Lead a vivid life that does good

Category: Staff (Page 2 of 3)

Should you choose Passion or Pay?

042313.passion_pay.web_I was wondering the other day how I would guide my kids if they ask me what is more important in a job, passion or pay?

Suppose they are passionate about an interest, but it really doesn’t pay that well, should they pursue the interest or get a good paying job?

When I talk of a good paying job I mean a job were you can provide well for you (and your family) without spiraling into consumer debt just to stay alive. And passion is probably best describe as something a purpose that brings joy to your heart, does good and makes you feel alive.

Obviously if you can have both you are incredibly fortunate, but in reality few people have both.

So which should it be?

Firstly seek both. Take a hit on a high paying job and take the job that you are passionate about. Just make sure you can live within your pay comfortably because nothing kills passion more quickly than money problems.

Secondly, if you must choose one or the other. Choose Pay, so long as the job doesn’t suck all the life out of you. Choose a good paying job that provides for your needs AND leaves you with time and energy to pursue your passion.

Keeping your head above water financially is important, but so is pursuing a passion. I know many people who have chosen huge money over passion and grumble about their work most times I see them. Their pay may be good, they may have everything they need, but that lack the joy that comes from chasing their passion.

Passion or Pay … which would you pick?

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.

Nip ‘But’ in the butt and replace it with…

BUT - HT amt-group.comI was chatting with a guy recently who was asking to be involved in some work I do. As we discussed what we were doing he didn’t seem to agree with my approach as he used the word ‘BUT’ in every other sentence.

I agree, but…

Yes, but…

That’s good, but…

‘But’ gets used just before you contradict or contrast the previous statement. ‘But’ completely disregards their point of view and even experience.

We need to nip ‘BUT’ in the butt, and replace it with ‘AND’

‘And’ builds, it takes the experiences and knowledge of the other person and adds to it.

‘And’, acknowledges what you are saying is cool and let me contribute more.

‘And’, says I respect you.

When you start noticing how often you say ‘but’ on topics you have strong opinions on, it will blow your mind. Changing any habit is hard and resetting language habits is no exception. When you catch ‘but’ being used, correct yourself, use ‘and’ then see where it leads the conversation.

‘And’ means you will contribute more AND you might even learn something along the way.

as the winds of change blow do you lean in and fight, or harness the change and sail off on an adventure

Change is constantly upon us, and the winds of change are always blowing in our lives.

So often we lean in against the change. Fight it. And burn a heap of energy trying to get back to where we came from.

Usually, in the end, the change forces us there anyway, and we arrive there beaten and bruised and worn out.

When we fight change hard, we actually miss the opportunity to share in the adventure and journey of the new direction.

Next time change is upon you, you have a choice:

Lean in and fight,


go with it and head off on the adventure!

14 tips when applying for jobs from the business owner of a recruitment company

UPDATED: Feb 2019

While a lot of the below post still applies. Technology is changing how CVs and Data of Jobseekers is handled.

I’ve written an updated post »

10 great tips when applying for jobs online!



Having just spent an hour or two looking over applications for an internal role at agoge, I am compelled to share some hints about applying for jobs. They are just my perspective, from a guy who has been on the receiving end of literally 1000’s of CV’s and covering letters.


  1. I don’t read the whole CV. Not even close, I just skim read. If I’m really interested I might read more than 10%.
  2. As I skim read, I’m looking for fit into my business culture, as well as growth and learning and experience that could be portable into my business. You don’t have to have done the job, just show me you could do our job, in our context.
  3. Even though I don’t read your CV, bad speling and formatting jumps off the page.
  4. Most CV’s arrive electronically, make sure they are PDF that way your formatting looks the same to me, as it did when you sent it. PDF also saves me clicking 2 times to open your docx on my doc machine and I can read and highlight all over your PDF on my iPad.
  5. Computers have colour available. Yip, you can use graphics and colourful fonts and pictures to sell yourself. It might make me read more than 10%. It will definitely make you stand out from 99.99% of the other people. I’m serious in the latest 100+ CVs I’ve read, none have done a good job of that.

The cover letter

  1. Firstly all of our ads have a contact name. So “Dear Sir/Madam” is really not appropriate. I also doubt I will ever be a “Sir”.
  2. If we ask you to provide 2 great reasons why we should consider you. Then provide 2 great reasons, don’t just cut and paste your last letter.
  3. On that note, I frequently read other companies names instead of our company name in people’s letters. Oops … best you proof read it, or better still get someone else to proof read it.
  4. Make it obvious in the cover letter that you have checked out our website, or know about who we are. You can’t underestimate how excited we get about people who are excited about us.
  5. Your first two lines of any letter either scream “boring, stop reading me”, or grab our attention and draw us to read the rest of the letter. Make it the latter.

Other stuff

  1. I really like it when people take an interest in our jobs and our company before they apply. It stands out in their CV, their letter and gets my attention.
  2. Alexander Bell created these amazing things called Telephones. If we give you permission, pick up the phone and ask a couple of questions. You’re not likely to blow it, and I will remember your name. Therefore your CV moves up the pile because you showed initiative.
  3. I know a lot of companies will now only accept electronic CV’s. I don’t mind getting a physical colour, bound CV. Dress up, call in, ask for the person and just let them know you wanted to set a good impression and drop your CV in. It’s scary as anything, but this is about getting the job you want. This will move your CV up the pile.
  4. I really appreciate honesty. If you’re applying for a job that’s a stretch. Say so. We often keep hold of CVs we might be interested in later.

So these are my suggestions. Some people will pay a lot more attention to your CV, most I suspect don’t.

Listen to my ideas, or don’t. It’s up to you.

Unless of course you’re applying for a job with me.

Lessons from Sixth Grade Soccer

The opposition player intercepts the ball and launches through the gap towards our goal. Screens of “get back there” are heard from the side line as one of our team sprints his little heart out to try and be between the ball and the goal.

His opponent strikes the ball hard, it ricochets off the post, bounces off our player, and scores an own goal.

One of our team steps up and calls his team made an “idiot” for scoring an own goal and I intercede and explain that he had run hard and it was unlucky.

Later I thought about the parallels to other teams.

I thought about how sometimes we can do all the right things, but just be unlucky.

I thought about how often we can get down on someone for a mistake, when it was unintentional and they are just trying their hardest to win.

I thought about how often the people who complain the most, are the ones who left their team member to do it alone. Had they helped the outcome could have been all together different.

I thought about how sixth grade soccer is radically different to competition in the real world. And yet soccer, along with other sports, is where most of us learnt to be in teams.



271 |365 Model Employee?

Day271.jpgThis is Puss in boots and one of my kids stuffed toys. You squeeze it and it says statements like
“No problemo boss”
“I thought you just said we were done doin things the stupid way”
“You have engaged my valuable services”
And appropriate for the day of the photo “I hate Mondays”

238 | 365 The worlds greatest boss?

Window CleanersI have a strange abnormal admiration for the window cleaner guy. Not only does he charge significant coin but now he seems to have an employee to do the dirty work.
Make no mistake he has provided the valued staff member with a waterproof jacket. Which is handy given that the boss hoses down the windows directly over, around and through, the employee as he scrubs the windows with a brush.
Definitely a nominee for ‘the worlds greatest boss’ awards.

231 |365 I have a question on my mind

Day231.jpgIs this train leaving or arriving?
It’s a question, and there is incredible power in questions. With great questions come amazing answers and stories. Because of questions, problems are solved and ideas are formed.
Yesterday, at a client who uses other companies, I asked, “What do our competitors do really well?” It’s an amazing question because you don’t get some canned answer of what they would like, rather you get a real answer about the service they enjoy. It also gives permission to ask, “What could they do better?”

Questions are the key to listening.
They really are!

From time to time you will find people who have a different view to you (shock horror). You can either spend all your time trying to explain your view, OR you can spend all your time trying to understand their view by asking questions.
Talkers do the first. Listeners do the second.
Sometimes asking questions is really hard for both of you. But after you have listened and understood, you are almost always invited to share your opinion, to input into the conversation, to contribute.


You will almost always say something wiser and more relevant.
All because you asked great questions.

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