What will you achieve in 2021?

So we are now into 2021 and it’s good-bye 2020!  The beginning of a new year is always a great way to recalibrate your path forward.  I know that for most of us 2020 was exhausting and full of unexpected turns and it would be easy to just try to erase it from memory.  However a bit of reflection may be able to help you achieve more in the year ahead.

Take a minute to think back across the past year.  What are 1-2 things that you are proud of or that may have stretched you in a positive way?  Now think about what are 1-2 things that you could have (or should have) done that you didn’t?  Why?  What do you need to do this year to ensure that this pattern does not occur again?

To help you set yourself up for a great 2021 there are a couple of things that you can do.

Map Your Goals for 2021:

  1. Your Goals.  Think about what 2-3 things are that you would like to achieve this year.  They could be work goals, financial goals, health goals or something else that you would like to achieve. Write them down and capture them so you have something to remind you of these goals.  I also recommend that you put them up somewhere as a friendly reminder as most of the time any goal worth having will require thought and effort.
  2. Family Goals.  For many of us this past year has allowed us to spend even more time with family (often confined to the same house!)  What are a few things that you would like to achieve with your family?  You may want to involve your family and ask them what they would like to achieve as a family.  This could be having a shared experience together, having a family cook-off or something else that will create lasting memories.  
  3. Community Goals.  As we are part of a community, this is something that is even more important moving forward. What do you want to achieve in the community that you are involved in?  This could be something to help other members that are struggling or working together to support a charity or another community in need.

I have found that when we write down our goals, it is much easier to achieve them, partly because we have identified and committed to them (and a written reminder also helps!)

If you would like me to help you get a jumpstart to 2021, please click here for a free 30 minute consultation to help you achieve more this year.

Spreading Cheer the Week Before Christmas

With only a week before Christmas, I always notice the excitement starts to increase as people look forward to spending time with family, friends and a break away from work.  Given the challenges of 2020 and the COVID 19 Pandemic, I’m sure that this year will be an even bigger need for people to take time off and relax and enjoy some Christmas cheer.

We need to be mindful to stay COVID safe during the holidays and continue the fight against the pandemic.  This should not however stop our desire to spread cheer and good vibes to those around us.  We can choose to have a negative mindset about the year and take this into the holidays and be the ‘scrooge’ or we can choose to be the person that spreads positive energy and  helps others to remember to smile.

If you are finishing up at work, remember to spread the cheer by wearing a Santa hat or giving others little gifts like Chocolates or something simple that makes them smile.  Many co-workers have also had a challenging year so everyone needs to recognise the progress that has been made and the brightness that the future holds.

When you are at the shops, remember to support the local community and those that have had a rough year and are still struggling to survive.  The more we can help our local businesses, the longer they will be there for us in the future.  With many people planning to limit their travel this year, this provides a great opportunity to support others.

If you would like to spread some Christmas cheer to the kids in the Hands Across the Water homes, any donation would be welcome.  Even small amounts of $20 or $50 can add up and help us continue to provide the support we need.  To donate to Hands please click here.

To all my friends and family I wish you a safe and connected holiday season.  

Are You Ready for the Pre-Christmas Dash?

Yes, it’s that time of year once again.  Christmas lights are starting to go up, the kids are asking for the Christmas tree and many of us are looking forward to a break over the holidays.

This year has been hard.  It’s been a range of unexpected turns that has stretched us in ways that we wouldn’t have thought of.  For myself there was plenty of anxiety earlier in the year when the Australian Government went into lockdown and all work stopped.  I did enjoy the time with the family, but not all the extra eating we did and am still exercising those kilo’s off now!

Usually the last 2 weeks of work before Christmas are a mad dash of activity.  The pace at work increases and things go full steam ahead and people can’t wait for the break. This year it feels just a bit different. The pace has quickened, but the frantic hours and work stress seems to not be there.  For leaders many appear to be a bit exhausted and know that their people need a break, with some sense of normal.  

So what can you do to spread some Pre-Christmas Cheer?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Let Staff Know You Appreciate Them.  With many staff having to take pay cuts (and some still on them!), it is important to let the staff that are with you that you appreciate them.  This can be through shouting them morning tea, letting them leave a few minutes early to go to the beach with their family or letting them know that it would have been tough to reach the end of the year without them. 
  2. Share a Bit of Christmas Cheer.  Everyone knows that the normal staff bonuses will be non-existent this year as many businesses are fighting for their survival.  You can still have a bit of Christmas cheer by having a small staff Christmas drinks with some food.  This could be at a picnic enjoying the beautiful weather or it could be in the office or at a local restaurant to support the local community.  Rather than expensive gifts, think about giving something that staff will still value.  This can be a gift certificate to a local restaurant, movie tickets or a gift certificate to a day spa.  
  3. Staff Positive with People. With some of my clients I have noticed that a few of the leaders have become a bit weary and exhausted.  This has resulted in them becoming a bit negative and short with their staff.  If you find yourself falling into this negative pattern, recognise it and make a choice to change your mindset.  Focus on being positive for the next 2 weeks and the opportunities that 2021 will bring.  This can have a massive impact on your people leading up to the holidays.

A few of my clients have asked about my getting access to my online Leadership Academy over the holidays to continue to freshen up their leadership skills.    I am continuing the 50% off promotion to my Leadership Academy Program up until Christmas.  If you would like to have access to this online platform, click here.

Stay True to Your Path


Who Are You Thankful For?

With a roller coaster year full of COVID pandemic, travel bans, uncertainty and economic disruption, sometimes it is hard to be thankful.  In the US Thanksgiving is a massive holiday.  Yes it has the common American commercialisation (who doesn’t love Black Friday Sales!), but at its core it’s about something much deeper.

When I was raised, Thanksgiving was about spending time with family and the people you loved and taking the time to reflect about what you were truly thankful for.  I think that this is a wonderful ritual that we should do more often. Although I have lived in Australia for 20 years, we still celebrate Thanksgiving (on the Saturday to make it a bit easier!)

It would be easy to just try to forget about 2020.  Easy to ignore the hardships, uncertainty and stress that we experienced.  However, it’s also to remember the good things.  Appreciate the time that you did have in lockdown at home with family.  The endless card and board games that the kids loved to continue playing.  The renewed interest in cooking and sharing a meal together and the joy of knowing you have a few rolls of toilet paper still in the house!

What would happen if we were more thankful for the experiences, lessons learnt and people around us? If we spent dedicated time sharing a meal with someone where we had a deep conversation that helped both of us gain valuable insights to want to make a positive dent in the world. 

Who Should U Be Thankful For?

  1. Your partner or best friend.  The people that are the closest to us are the ones that we often forget to be thankful for.  I know I am a much better person because of my wife and my close friends than I would be on my own.  Thank you! 
  2. Your Family.  Before the Christmas madness sets in, take the time to let your family know that you are grateful for them in your life.  Give them a hug for no reason and hold onto them a little longer than normal, whisper in their ear you are thankful they are in your lives.  
  3. Your Friends & Colleagues. Sometimes life gets in the way and we forget the friends that have sometimes in the past made a big difference to shaping who we are as people.  Make the time to catch up with them and share a meal and memories.  Let them know you appreciate them.

Take a moment to write down the names of 3 people that you are going to demonstrate that you are thankful for.  It can be a partner, family member, friend or staff member.  

Do something to let them know they are important to you and you are grateful.  Remember it is the little things and gestures that people remember and appreciate.  To show my thankfulness in you reading my e-zine this week, I would like to give 50% off my Leadership Academy Program for the next 4 days, simply click on the link above and select buy and type THANKFUL in the coupon code.  

Remember Stay True to Your Path

Remembering Fatherly Wisdom

A year has gone by since my father passed away.  I was fortunate enough to be in the US by his side with my mother during his last few days.  When someone is facing death you never know how they will be. Although he loved life, as he neared the end my father was incredible.  He would joke around with the hospice staff and always was quick with a smile, even when he could not talk (and he still liked the banana popsicles that he could suck on!)

So out of respect for my father and the wonderful impact he made on my life and the many people around me, I wanted to re-share a few of the insights and wisdom that he taught me: 

  1. Be Kind and Smile.  Sometimes we get so busy with work and other tasks that we can be a bit robotic and abrupt when dealing with other people (including our loved ones).  Rather than getting upset with others my father would just smile. You get a lot further with others when you smile and be kind.  
  2. Put Family First.  My father loved our family.  He loved my mother and his grandkids and would do anything for them.  When I was a kid he would work long hours to provide, but when he got home he would always have time for me.  I also saw this when he was with his grandchildren how he spent time with them.  This included having them ride on his John Deere ride-on-mower until they would fall asleep, he had such a big smile on his face.  He showed me the importance of putting family first.  Remember work is temporary, but family is forever (so don’t wait to let them know how much you love them!)
  3. Leave a Positive Legacy.  This is something that he did not talk to me about, however it is something that he has left.  Once he passed I posted the news on Facebook and the comments that came back were incredible.  High school friends from over three decades ago remembered him and his kindness.  Many also mentioned that he was one of the best bosses they ever had and that the advice he provided made a massive impact in their lives.  Legacy is about what you leave behind that others remember.  Live your life to leave a positive legacy.

Remember that you have a choice to be the person that shares wisdom with others and helps to make a positive impact on their lives.  Be that leader, the one that others say provided fatherly wisdom and you will leave a lasting legacy.

Are You Proficient?

Given we live only 400m from one of the biggest wave and rip currents in Sydney, we immediately started our kids in the weekend ocean nippers beach and surf safety program.  It has been a great experience and now that all of our kids are older we know that they can keep themselves and their friends safe if they swim at any beach in Australia (I would mention that they are now better in the surf than I am, but I would not want it to go to their heads!)

As our kids got older, my wife and I completed the Bronze Medallion Course and we are now very active in volunteering for South Curl Curl Surf Lifesaving Club.  This is a great way to give back to the local community and enjoy time in the sun and surf.

One requirement of being an Active Surf Life Saving Patrol Member is that you need to re-certify your capabilities with first aid and water safety once a year.  This takes place in a Proficiency Test that is both written to check your knowledge and physical as you need to demonstrate that you know how to effectively administer CPR, swim a minimum distance and rescue someone in the surf.  In years past this was a fairly easy process, now as I get older and have a few injuries it creates a bit more of a challenge (not that I am getting old!).

It makes me think about leaders in the workplace.  I was speaking with a Managing Director yesterday and he was very excited about one of his key executives resigning.  I knew that there had been a few issues with their behaviour and impact on other staff, however they had just let it slide until things just became too challenging.  When we spoke it was clear that this staff member was no longer proficient in their ability to demonstrate leadership effectively.  Now that this person is no longer there, the office morale has significantly improved, and their productivity has as well (even without replacing her!)

So how proficient are you?  Often we know what we should be doing as leaders, but do we always demonstrate what effective leadership looks like?  If you had to “re-certify” your role as a leader, would you be proficient enough?  Or are there a few areas that you need to improve your focus on?

If you are a leader that would like to have a complimentary session with me to check your proficiency (or checking your leadership team’s), feel free to reach out.   Click here for a complimentary session with me.

Remember, Stay True to Your Path.

Would They Vote for You?

The world is currently holding its breath for the outcome of the US Presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  It has been a roller coaster of a year full of pandemics, ravaged economies, lockdowns and protests.  On top of this the US Election day has finished and the votes are still being counted and it looks like it is going to be a very close election.

It got me thinking about how so many people vote for one candidate or another.  What is it that gets us to be attracted to or admired as a leader?   In a Presidential election the stakes are extremely high for a country given any newly elected leader which sets the tone based on their approach and will impact millions of people and make things better or worse.

So would your people vote for you?  If you did not have positional power (or the authority to fire them) would they line up, willingly to support you?  When another candidate is put forward, what would they say that shows their commitment to you and the way you lead and impact others?  What legacy would they say that you would be leaving behind?  Would it be something that others would admire or would it be the happiness and joy people felt once your reign was over?

Having the title of leadership is easy.  What is challenging is being the type of leader that others admire because of the way leadership is demonstrated and role modelled.  Any leader can get short term results by creating havoc, dividing people and creating fear (and many short term dictators in the business world have done this creating short term profits only to have the company quickly lose out in the long run).  Only the truly great leaders can get results by unifying and inspiring people to strive to be better than they are and do it in an inclusive way.  

If you are a leader that would like to have a complimentary session with me to check if your people would vote for you (or checking your leadership team’s approach), feel free to reach out.   Click here for a complimentary session with me.

Regardless of the US election result, history remembers the leaders that brought people together for the common good and those that used fear to divide people to control them. 

Remember, Stay True to Your Path.

Are Your Leaders Frozen or Leading?

I had a fascinating discussion with a Senior Executive this week. She mentioned to me that she had noticed that many of their leaders had stalled. “It’s as if they are frozen in time.” she remarked. As we discussed their behaviour it was very clear that many of them had stopped leading. They were so uncertain of what to do that they were just having everyone on hold without any forward progression.

So rather than looking for opportunities and areas to grow or capitalise on, they were stopping new initiatives and having their people slow down and do the same things that they were doing before the pandemic hit. If you look back to previous economic times of uncertainty, most of the successful leaders and businesses were the ones that increased their activity and created new opportunities, rather than stopping to wait for things to pass.

So are you frozen or are you leading? Here are a couple of thoughts to get you to reassess your recent leadership:

  • New Opportunity Initiatives. In the last 30 days how many new opportunities have you explored? Was it 5, 10 or 20? Are you actively looking for new ways to do things and new activities that could create positive momentum?
  • Your Internal Innovators. Many staff are extremely good at innovating and creating new ideas. The challenge is that often, many managers just want people to stick to the core areas and not explore new ways of thinking. How many of your internal innovators have you spoken to in the past 30 days to get some of their ideas?
  • The Voices in Your Head. What are you telling yourself during this time of transition? Is it positive and full of opportunities that are everywhere if you look for them? Or is it negative and full of, if we can just get through the next 90 days we will be fine? If you are focusing on the negative you will hold yourself back.

To help leaders during this time of uncertainty, my online Leadership Academy Program is designed to help you in your pursuit of opportunities. Click here to find out more about my online Leadership Academy Program. Remember to create your future and be the Leader you are meant to be!

What activity should you be doing to keep growing?

Are you stuck? Still trying to get your head around what to do next? I admit that there have been some days where I’ve been a bit demotivated and rather than being productive, have procrastinated.

With all the change and uncertainty I have noticed that people are falling into 3 groups. The first are those that are trying to stick to what they have always done and hoping that everything will go back to normal. The second have shifted a few things, but are also hoping that things will go back to the way they were in the past. The final group are those people that are changing and growing in new directions, without looking back.

Most of us would agree that we should be in the group that is changing and growing in new ways. We should be learning new skills, trying new approaches and looking beyond now to see what future opportunities are right around the corner.

So how can you keep growing? Here are a few quick ideas:

  • Learn a new Skill. This may be learning something that you have always wanted to learn about. I have a friend that is learning to play the guitar and another that is learning how to write computer code. With online learning now everywhere, there are a range of places to go to learn a new skill!
  • Support a Colleague. Some staff have been able to transition from the old world to the new one more easily than others. Regardless, when people feel supported by others, they form a stronger connection and a sense of camaraderie that makes everyone stronger and more resilient. Reach out to someone and help them grow and you will as well.
  • Give Back to Others. I am a big believer in Karma. Whenever I give to others without expecting a return, for some reason I always get more than I give. Find a community organisation that you could volunteer with to help them. There are many non-profit and charity groups that need help now more than ever. If you want to join me in the Hands Charity Big Night In which is a fun filled evening on 31 October, Click here for more information.

It does not matter what you do as long as you are doing something to keep growing. If you would like to grow more as a leader, click here to find out more about my online Leadership Academy Program. This is designed to help you grow (and be supported) as a leader.

Are You Able to Debate Like a President?

The US had their first presidential election debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden this week. When I think of a ‘Presidential debate’ I have quite high expectations of what that would look like.

The President (and the candidate running for President) is a revered role and for many people is viewed as what should be the ideal role model for future leaders to look up to and admire and mimic their approach.

Wow, this was certainly not what was displayed in the debate. Both candidates talked over one another, loosely shared their vision and stance on the topics and overall left most of the people watching wondering what happened.

This makes me think about what many leaders in organisations and businesses across Australia and the world do when they are trying to communicate their vision. Unfortunately, I have attended many conferences where the CEO or MD tries to deliver their vision for the way forward, but unfortunately completely misses the mark. Too often they use formal business language that is unclear and full of jargon that many staff just can’t relate to. What we want in our leaders are those that can capture and deliver their vision in a way that is inspirational and encourages us to follow them because of who they are and how they will lead towards the vision.

So the next time you need to share the way forward with your people, remember to avoid long winded rants and stick to sharing what it is you stand for and why it is important. If we had more leaders doing this, the world could be better (and someone please pass this onto the Presidential candidates!).

If you would like to learn about the vision for Hands Across the Water and what we have been doing to overcome the economic uncertainty and downturn, join me for a night of celebration.

This year Hands is having a Big Night In Event on Saturday the 31st of October (yes Halloween!)  You can sign up on the website and host your family or a small group of friends for an evening of inspiration and connection all from your home (and much more entertaining than a debate!)