Monday, 26 July 2021

The 15 roles wise leaders play playbook

This is my last regular blog for awhile. 

I'm focusing my writing for the foreseeable future on producing a series of playbooks for wise leaders. 

This is the first one, The 15 roles wise leaders play. You can download it here.

Here's the depository of all my resources.

Be the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Friday, 23 July 2021

Activism is part of a wise leaders purpose and vulnerability is essential

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 118. 

Part of the reason I got up this morning full of enthusiasm is because at heart I’m an activist who wants to see a better world. In my case my passion is eliminating injustice. I believe activism is part of a wise leaders purpose. I also believe that a willingness to be vulnerable is essential.

Of course any study of vulnerability would include reading Brene Brown’s wonderful book 'Daring Greatly. How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’. I’ve read the book three times. I also highly recommend Brene’s ‘Call to Courage’ presentation on Netflix.

I love many of Brene’s insights. A favourite is her statement that abundance is not the opposite of scarcity rather enough is the opposite of scarcity. She says “I am enough, I’ve had enough, showing up, taking risks, and letting myself be seen is enough.”

I thought much about this as I wrote my chapter for the upcoming book with my colleagues in The Right Company.

How much do you see yourself as enough?

This doesn’t mean that we are not on a quest to be better. It does means we are satisfied with where we are now and we will to show us as we are.

When I believe I am enough I find my willingness to share is greater and my willingness to vulnerable inspires others to be vulnerable.

The more we are willing to be vulnerable the greater trust we inspire.

The folk at Edelman said after 20 years of research into trust:

"The 2020s promise to be a decade of activism. There’ll be more popular activism – i.e., community groups, public campaigns, and networks of people fighting for their environment and the planet, for their identities, safety on the streets, justice in the system and for opportunity and integrity at work. 

There’ll be a new wave of financial activism – i.e., company pension funds, college endowments, state-backed savings programs, charitable trusts will be harnessed to put pressure on business, government and the media. And there’ll be much more local activism – i.e., states and cities within countries will take it upon themselves to deliver for their citizens, where the national government is falling short.

This activism need not just be something done to the big four institutions of government, business, media, and NGOs. It can and should be done by them. And while none of the four institutions can afford to wait for the others to act, the more they do so in concert the better.

For government, activism is going to mean addressing the disruptors: technology, globalization, automation and data, information platforms and carbon emissions. It’s self-evident that the governments that can harness the accelerating changes of the 21st century in the interests of their citizens will be rewarded with trust. So far, it has been the governments of Asia, generally technocratic and interventionist that have been willing to do so.”

What are you activating for? Who with? How would you rate your willingness to be vulnerable?

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Become the wise leader you want to be?

Ian

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Enablers

This is the final video in a series of fifteen (each has an accompanying blog post) about the roles wise leaders play. There's link to the previous fourteen videos and accompanying posts at the bottom of this post. Alternatively you can download this PDF which links to each video on the one page.


One of the reasons that I have little time for most politicians is that instead of being the enablers we need them to be they are full of themselves and actually in the way of progress.

Wise Leaders Are Great Enablers.

The great Zig Ziglar reminded us long ago of a profound truth “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.”

So yes there's an element of self-interest in leadership, the key is that it's enlightened self-interest.

There are five essential ways that I know to enable other people:

1) Believe in people.

2) Value everyone you meet for the special one-of-a-kind human being that each of us is.

3) Show appreciation to people and invoke the other heart qualities.

4) Ask other people what value they want from you and how you should deliver such value, and then deliver.

5) Learn from people through storytelling and conversations whatever is in the way of them achieving what's important to them. Then help them to remove all barriers. Get out of the way yourself if needed!

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Previous videos and posts in this series


Monday, 19 July 2021

The significance of signature stories and sparkenation conversations

 In all of my work today my methodology embraces these three pillars:

Signature Storytelling has three key components


1. Stories unique to the teller.
2. People feel themselves in the story.
3. Meaningful, inspirational, valuable now and in the long term.

While all signature stories can only be told by the person who has lived the experience, expressing vulnerability is a further unique aspect (often related via self-depreciating humour). What is also distinctive is the inspiration and short and long term value in how the storyteller overcame the challenge/difficulty. All of these components conspire to enable people to feel themselves in the story.

Sparkenation Conversations also have three key components


1. Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.
2. Candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious, compelling.

Key reasons most meetings fail are: there is a lack of passion, no agreed actions, and the status quo remains despite talk that often goes for hours. 

Embracing the concept of sparkenations changes this as does embracing the five C's. A further significance of sparkenation conversations is the inclusion of personal and relationship matters as well as organisational ones.

Signature stories and sparkenation conversations make meaningful master mentoring possible. Master mentoring means:

1. You’re the master, I’m the mentor.

2. Mastering 15 roles wise leaders play.

3. You’re the mentor, other people the masters ensuring process innovation that means it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Learn more about all of the above here. At this link there's videos that feature all of the components.

Three ways to experience these distinctive ways of working and to adopt them yourself in your own best way

1. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter. This means you get a complimentary place at my first and third Wednesday's online events.

2. Participate in a We Need To Talk Experience. Learn more and register here.

3. Undertake The Wise Leaders Workshop.

Become the wise leader you want to be.
Ian

Friday, 16 July 2021

Now is the only time that matters

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 117. 

Wayne Dyer was the first person I heard say “you can’t change the past.” I’ve learned that we can change our view of what happened in the past. We can also change, modify or nuance how we let past experiences affect us.

If we look back at the past with anger or frustration or whatever negative emotion, we have made a choice to do so.

Equally we can choose to look into the future with fear or not. I like American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, and wit, James Thurber’s approach. He said:

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” 

I believe self-awareness to be the number one skill of wise leadership, and awareness of others the number two skill.

I’ve concluded that very few people excel at awareness, or to use a common phrase, being awake. Be the one who excels.

One way is to be known for changing your mind, a belief or way of being when appropriate.

The famous economist John Maynard Keynes said:

"When my information changes, I change my mind. Why, what do you do, sir?"

This is a great question. And yet every day, all around us we see and hear people with thinking and behaving that clearly needs an upgrade!

A second way to be a person who excels at awareness is to keep a journal of what you are noticing about yourself, other people, and what’s in your world

Then focus on what you can influence for the better.

A third way to be a person who excels at awareness is to meditate

Meditation is different to prayer as some wise people have noted. "Prayer is asking, meditation is listening."

When faced with a life-threatening illness over 40 years ago my doctor taught me meditation. At the time I couldn't spell it let alone understand it. Meditation is a key to self-awareness and awareness of others.

There are many ways to meditate. Find a way or ways that suit you.

I prefer breath meditation, which was the way my doctor originally taught me. I also use sitting in silence, focusing on a single object or idea, contemplating open-space in the sky, ocean, field, walking alone.

In addition to these since I begin embracing the heart-leadership path four years ago, I often meditate by focusing on a particular part of my body, feeling my pulse (rhythm) there, and then focusing on the feeling of one of the eight heart qualities that I live by.

Each of these three ways to increase our awareness is about living in the now because now is the only time that matters.

Become the wise leader you want to be?

Ian 

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Wise Leaders Are Shared-view Sustainers

This is number fourteen in a series of videos and posts about the roles wise leaders play. There's link to the previous thirteen videos and accompanying posts at the bottom of this post.


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

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


There's a self-directed, complimentary online course here about the seven areas of significance where the most successful leaders stand out in sustaining shared-view in organisations.

At the completion of this series I will share a new series of videos and post about sustaining shared-view personally and in your relationships.

Become the wise leader you want to be.
Ian

Previous videos and posts in this series

Monday, 12 July 2021

When 'We Need To Talk' is positive, caring and creative

It's likely that when you hear the words "we need to talk" your reaction is neutral at best. More than likely you immediately feel something negative or you start thinking about worse case scenarios.

What if "we need to talk" was a positive, caring and creative experience? My new online program is such an experience.

You can learn more about this here or register for either episode one or two below. It all begins on August 25th. I have created two different times so that wherever you are in the world you can participate at a comfortable time for you.

Wise Leaders We Need To Talk is a combination of stories (yours and mine) that stir hearts and shift thinking, and the life-enhancing sparkenation conversations that follow. Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.



By participating in either of these events you are supporting a fairer world for disadvantaged girls. See details at the links.

Become the wise leader you want to be.
Ian

Friday, 9 July 2021

What's driving you?

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 116. 

I’m a member of a wonderful peer group called The Right Company. 

We have members from all over the world. Recently Jeremy Deedes, a member from the UK and a life and financial planning coach, asked what drive us?

He provided this list for contemplation:

  • Values-driven
  • Vision-driven
  • Money-driven
  • Duty-driven
  • Task-driven
  • List-driven
  • Goal-driven
  • Fear-driven
  • Ambition-driven
  • Serenity-driven

I added serving others driven to this list. 


Then I began reflecting and remembered a great book by the Founder of The Right Company Bernadette Jiwa who wrote this brilliant book.

I like it so much it makes my top 21 recommended reading list.

The more I reflected the more I decided that I am story-driven. I’m driven by the story of my own life and my quest to continue to be better, wiser and more valuable. 

I’m driven to see, unearth, magnify and enhance my essence (unique personal wisdom) and to help you to do the same. 

I’m driven by the story of life and us humans and how we can change the status quo narrative and leave the world better than when we arrived here.

What’s driving me is shifting the normal narrative from

  • scarcity to sufficiency.

  • this is how it is to anything is possible.

  • competition to collaboration.

  • command and control to co-operation and freedom.

  • growth to responsible progress.

  • profit to people, purpose, and planet.

  • more is better to less but better.

  • greed to gratitude.
appraisal to aspirations, appreciation and accountability.

  • fear to love.

What’s driving you?

Become the wise leader you want to be?

Ian

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Wise Leaders Are Purpose Impact Enhancers

Today's video and blog post is the thirteenth in a series of fifteen about the roles Wise Leaders play.

My purpose is changing the status quo (normal) narrative from:

  • scarcity to sufficiency.
  • this is how it is to anything is possible.
  • competition to collaboration.
  • command and control to co-operation and freedom.
  • growth to responsible progress.
  • profit to people, purpose, and planet.
  • more is better to less but better.
  • greed to gratitude.
  • appraisal to aspirations, appreciation and accountability.
  • fear to love.

You get a clear idea of what I stand for by reading the above right?

You can also imagine the kind of impacts I want to make by achieving my purpose. I want people to:

do their bit to restore our planet, bring about greater equality, be more human-centred, just to name three impacts.

Mostly by achieving my purpose I can help you as a purpose-driven leader to enhance your purpose impact.

I believe Wise Leaders Are Purpose Impact Enhancers.

In what ways can you make a greater impact on your world?
What more can you do to enhance the impact of the purposes of your family members, friends, customers/clients, colleagues, all your stakeholders?

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Previous videos and posts in this series

Here's the video and post on Process Innovators.

Here's the video and post on People Leaders.

Here's the video and post on Peacemakers.


Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling.  

Monday, 5 July 2021

What we owe each other


This is a great book. It shines many lights on what's possible in a world where equality is not yet normal.

Reading this has continued my quest to do what I can to eliminate injustice.


I'm convinced that our best future is not just about jobs and growth, the catch cry of many conservative politicians.

I'm equally convinced that businesses can be more responsible. I found this definition by the OECD about such conduct interesting to say the least in the light of a lot of business behaviour.

Yanis Varoufakis and Daran Acemoglou given us lots to think about in their debate about universal basic income (UBI) or as Yanis prefers Universal Basic dividend. 

Yanis features again in this very interesting conversation 'Debt is power' with Astra Taylor, Jayati Ghosh and Frank Barat. David Graeber's book 'The First 5000 Years' mentioned is here. 

Further recommended reading 

'Another Now' by Yanis Varoufakis.

'The Double X Economy' by Linda Scott.

'The Deficit Myth' by Stephanie Kelton?

Our political, financial and business systems are not fit for purpose. We need to make them obsolete.

'We should thank the unemployed for their service. They've been used to control inflation' is an article by business writer Gareth Hutchens that clearly demonstrates that having unemployed people and people living in poverty is policy. Disgusting isn't it?

I'm very interested in your thoughts. Please write me ian@ianberry.biz. 

Become the wise leader you want to be.
Ian

Friday, 2 July 2021

Introducing The D.R.E.A.M. Process

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 115. 

They say that death, taxes and change are life’s three certainties. I would add a fourth - following proven processes means outcomes take care of themselves.

For over 30 years I have been designing human-centred processes to help my clients reach and sustain optimum performance.

What’s vital to all the work is the understanding that processes include rituals, routines, policies, procedures and practices, principles and philosophies, systems and structures, and assumptions.

When all of these mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work your business or professional practice has the underpinning essential to excel in any endeavour you have expertise in.

A process that underpins all processes I call the D.R.E.A.M. Process. More about Process Innovation as the true management here.

From a personal perspective D.R.E.A.M. stands for Diet, Rhythm, Exercise, Appreciation and Meaning. 

I know when my Diet is plant based at least five days a week I can maintain my best weight and energy levels. When I’m operating in harmony with my hearts Rhythm, which is slow and considered, I can bring my best to every interaction and transaction. When I walk daily and sustain my tailored Exercise routine I always have the energy I need. When I’m Appreciating myself and others as integral to life I sustain a positive disposition. Lastly when I am doing work that is Meaningful for me and valuable for others I can stay in my happy lane.

From a professional perspective D.R.E.A.M. stands for Desire, Reason, Essence, Approach, Methodologies.

My Desire is to lead a worldwide community of purpose driven leaders seeking to make the difference you’re inspired to make without losing your integrity.

My Reason is to help people to become the wise leaders you want to be through story-telling and sharing, candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations, mentoring and sharing of carefully crafted resources

My Essence is that I see what most people don’t, say what most people won’t, and shine light on possible pathways for the future in ways that inspire people to take action in your own best way.

My Approach is 3 blogs per week (8 AM AEST Monday (read), Wednesday (video and read), Friday (podcast and read), 1 newsletter per month, 4 complimentary events per month,1 helpful conversation per week day.

My Methodologies are leading/co-leading peer groups, bespoke mentoring, giving presentations, hosting an online experience called ‘We Need To Talk’, writing books and providing other carefully crafted resources, plus having a least one helpful conversation with a colleague, client or candidate every week day.

How could you use The D.R.E.A.M. process to become the wise leader you want to be?


Should you love some help please contact me on +61 418 807 898.
Ian

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Wise Leaders Are Process Innovators

Today's video and blog post is the twelfth in a series of fifteen about the roles Wise Leaders play.


Being a process innovator is the new management.

Process innovation is about ensuring that all your processes mean it's simple for people to bring their essence to their work every day. This is essential particularly now that the hybrid workplace is here to stay.

In process innovation work I define innovation as changing what's normal when the status quo is no longer serving. It's imperative to understand that processes includes policies, principles, practices, procedures, philosophies, systems, structures, and assumptions.

Every day innovation is integral to the modern workplace



Below is a diagram that I often work through with clients to ensure innovation rather than solve a problem and return to the status quo.

In my Heart-Leadership book I say the following in referencing the above diagram:

"The straight line in the above diagram represents what is normal practice in the majority of organisations. Be the exception and take the quantum leap route.

There's a lot of talk about 'disruptive innovation'. The biggest disruption we need to make often is to disrupt ourselves and to change the status quo when sameness is no longer serving us.

Quantum leaps are often thought of as big jumps. They are in fact small yet significant shifts."


Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Previous videos and posts in this series

Here's the video and post on People Leaders.

Here's the video and post on Peacemakers.


Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling. 

Monday, 28 June 2021

Introducing the G.L.O.W. peer and after-action-review process

Wise leaders do many things that unwise or fake leaders don't. Two standouts are peer reviews and after-action-reviews.

A week ago I introduced the G.L.O.W. process (good for peer or after-action reviews as well as reflections of any kind) to members of the Wise Leaders Online Village Peer Group. They all took to it in a few minutes so I'm pleased to add this to my wise leaders playbook.

I began with my own example where I reviewed my shift to my wise leaders branding three months ago:

Go with 1) bespoke mentoring, peer groups, presentations, wisdom walks, and new stories and sparkenations show as main sources of income. 2) three blogs a week, one newsletter a month, four events a month, one helpful conversation per week day, referrals, engagement on LinkedIn, as major ways to contribute and attract.

Let go of regular Twitter and Facebook, and tendency to focus on outcomes.

Optimise partnership possibilities, helpful conversations, referrals, leveraging LinkedIn connections and followers.

Wait for publication of 'Enough' book I'm contributing a chapter to in September 2021 as next major publicity and P.R.

How could you use the G.L.O.W. process?


Should you like some help please get in touch with me.

Become the wise leader you want to be.
Ian

Friday, 25 June 2021

We’re all making it up as we go along

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 114. 

What story, idea, insight, concept, are you yet to make up that when you act on it would change your life, and maybe the lives of others, for the better? Believe, Imagine, Dream, Begin, Create. We're all making it up as we go along.  

I’m in awe of human imagination, creativity and ingenuity.

Quantum physicists tell is that we live in a world of infinite possibility.

I remind myself of this daily. And the fact for me that we are only limited by our imagination.

When I was a small boy I was an only child until my brother came along when I was almost five. I had an imaginary friend I called Jack who did everything with me. My mother used to tell people “it’s as if Jack is a real person.” For me he was.

I have a family member who believes that fairies came to her after a bad car accident that almost took her life and encouraged her to live. I am in no doubt whatsoever that this is a real experience for her.

A friend believes angels protect him whenever required. He has names for his angels whom he refers to as his best  friends. I am in no doubt whatsoever that these angels are real for my friend.

All beliefs require a faith in something we can’t prove.

People in service to self make up stories and create rules that benefit them and others like them.

We all make up stories and rules in service to self as well as in service to others.

We all have stories inside our heads that we made up based on our beliefs and perceptions about what happened in the past, what might happen in the present and in the future.

Whatever you believe in your heart do not let anyone persuade you otherwise. Be open though to changing what’s inside your head.

We are all masters of our own destiny to the degree of the things we have control over.

We decide and are accountable for our intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions, behaviours. We are not accountable for other people’s intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions, behaviours. We can influence them.

We can choose our response to each moment. As Viktor Frankl so wonderfully reminded us in doing so lies our growth and our freedom.

He said  

“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.”

Shared beliefs like shared values behaviours are powerful because wanting to belong with others of like heart and mind is in our DNA.

I’ve studied most of the world’s religions and mythologies in great detail. Each contain wonderful stories. There are similarities and truth in them all. In my view we made them all up. 

I respect whatever you have faith in. I would question all of the rules you have though. For me I know that the moment I began to believe God was a name of many that we give the force inside all living things and not some external being, my life changed for the better. I began from that moment to set my own rules, and to co-create rules with others that mean living in harmony with one another.

We are all making it up as we go along. It’s human nature.

What story, idea, insight, concept, could you make up that when you act on it would change your life, and maybe the lives of others, for the better?

What are your dreams telling you? I’ve noted in my research that many of the great inventions were preceded by a dream of the inventor.

Words attributed to the great German philosopher Goethe, yet probably not his words, might inspire you as they inspire me.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

What's your big dream?
When will you act on it?

Should you love some help please contact me.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Wise Leaders Are People Leaders

It should be obvious that leadership is about people. Sadly it's not. For some leadership is about power and privilege. For some leadership is command and control or divide and conquer. These folk are managers not leaders. People management is an oxymoron.

Today's video (the eleventh in a series of fifteen) is a reminder that people leadership is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, yet mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence (unique personal wisdom), including your own.


As I stated in Monday's post about the wonderful work of wise leaders the primary purpose of real leaders is to make a difference and serve others.

How are you going?

There's a short self-directed complimentary online course here to help you to see, unearth, magnify and/or enhance your essence.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Previous videos and posts in the series

Here's the video and post on Peacemakers.


Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling. 

Monday, 21 June 2021

The Wonderful Work of Wise Leaders

It's been my honour and privilege to work with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries, across a myriad of industries, since 1990. My observations are that broadly speaking there are two distinct kinds of leaders in terms of primary purpose.

1) Make money and serve self.

2) Make a difference and serve others.

I work exclusively with this second group. I call them wise leaders. In the short video (3 minutes and 15 seconds) below I explore what sets them apart.

I've learned that wise leaders put people first, ensure that their processes mean it's simple for people to bring their best to their work, all in the pursuit of a purpose beyond profit.

A consequence of this work is that people feel valued, live values and deliver and exchange value.

A further consequence (and the jury is no longer out on this) is the pursuit of a purpose beyond result in higher profits.

I've begun putting a lexicon together. You'll find full definitions for people leadership, process innovation and purpose impact here.

I've also learned that for the wisest leaders personal development precedes business development, and the very best engage mentors as well as belong to peer groups.

My work with client embraces these three.

The catalyst for the wonderful work of wise leaders is candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations. 

Here's a post and short podcast about these.

Wise leaders are fluent in fifteen kinds of conversations. As a consequence they have stopped having meetings. 

Read about the fifteen here.

What underpins the wonderful work of wise leaders is that values are agreed behaviours and there are also agreed consequences when these values are betrayed.

Wise leaders lead by example and play fifteen roles extremely well.

I'm currently recording short videos and writing post about each of the fifteen. Watch and read so far at the Wisdom For Wise Leaders playlist. Email me ian@ianberry.biz to get your copy of the playbook I'm writing about these roles. It will be available in August.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Here's how I can help.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Key consequences of candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 113. 

Candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations
enrich the relationships essential to help us to turn possibility into reality. 

Such conversations take performance to new heights when they are helpful, valuable,
about the personal more than the business, and about why more than how.

Nine years ago we moved home to a place where I could easily generate enough in person work within no more than a couple of hours drive from home as well as do some work online. My primary reason was that after thirty years I was done with flying somewhere almost every week to give short presentations and then come home again. I also had health challenges that were made worse through continuous flying.

Part of my change was to shift from mainly presentations and some conversations to mostly conversations.

The changes have been relatively easy with most of my work being online. This was not what I expected. Of course I’m very glad as it turned out given we are living with a pandemic.

The changes that have been dramatic have been the kind of conversations I’m having, their value to others, and their purpose. 

This has also led to never boring conversations and no Zoom fatigue!

I was always candid. What’s changed is the nature of my candour. I am now also deliberately convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling.

The primary purpose of having conversations has shifted from mostly business development and how to do things to mostly being about personal development and why more than how.

I learned a great lesson from Bernadette Jiwa who believes that marketing is simply a series of helpful conversations.

Making the primary purpose of my conversations with clients, prospect clients, and people in general to be helpful has meant more meaningful, valuable and relevant conversations for everyone.

I’ve been deeply inspired also by the poet David Whyte who said “in leadership the conversation is not about the work, the conversation is the work".

This shifting in purpose has also led to shifts in focus from business and how, to personal and why.

Suggested practices

1. Be Candid

I think the first words that came out of my mouth where candid. They caused a bit of a stir apparently!

I've never been backward coming forward. I think life's too short for BS. Being candid is one way to stand out because most people aren't candid.

Not everyone appreciates candour however and therefore being candid can be tricky.

I've worked very hard to make sure that my candour means I'm also kind.

Knowing and acknowledging that there's more than one way forward keeps being candid in context, inspires careful choosing of words, and helps to make kindness the focus.

Being candid in kind ways helps you to stand out, show empathy, and shine a light for others on their path.

2. Be convivial

Being convivial as well as candid has taken my communication and conversations to a whole new level.

We all take ourselves too seriously. In presentations, conversations and communication in general I use a lot of self-depreciating humour. It deepens, adds value to and strengthens relationships.

Some synonyms for convivial: friendly, genial, affable, amiable, congenial, agreeable, good-humoured, cordial, warm, sociable, outgoing, gregarious. We're all capable of these character traits when we're being the best version of ourselves.

Being convivial in kind ways enables you to take yourself less seriously, delight others, and laugh a lot!

3. Be compassionate

There's a lot of truth for me in the following attributed to Fred Kofman, a leader in the conscious business movement:

"Wisdom without compassion is ruthlessness, and compassion without wisdom is folly."

One of the Apostles of the Christian Church is reported to have said, “Faith without works is dead.”

A lot of faiths are dead, dying, or in trouble today because the actions of a few of the faithful betray their stated beliefs.  I meet a lot of people more interested in being right than being compassionate for example. 

Compassion for me is at the truthful heart of all the world’s religions. Compassion is not a belief, it's a behaviour.

If we are not living and breathing a compassionate life we render whatever we believe as null and void, regardless of what we say.

A new world is being born.  Compassion is a key component. There is a place for faith in this new world. For me belief is personal and therefore deserving of respect. What really matters in this new world though is behaviour.

Some people have asked me what has compassion got to do with the future success of my business? My answer is - Everything! particularly in a world where being purpose driven and people focused, and seeing technology as an enabler and enhancer of the human experience, is the leading edge.

Being compassionate brings out the best in you, other people, and makes the world a better place.

Being candid, convivial and compassionate are keys to all great relationships.

4. Be conscious

Conscious leadership, conscious business, conscious capitalism are just three current trends. I recommend a google search on consciousness. In my world all conversations are embracing consciousness and particularly focusing on who we are, why we're here, and why understanding our interconnectedness with all living things, including our planet and the universe, is crucial to being the best we can be.

5. Be compelling

I put together a short paper about compelling conversations with my friend and colleague Gary Edwards.

We say in the paper that every conversation has two aspects: the Task (should we do this thing?) and the Relationship (are you someone that I can trust?). Learn more by downloading our paper here.

6. Who and Why More Than What And Do

In conversations in our Wise Leaders Peer Groups and first and third Wednesday conversations we focus more on personal development and purpose more than we do on what to do and how to do things.

This comes from a central philosophy that people know what to do and how to do it. What people need and want from leaders is support, encouragement and appreciation and help in seeing, somethings unearthing yet mostly magnifying and enhancing their essence (unique personal wisdom). 

I call this people leadership. Elevating people leadership is the main focus of the conversations that I have with my clients. We support this by also have conversations about embracing process innovation and enhancing purpose impact.

Adopt these practices in your own best way and I’m confident that you will delight in the performance improvement that follows when people are enabled and empowered to work out their own how to’s coming from a deep understanding of who they are and why they do what they do.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

PS For a time the first and third Wednesday conversations that I host are complimentary if you have subscribed to my Wise Leaders Newsletter. Learn more and subscribe here.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Wise Leaders Are Peacemakers

 This video and blog post is the tenth in a series of fifteen about the roles Wise Leaders play.



Here's the video and post on Facilitators.

Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling. 

There will always be conflict, difficulty and disagreement, such is human nature. They don't need to be the norm however.

Perhaps the most famous insight into peace was my made by A.J. Muste (1895 - 1967) a Dutch-born American clergyman and political activist. He said “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”

This wonderful insight seems to be lost on most politicians today who talk about war as if it's inevitable. Surely we're better than this.

For me deciding peace is the way and living accordingly is what wise leaders do.

When there is conflict, difficulty or disagreement wise leaders do as follows:

My client, whom we will call Mark, and one of his most relied on employees, whom we will call Stephanie, are barely speaking to one another.

This is a sad scenario I see often, one where initial conflict, difficulty or disagreement was small and yet because it wasn't addressed it has now grown into a major barrier to high performance. Of course there's a domino affect too, other people are now involved and are unhappy too!

Ideally catch conflict before it negates your value, values, and feeling valued, and, if left unaddressed, your relationship.

Step one is to see conflict, or difficultly, or disagreement as a positive sign everything in a relationship is not as it can be. Addressing friction is a grand opportunity to reestablish shared-view or common-ground.

More about shared-view here.

Mark and Stephanie had both lost sight of ours and were trapped in yours and mine.

Step two in addressing conflict, difficulty, or disagreement is to use feeling language.

"I feel Stephanie's work is a great gift and so do you." I said looking Mark straight in the eye.

He nodded sheepishly.

"I feel we should explore how your work is being delivered Stephanie." I said looking her straight in the eye.

She nodded sheepishly.

As an outsider not emotionally involved, yet aware enough to pinpoint the actual problem, I was able to facilitate a candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversation between Mark and Stephanie that led to restoration of shared-view and their relationship.

It turned out that Mark and Stephanie had agreements on their goals of working together yet not on the details of how these goals were going to be achieved.

In all your relationships ensure there is a shared-view on what you what to achieve and the detail on how this will be accomplished and you will avoid most issues.

Service to self or service to others?

When you are genuinely serving others peace is likely. When you are acting in service to yourself peace is difficult.

Shared-view is honouring the world in here (my view), and the world out there (other people's views), and seeking and sustaining the world we share (ours).

People are never the problem. Problems are mostly about processes

When things are not going according to plan review the processes. Remember processes include policies, procedures, practices, principles, philosophies, systems, structures, and assumptions.

Peace is the way and ensuring our processes mean it's simple for people to bring their essence (unique personal wisdom) to everything they do, we can sustain peace and harmony.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Monday, 14 June 2021

What would you add to The Wise Leaders Lexicon?

I'm currently working on Edition One of The Wise Leaders Lexicon.

Language enriches conversations which add energy to relationships which enable life at its best.

I began this journey to find better, wiser and more valuable human-centred language for workplaces with a presentation to a small group of CEO's in 1991. I declared to them that I believed management, as in managing people, was dead. In fact I told them that people management was not a very good idea in the first place. 

To say my declaration wasn't well received would be to understate. Nevertheless my career as a contrarian was unwittingly launched. I'm grateful as this continues to help me to be helpful and valuable to those who are right for me and not the masses.

I replaced people management in the 90's with this definition:

Leadership is the art of inspiring people to bring everything they are to everything they do. Management is the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything they are to everything they do.

Today, and the first words in the Wise Leaders Lexicon, my language reads:

People Leadership is seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence (unique personal wisdom) including your own.

Process Innovation is thinking like a rebel, radical, dissenter, disruptor, heretic, non-conformist, contrarian in always questioning the status quo (normal) and then ensuring that your processes always mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

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

Progress Sustainability was the third piece of trilogy in my most recent book 'Heart-Leadership Become the wise leader you want to be'. Progress sustainability is the joyful craft of ensuring progress towards possibility (desired new reality, shared goal/objective/aim) is kept visible.

In conversations with members of Wise Leaders Community progress sustainability has evolved to purpose impact which is now in the lexicon. Purpose Impact is identifying and then pursuing your cause beyond profit. Progress sustainability is a consequence of doing this.

At the above link you'll see there are three ways to become a member of Wise Leaders Community. For the moment as the community builds membership at the Conversations Level is complimentary when you subscribe to Wise Leaders Newsletter. You can then participate in the conversations that I host every first and third Wednesdays.

Heart-leadership is a digitally-savvy, human-centred design approach to thriving in the modern enterprise. Heart-Leadership ensures people feel valued, live values and exchange and deliver value. Heart-Leadership begins with self harmony, then hearing your heart, asking your head, engaging your hands. All to achieve happenstance.

Wisdom of course makes The Wise Leader Lexicon. Wisdom is being true to yourself regardless of the situation.

Shared-view is a key piece of wise leaders language and philosophy. Shared-view is honouring the world in here (my view), and the world out there (other people's views), and seeking and sustaining the world we share (ours).

'Wise Leaders Seek and Sustain Shared-view (collective wisdom)' is the working title of the book I'm currently writing. 

This Wednesday the 16th June I'm exploring conversations that lead to or sustain shared-view. You can register for the 10 AM AEST session here and the 4.30 PM AEST here.

On the 24th June commencing at 4.30 PM AEST I'm conducting a 90 minute workshop on the content of my new book so far. There are five of the complimentary places left. To participate please express your interest by telephoning me on +61 418 807 898.

Change Leadership is next in the lexicon. Change leadership is following an agreed change process in order to thrive on the challenges of change and to sustain a positive momentum.

Like people management I believe change management is an oxymoron. Performance management and strategic planning are oxymorons too. In the Wise Leaders Lexicon I've replaced these with Performance Energetics and Strategic Heartistry.

Performance Energetics is sustaining high energy and flow. Sometimes our role as wise leaders is about enhancing energy, sometimes holding it, and sometimes shifting it. Performance Energetics is about attracting people, onboarding them, value delivery and exchange relationships, retaining people and wisdom, and succession. Performance Energetics is being and doing all these in ways that contribute to people feeling valued, living values and delivering and exchanging value.

Strategic Heartistry is a concept I developed with Susan Furness. Strategic Heartistry is the deliberate practice of being in rhythm with everything that makes your people and your business thrive. Strategic Heartistry is about connecting hearts, heads and hands to plans.

Processes-on-a-page is an evolution from plans-on-a-page as well as an alternative. I'm a pioneer in plans-on-a-page and still value them when in context. Processes-on-a-page is a snapshot of the rituals and routines being followed to ensure personal fulfillment and to enhance purpose impact.

Sparkenation Conversations are pivotal to all wise leaders work. Sparkenation is a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal. Sparkenation conversations by definition are candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling.

There you have it The Wise Leaders Lexicon so far. To contribute and be part of the Wise Leaders movement join our community today. Remember it's complimentary (for now) at the Conversations level. Just subscribe to the Wise Leaders Newsletter at the link.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Friday, 11 June 2021

Moving on from working in ways that no longer work

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 112. 

I wrote an ebook in May 2017 that contains my best insights, inspiration, and ideas for our times from my first decade of blogging. You can download ‘Meaningful Work and The Meaning Of Life’ here.

In the ebook I reference what I believe are four distinct ages in recent human history.

Firstly the Agricultural Age of 10-12000 years ago. At the end of this age the key roles were Landowners and Labourers. Power was in the hands of a few.

Then the Industrial Age that commenced 300 years ago. Key roles were Industrialists and Factory workers. Power was still in the hands of a few.

The third distinct age in human history, The Information Age, began 50 years ago. The key roles technology guru’s/experts/entrepreneurs and knowledge workers, a term created by Peter Drucker in 1959 that found its place in this age. Power was still however in the hands of a few.

The current and fourth age I call The Purpose Age. It began perhaps 30 years ago. The fall of the Berlin wall was certainly a sign of significant change.

I believe that this purpose age is an age for the foreseeable future. The key roles are Differencemakers and Insightspreneurs (people able to turn information into useable insight/s) and wisdom workers.

The really big change in this purpose age is that power is now in the hands of many.

At the moment this power is only used wisely that I can see in small pockets.

A revolution is on our doorstep though as differencemakers and insightpreneurs become wisdom workers, a term I will credit to the writer and CEO of Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. who from what I can tell coined the term in 1989. Wisdom workers will break the digital spell that we’re currently under. HT also to Chip Conley.

For me wisdom workers are todays artisans and meaning makers. They are the role models of value delivery and of what it means to be a human being fully alive in the 21st century.

This all represents a gigantic opportunity to review and reimagine the way you work.

Fully alive human beings I describe in my writings as people who are universally aware, emotionally healthy, mentally alert, physically active and spiritually alive. Learn more here.

I recommend undertaking a 90 to 180 day project with your team members about what it means to be wisdom workers in your team.

I have capacity to work with half a dozen teams. To express your interest please call me on 0418 807 898.

I recommend your project explore and take action on the following:

Seek a shared-view (get on the same page) with your colleagues about the following


a) Your purpose as a team.


b) The expected output or results of each individuals role.


c) Your use of email, social media and how many meetings you have, their purpose and their value.


Personally I'm on a mission to eliminate workplace meetings. When you stop having meetings and start having conversations you will accelerate your purpose impact and your results overall.

d) How will you elevate your people leadership, embrace process innovation, and enhance your purpose impact. See overview of these three below.

People Leadership is seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence (unique personal wisdom) including your own.

Process Innovation is thinking like a rebel, radical, dissenter, disruptor, heretic, non-conformist, contrarian in always questioning the status quo (normal) and then ensuring that your processes always mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

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

Purpose impact is about identifying and then pursuing your cause beyond profit.

I subscribe to Verne Harnish’s regular emails. In the one of 3rd June 2021 he references that Purpose and Process are two keys to managing a remote workforce – or any workforce! according to a new book by Spencer Stuart’s James Citrin and Darleen DeRosa called Leading at a Distance: Practical Lessons for Virtual Success.

Verne also quotes from another book How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace by Robert Glazer, founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners:


68% of employees want to remain working remotely – and even if there is a return to the office, only 2% want to be there full-time.

These percentages tally with my own research.

Today as I was putting this podcast together I read a piece by the folk at The Ready called ‘Create an empowered organization using participatory governance’ It’s a very different approach to the norm yet another example of Moving on from working in ways that no longer work. Here's the article.

Over to you. What ways of working do you need to move on from?

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Negotiators

 This video and blog post is the ninth in a series of fifteen about the roles Wise Leaders play.


Here's the video and post on Facilitators.

Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling. 

I believe a co-promise is always better than a compromise. Do whatever it takes to gain a co-promise. This requires great negotiation skills. 

On the surface this is all about what people involved will and won't do and and what they can and can't do.

At a deeper level it's a little more complicated.


This book by the FBI's former chief negotiator Chris Voss will help you.

There's much that's excellent in the book. I particularly like the fact that being a remarkable negotiator has much to do with being a remarkable human being!

Chris is scathing of compromise. He says:

"I'm here to call bullshit on compromise right now. We don't compromise because it's right; we compromise because it is easy and because it saves face. We compromise in order to say that at least we got half the pie. Distilled to its essence, we compromise to be safe. Most people in negotiation are driven by fear or the desire to avoid pain. Too few are driven by their actual goals. So don't settle and - here's the simple rule - never split the difference.

Are you seeing through their eyes?

I help lots of people get through a conflict, difficulty or disagreement and reach a shared-view for the way forward.

The trouble is often not seeing the issues through the eyes of others.

Marcel Proust had it right many years ago when he observed "The magic of discovery lies not in new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Wise Leaders build bridges

What writers Collins and Porras called the tyranny of either/or in their book Built to Last, still dominates our world. When either/or is at the fore there are only winners and losers. Both/and is what wise leadership is about.

Party x v. party y has been a central either/or of modern politics. Whether it’s party x or party y or this individual or that individual, East or West, Christian or Muslim, have’s or have not's, whenever it’s either/or we all lose.

Wise leaders build bridges between opposing forces so that both work together for the good of all. This is the role of the negotiator.

Unwise leaders increase the divides. They alienate, pull apart, separate. Unwise leaders fail to find a co-promise and pretend to be looking for compromise. 

Unwise leaders speak double talk. Their hallmark is lots of words that lack meaning, decency and common sense. Unwise leaders are into the blame and shame game that nobody can win least of all in politics the people they claim to be serving. Unwise leaders are the gods of either/or.

Wise leaders are authentic, transparent and trustworthy. We are compelled to follow wise leaders because they tell a compelling, believable story that rings true in our hearts as well as our minds. Wise leaders are the Kings and Queens of both/and.

Like never before we must stand against the tyranny of either/or.

Here's a post and short podcast about the rewards of both/and and co-promises.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Ian

Monday, 7 June 2021

Introducing the 'Become The Wise Leaders You Want To Be' bespoke process

I've created a new process for becoming the wise leaders you want to be. I have the capacity to undertake this work with five teams/peer groups this year and some vacancies if you are a one to five person professional service provider. To apply please contact me on +61 418 807 898 during business hours AEST.

The process is fully bespoke. I will undertake meticulous research with you and your team or peer group prior to commencement. 

The one minute and six seconds video below explains my key philosophy about mentoring. You're the master, I'm the mentor.


Here's an overview of each of the five conversations of the process.


1) Elevate People Leadership

People Leadership is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence (unique personal wisdom), including your own.

2) Embrace Process Innovation

I am a pioneer in plans-on-a-page beginning this work in the 1980's. I have recently evolved this work to processes-on-a-page which is far more powerful. Process innovation is about ensuring that all your processes mean it's simple for people to bring their essence to their work every day. This is essential particularly now that the hybrid workplace is here to stay.

In process innovation work I define innovation as changing what's normal when the status quo is no longer serving. It's imperative to understand that processes includes policies, principles, practices, procedures, philosophies, systems, structures.

3) Enhance Purpose Impact

There is no doubt whatsoever in my heart and mind that we are in the Purpose Age.

I believe there are four distinct ages in recent human history.

Firstly the Agricultural Age of 10-12000 years ago. At the end of this age the key roles were Landowners and Labourers. Power was in the hands of a few.

Then the Industrial Age that commenced 300 years ago. Key roles were Industrialists and Factory workers. Power was still in the hands of a few.

The third distinct age The Information Age, began 50 years ago. The key roles technology guru’s/experts/entrepreneurs and knowledge workers, a term created by Peter Drucker in 1959 that found its place in this age. Power was still however in the hands of a few.

The current and fourth age I call The Purpose Age. It began perhaps 30 years ago. The fall of the Berlin wall was certainly a sign of significant change.

I believe that this purpose age is an age for the foreseeable future. The key roles are Differencemakers and Insightspreneurs (people able to turn information into useable insight/s) and wisdom workers.

The really big change in this purpose age is that power is now in the hands of many.

At the moment this power is only used wisely that I can see in small pockets. What is abundantly clear is that purpose-driven leaders and organisations are outperforming the rest.

Focusing on your reason for being and your cause beyond profit results in improved individual, team and organisational performance.

4) Continuous after-action-review and integration work

I wrote about this in my recently published Heart-Leadership book. Here's a summary of what I will take you and your team through. At the end of working together you and your team will be masters of these five stages:

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.

5) Seek and sustain shared-view

Shared-view is a key component of my life. My wife Carol and I first used it as a way to ensure we had a united front when our children were young in the 70’s. The two circles overlapping with a squiggle in the centre was my first business logo in 1990. It was also the first process that I taught my first clients.


I first wrote about shared-view in my first book (published in 2000) Increasing Profits Without Hurting People (now out of print; central insights incorporated into future writings). 

Shared-view was a key theme in my Changing What’s Normal book (published in 2011 and republished 2020). Please download PDF version of this book.

Shared-view also a major theme of the The Appreciative Leader (published in 2016) which is a handbook I wrote for my clients. Please download PDF. 

Shared-view also referenced frequently in Heart-Leadership Become the wise leader you want to be.

I'm currently in the advanced stages of writing a book about shared-view where I extend my work in organisations to personal development and building and sustaining relationships. The seven areas of significance of this new book, and the areas I will work with you on are:

1. People feeling valued.
2. Purposes we’re aligned to.
3. Processes that enable people to be their best.
4. Principles we live by.
5. Passions worth pursuing.
6. Promises we keep.
7. Places we belong to.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post I have the capacity to undertake this process with five teams or peer groups this year. To apply please contact me on +61 418 807 898 during business hours AEST.


Our work together guarantees more people will feel valued, live values, and value exchange and delivery will be better. I explore these in the two minutes and thirty-seven seconds video below:


Everyone involved in us working together will be experiencing greater life/work harmony.

Everyone engaged will be achieving better results at less personal and business costs.

Your return on investment will be at least 10 times.

Become the wise leaders you want to be.
Ian