Friday 29 January 2021

What's worth celebrating?

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Debate has raged in Australia again about our date for Australia Day because for some the chosen day isn't worth celebrating. Agreeing on what's worth celebrating? and what can be better? is a key way forward.

For me Australia Day is a public holiday where we get together for a barbeque and celebrate each other. I have never celebrated Australia Day.

Don’t get me wrong I’m proud to be an Australian. I celebrate being an Australian.

I’m embarrassed that we stick to a National Day despite knowing such a day is insulting to many of our first people. Why not in a spirit of harmony pick a neutral date? Why we keep creating conflict and division is beyond me.

What is worth celebrating to you?

I can make a long list to answer this question.

For example I celebrate being:

  • Alive.
  • In love with my wife Carol and our 47 years together.
  • Having children and a grandchild that I am proud of.
  • Having good neighbours and living in a peaceful place.
  • Being a writer, conversationalist, and mentor.
  • Working with wonderful clients.
  • Living in a nice home.
  • Our garden.
  • Reading great books.
  • Living near great wineries and restaurants.

What is worth celebrating to you?

Two Suggested actions

1) Make a ritual out of asking and answering two questions, what's worth celebrating? and, what can be better?

I've been asking myself these two questions every day for more than 40 years. 

I believe they're two very powerful questions because they ensure I began every day grateful and focused.

Try the above yourself for at least a month. It will help you to ensure that this year is your best year yet. 

Maybe this will become a life-long habit.

For more than a quarter of a century these two questions have been the foundation for informal and formal performance review conversations by my clients. Several clients began their team meetings with answers to these questions.

These two questions are critical in the quest of competing with yourself and collaborating with everyone else.

My self-directed online course Reasons, Relationships and Routines Guarantee Results is one way to compete with yourself and collaborate with others. It’s five short videos and a small workbook. You’ll find it all here. 

2) Seek to sustain shared-view in seven areas of significance

When we sustain shared-view in the seven, reality, possibility, purpose, strategy, execution, progress, culture we can end all of troubles (personal, local, organisational, national, and international)

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 27 January 2021

Follow Your Bliss

 Every wise leader I know is following their 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 it's “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?

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 25 January 2021

The Rewards Of Involvement and the Risks Of Non Involvement

I've always loved the Kevin Roberts insight that ROI is not about Return On Investment, rather Return on Involvement.

You can learn more from Kevin here.

His book 'Lovemarks' has been on my top 21 recommended reading list for sometime.

We can all be a 'lovemark'.

A key to being a 'lovemark' in my view is our awareness of Return On Involvement and also the Risks Of Non Involvement (RONI).

What does Return On Involvement mean for you?
What does Risks Of Non Involvement mean for you?

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday 22 January 2021

What will you be inaugurating this year?

 Listen to the podcast version of this post

One of the working titles I have for a book I’m going to write is ‘Keep, Cease, Begin - a methodology for perpetual renaissance in life and work.’

With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being inaugurated as President and Vice-President of the United States of America this week I’ve been contemplating what will I begin this year and will I have ceremonies to formally mark them?

What will you be inaugurating this year?
And what will you be keeping and ceasing?

As an example of keeping I’m staying with Blogging three times a week with Wednesday’s being a video as well as a post, and Friday’s being a podcast as well as a post. The reason I’m keeping this action and the format, is that I’m able to do it, and subscribers are telling me that they find the formats, the frequency, and the content highly valuable.

What will you be keeping?

As an example of ceasing I’ve been working on significantly reducing the number of emails I send.

What will you be ceasing?

One thing I’m beginning, and a way I’m reducing emails, is recommencing my monthly electronic newsletter after several years of not providing one. You can sign-up for the newsletter here.

What will you be inaugurating/beginning?

Considering what I will Keep, Cease, Begin are always for me in the context of renaissance.

My study of the 14 - 1700’s is a life-long and ongoing passion. These were times of rebirth for arts and sciences as wells the breaking away from feudalism and medieval dogma. These times saw the birth of humanism.

As a humanist I want to see what’s meaningful and valuable for humans at the centre of everything we are and do.

I’m hoping that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will lead a rebirth not just for America, also for the world and that climate change, equality and peace as well as all of our other challenges will be meet with common sense and common decency, and in a decisively human way.

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


PS "This above all. To thine own self be true."
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Helping, Asking for Help, and Helpers

I have a clear sense that being the wise leader you want to be in 2021 has much to do with helping, asking for help, and being astute in who you ask.

Please also view the companion video here where I introduce the checklist (below) from my Heart-Leadership book that I use when I make calls:

Asking for Help

I suggest going first. This is what leaders do. You being vulnerable will encourage and inspire others to ask for help too.

There are to three ways that I recommend:
1) Ask for feedforward. This is a wonderful concept from Marshall Goldsmith. Learn more from him.

2) Get involved in a peer group and use the 'Hot Seat' exercise. Like some help with a format? Please give me a call.

3) Make being in the 'Hot Seat a ritual for you and members of your team.

Being astute in who you ask for help

I regard feedback as the least effective of the conversations that count. Feedforward in my view is much more valuable. I only ask for feedback from people I trust and know have my best interests at heart.

This is where being a member of a peer-group has immense value. Here's a post and podcast about peer groups.

You may be interested in applying to join the Heart-Leadership Online Village Peer Group. Learn more.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 18 January 2021

Signs of shifting from old world to new

Last week I saw many things that gave me hope that real business leaders will lead us out of the old world (think political polarities, both right and left propaganda, and the influence of religious dogma/doctrine) to the new world being born. Here's just three examples:

1) The cancelation of Trump by corporate leaders and Republican party donors summarised by this line from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon "No-one thought they were giving money to people who supported sedition."

2) This 8 minute video by Simon Sinek

3) The infographic below

Have a great week becoming the wise leader you want to be.

PS In my Heart-Leadership book I reference the shifts from old world to new in more detail.

Friday 15 January 2021

The Pull and Promise of Peer Groups

 Listen to the podcast version of this post

I belong to two peer groups. One is aptly called The Right Company.

On the website it says:

“The Right Company supports a caring cohort of business owners, freelancers and creative solopreneurs, to create the career or company that serves them as well as their customers."

In my testimonial for the group I say:

“As a freelancer or self-employed business person, where is your go-to place to have your plans questioned and your dreams challenged? And when you need a little love or a lift who is there for you?

My answer to these questions is the Right Company. It’s my online home, and through technology, we meet in person too, which puts the icing on the cake.

Places like the Right Company are extremely rare. In my 30 years as a freelancer I’ve been engaged in many groups, none have been quite like the Right Company.”

Do you belong to a right company for you?

My other peer group is my own Heart-Leadership Online Village.

It’s a special place for Heart-Leadership Enthusiasts. We gather together weekly and I also provide bespoke private mentoring for Residents.

Our purpose is to help each other to become the wise leaders we want to be. 

Maybe you’d love to join us. Learn more and get in touch with me or a Resident. 

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

Where do you belong?

Do Your Work.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 13 January 2021

Your heart knows. You don't need to be told what to do


Your heart knows what to do. You don't need to be told.

When you are in harmony with yourself and hear your heart before engaging your head, the right action for you follows. Happenstance is the consequence.

This is my Heart-Leadership model that you can apply in your own best way.

Learn more here where there's links to more videos, podcasts, and online courses, plus the Heart-Leadership book.

We don't need anyone telling us what to do. We should never blindly follow the words of those who incite violence or other actions that result in people being harmed or feeling in any way unsafe.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 11 January 2021

What is Freedom of Speech?

I notice a lot of chatter about Freedom of Speech in the light of Trump being permanently banned from Twitter.

For me the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is pretty clear.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

 (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

then Article 30 says:

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

It's obvious to me that Trump and his supporters who stormed the US capitol building are in violation of this article, let alone other US laws and their own First Amendment of their constitution which for me is clear that nobody has the right to say or do whatever you want.

We all have the right to be who we are, to become who we are capable of becoming, and do whatever we want, yet never in ways that put others in harms way.

What say you?

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday 8 January 2021

Become a great sharer of stories

Listen to the podcast version of this post

For today’s post and podcast I’m drawing in part from my Handbook The Appreciative Leader. Scroll down here for a link to download the handbook with my compliments.

To sustain positive momentum in your life and work you must be an inspiring sharer of stories that other people feel themselves in. 

“Two young goldfish were swimming along when they met an older fish, who said, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’
One of the young goldfish looked over at the other and said, ‘What the hell is water?’.” novelist David Foster Wallace 

Stories can be very short. They often illustrate how the most important realities are often hardest to see. 

The most successful leaders have been mastering the art of sharing stories since the beginning of time. 

It’s been said that stories are the fabric of culture. I couldn’t agree more. 

I was blessed that my parents, grandparents, and many of my relatives told great stories, and so it was natural that I would become a story-sharer myself. I still pinch myself though that I’ve made a living out of doing so for over 30 years!

You don’t have to become a professional, however, you do have to be able to share stories well in order to be a highly successful leader

“The best story isn’t my story or your story; the best story is our story.” says Mark Sanborn. 

Therefore the best stories we tell are those other people recognise themselves in. 

The best stories tell us what is and what can be and inspire us to go there. 

Decide you’ll become the best story-sharer you can be, and make it simple for everyone else to become the best story-sharers that they can possibly become. 

I have three suggestions for doing this:

1) Read Bernadette Jiwa’s latest book What Great Story Tellers Know. 

Learn more and get your copy from here. 

I'm a big fan of all of Bernadette's work. This book, as you would expect is full of wonderful stories, as well as many great suggestions to become the best story-teller you can be.

2) Read Joseph Campbell’s book ‘The Hero With A Thousand Faces”. It’s all about what he calls the ‘mono myth’, the single story that is in every culture. Understanding this story, often referred to as ‘The Hero’s Journey’ is fundamental to understanding why stories are so powerful. 

Learn more and get your copy of the book here. 

3) Invest in your communication, presentation and story-sharing skills and those of other people. 

You can join a Toastmasters, Rostrum, or similar Club, and/or engage with well credentialed mentors or coaches, so that stories and their sharing become central to your culture. 

Bernadette Jiwa has a great online course called the Story Skills Workshop.

For professionals I highly recommend Professional Speakers Australia which is a member of the Global Speakers Federation that currently has 16 countries as members.

Do Your Work.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 6 January 2021

The Wisdom of Helpful Conversations

In gratitude to Bernadette Jiwa for the concept of helpful conversations.

In Heart-Leadership Become the wise leader you want to be I wrote:

My friend and colleague and best-selling author Bernadette Jiwa reckons marketing is simply a series of ‘helpful conversations’. I love this concept.

At the beginning of 2020 I resolved never to sell in the old world way ever again. Since then I have focused on giving value (books, online courses and digital resources), demonstrating value (one-of-a-kind live online events), and living my value (having helpful conversations).

Here’s my checklist for ensuring all my conversations are helpful:

In all my helpful conversations with clients, colleagues and people interested in my work my first focus is always on other people and their circumstances, dreams, hopes and aspirations (the inner circle). 

If there’s a flow and a natural rhythm then I may explore the items in the outer circle with people. 

Helpful Conversations have become part of the three pillars of my professional practice:

For more on your practice (your way of being and doing) I highly recommend Seth Godin's book The Practice.

I'm currently writing a new book with the working title 'Weekly Wisdom For Heart-Leadership Enthusiasts'. Helpful Conversations will be one of the 52 pieces of wisdom.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 4 January 2021

Resolve, focus and flow

I never valued value propositions. I believe value promises to be much stronger.

In the same way I have no time for resolutions. What I value is resolve.

When we have resolve we focus on what is important for us and highly valuable for others. Such resolve leads to flow.

This is a rule of three I recommend you act on in your own best way.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Friday 1 January 2021

What change energises you?

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Learn more about this process in my Heart-Leadership book.

I’ve been contemplating change in the past week using my process pictured above. It’s something that I focus on at this time every year.

I believe all change is personal first, relationship change second and organisational change a distant third. Therefore my contemplation has been around personal and relationship change.

Personally I am very energised.

I have adjusted the rhythm of my life for health enhancing reasons. I’m working less yet achieving more. Energised is my one word for 2021 that will guide my choices and actions.

I highly recommend choosing one word. This was the subject matter for this weeks Wednesday video and associated blog post. I completed Jason Fox’s excellent online course called Becoming to arrive at energised being my one word.

I’m energised for my personal and working relationships too. From a work perspective I began calling my clients Enthusiasts instead of clients a few months ago and this change has energised them too.

The term Enthusiast for me means people who:

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

I’ve contemplated change too in the sense of building and creating new pathways while making old ones obsolete.

I love the wisdom of Buckminster Fuller who said:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I can see this happening with our financial system and perhaps politics and religion too. Of course I’m focused on what I can change, nuance or influence.

In your world what new way forward will you create that will make an old way obsolete?
What change, nuance or modification will you make to your relationships and within yourself to become the wise leader you want to be.
What will be your one word in 2021 that will guide your choices and actions?

Do Your Work.

Become the wise leader you want to be.