Tag Archives | leadership

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.

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:

Four Habits To Keep You Positive And Strong, Every Day

Four Habits To Keep You Positive And Strong, Every Day

I get lots of feedback. From all walks of my life. Most of it ‘constructive’ –  where I must improve, miss the point, could do better, need to stop or start doing something. Most of it fair. Still- it can wear you down. I cope with it, positively, through these four powerful habits. Do you do this too?
They say ‘feedback is the food of champions.’ Ok- I get that and agree. I know I have to embrace feedback, to learn and grow from it. I am getting better at it.  Often, though,  people forget to give you positive reinforcement. They think you don’t need it. “Hey- you’re a strong person- you can manage. Man up!” I don’t know about you- perhaps you don’t need it- the positives. But I sure as hell do.
 I need pretty regular hugging to keep me strong. And if those hugs are not forthcoming, then we have to learn to give them to ourselves. This is how I do it. It sustains me, makes me stronger, keeps me green and growing. First and foremost, we have to do this one thing really, really well:

Four Habits To Keep You Positive And Strong, Every Day
Become Indispensable

How To Triumph During Times Of Rapid Change

I am most times the oldest guy in the room. And I am only 53. Where did everyone else go? What happened to all those colleagues who somehow are now somewhere else- off the radar? How did I survive to still be in the room, contributing, learning? Here’s how. Simple. Powerful.
The burning question for the 80 or so businesses I am involved in, and with the people I lead, is this: how do we stay relevant through the massive change that is upon us? The answer is so simple, yet so powerful. Here it is. Are you doing it?
This ‘change’ thing is pretty damned confusing, and frightening. When the rate of change inside a company is slower than the rate of change outside that company- then the end is in sight. So too with our careers- if we are not evolving our ‘value proposition’, then the clock is ticking before we will no longer be ‘on the team.’ Harsh- but true.
But stay calm- here is one idea to help shape the way you respond to the challenges of change- as a business, and as an individual. It’s very simple. In fact- just two words. Here they are…

Become Indispensable

To Quit Or Not To Quit?- Here’s The Answer

The insight I share this week is about failure, and is a bit controversial. Some will love it; others, like me when I first saw it, might reject it out of hand. But with time, it grows on you. I now like it a lot. What about you?

Business is changing so fast that we don’t have time to stick with mistakes. We have to keep facing reality, trying new things, making sure we are putting our focus and energies behind what is delivering the returns…for our employers, clients, careers. It’s not an easy path to follow. It requires real discipline.

And it is with that in mind that I loved (on reflection) the quote from the crusty old Brigadier in Evelyn Waugh’s “The Sword of Honour Trilogy”, who said to his leaders this about the first rule of attack. It is a startling insight for each of us, every day. Here is it: