Monday 30 November 2020

The Beauty of BHAG's

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal or BHAG — is a phrase from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book 'Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies'. A BHAG is a long-term goal i.e. 10 - 25 years. 

I read the 2000 edition of the book as I was writing my first book 'Increasing Profits Without Hurting People. My book is now out of print with key concepts now in the books I have published since.

My BHAG then was helping my clients to achieve five-fold bottom lines. It's still a key part of my quest.

Today I articulate my BHAG as follows:

Replacing the dogma and doctrines of corporations, lobby groups, political parties, religions, and self-interest groups with human rights and actions that invoke egalitarianism.

All in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and a five-fold bottom-line.

What's your BHAG?
Why does it matter?

Keep on being the difference you want to see in the world.


Friday 27 November 2020

Become the wise leader you want to be

Listen to the podcast version of this post

The sub title for my Heart-Leadership book is 'Become the wise leader you want to be'. The book is an assertion, a guide, and a  toolkit to help you in your own best way.

What does being wise mean to you?

Many years ago I read a wonderful little book by Robert Fulghum called All I  Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. In the book he shares his credo I quote:

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are—when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

End of quote.

What does being wise mean to you?

For me it’s about being the best version of me. Just like you I’m a one-of-a-kind human being. I believe that each of us has an obligation to be the best one-of-a-kind human being that we can be.

For me being wise is about taking responsibility for my intentions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours and actions. Being wise is appreciating you and supporting you in being accountable for intentions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours and actions.

Over 500 years ago William Shakespeare got it right I believe when he wrote “This above all - to thine own self be true” Polonius in Hamlet,1. iii 

What does being wise mean to you? 

Do Your Work.

More podcasts, videos, self-directed online courses to help you here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.


"The feeling of progress is one of the best feelings of all. This is true even when progress is small.”
James Clear

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.

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.


PS I discovered a few days after posting this that there is an Australian Charter of Employment Rights. Please download it here. If you know of others please email

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.”


Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


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.


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.