Thursday 23 December 2021

Helping you enhance your Response Ability, the keystone character trait of wise leaders

In 2022 my focus is on elevating wise self-leadership by helping you to enhance your Response Ability, the keystone character trait of wise leaders.

In the short video below I explore each of the nine future ready skills that I believe you need to master in your own best way to thrive in this time of great uncertainty.

In February 2022 I'm offering a unique opportunity, with my compliments, to enhance your Response Ability. Learn more about this here.

Kind regards

Monday 20 December 2021

The D.R.E.A.M. Matrix For Sustaining Wisdom In Personal Well-being

My one word for 2022 is DREAM. My gratitude to Jason Fox for the one word theme for a year idea and to Chris Brogan for his three words for a year insights. Read more about these two visionaries and their ideas here.

For 2022 I've also turned my one word into a matrix as follows. See below the diagram for my thoughts on the fifteen components.

You can listen to the podcast version of this post here.

What I say in this post is important,
yet nowhere near as important
as what you hear yourself say to yourself,
who you become and what you do next.

The following is not advice rather insights from my personal experience for your consideration as you decide your own best way to embrace the 15 components of The D.R.E.A.M. Matrix For Sustaining Wisdom In Personal Well-being.

1. Diet

Diet for me is not some fad to lose weight, rather a daily regime and philosophy I live by that is a foundation for over-all well-being. 

You most likely know the adage 'garbage in, garbage out'. Most processed foods are garbage so I choose fresh whenever possible and eat mainly plant based food. My preference is low sugar and high protein.

I recommend studying mitochondria and gut health. Take action is your own best way.

Personally I eat primarily small portions and sit down to eat four to six times a day usually between 7 AM and 7 PM.

I keep a close eye on always being fully hydrated.

2. Differencemaking

We all make a difference in the lives of other people whether we are conscious of it or not.

Being conscious or aware has much to do with understanding and living our essence or unique personal wisdom. For example my essence is holding space for possibility focused leaders as you enhance your Response Ability.

I've developed and continue to hone a presence and story-telling, conversation and peer group and 1:1 mentoring skills, that enable safe and creative places for people.

What is your essence?

Should you love some help with enhancing your Response Ability, and seeing, unearthing, and magnifying and enhancing your essence, then undertake The Wise Leaders Workshop. There's a special complimentary version coming up in February 2022. Learn all about this at the above link.

3. Decision-making

In the moment decisions are fundamentally about our disposition. More on this in the next section about responding.

Major decisions require a process like the one below.

Should you not have such a process I highly recommend creating one. At very least such a process means transparency and people can see how you arrived at a decision which greatly helps buy-in.

4. Responding

I'm deeply inspired by the following words usually attributed to Viktor Frankl: "​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.”

Working with this insight over many years has led me to respond and not react to situations and circumstances. Sure I lapse occasionally. I have anchors in place for this that means I can quickly adjust and get back on track. With practice my overall disposition in life is about what's possible even in difficult circumstances.

5. Relationships

I believe that all change is personal first and relationship change second. Organisational change is a distant third. My aim is always to serve others and to be helpful and valuable. To achieve this aim I embrace eight qualities in my personal and business relationships - love, gratitude, appreciation, care, happiness, compassion, harmony and kindness. To learn more about these eight heart qualities get my Heart-Leadership book.

6. Rhythm

We are all one-of-a-kind human beings. Of the 80 - 100 billion people who have walked the earth, no duplicates. We each have our own rhythm. I've got in touch with mine over four decades of breath meditation. I have a low pulse rate. I can feel it when I'm rushed or out of sync with myself. What's your pace?

I make my best decisions and choices when I'm in my rhythm. You?

7. Exercise

I have a home exercise program tailored for me by physiotherapists. I follow my program every other day. I also walk daily, rain, hail or shine. I've learned from medical people that an hour of walking per day (in my case two by 30 minute walks) is one of the best things I can do for maintaining my ideal weight and for well-being in general. One thirty minute walk where you vary your pace also does the trick.

8. Energy

As leaders we are holding or increasing positive and productive energy, or we are reducing it via our behaviour. I regularly check-in with my peer group colleagues to ensure that I'm holding or increasing energy. They have permission to hold me to account whenever I'm reducing energy!

9. Enthusiasm

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson 

10. Attitude

Download resource mentioned in video via a one-page here for insights into maintaining an "attitude of gratitude".

11. Appreciation

The eminent psychologist William James said the following "The deepest human desire is a craving to be appreciated. Appreciation is a heart quality. We live it by appreciating ourselves and then everyone we meet.

For decades now Appreciation has been the number one requirement when I ask people what they truly want from employers and fellow employees.

12. Accountability

The wisest and best leaders I know are accountable for their intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions and behaviours. And they are accountability partners for other leaders.

Accountability is still rare. When lived it is a powerful component of well-being particularly when we fail to meet our own standards and are helped back to our best by peers.

13. Meaning

Doing what is meaningful for us as well as being valuable for other people are two of three keys to thriving in the new world of work. Here's my detailed thoughts on the three.

14. Moments

There is only now. We can't change the past. The only way to create the future we want is to do our best in this moment. Become a Nowist. Learn more about how here.

15. Magnificence

For me there are, broadly speaking, three kinds of people that I meet in the modern organisation:

The happy being miserable: these folk complain about everything and are disengaged from their work. It is not that these people aren’t good people, they just haven’t found their place as yet.

The happy being mediocre: these folk sit in silence, however they are open to inspiration and influence, and therefore can be engaged.

The happy being magnificent: these folk refuse to complain about anything and are fully engaged in their work.

For years the typical organisation’s people engagement percentages have been, 10% miserable, 80% mediocre, and 10% magnificent.

The happy being magnificent are on the rise. I have had the great privilege and honour to work with many of these folk. Often they have been part of “change champions” teams to implement the agreed personal, relationship and organisational change.

The happy being magnificent have had enough of fake leadership and have taken their destiny in their own hands. 

The happy being magnificent have a sense of self that is inspiring:

*I am a one-of-kind. Therefore I am obligated to be the best I can be.
*I can’t wait for other people to take action. I will do what I can regardless of what others do or don’t do.
*I will do today what others won’t be doing until tomorrow.
*I am doing what I love to do in the service of others.
*I know my life’s work and I am fulfilling it.
*I live with passion.
*I am responsible for my own intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions and behaviours.
*I know it is not what happens that is important, rather how I respond to what happens.
*I don’t judge how others live their life, I simply follow my own path.
*I am aware of my essence (unique personal wisdom, and I am putting them to good use.
*I know my shortcomings and collaborate with others who have strengths that I do not.
*I maintain “an attitude of gratitude” no matter what.
*What I do matters. I make a difference.

Please be a Happy Being Magnificent role model in your own best way.

I recommend writing down your own feelings and thoughts on the 15 components of D.R.E.A.M. 

I also recommend creating your own one word theme to guide you in the year ahead.

Kind regards.

May 2022 be your best year yet.


The pulse checks are designed to help you to see at a glance where you’re at and where you can move to personally, and in your team/practice/business, in the nine areas of vital importance for being and becoming a wise leader.

You can start with whichever one of the pulse checks resonates with you right now. All of the pulse checks are analogue. There's something really great about printing them out and contemplating before completing with a pen.

Completing one or more of the pulse checks and scanning and emailing results to me can also act as a guide for our next 1:1 conversation.

Monday 13 December 2021

What's your post pandemic strategy?

Strategic planning is an oxymoron. In my view along with change management and performance management it makes the top three worst actions you could take in your business. 

You do need a strategy. Strategy is like a compass.

In simple terms a strategy is the framework within which you make decisions about how you're moving from where you are to where you want to be. 

You should be able to describe your strategy in a sentence. 

There's a short podcast and post here about how to do this.

Change cannot be managed. We lead change. You need a change process to lead effectively.

There's a short podcast and post here about how to do this.

Performance cannot be managed either. We lead performance.

If you're still doing performance appraisals you are endangering your employees well-being. We do not want to be appraised and never have. What we want is to be appreciated.

In the new world of work wise leaders have discarded performance management and are embracing performance energetics. There's a short podcast and post with 25 suggestions about how to do this here.

Like leading change and leading performance you can only know the effectiveness of your strategy through its execution. 

Execution is like a quilt. Everyone's piece is different. When everyone's piece is stitched together you have your execution plan. Not a strategic plan, an execution plan.

There are five critical success factors to execution of strategy that I've learned over 30+ years of doing this work.

1) People executing your strategy must buy-into it at worst and at best have input into it.

The days of Boards and CEO's being the sole strategy setters in my view are dead. 

When the people doing the work are engaged in determining strategy, execution is almost a given.

2) Practices and Processes are paramount

Do your processes (this includes policies, procedures, practices, principles, systems and structures), mean that it's simple for people to bring their best to their work?

Are the daily practices in your workplaces, i.e. the rituals, routines, ceremonies, stories, narratives in alignment with the behaviours of your values?

Does every employees have a role clarity statement that overviews who they have relationships with and what is the value being exchanged and delivered?

3) Human connection and ongoing conversations are crucial

There are 15 conversations that count. You can download a playbook with my compliments about these here.

4) After-action-reviews highlight accountability

I recommend reviewing one action at a time and answering the following questions:

what happened and why? 

what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? 

How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? 

Who will we become? What will we do next?

5) Integrating new learning with what is already working well 

Post after-action-review determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you. Then I suggest these actions:

Upgrade your processes and practices and role clarity statements where appropriate.

Upgrade learning and development materials.

Should you like some help with any of the above please consider my one-off service.

Susan Furness and myself created a unique process called Strategic Heartistry which Susan facilitates. Learn more here.

Kind regards


Friday 10 December 2021

3 key ways wise leaders are leading for the common good

I hold the following beliefs (held lightly):
  • Corporations rule the world.
  • Many of their CEO's are addicted to greed.
  • Most politicians are beholden to corporate leaders and others who donate to their parties. See a great documentary 'Big Deal' by Christiaan van Vuuren for some hard evidence about this.
Imagine what could happen if it was illegal for corporations and lobbyists etc to make donations to politicians!

While researching and writing this post I googled how many corporations are bigger than countries? The answer "Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are countries."

In a wonderful book 'Confronting Capitalism', author Philip Kotler offers 14 solutions to a better world. I drew great inspiration from this book I researched this post.

"To get people less interested in an endless pursuit of consumption, other life-styles need to be promoted: the value of relationships, the joy of nature, and the pleasure of good community need to be stressed."
Philp Kotler

3 key ways wise leaders lead for the common good

1) Corporations, and businesses in general, have the capacity to lead the way in solving our climate crisis

sub-title Governments should not be leading rather supporting those who are
(people with three - five year terms are not leaders, they are managers at best.)

I took photo above recently at one of my local supermarkets. Wise leaders are climate change action leaders. ALDI, another one of my local supermarkets, have their stores, warehouses and offices powered by 100% renewable energy.

Please read a most excellent article by Annabel Crabb "Morrison's climate 'plan' reveals a spectacular new model of political leadership in Australia.'

Climate crisis inaction and hyperbole by LNP politicians in Australia, and the money being donated by fossil fuel companies to the LNP (and Labor and other parties too) can be contrasted with exceptions like Mike Cannon-Brookes. and LNP supporter Andrew Forrest's who has a hydrogen deal happening with Queensland government in Australia. 

Corporate and business leaders have the wherewithal to lead the way in solving our climate crisis, and are in fact are leading us. In my view governments need to support those leading and stop leading themselves. 

THE ANZ CLIMATE TECH 100 list makes interesting reading.

How are you solving the climate crisis?

2) Well-being not financial growth or profit is actually the objective

In much of the world right now I perceive a crisis of mental health that could have far wider consequences than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google is famous for their 2012 Aristotle project. Their quest was to answer the questions 'What makes teams successful?' Here are the full findings.

The following outcomes are all worth considering for your team, peer or community or sporting group.

In my work with clients I have used these as a guide with a particular focus on people doing work that is meaningful for them as well as being highly valuable for others.

Here is an interesting OECD article with links to several others about countries measuring well-being.

Is your workplace a role model in these areas?

3) Using technology to help us rather than we being slaves of technology

Yanis Varoufakis suggests in this article that capitalism is bring replaced by techno-feudalism. I agree.

There are alternatives. 

I recommend 'Another Now' by Yanis

and 'Technology v Humanity The coming clash between man and machine' by Gerd Leonhard

as places to kickstart or progress your feelings, thoughts, behaviours and actions about how you are using technology personally and professionally.

Is technology primarily enhancing the human experience in your life and work?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Kind regards


Wednesday 8 December 2021

Don't die with your music locked in you

Music is a great metaphor for our essence (unique personal wisdom).

Seeing, unearthing, and then magnifying and enhancing our essence, and being alongside others as they do the same, is for me the heart of real leadership.

Listen to my story about this metaphor in this 4 minutes and 42 seconds podcast.

Watch my story below.

You can read my story, and ways you can apply it in your own best way, in my chapter in this book.

Get the book here.

This was the greatest collaboration that I've been involved in with sixteen of my colleagues from The Right Company.

You can begin anywhere you choose in the book.

Terry McGivern, Regional Managing Director (CEER ME APAC) Kingspan light +Air captures this book well:

"If people interest you, and the distilled wisdom of peoples' experiences fascinate you, then you will cherish this collection.”

I was thrilled to have a longer conversation with Cat Preston (also one of the authors) about essence in her 'Collective Wisdom' podcast. 

It's one hour and three minutes and you will find it here.

A few times a year I offer a complimentary version of The Wise Leaders Workshop which is my signature experience for helping you to discover and live your essence. The next of these is in February 2022. To receive an invite learn more and subscribe to my newsletter here.

Kind regards


Monday 6 December 2021

Sparkenation conversation with Sue Heatherington about the role of Quiet Disruptors in the new world of work


Sue Heatherington's book is a game changer for me.

Before and since reading this book it's been wonderful to get to know Sue.

The recording below is our conversation about the role of Quiet Disruptors in the new world of work.

Part of this new world is the re-humanisation of the workplace and therefore a letting go of the command and control and divide and conquer hangover from the Industrial Revolution.

At the link you can also download with Sue's compliments 'Being Seen & Heard… Notes for People Professionals' which I find to be an excellent guide in my own professional practice of holding space for possibility focused leaders as you choose wise responses in your life and work.

Sue and her husband Steve run The Waterside, a unique place in Wales for conversations about life and work.

As they say "By creating breathing space for better words, we believe that together we can make a difference – because good words make good trouble."

Kind regards

Thursday 2 December 2021

Keith Abraham on Abundance in a post pandemic world

I was thrilled to have my colleague of 25 years Keith Abraham as my very special guest in this sparkenation conversation.

More about Keith here. 

If 2020 was unprecedented and 2021 unpredictable, then could it be that 2022 is uncharted?

What an opportunity. An "ocean of opportunity" as Keith says.

Many gems from Keith and guests in this conversation. 

My favourite from Keith is "Are we starving our distractions and feeding our focus?"

Kind regards


PS The Enough book mentioned is here.

PSS Keith's best selling books here.

Monday 29 November 2021

Three practices to shift to possibility when the status quo is no longer serving you

We have a federal government in Australia in my view stuck in inertia about most things. 

Of particular interest to me is their failure to establish a federal integrity commission. 

This is despite the fact that a bill introduced by Independent member Helen Haines is endorsed by the Centre for Public Integrity as the best model in the country.

I've a long held view (held lightly) that politics is part of the status quo that no longer serves us. I will not be voting for this government.

In my own life, and you in yours, we don't have to wait for election cycles or any cycle for that matter to shift to possibility when the status quo is no longer serving us.

Three practices I recommend:

1) Once a month think about inertia "a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged," and take immediate action

Are you guilty?

Were there moments in the past month where you did nothing and would have been better to do something?

Are there processes (includes policies, practices, procedures, structures and systems) that remain unchanged despite the fact that they don't mean its simple for people to bring everything they are to everything they do every day?

Think about this well worn yet often ignored adage:

The definition of stupidity is to expect different results by doing the same old thing.

2) Make after-action-reviews integral to everything you do

I recommend the following 5 stage format:

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

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

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

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

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

3) Get serious about learning and development

I know from recent conversations that many people still tick boxes when it comes to training and learning and development. Many believe that the actual event (the seminar, course, or whatever) is the thing. It's not. The most important factors and what happens before and after the event.

Research in 2004 by Dr Brent Peterson proved that 26% of success happens before and 50% after an event. 

Should your actions not be in alignment with this evidence take immediate action today. If you'd like some help please give me a call. I've made this approach integral to my work for over a decade.

The lessons of the Covid pandemic are numerous. A stand out learning for me is that the status quo is no longer serving us across a myriad of areas. The good news is that in all areas where we have influence we can shift to possibility today.

According to quantum physics we live in a world of infinite possibility. Benjamin Zander shines a wonderful light on the art of possibility is this wonderful 14 minute video.

What's possible today for you?


Monday 22 November 2021

The new world of work - fully alive human beings, doing personally meaningful work that is valuable for others, supported by technology

As I highlighted in the post Could 'The Great Resignation' actually be the great shift in why and how we work? the keys to making the shift to the new world of work are three-fold

1) being and becoming the most remarkable human beings we can be.

2) doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others.

3) ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience.

Remarkable Human Beings Are Those Who Are Fully Alive

We are all one-of-a-kind human beings.

As many have observed we have become human doings.

The five faces of a human being fully alive

At this post there's insights into the five faces and a link to a short podcast. Here's the direct link to the podcast. The video below summarises the five.

Workplaces that do not enable people to be fully alive human beings face a precarious future.

Doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others

The key to doing meaningful for you work is to "follow your bliss."

In my book Heart-Leadership I say "The very best explanation that I have ever come across for “follow your bliss” comes from the film ‘Finding Joe’ which is a documentary about Joseph Campbell’s work. 

In the film the President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation describes bliss as “doing what you can’t not do.” I love this!

Joseph Campbell is one of my heroes.

What is it that you can't not do?

According to Joseph Campbell its “identifying that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it.

In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.”

In my Heart-Leadership book I recommend many ways to discover your bliss which can also be called nature, voice, essence, quiddity, ikigai, element, vitality, love, gift, music, passion.

One of these recommendations is creating a one-page visual called a Career and Life-Calling Card where you would feature your answers the following questions:

Can Do

What do I know?
What are my key skills?
What is my real expertise?
How do I practice what I know?

Will do

What is my attitude to living?
What am I really committed to?
How can I be more disciplined in taking action?
How I am really different from others who do what I do?

Love to do

My purpose in life is?
I am passionate about?
I find Joy in?
My art is?
My essence is?

People who love what I do

How do I:
Serve others?
Help people achieve what is important to them?
Solve people’s problems?
Offer solutions to people’s challenges?
Exchange value with other people?
Deliver value to other people?

The Career and Life-Calling Card is a checklist. More about its development (and bliss) in this post and podcast.

What is it that you can't not do?

To make a difference doing work that is meaningful for you must also be valuable for others

Five factors to consider about providing value to others

1) In your role clarity statement are the people your role has relationships with listed and the value expected by them overviewed?

2) Are you engaged in regular after-action-reviews with these people, both formally and informally, so that you are engaging in ongoing conversation about your value exchange and delivery?

3) Do the value behaviours of your organisation (not the words, the behaviours) support you in doing work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others?

4) Do your processes (this includes policies, procedures, practices, systems and structures) mean that meaningful for you/valuable for others work is simple to do?

5) Is the organisation you work for profit-driven or human or society driven? The future is not about profit-driven organisations.

Ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience

The book 'Technology vs. Humanity The coming clash between man and machine' by Gerd Leonhard makes my top 21 recommended reading list. Read my full thoughts about the book here. Three aspects that I love in particular are:

1) The idea of exponential humanism "the philosophy to find a way forward that will allow us to embrace technology but not become technology, to use it as a tool not as purpose."

2) The concept of "key human indicators" as a far better way forward than the traditional and tired KPI's.

3) The insight of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

For me personally I am not at all interested in technology that doesn't enhance the human experience. A lot of technology actually hinders the human experience like machines that answer the phone for example!

There's no doubt that many advances in technology add value to our lives, indeed help our well-being. We get to decide not the makers of technology. I closed my Facebook account recently because I will not be the product.

What is your stance? A human front and centre in your organisation or is technology dictating?

The new world of work for me is all about fully alive human beings, doing personally meaningful work that is valuable for others, supported by technology.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Kind regards

Friday 19 November 2021

Could 'The Great Resignation' actually be the great shift in why and how we work?

There's a lot of talk about 'The Great Resignation' where people are leaving current roles for ones that better fit their personal lives.

In my experience this is not a new phenomena. Personally I've being working with my clients on a new world of work for about fifteen years. In my book Heart-Leadership I provide the following

In earlier works I summarised this new world of work with this diagram

Here's a 2019 post were I explored the skills needed for this new world of work from various experts perspectives.

The keys to making the shift to this new world of work are three-fold 

1) being and becoming the most remarkable human beings we can be.
2) doing work that is meaningful for us and highly valuable for others.
3) ensuring technology is adding value to the human experience.

There's long standing evidence to support these keys.

Google is famous for their 2012 Aristotle project. Their quest was to answer the questions 'What makes teams successful?' Here are the full findings.

The following outcomes are all worth considering for your team, peer or community or sporting group.

In my work with clients I have used these as a guide with a particular focus on people doing work that is meaningful for them as well as being highly valuable for others.

There's 'meaning quotient' too, a term coined my McKinsey in 2013. I haven't yet seen this become mainstream. I do feel it will become increasingly important for people.

So, why the apparent mass exodus of people leaving their current roles for new ones in 2021? 

For me the pandemic has highlighted starkly that most people want greater respect and better and more flexible working conditions.

What say you?

Kind regards

PS The Wise Leaders Workshop is my signature offering for helping you and your team to become the best humans you can be, and to do work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others. The workshop is now available complimentary five times p.a. for subscribers to my monthly newsletter.

Monday 15 November 2021

Local is our future

This 2019 published book is a great work. 

I'm also a fan of the Local Futures website including this guide to what we call all do locally. 

I feel very fortunate to live in a place (The Bellarine Peninsula) where everything we need is just around the corner, and that the small city of Geelong, twenty kilometres away, provides us with our out of the ordinary needs.

I'm also pleased that the big city (by Australian standards) of Melbourne is just that twenty minutes and then an hour by train away. And that from the main train station we can walk or take a tram to many places that provide a unique experience.

The pandemic has freshly highlighted these blessings and also the curse of globalisation.

My wish is that the majority of people never go back to commuting to big cities to work, rather that CBD's are successfully reinvented as go to places for one-of-kind experiences as well as places to live.

Below is an update I received recently from the folk at Local Futures

The COP26 meetings in Glasgow this month represent a step in the wrong direction. While the presence of fossil fuel barons has received criticism, the involvement of big tech, big agriculture, big banks and other global corporations has gone largely unchallenged, while a critical discussion of the free-trade rules that drive escalating resource use and emissions has been all but completely omitted.

By further cementing the alliance between big government and big money, the COP negotiations have consistently served to steer the agenda of the environmental movement away from fundamental structural change, towards pseudo-solutions like carbon trading, synthetic food, and investment in technological expansion. And COP26 is no different. 

However, all is not lost. At the grassroots, people are taking genuine steps to face up to the climate crisis. The call for systemic change is becoming mainstream, while localization projects across the globe already demonstrate the potential to drastically reduce emissions and support biodiversity while increasing human wellbeing."

One of the massive problems of our time in my view is "the alliance between big government and big money..."

Local Futures offer an alternative in this short film.

I'm doing my best in my own way to move on from a world controlled by corporations and politicians.

I've been weaning myself off exposure to media too, both mainstream and social, as a part of my quest. In my view the media as a collective is a massive part of the problem.

With few exceptions my feeling is that the majority of mainstream journalists are fanning the flame of corporate and political dominance over our lives. 

I don't feel that social media is helping us move in a better direction either. Too much division and duality for me. 

Over the weekend I deactivated my Twitter and Facebook accounts as a part of my journey to hold my beliefs and opinions lightly. I will still be offering them when asked, just in settings where I feel safe and welcome to do so.

In future my focus will be on LinkedIn, my YouTube channel, my blog and podcasts where my aim is to be helpful and valuable to the people who value my research findings and also learnings gleaned from the weekly peer group gatherings I host for my clients and the regular story telling and conversations.

I have more clarity than I've ever had to just focus on my small circles of influence (about 150 people).

I've been helped with this by revisiting Dunbar's Law which I've embraced since anthropologist Robin Dunbar published his research in the 1990's. I see this in new light lately.

For me Dunbar's Law works like this: my Inner Circle is about 5 people, and the next group of people that I have close relationships with is about 15. My Peer Groups are growing to about 35 people. I have meaningful connections with approximately 150 people. These are the folk I stay in touch with regularly. All are on my small monthly newsletter list. Then there are Acquaintances (about 500 people) and People I recognise (about 1500). Interestingly my LinkedIn connections number 2407. I reckon I only recognise about 1500!

Carol and I have discovered many great things locally during the pandemic including a great sourdough bread place called Ket Bakery we were always going to visit, just never did.

In Geelong the It's Our Backyard has been a great initiative to inspire people to think local first for goods and services.

A great insight I received while researching this article is that local is a great metaphor for life too

Local is our inner life and what we allow in to our hearts, minds and bodies.

Local is family.

Local is friends.

Local is our neighbourhood. 

Local is our home town or village.

Local is those we work with.

Local is those who engage with us in meaningful ways on the whatever platforms you choose.

Local is the cohorts, community and sporting groups we are involved in.

What is happening for you?
How is local a key to your future?

Please email me I'd love to hear your stories.

Kind regards


Wednesday 3 November 2021

Enough: Unlock your life of abundance starting right where you are

Thrilled to let you now that this book is now published and available worldwide on Kindle and in paperback.

This was the greatest collaborative project that I've ever worked on. 

My gratitude to fellow authors Claudia Brose, Con Christensen, Jacqueline Davis, Jeremy Deedes, Mark Dyck, Caroline Harvey, Sue Heatherington, Joel Hughes, Jacquie Landeman, Kim LeClair, Darcy Lee, Pete Michaels, Cat Preston, Ulla Raaf, Tricia Van Vleit.

My gratitude also to Bernadette Jiwa founder of The Right Company. It is the best cohort that I've been engaged in of my professional life.

More at the Enough website.

Kind regards


"If people interest you, and the distilled wisdom of peoples' experiences fascinate you, then you will cherish this collection.”

Terry McGivern, Regional Managing Director (CEER ME APAC) Kingspan light +Air, Cavan, Ireland

"Enough forms an assembly of wise souls and trusted mentors, distilling their best advice into a powerful call-to-action.  It combines practical tips and compelling stories, forming a beautifully paced piece of work. ‘Enough’ reassures that your own unique talents and perspective mean you already have the tools you need to curate the life you want. It then gently takes you by the hand and says, “now let’s try this…” Think of ‘Enough’ as a user guide for creatives - especially those who feel stuck, rudderless or weighed down with imposter syndrome. 

It swerves well-worn platitudes and instead presents a generous edit of new ideas, habits and ways of working. It’s a book that’s as hopeful as it is wise."

Fiona Mattesini, journalist and writer, United Kingdom

“Book shops and libraries are full of self-help volumes for people in business who may be frustrated and who desire to change and improve their situation. Why this book then? Enough, is different in that it features sixteen diverse first-person accounts of how experienced managers and entrepreneurs from many different parts of the world have successfully confronted these very issues and transformed their professional lives. 

It is not a book which offers a single formula or strategy but, rather, provides different real-life examples and, hopefully inspiration, on how to move forward on your own unique path. You will be informed and also entertained. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to blaze their own trail but who might be having some difficulty defining the way.”

John McDermott, internationally recognised photographer and writer, USA/Italy

Monday 1 November 2021

Update to my complimentary resources depository for wise leaders

I've made it simpler for you to access my books as well as complimentary resources. 

Everything is accessible via this web page.


My Books,

and the following with my compliments:

Self-directed online courses.



Blogs posts.



and a monthly newsletter.

Every resource is carefully crafted to help you to hone your one-of-a-kind way of leading and to become the wise leader you want to be.

Kind regards


Monday 25 October 2021

Could you describe your strategy in six words?

I took the background photo above on a trip to Italy in 2008. I didn't know at the time that it would play a significant part in how I would help my clients as well as help myself.

NB The content of this post and podcast has been updated from a Slideshare I produced on June 22nd 2010.

You can listen to the 3 minutes and 48 seconds podcast version here.

Ernest Hemingway believed the following were six of the best words he ever wrote “for sale, baby shoes, never worn.”

Way back in 2010, and building on the insight from Hemingway’s words, my friend Kwai Yu asked two questions in a LinkedIn discussion:

Who are you?

Could you tell the story of you in six words?

Kwai received some extraordinary responses.

They gave me great inspiration, which led to an idea that I implemented. I began asking my clients, could you describe your strategy in six words?

I also developed a simple, fun exercise where participants in my presentations and programs came up with six word or one sentence strategies. Many have been fully embraced. They have helped my clients to thrive in the best of, as well as the most challenging times.

I've asked 100’s of people from all over the world, Could you describe your strategy in six words? There have been many, many memorable answers. 

Adopting a six word or one sentence strategy also means avoiding strategy planning which in my view is an oxymoron and therefore not worth your time and energy. Let alone that by the time you print your strategic planning document it could already be out of touch!

Strategy is like a compass. It’s simply the guide by which you make decisions. It should never be confused with the map i.e your execution plan, or better still your execution process.

Of course living and leading in a pandemic influenced world, let alone other major challenges such as climate change action, a simple yet profound, six word or one sentence strategy is needed now more than ever.

Embracing a six word or single sentence strategy is what wise leaders do.

My own strategy in my professional practice has been nuanced several times in the past twelve years. I help my clients be innovative and to stay ahead of curves and patterns by doing the same in their own best way.

My current one sentence strategy is 5 words:

55% helpful conversations, 45% referrals

By way of explanation helpful conversations for them with people after working with them, or hosting an event, generates 55% of my new clients, while the other 45% come from referrals form current clients. 

My strategy has also played a major role in a choice I made to significantly reduce my working hours (I've got other pursuits in life), yet at the same time embrace the "less but better" principle, while also expanding on the number of people I work with by shifting to group mentoring with 1:1 support, and expanding the number of peer groups I host. 

How would you describe your strategy in six words or a single sentence?

Should you love some help please text me on +61 418 807 898 during business hours AEDT or between 8.30 AM/9.30 AM United Kingdom and Europe time. I will then call you to schedule a 30 minute complimentary conversation where I will provide value and we can agree or not to begin a relationship.

Kind regards


PS You might find inspiration, as I do, from the six word stories website. 

Monday 11 October 2021

What's your role in bringing the new world to life? (part four of four)

What are the changes you can influence and want to see in the world?

I have three primary changes I'm working on with collaborators and through my unique way way of working with leaders (storytelling and conversations that inspire and enable best people leadership, process innovation, purpose impact).

The first part about personal philosophies is here.

The second part about personal and shared values behaviours is here.

Part three is here. It's about It's about how our personal and shared practices are the precursors to change.

1) Structural changes in society (including workplaces) that better eliminate environmental injustice and economic inequality, and enable personal well-being.

This book has been on my side table for a few weeks now. It is a collection of conversations between progressives about post covid-19 pandemic possibilities.

My favourite is the conversation between Yanis Varoufakis and Johann Hari, two of my favourite authors, Yanis with 'Another Now' and other books, and Johann with 'Lost Connections'.

2) Citizens councils determining our direction and destiny and not politicians

Google citizens councils. Some amazing things happened in Ireland for example where the Catholic Church's archaic wishes were not granted by the council, the people or the parliament.

There are many, many examples out there. I feel citizens councils are zeitgeist.

3) Co-operatives owned by employees being a great influence for good and helping to end the reign of corporations.

I feel this in my bones. Again do your own research. Get your own feel.

Please write to me should any of the above resonate with you or be in tune with your geist.

Helping you to hone your one-of-a-kind way of leading and become the wise leader you want to be


Wednesday 6 October 2021

What's your role in bringing the new world to life? (part three of four)

 This is part three of four. It's about how our personal and shared practices are the precursors to change.

The first part about personal philosophies is here.

The second part about personal and shared values behaviours is here.

Our financial system is flawed. It increases the inequality gap by advantaging the rich and disadvantaging the poor, and every one in between.

There's a lot of reimagining taking place, as well as action to make the current system obsolete in favour of a system that promotes equality and equity of opportunity and how we can all contribute to societies greater good.

One movement is about replacing current welfare systems with some form of universal basic income.

Recently I discovered a lot of great insights (pro and con) about this via the Humanists Victoria, Australia website. See them all here.

You may also be interested in previous pieces I've posted and podcasted about this:

Are you part of the reimagining money, well-being and jobs movement?

What we owe each other.

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

Buckminster Fuller most likely in 1970!

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.”

Buckminster Fuller

What personal and shared practices are you engaged in to ensure the status quo is serving you and those you live, work and play with?

Here are five of mine:

1) When I meet with clients we follow our warm greetings of one another with a short conversation to answer two questions 1) what's worth celebrating? 2) what can be better? A simple yet profound, short conversation around the questions always keeps us living in the now not the normal.

2) Every morning mostly before doing anything else I make a list of what I'm grateful for. Sometimes my wife and I share what we're grateful for individually and together. We speak out loud during a daily walk.

3) The daily walk is a ritual my wife and I having been undertaking for many years. I also take walks alone to contemplate, and sometimes just simply to enjoy nature.

4) I meditate daily and have done for over 40 years. I use a form of heart felt meditation and breath meditation. An open and warm heart plus a clear mind keep us sharp and aware and free from any kind of complacency or procrastination.

5) When my clients and I part company after conversation we ritually end with our key take aways, the actions we will take, and how we will help each other to be accountable. My work is primarily in peer groups so this is also a great team/peer group/community/sports group exercise. It promotes belonging, living on purpose, and being accountable.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Helping you to hone your one-of-a-kind way of leading and become the wise leader you want to be.


Tuesday 21 September 2021

What's your role in bringing the new world to life? (part two of four)

This is part two of four.

I'm using this model as a process.

Here's part one about personal philosophies.

There's much to love about this book. 

Three aspects that I love in particular are:

1) The idea of exponential humanism "the philosophy to find a way forward that will allow us to embrace technology but not become technology, to use it as a tool not as purpose."

2) The concept of "key human indicators" as a far better way forward than the traditional and tired KPI's.

3) The insight of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

I believe our personal value behaviours and our shared values behaviours are key to bringing Gerd's insights into reality in your own best way.

Personal Values Behaviours

I have five foundational personal values behaviours as follows:

1) Tender-hearted - I let people know they are valued, understood and that they have been heard.

2) Tough-minded - I call out less than agreed standards of behaviour.

3) Tolerance - I celebrate diversity and honour opinions and beliefs different to my own.

4) Truth-telling - I tell the truth as I see it regardless of the situation.

5) Trustworthiness - I never break confidentiality and always keep my promises.

What are your foundational personal values behaviours?

I live eight heart qualities: love, gratitude, appreciation, care, happiness, compassion, harmony, kindness.

You can watch a video and read about them in detail here.

I wrote about these eight heart qualities, and the eight head catalysts and eight hand actions that support them, in my book Heart Leadership Become the wise leader you want to be. Learn more.

What other personal values behaviours in addition to your foundational personal values do you have?

Shared Values Behaviours

The concept of shared-view is fundamental to everything I teach and work on with my clients. 

There's a complimentary self-directed online course with short videos and podcasts here that you can undertake in an hour or so about the seven areas of significance where sustaining shared-view is paramount. The seven are reality, possibility, purpose, strategy, execution, progress, culture. 

Critical to culture is have a shared-view about what the behaviours are for our shared values.

What are your shared values behaviours in your team, peer groups, sporting club, community organisations, family, wherever you belong?

Please give me a call should you like some help.

Here's some further resources and insights that I have found highly valuable

There's two short videos in this post Values Must Be Behaviours. In this post I also reference Dov Seidman's work about the great difference between 'sustainable values' and 'situational values.' There's a list of other insights and resources at the bottom of the post.

I love Brene Brown's work and her complimentary download about values behaviours is very good. Get it here.

Friday 17 September 2021

Grandpa's Story and The Law of the Farm

This is the third video I've recently changed from private to public viewing settings. The stories and concepts stand the test of time.

The first, My Mother Taught Me, is about role models.

The second, My Father Taught me, is about the five faces of a human being fully alive.

All three of these stories and concepts form part of a complimentary self-directed online course: Reasons, Relationships and Routines Guarantee Results. You can access it here.

Helping you to hone your one-of-a-kind way of leading and become the wise leader you want to be.