Monday, May 20, 2019

The Game They Play in Heaven (Part I)

I’ve played rugby since I was 11 years old and loved it from the moment the Under 13’s coach threw a strange oval shaped ball to me.

I fell in love with the New Zealand All Blacks when they played in the North of England in 1963/64 and our coach took us to the game to watch and learn.

I’ve played rugby wherever I lived – in the UK, France, Morocco, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

I’ve coached, been an administrator (in New Zealand and the USA) and made lifelong friends all over the world through this beautiful game, the game they play in Heaven.

This is a big year for the game.  A Rugby World Cup in Japan in October/November with the reigning Champions (the All Blacks) to face powerful threats from Wales, Ireland, England, South Africa and maybe even Australia and Scotland.

So rugby lovers, the next two posts are for you.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Manchester City - FA Cup Winners!

Manchester City: 6 / Watford: 0

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Throwback Thursday III (from 20 December 2012): Win More With Less

One thing that has really stood out for me this year is how much people are getting “lost in the unnecessary”. Established companies try to cover as many bases as they can out of fear of getting overtaken by smaller businesses that claim to be more “agile”. More data means thicker and more complex reports that are less inspiring to read. People are sharing more online but not in proportion to the amount of new ideas we should be creating.

Steve Jobs once said that “deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do”. He would ask his top 100 people for 10 things they needed to do and then once the list was made tell them they could only do 3.

A.G. Lafley once told me “the important thing about a change programme is knowing what not to change”. Deciding what to eliminate not only helps you focus on what’s important, it also forces you to create a better product. Jeff Bezos has done it by working to “eliminate all the gatekeepers” that has been a barrier between consumers and suppliers.

Focusing on the important, not the urgent, will ensure that you do things right. And if you fail, you’ll be able to fix it faster too.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Star is Born (I)

Since I joined Wigan Athletics’ Board a month ago, we have played five matches – won three, drawn two, lost zero and moved up the table from 22nd to 18th (and safety from relegation).  As I told the Board, it’s amazing what a new Director can do!!!!

But really, the most important factor was a 19 year old young player on loan from Chelsea – Reece James – our player of the season.  A powerful full-back, mid-fielder – he just oozes class.  A natural leader and all-round good bloke.  He’s back at Chelsea now after a season in the Championship where he showed he can handle any situation – coolly, correctly and creatively.

He's unlikely to ever play in the Championship again.  He’s destined for the Premier League next season and full England honours shortly after that.

Keep an eye out for him.  He’s the Real Deal.

We are privileged to have known him.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Winning in The Fourth Revolution (Part III)

To recap, here are the skills the World Economic Forum believes are vital to succeed as our virtual and physical worlds collide and the new winners emerge.

Top Ten Skills:

        2015                                        2020

1.     Complex Problem Solving            Complex Problem Solving

2.     Co-ordinating with others            Critical Thinking

3.     People Management                    Creativity

4.     Critical Thinking                         People Management

5.     Negotiation                                Consulting with others

6.     Quality Control                           Emotional Intelligence

7.     Service Orientation                     Decision Making

8.     Decision Making                         Service Orientation

9.     Active Listening                          Negotiation

10.   Creativity                                  Cognitive Flexibility

And here’s my list designed to stimulate growth and success in our Crazy World.

Top Ten VUCA Skills 2019 – 2021:

1.      Creativity

2.      Active Listening

3.      Inspirational Leadership

4.      Mental Toughness

5.      Emotional Intelligence

6.      Complex Problem Solving

7.      Executional Excellence

8.      Personal Technology Mastery

9.      Customer Focus

10.     Partnership Building

From the top, here’s some insight into the choices – all of which are part of my book (64 Shots, Leadership in a Crazy World) and the Peak Performance Leadership programmes I run in Grasmere and Carefree, Arizona.

1)     Creativity.

     Accelerating up the W.E.F. lists from 10 to 3, it’ll come as no surprise to those who know me that it’s no. 1 in my top 10.  I am driven by my belief in the Unreasonable Power of Creativity.  With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers will have to become more creative to survive.  Robots may help us get faster but they are not remotely as creative as humans. 

2)     Active Listing.

     The W.E.F. has dropped it from their top 10 – at exactly the wrong time.  No-one is listening.  Politicians listen to no-one.  The media isn’t listening to good sense / principles.  Businessmen don’t listen (hello Philip Green, Mike Ashby and co).  And we don’t learn to listen.  Companies focus on building selling skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills – but don’t train Active Listening skills.  Tom Peters believes investing in Active Listening delivers the highest R.O.I. of any training programme.  It’s part of the Masterclasses I run and I agree with him.  So it’s no. 2 on my list.  The Maori in New Zealand advise:

Titiro     Whakarongo    Kōrero

Look      Listen             Speak

3)     The W.E.F.’s People Management is not ambitious enough.  It’s a tablestake Managers Do Things Right.  (We need this, but it’s bread and butter – not a top 10 skill.)  Leaders Do the Right Things.  Inspirational Leaders are at a premium in every field.  They inspire everyone they touch to be the best they can be in pursuit of the Company’s Purpose.  They don’t just get things done.  They make things happen.  And above all, they create other leaders.  A real hard to find skill.

4)     Mental Toughness.

     Always finding a way to win.  Keeping a Blue Head in a pressure situation, not a Red one.  Not becoming HOT (Heated, Overwhelmed, Tense) under pressure, but moving quickly from Chaos to Clarity and Action.  A trainable skill.

The rest of my top 10 list should be self-explanatory – apart perhaps from no. 8 – Personal Technology Mastery.  All I ask here is – Does that weapon of mass distraction (your mobile phone) dictate your day – or do you bend it to your will?

The average person looks at their phone over 100 times a day and (scientifically proven) is distracted an average of three minutes per ‘look’!  300 minutes or five hours wasted in a day.  Think how much more effective and happier we’d be if we could kick this addiction and take back our time.

1)   Do you take your phone into your bedroom every night?

2)   Do you look at your screen immediately you wake?

3)   Do you take your phone out to dinner?

4)   Is your phone constantly in your view or within hand’s reach?

You know who you are.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Campione, Campione, Olé Olé Olé

Back to back, English Premier League Titles.

Fourth Premier League title in eight years.  98 points, 95 goals ….

Blue Moon Shining.