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    Entries in leadership (15)



    It’s become customary that when someone is asked how they are, the answer comes back something like, “flat out, busy as, out of control” or, as a client recently said to me “I’m as busy as a one legged man in an butt kicking competition”! It seems like it’s a badge of honour to admit that you are really, really busy.

    My issue is, that just being busy does not cut it. Being productive, efficient and making progress towards your vision or purpose should be the name of the game, but I see too many people floundering despite being ‘busy’. It’s simply not good business.

    Here are five things that will make a difference.

    1. Get a system for your time management. Be disciplined and systematic about how you allocate your time to your tasks.

    2. Slow down. I see too many people in chaos and they are running really hard and basically getting no where. Slow down or STOP! Get in control, and go again.

    3. Prioritise. We simply cannot have it all and do it all. Work out what are the most important things and work on those first.

    4. Delegate. Every senior executive I have worked with was doing tasks that someone else in the organisation could and should be doing. Focus on your highest value contribution to you business. Delegate the rest.

    5. Say No! We all like to be liked and sometimes we say yes just so we can please or not offend others, when we really should be saying no. Be honest and say no, so you don’t set yourself up for failure.




    The Latin word for new is nova, you know, as in innovation. So, to innovate means to do something new. Doing something new means stopping doing the old. Stopping doing something means changing. Change is one of the most challenging concepts that organisations face. Effective change only comes about when leaders drive it. 

    You simply can't innovate without LEADERSHIP.

    Earlier this year the results of the largest study into Australian leadership (Study of Australian Leadership) were released. One of the key findings was that more capable leaders are more innovative. It also said that innovation is a critical source of productivity growth and competitiveness.

    It's simple - if you want to become more productive and competitive, you must have your leaders driving change that leads to increased value for your customers.

    Here are some practical tips for leaders to drive innovation

    • Start asking questions like 'Why are we doing it this way'
    • Start listening - to your people, ask them for ideas
    • Start experimenting - pilot new ideas and learn what happens
    • Learn from best practice - who are the leaders in your area?
    • Give people permission to fail - not everything will work

    Let us know if we can help your leaders drive change and embrace innovation.




    I first heard this over 30 years ago when I was listening to cassette tapes by the personal development guru, Zig Ziglar. The words spoke to me then and they speak to me now.

    Ten years ago, someone told me about something that had “literally, changed their life.” It was a video called ‘The Secret’. I was interested so looked into it. My memory of the the premise of the documentary was, if you really want something, all you have to do is ask the universe for it and it will somehow appear.

    Now, I really believe in positive thinking, creating a vision for the future and self belief. But the thing about The Secret that bothered me was, it seemed that all you had to do was ask for something and it would turn up. You could be sitting on your lounge in your track pants, eating chips and BOOM, your dream job would land in your lap. I didn’t buy it (the concept or the video).

    Back to Zig Ziglar’s tapes. 10 two letter words that can change your life. My take on this was that if you want something great, like a dream job, a big house, a fulfilling career or a great relationship, then fundamentally the responsibility is yours. Sitting back, waiting for good things to happen – expecting others, the government, or the universe to grant them to you is futile.

    Sorry folks, but from my point of view, there is no substitute for developing a vision for the future based on what you are passionate about, good planning and hard work.

    Are you taking personal responsibility for the way your life is turning out?



    American author and speaker, Jim Rohn is known for his motivational quotes. I am a fan of many of them, but this one is my favourite. “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Let’s unpack that a bit as it has implications for all of us, particularly if you want to get better at leadership.
    If you spend most of your time with negative people, it follows that your mood might also be brought down. If you spend time with positive people, you probably feel uplifted by them. Jim Rohn reckons that if you could measure either the negativity or positivity of all five, you would be the average of the group. I’m not aware of any scientific evidence to back the claim up, but I certainly believe the sentiment of it.
    If you want to be fitter and healthier, start hanging around people that value fitness and health. If you want to be a speaker or an author, find groups of like minded people and spend time in their company. Many of us, by the nature of our chosen careers, spend time with fellow work mates and colleagues, so it may be a challenge to spend time with others beyond this group. But this is a choice that we can make if we want it bad enough.
    People who aspire to be more effective in their leadership need to spend time in the company of others who want the same thing. Here are some ideas and options that might result in you widening your current circle of contacts.
    • Find a coach or mentor and have some one on one sessions to challenge your thinking and create a bigger picture.
    • Join your professional industry association and attend regular meetings and conferences.
    • Become a board member of a charity or not for profit. Your fellow board members are there because of the expertise they bring and you will learn from them.


    I'm not much of an historian, and certainly not a military historian, but the name of Field Marshall William Slim keeps coming up in my leadership reading. Slim commanded a British field army in Burma fighting the Japanese in the '40s. Here are some things that Slim did that made him highly effective as a leader, despite being low profile.

    1. Keep it simple. Slim regularly received 100 pages of orders when what he really needed was five. He writes in his book that the most important part of an order was the 'commander's intent'. I'd call that vision.

    2. Establish a battle rhythm. Despite spending three and a half years fighting the Japanese, when at the time an 12 month deployment was more common, Slim maintained his energy and focus by exercising, reading and sleeping. He trusted his men to handle things while he rested.

    3. Planning is everything and nothing. Slim was a mad planner and made sure of everything before going into battle. Even then, not everything went to plan and when it didn't, he was flexible about changing.

    4. Ruthlessly enforce standards.  Slim made it known exactly what he expected and ruthlessly followed through. His people responded and he achieved results. For example, malaria was rife at the time and was a major threat to his troops. He banned shorts and short sleeves to protect against mosquitos.

    Here's my favourite quote from Slim.

    "When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take, choose the bolder."