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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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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Leadership: Up to your shoe laces

Recently I came across this piece from @michelhogan on Smart Company about the importance of shoe laces. Really. You should read it, as I reckon it's a great read. It reminded me of an experience I had a few years back as a lobbyist, when I was nervously awaiting my turn to speak to a school hall of teenage boys about leadership. Often I find Twitter is overloaded with self-help stuff. Countless '10 ways to teach your Nan/CEO/pet to tweet'. Some of it is very good; some of it, well, not...
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What ER’s Dr Mark Greene and Eddie McGuire have in common

There’s a strong parallel between the opening episode of ER and Collingwood President Eddie McGuire’s handling of the racial slur directed at Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes. In the episode, a newly-minted senior ER doctor Mark Greene in the midst of a (fictional) crisis in his unit is counselled by a senior colleague thus: You set the tone…You set the tone Mark. It’s a good metaphor for good leadership; and particularly for crisis communications.   This post can be read in full ...
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Ten things I’ve learned in a week of ‘working from home’

With recent changes to my career, two weeks ago I began the adventure of building my own public affairs consultancy and also developing rapidly The Armchair Selector. Since then, I've learned and reflected on a number of principles for working from home and how to maximise my productivity. Love to hear your experiences and thoughts 1. Wear shoes: It's easy to slouch around in house wear, after all, who will see you? A friend suggested it's good to have shoes on - and the rest follows. My '...
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Building The Armchair

It started months ago with mucking around on the digital camera, talking about cricket. From there, an upload to YouTube and hello, what’s this – hello iMovie! Sometimes ideas evolve, and as I sit back now a few weeks after the launch over Easter of our sports-based fan-written website The Armchair Selector, it’s timely I stop and reflect on what can be achieved with an idea, open communication and a clear direction. Along the way I’ve reconnected with some skills I’ve missed using as ...
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Reviewed – High Wire Act: Ted Rogers, by Caroline Van Hasselt

Where to start in reviewing this 520-page tome? WHAT a book. This book is not just a biography on Canadian media / technology owner and magnate, Ted Rogers, although that's what I bought it for. It is much, much more than a biography, providing detailed insights into the personality and drive of Rogers, whose name adorns cable, sports, wireless and many other businesses in Canada. As well as the personal history of Rogers, the book goes into at times excruciating detail into junk bonds, merg...
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“You’ll be fine, you’ve got clean shoes.”

Funny thing, nerves. Sometimes they appear when you least need them - like when you're about to get up and speak! Three years ago I stood at entrance to a school hall full of high school-aged boys and their parents and teachers at a school in Canberra, as guest speaker for their commencement assembly for the year. I'd been to the school countless times as part of my role for work and had a cup of coffee with the headmaster beforehand. We then walked down to the hall and he went on stage. I...
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