As leaders - are we doing what we need to do?

Feb 13, 2019

Let me be straight with you.

To be a stand out leader you have to make your leadership personal and have your sights set on what you want to do, be or have.

Then own it and cultivate it!

Leadership is not a theory.

You have to be who you are!

So... have you made the transition?

Have you done the work?

Are you clear on what your purpose is?

Are you clear on your leadership intent?

I wasn't always clear and I didn't think I had leadership qualities.

I thought I had to be or act as a leader modelled on the Western (male) view of leadership, have all these leadership attributes, hold a high-level position, and mix with the 'right' people before I could become a leader.

But did you know you can lead from wherever you are, right now?

It starts with getting clear about your leadership intent, getting sharp about it, and articulating it.

Highly effective leaders have a view.

It's about setting audacious goals, owning them, and making a plan.

Highly effective leaders always have a plan that...

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FAST Goals for people who roll their eyes at goal setting

Jan 30, 2019

It’s that time of year again where people are setting their goals for the year striving to make positive changes in our lives.

It’s just what everyone does.

It’s almost expected that you overhaul your whole life or at least pretend you want to. 

Then we gloss over the fact that most people abandon their new year resolutions before February 1st.

So where do you start?

You start by identifying if your resolutions are dreams or goals.

In the first month of my Kia Tū Teitei Monthly programme: January - Planning Your Best Year Ever, I share a seven-part framework for setting goals – the SMARTER Formula.

That's Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-keyed, Exciting and Relevant.

This formula is great for ensuring that you are setting goals and not just naming your dreams.

A goal would be to lose 10 kgs by May 1st by exercising four times per week with both cardio and strength training and eating 1800 calories per day (only an example) from mostly whole...

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Owning it!

Dec 22, 2018

Last week I chaired the first day of the two day Women in Leadership Summit in Wellington.

There were over 80 attendees in the room with only a couple of wāhine Māori. No surprise really; the cost was well over $1,400 per day.

However what was interesting were the number of questions around confidence.

One woman came up to me during the networking session and said: "I don't know what was going on inside but on the outside you appeared calm."

"Yes," I said, "That's because I was".

I was calm because I put a lot of work in the lead up to the summit. I researched the various topics that were going to be covered. I prepared how I was going to introduce the speakers. I engaged with the panelists over email about the questions. I gave some thought to how I wanted the attendees to think and feel and what kind of experience I wanted them to have.

When I turned up on the day, I let go and went with the flow. I trusted myself.

I got lots of good feedback and someone said I owned it. And...

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Beware What You Say About Yourself

Nov 25, 2018

I’ve been facilitating a number of workshops lately, which have included both wāhine and tāne.

One of the things I notice when I ask participants to share their wins is that more often than not, wāhine will say something like this…

“Well… this really isn’t much of a win…” or “…other people have bigger wins than me…” or “… I’m not really good at this but…”.

I notice because I’ve been paying attention to my own words on what I say about myself.

And when I hear someone say anything like the above, I address it directly because I want you to be intentional about what you say about yourself and how you show up.

Every time you speak in front of a new group of people, you have an opportunity to show up authentically with power and presence.

You don't want to show up with self-deprecation or by diminishing yourself now do you?

Because diminishing ourselves can become an...

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How to get ahead even when you don’t have the support of your boss

Oct 25, 2018

A sponsor can be invaluable in helping you achieve your career goals and getting ahead in an organisation.

The first place most of us look for support is our immediate boss, the person who is closest to our work.

A good advocate offers advice and mentorship while also shining a light on our potential revealing capabilities that we may not know we have.

We borrow an advocate’s confidence in us until we adopt it completely ourselves.

One wahine I coach recounted a story of how her boss had shocked her by suggesting her for a job before she was ready. She took it, and with her boss’s close guidance, learned as she went.

Advocates also serve as role models allowing us to see how we can accomplish what they’ve done.

In my experience, having a career-supporting advocate is an uncommon find in our direct managers.

Supervisors and team leaders too often lack people development skills or organisational influence.

Or they are too protective of their own status to risk...

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The best leaders have good friends

Oct 18, 2018

Everyone needs good friends.

If you’re a leader of any kind, you especially need friends.

Many blessings abound from friendship - accountability, personal growth, shared experiences and much more.

Here are some benefits of having and being a good friend:

1. Rest

Leadership is relentless.

It can seem like your job is never done.

Your mind can easily become overwhelmed with the task at hand and like an all-consuming fire, your leadership can demand all of you.

I don’t believe this is a good thing.

You may think that you just enjoy your work so much that it’s fun for you to be consumed by it but that’s nonsense.

I know from experience that you need to regularly stop, enjoy and rest.

And that’s where a good friend comes in.

A good friend can help you rest from your leadership.

They can serve as a distraction from your work.

Sure, you’ll talk to them about your work, projects, and dilemmas, but your friend is not your direct report and as a friend,...

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Claim your personal power starting with these 10 things

Oct 11, 2018

I love being a wahine!

And I feel very fortunate to have been born in a time when wāhine have so many opportunities and choices that my own mother never had.

Yet of all the barriers that wāhine still face, one of the biggest is a lack of confidence and belief in our own worth.

Yes, we are wāhine and we rock!

But there are plenty of days we spend beating ourselves up, talking ourselves down and apologising for our opinions and questioning the value we bring to decision making tables.

We work hard.

We do a great job keeping all the plates spinning and scaling the high bars we set for ourselves.

Yet for many wāhine, it's never enough. 

No matter how much we squeeze into a 24 hour period, we still feel like we’re falling short on some measure; that we’re just not enough.

If only we were more organised, more disciplined, more assertive, more strategic,  more sure of ourselves – then...

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The Too Much Woman by Ev'yan Whitney

Sep 26, 2018

"There she is. . . the “too much” woman.

The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.

There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality.

Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain.

Her energy occupies every crevice of the room.

Too much space she takes.

There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting.

She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure.

She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it.

She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body.

This makes her dangerous.

She is dangerous.

And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much.

She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself.

She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness...

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Don’t just be a great leader, be a stand out leader

Sep 19, 2018

There are many challenges facing organisations these days.

To thrive and survive the turmoil requires more than greatness from the individuals.

"Great" doesn't cut it.

We need leaders that are stand-outs; people who cannot be compared to others because their distinctiveness defies any standard.

Here are 9 practical and proven attributes of the stand-out leader that I have discovered:

The stand-out leader:

  1. Is not content with managing the momentum of the business. They cause interventions that force people to challenge the status quo and think differently. They don't wait for a reason to change; they "force" change and make it integral to the organisation's DNA.
  2. Does not tolerate sameness. They ask "how can we be different?" rather than "how can we copy the best in class?" And they accordingly change the conversation throughout the organisation.

They seek ultimate uniqueness for the organisation by creating their "only" statement: "We are the only ones that..."

  1. Loves uncertainty...
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How to receive a compliment without feeling awkward about it

Sep 12, 2018

I've just returned to Wellington after a fabulous three-day conference where I facilitated a workshop in the morning and again in the afternoon.

A number of people came up to me and said it was a great workshop.

So how did I respond?

I downplayed the compliments.

Aue!

I thought I had addressed my perfectionist ways and “don’t want to appear whakahīhī” nonsense.

Like everyone else, I'm human.

I enjoy receiving compliments but accepting it with grace seems to be a challenge for me.

Apparently, it’s not just me.

In fact, it’s so common that sociolinguists have categorised the three responses to a compliment: acceptance, deflection or rejection.

Rather than humbly accept or outright reject the kind words, individuals often choose to deflect or dilute the compliment.

You may be tempted to respond with denial or self-insult.

I did.

Not once but several times.

It was easy to say, “Thank you, but you’re just saying that because you’re my...

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