Supported not stirred?

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? »

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?? »

Fitting right out?

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? »

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? »

Get on which horse??!!

‘Get back on that horse’ is what some of us are telling ourselves around this time of year. If you haven’t found the motivation or drive to get things moving, to bring the best version of you to work yet. You may be stuck in holiday mode still, or this year we have a new variant: why bother planning or applying myself, last year proved it’s to no use?!! Here’s the thing: it’s not that we should NOT plan. It’s not that we should NOT get back on that horse. It’s not that is NO use. It’s defining clearly WHICH horse we want to get on – and planning for it in a way that motivates us. Motivation comes from within. And when the vision and the reason why is clear, there is no stopping us. On the other hand, I can teach you all kinds of strategic planning tools to help you set a direction and plan it out – it will make no difference if you’re not feeling it. If you’re not tapped into a meaningful vision and purpose. So, if you’re still waiting for that motivation to appear, here’s the sad news: it won’t. Not by magic … More Get on which horse??!! »

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?? »

The perfectionist puncture!

You may have heard me talk about high standards before. That high standards AND fun is a possible combination. Here’s an important distinction: high standards have NOTHING to do with perfectionism. You can’t be a perfectionist and have fun. Happiness and perfectionism don’t go hand in hand. If you’re proudly presenting yourself as a perfectionist, it may be best to stop reading right now. If it’s working for you, don’t change it, rock on! IF for some crazy reason you have realised it may be about time to let go of some of that perfectionism – keep reading. In business and life, high standards are amazing, they keep you, the team, the clients, the family and everybody else on their toes. But most often, there is no added value continuing the trajectory from high standards to perfectionism. Most often, it detracts value instead. If you’re right now wondering: what is she talking about? I let myself down constantly, there is just one broken promise after the other. Then your focus for the next month is simple: pick one daily standard to get you started and stick to it. The simple example is “I need to exercise more”. If you then … More The perfectionist puncture! »

What’s the point?

Feeling flat. Like the battery has gone to red and then empty. Needing to pull the plug. Running on an empty tank.  All of these sayings may ring true for you right now. Or for someone you know, someone in your team, in your circles. This is NOT the time to ask the big questions: what’s the point? Who do I think I am? Am I really in the right job? Should we forget all about that strategy? Or big statements like “that’s it, finally it’s clear to all that we’ve been faking it” or whatever your version of fraud, imposter or wanna-be is. There is only one way if you pull out those questions and statements at that moment: further down the rabbit hole. This is NOT the time for drastic decisions.  Instead, do what’s not natural to a lot of us. Accept a little pause. Accept that the battery needs recharging. Don’t make it a bigger deal than that. Take the pressure off just for a moment. It is what it is. Make that the point right now. Nothing bigger, nothing smaller. Simply accepting. Aaaaaaah, that’s a much better rabbit hole. Rabbit holes aren’t ideal for great decisions. … More What’s the point? »

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? »