The search for secrets of great leadership often begins by searching for answers about how to influence others, change them, guide them, or develop them. But the true secret to great leadership is to first attend to the most important, most rewarding, and most life-changing step on the journey: to develop yourself.
Few of life’s rich and important experiences unfold at top speed. Slowing down is the key to rest, recovery and replenishing your energy. Slowing down is the recipe for caring, connecting and relating to others. Slowing down is the only way to experience beauty, to learn something new, and to become comfortable in your own skin. A few simple and enriching changes can bring these benefits into your life now.
Letting go is a real art. We live in a world where we regularly hear that achieving more means “doing more”. But often the fastest way to your desired destination is not a straight path. Backwards can be the secret pathway forward, and unless you hone the art of letting go, you will find yourself resisting these many magical pathways. Try these 3 tips to let go during your days off, and rediscover your joy.
In 2012 we published our first book with Hay House Australia. It was an exciting journey, starting with a snap decision to attend the Hay House Writer’s Workshop in 2011, submitting a book proposal as part of their workshop competition, hearing the news in December that we won the competition, then actually writing the book! After speaking at a number of the Australian Hay House Writer’s Workshops, and being part of the online program, we wrote some tips for aspiring authors in 2014, and we’ve reproduced that blog again to help those pursuing their passion to write.
Courage. This is the one thing that you're not told when you sign up for a leadership job or go for an interview. Leadership, or going first always takes courage. And it means often you'll be highly uncomfortable. To be the first person to call something out or to offer an idea, you always run the risk that you could get rejected, that people could laugh at you or that people could not take up your idea.
Amplify Your Greatest Strengths
Last year I went for a radio interview and as I was just about to go on air I said to the announcer, "Do you have any tips?" And he said, "Can you just bring twenty percent more of your personality?"
At the time I thought that he must have found my style a bit bland and beige and monotone, but I asked about it later and he said,
Are you a leader?
Only 10% of people in a company will answer yes to this question. But what if you were to consider a different question? Do you identify with any of the following characteristics?
Flexible and adaptive, Kind and compassionate, Thinks differently, Inspires others, Curious. The majority of people would say yes to at least one of these. It may surprise you that many business magazines report these exact characteristics as the ones that will be required of leaders, both now, and in the next decade.
Today’s leaders are living and leading in unprecedented times. Never before has a generation of leaders been required to navigate the level of complexity, uncertainty and change, and it’s escalating fast. Modern day leaders are writing the text books (in fact the history books) and paving the new way as they walk it. And there are new questions all leaders should be asking themselves. Find out what they are here.
Good stories are not necessarily those that involve unique or exceptional circumstances. Good stories are ones that follow a few simple rules to ensure they trigger the maximum response in the listener's brain. The maximum response is achieved when you switch on 4 mental faculties: curiosity, visual imagination, emotion, and self reflection. Find out how to you can switch them on.
Can you feel the virus of busy-ness in the air? Kids finish school, friends want to catch up, holiday plans must be made, and presents ticked off the shopping list. And then there are the looming work deadlines...suddenly the festive season feels more frantic than fun! It's supposed to be a time of joy, giving, peace, connection, rest and reflection. So try these tips to rediscover meaning amid the madness!
The tension in the room was palpable. Colleagues were standing in pairs, some talking, some not. While those in conversation were smiling and animated, the silent pairs were clearly uncomfortable. It was a simple activity conducted for a leadership workshop, in which pairs shared their thoughts on a particular topic without any preparation time. As the first pair finished, they turned and one asked, ‘What do we do now?’
Being a leader in today’s fast paced, “always on” world is a challenge. The change, uncertainty and complexity leaders experience today is unprecedented. This environment requires a new style of leadership and different capabilities to the ones seen in the last decade. Experience, technical expertise and qualifications won’t necessarily provide the entry pass to success in a leadership role. In the future, companies will be looking for something different. These are the top leadership skills that you will see taking priority in business in the next ten years.
If you want to do more of the things that matter, and less of the things that don't, it's important to value liberal doses of doing nothing. The greatest leaps forward, not just throughout history, but for every one of us in our regular lives, rely on our willingness to stop and hear the whisper-quiet voice of our own deep knowledge and wisdom.
Last night I watched one of my favourite movies for the umpteenth time: The Last Samurai. Yes, Tom Cruise is in it, but this is not why I love it. It's because every time I watch it I am reminded of some simple and powerful truths. The line that always gets me comes when the characters are discussing Bushido, the code for the Japanese Samurai: "to know life in every breath, every cup of tea". It's a deceptively simple statement, but it is loaded with a powerful message as we navigate our fast-moving and distracted world.
Despite the worldwide trend of increasing working hours, the fact is that working any longer than the traditional 40-hour working week is a sure way to lower your productivity and effectiveness. From as far back as the early 1900s, studies have repeatedly shown that worker productivity improves when working hours are reduced from sixty to forty hours a week. In fact, researchers at Stanford University have been unable to find any studies showing that extending work hours delivers higher output in any field. When it comes to achieving outcomes, more is not always better.