Posts tagged culture
What kind of emoter are you?

Do you blow up or shut down? Are you icy, hot, cold, or warm? It’s amazing how emotions have a huge impact on our working lives, and especially on those around us. There are two things that drive our emotional self mastery: our ability to feel emotions in a healthy and productive way, and our ability to express them that does not have people running for the hills. Which are you?


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Do you struggle with people stuff?

Many leaders struggle with one aspect of people stuff: dealing with their supervisor. Since most leaders also supervise others, chances are their direct reports also struggle with them! But most of us tend to think we are doing ok as leaders and the fault lies with others. Maybe not. Maybe we need to look in the mirror first.


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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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Boundless Leadership: What poisoned the culture in Australian Cricket?

What would cause a professional sportsperson to risk their career with ball tampering? When did winning become more important than integrity? How does one let a decision like this stain their moral fabric?

We’ve seen this before of course. Who could forget Lance Armstrong when he finally confessed to drug doping on the Tour De France, with the explanatory, “Everyone does it.” The argument was that it’s not a fair playing field if you don’t dope.

It’s amazing what we will justify if we don’t have a strong moral code. In my new book, Loyalty, I explain how the best cultures, the most consistent and enduring ones, have a Culture Compass to which they hold themselves accountable. They know their values, they know the behaviours that line up with those,  they know their purpose and who they serve, and they know what results they want to produce. They have a system and a practice of building the Culture Compass into their recruitment, induction, and regular team engagements.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How to challenge perspectives

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.

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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?

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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.

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