Monday 31 May 2021

Connecting With Purpose (with thanks to Kevin Roberts and Mark Griffin)

Enhancing your purpose impact has become one of the BIG three areas that I work on in mentoring projects with clients. The other two are elevating your people leadership influence and embracing process innovation.

I was thrilled therefore to find this interview with Kevin Roberts and Mark Griffin.

I've found Kevin to always be an inspiration. His book 'Lovemarks' is on my top 21 list of books to read.

A key to becoming the wise leader you want to be is to live on purpose.


Friday 28 May 2021

There are rarely rewards without first taking risks

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 110.

I have often wondered why many politicians who were very successful prior to entering politics, become but mere shadows of themselves inside politics.

One of my answers to this is that they stop taking risks for fear of losing their seats!

Compromise is the result. Compromise rarely achieves anything great. Politics where there is the Government, an Opposition, and a few Independents and minor parties, like in Australia, fails to understand that success in the 21st century is about collaboration not compromise.

Co-promises rather than compromise work. And they are the result of collaboration. Effective collaboration requires risk.

Right now the world is stalled on economics, climate change, and a host of other issues where change is urgent, because we lack risk takers and are being lead by compromisers.

To get to the point of achieving a co-promise with others we must lead by example. We must take risks. We must risk having our view challenged, risk being seen as out of touch, and even clueless. We must risk being ridiculed, berated, and even abused. We must risk losing in the short term.

Risk takers know what they stand for and stand. They accept what others say as a view and don’t take anything someone else says that may seem derogatory, personally.

Risk takers know that we are responsible for our own intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions. We are not responsible for other people’s intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions, and, we are only affected by them when we choose to be.

Risk takers know that short term pain often leads to long term gain, for all.

As I have often written about, we live in three worlds. The world in here (my view), the world out there (your view) and the world we share (our view). In the scheme of things only the world we share really matters because from shared view comes a co-promise to stand together and take action for the common good.

There's videos and podcasts and a one page diagnostic for you about shared-view here.

Shared-view is also the topic of my next Wise Leaders Cafe.

Subscribe to my Wise Leaders newsletter and you can participate in the cafe with my compliments as well as all events that I host on the first and third Wednesday's of every month.

Risk takers are innovators more than problem solvers. When we solve problems almost always that means a return to what is normal or the status quo. When we innovate on the other hand, we change what is normal.

Are you are risk taker?

One sign that you are, or are not, is whether or not you are “doing what you love in the service of people who love what you do”, a wonderful phrase from Steven Farber the author of a great book about leadership The Radical Leap, and recently the sub-title of his book Love is just damn good business.

Other signs you are a risk taker. Your willingness to:

  • speak out against injustice
  • go against the flow when you see a possible better way forward for all
  • speak up even when no one else does
  • say what you mean and mean what you say even when it is uncomfortable
  • put your insights and ideas forward not worrying about how they will be received
  • work hard on relationships (which also require risk) knowing that outcomes are a consequence of proven processes.

Another great book I highly recommend is 'Risky is the new safe' written in 2012 by Randy Gage yet still most relevant.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 26 May 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Pragmatists

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

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. 

Wise Leaders have a grasp of reality. We're dreamers and idealists with a strong pragmatic willingness that keeps us grounded.

I highly recommend the following three actions to sustain being a great pragmatist.

1) Maintain an "attitude of gratitude"

Please watch the video and read more here to put this life changer into practice.

2) Become brilliant at conducting and acting on after-action-reviews

Learn more about this via podcast and post including my five stage format for after-action-reviews and integration work.

3) Join a peer or master-mind group

Being supported and supporting peers is a key to personal and organisational development. There are lots of great leadership peer groups around. I recommend Vistage, (The Executive Connection) here in Australia, The CEO Institute and The CEO Circle. 

I've been engaged in master-mind groups for over 30 years. I lead my own Wise Leaders peer group. A second group is soon to begin. Learn more here and contact me on +61 418 807 898 to explore further.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 24 May 2021

The three essentials for making a brilliant hybrid work model

Hybrid workplaces are now reality. Working sometimes in a central place and sometimes away from that place.

I have many clients excelling in this new world of work. Our conversations about being able to thrive in this new world are centring around three essentials, role clarity, belonging and wise leadership.

Role Clarity

Role clarity has always mattered. The wise have long discarded job descriptions. The wise ensure that role clarity revolves around relationships and what value is being delivered and exchanged with each other.

More about role clarity here.


The Zoom room may be the most popular meeting place. It's also become unpopular through overuse. Be wise by ensuring people feel valued and cancel all unnecessary meetings.

The eminent psychologist and philosopher William James famously observed:

"The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

This matters more than ever in the hybrid workplace.

There are many simple and common sense actions for expressing your appreciation to your employees. All of them contribute to them feeling more valued.

Here are just a few:
  • Catch people doing things right and doing the right thing.
  • Give people genuine compliments.
  • Informally and formally celebrate with people what is going well for them.
  • Always say please and thank you and mean it.
  • Be courteous and kind.
  • Share stories about the successes of your people.
  • Be compassionate.
A further simple yet profound way to help people feel valued is to find out what is really important to them and then help them to achieve whatever it is.

The more people feel valued, the more they will deliver value to others, and the more they will live the behaviours of your values. You can see why I say repeatedly that there ought to be a strong, unbreakable bond between values, value and valued.

When people feel valued they can tell you why they feel that they belong.

Wise Leadership

To be wise is to be true to yourself regardless of the situation. It requires a willingness and an ability to be vulnerable. It’s often exhilarating and uplifting, yet also lonely and challenging. 

To thrive wise leaders need a cohort, a safe, peer group place to be and belong, to feel and think out loud, to support others and to be supported. Where is your place? Should you be looking for a place check out Wise Leaders Online Village here.

Wise leaders play nine roles. They are the subject matter for a series of videos and posts that I'm currently creating. Heres the latest with links to the previous.  

Coach and Mentor
  • Conversationalist
  • Synthesiser
  • Truth-teller
  • Presenter
  • Facilitator
  • Story-teller
Shared-view Sustainer
  • Pragmatist
  • Negotiator
  • Peacemaker  
Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday 21 May 2021

Doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 109.

I highly value the work and insights of Esko Kilpi who did a lot of research and consultancy into the challenges of knowledge work and digital work environments up until his passing in January 2020.

In 2017 Esko wrote this A working class manifesto. 

I often ponder the last line of Esko’s manifesto “Post-industrial business is about doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way.”

Machines will soon do most of the algorithmic work, the simple, routine, and repetitive. In the process at least half of the jobs available today will be gone in a decade or less.

I’m excited by this.

I love the insight from Gerd Leonhard of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" as having more meaning than algorithms. More from Gerd.

I’m excited because as machines take over the boring stuff human work increases in value. The artisan is back folks. Human work is creative, collaborative, and meaningful.

Human work can also be rare as well as valuable and meaningful as Cal Newport beautifully describes in his wonderful book 'Deep Work’. 

One of the key reasons I believe we have moved on from the era of knowledge work and knowledge workers, and shifted to wisdom work and wisdom workers, is because knowledge is now accessible everywhere.

Of course knowing doesn't mean wisdom and as Stephen Covey once observed "To know and not to do is really not to know."

How to make the shift from knowledge work to meaningful work (wisdom work)

We can all do work that is meaningful to us. A key question to ask is: How can work that is meaningful to us be meaningful and valuable (and rare) for others?


Make a list of all the people you have working relationships with and over time converse with each person to discover how the value you exchange and deliver can be more valuable, meaningful, and rare to them. Then deliver such value.

It’s a wonderful life to live as Esko Kilpi so wonderfully put it “Doing meaningful things with meaningful people in a meaningful way.”

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 19 May 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Synthesisers

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

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. 

Connecting the dots, making sure that everyone's view point is honoured, and taking into account the needs, want's and expectations of all stakeholders are all a part of being a great synthesiser.

I recommend becoming a great note taker. Personally I use coloured pens to highlight what different people are saying. I translate my notes into one sentence, one paragraph and one page statements of the big picture of the conversation or meeting and send to participants for input before making a final report.

Pulling together all the threads of a conversation is also made simpler by asking great questions and through reflective listening. 

Being a great synthesiser often means putting aside our own views of the situations unless we are specifically requested to be engaged or are one of the stakeholders.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday 17 May 2021

My new complimentary resources depository

Google no longer provides a way for people to subscribe to this blog. I looked at migrating everything to my website which uses WordPress and many other options. None worked to my satisfaction and so I decided on a new path.

I will continue to post here every Monday (read), Wednesday (watch and read), and Friday (listen and read) at 8 AM Melbourne time.

I'll share on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook so please connect with me on one or more of these platforms.

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

You can subscribe to my podcast here or download The Podcast Source app from your smart phones app store, Just press + on the app and put in this link

My monthly newsletter will be my complimentary resources depository from now on. I will link to every blog post. 

My newsletter comes out on the 15th of very month or earlier if the 15th falls on a weekend.

The great benefit from subscribing to my newsletter is that you become a member of Wise Leaders Community at the Conversations Level. 

This membership means that you can participate (or nominate a colleague to take your place) in my monthly wise leaders cafes, my wise leaders Q & A, five wise leaders online seminars p.a. and the first Wednesday conversation where we feature a special guest sage in their field.

In the newsletter I also write a feature article. Here's is May's edition.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday 14 May 2021

Wise Leaders Coaching Self-Assessment

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 108.

My colleague Simone Boer has created a great and simple tool to help folk to prepare for the Wise Leaders Symposium we're are hosting with Glenn Capelli this month. Of course it's a great tool to use anytime!

You can download this tool as a PDF here.

There's still places available in the symposium. You have three time choices:

1) Tuesday 25th May 10 AM AEST - 12. Please register here. 

2) Wednesday 26th May 3.30 - 5.30 PM. Please register here. 

3) Thursday 27th May 6.30 - 8.30 PM. Please register here. 

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Presenters

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

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. 

Presenting (public and professional speaking) in its simplest form is having presenting something relevant and valuable for the audience in ways that inspire people to take action in their own best way.

As a professional speaker I gave more than 3000 presentations over 30 years. I've followed a simple formula I learned at the being - have a clear message, share a story, make a point, link the point the message, repeat.

I got better and better at doing this. Along the journey I had many mentors and came across some great methodologies. Three have stood out:

1) My first speaking coach David Griggs taught me that it was never about me, always about the audience.

David also taught me not speak while moving and to return to the same place on stage or in a room to make the point and link to the message. I became great at pausing and allowing the audience time to hear themselves. My trademark opening was inspired by David and remains the same 30 years on "What I have to share with you today is important yet nowhere near as important as what you hear yourself say to yourself, who you become and what you do next."

2) Graham Davies wrote a book called The Presentation Coach. I swear by Graham’s book.

Graham recommends Micro-Statements for live, spoken presentations. I swear by them and create one for every conversation I have.

“A Micro-Statement is a sequence of words that quickly and compellingly captures the essence of your presentation in a way that is specifically shaped for the needs of a specific audience at a particular time.”

Graham Davies

More from Graham hear.

3) Matt Church and Peter Cook in their book Think introduced me to the idea of Pink Sheets as a way to create meaningful and impactful presentations. I still use this method today.

Become the wise leader you want to be,

Monday 10 May 2021

Walking Mentoring - Introducing Wisdom Walks

My wife and I take a daily walk, rain, hail or shine. We have done this since our first German Shepherd came into our lives 35 years ago.

Molly who is eight years old (pictured during and after a recent long walk) is our fifth of this noble and highly intelligent and loving breed.

I've also taken many walks before presentations and many before sitting down to write.

Walking is good for the heart, mind and soul. 

Inspired by Alan Moore I'm now offering 'Wisdom Walks', a form of walking mentoring, for those of you who live in my neck of the woods.

We take a walk and talk for an hour or so and then have lunch. There are a number of great walks near my home on the Bellarine Peninsula. I also walk in Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne Inner City. There's an investment required for your 'Wisdom Walk'. You decide what it will be after our lunch.

Being in nature and having human to human conversation are wonderful ways to gain wisdom.

Group/team options also available.

Call me on 0418 807 898 to schedule your 'Wisdom Walk'.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Friday 7 May 2021

Value creation metrics in a regenerative economy

 Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 107.

This is also my 2000th blog post since I began blogging in May 2007.

Do/Build/How to make and lead a business the world needs is a great little 120 page book by Alan Moore.

You can get the book yourself here.

Inside are thirteen great design questions and a manifesto around what Alan calls his philosophy of Re with Re standing for regeneration.

There’s a chart in the book (see below) that parallels the Extraction Economy and the Regenerative Economy which is a collaboration between Alan and Mads Thimmer.

Also in the book are 50 organisations Alan profiles as 'beautiful businesses' embracing the regenerative philosophy.

No 50 is a surprise waiting for you.

Much to ponder and take action on.

Another wonderful idea I will be adopting from Alan is that of a walking mentoring session. More on this at my website mentoring section and in Monday's blog post.

Value creation is integral to my work with clients particularly when in alignment with people feeling valued and living values. Being part of something regenerative I feel will take my work with you to a whole new level.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday 5 May 2021

Wise Leaders Are Conversationalists

I'm continually inspired by the David Whyte insight "In leadership the conversation is not about the work, the conversation is the work. 

Wise Leaders Are Conversationalists. It's an art we all can master.

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

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.

Being a Conversationalist is the willingness and ability to have candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations in safe environments where people are inspired to be vulnerable and to share freely what is on their hearts and minds.

There are eight conversations that count.

Here's some insights into these eight and some bonus material on setting up conversations and how to appreciate others as well as help them to be accountable.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Monday 3 May 2021

The fork in the road manifesto

Should you be familiar with my writings you would know that I love manifestos. The fork in the road manifesto is the latest that I have signed up to. You can sign yourself here as well as download the PDF version.

The manifesto is inspired in part by the work of Buckminster Fuller who is also one of my heroes.

Become the wise leader you want to be.