Centered Leadership In A Time Of Hate

Centered Leadership In A Time Of Hate

Grief stained my heart. Every day this week stories of hatred, murder, violence leapt from the media. White supremacy violence in Charlottesville, a President who all but excused it, Pauline Hanson and her hate-filled vitriol against Muslims, and yet another bus attack against civilians, this time in Spain.

What are we doing to each other?

Behaviour problems in the workplace - what's really the cause

Behaviour problems in the workplace - what's really the cause

With all the fresh snow from the ‘Blizzard of Oz’, it seemed every man and their dog was out on the slopes, taking advantage of the extraordinary conditions. This meant long queues for the lifts. If you’ve never skied at a resort before, imagine this: it’s like sheep being squeezed through little channels to funnel towards a shearing shed. At the ski lifts, the action point is where people line up to get on the chair or tow-bar. There is a sheep-dip like turnstile that reads your pass electronically, before you shuffle forward towards the chair. For a four-person lift, there are four turnstiles, the idea being that you go through in a line, all ready for the chair.

Sounds good in theory. In practice, mayhem.

From mutiny to loyalty: a leader's guide

From mutiny to loyalty: a leader's guide

I think it's every leader’s dream that staff show up excited to be at work, play hard all day, produce amazing results, and pledge undying loyalty to the company. Then reality hits.

Leaders get disillusioned when staff don't seem to care as much as they do. They don't put in as many hours or see the bigger picture like they do. Then the complaints start: Staff have a sense of entitlement! They're not performing at the right level! They’re not the right fit!

Some of this may be true.

And yet, blaming the symptom won't fix the cause.

Culture touchpoints: your key to stoking a fire

Culture touchpoints: your key to stoking a fire

On a three week canoe trip in 1985 it rained every single day. Even with moments of sunshine there was always a sprinkle. We lived in our raincoats! It was a smelly and soggy time. Lighting a fire was the daily challenge. If we came across some particularly good kindling, we tucked in our jacket pocket to keep it dry and warm, hoping body heat would dry it out a little. Otherwise it was peanut butter and jam on crackers for dinner – again.

Fire is important for its warmth and for cooking. It feeds body and soul! Culture is the same: it warms and keeps our soul fed.

Never paddle alone

Never paddle alone

I gaped as my friend Sandra told me of her near-death experience paddling on a river. She fell in, got hypothermia, had no effective communications, and had to crawl out of a canyon to find help. It could have ended very, very badly. I shuddered at what may have happened.

I’m all for adventure. It is one of my core values and I have lived all my life following its call. Solo adventure can be done safely, with plenty of planning. In my experience though, adventure together is better. It’s safer, easier, and way more fun.

Likewise, strategy together is better. None of us is as smart as more of us. We can challenge assumptions, test ideas, and explore creatively together.

Here are some key principles to make it work well for you.

Why experience at work is critical for your business results

Why experience at work is critical for your business results

Have you ever started your work day by sitting in the car park crying, dreading to go in the office? I have. It is a dark and miserable feeling to steel oneself against the work day.

I'm reading the book Culture 101 by my friend, Penny Nesbitt. In it she describes the common experience of people driving to work Monday in tears. It’s the feeling of being trapped, stuck.

How does it get this way? How do workplaces become prisons?

Signs Your Leadership Maturity Is About To Shift

Signs Your Leadership Maturity Is About To Shift

Human development is no picnic. We come face to face with who we are and realise there is likely a better way of being in the world. We discover that we might be better, and by correlation, who we are now might not be as awesome as we once thought.

Self awareness is like seeing a video of yourself and realising the picture in your head does not match what is being shown back to you. It’s the painful precursor to growth, if you decide to embrace something different.

Mid-Year Reflection: Time to take stock

Mid-Year Reflection: Time to take stock

One of the keys to being an effective leader is to embrace a reflective practice. This is why I give each of my coaching clients a journal and some regular reflection questions. It's one of the best ways to develop self-awareness and increase insight.

I do two major big picture reflections per year – one at the end of the year, and one on my birthday. This kind of reflection is useful periodically to take stock, reassess, and course correct if required. And the clock just ticked over another trip around the sun for me! So I'm sharing my process with you so you can add it to your own reflection rituals.

Employee engagement and experience: here's something else better

Employee engagement and experience: here's something else better

Wikipedia defines employee engagement as, “a property of the relationship between an organisation and its employees. An "engaged employee" is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisation's reputation and interests.

There are over 1795 results on Amazon for book titles on the topic. They talk about ‘pillars’, ‘fundamentals’, ‘frameworks’, ‘strategies’ , ‘rules’ and ‘guides’ for getting people to like their work and therefore get better results for the company.

Speaking Up: why it's so hard and what to do about it

Speaking Up: why it's so hard and what to do about it

Toni Hoffman was a senior nurse at Bundaberg Base hospital. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Australia medal and the Local Hero Award.

She went through hell. She was the whistleblower on the Jayant Patel case, a surgeon who was convicted of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. (These charges were later quashed and a retrial ordered. In 2015 he was finally barred from practising medicine in Australia. Her actions likely saved many lives and caused improvement in the hospital’s systems.) She was shunned by her peers, unsupported by the administration. Her health suffered.