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10 Truths About Leadership

Leadership can be so complex. Occasionally I come across people who are able to distil leadership back to the raw truth.


Authors and prolific leadership educators, Barry Posner and James Kouzes, spent 30 years pouring over their research data from over a million respondents to discover what has been consistently true about leadership over the years.

These truths are accessible to all of us…. as long as we are willing to take action and take responsibility.

The 10 truths about leadership:


1.  You believe in yourself. It all starts with the fundamental belief that you can make a difference and you will have a positive impact on others.


2. You have credibility. Your people have to believe in you, too. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you.


3. Your values drive commitment. Your people want to know what you stand for and believe in, and that your values align with theirs.


4. You have vision. Focusing on the future and having a long-term perspective sets leaders apart. You imagine and articulate exciting possibilities for your followers.


5. You know you can’t do it alone. Being surrounded with support and talent, and engaging the team in pursuing the cause sets you apart. While that sounds obvious enough, the difference in the research is that great leaders are obsessed with what is best for others, not what is best for themselves.


6. You give trust before you get trust. If you have to rely on a team, trust is the social glue that holds the team together. And the level of trust your people have in you will determine the amount of influence you have. The key? Earn their trust before they’ll be willing to trust you.


7. You welcome challenges. Great accomplishments don’t happen when you keep things the same. Change involves challenge, and challenge tests you. Great leaders step up to the challenge, and come face-to-face with their level of commitment. A great challenge will reveal your grittiness and mindset about change.


8. You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all. Leaders have to keep their promises and become role models for the values and actions they espouse. You can’t ask others to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself. And, you admit mistakes and learn from them.


9. You are a great learner. You have to believe that you can become a better leader tomorrow than you are today. This takes constant improvement, practice, feedback, good coaching, and a willingness on your part to ask for support.


10. You are motivated by love. You love your employees, customers, and the mission you are serving. Since leadership is an affair of the heart, the best leaders have been shown to be motivated by the love that energizes them to give much to others. You just won’t work hard enough to become great if you aren’t doing what you love

Content courtesy James Kouses & Barry Posner

“The Truth About Leadership”

How do you remain relevant? Important advice from a Futurist.

At times I feel inadequate around my 4yo granddaughter. Especially when I pull my iPhone out. She just glides her way around the phone finding stuff I didn’t know existed!

OK, I just turned 60. Does that mean that I am like a rusty old sedan that has come to the end of the road?

Thank goodness to heroes like Craig Rispin of the Future Trends group. When I heard about his background as a futurist, consulting to BHP Billiton, Canon, IBM and Toyota – he had my attention.

His research is about studying future trends and translating this into constructive advice for us in business. Personally, I would rather be on the wave of change rather than chasing it. How about you?

Craig has generously accepted my offer to speak at the Leadership Breakfast at Crown on Friday, July 13th.

If you want to know what the future has in store for you, your business, your industry.

Lessons in Happiness – From the Third World

In my team, I have some exciting people. Peter Jensen and I have worked together for over 10 years and recently have developed an excellent program around Mental Wellbeing – “It’s all about me. It’s all about us”

Much of the program is built on a book Pete has written, “Lessons in Happiness – From the Third World”. It’s a powerful reflection from his childhood experiences living in a South African village and coming to the land of ‘milk and honey’ – Australia.

Depression, anxiety or stress

Did you know that the cost of mental ill-health in Australia is around 4 per cent of GDP or about $4,000 from every taxpayer? It costs the nation more than $60 billion.

Everybody seems to know somebody who has been impacted by depression, anxiety or stress. Have you ever felt helpless, not known what to do next or overwhelmed by self-help programs that seem like too much hard work?

Healthy and productive workplaces 

As Pete and myself are passionate about building engaged, healthy and productive workplaces we have been overwhelmed with the feedback from this program.

What are you doing to build mental wellbeing in your life or your business? Reach out if you need us!

Leadership – It’s not about techniques.

Wayne, it’s just about being nice.
Wayne, it’s just about being reliable.
Wayne, it’s just about being straightforward.

This is advice I have received from well-meaning senior executives. Techniques to win people over. Strategies to better engage your team.


How about it’s just about being authentic? Being the real you. In my view, leadership is about being real, being clear about why you are in leadership and bringing a real sense of purpose to those you influence.

I am passionate about these leadership conversations.

Why not contribute to the leadership conversation and join us at Cape Liptrap?

Kokoda – 4 Powerful Lessons in Leadership

I have just survived walking the tough Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea with my son Zac.

In amongst the mud, jungle, rain and constantly wet feet – there were some magic Leadership learning experiences.

Why were the lessons in walking Kokoda powerful?

Here’s 4 powerful leadership lessons based on 4 values that clearly articulate the ANZAC spirit in warfare.

Each value a powerful and relevant lesson even in today’s society.

1. Courage – Having the guts to think differently. Even the untrained Aussies that faced the highly trained Japanese essentially stopped the raiders onslaught due to their courage and ability to fight against the odds. Today’s business needs the same courage. Courage to think differently. Courage to take risks. Courage to take people into unknown territory.

2. Endurance – Being there for the long haul. The 39th Battalion were outnumbered at times 6 to 1. They could have given up earlier in the battle but they passionately believed that hanging in there to get the job done was the only way. It took them nearly 9 months – but they stuck to the task of defeating the Japanese. In business, there is strength to be gained if we have an attitude of overcoming. As a leader, do we remind our people the reason why we appreciate their contribution and loyalty. 

3. Sacrifice – It was the heroes of Kokoda, like Sam Templeton or Bruce Kingsbury that inspired the often tired and despondent soldiers. Those that put their own lives on the line. How powerful would that be if workers in your business could turn their behaviours from self-serving into other-serving. In fact, the real function of a leader is ‘to serve others’

4. Mateship – Without mateship so many more Aussies would have died at Kokoda. There was a fearless mateship that ensured soldiers were always looking after each other. This in fact is the common factor in high performing teams – those in which collaboration becomes the glue that powers teams to success. Mateship is also about being honest with each other – no BS!

Imagine if you could instil these 4 basic but powerful values into your workplace.

Values can be a very powerful way to build strong fibre in any team. It starts with a discussion.

I challenge you as a leader to start a discussion with your team about business values. What do they mean to your team? What are the acceptable or unacceptable behaviours?

Bookings Open – Leadership NOW August 2018

Experience Popular Leadership NOW program

Cape Liptrap on 29-31 August 2018

This 3-day experiential program brings the leadership talk to real life. It gives you the opportunity to experience, observe and reflect upon what works and what does not work for you. The leadership mirror does not lie!

Leadership NOW combines outdoor and indoor team experiences with “classroom” activities and feedback.

Be prepared to be challenged to work better as a leader as as a team member, be open to new perspectives. It is all about engaging better to be more effective, particularly when needing smart solutions to difficult situations, facing crisis situations, or dealing with “prickly” customers or peers or other stakeholders.

See/download the brochure here Leadership NOW Cape Liptrap August 2018


We welcome groups!

The open format of Leadership NOW works well for small teams. A Workshop bringing together leaders from other organisations, without any of the pressure and “baggage” of your current organisation, can be very liberating and effective.

It can also give you a first-hand experience of the power of the program before giving a group the opportunity to engage better through this program.

If your team is large and/or needs to work on specific challenges during an intensive leadership and teamwork experience, talk to us about a customised program built on the same principles as the open Leadership NOW program

Our Participants Feedback Tells The Story

Program participants tell us that he program delivers benefits at different levels. That of course reflects their own context and where they are at along their own leadership journey

I feel so much more equipped today than I did 3 days ago. I feel confident that I can go forward and do what I need to do” (Richard)

(The program) has been like a concentrated, accelerated experience of situations which otherwise you would come across in a business way but here it happens in a safe way” (Françoise)

We are just going to be better off for it, our people will be better off for it and our businesses will be better off for it and I know it will be measurable. (Heiner)


“We Want Brownie”

What drives your leadership? Character or compliance?

Rohan Brown loved his teaching and students. Know as “Brownie” to his students, he was an outstanding teacher and mentor at Trinity Grammar.

He was sacked.

His ‘crime’ – trimming a student’s hair without parental permission.

As Leaders we are often caught up in the great debate: “Should we driven by compliance or what our ‘gut’ says?

Brown breached a Code of Conduct. He was sacked.

This incident begs the question:
“How much should our leadership and decision making be driven by complying with the rules versus our character?”

The dilemma is that both can be right, however I believe one is a ‘management’ decision, the other ‘leadership’.

It’s such debates that we often visit on our Leadership NOW program.

“Brownie” seemed to be of good character and certainly of good standing in the school community. In fact looking at the protests, was well loved and respected.

We love a good debate, why not join us 23-25 May at Cape Liptrap!

By the way, “Brownie” was officially reinstated as of today.

Kokoda – Continuing to inspire a nation

Leeches, mud, hot & sweaty climbing in a relentless jungle. Care to join me?

Then, why am I doing it (I’m heading off tomorrow there with my son)?

Kokoda is rich with lessons in leadership.

Kokoda was the first time Australia had fought on its own soil (Papua New Guinea was a territory of Australia in WW2 – 1942). Against a far greater number of jungle trained Japanese, the cards were stacked again them.

These Aussie diggers displayed the power of values through their actions:

Sacrifice and

Stan Bisset was one of those diggers. He was a local to Black Rock near where I live. Him and his brother Harold were very close. You could say ‘joined at the hip’.

Through the miserable conditions of the New Guinea jungle with Japanese attacking at any time of the day and night, both showed courage at many times in defending their fellow mates. Their attitude always lifted the troops – often having them laughing at their gags.

Sadly Harold was shot and died in Stan’s arms. War can be horrible in its brutality, but it never ceases to amaze me how character is built through hardship.

Imagine your business where in tough times, staff were so engaged, they constantly were on the lookout for solutions to pull business through tough times.

Values driven leaders and business are a cut above the rest. They become highly productive and engaged workplaces.

The ‘bottom line’ tends to look after itself.

Measuring the current state of leadership & culture

To ensure Bridgeworks is up with the most current leadership and issue concerning culture, Bridgeworks recently created a survey of clients using the 6 questions below.

The results so far (measuring over 150 leaders) has been insightful.

Although the survey is not yet completed:

  1. Having a clear vision that is shared with staff?

  2. Regular 360 feedback given to your leaders?

  3. Active engagement of staff?  

  4. Focus on building & developing leaders?  

  5. Building a learning & innovative culture?  

  6. Building a workplace that is enjoyable to work in?

The poorest scoring question (marked /10) was questions 2. There seems to be a lack of regular 360 feedback given to leaders. The highest scoring question to date is “Having a clear vision that is shared with staff” although with some organisations this scored poorly.

Bridgeworks places a heavy influence on the need for leaders to regularly ‘look in the mirror’ and have a clear knowledge that they are connecting effectively within their business.

  • Are you building trust with your people?

  • Are you creating the work environment that is fully engaging your people?

  • Are you a leader, boss or ba@#$%ard?

And as the great Poet, Robbie Burns once said “Oh the gift that God would give us, to see ourselves as others see us”

Know first. Be first. Profit first.

Great leadership is being able to be predictive of future trends and patterns. The reason Bridgeworks has invited Craig Rispin from Future Trends Group to present at our next Leadership Breakfast on Friday 8th June at Crown in Melbourne

Craig Rispin is a Business Futurist, creative thinker and innovation expert.


His extensive expertise is in emerging and evolving business, people and technology trends and developments and how companies can make best use and profit from them.

As a futurist with more than twenty years’ experience, Craig assists many of the best and innovative companies where the future has been created in IT, electronics, internet and media industries amongst others.


Craig advises on the business, people and technology trends that are affecting and changing your business; he is able to articulate how your business and industry will be impacted so that you are able to plan to gain a strategic advantage and benefit in all parts of your business; people and profit.

As a celebrated speaker Craig has presented to audiences all over the world from 15 to 3000. He has addressed CEO’s, management and staff of prominent companies such as BHP Billiton, Canon, Colonial First State, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, Mallesons, NRMA, Sportscraft, Symantec, Toyota, the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and countless other businesses and associations


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