Cultivating a Professional Network takes time and effort, it is not set and forget but when you build the network that aligns with your interests and career aspirations it can be the difference between success and failure to launch. The connections we make at school, university and our first job all go on to have their own careers sometimes we maintain and build on those connections cultivating a professional network but other times we let potentially important relationships wither and become forgotten. Think about the fact that according to the Wall Street Journal as many as 80% of leadership jobs are not advertised. Learning about career opportunities that might suit your skills, having someone to recommend you or be a referee these are people in your professional network. But it is not limited to career progression, having a strong advisory network can be the difference from you being successful inContinue Reading

Do something purposeful

Purposeful leadership motivates individuals, empowers teams to achieve their greatest potential, provides clarity to organisational priorities and goals and connects everyone to broader societal goals. Purposeful leadership starts with clarity about your own purpose, and that can be difficult to get clear (at least at first). Pan Pan (founder of Swiss advisory firm Pantera Ventures) suggests that leaders wanting to identity their true purpose, need to start by considering the end of their careers. Consider the “end game”, where do you personally hope to be and what does success look like to you? Think about career achievements, what do you hope to have accomplished? What kind of impact will you make? What legacy, however small, would you like to leave behind? Leadership coach and author Mitchell Simon explains that one important aspect of being purposeful in leadership is to continually seek out feedback. Enabling the leader to better reflect ifContinue Reading


How do you go about convincing a boss, colleague or stakeholder that there is another way? The subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) art of persuasion is an important skill to build to ensure that the loudest voice is not the only choice. In a recent article for the Harvard Business Review, Adam Grant writes about Steve Jobs, a man legendary for his genius and for how difficult it was to influence him. The main thesis of this really excellent article is that “much of Apple’s success came from his team’s pushing him to rethink his positions. If Jobs hadn’t surrounded himself with people who knew how to change his mind, he might not have changed the world.“ Persuasion has been a successful topic for business writers and there are numerous books available on the topic. Jobs however was notoriously difficult to influence and Grant tracked down and spoke toContinue Reading

The importance of innovation to help a firm stay ahead of its competitors is a regular topic for business and academic texts. Connecting innovation to purpose is about ensuring the magic of innovation is resonating deeply in the emotional drivers and values of staff responsible for ensuring its success. This is aligned to the question Simon Sinek asks when he says “Start with Why”. He writes about how leaders make the connection between an idea and what drives or motivates them (individual purpose). “Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.“ Simon Sinek – Start With Why 2011 Innovation is the way that successful companies grow. Innovation is the way new products and services are identified, provenContinue Reading

Can you find your life’s purpose in nine boxes? McKinsey research has developed a really interesting analysis to better understand what uniquely motivates each of us, using a familiar nine box model. As you unpack the model you note there is an X/Y axis that looks at the influence of SELF/OTHERS and AGENCY/INTEGRATION on our purpose. The dynamic of the axis is to better understand the influences on our values. The horizontal axis represents the ‘target’ of our personal activities, the values that reflect who we are in our personal lives. The vertical axis represents the underlying ‘motives’ for our work activities, which as the authors state ranges “from our drive to expand our sense of self to our drive to cooperate and unite with the world around us. While each of us are individually aligned to a specific mix of values, McKinsey research has identified three value combinations thatContinue Reading

This year has been tough on everyone. I think that everyone is dealing with exhaustion. The pandemic, a global recession, working from home, studying from home, everyone home. What started as a refreshing change became challenging as families juggled work and home responsibilities. The constant fear of the pandemic as numbers grew then fell and then grew again. The recession and its its dramatic flow on impact to employment and financial security. This DIGEST comes from an article by Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group. Scott wrote about his own exhaustion this year and how his wife helped him with a process to getting life back in order. What Do You Do When You Are Dealing With Exhaustion Admit to yourself that you are exhausted – The first step with dealing with a problem is recognising that an it exists. No one can do their best work when they areContinue Reading

The power of saying no comes from being able to make a choice. When we choose to say no, we create a space for prioritising better things to say yes to. That’s the premise of this article. Kat Cole helps us understand we all have finite resources and important choices to make. Being able to say no to others (and ourselves) is a powerful muscle. It can help in building a strong career and a happy life. Failing to say no, (at the very least), can cause us to miss something bigger or greater.  Kat Cole It is when we take on work or activities that we should have declined. That is when we risk burnout, stress, high opportunity costs and more. Guidance on How to Start ‘Saying No’ When asked take on an activity, a job, volunteering, investment, donations, etc.. What we need to consider is how we goContinue Reading

Its going to happen, one day you will be working in a team and face challenges with an individual. Personality challenges with high conflict people happens in all teams and all organisations. Some people may feel incredibly negative to you. They may always need to have the last word. Some people love to split hairs on the finer details. Other people are complainers, blamers or flamers. There are those that wont follow process. Others who will only follow process to the letter. So knowing that we all deal with these people at different times, how can you best manage that relationship to be as productive as possible. Avoid Assuming Intent It is the classic mistake. You are offended or frustrated by the individual and so you already rationalise that the behaviour is deliberate, personal and it is them (not us) that need to change. Our brains have a confirmation bias,Continue Reading

I recall receiving some of the harshest criticism from a leader who also contributed an enormous amount to helping my career. We will all get criticised at times and it is important to consider why you are getting the feedback when you are responding to critics. Amazing as it may seem not everyone agrees with you. Not everyone likes you. You need to know when and how you can make your point. It is easy to over react when responding to critics and Dan Rockwell provides some guidance. As RBG famously said – “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf..When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken it is best to tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade” Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” attributed to Aristotle Reflect Don’t RetaliateContinue Reading

You don’t have to look very far on the internet to come across articles on Jim Kwik, the boy with the broken brain how he taught himself to hack the brain to learn fast. This article compiles input from a number of sources, Jim himself is prolific in self promotion but there are a number of other articles and collectively here is what I have learned. Apparently Kwik suffered a brain injury when he was young, which caused him to have a number of problems learning. When he was in college he was struggling with school even considering dropping out. After spending a weekend with his roommate’s family he was encouraged to write a bucket list. That list helped him realise the only way to achieve it was to improve, so he read all the available texts on problem solving and memory. [F] ORGET The logic is to not letContinue Reading