Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter everyone!

Have a great Easter everyone.  Everyday Manager is taking a few days off to unwind, rewind and run a few miles.

Have a great Easter and I will catch you back here again next week sometime!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How engaged are you with your job?

A young man (traditional story) and a young woman meet and fall in love.  They spend their days just being together and spending time discussing their hopes and dreams.  They talk of the future and where they will live, what they will name their children and how many they will have.  The days rush by in a blur and time is of no consequence. 

Have you ever had a job like that?  A job that challenges and motivates you?  A job that makes you look at the wider world and think - I'm in the right place for me right now.

So how can we get those who work for us to approach their jobs in the same way?

  • Purpose.
     When a newly engaged couple go out in public they pretty much have one thing on their mind.  The best for each other.  So how do we develop purpose in our people?  We define the purpose for our businesses and work units.  We thensell that vision to others and let them decide whether or not they want to engage with it.
  • Responsibility.  The jobs I have always enjoyed best are ones where I have been given the opportunity to stretch my wings and make decisions.  Key decisions.  Not just lame decisions but real key decisions.  Get your people to be part of teams and projects that will expand their view and think more of not only their job but themselves as well.
  • Accountability.  Couples with responsibility comes accountability.  Responsibility without accountability is like giving the keys for a ferrari to a learner driver.  When used correctly accountability will enable the people to whom you have given responsibility to have finish times and be able to move on to further projects.  In this way you create a seamless cycle.  What you do need to be aware of is making sure that there are further projects for your staff to progress onto as well...

To be honest there is no secret recipe or fail proof method for getting people to engage in the workplace.  The best thing you can do is allow people to grow themselves within the roles and responsibilities that you give them.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's all a matter of 'Perspective'

Four young men sit by the bedside if their dying father.  The old man, with his last breath, tells them there is a huge treasure buried in the family fields.  The sons crowd around him crying, "Where? where?" but it is too late.  The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of the field to the other.  They find nothing and, bitterly disappointed, abandon the search.

                    The next season the farm has it's best harvest ever.

(Source: The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander).


Some things in life are all about how you see look at them.  It's not the age of the eyes but the perspective and opportinity that the eye's view that makes the difference.

What kind of eye's are you looking through?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Giving out some love to my peeps....

Friday on twitter is the day when people tell everyone else who is worth following.  It's otherwise known as the #FF Friday Follow.  In this blog post I will share the love for some people/tweeps/blogs that I follow and recommend to you all.

Twitter users.

  • @rgoodchild - this very smart lady does a fanmtastic job as a freelance writer/journalist.  She spreads her time between her family, her work and twitter.  Why follow?  Because she's like a box of chocolates  you never know whay you're gonna get!
  • @iceandy - the Icehouse is a business incubator set up and run by Auckland University.  And the person tasked with the immense job of pulling it all together is Andy Hamilton.  Andy is always posting plenty of interesting links and thought provoking stories that stretch our understanding of what it is to be entreprenurial and in business.
  • @rotoruanz - why are these guys good? Because it's where I'm from.  Simple.


  • - I am biased on this one because I have known Paul for years and years.  One thing Paul does right is he is always ahead of the game as far as technology changes and trends.  Pauls latest project is the NZTechPodcast.
  • - this canadian girl is all about the marketing.  She has a great blog and is also a great user of twitter and keeps people up to date what's going on in the world.
  • - these guys and gals serve up all the latest gossip and changes in the world of social media.  The weekly highlight is the Social-Lite video.  This is a 4 minute video that sums up all the comings and goings for the week.
  • - Simone is a marketing/media person who works for the ASB bank.  Her blog is a users guide to social media/blogs/twitter and all things connected to them.  A very pleasent read indeed.


  • DFJ Entreprenurial Thought Leaders Series by Stanford University.  This for me is the premiere business podcast available today.  They have all the best speakers covering a multitude of topics.
  • Manger Tools - these guys cover every scenario under the sun when it comes to management.  They are fully professional, down to earth and super sensible.  Enough said.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Feedback the Toastmasters method

One of the key skills that we practice as Toastmasters is how to give people feedback on their performance.  Feedback happens at every single meeting, every single week for every single person.

We have a three step method for giving people feedback that is tried and true and builds people up rather than pulling them down.  It goes something like this -

  1. Commend.  Start with telling people what they did right.  Focus on the positives of someones performance.  This way you build them up and they are receptive to receive the recommendation that you have for them.
  2. Recommend.  Pick a oint or two (at very maximum three) and let the person know some tips on how they could do better next time.
  3. Commend again.  Find other postive aspects of the person and build them up.  This way you leave people with a positive feeling and the person will know that the next time they will be treated the same way.

The great thing about this method is that it suits everyone no matter what level or how experienced they are.  So for new people you spend a lot of time looking at the positives and for the negatives you start with the surface issues and then build them up again at the end.

For people who have been in the game a bit longer you can focus more on the finer points of their performance and hone in on specific aspects.

Another great thing is that in a Toastmasters meeting you only ever have 2 to 3 minutes to comment on someones performance.  There is no time to spare and no time to waste your words.  So the feedback giver needs to be succinct in their approach and wise in their approach.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Management - the truth of it



This picture has two sides to it.  On one side there is a negative sarcastic connotation but at exactly the same time there is a whole lot of truth in it as well.  Here's my take on it -

  • Sarcastic take.  If people don't get out of my way then I'm goting to run them over.  So they better move it or else they'll be toast!
  • Positive take.  We need to work hard to overcome the fears, rejections, negative thinking of others so that we can spread our wings and soar.

So we need to consciously look at those people around us and think about are they helping us or hindering us from achieving our goals and mission in life?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book review - Blake: Leader

Peter Blake was well and truly one of the great leaders, planners and masters of execution within sport in New Zealand.  He was a gentleman and a scholar.  Of that there is no doubt.

What Mark Orams has managed to do is to pull together the real and tangible aspects of Sir Peter's leadership style and has captured then within this book.  There are a multitude of real life working examples that clearly illustrate the points being made.

From what I understand and have learned from this book is that Sir Peter was both a leader as well as an enabler.  The challenges that he faced werent faced by him and him alone but rater the responsibility and accountability was spread around the team.  


As with any book, photo or description of someone - the ability to capture the X factor is nearly impossible.  There is just no simple method of bottling that essence.  What this book does is it lets the reader get a feel for the magic, a sniff if you like of the chemistry.  When reading this book if you open all your senses then you too may sense the spirit Sir Peter as it wafts past on the breeze.

Feek free to dive into this book at any chapter.  Each chapter in it's own is a stand alone manual on excellence in people management and strategy.  The chapters open wih a direct quote from Sir Peter Blake and then the lessons follow on from that point.  And then each chapter finised with a recap of the general main points followed by specific lessons for leaders.

What I really liked most about this book was the can do attitude of it.  It is written in a way that the average person can implement the lessons of leadership directly into their own lives with ease.  This book is a how to manual.  Here's how you do this followed by here's how you do that.  Down to earth, easy to read, practical in every sense of the word.

The other great thing about this book is that it was written by someone who was there.  Having a writer tell and recall stories from a first hand experience carries much weight and also adds a certain depth and reality that supersede's an intellectual or academic approach from someone else.

If I had to choose one word to sum up this book it would be "Spirit".  Read this book and you too may begin to realise some of the spirit that flowed through Sir Peter flows through you too.




Monday, April 11, 2011

Shifting house and getting serious!

Please bear with me over the next week or two because I am shifting house!  Not literally physically but literally electronically. 

I am moving my content from a free/simple hoster like blogspot or posterous and am taking the plunge into having my content on my own website.  So why do this?

  • To get serious.
  • To be visible.
  • To own my own content.

I am all for using free and simple blogging services to start out with when it comes to having somewhere to place your content.  However when you have a website/product that you have a vested interest in be it – financial, time, blood sweat and tears – then you take it more seriously.

So after two years (which seems like forever already) I am getting serious.  LOL.  So please bear with me if things are a bit erratic for a week or two.  Normal transmission will continue again shortly.

Here's the moral to the story - if you are taking pride in your work and are being serious about what you are doing – then it follows that others will take you seriously as well!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

What is your driving passion?

There is only one true method of being able to stay in love with your work.  That is you must have a passion for what you do and the reasons why you do it.

How is it that people who work for NGO's and not for profits are able to continue with their work in spite of all the criticism, disasters and problems?  They have a passion for what they're doing.

Over the course of this last week I have been listening to a number of podcasts and other media that have all had a similar theme running through them.

Firstly I listened to a message delivered at the Teach for America conference.  The speaker was Jeremy Beard - and he was ALL GOOD!  You can view the video below.  His main theme is about making change in others lives.  using your skills and tools to be the difference.

Then I listened to a presentation by Colin Powell.  He was asked a question by a student at NYU about how we go about changing the world.  His answer was simple - one person at a time.  Yes  that is the best strategy.  It is also the only strategy with a 100% success rate.

Following on from these two listening events I had the opportunity to visit 20 young people who are currently in residence in the local Youth Justice Facility.  These kids have committed some of the worst crimes possible.  Of that there is no doubt.  The 'kids' are aged between 14 and 17 and are incarcerated for various lengths of time.

Why was I there?  I was one of a group who were tasked with letting these kids know what work and career options there are for them in the world.  These kids despite what they may have done are still human.  They have real feelings, real emotional need and real hopes and dreams.

My sincere hope is that through the 2 hours I was able to spend with them that maybe, just maybe, I have planted new seeds of hope while watering seeds already planted.  And that some of those kids get a vision for a life that is bigger than them.  Bigger than the wire fences that they live behind.  And bigger than the pasts they have to live with.

So what is my passion?  What is it that keeps me moving forward and my heart ticking?  People.

He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata. What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people.

I would happily do any job in the world provided I knew that I was making a direct difference in someone else's life.  End of story.

I have watched these next two videos and exhort you to do the same.  That way you to may just remember your passion and what it is that drives you.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cheerleaders - supporting the team.

One of the biggest and best things you can do to support and encouraqge your team is to tell others about how good they are.

This is what I call Cheerleading.  By cheerleading I mean that you as a manager and a leader stand on the sidelines and cheer on your team.  You don't jump into the game, you don't take over when things aren't going too well.  But what you do do is yell, scream, cheer and encourage on those people who are in the game.

And while you are cheering on your team you are telling everyone else just how great your team is and how much you think of them, how much you support them and the fact that you think that they are the best team in the whole wide world!

Cheer them on.  Wish them the best and help them achieve their best.  That is what cheerleading is all about.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Dilemma's - what do I do to solve this?

A dilemma (Greek: δί-λημμα "double proposition") is a problem offering at least two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable. (Source: Wikipedia)

How often do you have dilemmas at work?  You are working towards creating a solution or are trying to work out a problem but no matter what you do there are going to be ill consequences.  Those consequences can either directly or more often indirectly affect you.

Dilemmas are often things we try very hard to steer away from and to avoid.  But when we are faced with a dilemma I recommend you consider these things before you go forward -

  1. Who will this decision effect.  Map out the parties and persons that will ultimately be affected by your decision.  Think how about who will be directly/indirectly affected and what will happen with those people?
  2. How will this decision affect people.  Some decisions will have limited impact while others will have wide riplle effects. 
  3. When will this decision take affect.  You may not be able to avoid making a decisions but it is better to let key affectted people know well before the fact when you can.

Here is what I recommend.  Draw a series of circles within circles and map out the two scenarios using those circles.  Start with the directly affected people in the middle of the pond and then work your way outwards.

Consider such things as - financial impacts (them and you), people affected, the timeline, the strength of the affect on people, the amount of work that will be left behind and how many other people may you need to employ to offset the loss?.  For example - the person at the centre of the pond will have the highest % of affectedness.  Then in each ripple ring out from the centre the % of affect will decrease.

Then you can overlay the two and make a decision based on those facts.  A dilemma simply put is making the best choice yu know how using the information that you have available to achieve the best outcomes for all involved.

The worst thing you can do when you face a dilemma is to be an ostrich, put your head in the sand and hope it will go away.  What you really need to do is be clear, make a decision and move on.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Funny - Tips for success in life

Want to succeed at study? Want to go the best results you have ever achieved?  Then I recommend you follow these ten tips for success -

Get up early (five o’clock)
Go to bed early (nine to ten o’clock)
Eat little and avoid sweets
Try to do everything by yourself
Have a goal for your whole life, a goal for one section of your life, a goal for a shorter period and a goal for the year; a goal for every month, a goal for every week, a goal for every day, a goal for every hour and for evry minute, and sacrifice the lesser goal to the greater
Keep away from women
Kill desire by work
Be good, but try to let no one know it
Always live less expensively than you might
Change nothing in your style of living even if you become ten times richer

(Source: Leo Tolstoy.  Prolific writer and academic).



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