Welcome home, mum!

What a perfect way to start the year – 7 days detoxing at Gwynganna, situated in the hinterlands of South Queensland.  The weather was beautiful one day, perfect the next – well except for that torrential deluge that I got caught in whilst braving the elements between club rooms and spa (handwork this detoxing!).  Eyes clear, feeling strong, awake, energised and vital. And this is how I want to stay for the rest of this year so this is my gold standard. I don’t really care how much I weigh – it is not really the point.  The point is to feel great. Waiting at the Coolangatta Airport for my 4:30pm flight back to Melbourne I breath in the aroma of rancid fat and oil, the harried worried looks on the faces of those around me, dark ringed eyes – and these people are coming off holidays!  Watching as they put away sugar filled hamburgers – artefacts that will no doubt be dug up by our descendants hundreds of years from now – wholly preserved.  They won’t find me – I’ll be completely decomposed.  But my body and what I eat is not the legacy I want to leave anyway so I don’t care. Wake the next morning in my own bed – again feeling great (now I am getting annoying).  Into the kitchen and prepare a lovely, gluten free muesli, rice milk and fresh fruit – mmmmmm yumbo.  Sit down at my usual place at the table overlooking my bountiful veggie garden (well not yet very bountiful – but it will be – just telling the truth in...
Learning fear and courage: What Mike Fanning’s story can teach us

Learning fear and courage: What Mike Fanning’s story can teach us

I listen with a detached interest to Mick Fanning depiction of his experience being attacked by a great white on 20 July. What was interesting was what I thought was a textbook demonstration of the idea that we learn fear.

Anyhoo, I wondered if this was the first time that Mick Fanning was courageous? I mean courage is feeling fear and doing it anyway right. I suspect part of his success on the big waves in the shark’s playground may owe to his absence of fear – his absolute belief that he’ll be fine. Yesterday tested that and may have provided him with a real sense of his mortality. He may have been as close to death as he has ever been – maybe not. I don’t know him so I am purely speculating.

Introducing The Diploma of Leadership and Management

The Australian Academy of Clinical Leadership is to deliver the Diploma of Leadership and Management (BSB51915). This Diploma was designed on the basis of feedback from the industry. It provides the business skills, clinical leadership and empowering mindset to make your managers multipliers.

How We Think of Stress Influences How We Feel

How We Think of Stress Influences How We Feel

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, presented the findings of a study that followed 30,000 people in the USA for eight years. They found that people who experienced stress and believed it was bad for their health had a 43 percent higher chance of dying. On the other hand, people who experienced a lot of stress but did not view this as bad for them had less chance of dying — even less than people who experienced relatively little stress. You can change how you respond to stress by changing your view about stress There is a body of evidence showing that changing how stress is viewed can change the physiological response to stress, decreasing the negative responses and health consequences of stress. For example, the pounding heart rate and increased breath rate associated with a nerve-racking experience — if viewed as an indication that your body is preparing to perform at its highest instead of as a sign that you are not coping — not only make you feel more confident, but also make your blood vessels less likely to constrict – they stay relaxed. McGonigal explains that this state of heightened excitement, with the heart pounding but the blood vessels remaining relaxed is the same state produced by experiences of joy. The way you think about stress influences the negative consequences of it, and may reduce the negative health impacts as...
Does your organisation ignore talents?

Does your organisation ignore talents?

An interview with Sir Ken Robinson starts with the question “Do schools kill talents?”.  I could not help seeing a parallel between what he was saying about schools and leadership in organisations. He thinks “talents are like the earths natural resources…they may be there, but you may never discover them”. He sets out a number of arguments about how schools ignore children’s talents, including the following: Schools focus narrowing on academic ability and in the process ignore other talents. They do not expose these hidden talents – and the child might never discover them.  I know some organisations put people in jobs that do not allow them to express and grow their true talents – everyone misses out. If innovation is putting good ideas into practice, our schools are failing.  The way they schedule classes around subjects undermines any possibility of children developing, exploring and putting good ideas into practice.  They go from one subject to the next every 50 minutes or so – having to down tools, change tools, re-tool – there is no way they can get their teeth into a project.  Re-organising schools around tasks or projects that matter instead of subject would result in a very different dynamic.  Imagine what might be possible if health and aged care were re-organised around the person in care?  Or around a big improvement project? The problems that results from the traditional approach to education are: Creating a “dead culture of standardisation” Depression, disengagement; drugs to keep them switched on The problem with data becoming the purpose of the exercise rather than simply an indicator of the problem He asks...
Problem-based working – a key motivator

Problem-based working – a key motivator

A significant factor in work satisfaction is being in control of the work done. This satisfies our need to make autonomous decisions, be self-determining, and also our need to be valued as capable human beings.

And it doesn’t seem to matter if you are a highly qualified professional or someone working on a car assembly lines – if you have some capacity to make decisions about your work, then you will be more satisfied.

Amplifiers – The power of Motivational leaders

Amplifiers – The power of Motivational leaders

Why leaders must be motivational leaders I am reading a great book that sets out why leaders must be motivational leaders – and how they can become truly motivational.  Matt Church’s book, Amplifiers: The power of motivational leadership to inspire and influence, is a must read for any leader who is wondering what it takes to get their people on board.  This is especially the case for leaders of organisations that need to transform either because of a major market disruption, internal melt-downs or just morph into a bigger, better, more successful, organisation. Ramp up your influence: Your power comes from within This book is about how to ramp up your own influence powers as a leader and how you can inspire others to want to do more than they have ever done before.  And, it is about tapping into your essence as a leader and that’s why it resonates with me.  Your power comes from within – you just need to tap into it and let it flow out of you.  ‘Amplifiers’ shows leaders how to do this.  Check it...
Malcolm Gladwell on memes – how things go viral

Malcolm Gladwell on memes – how things go viral

Malcolm Gladwell has to be one of the most thought leading author I know.  His book, The Tipping Point, is well worth reading.  He yet again presents a wealth of evidence from a range of disparate sources to form a coherent argument about one idea.  In the case of “The Tipping Point” it is about why change happens when it does – what tips it over. What makes a fad, a product or even an idea go viral?  And for thought leaders – people who make their living to of developing, packaging and presenting their thoughts, this is an important idea indeed.  I find his take on ‘meme’ really interesting, particularly in relation to the Q & A on memes. Q:  Are you talking about the idea of memes, that has become so popular in academic circles recently? A: It’s very similar. A meme is a idea that behaves like a virus – that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects. I must say, though, that I don’t much like that term. The thing that bothers me about the discussion of memes is that no one ever tries to define exactly what they are, and what makes a meme so contagious. I mean, you can put a virus under a microscope and point to all the genes on its surface that are responsible for making it so dangerous. So what happens when you look at an infectious idea under a microscope? Check out his book – it goes into forensic details on this very...
Habitual congruence

Habitual congruence

I argue that the key to leading your best life, achieving big things and being your best self is largely about being congruent (your real self matching your ideal self).  However, we are not always in the habit of being congruent.  According to Charles Duhigg, author of ‘The Power of Habit’, habits are the patterns of behaviour and unthinking rituals that we have established over our lives.  ‘Unthinking’ is the operative word here.  Without conscious thought we will invariably opt for the more pleasant experiences and routines until these form ‘ruts’ in our brains and our days. If these habits are incongruent with our ideal self, then these are ‘bad’ habits.  Simple.  Unfortunately, many of our habits have been formed around pleasant, rewarding experiences, not all of which are good, healthy or congruent.  You know which I mean (sleeping in; eating chocolate; drinking wine; eating white chocolate and raspberry muffins at the local expresso cafe…. OK – now you know mine – what are yours!) Good habits are often those that require a heavy dose of discipline and an ability to defer gratification.  In previous posts, I have discussed the power of habits to remove decisions from your day – because decisions take time and energy which dwindles as the day goes on so you end up making crappy decisions and poor choices by 3pm in the afternoon (incongruent choices that is).    Creating a good habit, like getting up early and exercising, that becomes unthinking and non-negotiable, will not only make you look good eventually, it also makes you feel good almost immediately: a reward that will reinforce...