Team getting coached

How do you sell your vision to your team?

Getting a group of people to work together to a common goal is at the heart of all businesses of more than one person.

People don’t just naturally work together well, and understanding their motivations isn’t always easy. The differing personal interests, long term and short term goals, and just the different personalities make teams of people a challenge that business owners / leaders have to deal with daily.

Like any group of people meshed together day in day out, the reality is far from simple and is a constant moving beast that is most likely never to be tamed but can be managed.

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Taking change in your stride.

It is easy to forget that many people don't like change. As someone who thrives on change in some areas, I forget that for many people they prefer their habits and ruts particular in regard to work.

I guess we all have some habits in life, and I am no exception but in my working world and day to day activities I prefer to make sure things don't get stale.

At ireckon I recently chose a new office location as our old office space lease came to an end. We left The Gabba area after 8 years there and headed down to Teneriffe. Watching the team handling change, thinking about the change etc you realise how much we get into routines that ensure we get through our weeks without too much interruption.

Changing work location means new routes, methods to work, new places to eat, things to do and go to. You have to find local chemists, newsagents etc. For me this is all fun. I loved the period when i backpacked for that very reason. In each new town or city you had to investigate and communicate to find where things were. This opens you to meeting new people, learning new things and just keeping yourself 'open'.

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YOU MUST BURN…

A post recently caught my attention and it has been burning in my head ever since. A wake up call or a reminder for myself. Thus I share.

All my life I have been driven by passion. I am a passionate person, for better or worse, I get fired up about things and driven by them.

Song lyrics that have resonated with me have always been about the idea of something on fire, a burning passion to achieve something.

Neil Young’s Hey Hey My My captures it with “.. it’s better to burn out than fade away..”

To me it speaks about doing more than just turning up. It speaks about trying to do something extraordinary. No matter in what it is you do, whether it be your charity, your hobby, your working life, your family, you should have at least one thing that burns for you.

If not, there seems so little point to bother.

And not that it then becomes a reason to do nothing, but rather a reminder to find your passion. Find it and live it. It doesn’t mean you have to have a start up or invent a magic cure for some illness. It means be passionate about what you do.

If it means be the best street sweeper so be it, as Martin Luther King Jr described. “No matter what this job is, you must decide to do it well. Do it so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn can’t do it better.... sweep streets like Raphael painted pictures... “

Too many people are expending so much energy being ordinary. They exist all around us. They turn up, day to day, to their lives bringing mediocrity with them, spreading it to everyone around them. Those that stand out that want to burn face a battle to be accepted, to fit in, the rules don’t necessarily allow it. Whether it is extraordinary bosses, politicians, writers, staff sweeping streets, someone around them is being far too ordinary or normal. Making it harder for them.

But that’s okay.

Because when your passion really gets under your skin and lights your fire, then it burns, and when it burns... well then the earth spins a little differently.

The post is called BE ON FIRE, and the entire post is in CAPS LOCK. And I love it! Yes this is about start-ups and changing the world and it being hard. But it can stand for anything.

Anything.

IF WANT DO SOMETHING, NEED FIRE.

NEED BE ON FIRE.

THAT WHY BURNING MATTER. NOTHING STOP PERSON ON FIRE> NOT SLEEP. NOT SICK. NOT BROKE, NOT BULLET. NOT END OF EARTH.

NOTHING.

Go on read it all. At least you have half a chance of being on FIRE.

Most wont’ have got this far. Maybe because they are already on fire, or mainly because being on fire makes them uncomfortable. Being on FIRE hurts, it isn’t easy to just rock up and let days go by if on FIRE. Most people don’t want to put a dent in the universe.

But there are those who do. Let them be their passion. Let’s look at them in AWE, let’s give them fuel for their fire. Those people for all their faults do things.

Ireckon Steve Jobs was on FIRE.

YOU MUST BURN.

I must BURN. It's in my plans for next year, which is just around the corner. Around me things will BURN or we will die trying! I have a sneaky suspicion 2012 isn't going to be a faint hearted year.

Well that’s what ireckon anyway.

What do you reckon?

Real life one stroke at a time.

Being asked to review a mate’s book is a tricky place to sit. The author knows my propensity to ‘dish up’ comments freely for and against issues close to my heart, so I am sure he did it with his own trepidation. For me there was the concern about how does one handle the review if the book isn’t up to par.

Not being a professional book reviewer I can only relate my view of it. When reading, something I do a lot of, I don’t judge by a scientific criteria into what makes a good book. To me a good story / book is about the journey. Does the book take me places that stir emotions, where time is lost in my day without any recognition of what is around me? Does it invoke images in my head, scenes that I can see and feel as if real?

Does it hold together and is it easy to read? For me that is the nature of a good read. It tells a story well.

So what about The Fat Paddler? What sort of story and book is it?

Knowing small pieces of the story first hand, I wondered how would it read, would it stand out as something I would want to read, would it fill the criteria that I wanted in a book?  Would I skim over parts of the book that I already knew of and just fill in the blanks?

As it turned out, I read the first chapter at my desk at work, and had to force myself to put it down. Annoyed, I put it in my bag so I could finish my day and took it home. Late that night I finished the whole story.

It isn’t the first time I have read a book cover to cover in a day, but it isn’t every book I read that it happens with. Admittedly it isn’t a Shogun size volume, but it is not a primary school primer either.

It hooked me and dragged me in. I had no desire to put it down until I had uncovered every part of the story.

Knowing small parts of the story only made it more interesting; in the same way a trailer to a good movie just leaves you wanting to dive right in.

The Fat Paddler is a story about real life. The sort of real life that smashes into you at a million miles an hour. Not a gentle gracious life of high teas and ballroom evenings. More the type of gritty suburban lives that don’t start or end the way you expect nor often want, but the type that many people live.

This story won’t tell you how a young athlete set goals and made it to the Olympics, nor will it be the next replacement for a Doctor Phil self help book.

It will inspire you though.

It is about the reality of surviving amongst your own personal dilemmas. It is about hanging onto whatever passion you can find in life, about finding something that keeps you wanting to be a little better tomorrow when today felt so bad.

The book revolves around kayaking and where kayaking fits into the current life of the author, but this book isn’t a quintessential book on kayaking nor a book about sport. While Sean’s life has been filled with sporting moments, and it is obviously important to him, this is a life story, a story that anyone could relate to easily.

What makes the book easy to read is that every time you are confronted by the dark moments in the story, there is a lighter side to it that reflect the ups and downs that we all go through in moments of hardship. In every unbearable moment there he is grabbing onto a straw of some sort that gives him something to focus on and drag his heavy carcass out of the depths of despair.

I know Sean personally. He is a big man, with a big heart and to be honest I was totally inspired when I witnessed him finish his first Hawkesbury challenge. Back then I only knew part of this story. Having read the book, I underrated how big a man he is. Not in size, but in character.

Throughout the narrative in the book, he doesn’t labour for long on the hardships he has faced, just tells them in an honest and direct way, and then goes on to explain how he moved on.

This book is about small steps. Little steps, full of big efforts. The sorts of steps that real people need to take to get through hard days. You don’t feel like this is a superhero story that isn’t close to the people around you, in fact it seems like the story of three of four people you may have met. That’s what makes it even more engrossing.

This book will take you from Intensive care wards to Alaskan ice lakes, hot chilli sauce to the terror of the Bali bombings. A thoroughly good read and an amazing story for someone still so young.

I rate it 4.5 sausages! (out of 5)

Well that’s what Ireckon anyway

If you want to get a copy of the book, visit Sean's site www.fatpaddler.com and follow through from there.

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

I don’t know why in the last week or two this book I would have read about 10 odd years ago popped back into my head. But it did.

I post it here, not to take away from it’s entirety in the book, but to give a small pause for reflection. Why the complex and cryptic messages of wise sages, why the difficult paths to salvation?

We see so many people now able to share their angst about current situations around the globe, concern with lack of leadership in our governments, fear based policies and the hate that resides.

Step back and reflect what life in your world might be like if you live by these few short rules. Not sometimes, all the time. I think it might be time to introduce cookies and milk at work

—–

by Robert Fulghum
– an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and playand work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobodyreally knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup –

they all die. So do we.

  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.

  • The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
  • Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.

Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.

Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

© Robert Fulghum, 1990.
Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.

—-

I can’t find much wrong here. I wonder… what would our days be like. how simple would things be. Would this be the only rules we needed?

Well that’s what ireckon anyway

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s just a bad wave that gets you

Goals can be wiped out from underneath you with one wave. Dreams crushed from a sideswipe you didn't see coming.

Sometimes as the old saying says "Shit happens".

Talking to one of our team at work today, reminded me of how swiftly things can take a bad turn. Nathan competes actively in Surf Boat championships, when his otherwise extremely full life doesn't distract him. Over the time he has worked with us, I have discovered he diligently trains and participates in many regular races. This last week the Australian Titles were on, and having won the State titles his crew were ready for a big go at the main title.

Ahead in the final by a healthy margin, a number of waves crashed over them and in the blink of an eye went from 1st to 4th. The pure chance of surf events can be seen regularly in all the different races, where the chance of one wave can make or break a competitor's chances. A simple event, can undo months or years of training and in taking from one competitor give to another.

Listening to him, I could sense the inner frustration, but also the wry humour that makes up his character that seems in a way to make the sport more fun, knowing that for all your efforts sometimes chance has as much control as effort. Ask Steven Bradbury, he knows.Not once in his depiction of the race did Nathan complain about the good fortune of the 3 teams in front, only his missed opportunity. That however is part of his character. He isn't all flashy and noisy. He sets about his way in life with real quiet determined passion not a fancy swagger.

Like many of my team they have their own quiet determination. They don't scream for attention but let their actions speak much louder.

Of recent times there have been many waves, or events, that have taken a swipe at people. There are all the unexpected occurrences that have robbed from many lives, homes, businesses and the trail left behind is devastating. It was unplanned for. Most people don't have a contingency for a sideswiping event. Why would you, if you saw it coming, most of us would do our best to get out of the way.

These events are much harsher than a small sporting mishap, but the principles are much the same. How we cope with the small things can impact on the big things that we will never be ready for. It's why real life interactions, on sporting fields or in clubs and groups helps. It helps us cope with the unexpected, it stretches us in ways that we weren't expecting. Like sporting commentators might say, there is no practice that can get you ready for game day, but you are always more ready if you have practiced than if not.

I enjoy being around people that have real character, know how to take a few knocks and get back on their feet. Deep down their compass is set on a different level. Sure sometimes the waves knock you over, but unlike the flashy swagger types, these people are still standing when the hard work needs doing.

While I would never wish anything bad on anyone, it is always interesting to see how others handle rough times. I like to see how people handle events out of their comfort zone.

It gives me something to measure myself against. How to check my compass. I have had a few waves of recent times, big to me in my own way and seeing stories in others is one way I always find that helps me see past the immediate issues, out to a brighter future.

Hopefully you have been able to handle your unseen waves recently. Hopefully you have people around you that remind you of the great things still to be done in your life despite the unforeseen waves that may have crashed over you.

Well that's what ireckon anyway.