Lead a vivid life that does good

Category: Community (Page 1 of 2)

Our Freedom came at a cost.

Today is ANZAC day in New Zealand. Today we remember ordinary men who became heroes. Men & Women who served and died so that their generation, and those that followed might be free from oppression and evil.

On this day we remember what it costs to have freedom; our countries freedom; our children’s freedom; your freedom.

And … Freedom is never free!

Our fallen heroes paid the ultimate price for our freedom. The cost to their lives and families we can barely comprehend.

Our freedom came at their cost.

Today is also my birthday, so it is somewhat fitting that my all-time favourite word is Freedom.

It really is.

I love the freedom we have in this country. I love being free. And I, like many of you, I take our freedom for granted all too often.

Freedom is never free ~ Lest we forget.

Great Leaders Flip-Flop!

Great Leaders Flip FlopIt’s election year. This means you will hear two phrases in the media over the next 6 months. They are the terms “flip-flop” and “U-turn”.

The media is exceptionally good at spotting a flip flop or U-turn in the opinion of a candidate. While keeping the politicians ‘honest’ is important, I get concerned when the media portray changing your mind as a bad thing!

It’s not.

Authentically changing your mind is a strength.

Which type of leader would you rather follow?
– A person who is close minded to change.
– Or a man or a woman who authentically considers the evidence, and changes their mind.

For some reason society often frowns upon those who change their minds.

Personally, I’d rather be seen as a flip-flop leader.

Are you prepared to change your mind?

More importantly if you are presented with new evidence or feedback on a belief you hold dearly, would you change your mind?

Changing your mind or beliefs or attitudes is actually far harder than it seems. Far easier to stick with the status quo.

Which is why, great leaders flip-flop!

Stopping unintentionally

Stopping Unintentionally is the worst kind of stoppingA few weeks ago three people, over the course of a week, reached out to ask why I wasn’t blogging? One example is from a young reader who private messaged me, “I was just wondering what happened with your blogs – I really enjoyed reading them”

I looked back and saw I hadn’t blogged in almost 6 months!

How did that happen?

Did I stop because it wasn’t part of my essential intent? No… one of my goals is to have an evocative voice.

Did I stop because it was a creative burden? No… I love the creative outlet for the random thoughts I have.

Did I stop because I was too busy and had to focus on other things? Sadly No… You make time for what is important.

The truth is I stopped unintentionally. Which is the worst kind of stopping.

It wasn’t a decision.

I just stopped.

For no good reason.

Thank you to the people who asked about my blog.

The implication for me is… Start. Blogging. Again! Which is going to take discipline and habit building all over again.

The implication for you…

What have you recently stopped doing, unintentionally?

Maybe it’s time to start again!

How we steal peoples time

I’ve always loved the quote from Blaise Pascal who says, “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

Nowadays ‘this‘ can be…

handwritten penVideos,






Public speaking,

And even one on one conversations.

The best of these are short and punchy. And its obvious the creator has taken the time to craft and shape a masterpiece.

When we don’t use our time to make it shorter … we just end up stealing our audiences time.

Something I constantly remind myself.




What being encouraged by a complete stranger taught me…

Hi Five for EncourageI was fading. The motivation to finish strongly had all but gone. My pace had already faded from run to jog, and I was on the verge of walking home.

At just the right moment I saw a middle-age Māori guy waiting for his bus. As I jogged toward him, we lift our heads to acknowledge each other, as guys do. As I continued to labour toward him something profoundly unexpected happened.

He held out his hand for a high-five.

I took it.


And my jogging turned back into a run.

And I ran all the way to my finish point.

And all it took was a little bit of encouragement from a complete stranger.

I pondered encouragement as I ran home.

Encouragement can be as easy as a high-five.

Encouragement can motivate people to go the distance.

Encouragement always builds courage.

So go on, right now, encourage someone! Send them a message. Or a text. Or just walk down the hall and give them a high-five.

Remember a persons name. Remember their favourite word.

Whats your nameFirstly a confession: I love stationery and around 10 years ago when I first started Agoge, I loved buying all the stationery and desks as I set up my new business. As I shopped, one of the team on the floor of Warehouse Stationery, a young guy called Kelly, helped me over two or three trips into the store, and he got to know my name.

Fast forward 10 years and I bumped into Kelly, in a different store, and he still remembered my name. He came up to me with a big smile and greeted me, and said, “How’s it going Andrew?” and asked if he could help.

It reminded me how powerful a person’s name is. I have read that it is generally a person’s favourite word (though few admit it). When someone remembers my name, I feel valued; respected; special; and I become more loyal.

Sadly most organisations do a lousy job of names and as a result lose the opportunity to connect with people in a way that says, “I value you.”

Second confession: I am lousy with names, particularly names I have not heard before.

I hate it when I ask for the second or third time, “What’s your name again?” but in the end remembering a person’s name is more important than my embarrassment of forgetting.

Maybe you can help me.

What tricks, or methods, or ways do you have for remembering names?

282 | 365 Meals

Day282.jpgI think having meals together in each other’s homes is dramatically undervalued. Over the years I have come to love having people at our place for meals. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out for dinner, but at home we, our guests included, tend to relax more, talk more openly, and be more authentic.
Had Francis and Delwyn for dinner. They are an awesome couple we are blessed to call friends.

232 |365 Food that connects us.

woodfired pizza“Come around an get your feet under the table,” Jack would say. What my mentor from 20 years ago meant by that was, ‘come around, sit at our table, enjoy Grace’s home cooking, and lets talk or chew the fat together’.

Long meals, great food & drink, laughter, discussion, debate, hospitality, genuineness, caring and love. That’s what getting your feed under the table means.
At our place getting our feet under the table is a priority. Eating my wife’s incredible cooking and discussing everyone’s day connects us, it forces us to ask and teaches us to listen.
It strengthens us, and our kids really enjoy it.

[232|365 Food that connects us – Went in search of story on the way home and found Mizzoni selling woodfired pizza. It looks good, and they do lunch at Maui St on Wed/Thu]

177 | 365 Things we value

Day177.jpgMoney is a medium of exchange for things of value. This means that we use money to buy things we value.
If I pay you wages it’s because I value your time and give you money. If we buy art or food or clothes or coffee or toys or random stuff. In each case we decided to spend our money on something we value.
Therefore, personally I value café coffee every couple of days more than other things. It’s that simple! More than saving the money, more than paying off the mortgage, more than using it towards buying my wife flowers, more than giving it to the good.trust to give to the poor.
If you asked me if I value coffee more than these things I would say ‘NO’, but the cold, hard reality is that the way I spend my money shows I do.
So if you want to see what people really value, look at how they spend their money.
[177 | 365 – ‘Things we value’ – Last night, I had no photo, so choose to take a photo of twenty dollar notes falling in front of my camera]

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