Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Happiness is a choice

There are a myriad of resources available to find happiness. Most of it is nonsense. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a Heart-Leadership quality that flows on from the other qualities of love, gratitude, appreciation and care.

There's much to help you choose Happiness in my Heart-Leadership book. Learn more.

In the book I quote the Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel who in an excellent book ‘The Real Enjoyment of Living’ said:

“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”

I contemplate this often, and then act accordingly.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 23 November 2020

Workhuman® Charter of Workplace Rights

 I love the Workhuman® Charter of Workplace Rights as follows. Read more about them here.

The right to do meaningful work.

The right to be appreciated.

The right to work-life harmony.

The right to belong.

The right to grow.

The right to be paid fairly.

The right to privacy.

The right to feel safe and respected.

The right to work in a place that strives to protect the environment.

(BTW first time I've seen the expression work-life harmony except in my own writings. To be precise I say life-work harmony).

Who will you become?
What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Ian

Friday, 20 November 2020

Everything is what it is

Listen to the podcast version of this post

It’s easy to get into a rage about many things in our world.

How can it be that 71 million people voted for a guy who lies for a living?

Why are so many corporate leaders greedy and focused on power and control?

How come so many politicians are corrupt?

We can easily get sucked into things of this nature right? I’m guilty.

And yet all that I’m responsible for is my own intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions and behaviours. I’m not responsible for your intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions and behaviours.

I find these truths both liberating and challenging.

As I was researching and beginning to write my Heart-Leadership book that is now in the publishing process, I released that there is a natural flow from harmony, heart, head, hands and happenstance. These became a mnemonic.

When I focus on what’s bad or negative in the world I’m out of harmony with myself and therefore cannot hear my heart clearly.  This means I ask my head the wrong questions and I end up doing what isn’t right for me.

What does harmony with yourself, other people, and our planet mean for you?

Here you'll find videos, podcasts and self-directed online course to help you answer and act on this question.

Should you beam when you read, watch and/or listen maybe The Heart-Leadership Experience is for you. It's on next week (24th and 25th) and the 8th and 9th of December. Learn more and register below my profile here. 

Everything is what it is. When we accept this and focus on being in harmony with ourselves, other people and our planet we can hear our hearts, get crystal clear in our heads and then take the most appropriate actions for us with our hands.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Caring For Yourself and Other People


The following is an extract from my Heart-Leadership book.

“People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” said Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest person to ever be President of the United States and generally regarded in the top five Presidents, not least for his work in ensuring fairness for all people.

Care begins with self-care. As a boy my father taught me that the keys to living a good life were to be spiritually alive, mentally alert and physically active. Over time I added emotionally healthy and universally aware. I called these the five faces of a human being fully alive. Heart-Leaders are fully alive.

You can learn more about the five faces here.

Caring for others is to support them in being fully alive human beings. In many of the best workplaces today and also some countries well-being is measured and seen as more valuable than the traditional economic measures of success.

What do you measure in your workplace? 

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 16 November 2020

The life-enhancing energy of enthusiasts

HT to my colleague in The Right Company Jeremy Deedes.

I have begun referencing my clients as enthusiasts because I feel it better honours them.

The term came from a conversation within The Right Company about solving customer problems which progressed to being more about helping people to achieve what is important to them within specific niches.

My enthusiasts:

  • Bring their fully alive human being selves to the Heart-Leadership conversation arena.
  • Find joy in knowing and being there for other one-of-a-kinds gathered.
  • Share hard earned wisdom as well as epiphany's when they arrive.
  • Receive and give mentoring with open hearts and clear heads.
  • Delight in the success of performance possibility peers and partners.
  • Share stories other people feel themselves in.
  • Live the qualities, catalysts and actions of Heart-Leadership.
  • Ask really great questions.
  • Are implementers who also place a lot of emphasis on after-action-reviews and then integrating new learnings and perceptions with what is already working well.

As a consequence of Heart-Leadership people feel valued, live values and deliver and exchange value and innumerable pathways to possibility are opened. 

Who are your enthusiasts? What do they bring to your world?

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 13 November 2020

Heart-Leadership Practice

Today’s podcast content is drawn from the epilogue of my Heart-Leadership book. The subject is Heart-Leadership practice.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

To sustain being in harmony with yourself, other people, and our planet, and then to consistently hear your heart first, ask your head second, engage your hands third, takes a lot of deliberate practice before it becomes habitual.

We must stay the course no matter what.

“The only thing that keeps us down and keeps us stuck is our thoughts.” said the Canadian writer John Kehoe.

Reading John’s insight in 1990 was a game changer for me.

My heart was telling me then that I should leave the corporate world and begin self-employment. 

I felt my heart calling me to be more than I was and to do work that I felt could better serve people. 

My head was filled with doubts and worry and thoughts that I was putting my family at risk should it not work.

The expressions ‘doing my head in’ and ‘weighing heavily on my mind’ had a lot of traction.

I followed my heart yet I was full of fear.

Fast-forward 30 years and I am still following my heart. There’s been highs and lows and lots in between.

There have been times when I allowed my head to overrule my heart. The consequences were never good.

There have been times when I followed my heart, only to allow myself to be overcome with doubt and worry and quit too soon. Equally allowing my head to rule has also meant hanging onto things for way too long.

Always my life has been better when I have followed my heart, kept a cool head, and move forward with my hands one small yet significant step (quantum leap) at a time.

I encourage you to take up Heart-Leadership and stick with it.

Here’s what a member of my Heart-Leadership Online Village Laura Potter says:

I’ve often been confused between what my heart or head are telling me. I find that if I think too long, beyond my initial feelings, the process can get muddled.

I’ve recently moved into a senior leadership role and I do think being in tune with your heart and head is critical.

As a leader there are daily decisions to make, and you are more closely judged by what you do or do not do, and how you do it, so it becomes crucial to act with integrity, so you can back yourself.

I recently learned about head, heart, hand from Ian. It resonated with me, I pondered it for days, and I noticed that as I approached difficult decisions, some which would have significant impact on others like recruitment choices, team direction, giving honest feedback, I started putting my hand over my heart. What was it telling me, truly? What was my instinct telling me, 

I often feel that we hear that little voice, telling us something isn’t right, or to not walk down a particular road, or to re check a locked door, but we often ignore it, and I would bet most of you have experienced moments where you wish you could rewind and listen to that voice and acted on it.

Which is why I find myself starting with my heart. I’m becoming better at listening to it, feeling it, stopping for a moment and tuning in.

I’m enjoying the process of taking in heart-felt insight, applying some practical thinking to it (the head), and backing myself in moving forward (the hand). I may not always get it right, but I do feel more confident in myself and my decisions. 

Do Your Work.

You can access videos, more podcasts and three self-directed online courses here to help you.

The registration desks are open for the 6 options for The Heart-Leadership Experience which is my special way of launching the Heart-Leadership book. You receive two online sessions and a signed copy of the book. Learn more.


Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Feeling appreciated is our deepest craving


I have been researching what employees really want from employers and fellow employees for more than two decades. Appreciation tops the list. 

The eminent psychologist William James observed: “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” 

Feeling appreciated and being willing and able to show appreciation to others are foundation stones of Heart-Leadership.

I'm a fan of former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. In his book 'Adults in the Room' Yanis says:

"We can not subcontract the discussions about what is proper, what is just, what is fair, what is right, to some algorithm, to any algorithm - even to the most fascinatingly brilliant algorithm. These are always going to be the result of debate, of dialogue, of ‘agora’ in the ancient Greek tradition. Of sitting around and discussing until the cows come home - there is no escape from that.” 

The rage is everything digital. I believe it's overrated. Yes digital has an important place in the future yet only in my view if it enhances the human experience and solves human problems.

Most of the talk and the reality is about making more stuff. Most of us don't need anymore stuff!

The future I want to co-create is about being better humans. The future is all about being decisively human in a decidedly digital world.

All human beings have aspirations. New world of work leaders know intimately the aspirations of their colleagues and therefore can have both appreciation and accountability conversations. These are foundational to healthy debate and dialogue.


Knowing your own and other people’s aspirations is the edge of two sides of the coin of appreciation and accountability. One without the other doesn’t lead to performance improvement. Appreciation conversations in harmony with accountability conversations leads to performance improvement.

Here’s my simple yet profound communication technique that I teach my clients. I call it The Double A Technique:

Ask: “How are things going?”

When you get a positive response:
 
Ask: “How does that make you feel?”
(be quiet and pay attention)

Then say, Great, Brilliant or whatever is appropriate.

Then ask: “Any other areas I can help you with?”
(be quiet and pay attention)

When you get a negative response

Ask: “What happened?” (be quiet and pay attention)

Then Ask: “What do you need to do to get back on track?”
(be quiet and pay attention)

 Then Ask: “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
(be quiet and pay attention)

Finally, Ask: “Anything else?”
(be quiet and pay attention)

How could you do better in having appreciation and accountability conversations with your workmates?


In the video below I demonstrate this technique.

I can promise you this: become an expert at having appreciation and accountability conversations each day and optimum performance will follow.


Today more than ever technological change is replacing jobs. Half of the jobs available today will be gone in a decade or less.

This is because machines will soon do most of the algorithmic work, the simple, routine, and repetitive. I think this is a good thing for it means there's great opportunity for us humans.

Conversations like the above help people to be remarkable and do work that is meaningful for them and highly valuable for others. This is the future of human work.


In a wonderful book Technology vs Humanity (see my review of this book here) Gerd Leonhard refers to andorithms "those qualities that makes us human" have more meaning than algorithms.

Embracing this in your own best way is a key to every human's happiest future.

Who will you become? What will you do next?


Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 9 November 2020

'Another Now' is always possible


I very much enjoyed this book.

Below is my Amazon review.

The book is timely given the failures of democracy and capitalism that are obvious for those willing to see.

What I loved most about this book is that the alternatives offered are imminently possible.


In your own life right now what are the alternative realities you could immediately create for yourself should you decide to make different choices and decisions?


The following insights came to mind while I was reflecting on the USA election:

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” Ana├»s Nin

“Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” Mark Twain

“Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities.” Voltaire

All applicable to Trump. 

The bottom line for me about Trump is three-fold:

1) He creates a narrative that leads his supporters to believe something is not true. His narrative is mostly baseless. Of course he is not the first person to claim authority based on make believe. This is modis operandi and the dogma and doctrines of religion.

2) He has consistently denied, denounced and degraded democracy.

3) He continually incites violence.

Just on the three factors above, based on his own words and action in the public arena, Trump is indefensible and should have been removed from office long before this election.

Some have said that Trump is a wild card and that the world needed a non politician to expose the corruption and pointlessness of politics. There is some validity in this.

Personally I'm over party politics and the polarisation that they thrive on.

I came across this video by Russell Brand. I'm with him let's find an alternative.


Another now is always possible.


What are the lessons for you and your organisation in all of this?

What are the alternative realities you could immediately create should you decide to make different choices and decisions?

And how will you help your world to be better, wiser and more valuable?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 6 November 2020

The Power of Performance Possibility Peers


Today’s podcast content is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management.

Today we’re exploring The Power of Performance Possibility Peers.

Performance Possibility Peers are colleagues in the same organisation as we are or are people who are on a similar path in other organisations.

In either case we form master-mind groups or peer groups (I call mine Heart-Leadership Peer Groups) as a way to share stories and make decisions about how we will change, modify or nuance our performance.

During the writing of this book I formed my latest Heart-Leadership Peer Group called The Heart-Leadership Online Village. 

In the Village we are performance possibility partners and peers for people wanting to be the best Heart-Leaders we can be at home, and in the workplace, town, city, country, sporting club, community group, wherever we belong.

Here is the short version back story:

I’ve been engaged in master-mind groups for over 30 years. The first was a bunch of blokes who met weekly to explore what it really meant to be great husbands and fathers as well as true friends. We called ourselves ‘The JourneyMen' and were referenced by Steve Biddulph in one of his early books on Manhood. There was nothing much happening for men in those days and domestic violence and other matters were just starting to be discussed more openly.

I’m in no doubt that for the small group of us we all became better people because of our regular candid conversations (often around the pot belly stove) in Philip’s shed.

Since then I’ve been a member of many groups, led quite a few, and presented to over 100 around the world in the leadership peer-group space. 

The original idea put forward by Napoleon Hill in his famous book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ still holds true: “The co-ordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definitive purpose, in the spirit of harmony.

No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind {the master mind].”

What’s emerged in more recent times is that people want to gather to not just engage with our minds, we want to engage in our hearts too. 

We want to do this work with people we trust, who believe in us and appreciate us, yet also challenge us. 

We want to belong to places where we can be candid. 

We want to share our dreams. Sure we want considered responses to our requests, mostly we want to share what is in our hearts.

Where do you belong?

The most remarkable leaders I know are in the habit of regularly stepping off the field of play to work on yourself and on your organisation.

Because of the wonders of technology the majesty of Heart-Leadership groups can now happen online where we can tap into the wisdom of peers operating in non-competitive businesses and from different countries and cultures.

I regard having a mentor/s and belonging to a peer group/s as the top two essentials for personal and professional growth.

One of the reasons that I host online conversations every month is because for the regulars they are a form of master-mind group.

Of course the concept of a peer groups shifts to a whole new level when we consider them in the light of heart, head and hands and in that order.

There is nothing quite like belonging to groups of peers where the focus is on hearing our hearts first, then asking heads, and then being with one another/working with one another as we engage our hands.

Performance Possibility Peers as with Performance Possibility Partners are special kinds of friends.

Many are called, only a few take the next step into the unknown. We act alone yet need others to walk alongside us while answering their call at the same time.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

Anon

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

An attitude of gratitude


 Carol 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 44 years. At age 23 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.

As I explore in my Heart-Leadership book gratitude flows from love. It's one of eight heart qualities that I explore in the book.

Three actions you can take right now to adopt an ‘attitude of gratitude’ in your own best way

1) Describe what you are grateful for out loud while on your daily walk.

2) Start each day, before you turn your computer on, or do anything else, making a list of what you’re grateful for right now. Start with yourself personally, other people, and then things in general.

Take the intentions, feelings, and thoughts that arise into every action and transaction.

Make this ritual part of your everyday life. And if you need any simple, practical help with this, do give me a shout.

3) Regularly answer these two questions:

What's worth celebrating?

What can be better?

Here's 12 more ways to maintain an "attitude of gratitude".

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 2 November 2020

What are these values we keep taking about?

 This video by Jan Fran is hilarious.


On a serious note it highlights the fact that we talk a lot about values and yet rarely do we have a shared-view about what they mean behaviourally.

Here's two videos from me about how values must be agreed behaviours otherwise they are just meaningless words.


Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Invoking key actions of our hands

This post follows on from this post about the catalysts of the head and this post about the qualities of the heart. All are part of my Heart-Leadership work.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Invoking key actions of your hands

The following actions are crucial to engaging your hands and those of other people.

Expressive

When I made the decision to ensure that every action I take is an expression of my DNA and leaves a unique mark like my fingerprint or signature, I became much more considered about my actions.

Such expressiveness is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Patience

Being patient is not natural for me. Applying the science of quantum leaps i.e. small yet significant shifts, has helped me to enhance the skill over time. 

In addition as I pay greater attention to my natural heart rhythm which I have referenced is slow, I get better still. These nuances have helped me to better my sense-making in my head and be patient for the results to come naturally after I take action.

Such patience is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Quality

Taking less actions, indeed doing less work, means quality has come to the fore. It’s an old adage yet I find it to be true that focusing on taking quality actions is better than quantity. 

Such quality is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Reliability

A focus on quality of course helps us in being reliable. I’m finding more and more that reliability within itself is a key to exchanging and delivering value. Of course our reliability is a key component of being trustworthy. In a decidedly digital world trust is what makes us decisively human.

Such reliability is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Flow

Being in the zone is the place all athletes and professional practitioners desire. For us Heart-Leaders flow is a consequence of hearing our hearts first, then thinking things through via the head catalysts, which act as a springboard for hand actions.

Such flow is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Flexibility 

For many years now flexibility has been in the top echelon of what employees want from employers. Being flexible I believe is one way to stay in harmony with ourselves and other people as we do work we love in the service of people who love what we do.

Such flexibility is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Value delivery

The key measure of any output is determining whether or not the result was valuable as we promised or agreed it would be. Value is in the eyes of the beholder.

Such value delivery is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Innovation

To have successful shifted away from the status quo when sameness was no longer serving is innovation. As we have explored every day innovation is desirable and imminently possible.

Such innovation is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

The following is the flow of each of these eight hand actions from the eight heart qualities and the head catalysts.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Ensuring Love Is More Visible


The opposite of fear is love.

The song says "what the world needs now is love sweet love, because that's the only thing that there's just too little of."

Could it be that there is enough love and that our quest is to ensure it's more visible?

The following extract from my Heart-Leadership book where I write about eight heart qualities beginning with love will help you to ensure that love is more visible in your life and work.

At the link above you will see that there are more videos, podcasts and online courses available to help you to bring your best and that of other people to the world.

Love

The Ancient Greeks had four words for love. Two are well known - eros (romantic love) and agape (love in a spiritual sense). 

The other two are not generally as well known. There's storge, meaning natural affection like parents feel for their children.

And then there's philia. This is the one I find the most insightful for Heart-Leaders. Philia is often translated as affectionate regard or friendship. We need more philia in our organisations. It will lead to more philia in the world. And we need it right?

I find it simple (not always easy) to have affectionate regard for people because I know everyone of us is a one-of-a-kind human being. Only the hardest of hearts cannot love a one-off.

Philia love is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 26 October 2020

Jacinda Ardern is a prime example of a Heart-Leader

There's a lot of reflections around at the moment about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. And rightly so in my view. She exemplifies for me what a Heart-Leader sounds like.

Next month my book on Heart-Leadership will be published. It's been a labour of love that began in 2017. I've been researching, writing and workshopping content in earnest for the past six months. Along the way I've been on the look out for role models amongst well known people as well as my clients.

I've observed Australian cricket coach Justin Langer as a Heart-Leader. Human rights activist, Television presenter and former Socceroos captain Craig Foster is one too. Richmond Football Club (not mine yet is my brothers club) President Peggy O'Neal is definitely a Heart-Leader.

Jacinda Ardern is a prime example of a Heart-Leader

Here's Ally Head's 14 reasons why Jacinda Ardern is such a successful leader, according to the experts.

I particularly like numbers 3, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

I love this piece about Jacinda on getting your message across by my friend and colleague Michael Dodd.

This podcast by Eleanor Ainge Roy perhaps gets to the heart of the matter that a key to Jacinda's success is kindness, one of the eight heart qualities I explore in Heart-Leadership.

Who will you become?
What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Ian 




Friday, 23 October 2020

Invoking key behaviours of the head

 Content for this post and podcast is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management.

In a section of the book about exchanging and delivering value I explore eight qualities of head behaviour that flow on from the eight heart qualities that I have previously mentioned here. Learn more via the video and resources here.

The eight head qualities Openness, Sense-making, Decision-making, Problem-solving, Imagination, Human-centred design, Systems-thinking, Curiosity. 

Let’s explore each one:

Openness

From a thinking perspective openness means avoiding bias and suspending ideologies and beliefs and being completely open to the unlimited possibilities every moment offers.

Such openness is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Sense-making

Sensemaking or sense-making is the process by which people give meaning to their collective experiences. It has been defined as "the ongoing retrospective development of plausible images that rationalize what people are doing”

The key for me is giving meaning. A wonderful habit to nurture is exploring with folk what they mean and what has meaning for them.

Such sense-making is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Decision-making

We will address this formally in the section on transparency coming up next. For now see it as a process that helps others to see how you thought through something or arrived at the decision you did. This is a great giving meaning to something action within itself.

Such decision-making is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Problem-solving

Asking people you meet what problems do you solve? Or my preference what challenges do you help other people to overcome? are much more intriguing question that so what do you do?

Like decision-making problem solving that is transparent and meaning helps us all to think clearly and to fully utilise our minds amazing capacity to provide us with how to’s.

Such problem-solving is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Imagination

The following is from Albert Einstein’s 1931 published book “Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms’

“At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

I love “For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

John Lennon of course was onto this insight in his wonderful anthem ‘Imagine’.

“Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You, you may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you will join us

And the world will be as one …”

Such imagination is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Human-centred design

I’m a fan of the people at IDEO. In their Field Guide to Human Centered Design, they say, “When you understand the people you’re trying to reach—and then design from their perspective—not only will you arrive at unexpected answers, but you’ll come up with ideas that they’ll embrace.”

I only do bespoke work with my clients for this reason. I’m meticulous in my research with the goal of understanding the people I’m working with and then the work is all about you applying proven principles in your own best way.

Such human-centred design is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Systems-thinking

I’m always interested in how humans interact and transact with other humans as well as with technology. Any technology that doesn’t enhance the human experience is of no interest to me.

Heart-Leaders are asking how does this feel or how could this feel? before engaging the head to work out system changes.

Such systems-thinking is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

Curiosity

Curiosity is also one of the 24 Sparkenation Conversation Essentials. From a thinking perspective being curious is paying attention to the human experience and thinking about how things can be different, better or more valuable from a human perspective.

Such curiosity is a foundation stone of Heart-Leadership.

The following is the flow of each of these head qualities from the eight heart qualities to the corresponding hand actions that we will explore in next Friday's post and podcast.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Values must be behaviours

In the very best teams and organisations values are not just words they are agreed behaviours.

I learned this the hard way a long time ago as I share in the 2009 video below.


Values must be agreed behaviours otherwise they are just meaningless words.

Over the course of a three year project with one client, I helped them through collaboration with one another, to turn values (single words) into virtues ("behaviours showing high moral standards").


In the case of this client 18 behaviours were the result of significant work. We subsequently learned that 18 is too many and that three to five is good practice.

As behaviours became the focus, or as one of the leaders involved described it "As soon as living our values became our intention, and the key focus of our attention, performance dramatically improved."

I was astounded by the performance improvement and observed two other deep factors at play. 

1) The more values were lived, the more people felt valued, and the greater value they exchanged and delivered to other people. 

2) I also learned that sustaining a high level of feeling valued, living values, and exchanging and delivering value, depended greatly on leadership, management, and culture.

I have since evolved my work to the current Heart-Leadership. Learn more here.

A 14th May 2010 New York Times article by one of my favourite authors and writers, Thomas L. Friedman, deeply influenced my thinking.

"So more and more of us are behaving by, what Seidman calls, “situational values”: I do whatever the situation allows. Think Goldman Sachs or BP. The opposite of situational values, argues Seidman, are “sustainable values”: values that inspire in us behaviors that literally sustain our relationships with one another, with our communities, with our institutions, and with our forests, oceans and climate. Of course, to counter this epidemic of situational thinking, we need more and better regulations, but we also need more people behaving better. Regulations only tell you what you can or can’t do in certain situations. Sustainable values inspire you to do what you should do in every situation."

The Seidman Thomas Friedman refers to is Dov Seidman, the C.E.O. of LRN who help companies build ethical cultures. More about Dov here. Please read the full Friedman article here.

Sustainable values are for me virtues ("behaviours showing high moral standards"). And sustainable values are a key to your sustainability as an organisation in a world viewed by a few as "post-truth", "fake news".

Who will you become?
What will you do next?

Monday, 19 October 2020

We Are Not Divided

 I've been inspired by the Reasons to be Cheerful project 'We Are Not Divided'. Learn more about it here.

The primary reason I dislike politics is because divide and conquer seems to be the main modis operandi. Trump is a major example.

Of course people like Jacinda Ardern are the opposite. She proved in the New Zealand election two days ago that decency can trump division.

In my home state of Victoria, Australia, the right of politics have politicised Covid-19 and are trying everything they can to divide us and turn us against Premier Dan Andrews who it seems to me is doing a great job to ensure that we don't have to experience further lockdowns like many other states and countries. 

The right are not succeeding. All they are doing in my view is making a bad situation worse and shining a light on their own incompetence and failure to properly care for citizens in a myriad of areas, notably aged cared.

I get that many are suffering because of the lockdowns. In my view the approach of Andrews is about short term pain for long term gain. Whether he is right or wrong in his approach I don't know. What I admire about him is never once has he engaged in the dirty and divisive tactics of those trying to undermine him.

We're better than Trump or anyone else who says "my way is the only way". 


We're proving all over the world, as the Reasons to be cheerful project is highlighting, that we are not divided, in fact we are more united than ever to see the back of people who seek to divide us.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 16 October 2020

The very best leaders lead with 
and from their hearts

Today’s content is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I sense a movement gathering momentum fast. Not a movement that is focused on single issues like climate change, police brutality or political corruption, rather 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 sense an international movement for our challenges are global. For sure there are local and national solutions. It’s just that we are one human race, each of us different for certain, yet not divided as many in power would have us believe.

There are several World Leaders and Business Leaders who appear to have lost their minds. A new kind of leadership is needed. This kind of leadership is noticeable and inspiring through its coherence.

Heads of State like New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern are showing the way. She is leading with and from her heart. She is demonstrating in a powerful and non-violent way that we can be human and be a politician!

2020 marked 30 years of deep engagement for me in leadership development through being a mentor for leaders as well as giving presentations, conducting workshops and master-classes, and engaging in numerous conversations.

I’ve been honoured to work with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries.

In the past eight years I’ve focused on my own style of presentation/conversations with primarily small groups of people both in person and online. 

I’ve been able to observe and interact with leaders up close and personal and from a myriad of industries. 

I’ve been involved in organisations of all shapes and sizes, small, medium and large, family and privately owned, purpose-driven corporations, professional service firms and professional service providers.

I’ve also been privileged to work with many leaders over several years.

One thing stands out in all of my work, the very best leaders lead with and from their hearts.

More podcasts, videos and resources via this link.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Heart first, head second


For just over 3 years I have been consciously leading with and responding to what happens with my heart first and then my head. I was in the habit of leading and responding habitually with my head.

Since I've made this shift my energy has increased. I'm clearer, calmer and more considered. As a consequence I'm more valuable, and my impact and contribution are greater.

My discoveries include the following:

Your heart always knows.

Feelings are different to thoughts.

Feelings come from your heart.

We are feeling creatures who think (HT to Dr Jill Bolte Taylor).

“Most of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, but we are actually feeling creatures that think.” Dr Jill Bolte Taylor

Feelings are an inner knowing.

Feelings have a different energy, a different frequency or vibration to thoughts.

Thoughts are from our past. Feelings are from our present and future.

The heart knows why and what, the head how, and the hands take care of who, what, where and when.

I have come to understand that this is the natural order of things. I learned and practiced for much of my life that the head ruled and that the brain was in control.

In my Heart-Leadership book I use Harmony, Heart, Head, Hands, Happenstance as a mnemonic and for the flow of book.

Harmony within ourselves is a precondition to hear our hearts, ask our heads and then engage our hands. Happenstance (coincidence, serendipity, synchronicity) follows.

The great challenge for me has been learning to hear my heart first and getting my head to wait until asked.

In your life and work are you leading and responding with your heart or your head?

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 12 October 2020

Changing What's Normal


On the 20th or 21st of October, depending on your preference, I'm hosting a one-off complimentary Sparkenation Conversation based on my Changing What's Normal book that I have recently relaunched the paperback version of and for the first time the electronic version. 

You can register for the 10 AM AEDT 20th October conversation here.

You can register for the 3.30 PM AEDT 21st October conversation here.

The central theme of the book that all change is personal first, relationship change second and organisational change a distant third, is highly relevant for thriving in this DC (during corona) and AC (after corona) world.


You can purchase Changing What's Normal here.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Friday, 9 October 2020

Heart-Leadership Peer Groups

This post and podcast follows on from last Wednesday's 'Our four greatest teachers' post and video.

Today’s content is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management. Today my focus is on peer groups.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Are you a member of a peer group, a group of colleagues within your organisation, outside your organisation, or maybe a combination of the these? 

If you answered yes then it's likely that you are a wise person who is making the best contribution you can make to all the places that you belong to.

I’ve been engaged in master-mind groups for over 30 years. The first was a bunch of blokes who met weekly to explore what it really meant to be great husband’s and father’s as well as true friends. We’re called ourselves ‘The JourneyMen' and were referenced by Steve Biddulph in one of his early books on Manhood. There was nothing much happening for men in those days and domestic violence and other matters were just starting to be discussed more openly.

I’m in no doubt that for the small group of us we all became better people because of our regular candid conversations (often around the pot belly stove) in Philip’s shed.

Since then I’ve been a member of many groups, led quite a few, and presented to over 100 around the world in the leadership peer-group space. 

The original idea put forward by Napoleon Hill in his famous book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ still holds true: “The co-ordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definitive purpose, in the spirit of harmony.

No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind {the master mind].”

What’s emerged in more recent times is that people want to gather to not just engage with our minds, we want to engage in our hearts too. 

We want to do this work with people we trust, who believe in us and appreciate us, yet also challenge us. 

We want to belong to places where we can be candid.

We want to share our dreams. Sure we want considered responses to our requests, mostly we want to share what is in our hearts.

Where do you belong?

The most remarkable leaders I know are in the habit of regularly stepping off the field of play to work on yourself and on your business.

Because of the wonders of technology the majesty of Heart-Leadership groups can now happen online where we can tap into the wisdom of peers operating in non-competitive businesses and from different countries and cultures.

I regard having a mentor/s and belonging to a master-mind group/s as the top two essentials for personal and professional growth.

One of the reasons that I host online conversations every month is because for the regulars they are a form of Heart-Leadership group.

Of course the concept of a peer groups shifts to a whole new level when we consider them in the light of heart, head and hands and in that order.

There is nothing quite like belonging to groups of peers where the focus is on hearing our hearts first, then asking heads, and then being with one another/working with one another as we engage our hands.

Performance Possibility Peers as with Performance Possibility Partners are special kinds of friends.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
Anon

Who will you become?
What will you do next?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Our four greatest teachers


The above video is the 14th in a series as I complete the writing of my Heart-Leadership book. You can watch all videos here. All are under 5 minutes. There's also 16 podcasts, each under 10 minutes, plus 3 self-directed online courses.

The following is from my Heart-Leadership book

The Power of Performance Possibility Partners

Performance Possibility Partners are people we trust, have our best interests at heart, and who are non-judgmental of our performance.

Performance Possibility Partners can be family members, friends, mentors, coaches, advisors, anyone who is not directly involved in our work, yet has expertise to inspire, encourage, and support us.

We all need others to magnify and enhance our essence.

In particular Performance Possibility Partners are people we have chosen to be there for us as we take action and to hold us to account when our performance is less than we have agreed it will be.

The Power of Performance Possibility Peers

Performance Possibility Peers are colleagues in the same organisation as we are or are people who are on a similar path in other organisations.

In either case we form master-mind groups or peer groups (I call mine Heart-Leadership groups) as a way to share stories and make decisions about how we will change, modify or nuance our performance.

During the writing of this book I formed my latest Heart-Leadership group called The Heart-Leadership Online Village.

In this Friday's blog post and podcast I'll continue this topic of our four greatest teachers.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 5 October 2020

Sustaining shared-view in the seven areas of signifcance

Apparently we live in a post-truth world i.e. objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Post-truth politics is arguably the greatest example.

Speaking for myself I want a world that is post-politics. I prefer a shared-view world where we rise above our different opinions and agree on things that matter to all of us. In such a world we are not divided as human beings, rather we respect difference and diversity.

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.


I recorded some short videos and podcasts and created a one page diagnostic to help you to find and sustain shared-view in seven areas of significance. 


In this week's Wednesday video and Friday podcast and associated blog posts I will be exploring the power of performance possibility partners and peers in finding and sustaining shared-view and building together a world where politicians have a lot less influence.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 2 October 2020

Plans-on-a-page and Momentum

Today’s content is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

It's also a follow-on from last Wednesday's video and post.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I'm one of the pioneers of Plan's-on-a-page. 

I swear by them as one of the most magnificent tools there are to help us to take action, sustain momentum, and 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 a remarkable way to

1) Keep focused personally, for a team, for an organisation.

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 possibility partners (colleagues, mentors) and possibility peers in areas you have agreed are significant. More on partners and peers in next weeks videos, podcasts and blog posts.

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!).

One of my most prized possessions is a small quilt my Grandmother Ruby Sherriff made over 50 years ago. I have wonderful memories of her and husband Fred. They lived less than a mile from me when I was a boy and so I was a frequent visitor to their house. 

A vivid memory is Nana making quilts. There'd be a piece here and another over there etc and then one day it would magically come together as one and yet each individual piece stood out. 

Little did I know then that Nana's quilts would many years later inspire a remarkable idea. 

In business strategy is like a compass and execution a map. For your strategy to be executed every employee needs their unique piece of the map. I call it a quilt map. Performance Possibility Plans (PPPs) are an individuals piece of the quilt.

Visual plans-on-a-page work best. My latest PPP is below. I hope it inspires you to create your own PPP.

If I can be of assistance please give me a shout.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Heart-focused Momentum

The more you are able to reach and sustain momentum the greater your likelihood of success in any pursuit.

Here's my methodology referenced in the video.

And here's some insights for you from my Heart-Leadership book.

I am very grateful to the work of David Cooperrider whose Appreciative Inquiry process has greatly inspired and influenced my work.

Appreciating What Is

I have taken many people through following five questions in order to zero in on reality in any chosen area. In less than an hour great insights can be gleaned:

1. What’s remarkable? i.e. “conspicuously extraordinary”?

2. What’s great? i.e. above average; better than basic?

3. What’s good? i.e. basic standards of performance are being achieved?

4. What’s bad? i.e. of poor quality or low standard?

5. What’s ugly? i.e. unpleasant, displeasing, or threatening personal or business well-being?

Imagining what can be

I have found that the simplest way to shift from reality to possibility is to choose one area at a time from answers to the appreciation what is questions and then 

1. Describe in a present tense sentence what the new reality feels and looks like.

2. Decide who you are going to engage to work with you to ensure the shift happens, then move to creating quantum leaps with them.

Create Quantum Leaps

The common view of a quantum leap is that it is a big jump. In actual fact a quantum leap is a very small change. The significance is that it’s a direct jump from here to there. I call them small yet significant shifts. 

Leap

Actually take action. A lot of people have good intentions, even detailed plans, and then don’t do the work. 

This is one reason I say the words Do Your Work so often!

Momentum

The best way that I have discovered to gain and sustain momentum is the aggregation of marginal gains which is the philosophy of searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do.

I first learned about this philosophy from this article by James Clear

This from the article

“Most people love to talk about success (and life in general) as an event. We talk about losing 50 pounds or building a successful business or winning the Tour de France as if they are events. But the truth is that most of the significant things in life aren't stand-alone events, but rather the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. Aggregating these marginal gains makes a difference.”

Reviewing your leaps via an after-action-review is a great way to aggregate. 

An after-action-review answers the following questions 

What happened and why? 

What did you learn, relearn, and unlearn (or let go of)? 

How can you be better, wiser and more valuable in applying your learnings? 

Who will we become? What will we do next?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian


Monday, 28 September 2020

Measuring what matters

The 'Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation' is a good read. Download it here.

The 4 pillars pictured below are noble.

I wonder myself, given actual corporate behaviour in general, as to whether these ideals can become mainstream reality. You?

I'd value your feelings, thoughts and insights, and any positive, productive case studies, as I complete the research and writing of my Heart-leadership book. Please email ian@ianberry.biz

Be remarkable.

Ian

Friday, 25 September 2020

We can increase our sense of belonging everywhere, every day

Today’s content is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

It's also a follow-on from Wednesday's video post here.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management. Today my focus is on the places we belong to.

First place Home

Many people are telling me that they have a renewed enthusiasm for family and a greater appreciation of family members as a positive consequence of corona. 

I feel that this will continue and contribute to a more peaceful world. You?

I also hear of increases in personal stress, domestic violence and suicide as negative consequences of corona. 

What do you hear your heart suggesting to you in terms of how you could help other people?

Second place Work

Will the workplace ever be as it was AC (after corona)? 

I hope not.  

In my book The Appreciative Leader (which you can download with my compliments via the PDF at the bottom of this page) I overviewed what I see as the new world of work (see below). It’s four years since I made these observations. My heart is warmed that many people are making the shift from old to new!

Many people have expressed to me the desire to continue to work from home. Of course this is possible for many of us. 

I note that highly successful organisations such at Atlassian are now making working from home normal.

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 that AC (after corona) 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. 

You’ll find the video of the latest such conversation 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.

You can increase your sense of belonging everywhere, every day.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Thriving in the ever-changing world of work

I’ve been researching and experiencing and writing and speaking about the ever-changing world of work for over 30 years. In that time I’ve witnessed incremental shifts away from seeing and treating people like machines, to understanding who people are and what we do, and how we can work in harmony with machines.


I’ve concluded that in essence that the best work for us humans involves being the best version of our one-of-a-kind selves and doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for other people.  And the machines will increasingly do the simple, routine and repeatable work.


DC (during corona) and AC (after corona) offer exciting opportunities for seismic shifts in the world of work including redefining the office, the corporation, and what it means to exchange and deliver value.

What are you focusing on?

There's more video's and podcasts to help you here.

More in Friday 25th's post and podcast about the new world of work here.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Monday, 21 September 2020

Heart-Leadership paperback pre-order offers now available

Last week I completed workshopping my Heart-Leadership book. I'm now waiting on input from selected pre-readers. I've begun the final write though based on the inaugural workshop and input from readers already in. I'm on track to meet publishing deadline of 30th November 2020. 

For the past 3 months I've been recording a short video (under 5 minutes) and a short podcast (under 10 minutes) on Heart-Leadership. You can watch and listen and learn about the 3 special pre-order offers for the paperback here.

I'll be continuing with the weekly videos and podcasts until I have finished writing the book.

Be remarkable.

Ian 

Friday, 18 September 2020

25 ways to move from performance management to performance energetics

Today’s podcast and post is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management. Today my focus is on performance and 25 ways that you can move from performance management to performance energetics.

Energetics in simple terms means energy quality. Performance Energetics is about sustaining high energy and flow. Sometimes our role is about enhancing energy, sometimes holding it, and sometimes shifting it.

More on Performance Energetics here.

Often following Heart-Leadership work I help my clients to upgrade their performance review system, including eliminating performance appraisals which are one of the all time great energy suckers in the workplace.

Here’s the 25 ways (order not relevant)

1. Stop seeing people as they are.  See people as the can be.

2. Find out what’s really important to your people and help them achieve it.

3. Assess performance not people.

4. Stop trying to manage people.  Instead lead people.

5. Help each employee to create their own personal piece of your strategy execution map.

6. When you assess performance support assessment with data.

7. Provide "feedforward" before feedback and only feedback to people who have asked for it.

8. Focus on standards instead of goals.

9. Discover a shared-view with your employees about where you are (reality), where you’re going (possibility), why you’re going there (purpose), how you will get there (strategy), who will do what and when (execution), how you will keep progress in meaningful work visible (progress), and how you will live your values along the way (culture).

10. Teach people to take responsibility for their intentions, feelings, thoughts and actions and then let them be, aside from ongoing helpful conversations.

11. Appreciate people when they do well.

12. Never confuse a person with their performance.

13. Name the elephants in your rooms.

14. Role model candid and authentic conversations.

15. Never review performance and salary at the same time.

16. See problems as opportunities to innovate i.e. change what’s normal rather than solve the problem and reinstate the status quo (normal).

17. Keep your promises.

18. Praise in public and only ever offer critique in private, and only then when you been asked or there is an agreement in place for such conversations.

19. Share success stories other people can see and feel themselves in.

20. Be a disruptive influence for good.

21. Be fully present in the now.

22. Only have performance conversations about previously agreed actions. Only change actions with agreement.

23. Focus on processes not outcomes, yet assess performance on outcomes.

24. Do your life’s work (see previous) and inspire your employees to do theirs. See this blog post and read the section on the Career and Life-calling Card.

25. Be remarkable at all three pillars of Heart-Leadership: Complete the Check-up below to get started. Please download the Heart-Leadership Check-up here.


Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Heart-Leadership is all about energy exchange

Heart-leadership is a digitally-savvy, human-centred design approach to the three 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.

Ask Your Head (Process innovation) is the collaborative work of ensuring processes make it simple for people to bring their essence to their work. (NB processes include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems).

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

Heart-Leadership is all about energy exchange



Please place your hand on your heart. What you’re feeling is your own unique frequency, one-of-a-kind rhythm, your own special energy.

Leading from your heart has a different energy to leading from your head.

Feeling, thoughts, and actions have their own energy. 

Negative feelings, thoughts and actions have low vibrational energy forces. Positive feelings, thoughts and actions such as kindness, appreciation, compassion are high vibration energy forces.

Heart-Leadership causes high energy responses from other people.

Heart-Leadership is all about enhancing the energy when it's good and shifting the energy when needed.


There's more videos and podcasts here to help you to excel in your own best way at Heart-Leadership.

Here's a post from my soon to be published Heart-Leadership book. It's about Performance Energetics my alternative to performance appraisals and performance management systems.

Be remarkable.
Ian