't yet acted on?!

Like the Hawthorn Football Club every person working in your business has a key role. Not just the star players, every human being. If you're focused on a few and not the many you're missing a magic opportunity in your business.

When everyone is playing their role we all win.

One simple yet profound action. Lead with your heart. Learn about relationships.

Begin today to have conversations with your employees about their roles.

Over time get rid of job descriptions and replace them with role clarity statements.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

People don’t have jobs. We have roles

In my writing this week of my Heart-leadership book part of my focus was on roles.

One of the most deeply demotivating documents in the workplace is the job description!

The problem I see with most job descriptions is that they list tasks and say very little about relationships or value delivery, the two matters about which every role in your business must be about. And often down the bottom of the form are the words "and anything else as directed.” As I say highly demotivating.

Job descriptions are a hangover from the Industrial Revolution and they still cause headaches.

Role clarity statements, my recommended replacement for job descriptions, improve well-being.

Dispense with job descriptions and watch your people soar.

Every person in your workplace has a role to deliver value to and to exchange value with other people. Value that we all demand, desire, and feel that we deserve. I sometimes refer to these as must have’s, should have’s and nice-to-haves.

"Your customer is whoever gets your work next." said the great Japanese management thinker Kaoru Ishikawa.

I highly recommend taking Iskikawa’s concept to heart and undertake a value delivery and exchange review and then in collaboration upgrade everyone’s role clarity statements.

Here's a template

Workplace or Business Purpose
Role Purpose
Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities
Key Performance Measures and Key Human Indicators (Lead measures)
Key Relationships of the role and the value that must be delivered to each person
Key outcomes of role (Lag measures)
Required levels of commitment (will) and competency (skill)
Key gifts/talents (essence) required and that need to be enhanced to excel in role and prepare for future roles
Learning and development and career path opportunities

All of the above can be outlined on two sides of an A4 page at the most.

More about role clarity in this Friday's post and podcast.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Having "an attitude of gratitude"

My wife and I walk with our dog Molly every day, rain, hail or shine.

A ritual we have adopted is to express out loud what we're grateful for. It really sets up the remainder of the day for us.

We're well practiced in gratitude. We know that being truly grateful for what we have leads to more of what we need.

Being grateful is something I have practiced daily now for 43 years. It was as a 23 year old that I faced a life-threatening operation with a 1 in 5 survival rate. I became the 1 largely because my surgeon taught me gratitude. In preparing for the operation that saved my life I followed his instructions to stand in front of the mirror and say out loud "I have an attitude of gratitude." I have been carrying out this ritual every day since.

In the best and worst of times I have learned that being grateful and having "an attitude of gratitude" is the key to living a happy and contented life.

Having "an attitude of gratitude" is a foundation stone of heart-leadership.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Radiate joy even when your work is hard

In writing more of my Heart-leadership book this week my focus was on joy. Today’s post part of what I wrote.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Several years ago my wife and I completed the restoration of a 100 year old property that took us several years part time.  We cried as our friends and family shared the joy of the finished product.  It was amazing to see the old house with a fresh coat of paint they said. 

What was unmentioned was the untold hours of back breaking work and the preparation to get ready to put on the finishing touches of a coat of paint on that made our home look so grand.

All great work is like this. 

Often we feel joy at the end of something rather than recognising our joy throughout as well as on completion.

My wife and I, even when exhausted, were in the habit of stepping back and admiring our progress even when such still looked like a mess. We grew accustomed to finding joy even when the work is hard.

We have a crest adorning a wall in our home.  The Latin words underneath translate “Nothing without labour”.

We believe this was the creed of our family from a very, very long time ago.  Marketing people never invented tag lines!  

Whether it is our families credo or not I certainly learned the value of hard work from an early age.  

Barely a teenager with my brother four years younger, we built our family home (all except the bricks and tiles on the roof) with our parents and with our bare hands.  I remember once my football coach saying to my Father  “Your boy has a great work ethic.” My father surprised at the remark simply replied “He knows the value of hard work.”

I do know the value of hard work. My real learning though has come through ensuring that the work is joyful even when it’s hard.

Having a great work ethic is important to being a person of value and to delivering and exchanging value. What is key however is finding joy in the work.

One of the most profound statements I have ever heard comes from the great book ‘The Radical Leap’ by Steven Farber.  It’s a wonderful fable with a great message. Steven says “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do”

What an insight eh?

I woke up this morning as I do every morning ready to work hard. I know that nothing of value is created or delivered without labour. 

Above all though today like every day I’m seeking to do what I love in the service of people who love what I do, and to find personal joy in such work.

Are you doing what you love in the service of people are love what you do? 
And are you radiating joy even when your work is hard.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Have you made the shifts essential to the new world of work?

Below is my picture of the new world of work from my book 'The Appreciative Leader' that was published in 2016. Should you not have this book you can download it here with my compliments.

What shifts are you still to make?

There has never been a better time in history than to ensure you are on the right side above.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 29 June 2020


This is a great story. I've very much enjoyed reading it and reflecting. I will be adding this book to my recommended reading list.

My overwhelming conclusion is that the Obama's are good humans and that Michelle Obama would be as great a President as her husband though she would never want the role. 

This story is in stark contrast to the current President who doesn't show any humanity and who I think is unbecoming.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Find your voice, sing your song, play your music

I’ve started writing my Heart-leadership book. This post and podcast is from Sparkenation 2 'Hear Your Heart'.

A reminder a sparkenation is "a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal."

My favourite metaphors for essence are voice, song and music.

I was first introduced to voice/song/music as a metaphor for essence on the day I left hospital following what had been a life-saving operation.

I was 23 years old at the time and as I look back I was very naive then about matters of the heart. 

My doctor had introduced me to the heart-mind-body connection and had begun to teach me meditation something was totally unfamiliar with. He had also taught me a mantra "I have an attitude of gratitude” to help me ensure that I became a survivor of what was then a 1 in 5 chance. I said the mantra out loud in from of a mirror for several days prior to my operation. It's a practice I have continued now for 43 years!

I didn't know it back then that I was beginning to tap into my heart by believing what my doctor was teaching me even though I had very little understanding at the time.

My doctor came to see my wife and I on the day I could finally go home after weeks in hospital. His parting words were “Don’t die with your music locked in you.” 

My wife Carol and I had no idea what he meant!

Later we discovered these were words by the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who probably borrowed them from Samuel Beckett. 

This discovery was the beginning of a what has become my life’s work to help people to find your voice, sing your song, play your music.

The Stephen R. Covey book that I recommend the most is ’The 8th Habit From Effectiveness to Greatness’,  which digs deep into this topic of essence.

In this book Covey describes Voice as "unique personal significance - significance that is revealed as we face our greatest challenges and which makes us equal to them."

He says Voice is found at the nexus of talent, need, conscience and passion as illustrated below:

Talent (your natural gifts and strengths), 
Need (including what the world needs enough to pay you for), 
Conscience (that still small voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts us to actually do it), 
Passion (those things that naturally energise, excite, motivate and inspire you).

What are your natural gifts and strengths?

What needs are you providing that you’re being paid for?

What is that small still voice inside you saying to you on a consistent basis? Are you paying attention?

What naturally energises, excites, motivates and inspires you?

These 5 questions demand answers don’t they.

The world needs you to have found your Voice!

Sometimes we call your Voice Song and sometimes Music.

In many of my online conversations and in person workshops I ask participants to choose a theme song for where their live is heading. Many people immediately get their smart phone out and play their song!

What would your theme song be right now?

Possible Actions You can take to discover your essence (find your voice, sing your song, play your music)

1) Undertake my short online course to discover your essence. It's called ‘Magnificence’ You’ll find it here. 

2) Seek out people you trust and who know you well and ask them to describe in a sentence your character and how they see you at your very best. 

3) Reflect on your life’s work to date. What is it that you love to do more than anything else? What does this tell you about essence?

4) Play with Covey’s insights about your talent, need, conscience and passion and see where it leads you

5) Get used to hearing your heart before you start asking your head anything!

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Seven solutions to your greatest workplaces challenges

I’ve added a bespoke briefing to the 4 complimentary ways that I can help you to thrive AC (after corona).

You can download details of the 4 here. 

Each will help you to solve one or more of your seven greatest challenges.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 19 June 2020

The Heart-leadership Manifesto

Listen to the podcast version of this post

The world needs more leaders with heart. 

The following is the Heart-leadership Manifesto.

Goodbye overcompensated celebrity CEO’s, dictators and control freaks,
and charlatans of all persuasions!

Hello trustworthy, ethical heart-leaders of unquestionable integrity.

Heart-leadership is the new normal.

Heart-leadership is a way to be decisively human in a decidedly digital world.

Heart-leadership is a digitally savvy, human centred design approach to the 3 pillars of a thriving modern enterprise - people leadership, process innovation and progress sustainability.

Hear Your Heart (People leadership) is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence including your own.

People’s essence is their one-of-a-kind character, what is personally significant about them.

People leadership is the sure-fire way to people feeling valued.

Ask Your Head (Process innovation) is the collaborative work of ensuring processes make it simple for people to bring their essence to their work. 

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

Process Innovation is how people live values and deliver and exchange value.

Engage Your Hands (Progress sustainability) is the joyful craft of ensuring progress towards possibility (desired new reality, shared goal/objective/aim) is kept visible.

Progress sustainability means thriving in ways that are good for all people and our planet.

I hope you will hold this manifesto in your heart and take action in your own best way.

Should you like a performance possibility partner then please reach out to me today.

You might value participating in the inaugural heart-leadership online peer group program.
Details here.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Performance Energetics, an alternative to performance appraisals

I still come across organisations doing performance appraisals even though there is a mountain of evidence (just Google it) that says they are bad for people.

As I say

People don't want to be appraised.
We want to be appreciated.

Often following heart-leadership work I help my clients to upgrade their performance review system, including eliminating performance appraisals. Below is an overview of the areas we review and upgrade where appropriate.

One of the keys to thriving AC (after corona) is to maximise energy output when it comes to reviewing performance. Embracing Performance Energetics in your own best way is one guaranteed pathway to success. If you'd like some assistance please telephone me on +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 15 June 2020

The HeartMath Experience

In my work in Heart-leadership I have benefitted greatly from the research and work of the folk at The HeartMath Institute. 

Their special documentary 'The HeartMath Experience' is currently complimentary. I highly recommend it. Register and watch from here.

You might be interested in my heart-leadership program. Here's an overview.

The inaugural peer-group program commences on August 26th 2020. You can register here.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Re-start where you are and do what you can

Yesterday my colleague Susan Furness and myself facilitated the final group session in one of our Strategic Heartistry programmes. The final group session is called Re-Start. It follows on from an individual planning session which followed Re-imagine and Re-purpose group sessions. 

I believe we are at a special moment in history where we have the good fortune to be able to choose on a massive scale to re-start life in many areas. In the process we can bring greater peace and harmony to our world and health to our planet.

In many ways the world needs a Re-start right?. Collectively it seems like we have lost the plot, black deaths in custody, so many deaths from corona, inept political leadership, just to name three of our current tragedies.

All is not lost. 

Yes many people feel overwhelmed. Yes many people are angry. And yes many people are suffering from inequality.

I sense a movement gathering momentum fast. Not a movement that is focused on single issues like climate change, police brutality or political corruption, yet one movement that focuses on being better humans and that encompasses all the issues where we are failing one another and the environments in which we live.

I’ve asked myself how can I do more? What is it about my contributions that can be better, wiser and more valuable. How can I make a more tangible difference?

The words of a mentor from long ago have come back to me “start where you are, do what you can.”

I’m doing this. I’m calling it a Re-start. I’m calling on you to Re-start too. 

To be more of whom you are capable of becoming, and to do your best in your world to be the best human being that you can be. The best version of you inspires others to be their best versions too.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Heart-leadership glossary and online courses and resources directory

I'm pleased to advise that the first edition of my Heart-leadership Glossary and online courses and resources directory is now available. You can download it here.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 8 June 2020

First, second and third places AC (after corona)

First place home, second place work, third place everywhere else. All have changed DC (during corona) haven't they?

I sense more changes AC (after corona) as well as taking the good from DC (during corona) into the future.

First place Home

Many people are telling me that they have a renewed enthusiasm for family and a greater appreciation of family members. I feel that this will continue and contribute to a more peaceful world. You?

Second place Work

Will the workplace ever be as it was? I hope not. Many people have expressed to me the desire to continue to work from home. Of course this is possible for many of us. My sense is that less traffic by car, less plane travel, and less urban life would be good for people as well as the planet. You?

Third place Everywhere Else

BC (before corona) I met with my clients online and in person. Most of the in person was in coffee shops or hotels because people often wanted to get away from the office! I expect when we are allowed out this will continue.

Of course online Zoom has become the third place. I was already comfortable in the Zoom room. Now there's more rooms because Zoom have added a great breakout facility. I have very much enjoyed my experiences using this addition to their offering.

I'm continuing to make my conversations online as human-centred as possible. No voice over slides is one way to do this. The conversation below that was held last Wednesday with my colleague Susan Furness is a great example. Learn more about my first and third Tuesday's and Wednesday's online events here.

My sense is more Zooming even AC (after-corona). You?

There is turmoil in many parts of the wider world at the moment. I believe this is largely about the self-centred and the self-righteous trying to hang onto a world that benefited them and not everyone else. I want to see this world end.

I cannot do anything about it directly though. What I can do is be better and wiser and more valuable in the world's that I co-exist in both online and in person. You? When we all do this the wider world will benefit.

I wish you well in your world and the first, second and third places where you belong.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Reasons, Relationships and Routines Guarantee Results

Words beginning with R and especially Re are dominating our landscape right now aren’t they?

Renewal, Return, Regenerate, Revive, Recycle, Remove, Re-emerge, Responsible, Represent, Reconcile, Reconstruct, Renaissance, Ressurrect, Reflect, Revitalise, Revolution, Revolutionise, Rehabilitate, Rejuvenate, Reinvigorate, Repair, Reorganise, Replenish, Resist, Reduce, Rescue, Resuscitate. All have their own power don’t they?

In our Strategic Heartistry work with clients my colleague Susan Furness and I are focusing on Re-imagine, Re-purpose and Re-start.

My favourites though are Reasons, Relationships and Routines. These three I believe guarantee results.

DC (during corona) its Reasons, Relationships and Routines that sustain us. AC (after corona) will be no different.

What are your reasons for being alive today?
What is it about your personal and professional relationships that bring joy and meaning to your life and work?

My wife and I take a daily walk with our dog Molly. The walk itself is a routine. On the walk we express out loud what we are grateful for. This routine sets the tone for the rest of the day.

I publish my blog posts and podcasts at the same time of day on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. Readers like this regularity. For me it helps me be disciplined in all areas of my life.

I engage in my exercise routine at the same times every day.

What are the routines or rituals that are sustaining you right now?

To help you to ensure Reasons, Relationships and Routines Guarantee Your Results I’ve created this short online course for you. 

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Is it time for your heart-leadership check-up (complimentary)?

My latest complimentary service to help you to thrive is a heart-leadership check-up. It takes just 30 minutes and is all on Zoom.

Here's the details. Simply contact me on the number at the link to schedule.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 1 June 2020

There is no Them

I'm a fan of Kevin Kelly. His '68 bits of unsolicited advise' that he gave on his 68th birthday contains a lot of wisdom. Some of my favourites are below. Check out all 68 here.

There is no “them” is my number one. Could be the most important piece of advice for thriving AC (after corona).

Don’t be afraid to ask a question that may sound stupid because 99% of the time everyone else is thinking of the same question and is too embarrassed to ask it.

Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love keep asking them “Is there more?”, until there is no more.

Gratitude will unlock all other virtues and is something you can get better at.

Treating a person to a meal never fails, and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.

Rule of 3 in conversation. To get to the real reason, ask a person to go deeper than what they just said. Then again, and once more. The third time’s answer is close to the truth.

Don’t be the best. Be the only.

Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.

The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it. Good habits can range from telling the truth, to flossing.

The more you are interested in others, the more interesting they find you. To be interesting, be interested.

Optimize your generosity. No one on their deathbed has ever regretted giving too much away.

To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Start With Your Heart

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I'm inspired by Viktor Frankl's life and work and love the following insights of his:

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. 

In that space is our power to choose our response. 

In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Creating harmony between our Heart, Head and Hands is a practical way to act on these insights.

There’s a natural order. Heart is first, head second, hands third.

The head tries to dominate and be first.

Our quest is to use our heads to work out how to enact the why and what in our hearts and to then trust our hands with the who, when and where.

Hear Your Heart, Ask Your Head, Engage Your Hands is the process I recommend.

I’ll be addressing head and hands in future podcasts and upcoming Sparkenation Conversations online.

There’s three essentials to hearing your heart.

First there’s knowing your essence

I’ve created a short complimentary online course to help you to do this. Here it is.

I often use song, voice or music as metaphors for essence. The more you know the song in your heart the better you will hear your heart in all of the moments of your life.

The second essential to hearing your heart is to understand what brings you joy and to align your life actions and behaviours accordingly.

The third essential to hearing your heart is to understand your calling or your strong urges towards your particular ways of being, working and playing.

For more on hearing your heart please read my daughter Jessica's great piece here.

Essence, joy, calling. The greater your intimacy with these three the better you will hear your heart and then be able to ask your head and engage your hands.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

What is your strategy for thriving AC (after corona)?

The world and all of us living in it have an opportunity approaching AC (after corona) where we can decide how we will make a bigger difference in the lives of others as well as our own life than we ever have.

It used to be that being different was the quest we were on in our businesses or professional practices. We were looking for competitive advantage.

In the new world competition will be left to games and sports. In the new world collaboration is key.

The new world is infinite, the old finite.

In the old world doing differently to others mattered. In the new world difference does matter in the sense that we must continue to celebrate diversity and our difference, yet what really matters is the difference we make.

What is your strategy for thriving AC (after corona)?

I offer 3 complimentary opportunities to help you to answer this question

1) Tomorrow I'm hosting a conversation on Zoom about plans-on-a-page and how vital they can be to difference-making. You can register here.

2) Next Tuesday the 2nd of June at 8 am AEST I'm hosting an open mike conversation about strategy. What is it? How is strategy different now than to what it has been in the past? You will leave the conversation with your strategy for your difference-making future in a sentence. Please email me to get the Zoom link

3) My colleague Susan Furness and I created an alternative to the traditional strategic planning called Strategic Heartistry. Susan is my very special guest next Wednesday 3rd at 3.30 pm AEST. We'll be exploring how Strategic Heartistry can work for you in your own best way. There's a couple of places left. You can register here.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 25 May 2020

21st century, AC (after corona) Plans-on-a-page

This Thursday in a complimentary online event at 10 am AEST I'm going to help a small group of people create a plan-on-a-page live. Register here.

I'm one of the pioneers of Plan's-on-a-page. I swear by them as one of the most magnificent tools there is to help us to achieve what's important to us.

I first created a plan-on-a-page in my notebook with a trusted direct report in August 1989. I called it a Performance Possibility plan-on-a-page.

I had 24 direct reports at the time in multiple locations and 1000’s of mile apart! My deep desire was to find a way to keep everyone on the same page collectively and in individual locations.

People started calling them PPP’s and this label is still used by many of my clients today!

Plans-on-a-page or PPP’s are the very best way that I know of to

1) Invoke a great principle that I learned from the poet, author and speaker David Whyte who said “In leadership the conversation isn’t about the work, the conversation is the work.”

2) Help you and others (particularly those people to whom you have promised to deliver value) to be accountable.

3) Sustain a shared-view with your performance partners (colleagues, mentors) in areas you have agreed are significant.

4) Own your piece of  the execution quilt or jigsaw.

5) Capture in one place the quantum leaps (small yet significant shifts) you’re taking to move from current reality to possibility (your next reality!).

Here's my current plan-on-a-page:

Join me this Thursday to create yours. Register here.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 22 May 2020

The secret to collaboration is sustaining shared view

Listen to the podcast version of this post

This post and podcast is taken in part from my Changing What’s Normal book Sparkenation 28 ‘Only collaborate with people when you have achieved a shared view.’

You can download Changing What’s Normal with my compliments via the PDF here.

There are many great opportunities AC (after corona) to ensure a better world.

One of them is to leave behind competition between nations, political parties, religions and businesses and start collaborating for the good of people and our planet.

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles.

There's videos and podcasts and a diagnostic tool here to help you to sustain shared-view in what I call the seven areas of significance.

I find that there are three main reasons for human conflict:

1. Disagreement about the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

2. Disagreement about how the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s will be achieved.

3. Assumption of agreement in 1. And/or 2., and a negative response when such assumptions result in perceived betrayal.

I suggest seven special steps to successful collaboration

1. Establish that there is agreement concerning the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s. Don’t move on until you are absolutely certain there is agreement.

2. State what you can and will do to achieve the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

3. Ask the other person or people involved to state what they can and will do to achieve the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

4. State what you feel are the milestones or quantum leaps (small yet significant shifts) that will indicate that you are on track to achieve what you say yo will in 2.

5. Ask the other person or people involved  to state what they feel are the milestones or quantum leaps that will indicate that they are on track to achieve what they say they will in 3.

6. Agree on the dates and times that you will be in touch with each other to discuss progress and celebrate achievements.

7. Confirm in writing via email or letter your agreements in 2. through 6. And ask for a confirmation response from the other person or people involved.

Follow these seven special steps and I guarantee a better future whatever your endeavours.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Thinking inside the box

'Thinking outside the box', or as we prefer here in Australia 'thinking outside the square', is a great metaphor for thinking in non normal ways.

Such thinking is essential at any time let alone in DC (during corona) and in preparing for AC (after corona).

In my observation however there's not enough thinking inside the box.

Even more so for me there's insufficient feeling in the heart and then aligning thoughts in the head.

Heart, head, hands is the order of things in my world.

I often draw it like below:

I'm inspired by Viktor Frankl's life and work and love this line of his:

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Heart, Head and Hands can be felt and heard as a mnemonic. Play with it.

There’s a natural order. Heart is first, head second, hands third. The head tries to dominate and be first. Our quest is to use our heads to work out how to enact our hearts and to then trust our hands.

In preparing for life and work AC (after corona) what is your heart telling you is the best way forward?

How will you align your thinking (head) and your doing (hands)?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 18 May 2020

I've chosen to play the infinite game, You?

I prefer this book by James P. Carse, published in 1986, to the one pictured below by Simon Sinek that was published in 2019.

I highly recommend reading both.

I'm long done with winning and competition. Instead I'm focused on continuity and collaboration.

I still compete with myself.

I'm long past however trying to compete with other people. Friendly games of golf or chess etc etc the exception!

Life is much more joyful and enjoyable when my focus is on being the best version of me. There's no need for comparison or competition anyway of course because each of us humans is a one-of-a-kind.

The central message of these two great books:  A finite game that is played with the purpose of winning, means the game ends.

An infinite game is played with the purpose of continuing the game.

These are highly valuable insights DC (during corona) and for AC (after corona).

If the game in your business or professional practice wasn't winning or growing for growth's sake what would it be?

How would your strategy and/or your tactics be different?

Should the world go back to how it was AC (after corona) we have learned nothing and we will all be poorer spiritually, emotionally, physically, economically and universally.

Who will you be that is different, wiser or more valuable than you were BC (before corona)?

What will you do that replaces the status quo (normal) when sameness is no longer serving you, your family, your local community, and the wider world?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Thriving using the wonderful rules of one, three, five and seven

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I'm not a mathematician. I do place a lot of value in numbers.

I believe 7's significant, 5's foundational, and 3's a great rule. Your use of the number 1 however is where I see the most value.

7 is significant

I'm not aware of any team that is highly successful where there is an absence of shared-view in what I call the seven areas of significance.

The seven are:

Reality, Possibility, Purpose, Strategy, Execution, Progress, and Culture.

At this link are videos and podcasts that I have created on each of the seven areas. They are all on the same web page where there is also a simple diagnostic tool that will help you to see where you’re at and where you can go.

5 is foundational

I learned from my Grandfather that when we focus on the fertile ground, plough it, seed it, and nurture it, a harvest is the outcome. My Grandfather taught me that most people want the harvest and yet are not prepared to do the work. It takes discipline to focus on the processes and detach from the outcome. I believe this is foundational to success in everything.

Here's a short online course I’ve created for you that will help you to apply the law of the farm in your own best way.

3 is a great rule

I'm sure you're familiar with many famous 3's. The theory is we can easily remember 3. And it works in practice! I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the 'Rule of Three' is pervasive everywhere in our society. Think stories, fairy tales and myths, and the lines from history that inspire us

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen”
“Blood, sweat and tears”
“The good, the bad and the ugly”

are just 3 of zillions of examples. Of course today we’re using the language BC (before corona) DC (during corona) and AC (after corona).

We know that we humans can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.

I know in my business I host events, provide online course and provide mentoring with heart for leaders with heart. I do other things. These 3 however are where my gifts (talents) lie and where I provide the most value to my clients.

The power of one

Above all for me one matters most.

In all work with my clients I am helping them to focus on one action at a time through embracing the true science of quantum leaps, I.e. one small yet significant shift at a time.

When I first started my professional practice 30 years ago I believed simplicity without losing the profound was key to the success of my clients and to my own success and so I pioneered many ways to do this. I continue to evolve the following:

One quantum leap at a time momentum.
One sentence strategy.
One page role clarity.
One page performance development/strategy execution plans.
One focus conversations.
One purpose meetings.
One message story-sharing.
One module at a time learning.
One page agreements.
One shift at a time change initiatives.
One great idea at a time innovation.

I also work with one word as my theme for a year. This year it's

Learn more about using three words and one word here.

What numbers count for you?

What words have the most meaning for you?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

What's worth celebrating? What can better?

A simple way that I teach and work with my clients on to conduct informal performance and after-action-reviews is to answer two questions:

What's worth celebrating?
What can be better, wiser or more valuable?

What's been your highlights DC (during corona)? What have been your great learnings, insights, positive experiences? what are you celebrating?

What are you working on for AC (after corona) to be better, wiser, more valuable, or whatever inspires you and brings you joy?

We're accelerating cautiously and curiously to a new world. What great paradox. And a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 11 May 2020

What is wealth to you?

I read the following in a blog post by James Clear.

"Wealth is the power to choose.

Financial wealth is the power to choose how to spend money.

Social wealth is the power to choose who to hang out with.

Time wealth is the power to choose how to spend your day.

Mental wealth is the power to choose how to spend your attention."

I would add:

Emotional wealth is the power to choose how I feel and how I use my energy.

Spiritual wealth is the power to choose who I want to be.

What is wealth to you?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Solving our and purpose and process problems

Listen to the podcast version of this post

In my 30 years working as a business mentor specialising in leadership development, the biggest problems that I come across are at heart purpose or process problems or both. What is also fascinating is that many leaders name purpose and process problems, people problems when 9 times out of 10 the problem is not a person.

First purpose. Many leaders still believe that profit is the purpose of business. Many politicians think economic growth is the be all and end all.

Here’s what I believe: profit is not a reason (i.e. purpose) for being in business, rather profit a result of being good at business. Confuse reason with result and you are asking for trouble.

In the same way by making economic growth the purpose the powers that be create a myriad of problems for our society and everyone and everything in it.

Process is a little more complicated.

Process management is one of the three key areas of accountability in heart-leadership. The other two are people leadership and progress sustainability.

In heart-leadership, which I believe is the new normal, your role is to ensure processes, (which include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems), mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Just a reminder heart-leadership is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence (that’s difference-making personal significance), including your own.

Here's my heart-leadership programs. You will see at the link that I offer a complimentary heart-leadership check-up.

Maybe you would value it. Check-out the check-up and get in touch should it resonate with you.

Purpose and process problems are easily solvable. Solutions requires decisions.

First we need to decide the deep human reason we do what we do. Second we must decide to put people and planet before profit. We then systematically over time ensure that our processes mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Who will you become? What will you do next? 
This is the sequence - who before do. In the new world the focus is on being and then doing. 

Hopefully we are closing down the old world that focused on doing before being.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Embracing the circular economy and thriving AC (after corona)

I'm a great admirer of Kate Raworth and her concept of Doughnut Economics which I see as the present and the future.

I'm also inspired by the concept of a circular economy. This too for me is our best present and future as a human race.

Kate explains the circular economy wonderfully in this 3 minute video:

More wisdom from Kate in this TED article about an economy that can regenerate itself.

I love this diagram from the article that originates from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Below is the Doughnut Economics graphic from Kate's website. I recommend visiting the site for the active version.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 4 May 2020

What is the value of economic crashes for you?

BC (before corona) there were four global recessions since World War II according to the IMF (International Monetary Fund). They began in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2009. My working life coincides with these.

The first two I don't recall any personal impact. I was employed in management roles by corporations in the financial sector and remember being told to just work harder.

The 1991 recession did have an impact because I was only a year into being self-employed. Most people in the corporations who were my clients stopped buying the people development I was offering at the time.

Through a lot of personal hardship and questioning myself I eventually pivoted to having privately owned and/or family business people as my clients, more than leaders in corporations.

Broadly speaking the former seemed to care more about people than those leaders in corporations with few exceptions did. Nothing much as changed in this regard!

The 2009 global recession also had a big impact on me. I was constantly on a aeroplane then and had clients in over 40 countries. I had learned many lessons in 1991 though about re-imagining, re-purposing and re-starting and so although I took a hit I recovered much faster than most and I also had cash reserves to withstand a hit.

Big lessons

1) Corporations as a general rule are the causes of recessions. I suspect they will be up to their necks in the causes and outbreak of corona too. Corporations don't care about people. There are a few purpose-driven people who lead corporations ethically and who genuinely care about people and our planet. These folk are the exception not the rule.

2) Governments by and large are heavily and unduly influenced by corporations.

3) In global recessions governments do what corporations want them too.

The value for me (and perhaps you) of economic crashes is three-fold:

1) Understanding that corporations rule the world and that greed and self-interest eventually cause trouble

Being prepared personally means that at any given time economic storms can be weathered. In such times taking advantage of government assistance is prudent. I see it personally as some return on the investment I made through taxes.

2) Controlling the controllables

There are things we can control and things we can't. Knowing which is which is important for sanity and staying focused.

This doesn't mean we give up on making a difference. I do my very best for instance every time I have opportunity to positively influence leaders in corporations. I know there are more purpose-driven leaders with heart in corporations than there has ever been and so I keep my shoulder at the wheel.

3) Re-imagining, re-purposing and re-starting are common-sense regardless of what is happening in the economic world

Particularly since 2009 I have re-invented myself in some way every year and help my clients to do the same.

Beginning early 2019 I began shifting to doing 80% of my work with clients online. This shift has served me well DC (during corona).

There is life AC (after corona). We get to decide what kind of life it will be. Re-imagining and re-purposing before re-starting is essential.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Maybe I can help.

My colleague Susan Furness and myself have co-created a 3 sessions online programme called Strategic Heartistry. We still have a couple of places for programme 3 that begins tomorrow and the registration desk is open for programmes 4 and 5.

Learn more here or contact me on +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Being decisively human in a digitally-connected world

Listen to the podcast version of this post

When I watch, listen to or read about Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, what I notice is someone whose best humanity is in full bloom and on display.

She is articulate, kind, compassionate, curious, empathetic just to name a few of the uniquely human skills she excels in. She provides a very stark contrast to Donald Trump.

The world needs more Jacinda Ardern’s, people who lead with heart.

One of the key reasons Susan Furness and myself co-created Strategic Heartistry was our deep feeling that the world needs an alternative to strategic planning.

Aside from the fact that strategic planning is an oxymoron what I have seen the process and the results become is decisively inhuman. We have forgotten it seems that humans execute strategy.

I once read a 178 page strategic plan and not once was the word people mentioned. There were references to human resources and that dreadful descriptor human capital, yet nothing that I would call decisively human.

We are at a unique cross-roads in human history. 

After-corona on the one hand we can go back to a world where being inhuman rules, think right wing governments, think corporations, many of whom it seems have forgotten that they don’t exist without human customers.

Or After-corona we can embrace a world that is fully human, the kind where people sing from their home balconies, deliver food to strangers, and where people volunteer to clean carry baskets at supermarkets.

The best of us humans leading and being in the majority means a marvellous world capable of restoring the earth, stopping our relentless consumerism, and avoiding the catastrophe of man-made patented viruses being let loose.

Will you be decisively human in a digitally connected world? 

If so who will you become and what will you do next?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

What brings you joy online and in person?

"I don't think I can stand another Zoom meeting" says my client.

I get it. Many people have gone overboard. Change fatigue of a different kind has arrived.

Here's two great articles to help you to understand and deal with the affects of being online.

I'll be right back. How to protect your energy during Zoom meetings.

Video chat is helping us stay employed and connected. But what makes it so tiring - and how can we reduce ‘Zoom fatigue’?

Now don't get me wrong here. I love Zoom. I use Zoom to do 80% of my work with my clients. I don't however use the technology for more than 3 hours per day.

What we need I suggest is greater perspective, more discipline, and soon better online and in person harmony

Below are some questions I suggest are very worthy of your answers and actual responses.

Most people are still having way too many meetings. There is simply is no need for most meetings.

1) What could you change about the meetings you're involved in? What will you actually change?

Working online using technology like Zoom was once a bit of a novelty for a lot of people. It's not anymore!

Once we are allowed real human contact again we have a great opportunity to ensure online and in person harmony.

2) How will you decide to live in the new online and in person world that will be here before you know it?

In the new world a lot will be the same because some things are as they should be.

A lot can be better though right?

A key way to decide how who you will be and what you will do differently in this new world is to fully get what's bring you and other people joy.

3A) What brings you joy? How will you live a more joyful life?

3B) What brings other people joy? How will you help your family, friends, colleagues, employees, customers/clients to live a more joyful life?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Lessons for being true to yourself from Jerry Seinfield

When I feel like a laugh I sometimes watch a Jerry Seinfeld show, corona or no corona. You?

There's is a lot of value in this HBR interview with Jerry.

Here's some of my favourites:

“What am I really sick of?” is where innovation begins.

If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way. 

My theory is that proportion is key to everything. 

... every comedian, like every athlete, has a little routine. Mine is to look at my notes until five minutes before the show.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.