Don’t ask to confuse!

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! »

A collective bone rehab?

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? »

A drop of joy?

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.

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? »

Are you leading like a spider?

I’ve talked about spiderwebs in the past – about how we as trailblazers clear the spider webs for others. But last week, my perspective moved. The spider became our first-person narrator, the focus of our attention. What changed my point of view? Two massive spider webs that I met on my weekend jog. I didn’t destroy them by running straight through them, no, they were wisely built above human height, but still in a high-density traffic area when it comes to attracting insects of all kinds. Clever. These are four spider-inspired gold nuggets around Foundations, Staying centred, Leading and growing our businesses effortlessly AND the added bonus insight of Learning and moving on. Too good to not share with you all here in a blog – and of course, because I’m not a biologist, it’s all metaphorical for how we lead, live and grow our businesses. 1) Foundations. The reason I spotted the two, big spider webs was a massive cicada caught in one of them (cicadas are very large, noise-creating insects found in warm climates). It made me realise how fascinating it is, that light and flexible material like what the spider web is made of has the strength to … More Are you leading like a spider? »

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? »

Do you want sauce with that?

We make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day (in contrast, a child makes about 3,000). It makes sense to get good at it, combined with creating simpler businesses and lives. Thirdly, we must set up routines and standards for as many areas as possible, so that questions and answers are not needed every time. In our cul de sac with 17 houses, there is a plethora of decisions happening every day behind the gates, front doors or in an open conversation in the street. One person selling after 40 years and where to move. Young ones pondering about education. Should I take that extra piece of cake? For both big and small decisions, what matters is to make the right decision. For you. The decision your future self will thank you for. It is not easy. Not in business nor in your street. With so many decisions, big and small, every day. We each run a different decision-making strategy, based on our macro patterns and subconscious entry/exit triggers. Whether we are aware of it or not, whether it’s working well for us or not. We can get overwhelmed with decisions and end up in the indecision roundabout. When we … More Do you want sauce with that? »

Prioritising the good stuff??

When did you last carve out time to thank someone, tell them they’re doing a great job or how they’re helping you? Strangely enough, as human beings, business owners and leaders we prioritise follow-up calls, reviews and meetings to tell the mistakes being made, things that are not yet working as it should, policing or notifying suppliers, staff and clients of shortcomings. How weird is that? Here’s a crazy idea: prioritise your to-do list and meetings differently the next week! Put first the actions of appreciation, a short thank you call or message, praise of a staff member for how what they did impacts you and the business – thank one of your clients for being an awesome client?!! Give time and focus to what you want more of. I did it earlier this week without thinking and realised how different it sets up your day. Puts a smile on someone else’s face – and get you focused on helping create more of that good stuff. Do you want to join me in this experiment? Let’s get really curious about when we ourselves think it’s much more important to be bossy and correcting – and what it would mean if … More Prioritising the good stuff?? »

Smooth sailing

Beautiful weather today. Taking the time to enjoy it. Allowing smooth sailing. How often do we miss that opportunity? The better educated, the smarter you are, the bigger the risk that you can ALWAYS find something that could be done better. Something that could be improved. Something that you or others are not doing to the optimal level yet. It’s great to have a drive and in most instances, a laser-sharp perception that notices everything, is a gift to have. Then the only thing we need to teach ourselves or remind ourselves is to let go now and then. Smell the roses, enjoy what it. Take a day out, not ticking things off lists, not improving anything. Just being. We could have considerably more smoother sailing in our lives and businesses than we allow ourselves. Basic mindset techniques are brilliant to learn and apply, and one of the core ones is that what you focus on, you get more of. And because we’re so ABLE to fix problems, we focus on them and get a kick out of solving them. While simultaneously, a lot of smooth sailing was available to us in that same moment. But we didn’t look that … More Smooth sailing »

Didn’t you like the flowers??!!

When we pick a flower from our garden and put it in a vase, it seems like a great idea at the time, but it may be short-lived compared to leaving it growing in its habitat: with roots and stems and its foundation intact, it can blossom for weeks or months in some cases. This reminded me of how we give feedback. Ideally, it should be more feedforward than feedback. Sharing an observation that brings value to the receiver going forward. In their habitat. Just like giving flowers should be choosing the bouquet that the receiver likes. But just like the flower taken from its habitat, our well-intended feedback can be given out of context. We may think it’s giving a rose, a flower, a gift of insight from us to them. But, that short-lived, picked flower from us needs to make sense and fit into the receiver’s habitat, their roots, their stems, their foundation. Do you recognise how we sometimes throw a comment or “feedback” to someone else as we race into the next meeting? As it leaves our mind and mouth, we’re normally done, then “that’s out of the way”, maybe it even felt good and powerful to … More Didn’t you like the flowers??!! »