In our business network, we had embarked on a friendly, competitive mission and was looking for someone to buddy up with. One of my colleagues asked if we should buddy up, and that of course was great, but what really made me laugh was when he later shared his thinking around it. He had asked himself: “who scares me the most and will give me the most value?”. My name had come upon his inner radar – and the story was afterwards shared with me as a compliment. This made me really happy, maybe I’m weird, but when people see you for who you really are, that’s great. And even if I’m all smiles and good-hearted, high standards and always giving our best matter to me. So, a great, spot-on, scary, compliment indeed. Thanks, colleague! So, for the fun of it: what’s the compliment you would most like to get? Not just a nice, flattering one, but one that at the same time conveys that next level of who you really are? Another favourite of mine that some of you may have heard in my workshops over the years is: “Annlone is bad-ass and fun”. That makes me laugh – … More A scary compliment?! »
When did you last create murky waters? Some weekends my local creek meets me murky – other weeks it’s giving me a full, clear view of every stone and bend underneath the surface. My local creek indeed has many faces. If I take off my running shoes and cross, a clear day will give me an easier passage: I can look for a path without dips and deeper holes, I can avoid rocks and fallen branches. The crossing could be smooth, fast and simple. On a murky day, I may not even want to get my feet in the water. What could be hiding under the surface? Not to mention the struggle and dead-end-attempts I could encounter – arrgh, I may even get my pants wet if pulling them up is not enough for the deeper dips in my way?! This goes for our businesses and life, too. Seek clarity. Create clarity. Allow yourself clarity. Don’t ask to confuse. Don’t analyse to the point of overwhelm. We can actually whip up murky waters on a clear day. For no other reason than being confused ourselves. Or just frustrated or bored. But one thing I know: last week when it was … More Don’t ask to confuse! »
Have you ever had a bone operation? In some client sessions this week we touched on collective fatigue, and it reminded me of the rehab needed after a bone operation. Even if some countries may have the sense of being out of the woods, there is a long journey still for all nations and communities. The past year has impacted businesses, results, processes and opportunities – and demands a change in how we lead and run our businesses. It won’t go back to how it was. There is indeed a long journey of recovery ahead for all nations and communities: Recovery of financial burden and loss. Recovery of emotional burden and loss. Recovery of relationship burden and loss – from realising how different and out of touch we were when we had time to get closer or when we were forced to work apart. Recovery of value alignment, as we realised how different our value sets were in our communities when each of us had to define our views and behaviours around vaccination, staying home in lockdowns, and homeschooling – and how an “us and them” mentality crept to the surface. We don’t have to sit and wait for it … More A collective bone rehab? »
Drip. Drip. Drip. The sound of a tap needing fixing. Or the sound of drops filling a bucket. What if you had drops filling your bucket? Consistently, one drip at a time. Today, allow drops of joy to enter your system. Doesn’t matter where they come from. Let them enter. Consistently, predictably. Drip. Drip. Drip.
When creating a Martini, the taste differs depending on whether you shake or stir the ingredients. In a similar way, the results in life and business vary depending on how we treat the situation. A while ago, I noticed a young, growing tree placed perfectly in the middle of three, older and bigger, surrounding trees. It was growing straight, not leaning on the older trees, the mature ones didn’t carry any weight of the young one but, definitely, from their position they were protecting it in many ways from external forces. This reminded me of how we best support each other – and lead. Supporting by being available, by being there to reach out for, by being in the perimeter for us to spot potential issues to ask into, but also allowing space. Not carrying each other’s load. Not allowing others to lean too heavily on us for extended periods of time. Not removing obstacles in others’ way before they even become aware of them. Not being invisible. Not shaking the tree or stirring the pot by being in their face or by looking over their shoulder constantly. But still being visible. The best way of supporting is neither shaking … More Supported not stirred? »
“Where are we? I don’t know”. Those two sentences were given to us at our wedding as a quote, only making sense many years later. Sometimes the hardest thing is being honest as leaders and humans: I don’t know. For many industries, businesses, countries, families, and individuals – myself included – the last year has brought turbulence and change. In many ways very positive change redefining the way we do a lot of things. Yet, we may sense that there is more uncertainty than we were used to. Where are we? I don’t know. Clarity will come as we ask the right questions. I’m sure it’s coming. “Må min vej gå mig imøde” (may my path come towards me) as said by Johannes Møllehave, a wonderfully weird and visionary Danish writer and priest. Where are we? I don’t know. And that’s OK.
About CRM systems and how we as business leaders must master both the big picture and the minute detail. Could you imagine being on a family outing and not noticing one of your children missing? Not really. Yet, as numbers grow, this is what happens. Burson? Yes. Harper? Yes. Miller? Yes. It’s roll call time. There is a reason schools use roll calls. Not going by memory but using a system – an alphabetical list – to check that all are present. Do you remember school outings? Coming back onto the bus was definitely a time to check if we had everyone we needed. In contrast, going out for the day with our own family of say 3, 4 or 5, we don’t need a system. It would be most unlikely that we would not be aware if one had gone walkabouts. Yet, we have small systems or processes – your mobile number scribbled on the little one’s arm when we did festivals as our kids were small, is one example. When it comes to business, we need systems and processes to keep track. Starting your business with a handful of staff, as a family, and a defined number of … More Did we miss one?? »
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Well, that’s kind of hard with a gashing gap on one side. This week’s blog is not for the faint-hearted, now you’re warned. Shimmering scales caught my attention. A bunch of them, just under the surface, like the mother of pearl enticing me to come closer. As I realised it was fish scales, another sight got into my far-left view, metres away. Onshore, left by the turn of the tide, a shiny, still fresh, dead fish. A silver mulloway, 80 cm at least. Beautiful. Except for the gashing gap that had taken out most of the middle part of its one side. Realising I was watching a very recent murder, a crime scene – except for the fact we don’t call it that when it’s nature’s way – it got me thinking of the part of the food chain we are seldom privy to. Recognising that the bunch of shimmering scales would be where the attack must have happened. And then the distance to the casualty giving a story of part-escape, swimming for your life – and the tide somehow playing a role in the end result. Why am I sharing all this? I’m … More Which gashing gap?? »
Two by two like a pre-school outing. Definitely received the dress code memo. Something not stacking up, though. This morning I met a squad of bushwalkers. All-female, all-equipped with walking poles and leg protectors. A certainty around them coming from being alike more than from the inside. As I passed, the scattered little teams of two exclaimed: oh, I thought you were one of us. Might have been my pink running shirt – or just the fact that they saw only them and their kind. As neat as their dress code, coupled teams and chatter seemed, it was a made-up bunch. Not a natural fit or one conducive for digging deeper or exploration. Inside nor out. I wasn’t one of their kind, really couldn’t think of anything worse than experiencing the bush through their company and eyes that didn’t see. Chatting away and only seeing the inside of their circle, they totally missed the most awe-inspiring eagle – down at the creek, not at cruising height. What are we missing when we get too caught up in likeness? Take a look at your staff. Observe your friendship groups. Check out your client base. As easy as it is when we’re … More Fitting right out? »
Have you ever set a goal you DIDN’T achieve? Well, haven’t we all. Now compare to the goals you DID achieve – what was different? I know the key to achieving goals. And it’s not what you expect. All the goals I gave and got in corporate were a combination of numbers and deadlines. Done as SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable (they claimed as they added another stretch), Relevant, and Time-bound. That is smart, compared to vague and non-descript goals leading us nowhere. But were they motivating? No. Did we continue repeating that process anyway? Yes. Most goals have a number and a deadline in them. But what they miss, is the ONE thing that will make them happen: an emotional state. I’m not going all woo-woo and fluffy on you here, we’re talking goal setting that delivers the results we want – in business and in life. We are simply using research-based knowledge of how our brains work and we get our subconscious doing a lot of the heavy lifting for us, while we’re busy doing other things. That’s working smarter, not harder, isn’t it?? From the SMART goals, Relevant could have filled that spot – if it had … More Why repeat what’s not working? »