Straight Talk Tips

The most successful people have the ability to create change in their own behaviour and to influence others to change theirs.  We exert influence constantly, sometimes knowingly, willingly and deliberately. At other times people may follow your lead without your even being aware that they have noticed you.  Your behaviour can reflect a model of personal values such as respectfulness, consideration and generosity: or it can convey aggression and self- centeredness. In every meeting you attend and speak up with an opinion, or withhold one, you model behaviour. Every leadership decision and every time you step back to consider the…
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.   This well-known quote which is attributed, (probably incorrectly) to the British philosopher Edmund Burke, has as much relevance now as it did in the 18th century.  Many of us work, and live, in environments which operate to norms that we disagree with, that make us uncomfortable, or that we consider dishonest or unethical. Changing them is difficult. But until someone speaks up, nothing will change.  The fate of most whistle blowers however is not one to wish upon yourself, so if you decide to…
I’ve always thought it sensible to focus one’s efforts where there was most likelihood of getting the results one wanted.  Steven Covey wrote about it elegantly when he described a Circle of Concern which encompasses all our concerns, whatever they may be; for our health, our children’s education, the poaching of rhino or the increase in terrorism. Within it, there is a Circle of Influence, in which lie the things over which we have some control, either directly or indirectly. Proactive people operate in their Circle of Influence, working on things they can do something about. In Covey’s words their…
Who doesn’t wish they had more willpower, more resolve, more self-discipline. If there was more of it around, obesity wouldn’t be such a problem, work and life would be in better balance, we’d all have retirement nest eggs in place and corporate change initiatives would achieve their objectives. We tend to think of willpower as a mysterious personal trait or characteristic. Some of us, who obviously chose our parents wisely, have it: the rest of us, don’t. The problem is that when you treat an inability as an inherent characteristic, you disempower yourself from fixing it. There’s not much you…
One of the strongest themes of last year was that no-one had time for anything but the essentials. There was certainly not enough of it for anyone to think carefully, plan thoughtfully, listen with their full attention, or work on developing the trust that is the foundation of good relationships. There was rarely time to get to the bottom of problems and apply long term solutions, rather than quick fix band-aids. Functions with a longer term priority such as marketing and personal development took second place to current crises…of which there was an endless list. Almost certainly the problems of…