Monday 25 October 2021

Could you describe your strategy in six words?

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

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

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

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

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

Who are you?

Could you tell the story of you in six words?

Kwai received some extraordinary responses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My current one sentence strategy is 5 words:

55% helpful conversations, 45% referrals

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

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

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

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

Kind regards


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

Monday 11 October 2021

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

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

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

The first part about personal philosophies is here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday 6 October 2021

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

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

The first part about personal philosophies is here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we owe each other.

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

Buckminster Fuller most likely in 1970!

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

Buckminster Fuller

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

Here are five of mine:

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

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

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

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

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

Who will you become? What will you do next?

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