Posts in leadership
What to do when your staff hate each other and fight all the time

What happens when your staff are at each other’s throats and hate each other’s guts? Leadership is so much easier if people would just get along and do their job. But people come with personalities, baggage, and agendas. As leaders we need to help them sort it out before their grizzling turns to barking. Heads up: it’s going to take a lot of listening, nodding, understanding, and translating. This is a leader’s guide to navigating team tension.

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Bust beliefs that make you a martyr

What percentage of your life is currently your own? I ask this question of every new client. The answers range from 5% to 100%, the latter being a rare answer. The stories we tell ourselves about our world matter: they determine whether we feel good or bad, whether we feel powerful and in control, or helpless and stuck. In this article we go through some common narratives, and work on crafting a better personal story.

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How do you challenge your point of view?

Bias is big in the news, and for good reasons. We can make all sorts of ridiculous errors and assumptions based on default thinking: hire the wrong people, pass over the right people, not listen to an important perspective, jump to conclusions, make a bad decision, and the list goes on. As leaders, we need to be more aware of what and how we are thinking. We need to make the software of our mind more transparent, so we can update if necessary. But how do we do that? How do we challenge our point of view? The secret lies in the stories we seek.

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Expand your perspective and take massive action

What happens when you take a handful of smart clever people and invite them to share their wisdom? Stuff gets done. Here are key insights from the speakers of the Getting Sh!t Done Club that rocked through Australia and New Zealand last week. New perspectives mean massive action.

  • Fundamentals for boosting energy

  • Technology projects that won’t fail or overwhelm

  • Be change positive and get your creative juices on

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Deep wisdom - a sensational evening with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

James Clear is best-selling author of Atomic Habits, one of my favourite books, and is on track to sell a million and more copies worldwide. Last week he spoke at Thought Leaders Business School and I had the opportunity for a conversation with him over dinner. What follows is insight on how we react around greatness, and what we can learn from ordinary humans doing extraordinary things.

  • The secret to extraordinary results

  • How to handle being star-struck

  • James’s top insight on being better at anything

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How to avoid getting derailed in a difficult conversation

Emotions are a troublesome thing in difficult conversations. Rather than feeling boundless, we end up frozen, shut down, or worst - explosive. They lead us off track from the constructive progress we wanted to make in the first place.

  • Why catastrophising can be a useful approach

  • The wisdom of Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones

  • 3 steps to preparing for the worst

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How to speak truth to power

Have you got an issue to raise with the boss but are fearful of consequences? Have you seen others speak up and get punished for sharing their opinion? What is it costing you to stay silent?

  • How fear is a product of our assumptions

  • Why suspending judgements before speaking is a useful approach

  • Why openness is the best defence, and compassion the smartest weapon.

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What happens when it all goes horribly wrong?

Have you ever had a difficult conversation go off the rails? Have you ever lost the plot and said things you regret? Has anyone ever shouted you down and treated you badly? Boundless Leaders know that when a storm hits, it’s best to let it pass, then clean it up.

  • How Suits characters model what not to do, and what can’t be done

  • When avoidance is the best strategy

  • Not everything is solvable

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Is it better to let sleeping dogs lie?

Speaking up is an ordeal. There is plenty at risk: reputation, relationships, remuneration. Is it sometimes better NOT to speak up? Are there times when it’s better to keep to ourselves and let the cards fall as they may? How does this stack up if we are committed to being Boundless Leaders?

  • Risks of being a whistleblower

  • What to consider in speaking up

  • How to find your own commitment to action

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Can you mend a relationship after a mediated dispute?

Have you ever been so entrenched in an argument you just cannot budge? Maybe you’re absolutely convinced you’re right, and they’re wrong. Nothing they say will convince you otherwise. And frustratingly, they feel the same way. So you’ve had to pull in outside help to settle the argument. Is this the point of no return? Or is it possible to mend the divide?

  • Perspective is powerful

  • Why the amygdala is a no-go zone

  • Mending bridges or burning them?

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What makes a conversation tough and terrible?

Do you avoid tough conversations? Do you stress about the fallout after the fact? What makes conversations so challenging in the first place? In this article we unearth the cause of what makes a conversation tough, a circuit breaker to make it easier, and a tip to keep our imagination in check.

  • Why conversations feel tough

  • A circuit breaker for de-escalation

  • What to do before going into a tough conversation

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Design powerful experiences for a boundless team

Leadership is hard and lonely. It’s very easy to get caught up in trying to solve challenges all on our own. This is the fast-track to getting stuck! As leaders we need teams we can trust, who’ve got our back, with whom we can share the trials and tribulations of our calling. Here’s how to build bonds in your team beyond cocktails and canapes.

  • Leadership is not a solo activity.

  • Beware of culture by default.

  • 5 principles for designing shared experiences.

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Quit or Grit? When to give up

Banging your head against a brick wall? Does the breakthrough you crave seem elusive and out of reach? Desperate for a sign that things are working?  When should you kill off your dream and let it be? No one likes to feel like they failed. Here are some guidelines to help navigate the challenges when things aren’t working.

  • The Valley of Disappointment happens before a breakthrough

  • Strategic quitting is not the same as killing off your dream

  • 5 questions to ask before you throw in the towel

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How do we respond to unspeakable violence?

We mourn with our New Zealand neighbours. As they come to terms with what happened and grieve the loss of life, we need to be asking what can we do, how can we make a better future where people can live peacefully and practice whatever faith they choose? It starts with some fundamentals.

  • Start with compassion

  • Ask ‘what would love do?’

  • Reach out with kindness

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When you screw up royally: recovery strategies

We all screw up. Most of us don’t expect to screw up. The shock of it is almost as bad as the consequences of it. The real pain of screwing up is often the disappointment of not living up to our own expectations. How do we move through the heady emotions and make good again?

  • Are some incidents impossible to forgive?

  • What good can come of shame?

  • How long should we feel bad?

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You Need Courage Not Confidence To Be A Boundless Leader

Confidence is overrated. It’s an elusive horizon that keeps us from the real work we need to do now. What we need instead is COURAGE. Focus on that and confidence comes, eventually. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Why confidence is the wrong thing to focus on

  • The building blocks of activity that results in confidence

  • Three principles to help us build courage as a practice

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Secrets for surviving your new role

Starting a new role? Now leading your peers? Have you achieved a new milestone in your business with new demands and new expectations? It takes some getting used to. Boundless Leadership is about the relentless pursuit of a better future. Embracing new opportunities and roles should feel effortless and on track. The opposite is often the case! Our old inner world, setpoint, and paradigm can hold us back, dragging back from boundless edge of possibilities. New levels need new paradigms. We also need an acclimatisation process.

  • The invisible barrier that drops when we get promoted

  • Getting used to the new role: some things to consider

  • The three most important steps to take to handle the transition

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