A scary compliment?!

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?! »

Did we miss one??

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?? »

Which gashing gap??

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?? »

Why repeat what’s not working?

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? »

One or two scoops?

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? »

Undergang or Overgang??

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?? »

Tiny top-ups or chunky change?

Sometimes, we need to empty the tank fully before it makes sense to fill it up. Yep, I’m talking about the petrol tank on our car, our mobile phone battery, our own energy and our business projects. Do you recognise any of these “tiny-top-up” patterns? – just putting 20 litres in the tank because the “the price is so high this week” – plugging in the phone for 10 minutes for a bit of juice before running out the door – closing the door to the bathroom for 5 min to have a bit of space before rushing to the next thing – getting the team to work on the 20 projects that all need work right now It’s ok in the short run with top-ups, but in the long run it will keep your mind constantly aware that “I need to fill up again soon – what’s the petrol price doing…??”. Every open project and thought is adding another open loop to the 20 loops already running in your mind. This is what causes overwhelm. For us and our teams. In your business, where are you and the team doing “the little things” – simply because tackling the bigger … More Tiny top-ups or chunky change? »

Nature rocks!

I love a good model. And when it’s inspired by nature it’s an added bonus. Half a year ago I used the Create-Maintain-Destruct model with all my clients, and it’s overdue to be dusted off again. Lots of reactions from business owners and individuals are telling me that the dust is settling from the last half-year. A business audit and a mental spring clean could be timely and make good business sense. The Create-Maintain-Destruct model creates the framework for your audit. Take your business offer and processes through it – as well as your staff, clients, suppliers and your own leadership. How? Create a matrix with Create, Maintain and Destruct as the column headings and the categories mentioned above as the rows (clients, staff, offer etc). Now for each row, list what and who is worth Maintaining (or restoring), what it is time to Destruct, stop doing or challenge – and which new things you would like to Create, be it through new staff members, new clients or new ideas that are jumping at the bid to add value. Align it with the long-term vision of your business – and make it clear to yourself who YOU need to be … More Nature rocks! »

Let go of everything you knew worked

This may sound scary. It definitely scared me. But I did it anyway, and great clarity and focus came from it. I thought it may inspire some of you, too. “What if I let go of everything I knew used to work??” So many of us are getting to a point right now where we are realising that parts of our businesses or lives never will get back to exactly how it was. We may have been patient, accepting, lucky, or whatever the last half-year, but now you can’t keep pretending that “all will be back to normal” anymore. “New normal” may not be as attractive to you, your business, or your deeper, inner knowing as “old normal” was. If this is resonating, it may be a good idea to ask yourself the question I put at the start. Letting go. Fully. To allow yourself to start fresh. With a new piece of paper. A new canvas. A new business plan. A new road map. Based on what IS, not on what could have been. This won’t be easy, there may be even levels of grief as you do this work. But it will be worth it, giving you a … More Let go of everything you knew worked »

The beauty of repetition

Have you recently thought of the quality of the things we repeat? “How we do one thing is how we do everything”. “It all adds up”….. and I could keep going. What are your examples of routines or people that are recurring in your business and life? Because we both work from home, I realised how we spend more time in the vicinity of our fortnightly cleaner than with some of our friends. This week I took the decision to change cleaner. Not easy after 6 years, but it was time. Having looked after our oldest daughter’s 3-legged bunny since she moved back to Denmark, I yesterday realised how feeding Twix and chatting to her every second day would have added up to over 300 encounters while I’ve been ‘on duty’. That’s more times than I’ve been in the shops connecting with my local community – as I try keeping that to 1-2 times a week. Do you kiss your partner every day? Even if you’re not young and madly in teenager-love anymore? Depending on your answer that’s 365 kisses or maybe none the last year. If it’s a no, I’ve had more kinaesthetic connection with our 3-legged bunny the … More The beauty of repetition »