Ugly Parents Still Exist at Kids Sports

crying-footballerI currently participate in my children’s sports either as a coach or a spectator.  For most of the year I was so impressed with the way parental behaviour had improved since I was a kid.  I still remember my under 10s coach walking onto the field to take over the umpiring because he had abused the umpire to such a degree that the umpire walked off.

I thought those days were done.  However on the weekend I observed an opposition coach at my daughter’s netball game publicly sanction behaviour of her under 8 girls that caused one of our girls to cry.  I also saw the opposition coach at the under 8 football match tell one of my players off for trying to tackle and told my son off for talking to much (which I can understand can be true!) when the golden rule as a coach is that you never talk to opposition kids unless it is to clap something they did well.

I thought to myself – Continue reading

Commit to learning like a university

As a university student who has recently undertaken work experience at BRS and fast approaching the end of my degree, I speak to a lot of recent graduates who lament the uselessness of so many of their courses:

“I don’t use any of that stuff anymore!”

“Why couldn’t they have taught us what we actually need to know!?”

“None of what we learned is actually useful in the real world!”

We spend a lot of our time approaching the concept of learning as a means to an end: we recognise that we don’t know something, so we commit to learning about it until we have the understanding required to move on. But that is usually where we stop. This is because Continue reading

What’s wrong with our focus on safety?

Businessman Stepping on Banana Peel --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Australia has come a long way with its commitment to safety.  Particularly in industrial high risk environments such as mining, manufacturing and infrastructure.  We have seen significant improvements in safety with systems, processes, and focus.  However from my experience many companies have started to plateau with regards to their safety performance.

From my perspective the next shift around safety will come from a greater focus on well-being and mental health.

The problem at the moment is that we focus on Continue reading

Gratitude, sacrifices made by others for you and why humility is a sign of great strength

_45434234_parents_afpI love golf. It is a game I have enjoyed playing from a very young age. One of my favourite golfers is Rory McIlroy.  He is a great role model, fearless and plays exceptional golf.  He has bounced back from challenges and from a very modest childhood environment where his parents sacrificed an enormous amount to give him the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional golf.

A recent article in The Australian detailed this journey very well.  The journalist had the opportunity to interview Rory soon after a recent win in the United States.  The discussions with Rory were far and wide.  They covered everything from his childhood, personal life, his wins and losses, friendships and family. 

Rory was very level headed and measured as the journalist took him through all of the topics in the article, with the exception of one. His parents and the sacrifices they made, which he could still vividly recall and remember.  Some of the quotes in the article that were telling included “I always remember my dad working three different jobs, for more than 90 hours a week“.  Another was “all the way through my youth, he did what I wanted to do rather than what he wanted to do.  My mum was the same, working around the clock to help me pay for tournaments when I got to nine or ten’.   Very insightful and humbling insights from him around the people he clearly loves and values. Continue reading

Asleep at the wheel of the South Australian economy

dodge-durango-ron-burgundy-asleep-at-the-wheelI live in South Australia and am a passionate about the State, the lifestyle and everything it has to offer.  It is a great place to live with a fantastic climate, food and wine precincts, easy to get around and a great place for a family to grow up in.   The one glaring gap which I have wrote about previously, is our economy.  It is an economy that has been on the decline for the last 15-20 years and is continuing to struggle notwithstanding the natural advantages and lifestyle I advocated in the previous blog link.  We have created very little jobs in this State and continue to have a mass exodus of our best and brightest leaving to the Eastern States or overseas for “greener pastures” due to the lack of opportunities in their own backyard.

I am not sure why there appears to be little urgency from Continue reading

The Attitude of Gratitude

16bzn8jOne of the most powerful lessons I have learnt in my journey is the importance of being grateful for ourselves, grateful for the people in our lives and grateful for the things we have.  It is easy to focus on the negatives but sometimes requires more work to focus on the positives.

The negative mindset focuses on what it means for me, rather than stepping back and seeing the world as it is.

The attitude of gratitude is not about being overly optimistic and seeing everything through rose coloured glasses.  It is critical that we Continue reading

Are you committed?

reserve-travelMany moons ago I had the privilege of serving with the Australian Army.  I loved every minute of the experience and loved going to work every day.  I left because I knew that long term it would not challenge me and I wanted to go to University.  At the time I assumed I would get the same energy when I found my first job after University.

What I loved about the army was the sense of teamwork, comradery, intensity, commitment, honesty, learning/training and relationships.  All the things dearest to my heart.

When I started in my professional career I felt disconnected and lost.  I blamed the Continue reading

Don’t get too caught up in inspiration

136545-136519All too often we get caught up thinking that to be great leaders we need to inspire, or to impress.  It’s a romantic view of leadership that looks at charisma as the cornerstone of leadership.

However in reality for a majority of success stories the leaders are ones who focus on doing the little things really well.  They are the ones who never miss a sports training, are always to work on time, who plan at the start of every week (not just occasionally), who read books to better their craft, who are constantly learning, and who are constantly listening.

Great leaders know that Continue reading

Who wants change versus who wants to change

10957111_887105228001518_1071329284_nI was working with a leadership team last month, working through where they are at with their culture. It was a challenging and robust discussion working through their culture, what it means and why they needed to understand how critical culture was to their future success.

The challenge lay in getting the leadership team to also acknowledge that they were contributing to a culture that was not delivering high performance thereby not helping them deliver on their new strategy. People do what they see leaders do and the culture was not going to change until they also changed.

To reinforce this point, I asked them two simple questions. Continue reading

Smile, it’s contagious

accrareport_smile-1Recently I was working on a project where I have long term relationship with the organisation.  The team had always had its challenges and always had a challenging culture, but you would still largely find people who were happy and were passionate about seeing the team succeed.  Now it felt like everyone in the team was like one of those zombies in The Return of the Living Dead, but rather than eating brains they were just hanging out for a redundancy.

I felt it myself when Continue reading