Posts tagged skills
Boundless Leadership: The most crucial leadership skill

When it comes to leadership, connection with others is the most crucial skill. Yet we don’t focus nearly enough on it. This makes us disposable at worst, replaceable at best. Connection has one key component to make it work best.

  • The pivot point that shifts isolation to connection

  • How connection is a river current

  • Why focus on others will benefit us all


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Boundless Leadership: Morning routine to help you evolve as a leader

Hanzi Freinacht has written a fantastic book, The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics Book One, on adult development and why it matters. He lays out an analysis of the various leadership development models and adds a few other layers of development needed. His main point is that development matters. We need to develop our mental and emotional capacities in order to contend with the world we have created. We need to develop our inner dimensions to keep up and manage the complexities of what has evolved in our various cultures and economic systems.

In this brief video I give you an overview, and then a practical strategy to get started: morning routine.

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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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How to deal with an elephant in the room

Every once in a while an elephant shows up. You know, the thing that is blooming obvious, but no one wants to talk about.

Like the fact that Uncle Fred drinks way too much and smells of urine. Or Susan spends more time socialising on Facebook than she does doing the accounts. Or the boss’s right-hand man – the ‘Golden Boy’ – has tantrums that keep everyone cowering behind their desks and taking really, really long lunches – out.

What do you do? If you say something, then what started as something uncomfortable may become a Major Issue. If you pipe up about smelly Uncle Fred, then the family is going to have to deal with alcoholism. If you point out Susan is wasting company time, you may become the tattle-tale. If you complain to the boss about Golden Boy’s tantrums, then maybe you’ll get the sack.

Our fears of creating even more uncomfortable feelings keep us paralysed.

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Boundless Leadership: Why we need to get better at wrestling gremlins

Here’s what my clients are facing this week:

  • Voluntary redundancies
  • Restructures
  • Unhappy toxic cultures
  • Struggling to get traction in building the business
  • Work drying up
  • Staff not up to the job they are keen to move in to
  • Personality conflicts with Board Members

This is some seriously challenging stuff! There’s lots at stake. Anxiety and fear are rife.

In Australia, talking about feelings at work is akin to dancing on a tabletop in your underpants. You just don’t do it. Not unless there has been a significant amount of alcohol consumed.

Here’s why we need to get over ourselves and start talking about feelings:

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Boundless Teams: What creates loyalty, the deep and fierce unshakeable kind?

Losing good staff is a serious bummer. It’s disruptive and costly. Our Boundless Team falters as we scramble to fill the void left behind. As a leader, it’s hard not to feel hurt and betrayed by someone we value deciding to leave. The default is to simmer with resentment and blame them for lack of loyalty.

If we don’t ask, “Could I have done anything differently?” we miss an opportunity to improve. The first area to look at improving is an underrated one: recognition. It’s a simple thing to implement, with astounding results.

Consider this insight from O.C Tanner*:

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Boundless Resources: The top 10 books I send to clients

One of the things that holds leaders back from reaching their highest potential is lack of capability. We need to be growing and learning constantly to keep up with the transformation of work today. Not learning, not growing. Not growing, we’ll be left behind.

Books are one of the best ways to immerse ourselves in the world of ideas and gain new skills quickly. Below are my top favourite books I have sent to clients to help them with their productivity, strategy, and influence.

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Boundless Leadership: Focus gives freedom

I flipped to a page in my journal from some time ago where I’d listed my worries of the day. I remember them feeling huge and overwhelming. Getting them out on paper is always my go to strategy for stress management. I recall they still felt onerous, even down on paper.

Months later, nothing had turned out as badly as I thought it might. The consequences happened. But there were no long-lasting ill effects. I moved through the crisis.

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Boundless Leadership: Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

It’s confession time. I would much rather have positive feedback than constructive. I’ve been working on this preference for years now. I *know* that constructive feedback helps me improve, shows me what I cannot see myself, and offers the pathway to elevated performance.

I know this and I teach this.

And goddamit it still bloody well hurts!

Being able to to give and receive feedback is probably the most important leadership conversation we can have. But we can get all bent out of shape about doing just that.

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Big Ideas 2018 for Boundless Leadership

We are working on Big Things this year with all my clients. The energy of stepping up and leaning in is rife and dazzling.

Big Things need Big Ideas to bring them to life. Here’s what’s on the table for captains of industry, mavens of business, wizards of enterprise. These are the folks who are going Boundless - achieving more with less struggle. They are busting blocks, bridging gaps, and sailing past the headland to wild seas beyond. These are the Big Ideas they are using to keep them steady through turbulence.

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Boundless: 3 strategies for the best version of self

I was thinking about how to become the best version of self for this year. And it really comes down to three different tactics. It's input, output, an idle.

It’s kind of like running a car.

You need to put petrol in. That's the input. You need to press the gas pedal. That's the output.  Then you need to put it into idle and rest the vehicle once in a while.

So you take those three strategies and you apply it to the three aspects of self. Those are head, or wisdom, heart, which is compassion and 'hara' which is gut or vitality.

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Boundless Leadership: Cultivate celebrations that matter

The office Christmas party: loathe it or love it? It is a universal principle that end of year celebrations are done to foster good company culture.

This is mostly true. Our workplaces are modern tribes, and a tribe needs a sense of purpose and moments in time to know that we are progressing towards that purpose. End of year parties provide an opportunity to pause, reflect, and celebrate.

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Boundless Leadership: 3 ways to boost morale and break down barriers to engagement

Engagement and interpersonal relationships form the core focus of my work with teams. I’m obsessed with dissolving barriers to workplace results and relationships. Morale is often a casualty of things gone wrong.

A workshop participant asked, ‘is there anything I should or should not do when it comes to encouraging positive workplace morale?’

Let’s look at an example to tease out the solution. Consider one of your workplace first day stories. Do you remember what it was like arriving in to a new workplace? What happened in your first interactions? Were they inspiring? Energising? Or cold and depressing?

In my experience, how you start is how you go on. And in this we discover the secrets of morale.

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What's on your horizon? Is it time to explore?

It is a well-known fact that an able and intelligent human in possession of singular ambition must be in want of progress.

Hear! Hear! And yet, when it comes to the mechanics of seeking progress, said able and intelligent human tends to retreat to the distracting halls of day to day minutiae and the comfortable gathering spaces of known social circles.

In short, the familiar eats the unknown for breakfast.

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What Are You Celebrating?

In my Leader’s Edge Mastermind group, and in my weekly team meeting, I always ask, ‘What are you celebrating this week?’ As Boundless Leaders, we are constantly stretching towards new horizons, and it’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come. It’s the key to building a strong centre that allows the ongoing exploration into the unknown.

Invariably it is a bit of a struggle to find something ‘noteworthy’ to list on the celebrations ledger. We are so locked in to the idea that celebration needs a significant achievement to warrant notice. And so we drag ourselves from week to week, without stopping to take a breath. It’s only when we reach a target that we might experience a passing moment of euphoria, then it’s back to the grindstone.

I think we can do celebration better.

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Be Better: How to Break the Blocks In Your Leadership

Boundless Leadership is when we know everything is possible, and we have a deep and strong centre that allows us to explore the edges of what is possible. I’m interested in what blocks our progress in boundless leadership. What stops us from developing a strong centre, and what keeps us from moving past the edges.

In a survey to my tribe, I asked, “What are your biggest challenges at work?”

Here are the top 3 answers:

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Stop ruining your life with obligation!

“What percentage of your life is currently your own?”

This is one of the questions I ask clients when we first start working together. The majority answer less than 100%. The sense of obligation is rife.

It got me thinking about what holds us back. Obligations are one of the big anchors we drag along behind us. They drain energy and vitality. They are one of the biggest risks to Boundless Leadership.

Boundless Leadership is stepping boldly in to the unknown where everything is possible. Limitations are dissolved, and our energy is abundant with enthusiasm, and industry.

Obligation clogs up the petrol of our passion.

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