Are you making assumptions that do not serve you?

Photo by Ryan Johnston on Unsplash

When Kate joined the leadership team, she compared herself with her male colleagues who all appeared confident and knew what they were talking about. On the other hand, she was often in the grip of self-doubt. She privately concluded that she did not measure up to their standards. Like many of us, she took the worst view of herself and the best of others to arrive at her conclusion.

Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman, in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow describes Kate’s assumption as ‘fast’ thinking where, what we see is all there is. Read more

Why integrity matters


In 2010 BP suffered one of the world’s largest environmental disasters when the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded killing 11 workers and releasing 3.19 million barrels of crude oil into the ocean.  In one single event they destroyed the ground they had gained since launching their USD $200M Beyond Petroleum brand campaign in 2000 with it’s green, clean, environmentally conscious image.

The total pre-tax charge for the spill was USD $53.8 billion and in 2013 43% of Americans still had an unfavourable view of BP.  Read more

Chief Information Security Officer, A Critical Leadership Role

Ninety-four percent of CxOs in a recent IBM Survey believe it is probable their companies will experience a significant cybersecurity incident in the next two years.

Businesses are therefore focused on developing effective strategies and governance frameworks to mitigate the risk and reduce the damage of the inevitable cyber security breaches they face.

However, to be effective those strategies and governance frameworks need to be supported and executed through great leadership capability at the Chief Information Security Officer or equivalent level.… Read more

How to inspire others to change the game

It is over a decade ago and I am joining about sixteen hundred people to give former US President Bill Clinton a standing ovation. He has just delivered a spine tingling speech at the World IT Congress in Australia about the role technology could play in the developing world.

It’s a big deal to get a standing ovation from an Australian audience. I had gone to the event somewhat sceptically. Yet to my surprise, he understood and shared our passion for the difference that technology could make. He put himself in our shoes and tapped into our commitment to build a better world. He inspired us to see that it was possible.

Zenger Folkman research with 14,500 leaders confirms that being “inspiring and motivating” is the single most important leadership competency. It is also the leadership competency on which leaders overall receive the lowest scores from their manager, peers and those who report to them.

So what is the secret to being an inspiring leader who can motivate others to change the game? We can’t all be as charismatic as Bill Clinton or leaders like him?

But what can we learn from the great examples that we have seen?

One thing seems to be clear and that is that the value of listening.

Bill Clinton was ‘listening’ even though he appeared to be just speaking. He had obviously spent time preparing for the presentation. He was listening, in the sense of understanding what would motivate us to come along with him.

On the other hand, how many times have we been underwhelmed by the latest corporate strategy or vision. What’s missing that we are not inspired? Well one thing that could be missing is ‘listening.’ Listening for what’s in it for the audience to buy into the strategy or vision.

Having a game-changing vision is inspiring, no doubt about it. But inspiring others to take on your vision as though it is theirs requires the ability to see the world through their eyes.

How could you listen to others around you and inspire and motivate them to share your vision and change the game?

Best regards, Brian