Archive | Leadership RSS feed for this section

Learn This Secret To Fast-Tracking Success

I encourage you, please, to make mistakes. Here’s the twist. I only want you to make a very specific style of mistake- the sort smart people make. Here’s the magic. Read on.
Good Man Mark was inspiringly positive after a major career setback. I was sharing my experiences of shaping a new career direction. He was most hungry for insights on what not to do. “When I trained as a pilot, my instructor made this one rule: ‘You will not have a prang unless it is an original one.’”

I loved that! It reminded me of the advice I got recently from a Sydney business leader:

Two Inseparable ‘Must Haves’ For Success- Do You Have Them?

The two most critical ingredients to building successful businesses and careers are so very elusive. Yet without these two factors thriving in tandem, failure is guaranteed. How do you rank against each?

I was in New York two weeks ago exploring opportunity I’d been approached about. It was intoxicating, and seductive. I resisted temptation, though, and left with absolute clarity about what I want and will do next in my career. Not for me the global stage. Rather, all my energies will be focused more locally, helping leaders accelerate growth – growth of businesses, market value, reputation, team success, careers. I am bursting with excitement about how I can best help do this. Here’s the key. Achieving ‘success’ is built around two simple yet critical traits every one of us must have to reach goals:

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:

Why I Told My Work Colleague I Loved Him- And I Meant It

I was taken by surprise this week. Shaking the hand of a colleague at a meeting’s end, I looked him in the eyes and said: “Arthur- I love you.” I meant it. And, he did not immediately phone the HR department ‘hotline’ for urgent counsel. Here’s why. And why it made me feel so energised.

I am struggling to do up my business shirts these days. No excuses. Just binge eating under pressure. But I’ve turned the corner (fingers crossed), and have started exercising again. While ambling around a park last week, I was listening to, aptly, Meat Loaf. One of his most famous lyrics jolted me…. when Mr Loaf suggests ‘… two out of three ain’t bad.’ And the jolt was the realisation that, quite simply, it’s not true.

Here’s why. I had an intriguing meeting the next morning- with a ‘dynamo’ younger colleague I mentor (he mentors me too), who was seriously thinking about taking a client-side senior role. I was not sure how to handle the meeting- what to say- and it was Mr Loaf who gave me the answer. He reminded me of this deep truth:

The Key To A Winning Team Will Be Music To Your Ears

A chance meeting in Melbourne gave me a new insight into how to build winning teams. Here’s what happened- and the lesson in it for you, your business, your life. Beware- it might depress you. Or spur you into action? Let’s see….

We arrived at the restaurant. My 12 year old mate suddenly grabbed my arm: “OMG! OMG,” he enthuised, breathlessly. “LOOK! Look who it is!! It’s…it’s Archie Thompson! And…and…(gasp)…Besart Berisha!” – two strikers from the Melbourne Victory football club. The entire team was in the private dining room. We approached Thompson. He graciously chatted, and then invited us into the team dinner room. We looked in from the door. What an inspiring group of young people- beautifully mannered, dressed, welcoming. The mood in that room was excited, warm, energised, inspired, bonded. I wanted to cut off a slice and take it home.

I returned to the table. “Now, that’s a winning culture,” I said. “They will do very well this year. I know this, because I just did one very simple thing….” This is what I did.

How To Get What You Want- Every Time!

There’s something I do at the start of most meetings that often shocks those there. Some love it. Some hate it. It’s a recipe, though, for getting what you want- in business, and in life. Do you do it?

My current working day is filled with meetings- often 10 to 12 in a day. Some I set up. Usually, given my role, it’s others who have asked to see me- colleagues, potential partners, industry associates, general contacts. I have to move through them quickly, efficiently, and with focus and momentum.

So I often start meetings others have asked for with this question: “Before we begin, tell me this- if you had a magic wand, what would happen at the end of the meeting- what is it you want from me or want me to do?” It’s a concept I encourage all to embrace. Do it for yourselves. This is what I mean. This is the habit I encourage you- and me- to do a lot more of.