How to be a great boss at Christmastime

‘Tis the season to be jolly. and peaceful. The season for spreading goodwill. And for winding down for the summer holiday.

Now is not the time to be pushing your team for results or demanding blood, sweat and tears. No. It’s the time to lighten up and thank people for their efforts over the past year. It’s the time to let them know you’re looking forward to working with them again next year. In short, it’s the time to switch your attention from the task to the team and its individual members.

Extra time at lunch or letting people leave early to do some Christmas shopping are good ways to appreciate peoples’ hard work. Nice decorations and a Christmas tree show you care about peoples’ welfare. A handwritten card wishing each team member and their family a happy holiday and thanking them for a particular contribution they’ve made during the year builds goodwill and loyalty.

As I wind down for a short break, let me thank casual readers and subscribers to this blog. I’m looking forward to catching up with you all next year. Expect to see a spiffy new banner at the top taken from the cover of the 6th edition, which is just out and hitting the bookshops now.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a restful, happy and joy-filled Christmas season, a fabulous summer holiday, and happy, healthy and prosperous ripper of a New Year.



Seasons greetings, everyone.

Some of you subscribers may have received a Test blog yesterday from Katherine, my blog administrator. The luckier among you may even have received two test blogs!

Sorry about that.

We were stumbling around trying to change the banner from the 5th edition to the 6th edition, which is now out, and, well, what can I say? I am sorry to have cluttered up your in box!

Technical I am not. Please bear with us as we get this right for the new edition.

All the best,



Ten tips to build your personal brand

When you’re seen by others as professional, knowledgeable, reliable, trustworthy and competent, you can make things happen. Here are 10 behaviours to build your personal brand.

  1. Honour your commitments. When you say you’ll do something, do it. Do it well and do it on time.
  2. Speak the truth. Be tactful, but say what you mean and mean what you say.
  3. Give credit where it’s due but remember that, as a leader-manager, the buck stops with you.
  4. Add some value to everything you do, every meeting you attend, every project you take part in.
  5. Surround yourself with stars. Recruit high-calibre people to work with you. Build relationships, especially with influential people with positive reputations.
  6. Show loyalty to your employer, your work team, your customers and your profession. Support them, help them, build their knowledge and make them feel good about themselves.
  7. Deliver the goods. Establish and maintain high performance standards, for yourself as well as your team.
  8. Make sure others associate you with success. Avoid empty publicity, but make sure others are aware of your, and your team’s, successes.
  9. Keep the end in mind, to paraphrase Stephen Covey. When you focus on goals and outcomes rather than problems and minutiae, you achieve more.
  10. Fit in with and contribute to your organisation’s culture and values. Dress the way influential people in your organisation dress and adapt your body language to theirs.

I appreciate that if you’re an experienced manager, these 10 tips may seem obvious. But if you’re just beginning your career, take these tips to heart and put them into practice every day. You’ll soon become one of the shining starts others want around them.

It’s hot out there and getting hotter

Summer hasn’t even begun and already we’ve had horrendous fires in West Australia and South Australia, with hundreds of thousands of hectares of bush and farmland destroyed. Not to mention the lives of people, domestic and farm animals, and wildlife.

According to the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2015 is set to be the hottest year ever and 2011-2015 the hottest five year period on record. We’re in a strong (one of the three strongest since 1950) and strengthening El Nino event, so we can expect more extreme weather patterns to the detriment of agriculture, water, health and the economy.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarroud advises that ‘this naturally occurring El Nino event and human-induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced.’

South East Asia is likely to experience further drought, which has already made it impossible to control the raging fires in tens of thousands of hectares of Indonesian forests as land is cleared to produce palm oil, devastating flora and fauna, maybe to the point of no return. Toxic smog has reached 2,000 on the Pollutant Standard Index in the worst-hit areas (above 300 is hazardous) and causing schools and other events to be cancelled and flights grounded in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.

The central and eastern Pacific Islands are likely to experience increased rainfall, with a risk of extreme rainfall events, and the southwest Pacific Islands and south Asia reduced rainfall. India has already had 14% less rain than average, dampening its economy.

All very depressing. But opportunities also lurk, for individuals and business. CO2CRC, a leading Australia-based research organisation in the field of CO2 capture and geological sequestration, believes will produce renewable energy at the same cost as fossil fuel energy by 2030. There’s one opportunity: build a new business model or platform such as green energy.

Less ambitiously, you can build sustainability into your organisation’s core activities and supply chains in such a way that it becomes the source of new income and growth. Or you can innovate doing what you currently do but more sustainably and efficiently. At the very least, you can go for small, quick wins through continuous improvement: doing things better, more quickly, more easily, more economically, more safely or more reliably.

Individual careers and entire businesses can be built on a platform of sustainability. We can invent new products and processes that take us from destroying, dumping or downcycling to upcycling. Corporate strategy can move from ‘barely green’ compliance to ‘light green’ efficiency, ‘medium green’ strategic proactivity to meet the environmental demands of multiple stakeholders, or to ‘dark green’ commitment to actively seeking ways to respect and preserve the earth and its natural resources.

The phoenix can rise from the ashes when we concentrate our efforts on the right things.

Sources: WMO Press Release No 12
Indonesia’s fires labelled a ‘crime against humanity’ as 500,000 suffer
Australian power generation technology report