2014 Reader Survey

imagesThe Survey is still open. Take my blog reader survey here! My thanks to those who have already completed the survey. I would love to see more responses from my readers.

I have many exciting and useful articles and resources planned for The Leadership Lamplight Blog, but before I do, I wanted to check that I am serving the needs of those who read my blog posts.

I’ve been writing this blog in something of a vacuum for quite a while. I enjoy writing it and reading comments and seeing likes. I know many have found the articles helpful and interesting.

I want to take this to another level, however, and use the blog to continue to better serve those who come to me for help, encouragement and inspiration and to develop greater responsiveness, engagement and a sense of online community for my readers.

So, please take my 2014 Reader Survey here at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1610266/2014-Reader-Survey

The survey will only stay up until September 17. I’ll be posting a summary of the results next month for your interest.

I appreciate your help!

Peter J. McLean

5 Leadership Tips You Can Learn From ‘Draft Day’

Kevin Costner in Draft Day. Used without permission, but they should thank me for the promotion!

Kevin Costner in Draft Day. Used without permission, but given the lack of sales, they should thank me for the promotion!

So he had the worst English accent for a Robin Hood of all time, but Kevin Costner is back in the Ivan Reitman film, ‘Draft Day’. (Seriously, Kevin Costner has said he was trying for an English accent back in Prince of Thieves.)

‘Draft Day’ is an enjoyable film about the General Manager of a US Football Team (the Cleveland Browns) on the day when the teams take their pick of the new talent coming out of College into the NFL. It’s a tense situation as the film follows just a few hours of one day, and you watch Costner’s character negotiate for the best talent for a team that’s average in the rankings. It’s fiction, of course, but it’s worth noting a few real-life leadership lessons that we can draw from the film.

Want to read more great articles? Take my 2014 Reader Survey here and have your say about what you’d like to see.

5 Leadership Lessons from ‘Draft Day’

1. You Can Be Over 50 and Still Just Starting to Spread Your Wings. Costner’s character is only now starting to come out from under the shadow of his famous and revered father, long-time coach of the team. Costner is now calling the shots for the first time, and even then he has pressure from all around him to cave in to their demands. Costner portrays this weary expectation and burden well.

I remember former Australian Deputy PM (and current Ambassador to the US), Kim Beazley saying after he retired from politics that he didn’t think anyone should enter politics until they were in their 50s, because they needed that long – no matter how smart they are (and Kim Beazley can never be accused of being unintelligent) – to develop the wisdom, experience and perspective that really means they can add meaningfully to a nation.

If you’re over 50, you may only be just starting to enter your truly productive stage of life and leadership. Embrace it!

2. Communication is a Vital Ingredient to Success. The Cleveland Browns need a GM and a Coach who are in sync, but they aren’t throughout most of the film. And it requires some heartfelt, honest, straightforward communication to get them there.

I often find that at the heart of my clients’ leadership needs is communication. They have great ideas, great processes, great resources and great skills, but they don’t communicate clearly and in a way that taps into the motivations and needs of the people around them. They also don’t use communication to uncover what they don’t know. Instead, they assume they have the relevant facts without sufficient evidence. Ask honest questions! It’s amazing what you’ll uncover.

Communication also lies at the heart of great negotiation. You need to be prepared to take positions and move with the arguments and counter-offers – not just be silent and staunch.

3. Success Breeds Success. The good players in the film are attracted to teams that perform highly. They highly regard the reputation of both the team and the people running it. The ability of the teams to make the kind of money necessary to pay these high salaries is vital to their ability to continue to play with the best. On the other hand, if the money’s on offer, but the team and the coach and management have bad reps, the players will want to leave them in droves.

If you’re out to recruit top talent, have you bothered to ask yourself if you’re the kind of leader they’d like to work for? Are you the kind of organisation that they’ll love and where they’ll be able to fly high?

Sometimes someone’s just glad for a job, but sometimes they want a lot more. Google pays top data mining scientists/analysts $5 million per year to join their team. Not everyone can afford that, of course, as it’s an insane amount of money for nerds. But Google has the global reputation for innovation, technology and opportunities to match the $$ on offer. Why wouldn’t top talent say ‘Yes, please’ to that, even if only for a year?

4. Character Trumps ‘Talent’. Costner’s GM finds out something about one of the top potential picks that makes him uneasy about the choice. It starts out as a niggling question and continues to develop throughout the film (I won’t give details away). As he says at one point, “It’s a character thing for me.”

It turns out that the character question ends up revealing a lot about the players and how well they’ll perform.

Sometimes talent can appear so overwhelming that we think we’re onto a winner. But really, character ends up trumping talent. You can see it even in the eyes of those who chase after the $$, but don’t have the integrity.

I’ve had clients who’ve hired people who were looking for the $$ and claimed to be high flyers. I was uneasy about the people and expressed my concerns, but was not directly involved and didn’t have a say. As it turned out, the character of the individuals concerned was lousy. A few more questions in the beginning would have alerted the relevant execs and saved hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars – not to mention all the headaches, wasted time, hurt relationships, client and staff bad will and so on.

Character counts.

5. Family Matters. The GM is under constant pressure regarding his past family and a newly developing one – including his girlfriend played by Jennifer Garner (Costner’s 59, Garner is 42 – this is Hollywood fiction!). His family’s legacy, as well as his own future legacy are at stake. But he takes the time to realise how important family is, even at this critical juncture of his career.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What’s the point of all the success and approbation in the world, if you can’t enjoy your own family? Family contributes to our self-identity, to our place in the world, to our enjoyment of life, to our meaning in life. And your leadership of your family is the supreme test of true leadership, of your character and of who you really are. So take care of them, listen to them, learn from them and celebrate life with them.

© 2014 Peter J. McLean

If you haven’t already, please take my 2014 Reader Survey here if you haven’t already. It’ll only take a few minutes, but will help me to serve all of you, my readers and clients, better through this blog. Read more about the Survey in this post.

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Take My 2014 Blog Post Reader Survey

imagesTake my blog reader survey! I have many exciting and useful articles and resources planned for The Leadership Lamplight Blog, but before I do, I wanted to check that I am serving the needs of those who read my blog posts.

I’ve been writing this blog in something of a vacuum for quite a while. I enjoy writing it and reading comments and seeing likes. I know many have found the articles helpful and interesting.

I want to take this to another level, however, and use the blog to continue to better serve those who come to me for help, encouragement and inspiration and to develop greater responsiveness, engagement and a sense of online community for my readers.

So, please take my 2014 Reader Survey here at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1610266/2014-Reader-Survey

The survey will only stay up for a week. I’ll be posting a summary of the results next month for your interest.

I appreciate your help!

Peter J. McLean

Backstage At The Emmys Is Far More Interesting

I’ve worked a lot of back stages in conferences, theatre productions, concerts and a myriad of stage performances. Backstage has its own special ambience and set of experiences. That’s why watching the live streaming of the backstage at the Emmys was probably far more interesting than watching what was happening in front of the camera. And the producers of the Emmys catered to that view with a 3-Camera view and ‘Director’s Cut’ of the backstage events specially streamed live on the Emmys website this year.The Emmys Green Room

So instead of seeing Julia Roberts stepping out for a couple of minutes to award the best actor Emmy, you got to see her greet others, pat their arms, grab a drink and watch different portions of the show on the green room big screen TV. You saw Jay Leno walk through making a phone call and then turn and smile and chat with someone who grabbed his attention. You watched the announcer and her assistant do the voiceovers as the stars in front of them gather in the wings and peek through the curtains. You got to see what happened backstage and out in the auditorium during the live commercial breaks. You saw the scores of presenters, award-winners and performers preparing and debriefing after their performances, while other scores of producers, stage hands, lighting people, make-up artists, announcers and more organised the hundreds of thousands of details required to run such an enormous undertaking.Announcers in the wings at the Emmys

And you heard and saw that particular backstage effect: a mix of quiet talk, gestures, laughter and happiness at a job going well or at little gaffes, watching the other performers while you prep, while focusing on getting a great performance out there. The high 5s, the handing off between people, the ‘stars’ being directed by the juniors who know what they’re doing. Cooperation. Ebullience. Successful partnering.

Too often our organisations, and leaders, think it’s all about what happens out front. But what happens ‘out there’ is only a product of what happens ‘back there’. All the preparation, planning, highs and lows that lead to a successful performance.

The ‘magic’ only happens when you put in the effort. And I always found that whether in front or out back, it was always a blast. I also made sure it was the case whenever I was in charge – and that required planning, preparation and spot on performance.

Make sure it’s a blast when you’re in charge too.

© 2014 Peter J. McLean

To develop you leadership and those of your people, contact me. You can also visit one of our websites at www.lamplighter.com.au or www.authenticspeaking.com.au for resources and articles. Or subscribe to my video seminars to help you become a better leader, a better communicator and to achieve your aspirations and goals.

A Tragic Comic – Robin Williams R.I.P.

robin williams fly be freeI still remember the first night I saw Robin Williams’ magic at work in Mork and Mindy. I must have been just 10 years old, and my brothers and I had come home from our weekly evening out at Ukrainian folk dancing and activities. My Mum had recorded the première of a new TV show – Mork and Mindy. We’d seen his guest spot in Happy Days and knew there was more to come. “You have to watch this!” she told us. My brothers and I watched the oddball performance of the multicoloured alien, Mork, and then spent half an hour afterwards running around twitching our ears and saying, “Nanu Nanu!” We gleefully mimicked throwing eggs into the air, with a courageous shout of “Fly! Be Free!”. “I knew you’d love it!” exclaimed my delighted Mum.

Robin Williams was a one of a kind talent – part comic, part tragic player, or perhaps I should say all of both. Known the world over, he made hundreds of millions of people laugh and cry, with his mad-cap stream-of-consciousness improvisations and imitations, along with his earnest and deep portrayals in a number of meaningful film roles. And then there were the interviews where he openly shared his engulfment within depression and addiction.

But unlike other ‘whirling dervish’, ‘genius’ players, you never heard about Robin Williams being mean-spirited towards others, throwing excruciating tantrums on set or demanding that people fill his bathtub with Perrier so that he could be ‘in the flow’. Instead, you heard about his generosity in an industry not known for its generosity of spirit. And you laughed when he went on a riff.

It’s sad that, in the midst of being one of the most recognised individuals on the planet, adored from afar by millions and acclaimed for his gifts and talents, that he never could completely shake off the doldrums of depression and the addictions that ruined some of his relationships and his sense of self in the world.

One has to believe that he often thought that he was only as good as his last manic impersonations and jokes, that the laughter, although earned, was still in response to something he did and not in camaraderie with who he was, deep down; that sense that operates in so many people that despite the fact that they’ve ‘made it’, that they’re still not connected to others in a genuine way – without ego, without semblance, without seeking a reward – simply to be.

People can feel separated from others in many ways. Leaders can say that they are ‘alone with the burden of leadership’. Carers can feel that they are ‘alone in their sacrifice’. Pioneers can believe that they are ‘out there alone, forging the way’. And people can try to supplant their dismal feelings with artificial rewards and stimulants – fame, money, power, success, adulation, praise and prominence, drugs, alcohol and self-inflicted pain. But in the end, we all need to simply ‘be’ in deep connection with those around us. Fame, wealth and approbation won’t bring satisfaction and deep-seated contentment any more than it did Robin Williams.

So be open and real with those around you and if you feel alone or depressed or anxious, don’t try to ride it out alone. Seek and accept the help of others. Dark times come to all, but then so does the light. Stopping while you are in the depths of blackness means that you will miss out on the brightness to come. That was part of the genius of this tragic comic – both the dark and the light expressed so forcefully through one person.

Sadly, obviously, Williams was alone at the end when he acted to end his time in this life. It is a sadness for his family, almost too terrible to contemplate. And that, for those of us who have been close to others who suffer or are suffering, is a lesson: they need us to be with them, to accept them for who they are and what they feel, to be with them through trials, and to simply lend them courage by being with them and showing them that we need them, want them and value them and their struggles. We must simply ‘be’ together.

Suicide inflicts terrible pain on those around the person who takes his or her life. It’s not something you do just to yourself, but to those close to you as well. His family will be devastated and possibly guilt-ridden, despite the fact that they did not do the act. So if we ever have the chance, let’s encourage others to turn away from despair and into safety with others, sparing all the pain.

In the meantime, for all of those who ever had a laugh or a compassionate tear prompted by him, let’s spare a thought or a prayer for the loved ones he has left behind, and remember Robin Williams for the good that he did. May he rest, finally, in peace and may his family know some too.

- Peter J. McLean

5 Reasons Why People Don’t Lead and What You Can Do About It

In an earlier post I noted that “Leadership is Not a Position” and that some people swear off their involvement in leadership. Why do some people seem eager to take the reins and some people swear off involvement or responsibility?

Here are 5 reasons why people may be holding back and what you can do about it:

  1. A lack of experience, and related confidence, with how to get things done within a particular organisation or system. When people don’t know how things work, they are hesitant. People may not know how to make applications for changes, not know whom they should approach, or may not know how something would work practically within a given system, so they hold back rather than find out. So, for yourself, find out. For others, show them how things work and help them to understand, so that they feel more confident leading improvements or initiatives.
  2. Lack of extrapolation of the consequences of inaction. Many think that, “Well, it will be okay if it doesn’t happen. I don’t have to lead it or suggest it.” You need to actually think through what will happen if you don’t do something. It’s also an important element to persuading others. Seeing what problems or disasters may loom through inaction can be very motivating – for you and everyone else.
  3. They have been repeatedly blocked in the past. “What’s the point of trying to do anything? Other people will just keep blocking it … it happens again and again. I’m done!” That kind of hopelessness can only be cured through encouragement and walking alongside others. Either be the ally others need, or find the allies for yourself. Beware: if this is happening with the people under you, your organisation is in huge trouble. If this is happening to someone’s ‘team’, then it’s time to reassess the position of the person in charge, because they’re not leading, they’re tackling.
  4. They lack confidence, or experience, in seeing the successful results of their own ideas in action. Whether you’ve never experienced it in your development, or whether you’ve been humiliated or laid low by failures, knowing that your ideas will bear fruit is important to your desire to lead. If your big projects have failed, then it’s time to take on smaller ones and see them succeed again. What projects? Well, think about very small ones and approach them from an angle that people don’t usually think of: that of a systems failure, of a customer, a competitor, an antagonist or a bizarre situation. How would you mess it up, or how would you find a chink or a way to improve it? Come up with a solution and see it implemented. Keep doing this and see your confidence (or that of your people) blossom.
  5. They are suffering from low self-esteem or sense of futility due to perceived rejection. Perhaps they’ve been demoted, or come from another position or company. Perhaps they had a hard time winning or keeping the role they have and just don’t think they’re worth it. Contemplate their background before rushing to a judgement as to their worth – or yours.

Of course, as I noted in my points, these apply to ourselves as much as to others.

Make the choice now: will you hold back or will you lead and what will you do about it today?

© 2014 Peter J. McLean

To develop you leadership and those of your people, contact me. You can also visit one of our websites at www.lamplighter.com.au or www.authenticspeaking.com.au for resources and articles. Or subscribe to my video seminars to help you become a better leader, a better communicator and to achieve your aspirations and goals.

Leadership is Not a Position

I just got off the phone with someone in a particular company who had been recommended to me. This person is a specialist regarding an issue I needed to pursue within the organisation. The individual tried to be helpful but, when I asked for further speculation regarding future needs, was unsure and volunteered that they were not in a policy/decision-making role anymore and could not predict what the hierarchy would pursue.

“Yes, but you can still influence them regarding the decision, tell them the best way to go and your recommendations, steer them towards the best result!”

“Oh, we’ll, I don’t know whether I’ll be invited into that discussion at all.” And thus this person dejectedly disavowed any potential involvement – or responsibility.

Too often, I encounter people who have stalled in their willingness to lead. They are at the point where they think leadership is a position: you must “be invited” or appointed in order to lead.

Whilst invitations are wonderful and appointments are rewarding, add legitimacy and grant authority, they do not constitute leadership.

I’ve worked in many organisations where I knew that the people with the titles weren’t the ones who made sure things happened or who ensured that everyone was behind or against something. I’ve also been the one saying “Let’s do this!” and initiating projects and organising people without a hint of a position in sight.

Leadership is about taking responsibility and influencing an outcome simply because you feel driven to.

Leadership is not a position, it’s a choice.

Are you choosing to lead today?

© 2014 Peter J. McLean

To develop you leadership and those of your people, contact me. You can also visit one of our websites at www.lamplighter.com.au or www.authenticspeaking.com.au for resources and articles. Or subscribe to my video seminars to help you become a better leader, a better communicator and to achieve your aspirations and goals.

Your Gifts Are Being Underrated – By You

I can guarantee you: you are underrating your own gifts and talents.

The vast majority of people whom I meet underrate their own gifts and talents. I see it reflected in the many works and conversations surrounding people’s thinking about their strengths. “Work to your strengths” they say, and this becomes a skills list, not an exploration of their potential. You shouldn’t just work to your strengths. No, you should embrace your underlying gifts and talents – who you are – and use everything you have to develop, apply and work with your skills in order to achieve something you believe in. That means that sometimes you’ll be working against what you perceive as personal weaknesses,

If people just worked ‘to their strengths’, here’s a list of some of the things they would do:

  1. Stay in exactly the same job year after year for fear that that is all they are good at and all they will ever be good at.
  2. Never get married, because they’re good at being single and that’s it.
  3. Never learn a new skill or hobby, even as an adult, like drawing or singing or kayaking, because they’re simply not good at that and never were as children.
  4. Tell themselves they should never aim for promotion or executive positions, because they should simply stick with what they are currently ‘good at’.
  5. Never take a course or tried to develop in an area of fear or challenge, because they just don’t have the skills.
  6. Stick with overeating and no exercise, because frankly, they just aren’t good at that ‘self-discipline stuff’.
  7. Never spend time helping their own kids with projects, sports or social events or talking through personal issues, because that’s better left to ‘the professionals’.

How the Deficit Mentality Brings Us Down

I cannot begin to recount how frequently I encounter the deficit mentality everywhere I go: from government, to schools, to management, to recruitment evaluations, to executive appraisals, to team assessments, to personal growth and development. “I’m not good at that and never will be.” You don’t have to be good at everything – that’s just vain ego-driven nonsense – but if you seek to learn and grow as an individual or as a corporate entity, then you will be trying things that are out of your comfort zone, that you may not, at first glance, be good at.

Instead of having a deficit mentality through which we view everything – I am, or they are, not good at this and that – develop a ‘surplus’ mentality that looks at everything as a surplus from which you can draw, in order to accomplish something meaningful.

That Voice in Our Heads

We all have that voice in our heads that says, “You’re not good enough” and it’s hard to not listen to it at times. But whatever your beliefs or your faith, it’s a truism that the human spirit is capable of greatness. If you don’t believe it, watch my 8 year old daughter, whom we once thought might never be able to walk by herself, take her first steps. It doesn’t mean we won’t grumble and complain along the way, but we should accept the encouragement, help and positive vision of others as part of our daily walk.

This doesn’t mean that we are an island to ourselves. Every human being acts in relation to those around us. And we should learn to trust and work with the gifts and talents of others. If we simply rely on ourselves, we will fall flat on our faces. My daughter already knows that. We should all learn that lesson as well. It is strength to seek the help of others, not weakness. The fool relies only on himself, but the wise person seeks counsel.

Imagine, however, if you truly sought to understand and utilise your gifts and talents – and those of the people around you – to their fullest extent.

What People Have Achieved

Here are some of the things that people from history have achieved, despite the odds being that they would never achieve because it went against their perceived strengths:

  1. Albert Einstein progressed from being a boy who didn’t do very well at school and was lousy at mathematics, using his visual, allegorical imaginative bent to become one of science’s most venerated theoretical physicists.
  2. Helen Keller, blind, deaf and mute at a very young age, became a world leader and political advocate for numerous causes, an author and inspiring public speaker and lecturer.
  3. Winston Churchill went from a young man with a rebellious spirit and a speech impediment, to becoming the “bulldog” that helped the UK – and the free world – to weather the storm of Nazism.

And more recently…

  1. A hippy-ish, sometimes grumpy computer geek was sacked by his own company and, with his eye and instinct for technology design, returned to lead it to become the Apple that we know today.
  2. Bindeshwar Pathak used his academic, sociological bent to found a company (Sulabh International) dedicated to building toilets and thereby working to eliminate a whole aspect of horrific class denigration in modern India and emancipating thousands of women and families.

And if you think that each of these individuals accomplished what they did by themselves, then you need to go and read their stories properly. It was always the assistance of others that helped to draw out and to complement their own gifts and talents in order to pursue an admirable goal.

What You Should Do

Don’t underrate your own gifts and talents – those of yourself, or of your people. You can do more and should try to do more than you think – both personally and organisationally.

© 2014 Peter J. McLean

To better utilise your gifts and talents and those of your people, contact me. You can also visit one of our websites at www.lamplighter.com.au or www.authenticspeaking.com.au for resources and articles. Or subscribe to my video seminars to help you become a better leader, a better communicator and to achieve your aspirations and goals.


An incredible moment in my daughter’s life

The most amazing thing happened!

I haven’t written a lot in this blog about my kids – because that’s not the purpose of the blog and I don’t want to use their personal lives as fodder for business or for others. My wife also has concerns about creepy people out there. But I can’t hold this back.

Those of you who know me, family, friends, colleagues and clients, those with whom I have worked, who have heard me speak, or have read my newsletters and blog over the years, know about my daughter Alyssa, who has cerebral palsy. I wrote last year about how she had started to walk in a walking frame, while rigged up with her orthotics.

Alyssa turned 8 years old mid-May. A couple of weeks later, she actually took two quick, surprising steps by herself – kind of falling towards a spot. And then two weeks later again, on June 10 last week, this happened at her school:

(Click here if video does not appear above)

This is the first time she has walked by herself!

It is a miracle in progress that she is able to do this. You probably have to know her in full to deeply appreciate why and how much. Her excited helpers, and my eldest daughter who was at school (daughter #2 was home sick), were able to show me after school that day, when she walked again in the school office in front of me – all by herself!

In the video, her aides are giving her the plastic piping and baton to help her get a sense of balance and to help her feel like she has a hold of something. It’s like a tightrope walker holding a long beam for balance. And you can see how Alyssa is not exactly thrilled to be doing it, but she keeps going.

So many people – literally hundreds – have been directly involved in her care to get her to this point. And this is a day that we have never assumed was coming. We have been hoping and working, but have slowly moved from despairing that she would ever be able to even move around independently, to acceptance, to seeing slow changes, but not taking it for granted that she would ever be able to walk.

You can take your Gold Medal Olympians and your Mt. Everest climbers. That’s a piece of cake compared to the fundamental neurological change occurring in Alyssa, and the challenge, the bravery, the effort and the love required of her and all those around her every day (including the world’s greatest sisters who are there caring for, helping and, if necessary, carrying her every step of the way) for the last 8 years that made this momentous achievement possible.

There’s still a long way to go – she has to do this more than once and learn to walk consistently and confidently all by herself, she has to learn how to navigate and cope with bumps and uneven ground. She also is still trying to develop the very basics of speech and communication. She does not have the ability to care for any of her basic physical needs.

But what she has done even to this point to overcome is more than most of us ever have to face in a lifetime – and she has done that through the collective efforts of so many wonderful people. Mary and I thank you all from the depths of our hearts.

Alyssa, you are awesome!

[My thanks to Alyssa's aides and Beechboro Christian School for allowing me to make this video public.]

Peter J. McLean

Don’t be a ‘Doom and Gloomer’

I wrote in one of my Management Memos during May that we should prepare for an uplift in economic confidence in Australia come July 1. With economic data for the 1st quarter of 2014 just released today, it appears that we have had our 23rd consecutive year of economic growth, despite the federal government’s doom and gloom. (It’s nice to be right.)

So why is everyone always so fearful about the economy? People withhold spending and investment because everything’s ‘so tough’, but the reality is that Australia has a globally enviable situation. Yet many businesspeople seem more morose about it than Greece is about theirs!

We cannot approach the building of our careers, businesses and lives on fear, but on an expectation of positive outcomes. Why? Because, frankly, it’s far better than crying “We’ll all be rooned!” all the time [see the Aussie bush poem 'Said Hanrahan'] – makes you better company, more enjoyable to be around. And, equally frankly, it helps you to put your money and your energy upfront doing good, instead of hoarding it because things are ‘so bad.’

I enjoyed listening to the MD of Atlas Iron last week at a business lunch, who kept pointing to the positive in their business. It’s a great success story off the back of a startup during the GFC. MD Ken Brinsden is also the Vice Chairperson of Manna Inc., which provides tremendous help and food to the homeless and disadvantaged in Perth. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Manna’s founders before and some of my friends have helped on numerous occasions. Helping others in desperate situations did not come about through a doom and gloom attitude. It came about through realistically examining tough circumstances, and following through on a calling and a desire to do something positive about it.

There are many people who are ‘doing it tough’ in our economy and they ought to be leant a helping hand. People who are so concerned with their own looming catastrophes will not be the source of that help, but the people who open their eyes and step out to do something positive will.

In terms of your business and your leadership, look up. Don’t just be ready for an uplift in confidence, make it happen!