A Few Thoughts …

A few recent general observations:

  • If you’re willing to invest in yourself and the talents of those around you, you will get better returns than any stock market. Kudos to my clients who embrace growth.
  • When news stations and programs report ‘news’ such as ‘Social Media Lights Up With Comments About …”, they’re giving as much value as saying, “People were thinking about something that occurred today and then they talked about it.” You know when this happens, it’s time to sack the entire fourth estate and install someone who will actually investigate issues.
  • The number of social media experts seems to increase exponentially with each fall in the value of social media companies. How can those experts be making so much money if those companies are losing their value?
  • Accounts sections are some of the most moribund parts of large organisations. They hold up, wait, tie up in red tape and are slower to process than almost any other department except legal.
  • The reason US elections are so much fun to follow is because they have the drama, the chutzpah, the bizarreness. Who would have thought Donald “You’re Fired!” Trump could get ever as far as he has? I mean, in what other country do billionaires with extravagant lifestyles, who do everything against the reigning political regime, who seem to get more popular the more they put their foot in their mouth, get to ride high at the top of the political spectrum? It’s not like we have crazy Australian billionaires like Clive Palmer becoming a dominant force in our national politics, without any apparent party affiliation, or other hundred-millionaires like Malcolm Turnbull swapping political allegiances and continually straying from and betraying the party line in their bid for the top job? Oh, wait …
  • IS’s destruction of such ancient archaeological sites as Palmyra gives the lie to the idea that their cause is born out of a ‘lack of jobs’ (a popular notion touted by some commentators and politicians) and demonstrates that theirs is a crusade of religious and ideological extremism – their goal is to culturally terrorise, as well to militarily terrorise. And they should be dealt with bearing that in mind.
  • I don’t care how much he jumps on couches, Tom Cruise is still one of the world’s bona fide movie money earners. From hanging off planes to climbing the world’s skyscrapers, to amazing underwater and chase action sequences, and a little bit of a wink at super-action hero status, he knows how to give his audience what they want. He knows he makes more money internationally than he often does in the US. And yet he is routinely vilified by the general media, because he says things about topics where he has no expertise. That’s half the entertainment and news industry right there! He has a successful career with interesting projects. Will Smith currently does not. Hypocrisy, thy name is Hollywood. And speaking of money makers…
  • Kanye West is one weird dude. And all of the ‘artists’ and fans who applauded and cheered him on at the VMAs are even more so.
© 2015 Peter J. McLean. Follow me at theleadershiplamplight.com

Don’t Listen to the Stock Prognosticators

Listening to broadcasts of stock market prognosticators and ‘experts’ on the news, talking about structural re-adjustments, weaknesses in the market and the like after dramatic stock market losses is like listening to sports broadcasters in the aftermath of a sports match. They’re filled with wisdom about how and why things happened and what ‘the market’ is thinking, but strangely enough couldn’t say anything about it before the event.


Further, they go on to tell you how this can not recover, it’s disastrous, a bad omen and means another GFC. Panic. Panic. Panic. Yet, markets around the world make dramatic turnarounds the very next day and some dip again at the end of the day. Why? Because it’s the computer-driven algorithms and nanosecond trading that drives what are our biggest gambling casinos in the world: the stock markets. The algorithms are risk-averse and micro-opportunistic, so they sell off in massive cascades and drive the market down. Then, wise investors swoop in and consciously buy up the slack. If I were a betting man, I’d bet that the likes of Warren Buffett are doing very well post-yesterday.

Hedge fund managers and short sellers and their ilk will lose money and make money in the short-term. But if you’re in the market for the long haul – for long-term investment in viable, profitable businesses that actually make a difference and accomplishing something you deem valuable, then you are already winning. Yes, CEOs and Boards of publicly listed companies, I’m looking at you, too.

Don’t listen to the advice of those ‘experts’ who couldn’t even tell you last week that the markets were going to dive on Monday. On the other hand, the advice that is being broadcast about being calm and holding on to your valued stock and taking advantage of some opportunities if you have the means, is sound.

As in all things, there will always be dips and swings up, troughs and peaks, bad times and good times. Be in it for the long haul, not short-term gain.

© 2015 Peter J. McLean. Follow me at theleadershiplamplight.com.

“Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur”: Why Leaders Need Clarity

One of the key factors that helps leaders to be effective is clarity. Being UNclear is a huge detriment to your leadership and service. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. ‘It’ being seeking to achieve a goal and wanting to get my people there without being clear on the end result or the process.

The Busselton Jetty is one of my many favourite spots on the planet. 1.8 kilometres out to sea, it is the longest wood-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Photography by my old friend, Phil Hollett. You can view more of his gorgeous photography and purchase prints at www.philhollet.com.au

Early on in learning to work with and lead others, I realised that the clearer I was about the kind of standard and expectation that I wanted someone to work towards – for myself, included – the better the outcome. And I’ve seen that repeated again and again with leaders I’ve worked for, those I’ve observed from afar, and those I’ve coached and helped to achieve greater levels of success. (more…)

Danger, Will Robinson! Make Sure You Have a Backup!

I know not to do it. I know how to make sure it doesn’t happen. I’ve advised hundreds, probably thousands, of people (personally and literally) not to do it. But I still did it.


I was writing a blog post on the need for CEOs (and all of us) to have, to seek and to express clarity in our work. I was using my WordPress portal, instead of using a dedicated word processing or writing tool with continuous backup. WordPress is a fabulous platform, with multiple tools that make online work powerful and flexible. As you write, WordPress usually saves your drafts. I’ve never had problems with it skipping. But still, it is not a dedicated Word Processor, so you are putting your faith in the ability of this online software to keep things running smoothly.

What did I do? I wrote without proper backup.


The Age of Entitlement

It appears that a sense of entitlement is definitely not an issue with just the young. Mrs Bronwyn Bishop, Federal Speaker of the House, has given Australia a great view into her sense of entitlement in terms of her lavish mode de voyage. She may be trying to keep up with her daughter, Channel 10’s entertainment reporter, on the red carpet, but it appears that Mrs Bishop’s extreme travel claims have been caught out to great effect by the Federal Opposition.

Image courtesy ninemsn

While this government was in opposition, they shouted loud and long about travel expense abuses. Now one of their most senior members has demonstrated a real flair for it, that has apparently gone back decades. So the opposition is fully justified in calling her out. Of course, the opposition is also in the position of the pot calling the kettle black, as they have more than their fair share of entitlement and donation scandals, including the leader’s convenient ‘forgetting’ to register a $40,000 donation for eight years, right up until the day before he appeared before a commission that would ask him about these matters. “Yes, sir, I did complete that homework!”


It’s All Greek To Me – Negotiation and Resurgence

I‘m not an economist, however I have been a student of history, amongst other things. And the current Greek economic troubles remind me profoundly of the troubles of the German Weimar Republic, circa 1930.

The Weimar Republic of the 1930s or Greece in a few months’ time?

It was the Weimar Republic’s reliance on foreign debt and investment that led to its great lifestyle – drastically unsustainable after its main creditor, the US, called in its debts after the great Stock Market Crash. The Republic had done a great deal to lift productivity and industry post-World War I, but the high rolling came off the back of loans; leveraged funds.

When your creditor comes a-calling, it’s awful hard to be the one to set the terms of repayment. Banks couldn’t provide enough money and the currency quickly hyper-inflated and became essentially worthless. Radical agitating groups, e.g. the Nazis, quickly became de rigeur as advocates for the resurgence of the Republic, because they saw the reliance on foreign investment and regulation as restricting the growth and success of the German people. And, in no small way, they were right. But, of course, they were wrong about the destiny they wanted to forge and the way in which to forge it.

A similar economic condition currently faces Greece  (more…)

Belle Gibson, The ABC and ‘Truth’ A Lesson For All

The 60 Minutes interview with Belle Gibson, revealing her tangled web of deceit, and the ABC’s continuing bizarre defense over providing unfettered and supportive promotional opportunities to a terrorism suspect (and continuing terrorism advocate given Mallah’s comments) both point to a general failing in our society: the understanding, acceptance and advocacy of truth.


How often do you hear someone claim in a ridiculous high school-like, faux postmodern† or pseudo-modern angst, that what they are saying is ‘their truth’ and cannot be argued with? The 60 Minutes interview caught up Belle Gibson in her own lies and her inability to recognise reality, fostered by years of immersing herself in her own fictions. All it took was a few simple, straightforward questions, based on actual facts, for her lies to be torn down, leaving her confused and impotent.


Please Vote on My Leadership Tweets Poll

Please complete my quick poll. Many professional blogs have started to move away from even having a comments section on their site, as they’ve found people moving to Twitter and other platforms to have easier, quicker conversations.

I haven’t added Twitter to my services as, frankly, I haven’t wanted to waste my time on Twitter. However, I’d like to find out if my readers would appreciate a Twitter feed, so please complete the following poll and I’ll do ‘as you wish’.

You Have Already Voted For This Poll!!

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Submit your vote in order to see the results!
 Absolutely  Could/Can be useful  I don't know  I might sometimes  I don't, or wouldn't like to

Total voters: 2

Would you like me to provide leadership and management tweets?

  50%            50%      

Would you be happier to leave comments on blog entries through Twitter?

  50%                50%  

Do you enjoy using Twitter?

      50%        50%      

Do you follow other high level leaders and 'gurus' on Twitter?

      50%        50%      

Do you share tweets with others?

      50%            50%  

Do you prefer to engage in online conversations through Twitter?

      50%            50%  

Do you believe that Twitter adds anything to professional services brands?



5 Ways to Develop Your Vision

Vision! It’s always touted by management and leadership gurus as a leader’s critical asset. Without it, you don’t know where you’re headed. With it, you can achieve wonders. But Vision can be under-utilised and over-hyped.


The problem with Vision is its marred by occlusions in our sight, obstacles to our field of vision, myopia, tunnel vision, and our imperceptible saccadic movements that keep us aware but possibly distracted. Vision is not easy to pursue when you’re spending every day in the depths of dense regulations, paperwork, emails, tweets, directives from your boss, managing your people, handling inquiries from clients (or friends and family), let alone the really tough stuff.

So here are some practices you can use to practically and productively develop far-sighted Vision that will truly benefit you and yours in the long run:


KeepMeAccountable™ Is Here

Keep Me Accountable™ is here! If you’re like the vast majority of the world, it’s challenging to keep on top of the behaviours that will make a difference in your life. My clients needed a new way to help them track the most important things that they needed to do … every single day. So I created the Keep Me Accountable™ system to help them achieve change and growth like never before.


Through my strategic consulting and coaching, my high level clients needed a tool that could help drive them towards higher performance in their lives, their work and their businesses every day. But we just couldn’t find anything that did the job!

That’s why I created new processes and technologies to help them accomplish just that: something that would land in their lap with a way to keep track of the most important behaviours, attitudes and objectives of their day, their month and their year. And that became the Keep Me Accountable™ system that has helped change their lives.

Now I’m making my Keep Me Accountable™ system available to anyone and everyone to stay on track with the things that matter most – every single day.