Tag Archives | coaching

The Key To Becoming A Great Leader

Fear, doubt, uncertainty, self-criticism. That’s how it feels. Leadership can suck. That’s why I am putting my hand up for this. And you can too.

A Present That Will Change You Forever- If You Pay Attention

A colleague said it to 500 of our staff this week. Under 11 cricket coach Paul told it to the team as they disbanded for the season. Two stories. The same message. Powerful stuff for success in business and in life. And here it is for you. A gift indeed.

Coach Paul to the 11 young boys: “Cricket is more than a game. It teaches you lessons in life. Of resilience, courage, focus.” He said it as we trained 300 in customer service excellence last week. “The most critical skill we have is to be great listeners. To do this, we have to master the skill of concentration- to be absolutely present at all times.”

I can be brilliant at this. And absolutely terrible. When on form, I flick an imaginary switch in my back and, kapow!, become totally present for a series of complex meetings. Or when off my game, I can attend, but be in other Walter Mitty worlds, adding nothing, slowing others down. You see- I titled this post as a present for you, and that present quite simply is this:

How To Win Without Trying To Win-A Secret to Business and Career Success

I am in the midst of the most terrifying role I have ever had- coach of an Under 10 fourth grade rugby team. And it is teaching me massive lessons about life, business and success- no more so than what happened this past Sunday. Read on- you’ll never forget this message.

When I reluctantly agreed a few weeks ago to coach the local Under 10 fourths rugby team, I dusted off notes taken when world record undefeated Brisbane Roar soccer coach Ange Postecoglou spoke to our leaders meeting 18 months ago. I had NO IDEA how to approach coaching rugby, or indeed coaching under 10s! But I wanted, as always, to do the best I could do, particularly for this enthusiastic young team.

Now- luckily, Ange knows his stuff. Deep in my notes was the magical insight I am using (with co-coach John) to help this team build confidence, improve, and have fun. It’s an insight absolutely relevant to driving business or career success. Here it is.

The Ice Pick, The Taxi and Getting Wet- A Lesson In Outstanding Client Service

We have just trained 1,000 of our people across Australia on how to deliver outstanding client service. Suddenly, I was reminded why this is insanely valuable – and by getting it wrong, we (and you) won’t survive in business. Read on or risk oblivion. Here’s why.

CEO Mike, Director Dave and I are obsessed with the critical importance of delivering outstanding service to our clients. So we designed a brilliant five hour training session- filled with stories of getting it wrong, and getting it right. It’s time consuming to roll out, as we lead the sessions 100% ourselves. We do occasionally question: “Is this a ‘nice to do’, or is it a critical imperative, and right for us to be devoting so much time to?”

Yesterday I got reassurance. It’s mission critical. Here’s why. And it relates perfectly to what Harold Burson told me 30 years ago, and there’s a great story to prove the point:

A Very Weird Story on How To Be Your Own Very Best Coach

I am worried. This post might be just too weird, and I will see “Unsubscribe’ emails dotting my screen. I’ll take the risk, and share this one simple idea that has been at the core to my resilience in my career, and my life. I use it every day. But be warned- it’s a bit weird. Here it is.

One of my greatest fears is reaching the end of my career, at a timing not of my choosing, and knowing I could have achieved more – that I had not encouraged and backed myself to realize my full potential. Actually, I fear this about my life – will I push myself to be the best I can be: as a father, son, husband, brother, uncle, in law, cousin, friend, boss, colleague, neighbor…. The list is long.

I fear it because I know I am weak and flawed, and live on the edge of a darkness that I can easily slip into… not an evil darkness, just a place of slovenliness and lost opportunity. I saw ‘The Lorax’ movie yesterday: “A tree falls the way it leans. Watch out which way you lean.” I keep leaning the right way in my life, just, and growing and contributing positively, through following three critical steps, every day. But one is really weird. Here they are.

The Mouse, The Maze and The Cheese – A Secret to Great Leadership

I can be a very impatient person. It’s a flaw in my leadership abilities because, to be a great leader, sometimes you have to let the pace slow and be patient, even if it drives you mad. This story about the mouse, the maze, the cheese and the Scottish creative director explains why.

Bruce Matchett is hard to understand at the best of times. His passion, energy and strong Scottish accent make him hard work to follow. But one night in Singapore in 2011 he told a story about leadership which I actually understood. It shocked me. It made me realize how my impatience made me a less effective leader, and an appalling coach. It’s stuck with me ever since, and often is front of mind now as I am about to counsel a colleague on a course of action. In fact, it makes me shut up. Here’s why.