Saturday, 24 November 2012

#Change ... Start With Yourself

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But, it too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. 

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world. 

The above words are said to be written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in London, England.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Call to Action #Catalyst4Change

What is a Catalyst 4 Change? How can I become a Catalyst 4 Change and what difference can I make?

Active citizens make the difference because you do things and don't wait for the bureaucracy to slow you down, in fact you move so fast they don't even realize you are out there.

Quality Education for South Africa is about partnerships, focusing on supporting the principals in the 22000 schools that are struggling in SA. A business leader partners with a principal to support the principal of the school in areas such as the management, community engagement and general upliftment of the moral at the school. More information on the Partners for Possibility can be found at the website.

We then realized that not everyone wants to or has the time to commit to the year of partnership at the schools, and realizing that there are literally millions of South Africans that want to do something we created the #Catalyst4Change project.

The vision of #Catalyst4Change is to create a database of people throughout South Africa who would like to be involved in making a difference, not by simply giving of your time and doing odd jobs but actually by giving of your time in the area of your strengths.

Here are a few examples of how we would utilise your strengths: 

You are a Chef and you would like to give of your culinary skills, we will find a opportunity to give of your strengths, you just need to tell us how much of your time you are willing to volunteer.

You are a frustrated accountant, but you love to teach children, we could involve you in giving extra lessons at a local school.

You are a frustrated corporate lawyer and it is not really your strength, you would of actually liked to be an artist, you let us know and we could get you to collaborate on a mural at the local community school.

The possibilities are endless and the needs are many, however we only want you to give of your strengths the talents that you are highly passionate about, and in this way we know that you will not only make a difference but a truly dramatic difference to your life and the lives of those you touch in the process.

You will notice that this is not a call for money but real active citizenship, because I believe that when you are doing what you are passionate about the resources will follow you.

And to my American and international readers, if you would like to be involved please drop me a line, we will found a creative way to engage your strengths because the children of South Africa are also the children of the world.

Forgive me if you think I have not given enough detail but perhaps you are the person who writes up these type of policies and your strength would be more than welcomed by me.

Interested and would like to find out more? 

Please mail me at, I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Social Rules of Engagement - Facebook, Cats and Twitter

Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, Pinterest, YouTube (video blog), BBM, WhatsApp and Twitter are communication platforms we are faced with daily, but how do they all fit together and why are there so many different platforms one may ask?

Lets start with Facebook, it's original intention was to connect communities and families together across the world. And if used for this purpose it is extremely effective. So if you have a small group of friends and you would like them to read your brain, know what you eating, who you are intending to sleep with or which cat is your favourite today; Facebook is definitely the platform for you, and your friends can even see a photo of the subject in question. 

With this in mind Facebook should be kept personal and do remember that although we think it is personal it is still on the internet and remains there indefinitely. So your next cat may just be jealous if you posted too many photos of your old cat.

Staying with Facebook it has been said that we actually regressed as a human race by using Facebook, as we have gone back to the time of the Egyptians by writing on walls and worshipping cats.

Okay this is a Blog so I am mindful that it should only have 350 words so I will quickly go through the others before getting to my personal favourite Twitter, remember that if you are not on Twitter you are not on Social Media or so say I.

LinkedIn - is a great site for connecting to all those old business colleagues and the only way to really boost your brand via LinkedIn is to actively participate in the online forums and LinkedIn has millions of them. A word of caution is that LinkedIn is quickly becoming the email platform of Social Media with a good serving of spam from your friends, actually it is permission marketing but your friends have not really cared to find out what you are interested in. Perhaps the name of LinkedIn with change to InterestedIn (hope I get royalties for that advice).

Blogs - are great and they are where you can honestly check out your friends and the people you follow to see if they actually are the type of person whose book you would ultimately buy. Blogs can consist of words, poems and their are a lot of stunning photo or travel blogs out there and this is where Pinterest have captured a good segment of the social platform.

Pinterest - photos, photos, a few infographics and more photos. Pinterest is the site that enables visual sharing, it is voyeurism on steroids and it works for the right brainers in this world like myself. If you need to say something it can be said visually and Pinterest is the place to say it, the more sublime the better. 

You Tube - the video blog, get creative honestly ... We have cellphones with great video cameras in them, oh and remember there is also a microphone - it is not a 8mm Cine movie from the 70's. Include yourself as the commentator, say something interesting, say something controversial but make a movie your friends, not your family would want to watch.

BBM, WhatsApp and Messenger - we live in a fast social world, don't waste your time have endless conversations to friends about things you could actually be telling the world and if you tell enough people you will find those who find you more interesting than the friend who is just humoring you, so shout it out to the world on Twitter.

Twitter brings together all the social platforms and tells the world what you are interested in and not so much what you are doing, Twitter is about giving others a glimpse into your life, a glimpse big enough so that they can read your blogs, see which forums they can collaborate with you on and find out your dreams through the photos you posted on Pinterest. 

I often get asked how do you get followers on Twitter, well be interested in others, there is an old saying "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" and this rings true for Twitter. So follow the people who are interested in what you are interested in and follow their friends. And then follow people who have followed you back and you will soon find that you have more followers than you ever thought possible. 

People are looking for you, the subjects you are interested in and what you have to say about the subjects they are interested in.

If you think you are being a celebrity by just gathering followers and not following people back, you are just a smuck - that is old school rude, so please respect yourself first and show some courtesy to those who have taken the time to follow you.

Oh I know what you thinking ... The answer is put different interests and categories into lists, that way you only have to read about the traffic before you leave and you only have to find out about a movie before you book your ticket, you get the picture.

See you in the Twittersphere.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Do you have a right to be offended?

Probably the simplest thing we can do is get offended. The question is do you have a right to get offended ?

The simple answer is yes of course you have a right to be offended because no one gets hurt in the process of you getting offended, unless you decide to get even or retaliate, but in the process of getting offended you have every right.

Now we sit in the situation of knowing we right, because we have the right to be offended (we established that in the last paragraph).

But deep down we know that we are wrong, so we often realise that it is a waste of thought processes. Of course if we release it at this stage and forgive ourselves we can continue happily and experience the true victory that comes with releasing these negative thoughts.

But this is when our enemy (yes you guessed it - our very own Ego) jumps in and says No, you can't be weak you need to stand up for your rights and get even.

Stand up for your rights is another interesting concept, because in the first two paragraphs we have determined we are right anyway.

Okay I am having a play with words but can you see how easily we can take things out of proportion?

We have not dealt with why you even got offended and if the other person even knew they offended you. 

Know that in every situation you have the choice to either get offended and journey down that self destructive route called hatred, or simply choose to forgive and move along happily!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Twitter Guidelines

  1. Say everything in one Tweet, if you can’t say it in 140 characters - DON’T Tweet 
  2. Think before saying anything.
  3. Think of the consequences of the message.
  4. Remember the truth can hurt even if it is the truth.
  5. Think about the message you want to convey.
  6. Ask yourself is this my opinion or the opinion of someone else.
  7. Ask yourself if your opinion is valid?
  8. Communicate simple messages, try avoid ambiguous statements. 
  9. Give praise where praise is due, but don’t use flattery.
  10. Remember your spouse, children, friends and family will also read your Tweets.
  11. Avoid culture, race, religion, politics and profanity.
  12. Avoid saying what comedians say, if that is not what you normally say.
  13. Remember things can’t be deleted.

QUOTES ... If you are using others people’s quotes, please use the name of the person who originally quoted it, BUT know that you have shared the opinion of the person who originally quoted it and you will need to substantiate and be accountable for everything that person said as you are in agreement by using the quote. People will often think it was your quote regardless of who said it.

Monday, 12 November 2012

#ThinkBeforeTweeting ... Freedom Of Speech

First and foremost thank you for the incredible response my last blog article called ‘Just another reason you should (not) be on Twitter’ has received, so on the strength of that feedback I have decided to continue this topic which has now become a # Hashtag on Twitter.

The real question is do we actually think before we tweet? Remembering that Twitter is only 140 characters and if you can’t say it in one Tweet you cannot say it on Twitter.

In reality I am probably a lurker of many people on Twitter - some say great things, others have points of view that are not my own and some are not consistent and that makes following difficult, but in some cases I soldier on.

My story today goes around a young lady entrepreneur in the fashion industry, she is hip and happening, one would consider her an A-lister in the social circles, she is inspirational and has a blog that is as diverse as it is fresh. She never fails to come up with the goods and I am sure her following is both young and old. 

Then last night during the St Francis Fires a few people were Tweeting messages similar to this - “St Francis Bay inferno - our thoughts are with the whole community!” and her response to this was as follows; “As if the people whose houses are burning will have time to worry about your thoughts - Idiots”

I respond by “Saying that your Tweets are great but, I am sure that your Tweet about St. Francis Fires will not do wonders for your brand - you should apologize before its too late! 

As I expected I got no response, okay it was late and she could have been in bed already, but I did get the following Tweet from her brother or someone with the same surname who is some corporate lawyer at some large firm in Johannesburg saying “Who must she apologise to? You? Freedom of speech, accept it and deal with it ... “

Needless to say the corporate lawyer deleted his Tweet by the morning.

I had to ask myself could this be the same lawyer that might of advised our two South African friends who were suspended last week; that it is okay to say what you want cause we have freedom of speech. 

No it is not okay to say what you want regardless of what you think your rights are to freedom of speech or what your lawyer says. 

Simply because we are dealing with people, the audiences have disappeared and we need to be accountable not only to the people who listen but also to ourselves. We need to ask what is the authentic message we say when we are insensitive to others - making others feel less at our expense is not freedom of speech it is just downright rude.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Just another reason you should (not) be on Twitter

I chatted to a parent at my sons' school today and he had the need to tell me about the two South Africans who were suspended for Tweeting insensitive remarks this week and were subsequently suspended from their postions of employment. 

His comment to me was 'Richard just another reason you should not be on Twitter', of course he has some idea that I am involved in some way with Social media and he happens to be the CEO of a rather large company in the service industry.

My response was when will people start to realise that your private, social and work life are not three separate parts and that we are living one life and that we remain accountable for what we do at all times.

Social media only amplifies what we are saying, so if you have said it you have said it. As we rapidly move into a world that demands more and more transparency, we must realise that we can no longer hide away and hope things go unnoticed.

Unfortunately being the proverbial Ostrich and putting your head in the ground actually draws more attention to your actions.

Should you ever say something that is out of line or even out of character; don't apologise by saying you we're asked or told to apologise as this week perpetrators did.

The advantage of social media is that you get almost instantaneous feedback. Monitor this and when you start receiving negative feedback that is relevant and will potentially damage your personal brand. Move as quickly as possible to authentically apologise as errors do happen and people are sometimes willing to forgive.

What normally happens is that people normally say things that are offensive and then arrogantly hold the opinion with no intention of apologising until the real damage has been done, then coming with a weak apology that is not authentic will never help.

Social media is extremely effective and simple when you apply  basic manners and realise that we deal with real people and not audiences.

As we move into the more transparent world my advice is always to treat everyone as if they were in a relationship with you, think of them as your spouse and how you would communicate with them; as the old adage goes 'think before you speak' and try to imagine the response before you post or say something.

No one said that the journey would not have challenges along the way, but I can promise you it is exciting - see you in the social arena, called life!

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

#QE4SA Partners for Possibility Information Sessions

We are very excited to let you know that there are now 79 business leaders across South Africa working in partnership with school principals as part of a mutually-beneficial leadership development programme. The programme is life-changing for both the business leaders and the principals and we are constantly surprised by the impacts of these partnerships. This is truly an example of “Walking Together” to achieve change in Education.

We will be launching various Leadership Circles around the country during the next few months. In response to many requests for more information, we will be presenting in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg  and the Helderberg area (Somerset West, Strand & Gordons Bay) during the month of November, and hope that you will be able to join us at either of the sessions below:

Date:                     Tuesday, 13th November
Time:                    15h30 – 18h00 (Registration at 15h30, the session will commence at 16h00)
Venue:                 TBC, Tshwane
Facilitators (in case you are interested but cannot attend the session): Louise van Rhyn ( & Stephanie Dawson-Cosser (

Date:                     Wednesday, 14th November
Time:                    15h30 – 18h00 (Registration at 15h30, the session will commence at 16h00)
Venue:                 Worldsview Academy of Organisational Change, Worldsview House, 150 Kelvin Drive, Woodmead (Tel: 086 133 3262)
Facilitators (in case you are interested but cannot attend the session): Louise van Rhyn ( & Stephanie Dawson-Cosser (

Date:                     Thursday, 15th November
Time:                    12h00 – 14h30 (Registration at 12h00, the session will commence at 12h30)
Venue:                 St Michael's School for Girls, Klerck Avenue, Brandwag, Bloemfontein
Facilitators (in case you are interested but cannot attend the session): Louise van Rhyn ( & Herman Veitch (

Helderberg area (Somerset West, Strand & Gordons Bay)
Date:                     Monday, 19th November
Time:                    15h30 – 18h00 (Registration at 15h30, the session will commence at 16h00)
Venue:                 Somerset House, Drama Street, Somerset West (Tel: 021 851 7164)
Facilitators (in case you are interested but cannot attend the session): Louise van Rhyn ( & Heather de Beer (

If you would like to attend any of these sessions, please book with Melissa at or on 021 913 3507.

5 Minute video about the School @ the Centre of Community Initiative:
For more information about this ground-breaking initiative, please watch this video (it is only 5 minutes):

12 Minute video about Louise van Rhyn’s personal learnings from being a Partner for Possibility:
For an insight into the kind of value that business leaders derive from being a partner to a school principal, please watch this TEDxCapeTownED video: 

We would love to hear your feedback once you have had a chance to watch it!

Please forward this information on to other business leaders who may be interested to get involved in this amazing initiative. We will also be launching Leadership Circles in Pretoria, George, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Hout Bay, Stellenbosch & Durban early 2013 so please let us know if you know people in these cities / towns who may be interested to get involved.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Authentic Legacy

What will people remember you for?  What will they say about you at your funeral?

Frankly they will have nothing really to say about you if you did not live your life authentically, they will only say the things people might think are nice to say about you and what will make others think kindly of you.

No ... No a thousand times no, that is the life of the proverbial grey person, and you were created with millions of exciting colours;  get out their for your own sake and do the things you are passionate about, break the boundaries, challenge the norms and live the unique life you were intended to live.

Become impatiently urgent and passionate about the legacy you will leave ... Don't wait for something to happen, nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen.

See you on the journey ...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Quality Education 4 South Africa

The School @ the Centre of Community (S@CC) project was founded in 2010 when Louise van Rhyn, became the first business leader to partner with a principal in an effort to improve a school's education outcomes.

Quality Education for South Africa’s (QE4SA) vision is Quality education for all children in South Africa by 2022 through mobilising business, government and civil society.

This project has caught my attention and I have decided to invest my time and commitment into this project.

The schools do truly need to be the centre of our communities, as the focus and our hope for the future is with the children of today - our leaders of tomorrow.
We need to improve and drastically the way we think about education and as South Africans we need to collaborate around a system that will bring us a world class answer and not simply just another catch up. It is my feeling that a new education system needs to be a leadership system preparing children for a future and not some antiquated system that measures performance based on tests.

We need to lay down our own selfish goals that no longer serve us and the communities we live in, each of us needs to realize we are incredibly unique and we each have a very special part to play in changing our beloved country.

I urge you to ask yourself the following question ... ‘What is your dream for education?’ and then engage in the process of change. And if you perhaps asking what is my dream ... I am a RuleBreaker so I would love to see the goal reached by 2017, and I believe we can do it through the power of social media.

Quality Education for SA will be holding info sessions in November and I urge attend to see how you can become involved in the biggest change we will ever see in South Africa. Please visit their website and follow us on Twitter @QE4SA.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Life Is An Echo

A little boy got angry with his mother and shouted at her, "I hate you, I hate you." Because of fear of reprimand, he ran out of the house. He went up to the valley and shouted, "I hate you, I hate you," and back came the echo, "I hate you, I hate you." This was the first time in his life he had heard an echo. He got scared, went to his mother for protection and said there was a bad boy in the valley who shouted "I hate you, I hate you." The mother understood and she asked her son to go back and shout, "I love you, I love you." The little boy went and shouted, "I love you, I love you," and back came the echo.

That taught the little boy a lesson that our life is like an echo: We get back what we give. Benjamin Franklin said, "When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Consideration - A must read

Author Unknown

One day, a ten-year-old boy went to an ice cream shop, sat at a table and asked the waitress, "How much is an ice-cream cone?" She said, "seventy-five cents." The boy started counting the coins he had in his hand. Then he asked how much a small cup of ice-cream was. The waitress impatiently replied, "sixty five cents." The boy said, "I will have the small ice-cream cup." He had his ice-cream, paid the bill and left. When the waitress came to pick up the empty plate, she was touched. Underneath were ten cent coins as tip.

The little boy had consideration for the waitress before he ordered his ice-cream. He showed sensitivity and caring. He thought of others before himself. If we all thought like the little boy, we would have a great place to live. Show consideration, courtesy, and politeness. Thoughtfulness shows a caring attitude.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Possibility of HOPE

I once made a remark that some people get scared when they hear that I am a RuleBreaker, in fact I think some even avoid meeting with me and the only explanation would be ‘a fear of the unknown’ ... I don’t have the answers but I have questions and many thoughts that probably provoke people into a type of thinking where they wish they could put me on some calming drug to make me more normal, just like the medical and education system does with most children like me.

So you may ask if I am ADHD or something like that, well frankly remember I am a RuleBreaker, not because I decided to be one because I am one and that includes breaking every rule as long as no single person is affected in the process - well perhaps the medical fraternity have lost millions because of people like me who fell through the cracks in the system.

We have been programmed to fear the unknown, when we actually should be embracing it with open arms and asking how we can explore more possibilities. But the world system (the system designed in the industrial age) holds us captive and we rather believe in statistics and analytics that were designed for the ordered and oppressive system of the industrial age.

One of the indicators for me that the age is ending fast is when you look at policy and laws, people are no longer complying so compliance has been intensified, copyright laws have tried to address changes in publishing and recording and they have failed dismally to the extent that the artists and bands have changed the way they do business.

Intellectual property and patent laws have intensified but they fail themselves, because the intended use clause which normally holds true is no longer valid when people find other uses for the product.

In the past the clever person needed another clever person to come up with an idea together, that has changed to as clever people can normally only think alike because they were sent through the same old sausage machine. Now we need the alternative mind, the person who does not understand the system so that ideas can be challenged and innovative ways found to approach old paradigms.

I often wonder what is going to be the key to unlock the next wave of business, what business will be like for our children and how the future billionaire will look compared to the very stereotyped successful person of today.

If we think skills - the type we learn within the current school system will help, no they probably will not help, in fact I am grateful to my mother who taught me to read and write before I went to school - my belief is that the most important skill we can teach anybody is how to communicate, how to listen and how to ask for more than just what is been said.

We need to ask the difficult questions, many people can tell you how to do something, but very few know actually why they do it, so we need to ask why? When we and the people we are asking the questions of understand the why, they will begin to approach what they do with more passion. We will be able to communicate more effectively because we have a deeper meaning and we have a vision because we are focusing on the outcome and not just the process.

Communication is key and when we are able to effectively communicate why we do things it will inspire others to stretch there own boundaries and look for new opportunities. This allows us to open up possibilities and give people the actual thing they are looking for and that is hope.

So join me on this journey of possibility, ask more than just questions and give people the HOPE that they so desperately need.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Sometimes when we look at our situation we could be disappointed, but one often has to stop & think and look at things from a different perspective, I love this story about little Jamie.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in the play, though she feared that he would not be chosen..

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, his eyes shining with pride & excitement. "Guess what, Mom". he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me forever. . . ."I've been chosen to clap and cheer".

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

You don't need a title to Lead.

Change the idea that you need a title to lead others.

When you are a true leader you see yourself as one and you can serve others regardless of your current title.

Our approach to serving others should always be giving and never about payment we can expect in return. Sometimes it means forgoing our own comfort.

The following story illustrates this point wonderfully:

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.
"Could you possibly give us a room here?" the husband asked.
The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town.
"All of our rooms are taken," the clerk said. "But I can't send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o'clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It's not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night."
When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. "Don't worry about me, I'll make out just fine," the clerk told them.
So the couple agreed.
As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, "You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I'll build one for you."
The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn't easy.
Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.
The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a pale reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.
"That," said the older man, "is the hotel I have just built for you to manage."
" You must be joking," the young man said.
"I can assure you I am not," said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.

The older man's name was William Waldorf-Aster, and that magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world's most glamorous hotels.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Think Different

Outstanding people are always different from their peers, the best compliment you can be given is when others say to you that you are different - only those who are different are going to make a difference. I am not saying be weird, but be different and stand out!

John Mason put it so well "You're born an original, don't die a copy", believe me we are so conditioned by our surroundings, that if we do not choose to be different we will be nothing but copies.

Think different, be different and stand out.

I have always been moved by the 'Think Different' Apple computer poster advert and the original version had the following words:

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Sunday, 21 October 2012

My recent talk at the Change Agents Network

Authentic Change (Part Seven) Social Media ... Life as we know it!

Pondering change and thinking about things that happen around us I am drawn to my statement in part six of this series ... ‘Simply if you aren't making time to think about how you can simplify your life, you are simply wasting time.’

I have to ask the question as to how we can simplify our approach to social media, I remember about a year ago getting a mastermind group together to discover everything that was new and what was happening in social media. The day in my opinion was a failure and the main reason was we were trying to answer questions to complicated questions we had conjured up.

The approach should of been simple and the question even simpler 
‘Does it work?’ and ‘How can it work for us?’

When we adopt the simple approach we can include everyone, not just the experts and this is vital in collaboration going forward ... more and more you hear of young children and other non-experts coming up with solutions to problems the experts can’t solve.

Social Media is a very limiting description, but don’t allow the description to limit your belief about what it authentically is, you see social media is actually life - it is the medium that has enabled us to connect with others and to stay in contact with them. 

Social is life as we know it! Those that are extroverted in life are extroverted in the social arena, those that are shy are also shy on social media. This is strange because contrary to popular belief that says that interacting online is not real, people still feel the need to be shy and hide from the world in a social space. 

If social media was fake or unreal then people would not hesitate to engage, but authentically they realize that it is real, contrary to popular belief and refuse or fail to engage.

In the social business arena companies have no doubt that it is real and have tried to hide for as long as possible behind the old facades of the system, no wonder we had a meltdown in the global economy - that was just the way business worked in the industrial age.

Only twenty out of the Fortune 500 CEO’s are involved in some way with social media, that is 4% and that is alarming, my question is ‘Authentically what are they trying to hide? How long do they think they can possibly get away with it? Because at the end of the day you can shutdown the likes of ‘WikiLeaks’, but what is the authentic message you are delivering by not being involved?

The time to be open and transparent is with us, it is a time where only the truth will prevail, that is simple and everyone understands the truth because it is never complex.

Don’t look for the complex, look for the simple and see a world that is new and changing daily, let go of your old paradigms and embrace change as quickly as you possibly can.

Thank you for sharing this journey of Authentic Change with me, I hope that the ideas that I have shared help to stimulate thinking and provoke discussion so that we may all live in a better world.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part Six) Simplify and then keep it simple!

My journey in life has allowed me to explore many ways of thinking, both complex and simple, but I must say I do prefer the simple ...

Einstein said "any fool can complicate things but it takes a genius to simplify things" ... I would like to simplify things even more.

True change only happens when we begin to simplify our lives.
So how do we simplify our lives?

Simply if you aren't making time to think about how you can simplify your life, you are simply wasting time.

We are often told to prioritize our lives. Unfortunately priorities do not simplify our lives. It actually just tells us that there is a lot to be done and then we start  trying to find time to do it all. Prioritizing like that just adds stress to our lives.

I am suggesting you simplify and get rid of things in your life that waste time, so that you can make more time for yourself.

Don't waste time watching television, yes that is a total waste of time. Encourage your family to do the same so that you can spend more time together. Don't listen to and read the news and avoid people who like to share the news with you - if it is really relevant you will get to hear about it regardless.

Now that you have made more time for yourself, choose to spend the newfound time reading, writing your first book or interacting with people who will actually add value to your life. 

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said “You will be the same in 5 years as you are today except for two things, the books you read and the people you meet.” Get out and meet new people and in turn advance your personal brand.

Think before you commit to things, ask yourself will this add to the value of my life or am I simply wasting valuable time.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part Five) Recognition and the simple ‘Thank You’

Recognition is so important in this world - babies cry for it and people die for it. Saying ‘Thank You’ is what we should be doing all the time, don’t expect a thank you but know that you say thank you. 

When you let someone into the traffic flow and they forget to say thank you, don’t become offensive and start judging, rather judge yourself as the good person and say thank you to yourself for being the person who was able to allow the other person to go before you.

Recognition - we all love to be appreciated and we love to be thanked for the things we do, so practice the old adage of ‘do unto others as you would have done to you’

In the work situation as in relationships, and they are always similar, the easiest way to think is how would I treat this person if I was in a relationship with them?

We can say thank you and we can give certificates and flowers; and they are all good. However it can be perceived as just something that is nice! So when does the recognition become truly authentic?

When we state the way we feel about what the person has done and how they fit into the greater plans and vision for the company or department. Including people in this way gives them the sense of belonging that they are looking for and it allows them to become more committed.

Leaders are people with vision, true leaders trust and share that vision with the people that follow them.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part Four) Do you think of others first?

Think before you do anything and the real question is what can I do for others to lighten their load ... Authentic is real; it is true and it is uncompromising, you cannot pretend because it has one very simple rule - it is only authentic if I trust what you are doing or saying to me. 

Leadership is about being authentic. Managers and people who think they are leaders often fail because their actions are not consistent with what they have promised their followers, thus the perception of distrust is created. 

Can you fake it till you make it? Yes I believe you can as long as your intention was authentic and that you have no intention to harm anyone in your journey to make it, when you put others first by not harming them, your intentions are true to who you want to be and how you want to treat others and how you want others to treat you.

With that in mind you are actually not faking it, you have actually arrived at the place you intended to be ... everything is real for you, it may just take a little longer for others to realise that fact.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part Three) Why are we waiting for others?

As Mahatma Gandhi said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

The truth is too many people wait, it is apathy mainly due to our education system, a system that has indoctrinated us to believe that when can only do things when we have the qualification, when we have been certified or when we have been ordained ... Or even worse when we have the title and we believe all this bullshit, every single day of our lives.

What are you waiting for; decide if you are a follower or if you are a leader, and please don’t think by being a follower you have no responsibilities. As a follower you need to be loyal and your job is to ensure that your leader has people as their ultimate focus and that their vision for the people is paramount. Remember you have chosen to follow this leader and it is your duty to remind them to have vision and continue to seek the vision for the people who have chosen to follow them.

And if you are the leader, your responsibilities are obvious when you read the previous paragraph.

The system has manipulated us into thinking we cannot or are not allowed to do something until we are qualified or whatever criteria we have allowed ourselves to believe, the RuleBreakers have always ignored this and gone on to do great things ... Think of it, what if the Wright brothers had said we cannot fly because none of us have a pilots license.

Don’t wait for others to do things - do them yourself and do them differently, think how you can do them differently and collaborate with others on how things can be done differently, this will speed up change and bring about the change you wish to see in the world.

Authentic Leadership is about people, don't have the audacity to put the word leader with anything that does not have people at the core.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part Two) Our Nature - Our Belief - Our Attitude

You not better than anyone else you are only different. It is that difference that causes us to be effective and to have influence. However if we arrogantly believe that we are better and more effective or more influential than others; and for that fact we should be treated differently, we have lost the plot and we should rethink our approach.

We see this happening when we are invited to events and functions, only to find out that the CEO, guest speaker or government official ... the so called “guest of honor” has not arrived because something more important came up at the last minute. Well the authentic message is that they think you are not important and at least you are having a party at their expense. No actually you are having a party at the expense of your time.

Realize that you will never get a second chance to make the right impression, Think carefully as your attitude will always communicate who you authentically are. Your attitude creates your intention, your intention creates the other persons perception of you, because that is at that moment in time the only information they have of you. And here is a bold statement ... The other persons perception of you is NEVER wrong.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Authentic Change (Part One) - How Can We Change Ourselves?

Mahatma Gandhi once said the following “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

You need to be truthful to yourself and realize that things are changing at a remarkable pace, don’t get caught up in the negativity of others they will never have the ability to see things as you do, we are all unique and see things as we are and not as they are.

When negativity comes your way ask yourself - “How can I see the positive message in this negative situation?” There is always a positive message you just need to look for it and once you have understood the real message behind the situation, you will start to see things differently and in a more positive light, you will be able to share this with those around you and effect change.

We all see things and it is truth that truly sets us free, don’t deny yourself the liberation of allowing truth to flow through you and to others - when we start to  share our views with those around us we grow and it causes growth in others.

You always have something valuable to share - never believe the lie that you have nothing valuable to give, that is never true ... someone right now is waiting for the specific message that only you can bring to them.

By sharing we grow and minds are opened allowing us to collaborate with others, when collaboration happens innovation occurs and things begin to change - realize that you are and always will be part of the change you wish to see in the world. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

We are called to Love and not Judge others.

Why do we judge others? What should we be doing instead and why do we notice the differences in others?

These are all wonderful questions and I an going to attempt to answer these somewhat difficult questions.

I want to start by saying that prayer is us talking to God, we know God's voice is silent and I believe God speaks to us through Intuition.

So when we have the thought that would cause us to judge another person; because they may be different from us, dress differently or wear things we consider strange - know that God is talking to you in that very instance and waiting for you to love others.

We cannot judge lest we want to be judged, but we can certainly show love to others.

Friday, 24 August 2012

What we say to Ourselves Matters!

We have all heard that their is power in the tongue and that is true, but what we say to ourselves is what changes the course of our lives. I am suggesting that we take a more structured approach to our "Self Talk".

Yes it is an idea that has been around since time itself, but the key lies in what you say and how authentic the ideas actually are. So instead of tripping yourself with the wrong words, use the words that are based on the word of God.

Here is the self talk and this has been taken from a series of teachings on Grace by Louis Giglio.

Start your day by saying the following:
I am a loved son of God 
I am somebody so unique, a saint by Gods grace in Christ.
I am blessed, I have every spiritual blessing I need right now in Christ.
I have everything I need to be everything God wants me to be right now.
I am chosen by God
I am holy and blameless in his sight.
I am a trophy of Gods grace.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Simplicity of Time Management

We often wonder how we will manage our time in a world that seems to have so many demands on us, how do we manage work and still fit in a healthy lifestyle?

The answer is to simplify, in the past I may have told you that you need to prioritize your life. Unfortunately priorities do not simplify our lives. It actually just tells us that there is a lot to be done and we actually are trying to find time to do it all. Prioritizing like that just adds stress to our lives.

I am suggesting you simplify and get rid of things in your life that waste time, so that you can make more time for yourself.

Don't waste time watching television, yes that is a total waste of time. Encourage your family to do the same so that you can spend more time together. Don't listen to and read the news and avoid people who like to share the news with you - if it is really relevant you will get to hear about it regardless.

Now that you have made more time for yourself, choose to spend the newfound time reading, writing your first book or interacting with people who will actually add value to your life. Get out and meet new people and in turn advance your personal brand.

Think before you commit to things, ask yourself will this add to the value of my life or am I simply wasting valuable time.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Your greatest ideas of 5 years ago are now your baggage.

Are we stuck with ideas that no longer serve us?

Have we become so much part of the woodwork that we have lost sight of the forest we are within?

Do we constantly strive to challenge the norms and bring new creativity into our worlds?

Or is it simply a case of it worked yesterday or even worse last year so it ought to work now! I will guess that it is probably not working as well as it could if it does seem to be working.

Why is this and what makes this happen you may ask?

Most of you will know that Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results, so then when do we ever do things differently?

Probably never because we are scared of the initial result we will get when we do try things differently and we all know what that is - yes it is "Failure", we all fear failure so we would rather not fail trying, but rather fail in the norm of acceptance.

The norm of acceptance is our enemy, acceptance brings us to believe that things have changed and there was nothing we could of done about it and we will all perpetually be less competitive and accept that we too will get old.

Yes we all get old, that is a fact, but rather lets focus on what makes us old ... It is work, we work too hard trying to keep old ideas alive. 

We should be working less, thinking more and collaborating with everyone we possibly can to get even the smallest nugget of their thinking that could possibly give us the edge in a fast paced world where everyone works hard.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Speed of Achievement

Speed you ask, well then how fast is fast, well if you asked your granny and Michael Schumacher the same question they would give entirely different answers. The main reason for this is that your granny and Michael's brains have had different conditioning. If we ask an achiever and the non achiever the same question we would get a similar outcome based on conditioning.

Speed however is a scary phenomenon if you not an adrenalin junkie. A while back I came across a quotation that read as follows: "each day you should do something that scares you" ; interesting and therefore we could say that the speed is relative and as long as we are in control we are not really scaring ourselves or the adrenalin is not pumping.

This quote by Mario Andretti says it best of all “If you are in control, you are not going fast enough...” Andretti one of the most famous racing drivers of his generation, Andretti was one of only three drivers to win races on road courses, paved ovals, and dirt tracks in one season, a feat that he accomplished four times. With his final IndyCar win in April 1993, Andretti became the first driver to win IndyCar races in four different decades and the first to win automobile races of any kind in five.

Regardless of the high speeds he achieved he was clearly always in complete control of the car, the course and indeed himself.
However we need to consider our conditioning and change some of our associations, so that we can achieve and get the results of the champions we were designed to be.
Having the control worthy of the achiever we were intended to be

In life do we do the things that will take us to the limit; in our thinking, in our relationships, our work and even in our spiritual lives?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


The baggage we carry through life can weigh and slow us down. Simplify your life by asking what experiences enrich your life and choose to keep them, clear your mind of the useless baggage by forgiving and forgetting. Remember any fool can complicate things, but it is the genius who simplifies life for himself and others.

Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means. Ralph Waldo Emerson said "to be simple is to be great".

So how can we be great and how can we simplify our lives?
Begin with simplifying the way you Communicate.

We are constantly being bombarded by a sea of information, we need to make quick decisions on the phone, answer emails and interact on social media. Listen and understand before answering, this will ensure that you only give the information required by the people concerned.
Keep things simple and get to the point quickly, if we are saying something we should pronounce our words properly and say things slower. People will only remember what they think is important in what you have said and not what you thought was important, so the best is to say a little and say it over and over again. The ability to connect with others starts with understanding that they too want to be heard, so we need to listen and understand them first so that they can listen to us. There is a saying that goes people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Dr. Seuss said the following:  "So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads."

Remembering that most of the communication we have is non verbal the most important thing to do when communicating is to smile, yes when you talking to people but also when you speaking on the phone, writing and email, smiling raises your energy and it will raise the energy of what you say too. Louis Auchincloss puts it so well, "The only thing that keeps a man going is energy and what is energy but liking life?"

Routine will simplify your life too, it gives you discipline which simplifies thoughts in your mind. Sleep at the right time so that you have enough energy to get things done as planned.
And here are a few more thoughts:
Don't make your plans too complex, get to the essence of what you are trying to achieve.
Simplify your lifestyle by not buying on credit.
Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired, live in the moment.
Be grateful for what you have - be content and love yourself!

Please let me have your ideas on how we can all simplify our lives, have a simply marvelous day.

Image courtesy of dan at