This box is out the back of the Coburg Town Hall as a smokers ballot box, it asks if people prefer reading or TV. It's obvious that there is a stronger preference for reading, but I wonder how many of us actually read more than watch TV. It's probably a bit like smoking, most people who smoke will tell you they prefer not to smoke. The difference between what we prefer and what we do can be a gap we struggle to face. Reading and TV is perhaps more innocuous than smoking or not. But it highlights something about [...]
Walking by a kebab shop, these words from the TV caught my attention: "The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris." I moved closer to watch and hear her words. It's a historic day. I noticed emotion swell up in my chest, just from the chorus of horns calling her to the virtual stage. Surprisingly evocative. I saw her dressed in black, addressing the nation, the world. I'm watching from Australia with the Nepali staffer behind the counter. I’m an Australian born, Canadian raised leadership futurist. The Vice President began to speak. She acknowledged those whose shoulders she [...]
What can the Hindsight of 2020 offer? Learning from the mistakes of the past will help us move more decisively toward a different future. Facing the reality of what we experienced in 2020 will take time to process. These are some of my reflections so far and my take on what's possible, what I'm grateful for and how to have a positive impact on 2021.
When we first start out we make assumptions about what we think our clients/customers want. Here are some insights based on what I learned the hard way about who my customers are and how to communicate to them in a way they can hear.
This was originally published on SmallVille.com.au and is just as relevant today as we welcome a fresh wave of new business coming out of a global pandemic. Small Business superheros are often underestimated, most often by them themselves. Small Business is an underestimated force to be reckoned with. Yet the identity attached to Small Business is one of virtual insignificance. The vast majority of all businesses are in the Small and Medium Business category, they make up half of Australia’s employment and account for a third of its production. What if Small Businesses started to realise that there are [...]
Preparing for a post-pandemic world involves being flexible now on our path to resilience. Adapting to the current context is crucial for those who are faring well to support those affected and coping less well. Human-centred leadership skills are fundamental to developing resilience, starting with flexibility.
Where is your line in the sand? Boundaries are about what’s ok and what’s not. It’s about what is considered acceptable in a community, workplace and how we interact with each other. The unfortunate thing about boundaries is that most of them don’t get communicated directly or effectively. Many are inferred or unspoken. Ultimately, we suck at it. Setting boundaries can feel hard, but trust me, it’s a worthwhile investment. If you’d rather get on with your work instead of constantly putting out fires, read on. Have you ever seen a person do something at work that wasn’t ok [...]
Feedback comes in many forms, a nod, a grade, a tweet, a furrowed brow, silence, thumbs up, surveys, empty chairs, evaluation forms, referrals, glowing testimonials. Much of it is constructive, positive and even glowing. So why do we fear feedback? Both giving and receiving feedback can be met with trepidation and anxiousness. Perhaps an experience of poorly delivered feedback left you feeling disempowered and now you brace yourself when you see feedback coming your way. Are you reluctant to give feedback because you anticipate others having similar ambivalence and want to spare them the discomfort? Why do we fear [...]
What is leverage? To move something with less force for greater impact and movement.It makes movement easier. This is what I’ve discovered about leverage in leadership skills. There are three areas that we seem to struggle most with that just a little bit of learning can go a long way. Leveraging these skills can make a bigger difference in a wide array of areas, most notably, workplace culture. The three skills are 1) feedback: giving and receiving, 2) difficult conversations and 3) professional boundaries. Feedback: Giving and Receiving This is an area that gets plunged into the ‘too hard basket’. [...]