A simple method for eliciting powerful contributions

“By shifting our preparation to clarify the purpose of every agenda item discussions radically improve” Diana Jones How many meetings have you been in where despite the latent around the table, the discussions have been all over the place, littered with red herrings, point-scoring, and off-topic? How on earth does this happen? Funnily enough, few of us have been taught how to participate in groups. Most of us think achieving the task is the most important reason that we are...

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Denial or acceptance?

“Winning is important for confidence and losing is necessary for learning” Dr Rakesh YashRoy I love high-performance sport and have enjoyed the feast of tennis, football, rugby, and now the Olympics. One standout moment for me was the rivalry between the Italians and the English in the Euro 2020 football final. Both teams have over 50 years since their last win. There was a lot at stake. Soccer is one of those oddities where players are paid millions, yet a...

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The great lie that New Zealanders don’t want to work

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart” Rumi Why is it Aotearoa New Zealand is using immigration to prop up industries like rest home care, fishing, chefs, seasonal work, and IT sectors? Why don’t New Zealanders want these jobs? The assumption that locals don’t like these jobs is simply untrue. Locals don’t like these jobs most likely because they are treated poorly by employers, and they aren’t...

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Belonging – Whakapapa – you belong here

“The most powerful narcotic in the world is the promise of belonging” Kalle Lasn What a great book Owen Eastwood, Ngai Tahu, has written. Every leader in New Zealand, in business, sport and communities, should read this. If you want to know how to create a sense of belonging and inclusion in organisations, generating high performance, this book is for you. Three things stand out: • Eastwood is a consummate storyteller. The stories in the book include both personal stories...

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On the spectrum or just bad behaviour?

  “For change efforts to be successful, behaviours must be altered. If behaviour isn’t altered, we’re doomed to repeat past mistakes.” Peter Drucker Hosting Saturday Night Live in Mid-May, Elon Musk said that he has Aspergers. This might come as a relief to some who want to explain his erratic behaviour, outbursts and wild accusations. The definition of the disease is: “A form of autism spectrum disorder that is less severe than other forms, characterized by difficulty with social interaction...

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Reflections from Auckland’s Readers and Writers week

  “Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything whether it’s a relationship, a business or a hobby.” Neil Strauss What struck me about Auckland’s Readers and Writers week was the generosity of this programme.  There were many free events alongside paid-for events. Each was packed. I went to Siobhan Harvey’s launch of her new poetry book ‘Ghosts’ and heard 5 poets including my friend Maris O’Rourke recite her riveting poem Kintsugi. I met and had a chance to talk with Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle...

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Transitions: From subject matter specialist to leader

  “The real trick in life is to turn hindsight into foresight that reveals insight.” Robin Sharma Last year I had the privilege to coach a specialist art teacher, Paddy O’Rourke as he took on his first leadership role as head of the art department in an Auckland College late in 2019. At year-end, Paddy and I had a conversation on some of the challenges he faced, what he had found satisfying, and what he had learned. Making the transition...

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Something old, and wonderful!

  “Innovation is a mixture of the old and the new with a dash of surprise.” Al Etmanski A long-time colleague of mine Dr Maris O’Rourke spotted this in the Nelson Airport shop last weekend. My first book Leadership Material is number 28 on their list of 50 best sellers! It has just slipped in front of Lee Child’s The Midnight Line. You can get your copy at any of the airport bookstores or on kindle or paperback on Amazon....

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Falling Off Our Foils

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should do about it: admit it, learn from it, and never repeat it.” Paul Bear Bryant Leadership teams who have values and behaviours are always going to fail. That they do fail isn’t the main point. The main thing is what do they do when they inevitably fail? That is the secret to their success. Teams willing to review their failure to ‘back one another’ or retain their ‘generous...

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