What is Life Average

What is “Life Average?”

Each of us has a list of responsibilities and roles that we perform every day. The number of roles will vary from person to person depending on age, ambition and personality traits. For example: you could be a child, a parent, an employee or an employer. Maybe you are sporty and hold some activity roles too. Perhaps you are a spouse, or maybe you are single. All these roles work together to form our own identity, who we are, and will shape our personalities.

Culture101 – ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’

Sitting in a meeting about culture, the Logistics Manager blurted out: I hate it when employees say ‘The Company should’, or ‘you should’, never taking ownership of their jobs or showing loyalty towards the company.  The manager had moved herself up in a medium sized pharmaceutical company, a family business, from receptionist to Logistics Manager in a few short years. She didn’t get the sympathetic and understanding response she was hoping for.

Cultre101 – Creating a sense of ‘we’

An ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ culture is more than just a un-resourceful state for a team to be in, it is a team culture that can leave a trail of failed goals and broken dreams in its wake. The ‘we’ team appears greater than the sum of its individual parts, producing results that are bigger than the collective effort. The individual’s sense of belonging to the team is the culture every leader should strive to accomplish.

Track Record Trumps Potential Every Time

Business is a cold hard world of facts, calculations and evaluations with little tolerance for esoteric philosophies. Life Coaching and leadership, on the other hand, fundamentally believe in the unseen. Potential, beliefs and attitude are un-measurable forces that drive the existence of Life Coaching and leadership.
As a Life Coach, we owe it to the business community to make the process and principles less ‘up in the air’, and a little more ‘concrete’. Dealing with Potential is just such one area that needs to be reviewed in Life Coaching. The Business World believes that Track Record is what determines someone’s worth, and not their latent Potential.

This article serves not to evaluate the ‘truth’ within the statement, but rather to pose a question: If that was true, how would a Life Coach deal with this ‘reality’?

3 Features in Good Life Coaching

Life and Business coaching became an international “buzzword” concept in the early 90’s. As a psychologist, counsellor and pastor, I spent much of my time educating people on the concept of what is a life coach. Today coaching is common in the workplace, yet the need to define what coaching is has now come full circle.
Sports coaching is well understood and an easy example for us to investigate. A sports coach passes on specific techniques, designs and oversees the athlete’s training schedule and confronts un-resourceful mindsets to replace it with motivated attitudes.

8 Characteristics of Great Life Coaches

Life coaching should be a collaborative experience, a shared responsibility between the coach and coachee. The responsibility of the coach is to identify weaknesses in mental process, and change them for to the strong processes, allowing the coachee to actively pursue and achieve their dreams.

The coach/coachee relationship is a delicate dance of outcomes, observation, trust and curiosity that could last from just one project to a life time of achievement.

9 Key Questions to guide Change - Part 1

Navigating change can be a tricky process with the “pull of the past” tugging at your heels to get you back to your comfort zones. Seeing the process through until change has been firmly set in the normal routine requires discipline and direction.

Change happens automatically, but not all change brings positive development with it. Expecting a positive result at the end of the process requires conscious effort to correctly guide the change.

9 Key Questions to Guide Change - Part 2

  5. Control: Can you start and maintain the outcome?

4 Traps that will prevent Change

Change is loaded with uncertainty and can get messy if not handled correctly. Cautious behaviours, high strung emotions and wobbly expectations create an unstable pot for progress. Double-minded leaders guiding doubtful team members causes blindness to the various traps that will drag you back to the level you wanted to leave. Four traps in specific are common to change agents and will prevent your path to progress. These four traps are:

Superpowers of the Superheroes for Change – 8 Traits for leaders of change

Leadership is a demanding role, and even more so when it comes to guiding change. As a leader you automatically step in to the role: Custodian of Change. A leader has the unenviable job of juggling two main elements – Activities for Change and Engagement of Team Members. This is no easy thing as these tasks are on opposite ends of the skills range. A Leader requires a set of unique skills, abilities and traits, and even more so when it comes to managing change.

Listed here are traits that are extremely useful when dealing with Change within the team or organisation:

The Architecture of Change – The 7 Key Phases of Change

Change is inevitable, but progress isn’t guaranteed! Industry, technology and information changes continuously, but this is no guarantee that your team will progress as a result of the change. Successful change needs to be deliberate and managed in order for the team to gain the full benefits. All change will require the leader to observe, guide and manage team knowledge and behaviour. Managing change is the reason leaders exist!

Challenges of Change – 5 Key areas that will kill your efforts to bring change

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly at first.” Many teams use this quote as a mantra, launching their efforts in a bid to get momentum for their cause. It is true that it is easier to steer a car while it is moving. A stationary vehicle is both impossible to turn and difficult to get rolling. There are a lot of advantages for the team or organisation to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, as changing direction later is common, possible and if managed correctly – powerful.

Timing - The Golden Pivot of Success

As every successful athlete knows, as every great salesman has experienced – there is a fine line between failure and success. The difference between a failure and a successful task balances uneasily on the golden pivot of timing! As in sports or in sales – when to lead is as important as how or where.
Timing carries with it the potential of four possible outcomes:

3 Kinds of Sacrifices Leaders are called to make

It will come as no surprise to someone climbing the Leadership Ladder that leaders have to sacrifice in order to succeed! The glamorous image people have of leadership hides the fact that leaders are called to give up more than anyone else in order to stay up the ladder as a leader. The higher you climb as a leader, the greater the sacrifice you will be called to make. Leadership is marked by true living sacrifices.

New and budding leaders often falter when they discover the types of sacrifices they need to make and their growth path changes from one of leadership to one of dictatorship. Here is a brief list of sacrifices a leader will be called to make on their path to success:

The 3 R's of Priority

 It is safe to say that being busy does not mean you are productive. It must also be said that leaders never reach a point where they do not have to prioritise their activities. A diary full of activity doesn’t guarantee accomplishments. In fact, the higher you climb up the successful leader ladder, the more important successful prioritising becomes.

Pareto’s 80/20 Principle suggests that 20% of your effort will produce 80% of your rewards. There is  a big “BUT” attached to that principle – but you must select worthwhile activities that will bring reward.

So, how do you, as a leader, select the “better” activities to get more bangs for your sweat? By utilising the 3 R’s of Priority of course. The 3 R’s of Priority are three questions the leader can ask to determine if an activity is really worth the effort:

4 Principles of Momentum in Leadership

Like a strong man in a Truck Pulling Contest – Leadership is hard to get started! The strong man leans into the braces with his full weight, taking small, but strong steps to just get the truck rolling. Once it starts to move, keeping the truck rolling is a lot simpler. It the same way, starting your team off will take all the strength you have, but will get easier as you roll along.

Develop a Relentless Passion to Win!

Relentless dedication to winning separates the successful leader from the crowd. Whether success is correcting a social wrong like Ghandi, or cornering a segment of the I.T. Market to earn millions like Bill Gates, you commitment must be energetic, unforgiving and never-ending until victory is in the bag!

Great leaders all have this in common: They are unwilling to accept anything less than pure VICTORY! The alternative to winning is totally unacceptable and foreign to them, driving them to find the path to success

Dispelling the “Positive Thinking” Myth

The chatter fell silent, replaced by an eerie hush. The only sound that could be heard in the room was the clink of metal against glass, as makeshift pendulums swung from left to right in the confines of a wine glass. Course participants held onto the pendulums and practised “thought directions” which are interpreted by the body and quickly converted into actions, causing “uncontrolled” swinging of the pendulum.   

Needy Leader – The Flip Side

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Needy Leader – The Flip Side

AVOID being a NEEDY Leader (part 2)

The needy leader forms one leg of the Drama Triangle. What is the Drama Triangle? The needy leader creates drama by viewing all the people that surround him or her in one of two categories – Victim or Persecutor as discussed in Part 1. Below is a Drama Triangle Diagram:

AVOID being a NEEDY Leader

AVOID being a NEEDY Leader!

Leader is almost synonymous with Role Model. People look to Leaders to set an example, to lead the way. People draw strength and encouragement from leaders. So, the pressure is on the Leader to be reliable, consistent and to act with integrity.  Imagine the devastation and harm a needy leader could cause.

When a leader decides that their own worth and value is based on the position they hold, they quickly descend into a dark place that makes leadership ugly. Manipulative, controlling and praise-seeking become hallmarks of a needy leader. Even good people walk on a slippery slope that could take them into the role of a needy leader. So, how does a well-meaning leader avoid becoming needy?

4 Principles of "Buy-In"

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Principles of Buy-In

Developing a following is not as simple as one may think. Having a cause, a concept or a project where you need the help of others will require them to “buy-in” to your vision. I have watched many leaders and entrepreneurs sweat to get jus a small handful of followers. This initial phase of little to no acceptance can cause leaders to doubt in themselves and/or the cause for which they stand, and becomes the turning point when they crack and slink into the “number 2 position,” wounded and humiliated.

Don’t let your leadership capacity get whipped into believing you were meant to play second-in-command to someone else’s leadership. Neither you nor the world will benefit from this victim mentality. Stay strong and push until you get a break through. Listed below are a few useful principles that will help you remain strong and focused during times of little or no support:

Leader, show them the picture.

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Leader, show them the picture.

 Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be paid to dream? Of course it would, and that’s why we have Leaders – to dream! The higher the level of leadership you hold, the more likely your job is dreaming about the future.

The primary role of a leader is to hold up the picture of the dreamed future while the team puzzles the pieces together.  Understanding the picture and how to communicate it are valuable skills that will ensure a Leaders success. A Leader must be a visionary and should be able to translate that vision into action.

4 Keys for Leadership Connection

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4 Keys for Leadership Connection

Leadership success is related to a Leader’s ability. The more abilities the leader has, the more likely the Leader is to succeed. One of these abilities required by the Leader is the ability to connect to people. A leader needs to touch the hearts of followers before asking them to put their hands to work.
Many people immediately get defensive when they hear a Leader must “Care”. Visions of getting personally involved in the daily details of others lives, carrying burdens and sharing tears put people off getting involved in “caring”. Although a Leader will share these types of intimate moments with inner circle followers or advisors, it is not necessary for the Leader to become an emotional prostitute and ship wreck their personal lives for the sake of being a caring success.

Quality Inner Circle Makes Quality Leadership

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Quality Inner Circle Makes Quality Leadership

Even a Fuel Tanker needs to stop for fuel at some point! Leaders need to have a place where they can pit stop, rest, recuperate, learn and get some advice, without being judged, criticised or measured. The Support Group for the Leader could be a friends and supporters within the team itself, or they could be people the Leader values spread far and abroad in whom the Leader confides.

3 Obstacles to Empowering Others

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3 Obstacles to Empowering Others

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” Theodore Roosevelt.

The confusing thing is the Leader must fully own the vision in order to succeed, but the Leader must also share the vision by releasing it into the hands of others to achieve greatness. Empowerment of others is the Leaders most challenging task that will possibly bring some of the greatest rewards.

Mirror, Mirror in the Boardroom...

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Mirror, Mirror in the Boardroom ...

Take a look at your team. No, really look at them. Did you notice that your team members are very similar to you?
This is no accident. People like people that are like themselves. Leaders attract people that are like-minded, similar in beliefs and values, and often mirror strengths and weaknesses too.

When called to assess the slump in any given company, I often arrive a little early for the first board meeting, to enter the building through the basement, kitchen or service area. Board members prepare themselves to dazzle consultants (and CEO) with their brilliance and knowledge and often regurgitate what they think I want to hear. This does not assist me to find the problem that required them to use my services in the first place. Masks and defence mechanism are the order of the day.

6th Sense for Great Leadership


The 6th Sense for Great Leadership

Leadership can be equated to juggling three fragile balls: Vision, People and Tasks. With all the skills and abilities required to successfully manage these various dimensions, a leader can benefit greatly from a little magic too.
Don’t worry, we not going to delve into the mystic arts as a module of leadership. We are, however, going to look at the advantages of a leader’s Intuition. Even before we discuss Intuition too deeply, let us demystify the word.

Reliability is as Leader Does

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Reliability is as Leader Does

Gone are the days of blind leaders ahead of blind followers. Modern teams have a greater consciousness and are seeking reliable and authentic leaders of integrity that are worthy of trust.

Leaders can no longer treat people’s trust and respect with reckless attitudes and behavior. A leader must recognize that the position is one of accountability and responsibility.

6 Things Others Respect in a True Leader

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6 Things Others Respect in a True Leader

In the orders society of dogs, there is always a leader for the team. Should the existing leader lose the favour of the pack through injury, illness or age; another dog with leadership capacity will step into the role and assume authority. Dogs don’t care who the leader is, as long as there is a leader.

Chance are, the successor will be a dog that has proven worth earlier and demonstrated his or her capabilities for which he or she won the packs respect and admiration. Similarly, people recognize the capacity for leadership in others too, drawn in by admiration and respect.

Many desire the position of leadership, but it is not a role for which one can crown yourself. Rather, leadership is a result of people recognizing your capacity and respecting your abilities - and then decide to follow you! This process often occurs by evolution, rather than revolution.

Leaders are Directional

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Leaders are Directional

Alice arrived at a fork in the road. Confused as to which road to select, she asked the Cheshire cat “Which road should I choose?”

The grinning cat asked: “Where do you want to go?”

“Anywhere” replied the bright eye girl.

“Then it really doesn’t matter which road you choose” said the cat.

5 Areas of Growth a Leader should Continually develop

5 Areas of Growth a Leader
should Continually Develop

Let’s be clear on this: just because you hash tag leader in your bio, does not mean you are a leader! You no more select the title of leader than you select the title of being an “influencer” in your industry. These two title are awarded when the evidence of the traits have been identified and verified. One thing, however, is synonymous with leadership – and that is – growth!

If your desire is to influence others with your leadership, or even if you are the leader of an organisation, perhaps a manager or supervisor – that fact is, your followers, your team, or your organisation will only grow to your level.

The Myths and Magic of Influence in Leadership

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The Myths and Magic of
Influence in Leadership

Leadership cannot be assigned, delegated or awarded, but rather it is recognised within someone by their ability to influence people, organisations, situations and paradigms.  The basic form of true leadership is influence. A leader is measured on his or her ability to influence, and this cannot be “passed on” to someone, but rather leadership and influence tags must be earned. All the skills and strategies one learns as a leader, is to influence effectively.

4 Ways to Add Value s a Leader

Add Value as a Leader in these 4 Areas

One of the most elusive callings on this planet is that of a leader. General misgivings about leaders result in managers and entrepreneurs labeling themselves as leaders, robbing the concept of its single greatest asset – the ability to serve! Leadership is synonymous, and one cannot talk about leadership without talking about servanthood. 

If you still reading this after the dreaded word (servanthood) appeared in the article – congratulations! The potential for you to be a true leader is great, but don’t sign up to be a waiter for mankind just yet. Leadership is about adding value to others.

4 Processes Leaders must Master

4 Processes Leaders must Master

“Overnight Success Stories” are often filled with details of years of complex process requiring years of hard work, influence and painfully slow growth. Perhaps the story of leadership in your life follows a similar story line?

Of one thing we can be certain, is that becoming a leader is marked by showing a working understanding of processes. 

8 Universal Life Skills

8 Universal Life Skills
(everyone should have)

There is no doubt that the world we live and its inhabitants are changing. Professional communication, access to information, more contact with diverse groups of people; are just three ways over the last decade in which the demands on each person personally has changed.

Adaptability was an ability that was favoured, but has become an essential life skill to ensure personal survival in this ever changing world.

The "Space" of Leadership

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The Space in Leadership
3 Skills of Listening and Timing

Music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. Wolfgang Mozart

Music is in the space between the notes. Claude Debussy

The attribute of Space in Leadership can be compared to the space between notes in music. Whatever you preference of style, it seems that music appeals to people from all walks of life. It is true that each of us has our own choice as to our favourite groups or even style of music. It is also true, you would have to agree, that music is made up of notes and timing.

Quantum Theory Leadership - A definition

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Quantum Theory Leadership

A Definition
Quantum Mechanics is the science that studies the particles that make up every day objects including you and me. Experiments have discovered that these particles, viewed at a sub atomic level, behave very strangely indeed. Einstein called this science – Spooky! (Read the Quantum Theory Leadership - An Introduction - here)

Reading material on Quantum Mechanics, I began to draw parallels to the area of Leadership. After a comment a reader made on the seemingly opposing attributes of leadership (some say lead from the front, some say lead from behind) on an article posted on this blog, I began wondering if there was a definitive description of leadership with a logical and measurable manner to offer training and development.

3 K's of Leadership Development

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The 3 K's of Leadership Devlopment
John C. Maxwell’s Law of the Lid in Leadership is a profound lesson, and forms the basis of the company I own – Anam Cara – Equipping tomorrow’s leaders today.

The Law of the Lid details how an organisation, company or project can be limited in growth by the growth (or lack thereof) of the leader.  The development and progress of the company or team is directly related to the development of the leader.

It comes as no surprise then that the top leaders in the world are learners and readers. The entire personal and leadership development industry is built on the premise that the leader must grow.

The Absurdity of Leadership

The Absurdity of Leadership  

5 Spooky Principles for Quantum Theory Leadership
Researching the concept of leadership and seeking a definitive description for a leader, the results show that leadership could start simply being described as “personal responsibility for leading and directing one’s own life”, to the complexity in defining the roles and functions of a Multimillion Dollar Organisation’s CEO.
The scripts on leadership are as opposing as they are many, describing how leadership should be handled from the front to the concept of leading from the back, with a little “lead from the middle” injected into the mix for added absurdity.

Nowhere in nature nor science are the laws for any single concept as conflicting and random as for leadership! Oh, wait a minute! There is a science that is as absurd and as spooky, and studying it may offer some keys to understanding leadership.

5 Areas of a Leaders Responsibility

Leader by Name
5 Areas of Responsibility of A Leader

To answer the question - “what is a leader?” - we must look at what a leader does. In order to understand what a leader does, we must examine the environment in which a leader functions.

To understand the leader’s environment we need two essential embedded bits of knowledge. First we need to know that a leader works within a team. Secondly, we must understand that a team is a group of people that are united by a common need or passion, and share a common vision. (Read "The Absurdity Of Leadership")

Life not lived in shadows

<<Board of Brilliance, Life nt lived in shadows

John's Board of Brilliance

Life is not lived in someone else's shadows... a 1:41 video.

If you want something different

<<Board of Brilliance, If you want something different...

John's Board of Brilliance

If you want something different... a 1:48 video...

Failure is not Identity

<<Board of Brilliance, Failure not an identity
John's Board of Brilliance

Failure is not an identity..... 1:34 video

Best Choice

<<Board of Brilliance, Best Choice

John's Board of Brilliance

People always make the best choice... 1:07 video
Article by John Usher on Choice:

6 Steps to Engaged Leadership

6 Steps to Engaged Leadership

Whether you are arranging your own life for success, or rallying the energy and enthusiasm of a team, it is important that you and your team are fully engaged in the process.  According to Wikipedia, Engage means: 1. occupy or attract (someone's interest or attention).  2. Participate or become involved in and   3. (With reference to a part of a machine or engine) move into position so as to come into operation.

As a leader focused on achievement of a vision, you will require yourself and your team members to be interested in the vision, you will require them to participate or be involved in the active achievement of the vision by moving into an operational position that will make them fruitful. Engaging people is no easy task as approximately 77% of people are disengaged from their own lives and careers. Getting people interested and involved is the single hardest task for a leader that never stops. The six steps to Engaged Leadership is a looped process that will allow the leader to continually develop his or her own engagement and that of the team.

4 Dream Killers for Potential Leaders and Winners

4 Dream Killers for Potential Leaders and Winners

With so many people content to live inside the box of Averagedom, it must be comfortable and appealing, right? Yet, studies show that more than 47% of people are discontent with their life and personal achievements. If so many people are unhappy with who they are and what they have achieved, why don’t they do something about it? Is the box so rewarding that people settle for second best for their lives? Or are the obstacles that prevent people from getting out the box so powerful?

 It is true; many people choose to remain average throughout their lives. Although there are many reasons for people to stay inside, this article explores 4 difficulties people have trying to get out of the box. These are not the only reasons people struggle to break free from mediocrity, but they offer an insight to the most common barriers to success for potential leaders and winners.

5 Phases of Team Development

5 Phases of a Developing Team
As obvious as it may be to you and I, there are many people floating about claiming the title of leader when they have no team, they have no followers. What should be obvious is that “leader” is not a title, but rather a role or a function. The leader may not always be the most experienced person, nor the oldest. The leader may not walk in front of the pack, but one thing is for certain, a leader carries that label because of the job they perform.

The obvious job a leader performs is to lead a group of people. The path may be from A to B, or from A to B and back again. The path a leader takes a group may cover all the letters in the alphabet, but one thing should not be overlooked: the primary function of a leader is to take his or her people from a frazzled group to a high performance team. 

8 Comparisons between Groups & Teams

Groups vs. Teams

A leader will emerge as a team gathers to accomplish any sort of objective. A handful of key principles will assist a leader to lay a good foundation for his or her personal leadership style. The leader should also understand the phases of a developing team, understand what is required to keep the team on track. A working knowledge of the difference between a group and a team will help the leader identify where the team is in the development process.

5 Principles of Team Development

5 Key Principles of Team Development
In order to achieve something fantastic, you require a team to do what is needed for success. Before you have a high performance team, you need a group that shares a common cause. Before you have a group with a common cause, a leader is required. This leader will take his or her people from being a group into a high performance team that achieves outcomes smoothly and efficiently.

Even though there are many kinds of teams, each accomplishing many types of objectives, all requiring vastly different skill sets, it is clear that the leaders of the unique and varying groups need to have an understanding of the basic concepts of leadership. Knowledge of just a handful of key principles will give the leader a clear understanding of his or her role in the success of any team.

5 Steps to turn your Group into a High Performance Team

5 Steps to turn your Group into a
High Performance Team

All teams are a group, but not all groups are teams. In order to understand this opening statement it is important to understand the dynamics and definition of a group, and of a team. A Group is a collection of people that have come together, joined by a common cause. A Team is a collection of people, already united by a common cause, and have a common objective or goal to achieve.

Which Comes first: Leadership or Purpose?

Which Comes first?
The age old riddle of which comes first; “the chicken or the egg,” is a frustrating argument. Trying to determine which element is needed to fuel / develop / birth the next is turned into a circunever-ending debate by asking: which is needed first? Or, what is step one? When you are involved in the development of leaders, you will discover a similar dilemma - Which is needed first: Leadership or Purpose?
The “chicken or the egg” riddle is not as simple as it may first seem. Which is required first? This seems like a logical question, however, it always ends in the repetitive circular argument that has made the riddle famous. There is another question which could be asked: Which one can survive on its own?