Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: NZ

Compassion is the only acceptable response

Compassion was the only acceptable response.Disappointed? Yes.    Appalled? Often.   Outright angry? Sadly.

This describes some of my emotions as I’ve read various opinions in the weeks following the Christchurch mosque shootings. Christians up in arms about the call to prayer; a Hamilton City Councillor suggesting we “move on”; criticism of wearing the hijab; Katie Hopkins ranting from the other side of the world; and off course Destiny church protesting across the road from the mosque.

Before you think I’m about to question your beliefs or opinions I’m not … so relax.

So, why was I disappointed, appalled and angry?

Because these comments aren’t what compassion looks like in action. Or what love does.

Compassion and love are so much more than pity or sympathy or even empathy.

  • Pity:   I can see you are suffering.
  • Sympathy:   I care about your suffering.
  • Empathy:   Me Too – I feel your suffering and grieve with you.
  • Compassion:   I’m here with you, beside you, ready to help. “You are us.”

So what does aroha or love in action look like?

Hint: Having all of the above!

Yesterday President Trump said he had the “deepest sympathies” for the most recent synagogue shooting in the US. Compare that to how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded. She acted with kindness and compassion and love and aroha. She showed love to the people directly affected and demonstrated compassionate leadership to the rest of us. If I was a victim connected with that horrible day I’d have wanted more than pity or sympathy or empathy. I’d have wanted the Prime Minister to show compassion and love.

Which is why I’ve been disappointed, appalled and angry.

Because compassion should always be our response. And if we can’t or aren’t prepared to really show compassion, probably best we shut up, keep our opinions to ourselves and stop criticising the people who are.

Action speaks loudly!


NB: At best I had empathy. Which is a challenge to me in and of itself.

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!

Its never the right time.

1000 reasons not to startOver the last couple of years I have met quite a number of incredibly intelligent uni students who want to make a positive dent in the world. Many are passionate about social enterprise and using business to change the world.

As their degrees come to an end and it’s time for them to move to the next thing, almost all of them choose grad programmes at big corporates. They reason that they can make some money, pay off their student loans and then once they have everything all together they will start to change the world.

What they miss of course is the fact that it is never the right time to start something new.

There are always loans that need to be paid off, and in the future families that need to be supported.

The reality is that now is as good a time as ever.

In fact, now is the right time.

If you are brave enough.

Note to self. Now is the right time. In fact there has never been a better time to start something new.

Stop hiding behind a thousand reasons not to, and start.

What makes me an entrepreneur?

I have almost finished "Winning: the Answers" by Jack & Suzy Welch.

In one of the questions Jack is asked "How do I know if I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?" Jack answers by posing four great questions:

– Do you have a great new idea that makes your product or service compelling?
– Do you have the stamina to hear "no" over and over again and keep smiling?
– Do you hate uncertainty?
– Do you have the personality to attract bright people to chase your dream with you?

Interesting that all four of them really excite me. I mean really really excite me. Number 3 is my favourite. Here is the whole paragraph:

Do you hate uncertainty? If you do stop reading here. Entrepreneurs spend more time in blind alleys than stray cats, if not chasing dollars, chasing new technology or new service concepts, not to mention everything else they need to build a business. If not in blind alleys, they're aboard a leaky boat on choppy seas – or put it more plainly, they are often running out of money while betting on the unknown. If you're an entrepreneur, that actually sounds like, well, fun!

It is fun!

I suspect a few of my team will nod their heads and say yip thats Andrew. I can also understand why a lot of people would not like to answer to these 4 questions, but I'm glad I can and do!

Teamwork: Backyard Soccer

Backyardsoccer "We did it Kyla, we got a goal!" Talia hollers with excitement after she kicks the ball between the trampoline legs that have become the goal posts for our backyard soccer game.

Its kids verses Dad and there is a lesson in play for the girls. Its called Teamwork! Their tendency, their predisposition if you will, is to play as individuals, to both run around trying to get the ball off Dad and then each other, even though they are on the same team.

I explain to them that if Kyla comes to get the ball off me and Talia waits by the goal,they will get goals easier. Talia of course very offside but it is not a lesson in soccer rules. Now, because Dads are always really bad at soccer when playing with 5 and 7 year olds, Kyla easily manages to get the ball off me and kicks it to Talia. The distance of 3 metres is simply to enormous for me to cover in the 15 seconds it takes for Talia to line-up and score the goal which is met with shouts of pleasure from both girls. "Kyla and Talia 5 points, Daddy 1" they yell.

Anyway, I was thinking about grown up kids, like the kind I work with. Our tendency, our predisposition is to play as individuals. We often want to score the goal and have our turn and be in the limelight of success, rather than making sure that first and foremost the team wins!

Within our company team we have a number of smaller teams. Some of the teams function really well as… well teams. They pass their ball off to each other, which are off course the various aspects of their jobs. They don't really care who does what as long as the team gets the goal and the team wins!  Some other teams function more as individuals, they own just their part, don't pass the ball and continually try to just get goals themselves and often fail to keep up.

I guess it is no surprise which teams achieve the best results, have the most victories and generally win the most. It is of course the groups of people that realise they need each other and scoring a goal for the team is more important than getting a goal as an individual. They help each other out and have few lines drawn about who does what. They do what it takes to make sure the team wins.

Incidentally the winning teams, have heaps more fun, get a buzz out of winning and 'holler with excitement' when they get their goals.

Which 'team' would you rather be on?