contribution

“Today is one of those days when I could restore myself to the default factory settings” (Anon) It is easy to feel negative, anxious and disgruntled, especially at a time when worldwide the COVID-19 virus is on the rampage again. The pandemic has pulled the rug out from under our feet, disrupted life as we…

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones” Confucius When faced with the pressing problems of the day, like pandemics, poverty, hunger, a damaged environment, etc., it is easy to fall prey to feelings of helplessness and be overwhelmed by the seeming insignificance of one’s own contribution to finding solutions. Our…

The newly-appointed CEO to a giant retailer sat down with his executive team to go through the finances of the group. Pouring through the budget, they came upon a line item with a large associated “expense”. The CEO questioned the number and the finance chief responded: “Shrinkage is included in the budget for theft. Our…

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. ”So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” (J R R Tolkien)…

From the earliest histories of populations and cultures, walls have been built not only to support roof structures and other forms of shelter, but also, and perhaps primarily, as a form of defence – to keep marauding tribes and other instruments of hostility out. Walled cities were the norm and eventually walls were used as…

“It does not make sense to hire chess players and then treat them like chess pieces” (Anon) I was always taught to treat the cleaner like I treat the managing director/CEO – i.e., with dignity and respect. This should be true of how we treat people from every level in the organisation, particularly those that…

The 21st Century seems to be demanding a shift in leadership style, character and application – gone are the days of autocracy, manipulation, selfishness, greed and meanness (at least, we would like them to be gone). Our chaotic world (social, business, political, etc.) is calling for sensibility and sustainability, but very few are answering the…

Leadership behaviour that is not aligned to corporate values, political gamesmanship, silo-building, power struggles and ineffective communication practices all create mixed messages which confuse organisational employees. Instead of an environment where everyone is focused on strategic objectives, the organisational context is characterised by distraction, insecurity and frustration. Staff become uncertain – not sure of expectations…

All human beings have a need to feel part of something bigger than them – a sense that they are valued and that they can make a contribution that will be recognised. Employees want to be part of a winning team, want to have a fair, kind and generous boss and want a job that…

I love classical music, especially some of the compositions from masters of the past. Although I have plenty of recorded music, nothing quite compares to actually attending a concert – the anticipation of the audience, hearing professionals tune their instruments, then silence before the applause as the conductor walks out to take his bow. The…

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom” (Francis Bacon, Sr.) Many employees have become so used to receiving instructions – their respective bosses telling them what to do – that they have stopped thinking as a result. They perform the functions, but their hearts and minds are not part of their actions. They go…