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Hands on works

1 Oct

Bee a hands on leader

Real leaders often get in there and get their hands dirty. They come up with coal dust directly from the coal face. They do the do and lead by example. They show the ‘how’ to their people. They take the strategy and implement it. They man (can you still say that?) the phones and provide excellent customer service and in the process delight their customers. They fill in when staff aren’t able to. They work shoulder to shoulder and win respect from their people while at the same time gaining an understanding of who their people are (Emotional Intelligence.)

In small business owner/directors have to be hands on.

I was always taught that in order to be a ‘boss’ I would need to know what was entailed in even the most menial task. Only then could I delegate correctly.

Bees are workers and they build amazing structures that hold up human existence. They are pollinators who manually transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilising the plant so it can grow and produce food. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off.

Be like a BEE.


Donald Trump and the Shoulds

11 Sep

“The upheaval of our world and the upheaval in consciousness is one and the same. Everything becomes relative and therefore doubtful. And while man, hesitant and questioning, contemplates… his spirit yearns for an answer that will allay the turmoil of doubt and uncertainty.”

So wrote Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung was also interested in and influenced by philosophy, sociology, religion and spirituality.


Trump, Kanye and Kimye and the blur between reality and reality TV 

We are all living in a period of great uncertainty where our politicians and the major parties are no longer trusted (see the political rise of showmen like Donald Trump in the US and our own One Nation’s resurge.) The problems of globalisation, immigration, warfare and refugees, economic cycles, ageing populations, industry and technology and of course climate change have rendered us all into a state of unknowingness and sometimes fear. Trump and his often unstructured and simplistic rants wouldn’t have made it to second base in past US Presidential campaigns let alone get endorsed by the conservative Republican party if he wasn’t striking a chord with alienated, scared voters who no longer trust their politicians.

Trump is also a reality TV star so maybe Kanye and Kimye could be future Commander in Chief and his first lady. This says a lot about the pre-occupation with celebrity and branding. It’s more fun hanging out in billionaires mansions than listening to men in suits talking about fiscal policy + we get to live their lives vicariously (and escape our own) for an hour a week.

As human beings, we crave certainty around our lives as this gives us control. 

In reality there is no certainty much less control. We can be comfortably off and get sick. We can be employed and lose a job through no fault of our own. Our bread winning industry can go off-shore. In a lot of ways, life is random and full of paradoxes.

It’s hard to live this way but there is no choice and often pain and hardship open doors that were not visible through the haze of contentment.

The shoulds

Many years ago I was introduced to ‘The shoulds.’ It goes like this:

We should have a job and do well. We should be happy in our personal lives and have rich and fulfilling relationships. We should always do the right thing and not make mistakes.

Shoulds also relate to others in our lives:

Friends should be true and stick by you.

Family should be there for you.

Managers and employers should recognise you for your work and enthusiasm.

Shoulds let us down and make us naive.

Let go of the shoulds both for yourself and others in your life.

Be open to change because it’s rapid nowadays.

Instead enrich yourself with learning, creating and thinking outside of yourself.

Working hard and not getting noticed

20 Dec


When I was a kid you could buy a brand of bubble gum that had these silly signs on a cardboard plaques called ‘wacky placks.’ One of them I found quite amusing. It said Work fascinates me … I can sit and watch it for hours.

As I’ve weaved my way through so many workplaces I have worked alongside many amazing people who don’t get recognised for a whole lot of reasons. These people may not be the greatest communicators and they may not have ever had the skill to position themselves to get recognised but they still keep producing.

In their hearts they bow to anonymity.

They practice humility on a daily basis.

They fix things and get teams working.

But they’re hardly ever up at the rostrum or at the board room table.

Leaders … real leaders understand humility and no ego. They know what’s going on in their business. And more importantly they see who’s doing what.

Not everyone is a big talker who knows how to be noticed.

Take care of these people and surprise them with some thank you’s and pats on the back.

They are the engines that run your business.

it’s a mad mad mad world of metrics

12 Jul

harold lloyd

We all know about metrics. The back end of the internet. The analytics. The tracking mechanisms of sites. 

They come in all shapes too. Line graphs. Dials. Segments. Bar charts. 

And they are great and necessary. How else do we know ‘how we’re doing!’

This is about productivity and we all have to be productive don’t we? Work, work, work …

There’s no time in an asynchronous world to stop and think. 

Why would you do that? There’s stuff to do. People are restless and they want it NOW.

I’ve spent time in organisations where metrics are key drivers, and that is fine. But when dials and graphs are key drivers, then strategy can go out the window if there is weak and lazy leadership.

Strategy is of the utmost importance. It’s the beginning of innovations. It’s the way to do things differently and better.

The fast knee-jerk get this done now attitude is a band aid solution.

Metrics can freak poor managers/leaders out because these measures make them or their area look bad, so they rush to fix something and it sets an unrealistic pace where mistakes are made and people break down or worse – feel like galley slaves, rowing to the beat of a drum.

I’m all for measurements and monitoring because I like change. 

But don’t let it freak you out. Sit down and think about things. Come up with new ways of doing things.

Calm down