Are you swimming against the tide without a stakeholder communication plan?

The Rip from Pt Lonsdale pier. Photo by Peter on Flickr.

Imagine swimming for more than 20 minutes without getting anywhere. That happened to Ally during the annual swim across “The Rip”, which is a 3.2km dangerous stretch of water at the entrance of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. Currents often run in opposite directions to tides, creating turbulent swells, eddies and whirlpools. It is one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the world and has claimed many ships and lives.Read more

Equilibrium is not an option

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

I tried walking a tight rope in my gym, but I made the rookie error of looking down at my feet and ended up on the floor. Fortunately, it was only a metre or so from the ground so it was only my pride that was hurt. In the book, “Off Balance on Purpose”, Dan Thurmon explains that an experienced tight rope walker keeps their head up, looking forward to the ultimate goal which is the platform in front of them.Read more

Shift from player to coach

Photo by Tristan Colangelo on Unsplash

Michelle had a reputation for doing whatever it took to get the job done. She was ‘always on’, running from back to back meetings during the day and answering emails late at night. Her reward for producing outstanding results was a promotion into a leadership role. But that had only made her busier. She found herself saying it was hard to get good people and that if a quick answer was required, it was often easier to do it herself.Read more

Are you building on a foundation of accomplishment?

Photo by valor kopeny on Unsplash

When Mary-Anne arrived back at work after the break she received an email from her boss that upset her. She had asked him to confirm his end of year offer for her to lead a big new project in February. But his response was ambivalent. It seemed to her like he was withdrawing his support.

She would have advised anyone else in this situation to have a clarifying conversation with her boss. But instead she stewed in self-doubt, anger and disappointment.Read more

Thank you for making a difference

It is a good time of the year to think about those less fortunate than us. It is easy to forget that the lifestyle we take for granted is not enjoyed by many people in the developing world. The gap is so large that we could be forgiven for concluding that there is not much any of us can do to make a difference. That is why a focused initiative is attractive to many business leaders who want to see their contributions make a direct impact.Read more

Are you serving people around you?

Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash

Gary* always said thank you when I delivered something that I had promised him. Whether it was a simple report or a complex recommendation, it did not matter. He always made sure to thank me, not just in a cursory way, but to make sure that I had really received his appreciation for my work.  

Even if there was something that he wanted to change, it was easy to address it because of his acknowledgement and appreciation.Read more

It’s all people and it’s all relationships

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“The problem is with Accounts,” I said. It was early in my career and I was telling my boss why our purchasing proposal was stalled. I was worked up about how ‘Accounts’ were making our life difficult. He asked me a couple of times who the problem was with, but I was not listening. Finally, in exasperation he asked, “But who? What is their name?” “Oh, it’s Bill,” I responded. “Right, let’s think about Bill and what he wants,” my boss said.Read more

Begin with the end in mind

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

Has your vision for the year turned out? Not the company one; your personal vision. You may not have written it down, but you probably had a picture in mind of your personal and professional objectives for this year. Maybe you thought it was time to get out from under the day-to-day pressures and take your career in a new direction. Perhaps you wanted to implement a big new strategy. Whatever your objectives were, you could either be celebrating your success or lamenting that nothing much has changed this year.  Read more

You are a business of one


Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

Each of us is a business of one, whether you are a business owner or work for an employer. In the book, Business Model You, the authors Tim Clark, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur make the point that we need a personal business model in much the same way as a company does. Our personal version needs to be continually reinvented, just as any business does, as the environment changes.

A key component of a good business model is the value proposition that the business provides.Read more

A little bit of appreciation goes a long way

Photo by Morvanic Lee on Unsplash

Leaders are only as effective as the team they have around them. Of course, that means choosing people wisely. But even if you have a great team, the next challenge is getting them to stick around. Perhaps appreciation plays a bigger part in retaining people than we realise.

Tony* knew that he was fortunate to have a great leadership team. He gave each one of his direct reports his heartfelt appreciation at the end of their strategy session.Read more