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.