Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Big Gratitude - Big Lives

Oh how fragile we are and how invincible we act, going through life as if nothing can touch us.

When we actually consider how fragile we are, then only do we begin to understand grace.

Grace is bigger than us, bigger than we could ever be - yet it is ours, our very own, we just need to accept our blessings with the utmost gratitude.

Gratitude becomes real when we realise that we could never have achieved what we have achieved on our own, and if we think we have achieved something on our own that is pride and not gratitude, and  we've really sold ourselves short. The reality is that we can accomplish so much more, not because of who we are but simply for the fact that grace is so present and tangible in our lives - sometimes we just need to simply get over ourselves.

Grace is in our lives, in the very fibre of who we are. Grace is our internal guide when we humble ourselves.   

Allow grace to flow in your life, discipline yourself and allow your ego to be suppressed so that great things may be accomplished through you, so great that you will be astonished and gratitude will be flow from you influencing everybody you come into contact with.

You were made for a time like this, it's your time to shine - Grace will be your guide in the hallways of your life and your gratitude will open doors that never existed when you were proud.

Don't be stubborn allow grace to guide you and be thankful always, let gratitude be your brand - it's the authentic attitude of gratitude that will open the doors.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Little Voices

They say wisdom comes out of the mouths of babes and I know that is true.

But do we make time to listen to the small voices around us, or are we so sure and certain of ourselves that we never listen to others?

Today my challenge to all of us, including myself is that we take time to listen to the small voices around us ... Our children, the people we come into contact with and those that we work with and even the sounds of nature.

Some of them we have never listened to but they all have something valuable to contribute if we just take a few moments to listen.

Have a wonderful day listening to the beauty of those around us.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Winners vs Losers (The Abundance is ...)

We have all heard the old saying "Winning is not everything, it is the only thing" and the many derivatives of that statement.

Today I want to challenge that thinking paradigm and ask if it is the most abundant way to think, and when we think of abundance, do we think of others? Is winning an abundant thinking pattern for ourselves?

So lets look at the concept of winning: I win because I have prepared and I have become the best, I have put in the hours and I have succeeded against all odds. I am the winner, I am the hero and I am going to try my best to stay on top for as long as I can. Perhaps I can make it to retirement and will still be the best and the winner in everybody's eyes when I retire. Wow would that be an accomplishment and I would be a real hero, a real winner in everybody's mind.

But what if I came second; what if I never quite made it to the top; what if I almost won; what if I crashed out; got divorced and never got my mojo back?

We are taught as follows: Pass or you will Fail; Win or you will Lose; Climb or you might Fall; Keep going Up or you will come Down; Keep Motivating or you will be De-Motivated. So when you get married the world says you have won but getting divorced is failing, and what makes it worse is that we believe all the junk we are fed.

The biggest failing in the winning: "All about Me" culture is that there is no provision made for the person who comes second, the person who fails or the person who gets divorced.

So where is the abundance in losing and failing? 
Well when we learn to take the eyes off ourselves, we become less selfish, we start to notice those around us and we look for the opportunities to help others improve, we learn how to accept failure and thus become a better role model to others - true abundance is thinking of others and their needs above our own.

Am I saying it's okay not to win?
Yes I am, remember to win you need a strong mental attitude. When you fail, you need a stronger mental attitude if you are to project the correct example for others, realizing what you have learnt.

Am I saying be a good loser? 
Yes certainly you need to be a good loser, cause that is what everybody says you must be, the same everybody also said you need to pass and not get divorced. Marriage is wonderful, so is winning and passing, but what if the opposite happens? Being good loser is having an attitude that does not change if you lose, because winning or losing does not define you - who you are defines you and you are sure of who you are.

Are we living abundant lives by only thinking about winning? 

How do we prepare ourselves and increase our Emotional Intelligence for disappointments? 

Is there space in our lives for disappointment?

It is comforting to know that some people agree with us, but we only really grow because of those who disagree with us.
I would love to hear your input so that we may all grow in this area.

I like what Charles Lynch said "You can't be a winner and be afraid to lose."

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Don't Do It - #BlackFriday & Why do our heroes fail us?

It's been an interesting week; things can change drastically from one week to the next either for the good or the bad and our choices determine everything, so think about your choices.

Valentines is all about choices, we can decide whether we are going to make the day special for the one we love or if it is just going to be like every other day in our lives. Which is fine if you are normally very loving to your partner, but if you not it may give you a good excuse to start.

On the thought of attention I remember hearing a story, about a group of men at a men's camp and the facilitator suggested that every man sends an SMS to their partners telling them how much they loved their partners. Well the reaction did not get the desired effect as some of the woman treated the message with suspicion by asking their partners, 'Who exactly was that message intended for?'

Our intention should always be clear before we decide to do something. That's the #BlackFriday message, it's very intention is to raise the awareness within men and other abusers and would be rapists to think about what you would do if you were faced with temptation or a possible situation - it's about thinking and having the emotional intelligence to think through problems before they happen. To decide how you would react, be proactive with your thinking and avoid having to be reactive to the consequences.

So this brings us to our heroes and why they fail us? I want to say at the outset that it boils down to EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and I am going to use our local hero, our golden boy Oscar and I want us to realize we all need to constantly check our reactions because we are not infalible. 

Here I am not talking about the potential premeditation of occurrences this week. I want to take you back to the 100m race at the Para-Olympics where Oscar came second, in my viewpoint Oscar had already won, he was a proud ambassador for South Africa and he was voted amongst Time magazines most influential. He was already a winner and he did not need to win the Para-Olympic race, sure it would of been great but it was not necessary. 

In preparation we often tell ourselves to focus on the goal, yet neglect to check how emotionally prepared we are for the outcome and that might not be the outcome we expected. The old saying goes 'Pride comes before a fall' and we must always remember that we need to be humble, after all it is never all about us - it is about the people we serve. Our fans and followers only expect us to be normal and authentic is what they are looking for.

Authentic is not about skill and how much or how little you have in a particular area, but how real you can be in any situation, that is what people admire and follow.

We fail as people is that we are quick to judge and say 'Look at how Oscar reacted at the Para-Olympics, he really did not do us proud' but instead we should look at Oscar at that moment and say let me help him get his thinking right as he is hurting, let me help him get over these hurts and recover and gain back his place in the hall of fame, but instead we selfishly gloat in the demise.

My thoughts are with all the families concerned and my wish is that you would experience a peace that passes all understanding and as we mourn the death of those we have lost to abuse, rape and crime - we should never forget that the true and authentic message behind #BlackFriday is that 'Hurt people - hurt people'

Monday, 11 February 2013

Business Culture over the Years

Business Culture has changed from a closed rigid environment to that of a social business, which is open and multi connected, something which a few people are still struggling to understand.

Lets look at the three distinct models briefly and try to understand the differences:

A Closed business is the typical business model we learnt about in the 80s, every department doing it's own thing with their won resources and establishing their own empires. After all the bigger your empire and the more people who reported to you, the higher salary you could command on whichever grading system your company had chosen to follow. Sharing was for the children who watched Barney on TV. We must always remember that Closed business systems do resonate with most people as it appeals to our selfish 'all about me ego'.

A Collaborative business on the other hand shares information freely within the organisation, and the more delicate the information is the more careful people are and thus the NDA or Non-disclosure agreement came into being as well as a whole lot of other corporate legal terms and conditions. Authentically if we can't trust each other we should not be in a relationship, I am not sure a legal agreement helps much but it does give the legal eagles a reason to earn your hard earned cash.

The idea behind the Collaborative business is good in that it allows sharing, but only within the inner circle of trust and the organisation, the later usually getting very little of the information that can actually be of benefit to them.

A Social Business is a relational business that is engaged, transparent and can rapidly change. It engages with it's customers, partners and employees in new and exciting ways. It is transparent  in that it opens up and gives direct access to subject matter experts. And its nimble because it can react really quickly when you get the right people together getting the job done.

Arguably every business is a social business because every business has people in it; and people presumably are intrinsically social.  So I don’t think it’s a question of bringing it into the business, I think it’s a question of unlocking it, but just how do we unlock the intrinsically social within us? 

Let's hear your comments about how we can be more engaged in this Social Business model?

Thursday, 7 February 2013


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".

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Twitter is the key to Social Business

Social business is about individuals and businesses engaging effectively in building relationships with customers.

You have a Facebook Page, a website and you may even have a personal or company Blog, statistically it could take three years to reach a critical mass and most people think this is okay, well unfortunately in the old days it took seven years to establish a business. If that was still the case getting a critical mass in three years would of been fine, but things have changed most startup businesses don't make it past the first six months unless you have ridiculous amounts of capital, if you have that sort of money you probably should not be in a startup business!

Okay so after the paragraph of doom and gloom, what is the actual solution?

Twitter is the answer, it may not always be the answer but currently with 40% growth in 2012 and due to the way it works, it is currently the answer.

Personally I started on Twitter at the beginning of May 2011 and in my first year I had grown my following to 30000 and as it stands now I have just over 116 000 followers, if my prediction is correct by the time I reach two years I should have in excess of 150 000 followers.

I will tell you it is not about the amount of followers you have but the knock on effect of having more than just a handful of followers can become very significant in finding the right people who are looking for you and your products / services.

In short Twitter amplifies to the world your activities on your website, your Facebook page and your blog - and there is always someone and more than just some who are interested in you.

I am running a workshop on the 18th February and I invite you to attend and find out how you can leverage Twitter to work with the other Social media platforms that are available.

Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions on how you can leverage Twitter to work with the other Social media platforms that are available.

My details are : Richard 0824131604 
or email:

* In-house courses are available on request *

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Website vs Social Media

Why is my website not working for me like it use to and why should I invest time in being present on social media platforms?

Websites are or were about presence - Social Media is about being present.
It takes commitment, there are no short cuts to good meaningful relationships that are going to make you money.

Are enough people talking about you and the services you offer?

How can you effectively build good relationships with customers and prospective customers using Social Media platforms?

These are questions that are all relevant as we move away from giving our customers the information we think they need to giving them the information they are looking for, it is only through building effective relationships that we will ever know what our customers are looking for.

How can we build better relationships online and through social media so that we can give people what they are looking for?

I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotions are involved in every thought, every decision we make - emotions have the ability to control us if they feel a threat or an emergency.

Emotional Intelligence is twice as important as IQ and technical skills combined.

However in schools throughout the world in the last decade it has been found that IQ is constantly rising and the EQ is consistently decreasing. There is the mistaken perception that children need technical skills to succeed.

Parents in general have bought this lie and left parenting to the schools and have declined to interact with their children because of the emphasis on skills. But lets not blame the parents as we have all been schooled in a system that has lied to us about the results that we will get from it.

Do you understand what I am telling you here? The 40 Year Plan has not worked - no wonder the youth look at this and wonder why they should respect us for being so shortsighted. What example have we being giving our children - perhaps it is not one that demands the respect that previous generations expected from us.

Previous generations spent more time with parents and in interaction than the current generation.

The good news is that ‘Skills for life are teachable’ and you can learn them at any point in your life!

These skills are:
  1. Self Awareness -this is your moral compass, knowing your feelings and why you feel the way you do.
  2. Managing your emotions - Every emotion has a reason. Handling your distressing emotions in an effective way so that they don’t cripple you.
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy - Knowing what someone else is feeling and how they feel about what is happening. 
  5. Social Skills - relationship management.
Oh incidentally Woman are better at empathy and Men are better at motivation.

The best way to manage any situation effectively is to listen.

The best personal brands are emotionally intelligent and they make others want to deal with them and the organisation they represent.

Life is about connections in a world where we are looking for connections, especially with family and our handpicked friends.

Emotional intelligence is about facing your fears - most people run from their fears, but we find the happiest people are the most fufilled because they run towards their fears.

I want to give you a little lesson in love ... When we say that we love someone we often use it very loosely, but in reality those we truly love are the people we want to see grow - if we do not want to see that person grow we do not love them. If we did not love our children we would not want to see them improve and grow. 

We need to be introspective of our lives and look at those we spend time with and ask ourselves if we truly love them or not ... my challenge to you is only spend time with those who you truly love, because more often than not it is those who love us dearly. 

We need to be grateful for those friends who are fearless enough to criticise us and remember that every moment spent with another human is your moment that enables you to express your humanity.

So lets look at what it takes to be emotionally intelligent again:

Self Aware
Interpersonal Abilities

Your intention becomes authentic when you are self-aware.
Emotional self control means staying calm under pressure, and listening well and deeply (having empathy) and seeking first to understand before needing to be understood.

Emotional Intelligence is basically three distinct sections:
  1. Self Awareness
  2. Empathy
  3. Relationship Management

Emotional Intelligence is most important in two fields of life - education and healthcare. The most important aspect of life and relationships is trust. How do we build trust?

This illustration known as the Johari window helps clarify the way we perceive ourselves.


-----------> Your sub-concious is 90% of who you are.

Blindspot diminishes and Facade drops when trust is formed and it opens the door to the unknown you - the part of you where creativity and spontaneity exists in abundance.

You need to feel safe to be spontaneous and creative. 

Their are so many similarities between good teaching and good healing and they are all based within our neo-cortex area of the brain.

The brain is made up of three main parts when it comes to emotional intelligence.

NEO CORTEX (Thinking Brain)
LIMBIC SYSTEM (Emotional Brain)
BRAIN STEM (Survival Brain)

That which we give attention to grows.

We need to get over the old heirachy notion, the old structure - the thinking that I know everything and that others (especially the children) know nothing.

We have believed in the anarchy model for too long, we need to trust the social structure that we were made for - we were made to live in community and that community structure even in the simplest form is self-monitoring and that forms a safe haven of trust around us. 

We don’t need laws to govern us, we are intrinsically good not bad and that enables us to have mutual respect and empathy for others.

Before we get into some of the more practical steps I would like to explain the difference between Emotional and Social Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is self mastery, excellence due to your self efforts.

Social Intelligence is leadership, through influencing, persuading, developing, growing, inspiring and motivating people.

So it can be said that all people once they have acquired the necessary emotional intelligence skills should actually be involved in social intelligence.

Why is EQ Important?
Your performance at work
Your physical health
Your mental health
Your relationships

How do we raise our EQ? You can practice the following skills and within a few weeks you would of found that you have raised your emotional intelligence.

Skill 1
Rapidly reduce stress
  • Realise you are stressed
  • Identify your stress response
  • Discover your stress bust technique

Skill 2
Emotional Awareness
  • Do you experience feelings that flow 
  • Emotions accompanied with physical sensations you experience.
  • Do you experience discreet feelings and emotions?
  • Can you experience intense emotions?
  • Can you experience intense feelings?
  • Do you pay attention to your emotions?

Skill 3
Non verbal communication
  • Focus / Zone-in on the other person
  • Make eye contact
  • Pay attention to nonverbal clues

Skill 4
Use humor and play to deal with challenges
  • Take hardships in your stride
  • Smooth over differences
  • Simultaneously relax and energize yourself
  • Become more creative
  • Embrace your playful nature
  • Set aside time
  • Practice playing - children, animals and other outgoing people

Skill 5
Resolve conflict positively
  • Stay focused on the present
  • Chose your arguments
  • Forgive
  • End conflicts that can’t be resolved 

One of the biggest ways to increase your emotional intelligence is to forgive yourself.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Social Business - Do you still have enough time to think about getting involved?

Social business is still a concept of strategy that some business' wonder if they should implement and others are thinking has the this fad passed us by and what next piece of technology will come to replace  this buzzword.

Well the only thing that you can be sure of in the above sentence is, that some management guru somewhere will find a new buzzword.

Social business is not about technology and the platforms we engage on, those are literally just the tools we use like the typewriters of the old days have been replaced by PC's with word processing software, so will the social media platform you use be replaced by some new and more innovative platform that will access more data and allow you to know the friends of friends and what they enjoy doing.

What will never change is that we are humans desiring interaction and recognition from our peers, our community and even the business' we deal with and spend our hard earned money.

This is exactly where business' have the opportunity to become social and acknowledge the person who is looking for recognition, build a relationship and turn that relationship into a valued client who will gladly spend his money with your business or service.

So instead of wondering which platform to play on, rather decide on how you would like to build relationships with prospective clients, how will you engage with them more effectively, how will you find out what they like and give them what they need as opposed to giving them what you think they need.

To enable this business needs to simplify the way they engage and simplify the rules of engagement so that more people within the organisation are involved. 

Using the different people within your organisation and trusting them that they can effectively communicate with prospective customers, you have not only trusted and empowered the staff, but you have allowed the champions within the organisation to emerge and do what they love best; and that is talk and be social.

When we think Social Business we should be thinking social and not business, because when we think business it is about money and not the people that make up our staff and the clients that bring us the money.

Today is the day to consider the new commitment to Social Business, if you don't there is a good chance that your competitor is doing it already.