Whānau time

Whānau time

It started when Thomas my eldest son arrived at the Airport after four and a half years in Europe. Walking into the terminal I told myself that I was good, I had been good during his departure, then cancelled trips due to Covid and then Cancer. But I felt it. “Are you okay Dad?”, not really, you? “no same for me too!” Then it was a booth breakfast with Thomas and his Mum and I. Twenty four hours ago working, looking after his family, now jammed in the booth, being grilled and given pocket money! It was a great start.

My next son Tim had a big birthday a couple of days later, then it was Dad’s 90th, a trip to Christchurch and a most special celebration – Mum and Dad’s 70th Wedding Anniversary.

Grandma had declined permission for Dad to marry when he was nineteen. You can’t blame her really. But on turning twenty, it was off to the Christchurch Registry Office a few days later in Manchester Street – midweek – and nuptials. Smiles all around and the happy couple settled in Christchurch where they still live. Mum’s still an Aucklander though “that easterly wind always gets you”, and as a family we had many happy holidays at Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa.

About 20 marriages a year make it to 70 years in New Zealand. No wonder you can’t find the pre-printed cards at Whitcoulls!

So what are Mum and Dad secrets: good genes, garden vegetables, sugar-infused bottled fruit, boysenberry ice cream, wholemeal bread, married young and keep a healthy bit of disagreement going on are my observations. When I interviewed Mum in advance of the big day she said having your own interests was really important. Fiercely independent was what it felt like as a child. Dad said Mum’s insights on money were really important, he said she was usually right in hindsight. Pocket money for Dad is what we saw.

We had 55 people join us to celebrate the big day All whanau. It felt rich and full.

Then it was my turn – move into my new house, a big birthday and a Whakawātea for friends, neighbours and those involved in the construction.

Going back to work I felt replete. A real turbo boost of those most special to me.

Think I need another break now!


-I really did interview Mum and Dad. Some family were present. It was the conversation you won’t ever wish you had. I’ve done a few interviews in my time. This was beyond special.

-Statistics available on marriage length indicate that in the US about .001 of marriages make 70 years. About 20,000 marriages take place annually in New Zealand.


    A Leadership Word

    The final session of the Authentic Leadership Programme was a round of words. What word will finish the Programme for you we asked.

    iStock-685797112.jpgI didn’t capture all the words but most of them.  Whether I can make a blog out of them remains to be seen but I thought it would be good to share a very powerful session.

    Cheating in Cricket wasn’t known about at the session, but Ethical Compass and Legacy have startling relevance right now. Not just in sport leadership but in our behaviours as leaders in the work place.

    When the team is under pressure, our strategies for Resilience pre-prepared will need to come into play, as will our Humanity and, well just being the best Human we can be.  For me, there are times that the key strategy is Grit.  A vital attribute for any leader.

    That doesn’t mean losing sight of our Emotional Intelligence recognising that tough times can lead to the best Learning.

    Leaders need to be Confident with their Authenticity, show Vision, Empowerment and ask “What’s Next?“.

    I got there!


    ps there’s about 5 more words from the session which I can add in if I get them



    The commentator for the women’s marathon has just said that if you’re going to be a great marathon runner then you need a great 10k time.  I knew I’d missed something! I remember joking to a friend before my first marathon that it was only four 10k runs – how hard could that be?

    Athletes are making history right now and making a legacy to inspire others, including me too, to keep running. Must of us won’t ever make the Olympics, or ever any sort of placing, but if you’re inspired by someone to move, get and stay healthy, then that’s got to be a great thing.

    Running a marathon feels like ticking off the kilometre’s one by one,

    I’m working on getting back into form again! Are you keeping an eye on the legacy on your marathon?

    the five become ten, ten is surprisingly quickly a half, twenty-four, ouch, twenty-eight, and then it hurts. Well it does for me anyway and from thirty-two it’s one or two at a time. But on reflection it’s not the kilometres ticking over I notice, it’s the exhilaration of the entire event and satisfaction that comes from completing a personal challenge.

    So collecting things, whether they be miles in a marathon, friends on Facebook or qualifications or whatever, is not what will make the difference. The commentators are now discussing what might be more valuable – an Olympic Gold at London or winning the New York Marathon.  Your resume and history will  be what makes the Olympic marathon the one to go for.

    Spending all our days on stuff, collecting things, including wealth is all very nice, but what will your legacy be?  What piece of history will you own that might inspire others and make a difference?

    History is in the making at the Olympics and top athletes are making their legacy.  Don’t forget that after the pleasant life, the meaningful life, you’ll want to leave a legacy.  Why?  To fulfil yourself. How? Like a marathon, one piece at at time, but always keeping it part of something bigger.