Friday, 1 July 2022

Sustaining shared-view complimentary online course upgraded for you

I've upgraded this complimentary online course for you. Here's the course.

The four minutes and three seconds video below introduces the five micro areas I've added to the seven macro areas.

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.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Sustaining a shared-view about outputs is a key to well-being and productivity

My LinkedIn newsletter on 22nd June 2022 was about Human being centred designed productivity.

In the article I suggest that productivity is still about efficiency and effectiveness, yet when it’s human being centred designed, efficiency and effectiveness are achieved within a bigger objective of enhancing the human experience as well as human well-being.

A key to this is sustaining a shared-view about outputs.

I find that there are three main reasons for human conflict:

1. Disagreement about the outputs (read goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s).

2. Disagreement about how the outputs, goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s will be achieved.

3. Assumption of agreement in 1. And/or 2., and a negative response when such assumptions result in perceived betrayal. 

I suggest seven special steps to successful collaboration

1. Establish that there is agreement concerning the outputs, goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s. Don’t move on until you are absolutely certain there is agreement.

2. State what you can and will do to achieve the outputs, goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

3. Ask the other person or people involved to state what they can and will do to achieve the outputs, goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

4. State what you feel are the milestones or quantum leaps (small yet significant shifts) that will indicate that you are on track to achieve what you say you will in 2.

5. Ask the other person or people involved to state what they feel are the milestones or quantum leaps that will indicate that they are on track to achieve what they say they will in 3.

6. Agree on the dates and times that you will be in touch with each other to discuss progress and celebrate achievements.

7. Confirm in writing via email or letter your agreements in 2. through 6., and ask for a confirmation response from the other person or people involved.

Two podcast to help you

The secret to collaboration is sustaining shared view.

Collaboration - an essential skill for thriving in the 21st century.

Adopting the above principles in your own best increases the likelihood of our human being intrinsic motivators being met. According to Daniel Pink (in his great book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us), and I agree with him, the key intrinsic motivators are:

the urge to direct our own lives.


the desire to get better and better at something that matters.

the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Conversation About Conversations Part Three with Allan Parker

Once again a great thrill to engage in conversation about conversations with my friend and colleague Allan Parker. Apologies we had some sound wobbles a couple of times.

This time we added Allan's great Stay Above The Line model to the magical mix of ingredients for conversations that count.

Become the wise leader you want to be


Wednesday, 22 June 2022

'Tuning In' with Jessica Berry

Below is a 42 minutes and 22 seconds video conversation with my daughter Jessica about her new and refreshing program 'Tuning In'. 

Jessica describes 'Tuning In' as 

"Returning to your eternal innate Knowing, Truth, Wisdom and Magnificence

and Discarding the untruths and misbeliefs of the limited time-constructed self

Through intuitive inquiry and co-attunement we journey within to meet our True Self."

Commencing 25th July Jessica is hosting a 3 conversations series 'Tuning In'. All the details and registration are here.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Monday, 20 June 2022

We Need To Talk - the power of intention, storytelling, conversation and commitment

Below is the unedited video of episode one,  season two, group one of The We Need To Talk Experience.

It demonstrates how one of my main methodologies (pictured) works.

Should you like some help in making this methodology work for you, in your own best way, please contact me on +61 418 807 898.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday, 17 June 2022

Conversation About Conversations Part Two with Allan Parker

Once again a great thrill to engage in conversation about conversations with my friend and colleague Allan Parker.

We've added civility and calmness to candour, conviviality, compassion, consciousness and compelling to the essentials for human being centred conversations.

We also looked at what Allan calls 'episodic episodes' See his flip chart below.

Here's part one.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Monday, 13 June 2022

SD X SV + OMofCTC = being the best I can be

This post builds on Friday June 3rd post about Being the best we can be and behaving decently.

I've been giving this further thought and have expanded the suggested actions.

SD X SV + OMofCTC = being the best I can be. 

Self-development multiplied by shared-view plus ongoing mastery of conversations that count = being the best you can be and behaving decently.

Here are the seven keys of self-development:

1. Know yourself.
2. Hear your hear first, engage your mind second.
3. See, hear and understand others.
4. Play to your strengths.
5. Communicate with clarity, confidence and certainty.
6. Present with presence, purpose and through stories that inspire.
7. Collaborate.

Here are the 12 foundations of shared-view:

Macro level

1. Reality.
2. Possibility.
3. Purpose.
4. Strategy.
5. Execution.
6. Progress.
7. Culture.

Micro level

8. Values behaviours.
9. Purpose of roles.
10. Outputs for each role.
11. How people are inspired to feel valued.
12. Other non-negotiables.

There's a complimentary online course here on the macro seven. I'll be doing videos over the next few months on the micro five, as well the seven keys of self-development.

Here are the 15 conversations that count:

1. Heart flow.
2. Process-practice review.
3. Self-talk.
4. Aspirations/Appreciation/Accountability.
5. Feedforward.
6. Feedback.
7. How’s things going?
8. Just being there.
9. Values behaviours.
10, After-action-reviews.
11. Mentor Moments.
12. Peer group.
13. Peer review.
14. Values exchange and delivery.
15. Weekly Check-ins.

Become the wise leader you want to be by turning the above lists into meaningful work for you.

PS Should you like some help check out my private roster bespoke mentoring program. I currently have a vacancy.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Being the best you can be and behaving decently

I'm passionate about simplicity and in making the complex simple.

So this week I was inspired by Brendon McCullum's first press conference as England cricket coach where he quoted former England selector Ed Smith as follows:

“Athletes and sports teams waste huge space and energy on external motivators – mission statements about trying to be the best team in the world by 2057; blueprints for global dominance; strategic flow charts about key performance indicators. 

In fact, if every sportsman simply tried to be the best he could be, and attempted to behave decently along the way, you’ve pretty much summed up every available optimal strategy in one simple sentence.”

In this short video I explore actions we can take to put this simple yet profound philosophy into practice.

Here's the detail.

1. Establish shared-view in the following areas

Purpose of organisation and all roles.

Outputs for each role.

Values behaviours.

How people are inspired to feel valued.

Other non-negotiable’s.

2. Ensure People being the best they can be, and behaving decently, is the primary focus of  all learning and development

Reflect in all pre and post event work.

Build into recruitment and on-boarding and all aspects of
 ongoing employee engagement and retention.

Incorporate in employee and customer value promises.

3. Reimagine leadership and management

21st century leaders are mostly coaches, mentors, advisers, facilitators, conversationalists, educators, adjudicators, moderators.

Managing people is long dead. Management today is 
continuous process innovation to ensure it’s simple for people
to bring their best to their work. Processes include policies, 
practices, procedures, principles, and systems and structures.

Resources you can tap into

Heart-Leadership online course. 

Shared-view online course. 

The We Need To Talk Experience.

Frederic Laloux's resources.

Or contact me on +61 418 807 898 to explore bespoke mentoring. Learn more about my private roster here. 

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Monday, 16 May 2022

Humanising the workplace with Mark LeBusque

This was a great conversation with special guest sage Mark LeBusque.

Joining Mark and myself are Wise Leaders Peer Group Members Simon Collier, David Sproules and Jody Tucker.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Conversation about conversations with Allan Parker Part One

It was a joy to have this conversation about conversations with my great friend and colleague Allan Parker. 

We've scheduled at least two more! Stay tuned.

Some of Allan's great flip charts written during are below the 42 minutes and 47 seconds recording.


Thursday, 5 May 2022

Jack's Story and the gift of farsight


My thanks to Terry McGivern, Peter Milligan, Richard Merrick, Liviu Caliman, and Claudia Brose for being in the room for what was the final episode in season one of We Need To Talk. 

When I was boy I had an imaginary friend called Jack.

My mother used to tell people "he thinks he's real."

For me Jack was real.

Of course much later I discovered that our minds don't know the difference between what's real and what's imagined.

Jack and I used to imagine being eagles and being able to fly anywhere.

This was the beginning of me being in awe of eagles, a fascination and sense of wonder that is very much with me today.

In Sept and October 2021 I was forced to spend 10 days in hospital after my system crashed in response to immunotherapy. (the good news is that along with radiotherapy, the treatment worked).

During my time in hospital I invested energy meditating via music to aid my recovery. With headphones on I was often in a blissful state despite significant physical discomfort.

I played one of my favourite songs 'Up Where We Belong' the Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes version, many times.

I love all the lyrics, yet the following stand out

"Love lift us up where we belong

Where the eagles cry

On a mountain high

Love lift us up where we belong

Far from the world we know

Where the clear winds blow."

In meditation I go to what I call my FarSight place. There's no bias, prejudice or conspiracy theories in FarSight land. 

This is the place where I can see possibility with crystal clear clarity and see who I need to become and what I can do next.

Farsight is a place of where there are no limitations and no feeling feelings limited. 

Many people showed care and compassion in all kinds of ways while I was in hospital. One colleague in The Right Company Con Christeson saw me with an eagle and so I was overcome with joy when she let me know.

On that day I was reflecting on a long drive across Australia in 2001. I had been booked to fly via Ansett Airlines from Adelaide to Perth on Friday the 13th in order to be there for the birth of our first grandchild.

My wife Carol was already in Perth. Of course this was the time of the terrible 9/11 attack. Ansett airlines went out of business a few hours before my scheduled flight. I was unable to get a flight on another airline. Not a bus ticket or train ticket available either.

I decided to make the thirty-six hour drive which I had completed once before (not on my own).

Leaving home at 1.30 PM I drove seven hours on the first day and stayed overnight in Ceduna.

On the next day I drove fifteen hours only stopping for petrol and food. There's a straight stretch of road for about 150 kilometres. I was 'flying' along this stretch when I saw what seemed like a dark black cloud over the highway just ahead. As I slowed down and came to a stop I was amazed at what was in front of me - a giant wedge-tailed eagle with wings fully extended (about 2 metres wingspan) lifting a kangaroo carcass off the road.

The image has stayed with me and when I close my eyes I remember with great clarity.

A few days after returning home from hospital we purchased this model eagle.

This is something I've been going to do for several years.

Of course he's called Jack and we are currently making his new home comfortable.

I was thrilled on the day that the guy who made Jack, Ray from Bellarine Gardens Nursery, carried him on a sack truck and put him in the car on his own.

I was not yet physically able to help. On arriving home Carol and our neighbours Keith and Fran, their daughter Sian and her boyfriend Nathan were all involved in getting Jack into place!

Now every day I get the opportunity in the morning sunlight to meditate in the land of farsight with help from Jack.

Most recently farsight has led me to modify and nuance how I show up in the world. I'm taking myself less seriously. I've changed my behaviour in how I respond to things that piss me off. I still have strong opinions, I'm holding them lightly and sharing them very differently.

As a consequence of farsight I'm getting better at keeping my mouth shut and my heart and mind open when I'm in conversation with other people.

In April of 2021 Carol and I holidayed with our son Lukas and daughter-in-law Sarah on Kangaroo Island where they have a holiday home. We visited Raptor Domain while there and I was able to hold onto this eagle. It astounded me in one way yet not in others that this eagles name is Jack.

If you were to go where the eagles cry, far from the world below, what would you see about who you can become and what you will do next?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Monday, 2 May 2022

The We Need To Talk Manifesto

I'm excited to publish today the We Need To Talk Manifesto. It's just two pages and you can download it here.

It's hot on the heels of completing season one of The We Need To Talk Experience, which is now my signature online program. Season two commences in June. You can learn more here. You will see there's links to two complimentary preview sessions I'm conducting this month. The timings mean comfortable participation wherever you live. 

You can listen to the podcast version of the manifesto here. It's 4 minutes and 3 seconds.

This is my third manifesto and first in six years. You can view The Appreciative Leader Manifesto here, 

My first manifesto (Changing What's Normal) was published on 14th April 2011 as I completed writing my Changing What's Normal book that was published in June 2011. For this first manifesto I used my friend and colleague Geoff McDonald's 1000 manifesto's site. You can view the manifesto here.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Friday, 22 April 2022

An Australia and a world I want to see and help to build (with gratitude to Craig Foster AM)

I posted below on LinkedIn on 7th of April. It's by Craig Foster AM and his address to the National Press Club in Australia. It's so good I'm posting here again. For the full transcript of Craig's address go here.

What I posted on LinkedIn

A passionate and provocative address I loved every minute of it Thank You Craig Foster AM

I'm interested in your thoughts why are the refugees of The Park Hotel (how great for them) being released on election eve and not a long time ago?

I agree wholeheartedly with you that leadership is about sacrifice, not the sacrifice of others.

I'm also interested in why some of us still call refugees regardless of their method to get here "illegal immigrants" a denigrating term (and illegal it seems) if ever there was one.

I love and long for and am doing my bit for the Australia you describe:

"where race is no longer a weapon to divide,

the aged is not a profit centre,

the economy serves the people,

we promote the dignity of each per person irrespective of where they're from or how they arrived,

and Australia is a beacon of integrity, human rights compliance, and leadership in the world."

and what an insight "we choose equality as out national faith."

and you are absolutely spot on when you say that the boat in the PM's office "symbolises suffering, death, racism, xenophobia, deception, lies and profiteering, propaganda, myopia, and the degradation of Australia's humanity."

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

The wonder of living in a world of infinite possibilities

I love this diagram from Gihan Perera. Read Gihan's article Be a possibility thinker here.

There are so many things when you think about it that were once thought to be impossible that today are inevitable. or already a reality.

I'm with Gihan 'Be a possibility thinker'.

Quantum physicists have been letting us know for a long time that we live in world of infinite possibility.

I often picture it like below (with thanks to my wife Carol who first drew this). Imagine an infinite number of possibilities around the reality circle. Then imagine every time you choose one you get another lot of an infinite number of possibilities!

Because at any given moment we have an infinite number of choices there are principles to that help us to choose wisely for us.

The greatest is our Response Ability, which I believe is a keystone character trait of wise leaders. Response Ability is your ability and willingness to make the wisest choices for your own and other people's well-being in the moment, as well as in the short and long term.

Please go to my LinkedIn profile and you will see that there is an article on each of the above nine.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

A great place to begin is to be a possibility thinker.


Monday, 18 April 2022

Unearthing our essence with Caroline Harvey, Joanna Maberly and Sue Heatherington

I was thrilled to have this conversation with three of the wise women in my life Caroline Harvey, Joanna Maberly and Sue Heatherington.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Tuesday, 12 April 2022

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

The DeakinCo. report on the business development return on learning and development is well worth reading. You can download it here. 

As learning and development is a field I'm in daily, and have been for over a generation, some of the findings surprised me. This from the report perhaps surprised me the most:

Adaptability and flexibility, yep, customer service, yes yet what about the employee, customer/client, and overall stakeholders experience. Customer service is a 20th century concept now seen as the minimum requirement.

I get the other three from the report, yet are they really the top five skills gap?

In my own view the top skill is ability and willingness to have and host human being centred conversations. The following are essential for such conversations:

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

I 100% agree with the axiom employ people for their attitude and teach them the skills. My questions are what skills?, what is the context? and what are your cultural needs dictating?

I posted the following here on this blog in August 2019. It's all still relevant to understanding essential skills for thriving in the 21st century.

This is the new world of work as I see it.

My belief is that as machines take on more and more of the algorithmic work - the simple, routine and repetitive, the more opportunity we humans have to be remarkable and to do work that is meaningful to us and highly valuable to other people.

In a wonderful book Technology vs Humanity (see my review of this book here) Gerd Leonhard refers to this as andorithms "those qualities that makes us human" have more meaning than algorithms.

Embracing this in your own best way is a key to every human's happiest future.

Each of us needs to decide what skills we need to thrive in this new world. There are many to choose from.

Here's some from Seth Godin. Original post of his

"Discipline, rigor, patience, self-control, dignity, respect, knowledge, curiosity, wisdom, ethics, honor, empathy, resilience, honesty, long-term, possibility, bravery, kindness and awareness.

All of these are real skills, soft skills, learnable skills.

But if they’re skills, that means that they are decisions. A choice we get to make. Even if it’s not easy or satisfying in the short term.

These skills are in short supply sometimes, which makes them even more valuable."

I liked this blog post from Mark Hodgson about new world of work skills. Here's Mark's list:

Influence, Communication, Creativity, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity, Empathy, Collaboration, Vulnerability, Humour, Humanity, Self-leadership.

In his wonderful book Metaskills Marty Neumeier says that the following are the 5 most valuable skills you will need to thrive in the new world of work. More about Marty's book here.

In another wonderful book (learn more about it here) Geoff Colvin suggests the following as the 5 most valuable skills of the 21st century: empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships.

What are your top five skills that you need to enhance to thrive?

Bonus seven significant actions you can take to further enhance the skills you have chosen

1) Eliminate performance appraisals

Humans beings don't want to be appraised. We want to be appreciated.
When we feel appreciated we become more accountable and better performance follows.

2) Have candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversations about performance with each other that are integral to daily work.

3) Realising management is about PPPPSS's (policies, procedures, practices, processes, systems and structures, see also below on One More Thing)

My clients ask the following question several times a day about PPPPSS's - Does this make it simple for people to bring their best to their work? If the answer is no changes are made. This is every day innovation at its best. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify while heeding Albert Einstein's great advice "Everything should be a simple as possible, yet no simpler."

All other management is dead for my clients. The days of planning, organising and controlling people are over, finito, expired.

4) Learning and development is for everyone not a select few

There is no war on talent. That idea is BS. Learning opportunities are everywhere and for everyone. My clients are taking all opportunities and ensuring that anything from outside (including my work!) is tailored and integrated.

My clients also embrace the fact that learning opportunities don't cease when times are tough. For my clients learning and development is not a discretionary investment when times are good, rather an ongoing commitment to ensure the business thrives in good times and the not so good times.

5) Leadership development is for everyone too

Self-leadership is everyone's business. My clients know intimately that the only real test of leadership is whether or not more people are leading.

6) Profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business

Purpose driven organisations are the present and the future. My clients know their why and are pursuing it with passion.

7) The future of business is 100% human. 

B2B or B2C are buzz words. What really matters, and no matter how great technology becomes, is human to human.

Need help with one or more of these? Please give me a call.

One more thing. Please stop seeing and treating people as resources, assets, or capital

Human beings are not resources, assets or capital. Please stop treating them as such!

You have probably heard the talk about humans being your most valuable resources or assets.  Human capital is also a commonly used expression, sadly in my view.

You might even be using this kind of talk. Stop please.

Here’s what I feel:

I think such talk is trash.

Referring to human beings as resources, assets or capital is arguably a clever analogy or metaphor.  For me it demeans human beings, for beings we are.  And not just any old being that can be labeled. Every one of one-of-a-human being.  

Some research suggests 100 billion people have walked the earth.  Get this - there has never been a duplicate.  Everyone is a one-of-a-kind.  Therefore to label people and treat them the same misses the point and has dreadful consequences.

Your purpose as a leader, assuming you’re a real leader, is to inspire people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is) to everything they do.

And you will need some serious 21st century management skills.  Leadership falters without management and usually badly.

Management is the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything remarkable that they are (that unique being each of us is, I am repeating this deliberately) to everything they do.

Get it?  Leadership is about people and inspiration.  Management is about processes which policies, practices, procedures, and systems and structures.

The key role of great leadership (supported by great management) is talent optimisation i.e. inspiring people to discover their unique talents or gifts as as I prefer essence (unique personal wisdom) song or music. You might say voice, element, nature or even quiddity. Other wonderful descriptors are bliss and ikiagi.

Carefully consider this great paradox - give people massive freedom to do their own thing within very clearly defined boundaries.  Of course boundaries is the stuff of management.

Our world needs great leaders and managers more than ever. If not you, then who?

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

What media I utilise and why. You?

I've reflected deeply on my use of the media. It was a valuable exercise.

My main reasons for using media are to be helpful to other people and to exercise my right to freedom of speech.

I play in three main areas

1) helping people to excel in life and work without comprising your personal values.

I provide meticulously researched content through blog posts here on Blogger, videos via YouTube, podcasts via Libsyn and Spotify. I pay for Libsyn and Spotify whose music I also use personally and in my work.

I pay Mailerlite monthly to distribute my monthly Wise Leaders Newsletter. You can subscribe here. Subscribing means an exclusive monthly article plus you get to participate in my monthly events complimentary.

I pay a yearly subscription the Guardian. I find them the most non-biased of mainstream media. I also use the ABC News app. I accept News means 'Never Ever Whole Story'.

The only social media platform I use is LinkedIn. I accept I am their product.

All content is accessible via this page.

2) I seek to be an activist for change where I see the status quo no longer serving us human beings.

I believe politics across the board is letting us down badly and so I use my voice to speak out and speak up. I also believe that the collusion between big business, politics and the military is not in our best interests as human beings.

Primarily I am against industrialisation and all forms of dehumanisation. I explore some of this in this video:

3) I publish books and ebooks and online courses, primarily for my clients, with some available in the mainstream here.

What media do you utilise and why?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


PS Here's the transcript of the video

This video/podcast is the most technical I get. I’m sharing research here rather than my usual storytelling preference.

I invest about 20% of my time in research, and have done for over 30 years. I’m particularly interested in what’s actually happening on the ground, in the trenches as it were, in workplaces. I’m also very interested in the future of work, as well as the history of work, and history in general, and what lessons we can take heed of from the past that will enable a fully humanised world and workplace now and in the future. 

Recently my friend and colleague Peter Milligan, an organisational psychologist in the UK, shared a Ray Dalio video with me. It’s 43 minutes and 42 seconds. 

It’s called Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order.

One thing that really struck me in the video (at the 23 minute mark) is how capitalism, government and the military all work together, and not for good. 

All three are very industrialised and not helping in my view when it comes to ensuring the world including the workplace is about humans first.

A great consequence of capitalism, government and the military collaborating is inequality.

Here in Australia we have a fascinating scenario playing out with a federal election soon to be held. For the first time in quite awhile the PM and the opposition leader are neck and neck in the polls as preferred PM.

I find this astonishing given the incumbent and his government have failed on any measure you want to look at to represent us citizens, rather they represent vested interests. This is a common story around the world of course. The political system is failing us pretty much everywhere.

The government here is also talking up military spending and expansion with a hardline rhetoric about China. They have weaponised national security as a tactic to differentiate themselves from the alternative government.

There’s a very interesting interview by Friendly Jordies with former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about 10 dirty tactics he predicts the government will use to try and win the election. One of the dirty tricks is about national security.

An excellent book I’ve read recently is Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in one generation, a 2021 publication by Paul Hawken. 

In it he references a 1953 speech by US President Dwight D. Einsenhower, himself a former 5 star general in the military, where he talks about the industrialisation of the military. Worth noting here that according to Dalio’s research America had the worlds 19th largest army at the time of ww11. It’s a very different story today where they have 800 military bases in 80 countries.

In the book Hawken says “The politics industry is not designed or intended to serve voters. Like all industries it serves itself.”

I think understanding this is key to humanising the world and the workplace. We need to get that in the background capitalism, government and the military are all working to serve their own interests rather than our interests.

This is likely influencing your work, whatever you do.

Who are you serving? Your employees, your customers and other stakeholders interests? Or your own.

The best organisations and service providers serve others because they know this is the best way to take care of yourself.

In the second season of We Need To Talk, my signature program, our focus is not capitalism, politics and the military or any other industrialisation, think Big Pharma, Big  Food, Big Tech, Big Health, Big Religion, just to name a few other industralisation's that are harming us.

Yet we cannot ignore their influence as they are in the way of humanising the workplace let alone in the way of peace and harmony in the world.

We will be exploring a concept by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman referenced in Hawken’s book. Huberman upends the idea that beliefs determine what we do or what we can do, rather beliefs do not change actions, actions change beliefs.

I hope you can join me for season two commencing on Tuesday June 14th for Europe, UK, Asia, and June 21st for Australia, New Zealand and USA. Places are limited so please register early. Do so from here.

Monday, 4 April 2022

What is your ROI on your L & D?


The above graphic is from the DeakinCo report into ROI on Learning & Development. You can download the report here.

This from the report:

"Based on bespoke economic modelling, this report finds that on average a 1% increase in L&D expenditure per employee is associated with an 0.2% increase in business revenue in the same year. In dollar terms, this is equivalent to every $1 invested in L&D per employee being associated with an additional $4.70 in business revenue (per employee)."

Embracing the pre and post factor increases ROI even more

In 2005 I began applying research completed in 2004 by Dr. Brent Peterson from Columbia University. 

He found that 50% of learning happens after an event and 26% prior to an event.

The consequences of applying this research have been profound for my clients. I can confidently guarantee to you that working together will mean a minimum of 10 times return on your investment when you undertake pre and post work.

In my signature We Need To Talk Experience between episodes and after episode four there is a telephone and Zoom help line available meaning you can schedule a call for help with implementation of your insights, inspirations and ideas or with integrating your new learnings with what is already working well for you. This is key post work.

Download the We Need To Talk infographic here. It shows the full pre and post work and how they bookend the experience and guarantee your ROI.

Want the greatest possible ROI on your L & D.? Please consider The We Need To Talk Experience. At this link is everything you need to know about season two.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

PS Two old axioms apply here. "True leaders create leaders. Fake leaders create followers." Anon

Your heartful disposition and a mindset about creating more leaders is the intention piece of ROI on L & D.

"Success depends on where intention is." Gita Bellin

PSS Below contains key insights into essentials for great learning and development from the DeakinCo research. How do you rate yourself against these criteria?

Friday, 1 April 2022

Pain happens. Suffering is a choice

Image courtesy of Canva

Buddhism teaches that through being dissatisfied with your life or craving things, you suffer.

This is true in my life experience.

The most important lesson I have learned though is that we can have pain yet adding suffering is a choice we make.

I’ve been in chronic pain for about two months due to a complication with my melanoma. I’m on a pain killing package and receiving treatment. There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

My wife too has cancer and has had considerable pain for longer than me.

Initially I resented these set backs for both of us and I chose to suffer as well as be in pain. Carol chose not to suffer.

Knowing that I was on a wrong path for me I eventually surrendered and refreshed my understanding of Buddhist teachings and concluded I was indeed choosing to suffer.

Response Ability is the keystone character trait of #wiseleaders. I had chosen badly.

Response Ability is your ability and willingness to make the wisest choices for your own and other people's well-being in the moment, as well as in the short and long term. 

I realised that I made an unwise choice in deciding to suffer. It’s been a big lesson. 

I hope sharing it is of value to you. 

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Wednesday, 30 March 2022

People want and need to feel appreciated more than ever before

We have post pandemic blues, Zoom fatigue, severe floods and fires, an unnecessary war (as are all wars), clueless politicians who consistently lie to us, and more people considering leaving their current job than ever before.

These are just a few of our challenges. It would be easy to be filled with fear, and doom and gloom.

I feel that this one of the truly great opportunities in history to reclaim our humanity and act accordingly.

All of the challenges mentioned dehumanise us. What if we focus on humanising everything we engage in?

A key is appreciation. It's one of the six essentials of a human being centred workplace.

The eminent psychologist William James observed the following:

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

So not just any old principle, the deepest!

One action you can take right now that enacts this deepest principle

Reflect on the people closest to you at home, at work, and the other places you go.

Write down these people’s names and one way you could show genuine appreciation to them in the next fortnight without any cost except that of your time and energy.

Go show appreciation without attachment to getting back.

Make this ritual part of your everyday life. And if you need any simple, practical help with this, do give me a shout.

A really big action you can take is to see accountability as the other side of the coin to appreciation.

Here's a simple technique that I call The Double A Technique for appreciating people and helping others to be accountable

Ask: “How are things going?”

When you get a positive response:

 Ask: “How does that make you feel?”

(be quiet and pay attention)

Then say, Great, Brilliant or whatever is appropriate.

Then ask: “Any other areas I can help you with?”

(be quiet and pay attention)

When you get a negative response

Ask: “What happened?” (be quiet and pay attention)

Then Ask: “What do you need to do to get back on track?”

(be quiet and pay attention)

Then Ask: “Is there anything I can do to help you?”

(be quiet and pay attention)

Finally, Ask: “Anything else?”

(be quiet and pay attention)

How could you do better in having appreciation and accountability conversations with your workmates?

There's a 12 minutes and 32 seconds video here where I demonstrate this technique.

I can promise you this: become an expert at having appreciation and accountability conversations each day and optimum performance will follow.

Appreciation is one of eight heart qualities that the world needs now

The eight feature in my book Heart-Leadership Become The Wise Leader You Want To Be. Learn more about this book here.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Monday, 28 March 2022

My top 12 books for the first quarter of 2022

I love books!

Here's the top 12 I've read this year so far.

I elevated Jon Alexander's 'Citizens' and Steven Farber's 'Love is just damm good business' to my top 21. I could have done so with many of the others. 

The common thread in all 12 books is that the status quo (normal) is failing us miserably and there are many better ways to be and do.

My top 21

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

We Need To Talk - Live Your Essence/Follow Your Bliss

Below is an unedited 40 minutes of an actual We Need To Talk episode. The personal actions decided in the final 10 - 15 minutes were not recorded. My thanks to Claudia Brose, Richard Merrick, Liviu Caliman, Peter Milligan and the two other regulars in this group Terry McGivern and Paul Schmeja who were apologies for this episode.

All are great examples of the high calibre of people who participate in We Need To Talk. 

Here's the transcript of the story shared and the 9 wisdom worlds of wise leaders referenced.

I was raised in the Christian Religion via the Churches of Christ denomination. Church morning and evening and Sunday school in the middle, every Sunday. Bible study groups as well. These were my young and teenage years. It infiltrated our whole lives. There were many rules. One was not being able to play sport on Sunday’s which may have curtailed a possible future playing sports. But that’s another story!

I was baptised by full emersion, one of the rules of the Churches of Christ, at aged 16. What quickly followed was playing guitar and singing for a Christian band. We played almost every weekend at a church or Christian event somewhere in my home state of Victoria for about two years. It was also the beginning of a short career as a story-telling lay preacher in the tradition of my father and grandfathers. 

I also played rhythm and bass guitar and sang in one of Australia’s first Christian Rock and Roll Bands. We were called Harvey Tucker, I can’t remember why. At our first concert in Her Majesty’s Theatre in my home town of Ballarat many older conservative Christians walked out because they believed we were too loud and that our music was of the devil.

In this period I began my career in the corporate world as a credit officer in a finance company. I met many people from the church in business and became increasingly surprised by such people’s lack of ethics, lack of integrity and often a lack of moral fibre.

I began to call this the Faith Behaviour Gap after reading words reportedly said by the Apostle Peter, “faith without our works is dead.”

Later I was to broaden this to the Values Behaviour Gap which of course is still one of the great challenges in business, politics and everything that has been industrialised including religion. 

It was the first seed most likely of what has become my life’s work to help people to excel in business without comprising your personal values.

I read the bible from beginning to end many times. I was fascinated by the differences and often juxtaposition between the words attributed to Jesus Christ (they are 5 to 6 A4 pages or 2000 words) and the rest of the book. I began to see the stark differences between faith and religion. At aged 18 I was on a serious path to becoming ordained.

The Faith Behaviour Gap took its toll however. My first promotion in business meant a move away from home. A subsequent move back and then away again a few years later all conspired to help me to leave the church and focus on business.

My interest in the vast differences between faith and religion continued however. I went on to study all the world’s religions, faiths, and ways of being. I also began a major interest that remains today of the study and integration of philosophy particularly from the 1450’s and the role of industrialisation in our lives and how it dehumanises us and our workplaces.

At aged 30 I had somewhat of an early mid life crisis. Abandoning my corporate career my wife and I ended up part owning a general store in the Barossa Valley. The plan was Carol would work in the store and I would occasionally, yet my main focus was to become a management consultant. Carol hurt her back and couldn’t work and I ended up working full time in the store. I was most likely the worst shop keeper in history. But that’s another story too.

Within a few months we were out of the store. I was back in the corporate world and also back in a church. This time with the Uniting Church denomination. I returned to playing music and lay preaching including undertaking the course where I became an accredited lay preacher in the Uniting Church.

The Faith Behaviour Gap remained. I was still meeting religious people in business with no integrity or ethics. I did meet some who didn’t have the Faith Behaviour Gap, yet ideology seemed to consume their lives and they mostly approached the wider world with an us and them disposition. These people believed that their way was the only way which often made me laugh because many of my bosses thought the same about their approach to business.

The difference between faith and religion became even starker and I was again disillusioned.

And then in my studies I stumbled on the mythologist Joseph Campbell. Carol and I watched Power of Myth series where he is interviewed by Bill Moyers. I read Joseph’s book Hero of a Thousand Faces and all of his books on mythology. Through them I learned that there is no original ideas in any religion. All of the tenets have been stolen from ancient and indigenous traditions.

The Australian first nations people have a flood story that predates Noah by several thousand years for example. There are many virgin birth stories, and many stories of the gods becoming humans.

My own personal discoveries have been that the idea of an external, masculine, father figure God are extremely unlikely.

There is for me an internal force in us all. It’s called love and it’s up to us individually and collectively to make this a force for good.

Fast forward 35 years.

My lessons from my experience - We are not our jobs, the roles we play or the beliefs or ideologies we hold. We must hold our beliefs and ideologies lightly otherwise they can consume us.

We do have an essence or unique personal wisdom and from this essence we have preferences to how we live, learn and lead. 

Joseph Campbell called essence bliss and coined the phrase ‘follow your bliss’ as a key to living our best one-of-a-kind life.

We decide after learning what our essence is who we must be and what we can’t not do which is Joseph Campbell’s explanation of what bliss is. 

Today will explore 9 possible preferences to help us to be and do that I call the 9 wisdom worlds of wise leaders.

Download the wisdom world's recommenced exercise.

Studying Campbell’s work, which is an ongoing passion, initially awakened my curiosity at a very deep level. I’ve stayed curious!

Of course we’ve been exploring bliss or essence here in this We Need To Talk Season One. 

You might prefer a different term to essence or bliss such as Nature, Song, Quiddity, Element, Voice, Vitality, Gift, Essence Music Ikigai, even Aura You choose what works best for you.

Having been inspired by the work Joseph Campbell, yet treading my own path, I endeavour to shine a light of inspiration on infinite possibilities by telling stories. 

We see through the ancient myths the way our elders have passed on wisdom in ways in which truth is not hidden from us.

We don’t need to know the details when we hear these stories, because the wisdom is embedded in the story, and will be available in the moment when we need it.

You don’t need to understand, until you need to understand!

There are many great works available about the old stories (see some referenced under the video on YouTube).

Their lessons are in part why what I say is important, yet nowhere near as important as what you hear yourself say to yourself, and who you become and what you do next.

What are you hearing yourself say to yourself today?

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Thursday, 17 March 2022

I've updated my Performance Possibility Pulse Checks

I am excited to let you know that I have updated my Performance Possibility Pulse Checks adding Human being centred conversations and Human being centred workplaces pulse checks to the existing nine.

This is a complimentary tool to help you to excel in business without compromising your personal values.

 You can download here.

Kind regards


Thursday, 10 March 2022

We Need To Talk About The Future of Work

This video is a preview of the upcoming season two (June and Sept 2022, and February and April 2023) of my signature online program We Need To Talk.

There are many insights that you can immediately apply in your own best way.

Here's the 6 minutes and 44 seconds podcast of this post. This video is 7 minutes and 55 seconds.

Here's the transcript

The talk about hybrid work has confused the issues. Hybrid and what it stands for are only half the story.

Mary (not her real name) is a long term employee for a highly successful business. I know her well having worked with her for over a year. Recently Mary went from having a great boss to one who resembles the old command and control type who believes people need to be managed. She told Mary in a first 1:1 that she doesn’t fit future requirements and may have to consider moving to another team. Mary is high performer loved and trusted by her team mates so I am mystified by the new boss and her attitude.  

This scenario is typical of what I call industrial revolution hang over. 

I’m appalled by the talk and writings about a second, third, fourth and fifth industrial revolutions. The language is entirely inappropriate for the 21st century given in my view that the industrial revolution between 1760 and 1840 dehumanised work and we have not yet fully recovered.

We must humanise the workplace. Key are human centred conversation and human being centred workplaces which I will come to in a minute.

I’ve been in the room with more than a million people since 1990 and I can vouch that we are better at leading people and managing process than we were then, yet still there are a significant number of places where people are referred to people as resources, assets or capital, all terrible and demotivating descriptions of one-of-a-kind human beings that each of us is.

John (not his real name) is a long term employee who I have worked with over a five year period. He is an excellent leader, loved and trusted by his team mates. Recently while working from home he was forced, along with all of his team members, to sign-off from work to go the toilet and sign back in again. This kind of distrust of people is rife in workplaces where command and control people management still exists.

John and his team have been forced during covid-19 to attend numerous, useless meetings, that have wasted people’s time and energy and further decreased trust in bosses.

You can see a theme here bad bosses. We know from an immense amount of date that 7 out of 10 people leave their bosses rather than their workplaces.

Sally (not her real name) is a senior executive who I have worked with for more than a decade. Despite above average performance and making a significant contribution to her company’s success, and wealth, recent hiring of new members to the team have worked under instructions from the higher boss to undermine Sally and force here out. This is one of the worst cases I have seen of not living the agreed values of behaviours and shifting to a for profit purpose business rather than a for people business.

Profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business. 

There is overwhelming data that shows that for people business making significantly more profits than for profit businesses. Slowly for profits businesses are becoming dinosaurs yet there are still a number of greedy people driven by self-interest and ego.

Those succeeding and getting through the covid-19 cloud are having less meetings about compliance and more human being centred conversations. There are none essentials to such conversations.

These kind of conversations cause sparkenations. A sparkenation is a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

We crave conversations that stir our hearts, shift our thinking, and inspire us to be and do differently. Such conversations feature engaging language which elevates the conversations which in turn enriches relationships, the lifeblood of everything we are and do as humans.

The power of these conversations is that they are a catalyst for meeting deep human needs: 

  • Being heard, understood and appreciated, valued and loved.
  • Belonging and feeling connected to people who support us and whom we can support.
  • Seeing, unearthing, magnifying and enhancing our essence (unique personal wisdom), and helping other people to be and do the same.

In the upcoming second season of my signature We Need To Talk experience I’ll be exploring the future of work using human being centred conversations and how they lead to true 21st century workplaces, recovered from the industrial revolution hangover, by being human being centred.

Here's a previous video and post about human being centred workplaces.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


PS One thing I forgot to mention in the video and podcast is the Buckminster Fuller insight long ago that not everyone needs to work. Google Universal Basic Income, read a wonderful book by Yanis Varoufakis about what's possible.

“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.”

- R. Buckminster Fuller

Monday, 7 March 2022

A map for transformation by Peter Milligan

I've known psychologist Peter Milligan for over 25 years. We have had some great conversations. 

In this conversation Peter overviews his wonderful map for transformation that draws on biology, ecology, mythology, philosophy, and psychology.

Become the wise leader you want to be


Thursday, 3 March 2022

Models to help make meaning and to live a life that matters

 I'm excited to publish The Wise Leaders Playbook #4 which is about models to help make meaning and to live a life that matters. Here's one of the nine models featured in the playbook.

In the playbook there are links to read, watch and listen resources and online courses that will help you to adopt each model in your own best way.

You can download this playbook here.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Thursday, 17 February 2022

Wise Leadership in the Age of AI by Gihan Perera

This is a guest post by my friend, colleague and futurist Ghan Perera.

Are the robots coming for your job? Yes and no.

Automation and AI are rapidly spreading through every industry and every workplace. They accelerated during COVID-19, because the need for limiting physical contact forced organisations to find more digital solutions (According to McKinsey, 67% of companies sped up their use of automation and AI due to COVID-19). This trend will continue to grow and expand, even after the pandemic.

Of course, this doesn’t mean everything will be automated (and not everything should). We will still value emotional experiences, the personal touch, and human ingenuity. But, even with those personal experiences, there’s a big push to automating everything that creates friction or gets in the way.

For example, we might need to meet (in person or online) to make an important decision. The real value comes from the conversation in the meeting, and that’s where humans excel. But all the other tasks – scheduling the meeting, sending reminders, recording, transcribing, translating, filing and indexing, and distributing actions – can be done through automation and AI.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 ‘Future of Jobs Report’, by 2025, 85 million jobs will be displaced by robotics and automation. But the same report predicts they will also create 97 million new jobs. The catch is they’re not the same jobs!

If you’re a leader, you have an added role as you navigate your team and organisation through this fast-changing world: to help your people adapt, integrate, and embrace the changes AI will bring.

This role requires empathy, care, sensitivity, and yes – more than a smattering of wisdom.

So how do you apply wise leadership in the age of AI?

Let’s start by looking at how you build wisdom. It happens in four stages:

1. You start by learning a new skill.

2. Through many hours of experience through deliberate practice, you develop mastery in that skill.

3. Then, by applying your mastery in different contexts, you learn to exercise good judgement.

4. All this experience means you acquire a higher perspective, which leads to wisdom.

Obviously, different people are at different stages, and that can even vary within different roles in their job. If they are at any of the first three stages – skill, mastery, or judgement – you can help them understand the impact of AI and automation on their role.

Skill: AI will replace many skills and some jobs.

There’s no doubt some people will lose their jobs because computers and robots will have the same – or better – skills than humans. In the past, this was obvious for manual labour and blue-collar jobs, but it’s increasingly true for higher-level roles as well.

 As a wise leader, you will have to help people move out of these jobs. This won’t be an easy task, but if you know it’s likely to happen, act decisively, so your people have as much time as possible to adapt. The worst thing you can do is delay the inevitable.

Mastery: AI will accelerate the experience curve.

If mastery requires deliberate practice, AI can help by accelerating the experience curve. For example, it can:

  • provide customised learning paths,
  • assist coaching and mentoring,
  • help people design individual career paths, and
  • help HR and L&D professionals manage your talent requirements.

As a wise leader, identify ways to involve AI in this kind of learning and development for your people. Most people know they will need more learning to adapt to a changing world, and this is an opportunity for you to introduce AI in a positive, non-confrontational way.

Judgement: AI can help people make judgement calls.

Much of the negative media around AI has involved it making seemingly arbitrary judgement calls: turning down qualified candidates for senior roles, determining who qualifies for a home loan, showing racial bias in police arrests, and so on.

We’re not yet at the point where we should trust AI to make those judgement calls, but it can help us make those judgement calls. For example, it can analyse large volumes of data quickly, provide relevant information for making informed decisions, and monitor behaviour to determine the results of actions.

 As a wise leader, investigate and integrate the power of AI and automation to help your people. This is all about humans and machines being better together than either could be alone. You have probably always done this with technology, but you might not realise just how powerful and affordable AI technology has become.

Will you be a wise leader in the age of AI?

According to research by MIT Sloan Management Review, 85% of leaders believe AI can help them gain a competitive advantage. And Gartner predicts the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30% of organisations will come from leveraging AI and related technologies.

 But these raw numbers don’t tell the full story. The real story is not about computers; it’s about people. We have never needed wise leadership as much as we need it now. Will you be one of those wise leaders?