Category Archives: Articles

Why pragmatic optimism matters

This is my 93yo mother. She lives in an aged care facility in Melbourne, Australia. We are currently in lockdown. This is only her 4th home she has ever lived in. She raised 11 children and has over 45 grand, great-grand and great-great-grandchildren.

Throughout her life, she has served her church, our schools, our sporting clubs, scouts and other community organisations. And she never drove a car. Last week, she was asked if she would give up her room, her home so that the centre could create an isolation unit should COVID19 enter the facility. She loves her current room, her home.

Please read more if you’d like to discover what she did.

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You’re not going to like this message – go deep!

Over the past two days, I have invested 91 minutes watching Simon Sinek’s YouTube video “The Infinite Game: How to Lead in the 21st Century”. In truth, I have spent more than 91 minutes. I have paused the video, replayed parts, taken notes and asked questions.

I have already read the book. Twice. Given I am extremely busy with my clients and raising my five children in challenging times, why would I invest this time?

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Now is NOT the time to be lazy

I have been with my business insurance broker for eight years. Recently, the brokerage changed owners and, as I discovered last Saturday, I had been assigned a new account manager.

The premium for one of my insurances is due next month. My “new” account manager sent me an email on Saturday morning. Here’s what the email said (names and specific details have been removed, to protect the innocent).

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How to successfully work from home

February 2007 was when I first started working from home. At the time I had three children aged seven, four and two. Later that year my fourth child was born, and another was born in September 2010.

Since then, I have continued to work from home as my wife and I have raised our five children and I have successfully operated my business. I’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t work and below are 15 lessons for successfully working from home.

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The Leader-Learner-Trap

Successful people regularly report they are lifelong learners. I want to think that I am a lifelong learner too.

Shayne Elliott, CEO of the ANZ Bank recently shared in a LinkedIn video post that he is “#always learning“. In it, he speaks about a book that has provided great value over many years, Execution – The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. It is a terrific book and worth the read.

The ability to learn is essential for success. I argue that today, oxygen and learning are equally important for humans. Without them you are physically dead, or your career is dead. However, are followers tolerant of leaders who are learning? I’m not sure they are, which creates a significant problem for leaders.

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Five actions for living your organisation’s values

One of the most significant challenges that staff struggle with is how to “live” their organisation’s values and behaviours. People often say to me, “I’m sick of ‘hearing’ about the values. No one does anything about them.” I then ask, “Do you believe in the values and behaviours yourself?

A typical response begins with, “Yeah, but…”.

This pattern indicates that the real challenge that staff face is that they don’t know ‘how’ to have conversations about the values with their peers and managers. This article will share five actions of which you can use one or more to increase your contribution to your organisation’s values in a positive, constructive manner.

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How to lead a growing team

You know how it works. You are good at what you do, so more people keep being ‘given’ to you to lead. Not only that, but you are relocated to corporate headquarters and most of the people you lead aren’t co-located with you anymore. You have more meetings than ever to attend, yet you genuinely care for the people you lead but don’t have anywhere near the time you used to to lead them.

What do you do?

This dynamic is very common for the people I coach. Flatter organisations means higher spans of control, which means more direct reports to lead. Below are three tips for leading a growing team that isn’t co-located.

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