Sunday, February 28, 2021

Doing It Tough?


It’s tough times alright.  For all of us.


Everyone has a story.  Their story.  Take a look at how All Blacks legend Buck Shelford handled a very tough test match against a rampant French team.


Watch it here: Doing It Tough.



Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Astronaut. Artist. Earthling.


Earlier this month I spoke to Sogrape’s US Wine Team about ‘Shaping The Future’.  Nicole Stott also spoke.  What a Character!  What an Inspiration!  Just what the world needs more of.


Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the first Astronaut Artist I’ve ever met.


·        Nicole is an astronaut and artist who creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight experience with her artwork to inspire everyone’s appreciation of our role as crewmates here on Spaceship Earth.


·        She is a veteran NASA Astronaut with two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space as a crewmember on both the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle.


·        Personal highlights of her time in space were performing a spacewalk (10th woman to do so), flying the robotic arm to capture the first HTV, working with her international crew in support of the multi-disciplinary science onboard the orbiting laboratory, painting a watercolor, and of course the view out the window. 


·        Nicole is also a NASA Aquanaut. In preparation for spaceflight, she was a crewmember on an 18-day saturation dive mission at the Aquarius undersea laboratory. 


·        Nicole believes that the international model of peaceful and successful cooperation we have experienced in the extreme environments of space and sea hold the key to the same kind of peaceful and successful cooperation for all of humanity here on Earth.  


·        She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation — uniting a planetary community of children through the inspiration of space exploration and the healing power of art.


·        Her first book titled “Back to Earth” is currently in work.  (Publisher – Hachette Book Group/Seal Press, release fall 2021).



Sunday, February 21, 2021

Fail Fast. Learn Fast. Fix Fast.


The battle against Covid continues – and will continue throughout 2021 as science keeps reacting to the evil virus’ ongoing mutations.


Our political leaders should have learned five things about Global Pandemics – which will enable us to quickly counter them in future years.


Every leader should remember:

1)      Job No. 1 (2 and 3!) is to protect your citizens.

2)      Go hard.  Go fast.  Go early.

3)      Test.  Trace.  Isolate.

4)      Communicate openly, consistently and clearly.

5)      Inspire the nation to believe and do the right thing – for everyone.


Lest we forget!



Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What the All Blacks can teach us about the Business of Life


Eight years ago I spent several hours with James Kerr who was researching a breakthrough book on Leadership.  He called it Legacy and based it on what we could all learn from studying the inner workings of the World’s Greatest Ever 100 year plus sporting organisation, the New Zealand All Blacks.


His book became a best seller in sports, in business, and in academia.


I reread it over this last weekend and I recommend it wholeheartedly as we face a world full of leadership challenges in 2021.


A rugby team has 15 players who work together to win – something we are all going to have to do in these turbulent times.  Together we must overcome the virus, mental health challenges, social tensions, confrontational, purposeless politics, the recession, the widening income gap and unemployment.  These 15 lessons are worth thinking about.


Here’s the topline list of the ‘What’.


Read Legacy for the ‘How’.


i)     Sweep the Sheds
Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done.


ii)    Go for the Gap
When you’re on top of your game, change your game.


iii)    Play with Purpose
Ask ‘Why?’.


iv)   Pass the Ball
Leaders create leaders.


v)    Create a Learning Environment
Leaders are teachers.


vi)   No Dickheads
Follow the spearhead.


vii)   Embrace Expectations
Aim for the highest cloud.


viii)  Train to Win
Practice under pressure.


ix)   Keep a Blue Head
Control your attention. 


x)    Know Thyself
Keep it real.


xi)   Sacrifice
Find something you would die for and give your life to it.


xii)   Invent A Language
Sing your world into existence.


xiii)  Ritualise to Actualise
Create a culture.


xiv)  Be a Good Ancestor
Plant trees you’ll never see.


xv)   Write Your Legacy
This is your time.


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier (II)


I posted a blog on Blackstone’s Surprisingly Positive Predictions for 2021 on 28th January, and here are some more optimistic predictions from This Money’s Jane Denton and LinkedIn.


The Pandemic has hit many industries, many businesses and many people hard.  But some sectors are growing rapidly and now’s the chance to consider re-inventing yourself and exploring a new future – a new future that is based on Making Happy Choices – for you.  Don’t waste the crisis!!


Demand for workers will be high in these sectors:

1)        E-Commerce.  On-line shopping has gone through the roof.  Hiring is struggling to keep up, delivery drivers, warehousing managers and staff are in huge demand.

2)        Healthcare Support.  Home-care jobs, health-care assistants, wellbeing coaches and medical workers are all needed urgently.

3)        Digital Content.  Every company is looking for bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers and content writers and developers.  Freelancing and working at home are great options.

4)        Construction.  House building is going on apace in new rural areas – site managers, site workers all needed.

5)        Creative opportunities.  Many businesses are looking to boost their on-line presence – artists, writers, editors, illustrators – your Time is Now.

6)        Finance and Banking.  Investment bankers, equity traders and finance specialists – the business of money never goes away.

7)        Specialist Medical roles.  No surprises here.  We need Intensive Care nurses like never before, certified care nurses too.  Labs need scientists and assistants.  Big Pharma needs R&D specialists.

8)        Professional Coaching.  Roles like exec coach, leadership coach, business coach, life coach are in great demand.  Train up and get out there.  Help others achieve their potential.

9)        Social Media and Digital Marketing.  Standing out on-line is challenging and businesses are looking for help to drive engagement and sales on-line.  Innovative approaches to traditional marketing are in great demand.

10)     Customer Service.  People with patience, empathy and listening skills required to give customers some Love – pretty much needed everywhere!

11)     Education.  We need on-line tutors – now.

12)     Mental Health.  Clinical psychologists, mental health counsellors, nurses, etc, etc, etc.  The biggest challenge for many countries is the simmering Mental Health Crisis.  The world needs major upgrades in strategy, budgets, resourcing and talent.

13)     Property.  There’ll be boom areas in 2021 – agents needed.

14)     Artificial Intelligence.  Machine learning engineers and researchers needed.


There’s a New ‘Abnormal’ World out there – get up and give it a go!



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Foodie Friday – Masterchef Part II

The response to December 17’s Budding Masterchef post was very positive.  Lots of support, encouragement and recipe requests.


Here are some examples of the latest adventures:

·       Panko shrimp with angel-hair pasta,

·       Chili devilled eggs,

·       Home-made dulce de leche,

·       Mexican chicken enchilada casserole,

·       King Crab legs with lemon/mayo,

·       Braised beef with carrots and rutabaga,

·       Mediterranean Lamb Kofta, hummus, cucumber and tomato salad,

·       BBQ salmon with white wine / mustard sauce and broccolini,

·       Chicken curry and basmati rice,

·       Classic Steak Frites with creamed spinach,

·       Southwestern Chicken and Chili,

·       And, by special request (mine!) – home-made Creamy Rice Pudding.


Buon appetito.



Monday, February 8, 2021

The Middle


Superbowl for 30 years or more was all about the ads for me in my previous life.  This year it was about age vs youth, and mind vs body, resulting in a 7th win for the G.O.A.T. - Tom Brady.


But one ad even put the GOAT’s amazing achievement in the shade.


The Boss reuniting America (for Jeep).


“And there’s Hope on the Road Up Ahead.”


If you missed it, here it is: BruceSpringsteen - The Middle