As many appreciate the value of 7 years of fortnightly blogs giving “a kick or a carrot”, I’ve decided to keep them all here. I hope they inspire you to create results and joy. If you want to connect or continue to follow the fortnightly blog, please go to dalhoffconsulting.com.
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? »
I wrote a leadership paper 3 years ago. Sharing how 99% of leaders fail. In being the best leaders they possibly can. In creating the best business results they possibly can. Because we’re too one-dimensional in how we do business and in how we lead others to create results. This is like choosing one scoop of ice cream every time we’re at the ice cream booth. And probably sticking with chocolate every time, too (insert your favourite variant here). Great leadership and running great businesses are not one-kind-of-scoop-endeavours. We need to bring variety, we need all our abilities in play instead of just sticking to that one, preferred skill or focus. This is now more relevant than ever. We are not managing hands – we are leading minds and hearts. And now even remotely in many cases. Last year proved that we as business owners and leaders can’t get results through being one-dimensional. We can’t navigate success with hard skills or chocolate only. Our teams, our clients, our leads, our suppliers, our family and friends – everyone in our eco-system of people is impacted by their state. Their mindset. Their capability to make great decisions, stay focused and on task … More One or two scoops? »
Those of you in change management know that it’s not an overnight change. Whether it’s introducing new systems, merging two businesses or changing culture, it’s a process. The red ribbon day where the new businesses become one may be the official date where the new entity starts to exist, but everyone ever involved in mergers knows that it’s only the beginning. Of years of integration of people, systems and culture. What if we applied the same reality to ourselves, our businesses, our communities, our families? If we make today the first day of our new way of being – where will it lead us? Many of us may still have remnants from the year passed. Stuff that’s holding us back, shading our outlook. If that’s the case for you or your business, let’s reframe it: what if some of the stuff that happened was not the end of the world, but a transition? At the Danish Christmas service last year, the minister had a theme that inspired me. She spoke about how it’s nearly rude when we tell each other “it’s not the end of the world” – because, in those situations, the one who has lost their job, a … More Undergang or Overgang?? »