As I open the door and step across the threshold, I’m struck by the sweet aroma of fresh coffee. The warmth inside contrasts the crisp air outside, as does the bustle and noise of a busy café. I glance around the café and take comfort from the fact I see no-one I know. I slide … More How to create space to think
You know when you repaint a room a different colour, and the first coat of the new fresh paint doesn’t look quite as you expected. You’re pretty sure it will be OK, but until you get the rest of the paint on you won’t know. Last week, with our annual conference looming and our strategy … More How to stop people thinking outside the box.
Some people are easy to follow. There is something about them that gives us belief in ourselves and a desire to follow them and make great things happen. Other people are harder to follow. Being around them, following them, can be draining and demoralising. A few years ago I developed an acronym for what makes … More One word that defines extraordinary leaders
With the exception of primary school, the first book I ever read cover to cover was when I was 27 years old. It was a Tom Clancy novel. The first business book I ever read was in my early 30’s, ‘The One Minute Manager’. My journey with reading really took off as the founder of … More Learning to read changed my life.
As arrogant as it sounds, if you ask me for help, I’ll most likely say No. I often don’t even give a reason it’s just, No. But it’s a great cause… No. You’re the only one who can help… (the only one, really?) … No. Last time you helped … I did. Sorry, No. Over … More The worlds most powerful question
One of the first things you notice when you take a Tuk Tuk ride in Cambodia is the way they use their horns. They beep as a warning. Not out of frustration or anger, rather to let the scooter in front know they are there. To avoid a collision. To keep them both safe. They … More How do you give warnings?
“Failure’s not fun. But failure is required. Failure in the service of learning, of experimenting, of making things – this is essential. When you’re learning to walk, no one criticizes you when you fall down. Parents understand that you do it wrong and then you do it right. But that’s about the last time you … More Shame and failure
The road ahead of us bends to the left and intersects with our small cul-de-sac which climbs off to the right. With our ‘L‘ plates front and back, and me in the passenger seat, I clearly instruct the first time driver “don’t cut the corner”. It is after all a perfect corner for cutting. My … More Why cutting corners matters!
In your job; at school; when at home; or even in your relationships … are you seeking security or impact? Security equals safety and stability. It’s the status quo that is free from the fear of change. Impact on the other hand is a forceful word. Think collision. It’s influence. Change. And forward momentum. To … More Is chasing security really going to change the world?
I‘m just back from 3 weeks uninterrupted leave, and I often joke before going on leave that I only want to be contacted if the building is burning down (that way I can get my photo of the day). Even as CEO when I am on Annual Leave, I am on leave. It’s my time, … More Why disconnected people are more valuable to a business
For those who know me, you will know one of my favourite (and at times most frustrating) questions is “How do you mean?” It’s a favourite question because it softer than “What do you mean?” and because it is a great way to find out exactly what the person is saying or thinking or trying … More Its the question that could change your life…
For many people, one of the biggest curses of knowledge is that we tend to over complicate things. Case in point, I have been doing a lot of reading about Lean Manufacture and its application into the service industry. One book I slaved through this week explained Waste in a complex way that cumulated in the … More Smart people make things simple.
A number of years ago Bill Gates’ mother held a dinner party and invited both Warren Buffet (super rich guy) and Bill along. At the dinner party she ask what they believed was the single most important factor for their success. Both Bill and Warren gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” Focus is one of … More 3 ways to stay focused on your goals
I hate running on a treadmill! Nothing does my head in quite as much as watching minute after minute tick by, while I stay in one place and move exactly nowhere. It’s funny how one minute can feel like a blink of an eye, but when things are moving slowly or you are watching a … More Do you have a minute?
You have probably all worked with people at the creative extremes. At one end is the person who works really hard, executes like crazy then tells you “I’m not creative”. At the opposite end of the scale is the “ideas person” who constantly has ideas and never delivers on anything. Leading these people can be … More Two things you need to become innovative