Punch in face

“Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth” most will immediately recognise the quote as coming from boxer Mike Tyson, it is such a very a familiar phrase, so much so that you have probably used it yourself at one time or another but what does it really mean. When considering your professional career, as a leader or an entrepreneur we all face set backs at time. How well you recover has a lot to do with your preparation, planning and mental resilience. Having contingency plans for your career is not just logical it is essential. Back in the early 1990’s I was working in advertising, where the average tenure of most creative staff was nine months. Lose a client and the whole team expected to lose their jobs, win an industry accolade or award for great work and get poached to work in new firm withContinue Reading

Toxic Co-Workers

How do you deal with Toxic People? Especially when they are a co-worker or a boss? How should you manage a toxic staff member? There are numerous articles published on this topic and that is because unfortunately the problem is a fairly common one and many of us find it difficult to find the best way to respond. This article pulls together a range of insights, research and perspectives to provide some useful advice and techniques to manage these relationships most effectively without impacting you. Seth Meyers writing in Psychology Today has four recommendations Avoid sharing personal information or your true opinions – The key point being that you should not share information with a toxic individual that you don’t want the world to know. While openness and honesty are usually positive ways to build healthy relationships, with toxic people this information can end up being used for emotional abuseContinue Reading

McKinsey Purpose

“Creating strong links to an individual purpose benefits individuals and companies alike—and could be vital in managing the postpandemic uncertainties that lie ahead.” Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis, McKinsey Quarterly, 18th August 2020 It is widely recognised that companies around the world are extremely challenged facing the current crisis, so how important is it to be clear on purpose, of your company and of the individuals within the organisation. The authors explain that it may be a very important to have clarity of purpose. During times of crisis individual purpose can provide clarity of direction to individuals helping them address the challenges and potentially mitigate the risks and damaging effects of long term stress. “What is your company’s core reason for being, and where can you have a unique, positive impact on society? Now more than ever, you need good answers to these questions.” Purpose Shifting From WhyContinue Reading

Feeling safe in an unsafe world is key to grounding our effective leadership, in this article the author explains that humans yearn for a sense of safety, which is deeply linked to our evolution. This provides us with a positive calm when we are confidently able to predict what is going on in our environment, when we can act with certainty and control. However when the world gets unpredictable, we no longer have certainty and we can no longer accurately predict the immediate future in broad terms, that is when our sense of safety flies right out the window. This article is also available as a YouTube video (where you can view Ed’s extremely impressive Santa beard) which is available at the end of the article. “Control is an illusion” Sheldon Kopp We pursue control as way to create a sense of safety in an unpredictable world and here theContinue Reading

There are lots of reasons where a meeting or group session that once might have been important and highly relevant stops being your top priority. When that happens you have to choose to be fully engaged or to break up with your commitments! It could be a regular social engagement, or a working group where you were included for ‘your perspective’, or maybe it is a voluntary activity that is no longer top of your list of priorities. We all have them, those meetings or events in our diaries that we are not really engaged in anymore, maybe you show up, but don’t really engage, other times we ghost the meeting by not showing up but not dropping off the invite list or admitting we were no longer attending. In this article Saunders explains why you should make a formal break and provides you with four steps to go aboutContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from CEO Magazine, by Susan Armstrong, Published 24th July 2020. Four years ago I was on a plane from the USA returning into Melbourne as I walked through customs and immigration Julia Gillard was in front of me, on her own navigating the hordes of people and collecting her own luggage from the carousel. Not that this surprised me she is a remarkable individual but what brought this into sharp relief was the actress Charlise Theron was also navigating the airport at the same time, she had an enormous amount of personal security and minders who whisked her through, there was no queuing or waiting for the movie star. So I was very interested to read this article from CEO magazine. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a new book on the lessons of Women and Leadership, in this article the author Susan Armstrong interviews Gillard.Continue Reading

Synopsis of an article from LeadChange by Dave Coffaro, Published 27th July 2020 Resilient cultures survive, new threats are constant and constantly changing. “Thriving and resilient cultures endure through good times and bad”. Dave suggests five practices to raise your strategic resilience as a leader. Acknowledge current reality ‘Own the tone’ as a leader you need to communicate with your team, recognise the current situation and acknowledge that this isn’t easy, it is uncomfortable but you need to lead through. Re-connect with the vision and values Having a clarity of your organisation’s vision, mission, purpose and strategy and values will help connect your team to ‘why’ (see The Motivation Secret That Works for Everyone) vision (where the organisation wants to be) mission (what the organisation is going to do) purpose (why the organisation does what it does) strategy (how to achieve the mission) values (how your organisation does what it does) “EveryContinue Reading

Self Sabotage

Synopsis of an article from Fast Company, by Evelyn Marinoff, Published 7th July 2020 Evelyn explores why that even when we have worked so hard to achieve a goal, we self sabotage our own attempts. There are so many ways we do this for example – watching Netflix not working on an important presentation, not going to the dentist for regular checkups, ordering takeaway when you are on a diet, the list goes on. “Self-sabotage is the action we take to thwart our own best intentions and goals. We do it because we want something, and then we fear that we may actually get it, that we won’t be able to handle it, and so we ruin everything—be it getting a promotion, finding the perfect relationship, or starting a business. So why not save ourselves from the pain, the embarrassment, the disappointment if we mess up and kill all theContinue Reading

How to recover from burn out

Synopsis of an article on Thought Leaders by Jon Wortmann published 24th June 2020. In this article Jon explains how work pressure and feeling tired can lead to burn out and exhaustion. The symptoms of burn out at work have three clear symptoms that all leaders must watch out for in ourselves and in others: chronic metal or emotional fatigue, cynicism and dissatisfaction. “Are you consistently exhausted, irritated with the people around you, bothered by issues that used to roll off your back?” Are you consistently exhausted, irritated with the people around you, bothered by issues that used to roll off your back? “Do you find yourself more critical than normal, judging and picking apart people and situations with an edge that isn’t who are or want to be?“ Do you find yourself more critical than normal, judging and picking apart people and situations with an edge that isn’t whoContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article in HBR by Michael Beer, Published 22nd June 2020 Michael explains that most organisations today are dealing with massive strategic challenges that require a redefinition of purpose, identity, strategy, business model and even structure. Many if not most of these will fail and not because the strategy if flawed but rather the organisation does not have the ability to execute. He explains that he has seen six common interrelated reason for failures, referred to as ‘hidden barriers’ which make organisations ineffective. Hidden barrier #1: Unclear values and conflicting priorities Often, the underlying problem is not this or that strategy, but rather the process by which the strategy was formed — or the lack of any such process. In these cases, strategy is often developed by the leader along with the chief strategy or marketing executive and only then communicated to the rest of the senior teamContinue Reading