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Articles filed in: Worldview

More Than Words

The school public speaking competition was in full swing. One after another the young and accomplished speakers stepped up to the lectern. Their opinions, convincing arguments and confidence just blew us away.

The evening was drawing to a close and the audience began to fidget as the second last speaker took the stage. Before he said a word he got hold of both sides of the heavy wooden lectern and pointedly moved it to the side of the stage. He paused, then stepped forward to make eye contact with the audience.

Before he had even opened his mouth or his argument this kid was a winner.

It’s true what Annette Simmons says….whoever tells the best story does win. It’s important to remember though that your story is more than the most convincing argument you can make, or the eloquent words that you write.

Image By Tommi Komulainen.

What’s Your Sentence?

Tomorrow you might consider making a list of resolutions. You might even set goals for the coming year. Before you do watch this short video from Daniel Pink and then go craft a sentence that will be your guidepost for everything you plan to do.

The best bit is that you get to choose.

If you’d like to share in the comments I’d love to read your sentence.

All my best to you for 2013!

Image by Jilarson.

The Glory Or Generosity?

The performer exited stage left, applause ringing in his ears. Relief and joy flooded through him as he grabbed a sandwich outside the greenroom. The stagehand waiting in the wings congratulated him on giving a great performance. He didn’t stop or turn to face her as he stuffed the sandwich into his mouth whole.

“Boy, I didn’t realise how hungry I was.” he said, as he moved right on to receive the next compliment without acknowledging the last one, or the person who had given it.

When the spotlight is off you. When the applause dies. When the next promotion doesn’t come. When the big idea fails. When the next performance doesn’t go so well and even when it does.

When whatever will be is. What will matter then?

The glory or the generosity?

Wishing you lots of moments of generosity and love this holidays.

Image by Eva Ekeblad.

What Versus Why

My middle son left school this year and here’s the question everyone asks him.

“What do you want to do?”

I bet it’s a question you’ve been asked too at one time or another.

My seventeen year old tells people he wants to study either architecture or design, and then that he’s off to Billund in Denmark to work as a designer for LEGO. He has absolutely no idea how he’s going to make this happen, but here’s what he once told me.

Can you imagine the feeling of being in a toy shop and seeing a little kid talking excitedly to his Mum about the big LEGO set on the top shelf? The set he wants more than anything in the world. The one you designed.

It’s important to know what you want to do.

Knowing ‘what’ however pales into insignificance when you understand deep down why you’re doing it.

Image by Ben Spark.

Anyone Could Have Done It

Anyone could have written that book.

Had this idea.

Made that project work.

Pulled this off.

The thing is they didn’t. That most people don’t.

And you’re not just anyone.

Image by Alexander Kesselaar.

Who Is It For?

They’ve put a beautiful Christmas tree in the foyer of our local leisure centre. It stands almost three metres tall, complete with the usual baubles and wrapped presents underneath. The tree would be perfect if it wasn’t for the temporary barrier that surrounds it on four sides, (you know the kind, the type with the expanding elastic you see if you ever queue at a bank anymore). Oh and the sign which reads, “Do not touch the Christmas display. Thank you for your cooperation.”

The point of the tree should be to deliver joy. Not much joy for the three years olds (who can’t read the sign of course) and have a go at touching it. Or their mothers, who now have to yell at them loudly not to touch the tree, while they wait in line for coffee or an entry ticket to swimming lessons.

Every business decision you make should be prefaced with the question. Who is this for? If you’re doing something to please investors or board members, your suppliers or partners, customers or staff, make sure your decision pleases the right people.

If you really are setting out to delight your customers and not just putting a tick in the box, go stand in their shoes. Once you see the world through their eyes you’ll know who you’re choosing to please.

Image by Geoanne Millares.

You Scratch My Back

The suited up guy approached me at the end of the meeting saying he wanted to find ways to promote my business. He was that impressed!

“There is a quid pro quo though.” he said.

The old you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours routine. A transaction. This for that.

The most valuable relationships I’ve built never started with the limited thinking of what’s in it for me. If you do something for someone out of self-interest or for an eventual return and the payoff never comes, what are you left with?

If you do something because it feels good to be generous and to build trust you’ve got the feeling and the trust.

Meaning can’t be transacted.

Image by Stuart Richards.

Making Things Happen

Making things happen is about making a choice.

The question you need to ask is “What do I want more?”

This or that?

Another slice of cake or smaller hips?

More time on Facebook or focus and increased productivity?

One more mind map in your notebook or something for all the world to see.

The best part is, that like puppeteer Kevin Clash you get to choose what you bring to life.

You get to decide what you want more.

If not this then what?

Image by Dan Thompson.

How To Get To Do The Things You Want To Do

The best way, the only way in fact, to get from where you are to where you want to be is to begin.

You get to do what you want to do by doing it.

Maybe not all day every day at first, but it’s easier than ever now to start.

Decide what you want to see in the world.

Then go make that happen.

Image by Zen Sutherland.

Practice The Art Of Making People Matter

Walk along any suburban street. Sit in any cafe. Listen to telephone conversations at the airport lounge. Here’s what you’ll find. Everyone is having the same conversation.

The early morning gym junkies, the startup hub members, the mothers catching the train to work, the fathers in the book store and the teens glued to their Facebook walls. All worrying about the same things. Each with similar hopes and cares despite their differences.

All wanting to feel that whatever it brings, that this day, they mattered.

How are you helping your customers to belong and to feel that they matter?

Image by Ed Yourdon.