Home  Notes

The essence of motivation – the question “Why?”

It always amazes me how many people have no idea why they are doing what they are doing.


In fact recently I went for a ride with a good friend and we talked about how fast time travels these days. “It seems to gain momentum when you get older” was his response.


It got me thinking. Maybe its not age, it’s about busyness. The busier we get, the faster time moves. I often think we just do things out of courtesy, rather than using the question “Why?”. Why am I doing this?


How is this activity going to help me towards my goals? Why should I have goals anyway? If I’m not clear about my own goals & direction, its likely that I will just become a “yes” person.


Here’s a few interesting “Why” questions:


  • Why do I work in the job I have?
  • Why do I have the friends that I have?
  • Why haven’t I just dropped everything and headed off into the sunset doing what I REALLY want to do?

Life is rather short isn’t it??


This guy challenged me with the “Why” question and if you live in Melbourne, maybe he can challenge you too.


Visit http://www.bridgeworks.com.au/breakfasts/index.html for more information on my upcoming breakfast and speaker.


Accountability: The Route To Survival

As I write this I am heading up the Autostrata from the Amalfi coast to Roma (Italy). The Italians seem to have no respect or can see no sense in sticking to the speed limit.


We have just gone through roadworks where the limit is 40 kph. Without exaggerating there were cars doing over 100kph (after all it’s the Autostrata, where the standard limit is normally 130kph).


At one stage (don’t tell anyone), I was doing 50kph through a tunnel and constantly had vehicles up my tail tooting their horn; several decided to pass me, even though there were double lines and sometimes they passed on blind corners.


It seems that my experience through Italy is that there seems to be no speed cameras and a lax attitude from Polizia (I have seen cars over the limit, overtaking the Polizia car – with no consequence).


Seems like a message in life – if there is no consequence for breaking a law or the rules – chaos will reign!


Lessons From The French (6 of the best)

Lesson 1: LONG LUNCHES, LONG CONVERSATIONS…

…then drift back to work after your 3-hour lunch. I’ve travelled a lot and to me the French (especially provincial France) have the best work-life balance. When 12.30pm comes around most down tools, pull out their 3-6 course lunch (with a glass of wine), gather together to converse, laugh, digest, talk politics and then when ready head back to work.

 

Lesson 2: STYLE

If you are going to do something, do it with style (Ambience, atmosphere and presentation). The French (and Italians) know how to present. Its not just about their fashions, its about food, its about how they put together what needs to be put together. The result is that your senses are more engaged.

 

Lesson 3: OPINIONS

Having the last say is not always a winner. Susan and I caught the train to St Rafael (part of the French Riviera). Accommodation was booked – I chose a place close to the station. As I didn’t have SatNav, I had to ask people for directions. Few spoke English (or chose not to speak English – after all I could have been a pommie!). Firstly, I asked a woman who pointed in a certain direction – it was clear after walking a bit – she had no idea – but wanted to give us a solution, even though she wasn’t confident. The next person pointed to where we just came from. He was so confident, he said he would give us a lift – which we accepted. He dropped us miles from where we were meant to go. But he did deliver us somewhere! The French always love to give an opinion and want to have the last say.

 

Lesson 4: FAMILY

Our goal in travelling to France was not to travel but to live the ‘village life’. That was a great move. The village is like one big family. The people are very communal – they share the hard yards and the good times together. Nothing beats it.


Lesson 5: RULES? WHAT RULES?

When there are no rules (or no consequences for breaking them)– the people will create their own. The French seem to have a disregard for bureaucracy and whenever they have the chance feel OK about pushing the boundaries. Why park in a parking area when you can pull up on the curb?  Why stop at a red light when it’s clearly safe to go?

 

Lesson 6: THE SMELL OF NOT SERVING OTHERS

Lose the sense of serving others – the world begins to rot. It’s clear wherever we went in France; there is a lack of public toilets. Or if there is one, you have to pay – so guess what? Voila – the French toilet. You relieve yourself, when you see fit and nature calls. Even in high-class places like Cannes, you see guys (not so the women, they have a little more dignity than the blokes!). The result is a very smelly environment. Serving others (in this case, supply the toilets, the place is clean, the memories are more pleasant!)


Summary of Bridgeworks 6 Fundamental Principles of Leadership

After recently posting Parts 1 – 3 of the Bridgeworks’ 6 Fundamental Principles of Leadership, it’s now time to review them and reflect on how your personal leadership can be improved. Let’s take a look…


Fundamental Principles 1 & 2

1. Above all else, know thyself. How well do you know yourself? Your own strengths and weaknesses, and how you deal with high pressure situations.


As a leaders in your own life, whether it is personal or professional, how often do you take time at some point in the day to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know when to take a break to re-energize and give your body and mind a rest? Do you know what activities you can turn to when you are stressed out to relieve some stress?

 

2. Understand the people you are dealing with.


How often do you take the time to build relationships with people you work with? How do they communicate and how does it compare to your communication style? What sort of cultural backgrounds do they come from? What are their personal values and motivators? Where can you be flexible in order to connect with them?

 

If you haven’t seen my quick video on Principles 1 & 2, click here.


Fundamental Principles 3 & 4

3. Take Risks. Great leaders are risk takers. Leaders are people who do things differently to others, they lead people into unknown territory, cross new bridges and they stretch and grow themselves and those who follow them. Leadership is different from management because managers implement and carry out what’s already there, the systems that are already in place for them.


When was the last time you stuck your neck out and took a risk? Do you push yourself to go a little bit out of your comfort zone or do you delegate the tasks that “scare” you onto someone else?

 

4. Recognize Your Team. Great leaders recognize that there is a great team supporting them all the way. They surround themselves with great people and put in time and energy into creating those teams and tapping into the skills, passions and personalities of the people following them.


Do you give recognition to your team when they deserve it? Do you surround yourself with people who are smart, talented, and ambitious? Do you go out of your way to support them? These small acts will go a really long way with your team.

 

Click here for the quick video on Principles 3 & 4.


Fundamental Principles 5 & 6

5. Driven by Values. Sometimes leaders are forced to make some unpopular decisions, but it is their commitment to upholding their values that makes people follow them at the end of the day and in the long run. Leaders who are driven by their values are respected, and respect is at the foundation of all leadership.


Do you abide by your values each and everyday, through every conversation, negotiation, and decision you make? Great leaders know their values and stick to them because people want to follow leaders who have the courage to stick to their values when times get tough… even if it means making an unpopular decision.

 

6. Have a Cause. Great leaders have a cause that they are passionate about; they want to change lives and make a difference.


Lastly, do you believe in the work that you do? Do you believe that it has an positive impact and improves the lives of others? Do your followers and team members know that you do? How do you remind them that you believe in the work that you do?

 

The last video is a little choppy due to the 120km/hr winds up top of Mount Ventoux, but the views make the video worth watching. Check it out here.


I hope that this blog post has prompted some thought on your own leadership, both personally and professionally. If there were any Aha! moments or you have anything to add, I would love to read about them in the comments section.


All the best,


Wayne


Thoughts On Communication From France

Bonjour!


Living in a French village for the last couple of months has shown me how differently we all communicate and how uncomfortable it is to deal with people who just don’t get what we are trying to convey.


Try walking into the local pub in our small village in Southern France like I did today.


I don’t speak French, they don’t speak English. Thank God “Beer” sounds vaguely similar to the French translation! Thankfully, I did get my beer but that was the END of the conversation. It’s times like this that I would really like to understand their language…I try but it’s not easy.


It reminds me of so many of you in your leadership roles. You can’t work out why people are disengaged. The issue: The way YOU communicate is NOT the way THEY communicate….


  • It’s a FACT that nearly 80% of Australian workers are disengaged
  • It’s a FACT that engaged employees are directly related to the way they are led
  • Is it time for you to ‘look in the leadership mirror’? Time to look at proven strategies that better engage people (from our 15 years of research)
  • Are you interested in keeping and attracting good people?
  • You owe it to yourself, your business, and your family to sharpen your relationship saw

Leadership NOW provides this opportunity.


Leadership NOW is a 4-day residential program evolved from over 15 years working with thousands of leaders from all industries. It’s not just my brains, but theirs too, that have helped make this such a unique and practical experience.


We chose the distraction-free environment of Lady Elliot Island in QLD so you wouldn’t forget the experience and valuable learning that has already impacted leaders Australia-wide. The next public program is November 22-25. During this time, you will share a powerful and unforgettable experience with up to 11 other like-minded leaders from a range of industries, all seeking to build their leadership capacity.


Read more about this amazing opportunity to enhance your leadership here.


Thanks for reading and I’ll update you with more observations from France in a little bit!


All the best,


Wayne