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I was reflecting this morning on the story of the Sirens from greek mythology. 

The Sirens were three women who lured sailors to their deaths on the rocky coast of their island through songs and music.

In our lives there are statements and excuses that can enter our minds that hold us back or put our endeavours in jeopardy.  They are lies, distortions or things that we wish were true that we say to ourselves or that others have taught us.

What are some of the “sirens’ songs” that can cause us to sink?

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Today I watched with amazement as young Jessica Watson completed her solo circumnavigation of the world and couldn’t help but be impressed by such a tremendous achievement.

For those who don’t know who she is, Jessica has spent the last seven months on her boat, the Pink Lady sailing around the world.  She has covered almost 23,000 nautical miles in her trip.

Despite the conjecture when she left as to whether or not she should be attempting such a feat, there is no doubt that she has achieved something truly remarkable.

What can we learn from such an inspirational young person?

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I recently came across this blog and it reminded me of the constant need to be grateful for so many things in our lives.

So often we can fall into the trap of focussing on the negative things that are going on around us and lose sight of the blessings that are in our lives as well.

To quote Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react.” 

To have the perspective that no matter our circumstances, we have the capacity to respond resourcefully and positively is incredibly powerful.  An important component of this is being able to list the things that you are grateful for, or as the old hymn says, “count your blessings.”

I guess I had better start by listing some of the things that I’m grateful for: Read the rest of this entry »

One of the greatest legacies that we can give to our children is confidence. 

Having confidence will assist your children in their schooling, help them develop meaningful relationships, assist them in making better decisions as teenagers and be a great starting point for a successful career. 

So what are a few ways we can assist our kids in developing confidence?

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Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during most of World War 2 and was seen as a resolute leader whose inspiring speeches maintained the morale of a nation.

Among his many honours include a Nobel Prize for Literature, being the first person to receive a Honourary US Citizenship whilst still alive and in a 2002 BBC poll was rated as the greatest Briton of all from a list of 100. 

What can we learn from Winston Churchill?

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It’s a common corridor conversation starter.

“How’s work going?”

Most of us then respond with a list of all of the problems, challenges, HR issues and impossible deadlines that we are facing.

Why do we do that?

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Today in Australia, we are celebrating Mother’s Day.  It’s a terrific opportunity to thanks our Mums for the terrific contribution that they have made to us and our families.  It’s an often thankless task and we too often take for granted the significant role that mums play in our society.

A recent survey that was published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun gave some insights into what Mums say that they need.

So, how can we help our Mums this Mother’s Day (and every other day of the year)?

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The phrase is a well-worn one.  “Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution.”

This is a terrific principle, but it is easier said than done.

One of the realities of life is that there will always be problems that need to be confronted and dealt with and one of the keys to living successfully is finding effective solutions to these issues.

I’ve outlined 6 progressive steps that could assist you in becoming more resourceful when it come to finding solutions to some of the problems that may face you in business, family, finances or any other area of your life.

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One of the exciting challenges of people leadership is to maximise the performance of your workforce.  One of the keys to this is increasing the discretionary effort that your people give you.

What do I mean by discretionary effort?  It’s the work and ideas that people give you without you needing to ask for it.  It’s when people go above and beyond their job description.  If you can consistently extract this, you will be well on your way to leading a winning team.

People who lead great teams of volunteers understand this concept and do this well and there are a few leadership principles that we can learn from them.

How can you treat your staff like volunteers?

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northeast tower of Forbidden City in night light

Image via Wikipedia

There was once an Emperor from China who had no children and needed to choose a successor.

Thousands of children from across the kingdom came to the palace and were surprised when the Emperor exclaimed that he was going to choose one of them.  He gave them all a seed.  They were to go home to their villages, plant the seed in a pot and tend it for a year.  When they return in a year, the Emperor would judge their efforts and choose his successor.

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