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Most organisations have a set of values or mission statement.

They are created with much consultation and launched with great fanfare.

They are painted on the entrance to the office in large, bold letters.

And far too often, that’s virtually the last we hear of them.

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Whether you’re a parent, a leader, a teacher or anyone else in a position of influence, it’s time to catch the people around you doing something right.

It’s easy to catch them doing something wrong.

To focus on the negatives.

To highlight the weaknesses.

But is that really the best way to positively impact and motivate others?

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There’s a yearning within most of us to fit in.

To look like the people around us.

To talk like they talk and do what they do.

To find safety in the herd.

To avoid the embarrassment of mistakes.

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“It’s hard to beat moments like this, and it’s hard to beat teams that act like this.”

Last night, Reece Conca played his 100th game for the Richmond Football Club.  He’s a popular club-man, best known within the club for his “Conca cuddle” celebrations with team-mates after they have kicked a goal.

It’s been a long journey to get to 100 as he has had terrible luck with injury throughout his career.

And then, 15 minutes into his milestone game, he suffered a dislocated ankle that left him writhing in agony.

As a fan, it was hard to watch such a fine young man suffer such pain and heartbreak, but what happened next was both inspiring and heart warming.

After he was loaded onto the stretcher to be taken from the ground and off to hospital, every single team-mate who was on the ground came up to support and acknowledge their fallen soldier.

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Professional athletes train incessantly to get better.

World-class musicians are always practicing, practicing, practicing.

Soldiers are consistently doing drills or carefully simulated combat missions to further develop their skills.

Why?

To get better.

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Who’s the leader?

The person with the fancy title?

The person with the prestigious corner office?

The person with the highest salary?

The person who has been there the longest?

Or is it the person who has the biggest positive influence?

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I hope that your kids do greater things than you ever did.

I hope that the person you coach and mentor goes on to achieve far more than you have.

I hope that your hand-picked successor at work delivers far better results.

I hope that you forge the way for others to follow.

And I hope that they each look back with gratitude, knowing that they couldn’t have done it without your support and guidance.

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When you’re watching sporting contests and comparing the expertise of each coaching team, it’s tempting to imagine the pre-game words of the coaches and think that the side that had the best motivational speech won.

These days, that’s rarely the case.

The team that wins is the one that is best prepared for the contest.

It’s the team that has worked the hardest on the training track.

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they-dont-care-how-muchLeaders these days need to know a lot of things.

They need strong business acumen, to be experts in their field, to be able to delegate and outstanding emotional intelligence.

But as I look back over my career, there are things that the best leaders I have worked with knew that go beyond what you can learn in university or from a great book.

Here are 10 things that every leader should know: Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership-isnt-barkingOs Hillman tells the story of a rider on horseback, who many years ago, came across a squad of soldiers who were trying to move a heavy piece of timber.

A corporal stood by, giving lordly orders to “Heave.”

But the piece of timber was too heavy for the squad.

“Why don’t you help them?” asked the quiet man on the horse, addressing the important corporal.

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