The Secrets To Working Remotely

In these next few months, you are likely to experience working remotely for those of you who can. As a solo consultant for over 25 years, here are some tips and tools that work for me, and help to keep me motivated and productive. Being socially and professionally connected remains the same as everyday times. Here are some things that make working from home a great experience: Use your commute time to listen to music, read, or have family discussions...

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Comparing Chefs And Nutrition With Leaders Creating Culture

On Valentine’s evening, my partner David and I dined at Atlas, a contemporary high-end restaurant in Wellington. I had booked several weeks earlier, and indicated I was vegan. The truth is, I’m ‘sort of vegan’. I do eat eggs, the occasional salmon or prawns to ensure I get enough protein particularly when I’m dining out. Why? Many chefs either don’t appear to understand the role of vegan protein if they consider substitutes. One example is olive oil is a great substitute for butter in vegans’...

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Don’t Make Being Late For Meetings Painful For Everyone

Are you ever late for meetings? Including for your own meetings? If others value punctuality, and I do too, the behaviour of the person who is late, and the meeting chair both greatly influence the success of the meeting. There is a lot that can go wrong when people come late, especially if they are the meeting leader. These four simple approaches go a long way to ensure the meeting remains productive: 1. Don’t apologise. Apologies only work if you are...

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Unlikely and Essential Links Among Gymnastics, Travel and the Art of Planning

As a teenage gymnast I was lucky enough to be an Olympic trialist.  I was in the top 10 and that year New Zealand sent only one gymnast. Sadly it wasn’t me. My coach was John MacFarlane, who taught at the local boys high school, and I was the only girl in the gym club. John was an avid traveler and videographer and so, an important part of my training involved watching videos of the world’s greatest gymnasts – Vera Cavslavska and later the daring Natasha...

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What Lessons Does Fictional Detective Montalbano Have For Leaders?

I’m a Detective Montalbano fan and had the chance to visit the sites in southern Sicily where the DVD series are filmed. We were four intrepid fans; a lawyer, a blood scientist, an electronics whiz, me, and our driver and guide, Gulianna. Together we relived the scenes in their location. We visited Montalbano’s local café, where he interviews suspects. We drove to Castello Donnafugata where he met the mafia Don and his henchmen in one episode. Lunch was at Montalbano’s...

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Holidays And Travel Bring Fresh Insights To Life

Being a business owner, I diary my holidays as I plan my year. I discovered that if I didn’t, work would easily swamp my time. Recently I traveled to Venice, Sicily, and then Nice. I am a photographer and gorgeous vignettes are abundant, yet it was the delightful and helpful everyday transactions with the people that made the stay memorable. Several experiences stand out as signs of progress. We have travelled in brand-new planes, trains and buses and landed in...

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What Do Leaders And Lemons Have In Common?

This photo is of lemons from my central city roof garden. I love lemons. From their vibrant colour to sour taste and the fact they are ripe in mid-winter when most fruits are dormant. Lemons are versatile. With this crop, I dried lemon slices for summer drinks, preserved lemons for chickpea tagines, and made cashew nut custard for deserts (recipe here). Spread it on crispbreads with pickles and it makes a great snack. What have any of these features to...

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Who Are The Real Leaders?

Group theory has two main sources of direction in groups. One is leader-led, where the leader provides context and gives direction then the group works on how to implement that. The second source of direction is group-centred, where the group warm-up comes out and significantly shapes the direction. When the two warmups clash and one or other side becomes intractable, mutiny or rebellion as in industrial action or leader-staff divisions result. When leaders accept the emerging direction of the group,...

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Great Leaders Imagine What Is Possible

Leaders who focus on creating better futures for others face just as many roadblocks as the rest of us. What helps leaders navigate these roadblocks, rather than give up and be defeated? The answers lies in creating effective goals. Effective goals are outcome statements describing the future state as if it were current. In my workshops, I am constantly inspired by the goals participants set. Each participant has a vision for themselves and their organisation beyond what they are doing...

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What Cuba Has to Teach Us On Infrastructure

I’ve travelled to over 30 countries and one I had the privilege of staying a week in was Havana, Cuba. My first impressions were of a country in a time warp resulting from little investment in infrastructure over the past 40 years. Castro came to power in 1959 and his revolutionary manifesto implemented free education, literacy, health care, minimum wage, inexpensive utilities and basic staples. These were huge changes and many have endured. What hasn’t endured is ongoing investment in infrastructure, government wages...

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