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Thanks to Kirk Weisler with his post Growth can look like Destruction… for the inspiration behind this post. Here is the quote that stirred me.


Sometimes I have found the concept of ‘change requires growth and it’s tough’ can be presented as, well, a bit of a platitude. I’m pleased Kirk’s isn’t and I wanted to push harder, drawing on the wealth of experience I have in the times I have failed to change and grow myself! I know many times I’ve commented on being willing to change “Yes, I believe in learning and self development and I can cope with the discomfort of that. Yeah yeah yeah, ‘let’s change and grow!'”

Yet when the real discomfort, sometimes immense pain hits, my willingness appeared to evaporate. I think this is most often because the true opportunities to change don’t prop their heads up and nicely say to you, “Hi there, I’m an opportunity for change and this situation is presenting you with that chance, so let’s work through this.”

No, it comes disguised, most often as a tough, even brutal situation, an awful challenge, a lost client, a damaged or struggling relationship at work, with my children, and rather than look inwardly at myself and what I need to do to be ‘completely undone, my shell cracked and my insides coming out’…

I run and hide, or respond emotionally inappropriately, or I simply numb it down with pleasures that make me feel better, while the true core of those issues remain.

Of course pleasure used in that sense never helps the situation, or me to get through it, it’s more like putting a band aid over a 8 inch cut, it’s ineffective.

I find the visceral reality of change in Cynthia Occelli’s quote and my possibly more brutal embellishment of it is so helpful.

I find it helps because naming the events that are change opportunities with clarity, helps us identify and respond, instead of running, numbing and pain killing.

Then we can truly do what the great minds, incredibly effective and great leaders do, which is to embrace the opportunities, think outside what is happening and still feel pain but know that the ultimate best outcome for growth lies only in what a wonderful speaker, Richard Rohr, often says…

“Don’t get rid of the pain until you’ve learned its lessons”

… for if we don’t, the pain is wasted and growth impossible.

Growth is painful, but worth it.


I hope you find this as enriching as I did. If you were after a reflection for today or this week, I encourage you to have a read and let me know what you thought or felt.

As I read it, it took me to reflect on when I lost my own father at the age of 14. I was ‘blessed’ to a certain degree with a level of comprehension of ‘living with the end in mind’ as a result. It has truly shaped my outlook on life, yet still I have so much to learn of course. This ‘living with the end in mind’ is very much like ‘beginning with the end in mind’ isn’t it and each day is truly a beginning.

I found it encouraging of things to focus on in my life and despite my own infusion of the value of life through my father’s loss I still read this article and understood there were areas I needed so much more to focus on.

I also found it such a magical article in light of the journey many make in a palliative situation, and also how it connected me to some degree with some understanding of what Dad might have gone through. It made me a little sad and a little happy at the same time as I approach the age myself where he did leave us for a better place.

I have a tear in my eye as I reflect upon how intertwined his heart still remains in mine and those of my wife and children through me. This article helped me also look upon the ways I fail them and where I could love them more as is my privileged role to perform.

It goes without saying that leaders do begin with the end in mind and the truly great leaders, live with the end in mind.

Lead anyway,


Is it possible!!!???

I read the following blog post and my first feeling was “I’m just trying my hardest to be awesome at ONE thing!” Then I realised that that blog post was a lot about working hard in many areas and getting the most out of ourselves in all the different supporting skills to be the most awesome we can be!

I have to say that it is my belief that finding that one thing to be awesome at is the very thing that should be the focus of our lives. At a professional, which should truly be, a vocational level, I do believe that if we can all find that one thing that sits in our natural set of gifts and resonates with us, then that is truly the thing we should pursue.

It’s true you’ll find in the blog post that in fact the very first point does talk about following your passion. I think though that in addition to that one thing we find our way into, there are always supporting skills and areas we need to work hard at improving, lest we make excuses like “Oh, I’m not like that” when we might very well become like that with a bit of hard work.

I thought the points in the blog were great and of course the main point is that if we work hard enough at anything, we can get better at it and many will do so, who are truly seeking to lead anyway.


As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. (Nelson Mandela).

A great man… a great leader … and how easy it is for us, not to have even been imprisoned to walk out of our gate with a daily does of bitterness and hatred for all those we’ve had in our life we deem worthy of it and to let it unwittingly impact our lives and relationships. Anything that holds us back to viewing anyone with the eyes of wisdom and understanding will truly stop us from leading.

Nelson understood this like so many other great people, and knew as a leader despite all he had been put through, it didn’t matter, he knew how to lead anyway.


What’s on my mind? This SO IS… please do yourself a favour and watch it. It’s so funny and so packed with needed truth.

The world seems to be heading towards a collective groundswell of ‘entitlement mentality’ at break neck speed. Our appreciation for the amazing wanes as familiarity steals our sense of awe. The unfortunate outcome being the selfish outlook that can result and a lack of outward focus and thinking…

“I’ve been inconvenienced or don’t have this or that luxury so SOMEONE’S GONNA PAY AND THAT’S MY RIGHT!”

Ask a dying man on the streets of Calcutta what he considers a luxury… to live.

On your next business flight, or personal trip for a holiday. Stop, look out the window and just say “Wow, look at that, I’m above the clouds. Amazing!” You won’t have to tell your kids to, they’ll already be saying it… they haven’t been as affected by the folly of the entitlement that so many of us in the world enjoy. And hopefully they never will…

And leaders aren’t either.

Thanks to Kirk over at T4D for sharing this. Kirk’s post where he shared this is here:

Just watched

And had to share. I found it a great summary of similar info that’s been sent around on this for some time/recently. Daniel Pink ties it all up in a bow and presents it well, one of those I couldn’t stop watching. As I’ve sought to remain engaged and exited whilst doing the same for our team team, I’ve found that the thing that gets most people going the most is the connection with doing something great, being part of something big, essentially, creating something. And that in itself and the recognition for achieving it is the pay cheque of a life well lived through the time they spend at work as opposed to just ‘having a job’.

Of course doing something great isn’t always some huge solution or project in business… it can be as simple as mastering how to serve on a phone call, connecting with people in a magic way. People want to be a part of something big, important, purpose-full and if the reward of doing that is removed by placing them in a box with an incentive for this or an incentive for that, the very thing they really want as a reward is taken from them, and they remain in the box we have defined for them. We tell them, oh you’re ‘just’ the accounts person, just the tech guy and so on and BINGO! Box created. Instead of creating an unbreakable link with their role and the purpose and amazing hopes and dreams of the business.

I know I do all I can to try and make rewards time spent together, enjoying company with those we work with, dreaming big, telling stories where we’ve kicked big goals or gone the extra mile, or maybe some time for themselves with their own family, those they love, and friends. I’ve played a fair bit of sport and I liken it to the team talk after a tough game we won where we share great moments we got through with a bit of magic or extra commitment. That part seems almost more important than the win itself or whatever reward was the outcome. I think this stuff is the elixir to the spirit that we all crave.

And I know all of this why? Because of course, it’s me, I feel the same way. Do you? What do you think works in this area for you and others? What ways have you implemented rewards that have worked? Please add a comment below.

We all desire a purpose’full’ life and the science in this video proves it, so maybe instead of sitting back and wondering about finding good staff, all we need do is find people who are full of goodness wanting to be part of a purpose, fill them with it and watch as they ‘come good’ as we…

Lead Anyway.


Today’s post is after reflecting on something that good friend Kirk Weisler posted over at T4D I understand the risk Kirk presents and wanted to reflect on this myself. A picture he posted effuses “If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in ur (sic.) life, You will be out of balance and in the negative! Know when to close the account” ~ christie williams

… unless you do all you can to ensure your bank always has enough funds.

For me this one is always a tough one to process and comment on as it can sound very self righteous and I also believe Kirk is reflecting on a certain type of person who seems to have made up their mind to never be reached, never be encouraged and it seems those types may well need to have their ‘account closed’ as that may be the best wake up call to actually help them change. Please understand my reply is not and never intended to be finger pointing. As always, we journey together and I share about this to get us thinking and to be challenged. Read on…

Helping Hands

Reach out and touch somebody

I think we always need to stop and ask the question – what is under the surface of these people (one reply referred to them as ‘energy vampires’ and it’s true we’ve all come across them) – and can they be loved to ‘angeldom’. And even if they can’t, shouldn’t I still love anyway.

I believe the only place to begin is always, at the beginning. The beginning for them, what is their story and why do choose this behaviour. As life-giving people, dare I say ‘Christian’, I think we need to take care that we don’t turn our backs on those who truly need the life we have to give. “I can do all things…”. Yet, as Kirk has illustrated, we also need to be so careful about our own attitude lest we fall ourselves. Particularly hard for those determined to ‘suck’, excuse the expression.

I heard it put beautifully the other day by a very wise man Richard Rohr. Let me try and put it here. He said when we respond in a way that confirms behaviour in someone who is down on themselves, down on the world, angry about it all, we simply confirm their condition. We give them the right to continue that way and we say “Yes, the world is a bad place and I have nothing better for you.” Which of course encourages them to repeat the behaviour. When we can show that despite the way they are treating us or talking to us, we can still love and completely ignore the ‘test’ they are giving us in their attitude and behaviour, we communicate that there is actually goodness in the world and I have some of it for you.

I don’t deny that exposing ourselves too often to too many people like this can be a tough gig and we need to be so careful that we remain with a full cup of goodness to share and be poured out for all – other positive AND negative people. I think this is the essence of what you are saying Kirk. But the lesson I’ve learned and seek to live from all those who have done this in great ways is that it is often the least of those around us that need us to be with them the most… and not to give up on them. But wow, it’s hard sometimes and I wish I were stronger for the challenge and better at it. What did Jim Rohn say “Don’t wish that life (insert: or other people) were easier, wish that you were better.”

Which is why we need to visit the well daily to replenish so we can go out and give again. The well of our family, our friends, our quiet time of contemplation.

I just wanted to also include a reflection that I read just the other day that possibly has a link here, see what you think. Understand that I share it as much to challenge myself as anyone. And whether you ‘believe’ or not I don’t think matters if truly here to be challenged and grow. If you don’t believe, then replace the word ‘Christians’ with ‘good people’ and it will work for you 😉 .

It gets a bit heady, just so you know, but my understanding is we are here to challenge ourselves and I found it a wonderful personal challenge. It’s also an example in the ‘extreme’ but it’s all degrees of brokenness for different people…

From: “A Presence that Disturbs” Anthony J Gittins

“Genesis House in Chicago is a place of welcome and support for women trying to escape from prostitution. It is a place where many volunteers and employees first began to understand how unjust and unforgiving some Christians and a certain type of Christianity can be. If human beings do not experience love and thus are not yet able to love others, then to judge them guilty of sin is to be guilty of sinful judgements oneself. In fact, if due to abuse or abandonment a person ahs not experienced love, such a person cannot be morally guilty of failing to love others. The axiom ‘nemo dat quod non habet’ (“One cannot give what one has not first received or possessed”) applies as much to love as it does to anything else. To condemn victimised and unloved persons because they do not meet public standards of behaviour is to add insult to injury…

… only when one of the women of Genesis House, “Teddy Bear” by name, broken by abuse, drugs, and prostitution, discovered that she had found a sanctuary where she was accepted unconditionally could she begin to find the peace and healing she craved. But in her case the ravages were too deep, and her broken body could not live with her rekindled spirit. Yet when she died at thirty-one, she did know what it was to love her neighbour because she had at last begun to love herself.”

Share some of the love you have to give with those who need it most, then get around those who can fill you again … then go back for more and…

Lead Anyway


We only become the person we have to,

based on what we have said we would do

or as a result of those challenges that are a natural part of life which we have to face.

We fail to become what we need to

due to the things we give up on

or by not choosing a direction at all

let alone one that challenges us more than our current circumstances.

This explains why so many who experience massive natural challenge in their life,

through tragedy out of their control,

if they manage to get through it well,

tend to be people who others look to and praise,

saying “What an amazing person of great strength.”

To be like them and become great people too,

without the ‘blessing’ of tragedy,

we must seek the tougher paths and strong directions,

or else we will waste our life,

never asking of ourselves to ‘become someone’.

Mark Wellman, paralysed from the waist down, atop El Capitan

Mark Wellman conquers El Capitan

Mark Wellman conquers El Capitan

Let’s do the world a favour and become someone. Let’s

Lead Anyway