Thoughts

How to Deal With the New and Different

I’ve just spent a couple of weeks in Japan with my family and some good friends. I’d never been to Japan before, and the culture was totally new to me. As we landed, I was filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension. I’d heard plenty of stories about the challenge of finding your way […]

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Culture Lives Here

I was recently leading a workshop for managers on how conversations shape culture. I noticed most of the managers were operating from a context of their formal conversations – the ones behind closed doors, or the ones they had scheduled in their calendars. Without thinking too much, I found myself drawing this on the board. […]

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What’s Your Secret Source?

Most days when I’m home in Wellington, I take a three minute walk down my street to the local coffee shop for a fix. And not just a fix of coffee. Also a fix of inspiration. This morning, my good man Roger and I chatted away as he made my usual flat white. And then […]

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(En)lighten Your Perspective

On my recent windsurfing trip in Western Australia, I noticed an interesting social dynamic. One evening, our crew were sitting and chatting around the campfire. From memory, we were talking about the gay marriage debate that was raging in Australia a couple of years ago. Not a light subject, to be sure. There were two […]

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Walk the Line Between ‘Make’ and ‘Let’

For years, Nike’s tagline has been ‘Just Do It.’ It encourages us to act, not wait. The promise is that we’ll be better off having acted decisively rather than having waited tentatively. Nike’s message is a good one. If you want to make anything happen, you’ve got to act. You’ve got to have agency. I’ve […]

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Mr Pies & Fries

Down the road from my place there’s a takeaway shop called “Mr Pies & Fries.” I’ve never been in there, yet it always grabs my attention. Not because the sign is anything special. It’s because I know exactly what I’m going to get when I do go in there. There’s nothing ambiguous about it. If […]

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The Best Leadership Course I Ever Did

I’ve been on some great leadership courses throughout my career. I’ve had great teachers. I’ve been exposed to brilliant ideas. And through the shared experience of a course, I’ve developed a rich network of colleagues, many of whom I still connect with today. But none of those courses can compare to the best leadership course […]

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What it Means to be a Role Model

A lot of local councils here in New Zealand have recently declared a climate change emergency in their districts. Now, you might think that a bunch of local councils in one of the world’s smaller countries aren’t going to make much of a difference, especially to the global situation. And you might be right. Then […]

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How to be Unruly

I was navigating my way through Sydney airport last week. It was a busy time of day, with plenty of travellers clogging the space. There were big lines everywhere. I was travelling with a group of colleagues. We all knew each other well and we were in a fun, playful mood. And when we encountered […]

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Own the Moments Between.

I was watching my son’s rugby game on the weekend. They took a hammering. And I reckon I know what happened. First, there were the ‘set pieces’. That’s where the game pauses for a bit, usually due to a penalty being given, or a try being scored. The team with the ball takes a moment, […]

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