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The Worst Advice I Ever Received

I was reminded this week of misguided, dangerous feedback I was given two years ago in a work appraisal. It contained a toxic recipe for pain, anxiety, loneliness and the crushing of spirit. Never give this advice. Never take it. Here it is.

I gave an after dinner speech last week in the Hunter Valley wine district to a packed room of corporate marketing leaders. I went on a bit too long of course, loving the limelight after six weeks on the sidelines. In the bar afterwards, a senior event sponsor said to me: “Lots of nuggets in that speech. But the power of it was built around one thing: authenticity. That’s why it worked.”

Being ‘authentic’ means being genuine, credible, legitimate. It’s powerful stuff. Learning to have the courage to be more authentic is making a real difference for me. Here’s the biggest benefit of all

A Critical Business “Must Do” – Share It At Your Peril

There was a disaster on the mountain K2 a few years back, where a large number of climbers were killed. A survivor outlined his perception of what caused the tragedy. It was a simple truth that lives every day in our business lives, and beyond. It’s not for sharing. You absolutely HAVE to do it alone. Here it is.

Several groups of climbers, of various nationalities, had ended up at the same point at the same time on the climb to the summit of K2, one of the highest peaks in the world. Huddled together that night, they agreed to continue the last stage to the top as one group. They split up and shared the responsibilities amongst the teams. That sealed their fate. The next day, a series of simple mountaineering sacrosanct rules were broken, and many climbers plunged to their deaths.

What went wrong? Simply this:

A Simple Lesson From Calvin Klein To Help You Achieve Great Things

The image of a bronzed Adonis-like man, clad only in white briefs, got me very excited last week. My heart pumped faster. I was inspired. Energised. And I bet you feel the same way when you read why this happened to me. Here is that story.

The darkened seminar room at the Cannes Creativity Conference was a sanctuary, away from the glare of a brutal six months of relentless pressure, tough issues and a unforgiving workload. I was feeling depleted, and two days of presentations from global thought leaders on their insights on ‘what’s now and what’s next’ had failed to lift my spirits. Until the global Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein took the stage at an ‘off Broadway’ session, to explain how the company had built a global brand. What a story.

She then outlined the business’s four core operating guidelines- and it was Value Number 2 that grabbed my attention. I just loved it. It was the inspiration I needed to lift my head and say: “YES! Let’s get cracking.” Here is what that key Calvin Klein guideline says:

Top 10 Tips To Building Powerful Influence- In Business and In Life

What is the most valuable thing the most influential people in your life have given you? What is it that has made all the difference? Here’s the answer. It is the secret to building genuine and deep influence. Do you do it?

Critical to business success is building our ‘footprint of influence,’ that hard-to-describe ability to be perceived as someone who is able to help and assist- someone with substance and genuine credential- someone people reach out to for counsel- someone who is wanted and needed.

Before I share the Top 10 Tips To Building Powerful Influence, here’s the one thing the most influential people I know always do. It’s this that is more important in building influence than the other nine tips added together. Quite simply, this is the most powerful thing heavy duty influential people give you- every time:

What Four Brave Men And Women Told Me This Week- Could You Do It?

Three men. One woman. Separately. Talking to me over coffee tables. Each did something inspiring. Surprising. Their actions oozed courage. And epitomize a habit critical to coping in tough times, at work and in life. Are you up for it?

Four conversations. Four very different relationships. In each, something rare happened. You see, each told me of something causing them sadness, pain, anxiety, stress, fear. I was privileged. They exposed vulnerability to me. And I know felt better and stronger for having taken that step, and for talking about it. And here’s the point- it’s about something I am getting better at doing, and encourage anyone who will listen to do so as well. Do you do this?

Help Me Save A Life Next Week- And No Money Asked For- Promise!

I wrote a post once about knowing when to ‘turn up.’ Read it again or read it for the first time. Please. And then join me please in turning up next week, on Thursday 12 September. Together we can save a life, or several. No joke. Here’s how.

I want to spread the word about an incredibly important day, Thursday 12 September. If you get any value out of Possums, then the one thing I ask of you in return is this: retweet this post NOW, ‘Like’ it, pass it on in LinkedIn, do whatever you can to spread the word.

It’s a day that was inspired by a colleague, Gavin Larkin, who sadly passed away about two years ago after a long illness. This day is one of his many legacies of an action packed life well led. Gavin made a massive contribution, and we miss him.

It’s a day he designed and is built around saving lives by asking one very simple question. Here it is