Tag Archives | courage

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

The Real Reason I Quit My C-Suite Job

Big power, privilege, influence and rewards. Just four of the benefits of my role. So why did I quit four weeks ago, and walk away into a career ‘wilderness?’ What was the REAL reason I resigned? Okay- here’s the truth, and stuff the consequences.

I lived in Adelaide in my early 20s, in a house next to a very senior, 80 year old Anglican Church minister. He was about to have a major operation, and was nervous about it. I was chatting to him over the fence: “Oh well, if it goes wrong I guess you’ll find out whether what you’ve been banging on for about for 60 years is actually true!” To his credit, he saw the humour in it, and laughed.

That’s why I quit my job. I needed to ‘walk the talk.’ It was time to take my own medicine. Quite simply, I had to have the courage to take this one critical step. And I did.

The Most Important Question To Ask If You Want To Thrive

Here’s a very personal question. It’s likely the first time you’ll really think about this issue. The answer might surprise you, and can –literally- energise your future. Here is that critical question- for you, and for me.

My last Possums post suggested inspiration comes from ‘getting started.’ If we get cracking on a project, even if we don’t feel like it, then very quickly the ideas and momentum- and inspiration- comes too. My view was that environments can inspire (eg: for me, say, Rome, or the artefacts and furniture in my office, etc), but it’s taking action that really counts.

Then a wise colleague generously shared a powerful insight that has sat front and centre in my mind. This is part of what he wrote to me. “To be inspired is to ‘breathe in.’….. There’s also nothing wrong with surrounding yourself with the things, and especially people, who give you heart, even comfort.” And in that statement is THE question to answer if you want to thrive. Here is it.

A Price Of Leadership – Now Is The Time For You To Pay It

Do you lead a team, client account, practice area, office, business? If you do- then read this now. But beware. You probably won’t like its vitally important message for these times of change. Read on- if you dare!

It’s ANZAC Day – the annual remembrance of those fallen in Australia’s conflicts. In watching the documentaries of war stories and legends, I revisit my dark secret. You see- I am a coward at heart. Big time. I look at what those men and women did, risked, attempted, and then think about how I would act in similar circumstances. In truth, I can’t imagine anything except terror, self-preservation and ducking for cover.

Fact is, in the face of great threat and unimaginable horror, ordinary people do find the courage to step up- to do amazing acts of bravery, to risk all to help and protect others- to show leadership under fire. And many paid the ultimate price for that. Lest we forget.

Not wanting to trivialize in any way war and sacrifice, I do take a powerful leadership lesson from this reality to share with you today. Respectfully, here it is:

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?

Why Taking The Exit Door Is The Key To Surviving In Fast Changing Times

It was 3 a.m. in my hotel room in New York. The fire alarm shattered the calm. What happened next stays with me vividly, every day. It sums up why so many fail to survive life threatening crises, or survive the change underway in business. Here’s why.

I thought the alarm would stop. It didn’t. All on our floor headed out into the corridor, dazed and scared. Someone screamed. I smelt smoke. The fire escape beckoned. But I stopped. I did not want to go through that door. And that hesitation sums up why so many fail to adapt to the tsunami of change underway in business. It’s summed up in an expression I heard last week. Simple. Powerful. Says it all. Here it is. Read it, embrace it, and survive.