Get the low down on 2051

Right and wrong are not necessarily at different ends of the spectrum. Or so says the Rev. Charlie Jackson when introducing Felix Bush in the movie Get Low. Forty years after a bad thing happened Bush came out of his self-imposed exile to ask his community for forgiveness.

In those 40 years he gave up the propsect of relationships, family, a career and everything else he might have done with the bigger part of his adult life. It was a timely movie after the reflections of my last blog, focusing on revenge.

When you look back 40 years it’s 1971. I was 8 for most of the year. Standard Two with Mrs Hindmarsh at Linwood Avenue School. Norm Kirk, the school’s most famous pupil, was yet to be Prime Minister. Starting music tuition like the rest of the family, walking to and from school and, if my memory serves me correctly my one year of Rugby Union at Fergie McCormick’s club Linwood with my friends Nigel Hughes and Victor Harris. Victor died a few years later in a fall near Hanmer. That was sad. So although it’s 40 years ago, much of it is accessible.

HQ Holden from the early 1970s - this one in San Remo Gold just like ours

Looking forward 40 years is quite a different matter for me. It’s so far out there and I can’t perceive that anything that might happen this year in 2011 will be of import in 2051 (if I’m here!).  So, if I’m lucky enough to still be here, the good things will be present and active in my life – my children, who knows their children, and my important relationships. One thing is for sure, I won’t be dwelling on the guy that took my carpark, or the colleague who had unpleasant things to say, or every more serious matters that haven’t gone my way. That’s life afterall, not a bank for later.

It’s a funny movie, with a powerful message. It’s surprising how long people hold onto all sorts of old stuff. Felix Bush took away the better part of his life over something he did when he was a young man. In the end it didn’t matter who’s fault it all was. Most people, however old they are couldn’t imagine that anything that’s happening now would still be bothering them in 2051. But you need constant vigilance and I’ve written in the past about getting rid of your old baggage.

I’m not rushing for 2051 to be here. But I’m damn sure that when it arrives for me I’ll be at peace. Will you?

Have a great week!



Leading 2011

New Zealand leads the world in at least one thing. Time. So let’s get a jump on the rest of the world each morning in 2011 and show them we can be authentic and lead in what really matters for our communities and organisations in 2011.

What really matters to you? Are you authentic enough to do something about it?

Happy 2011 (and for me it’s time to say it “twenty eleven”, not that other way!)


Own yourself

I’ve had a busy time the last few weeks and over the next few weeks I have friends staying, the Authentic Leadership Course, my folks up, then Uncle Stan, more programmes and workshop and whew, the year will be almost done.

It could be the reflective mood that Dire Straights Telegraph Road is giving me, but I felt a sense of ownership tonight. Ownership of my own spacetime. It might also be something to do with having a productive afternoon at work, some more opportunities and seeing Tim enjoying his 18th birthday.

It’s not selfish to own yourself. In fact I say it’s selfish not to. If you don’t take care and grow yourself through reflection, enjoying your own thoughts and contemplating what has gone and what is to come (is that reflection!?) then you’re not caring for yourself. That’s selfish as you’re not going to be much good for anyone in your world.

According to psychometric testing and my own work I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from the external world. But I get lots from my internal world – the place where it is just me in my own spacetime.

We notice authentic leadership coming from within. It has that quality of depth and meaning that brings out the best in each of us. The authentic leader has ownership of self. When did you last renew it?


Three times the energy

Last week I was asked “do you get it sometimes when you’re working that time seems to disappear and the work becomes effortless?”  I’m fortunate – this does happen to me – after all why would I be blogging on a Friday night?! A friend of mine in Christchurch and I have been talking recently about his career: “It doesn’t really matter what I do at work, in 50 years time someone will still be doing much the same, I’m not solving anything” he said.  Sounds like middle-aged purpose in life talk I said, let’s keep talking. And we did. A client said to me today “I have so much energy that I NEED to harness, if I don’t it will just go inside and defeat me”.

I liked that. Like the energy filled black star which has so much gravity, the light can’t escape. We can’t see a black hole and we can’t see the potential in someone who’s energy is turned inwards, when they have so much to offer. My colleague Jasbindar Singh has written about getting your grove back. Some people talk about their mojo.

As a leader what are you doing to harness the energy of those in your team? – allowing the passions to thrive and grow both the individual and the team and organisation. When it rains in the forest, it doesn’t matter where – everyone benefits (is that one metaphor too much for one blog!?), but I like the forest, and space, so you get them too.

What about yourself? Are you harnessing your energy to put you in that time-irrelevant space.  Three times I’ve been reminded of it in the last week. Three times the energy is what you’ll have if you do it. At least.