Barriers to Sustainable High Performance: OR vs AND

HPT AND imageCan you have your cake and eat it too?

High Performance Teams that achieve sustainable results over the long-term have two co-existing top priorities focusing on maximising both Achievement and Engagement simultaneously. [Read more…]

My Leadership Fails: Team Failure & The Abilene Paradox

TSS Toxic Workplace

“When performance drives relationships business success is inevitable. However, when relationships drive performance, the urge to maintain the status quo will lead to  failure”

“More teams (and businesses) are ultimately destroyed by unhealthy people-pleasing than by overt hostility and aggression”

A boardroom drama I will never forget: “What do you mean ‘we may be insolvent’? How much cash do we need? Why did we all agree to pay a dividend at the last board meeting if cashflow is so poor?” This team of directors was in trouble! Yet they were all highly competent, capable and overtly supportive of each other.

How did they get into such a mess? The answer lies in an insidious strain of conflict avoidance known as ‘people-pleasing’. This form of conflict avoidance has contributed to a range of major disasters including financial catastrophes, major industrial accidents, plane crashes, shipping disasters and company destroying product failures. [Read more…]

My Leadership Fails: Soft vs Kind

Courage Sailor“Smooth Seas Do Not Make Skillful Sailors” African Proverb

I have confessed to a life of ‘people pleasing’ at work – giving in to the demands of others – rescuing them from their problems – only to be hated and vilified when eventually I put some boundaries in places and said ‘no’. I felt confused and bewildered by this until recently, when I got to spend the day with Liz Wiseman – HR Guru and author of ‘Multipliers’ and she shared some insights that dramatically changed my approach to leadership at work! [Read more…]

Summertime Sadness: The Loneliness Trap

Summertime Sadness“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Plato

“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out” J. Buck

The summer festive season is upon us once more and for many (myself included) it is a bittersweet time of the year. The chance to slow down and take a break from the chaos of everyday life and catch up with family and friends can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing of relaxing and unwinding and re-connecting with family and friends can also become the curse of unexpected illness, stress, interpersonal conflict and loneliness.

Like so many other parents in separated families, the festive season is a mixed blessing for me. My children spend each alternate Christmas with me so the festive season can be either an intense high-energy family time or a quiet time of reflection, rest and solitude.

In either case, the expression ‘the cup can be either half empty or half full’ can apply. [Read more…]

Success Secrets 3: Happiness & The Self-Sufficient


“Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.” Aristotle

“You cannot give what you do not have.” Unknown

In this special ‘Success Secrets’ series we are looking at the hidden gems of wisdom that are often overlooked or misunderstood when the Challenging Waves of Life disrupt our Life Strategy to Live The Endless Summer. In this article I want to have a look at the very powerful and practical words of Aristotle who said: “Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient”.

I love this quote, as it is indeed true that people who are self-sufficient are usually happier than those who have to rely on others constantly to survive. However, it is important not to confuse being self-sufficient with being selfish or being alone and isolated. [Read more…]

Wake Up Call: Stop Talking & Start Caring!


“Actions speak louder than words…” Mark Twain

Have you ever had a ‘wake up call’ about how you live your life? I had one the other day – a moment where I suddenly got some deeper perspective about the difference between my daily hassles and first world problems and the much more profound problems many people face in their lives…

I was chatting with my friends over dinner one evening and the conversation topic was around defining moments in our lives. As we all spoke about different events that had shaped our lives my friend began telling me about an incident during his early twenties, which had left some deep emotional scars. [Read more…]

Success Secrets: Dream With Your Eyes Wide Open!

IMGP0492We all dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. T. E. Lawrence

Have you ever met someone who seemed to ‘have it all’? Happy and relaxed, a free spirit full of adventure, open to the universe, at ease with the challenges of life… able to cope well with setbacks, yet still somehow achieve all their goals in the various areas of their life – work, play, relationships and family… [Read more…]

Family Indecision: NOT Deciding IS Deciding!


‘Whilst I may not have the key to success, I do know that the key to failure is trying to please everybody’  

‘Does the dog wag the tail or is the tail actually wagging the dog?’ 

Has this ever happened to you?

Scene 1: You are having some family discussions about a forthcoming holiday and discussing a range of possible activities only to here your kids say “I don’t mind” or “Whatever”… You then go ahead and book the activities only to be told later – “I don’t want to do that activity…” Or worse, during the activity the kids are withdrawn and bored ruining it for everyone… [Read more…]

Difficult Conversations: Aggression, Manipulation & Emotion

Difficult Conversations 2Have you ever had to have a ‘Difficult Conversation’ with someone? Have you ever had to say ‘no’, set limits, or provide feedback about bad behaviour to someone at work, at home or in the community? The other day I had to provide some feedback to someone as part of conflict resolution in their workplace and they got really upset and started shouting and then subsequently complained about why their manager and peers had not given them feedback sooner….. [Read more…]

Family Values: Under Pressure & Celebrating Success!

IMG_5645“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything” Unknown

What are your family’s core values? What are the foundation stones, the key principles, the non-negotiables that provide a guiding light to show your family the way ahead when facing the challenging Waves of Life? [Read more…]