How being bold can help you be a better leader

Boldness. It's a trait my toddler son exhibits every day. I watch him growing in confidence as his world becomes more and more of an adventure, and it's struck me that he takes risks, he assesses those risks - and then he (literally) jumps in puddles. He laughs and he has fun. We can learn much from watching and observing those around us, seeing the world through their eyes. The best leaders I've worked with and for are those who are bold - not arrogant, but bold. They back themselves, the...
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The email beast – be gone!

Taming the seemingly unending avalanche of email we get each day can be a challenge. But is it possible to make your email work for you, the way you want it to? 'Yeah, nah', I thought - but I'd give it a go, implement some of the ideas I've read and listened to and see how I went. Make your email work for you This is what I discovered and what I've done using Outlook (and Trello more recently) this year. My aims were: Maximise my productivity by following the 'three d' rule - deal...
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The importance of ‘please’

Why it is that I find myself, as a new-ish Dad, quoting my father?... What my father has in spades is manners. As a young teacher he was quickly promoted and ended up leading people at schools he’d previously taught at, having returned, promoted. That would have been a challenge. Colleague one day, then a year or two later, their team leader. And younger. Over summer I spent time with Dad talking about his leadership philosophy and how he managed people, especially as a relatively-yo...
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Why Twitter is a “thanking vehicle”

When you think of Twitter, there are many terms that come to mind.... My initial impression of Twitter prior to my joining in September 2009 was about celebrities yakking on about themselves, and perhaps, a cynic would argue, not much has changed from the ‘old days’…! If all the world’s a stage, then Twitter is our loud, proud and at times infuriating soapbox. There are many reasons why I have a social-media free Monday; watching the #qanda stream is but one. Who needs 15 minutes of fam...
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My uncle’s books

A couple of years ago, after my uncle passed away I inherited Dad’s side of the family’s books. These were the pre-Bond, post-Biggles boys’ own that my father and my uncle (who was ten years older than Dad) received. There were books given to my late grandmother, dated 1908. Imagine – 1908! Dad’s second cousin’s communion book, my grandfather’s tomes from the 1930s including the eerily prescient ‘Must Australia Fight?’. All are there, all silent reminders of eras past, when there was no TV, no I...
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No mistakes, only biscuit nirvana awaiting

Ah, the days of doors that couldn't be opened by an ever-curious toddler. If this week’s been any indication, those days are numbered, as Master G manages to work out how to stand on the very…. top….. of…….. his…… tippy toes…………..and oh, the pantry door opens, wowee. Chuckles ensue. And hello biscuit shelf, I’m Master G. And I’m HERE!!!!!!!! As we discovered Master G's Indian Jones-esque exploring qualities, I also coincidentally came across this brilliant summary of Tina Fey on impr...
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Lessons from Master G: “Ish ok Dad”

My son is awesome. He is a pocket rocket, and at twenty-two months, gone is the baby he was (last week...?!), and a funky little man he is. The other day he also taught me a lesson in keeping it real. Bath time for us is Dad and son time - him bounding upstairs, the ritual him hiding and cackling as I run the bath and then me pretending to have to find him. Dad finds Master G and hilarity ensues. It's what makes being a parent an amazing, humbling experience (and puts the ledger from poo-s...
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What school drop-off taught me about servant leadership

I have learned, I hope, much from watching those whose leadership is a lived reality. Some of the most important lessons I've learned on leadership were through working with principals and business managers when I headed the Association of Independent Schools of the ACT in Canberra some years back. I've previously blogged on the importance of 'clean shoes' - and a further reflection on ‘we’ – not ‘me’ from my time in that role. And so it was with Paul Browning, who is now heading a scho...
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Why Quinn’s Post matters

I wonder if it says more about me than many that I can better describe the key landmarks on the battlefields of Gettsyburg and Antietam than I can Gallipoli. It was with that realisation and the then soon-to-be-aired Gallipoli on Channel 9 that I read Prof Peter Stanley's excellent book - Quinn’s Post, Anzac, Gallipoli. And it worked. I finally get the geography and the criticality of Quinn's Post and the people and decisions that framed it. Stanley's book is a must-read for anyone inte...
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Two from eleven tipped four years ago

Such are the prognostications of armchair selectors, four years ago I boldly predicted the starting XI of the Australian test team for this test summer just gone. They were: Hughes (NSW) Bailey (c) (Tas) Khawaja (NSW) Ferguson (SA) Marsh, M (WA) Smith (NSW) Paine (TAS) O’Keefe (NSW) McDermott (QLD) Hazelwood (NSW) Pattinson, J (VIC) The 1st Test versus India in Adelaide featured the following players: Rogers Warner Watson Clarke (c) Smith Marsh, M Ha...
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