Talk With Candour this Week

Talk With Candour this Week

One of the most difficult conversations to have as a Leader, is the type of conversation when you know that your words may lead to some form of conflict.

It’s that type of conversation that requires you to speak with candour.

Candour is different to honesty.  It’s more than simply telling the truth.  Candour refers to an openness, and a frankness when approaching a topic that could be regarded as being difficult, awkward, or even embarrassing to discuss.

Sometimes the bare truth delivered in these conversations is hard to hear.  Well, make no mistake, this type of truth is also difficult to deliver at times too, especially if you fear confrontation.

It’s in these moments when Leadership will challenge you.

To be clear, Leadership doesn’t require a title, and Leadership is not confined to the business world.  

You can take the role of leader in your department at work, with your customers, within your circle of friends and in your romantic relationship.  You can also step up and be a strong leader for yourself, especially during times when you feel you may be drifting off course.

You are the captain of your ship, with regards all aspects of your life.

Your ability to deliver a conversation with candour will define your ability to lead, in any sphere of your life, and the way that you will do so effectively is to combine your candour with an equal amount of care.

Speaking with care demonstrates that you value the person you are speaking to, and shows that you are there to help them grow and develop through whatever situation you need to address. 

How you care for someone defines the relationship.  How you speak with candour will direct the relationship.

Some of the best words of advice I ever received came from my Father.  15 years ago when I took over the family business he said to me “always be hard on the problem, but soft on the person.”  Whilst not easy at all in the early days, these words have always guided me through my life.

As a Leader you will have two choices at any point in time:

1. Avoid the difficult conversation – this approach is taken when you are not prepared to confront.  You hope that the problem will simply go away.  It very rarely does, especially when it involves the behaviour of another person.  Avoiding this type of conversation keeps you safe, but hurts your business, your relationships and your friendships.  It’s a case of short term safety, versus long-term pain.

2. Confront the difficult conversation with Candour and Care – this approach is difficult at first, but when choosing your words with the right balance of care and candour, you have the ability to correct a challenging situation, and also establish a sound relationship that will develop over time.  It’s all about taking the short term pain, to ensure long term happiness.

Of course, always remember that the person who receives your candour and care also has the choice of how to receive your words.  That is up to them, and is in no way a reflection of you. 

As a Leader, if you’re brave enough to step forward and speak in the best interest of the person, relationship, or business, then their reaction is simply a reflection of how they see the world.

Any loss as a result of this type of conversation is potentially a good loss.  If you know what I mean…

Remember, you can never say the wrong thing to the right person.

Step up this week.  Find the courage to speak with candour and care this week, and start entrenching your value as a person, and a Leader with those around you.

Good Luck

Look for Evidence that Proves You’re Wrong

Look for Evidence that Proves You’re Wrong

In 1975 a 24 year old Kodak engineer named Steven Sasson invented a digital camera and presented his invention to senior executives at the company.

His invention would require people to record photos onto digital tapes and then view the photos on a standard television screen.

This was the response of the Kodak executives as told by Sasson to The New York Times:

They were convinced that no one would ever want to look at their pictures on a television set. Print had been with us for over 100 years, no one was complaining about prints, they were very inexpensive, and so why would anyone want to look at their picture on a television set?

believed that photo prints would be around forever, and their actions as a company, were based on this rock-solid belief.

They did eventually change their minds though, and made the switch to digital 18 years later.  It was however, too late, and one of the largest businesses in the world filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Is it possible that just like Kodak,  you and I cling onto rock-solid belief systems and thought processes for years and years, even though there is probably evidence to suggest that those belief systems are fundamentally wrong?

How could this be impacting your outcomes?

It’s possible that you just aren’t open to seeing what you do not want to see.

Money is not the root of all evil.  
A woman’s place is not in the kitchen.
Children should be both seen and heard.
It’s not just the way you are.
No, you’re not broken.
You’re not too old to change.
You can be a single mom and have a successful career.
You’re not too big to run.

That last one was mine.  I believed that I could not run because my body shape was too big.  It was the perfect excuse to avoid any form of running exercise for 40 years.  Until I eventually saw evidence that proved to me that my belief was wrong.

For the first time in my life, at age 40, I went down to watch the finish of the Comrades Marathon at the Moses Mabida Stadium in Durban.  I went to support a few friends who were running.  While waiting for my friends to finish, I saw what I will describe very respectfully, as one of the largest women I have ever seen, successfully completing the 90km road race.

For you, she may have been another female athlete completing the toughest road race in the world.  For me, she was not only a source of inspiration, but a message received loud and clear that my own belief was fundamentally wrong.  I was presented with evidence to prove that my own thinking was wrong.

I was however, open to receiving this message.  I was ready to accept that I could be wrong.  How many times have you had evidence presented to you, only for you to dismiss it out of hand because it was maybe “too good to be true”?

You can only see what is in front of your eyes when you are ready to see it.

A few years later I can proudly say that I have completed 2 x 10km races and a very grueling 21km race.  I also do weekly 5km runs with my friends. 

Most importantly though, guess what?  I am certainly not too big to run.

This week, I want to ask you to do something that could change your life forever.

Be aware of what is happening around you.  Be open to the evidence that exists around you that can prove your limiting beliefs to be wrong.   Seek the evidence out if you have to.  There is no such thing as coincidence.  The universe is sending you messages every day. 

All I am asking you to do is to be open to the possibility that the belief system, or the thought process, that governs the majority of your actions and habits, could be fundamentally wrong for you and the results you aspire to.

Be aware.

These thoughts and beliefs that you hang onto are so often designed to keep you safe.  They are a protection mechanism that can hold you back from fulfilling your true potential in this life.

What if you could release that limiting belief?

Who could you be?

This is powerful.

Have an amazing week.

Energy vs Time Management

Energy vs Time Management

A married couple were recently in South Africa visiting our amazing country.  They landed in Durban in the early morning and arranged to drive up North to an exclusive game reserve.

Their first game drive was scheduled for 5pm that day.  With no time pressure, they had an entire day to complete a 3 hour journey.  They took a slow, pleasant drive up the Coast, stopping at numerous tourist spots along the way.

Despite having all the time in the world, the couple ended up missing their 5pm game drive.  They were devastated.  This was the most important part of their day, and they missed it.

Why?  They didn’t manage their energy. 

They missed an opportunity to fill up petrol in their car, thinking that they would get another opportunity further along their journey.  Unfortunately, they miscalculated their distances and ran out of petrol.  Stuck on the side of the road, they waited hours for help, and eventually arrived at their destination at 7pm.


Lack of Time was never their issue, and it’s the same for you.  

You have all the time in the world to do whatever you want to do.  Managing your time is actually simple.  Work out which of the following 4 elements of your life are most important to you, and then prioritize them into your day in order of importance:

1. Family
2. Business
3. Community (Friends, Clubs, Church etc)
4. You


Prioritize what is most important to you, and schedule that in first.  Then work the rest of your day around those important activities.  For example, if Family is Priority number 1 for you, then create appointments in your diary for collecting kids from school, or taking them to after-school activities.  Then move to Priority number 2, and allocate the most important activities next.  Etc etc.

Managing your time is all about prioritizing what is important and making sure that gets done first.  If you don’t schedule the important activities, you will get distracted by “urgent, not important” tasks and before you know it, your day is over and you’re lying in bed stressing about what you never got to during your day.

Managing your energy comes down to where you place yourself on your list of priorities when planning your time.  You simply cannot come last.

If you are putting yourself last, then you are at some point going to run out of energy, and this is not in the best interests of your family, business or community.

Here are 3 tips to help you get this balance right:

1. Schedule your “You Time” First :  How often do you run out of time to do the things that help you recharge?  Everybody else comes first, right?  Well, you have the power to change that.  Schedule 45 – 60 min into your day to do something that you know will help you to recharge.  Walking on the beach, going to the gym, running, meditating, reading a book, listening to music, prayer, or even just time alone to think and plan.   If you don’t plan this time into your schedule, it will not happen.

 2. Communicate this to others:  Time out for you is important.  Understand that others may see this as being selfish, and therefore it is so important that you communicate clearly to them as to why you need to plan this into your time.  The reason is obvious, but it never seems that way to others, because “you time’ removes you from their space.  The alternative is also true – if you run out of energy, everyone else suffers.  You can only give 100% to your family, business and community if your tank is full.  You are doing this for them as much as for yourself.  They need to know.

3.  Keep Your Discipline:  Once you have your schedule, and your significant others have bought into your schedule, it’s now up to you to remain disciplined.   The short-term benefit of your “you time” activity is minimal.  The longer term benefit of disciplined daily activities however, will manifest over time in so many different aspects of your well-being.  It takes 29 days to form a new habit, so don’t give up too soon.  Stick with the plan.

Getting this right is really difficult for most people, but these 3 points are real-life action points that I have used in my own life to good benefit, as well as having had positive impact on many people I have coached.

No more excuses.  Start making yourself more of a priority and ensure that you keep your own petrol tank full.

You have all the time in the world.  Make sure you’re in a fit state to use it all.

Success is Actually Simple.

Success is Actually Simple.

Success is actually fairly simple.

Firstly, set a goal.  Then break it down into actionable activities.  Do the activities.  Add in some patience, resilience, hard work and discipline, and voila…..Success!

Easy, right?

Well, if it were that simple, we wouldn’t need an entire industry dedicated to motivation, training and coaching. 

You’re more than likely going to fall short in one of two areas:

1. You don’t know your goal. 

If you aim for nothing, you will achieve it with alarming accuracy

Setting a goal, or knowing what you want to achieve is the absolute first step in aligning all your efforts towards a desired cause.  If you don’t know what you want or where you are going, how will you know if you’re on the right track at any point in time? 
People who don’t have clear defined goals often feel lost and lack motivation.

Action:  Set a goal that is going to inspire you.  If you’ve never ever set a goal, set one for this week.  What do you want to achieve?  It might be as simple as “Wake up 30 min earlier each morning and have time for breakfast.”  Or, “Find 2 new sales prospects this week.”  Then prioritize and focus on the activities that you need to do in order to achieve that goal.

2. You Don’t Have the Discipline to Stick with the Activities
Yes, the goal inspires you, but the actual ‘doing’ part requires that you change your habits, break comfort zones and work hard on your mindsets and perceptions that have held you back in the past. 

You’re a human being, and that means you have a brain.  Your brain is designed to keep you safe, warm and comfortable.  This creative muscle of yours is the most powerful creativity and visualization tool you have, but if you don’t work on it, it can get lazy. 

You’re also more inclined to become impatient when success takes longer than expected, and when you don’t see immediate results, you will end up quitting too soon, or when things get tough.
Resilience is often in short supply with human beings.

Action : Find an accountability partner.  Give somebody you trust the permission to hold you accountable to the activities you need to do in order to achieve your goal.  You cannot do this by yourself.  If you could do it, you would have done it by now. 

You can either get a coach and pay for accountability, or you can find a friend who buys into your goal, and wants to see you succeed and prosper.

Believe me, I know all about quitting points  In my journey from complete non-runner to half marathon finisher, I probably quit on myself a hundred times.  It took me 6 months to run a full 5km stretch without stopping.  I had to find a way to distract my mind from its natural quitting points. 

Accountability helped me transform my running in 2 sessions.  All it took was getting one good running friend onto the road with me, and before I knew it, I had an accountability partner, and a distraction from my own mind, all in one.
In the 6 months that followed, I completed my first 10km and 21km races.

One final point – choosing your accountability partner is important

I would recommend that it is not you spouse/partner.  At one point or another, your accountability partner is going to have to push you harder than you might expect and in that moment, you cannot afford to be sensitive to a few harsh truths.  Someone too close to you might not be willing to ruin a relationship by speaking those truths.

Give it a try.   Given someone permission to help you achieve everything to want to achieve.

Do it this week.

My 5 Lessons from 2020

My 5 Lessons from 2020

No doubt there will be many posts online about the lessons of 2020.  These are mine, and they are based off authentic personal experiences and learnings over the past 12 months.  I don’t use textbooks, and neither do I Google ideas.  These are all from my head and my heart direct onto this blog.  These lessons were magnified to me during this crazy, yet truly rewarding year, and I know that once they have been learned, they will become immensely valuable to me in the future.

I hope you will find them valuable too.  Here we go…


My Top 5 Learnings from 2020

1. No Experience is ever Bad

If you see me in the streets after reading this, avoid the temptation to hit me in the head with your shoe.  I know for some, this might be too soon.  Some of you have lost loved ones, and others have been fighting to put food on the table for their families.  I understand this.  I was probably 2-3 months away from losing a business, something I could never have possibly imagined at the beginning of 2020.  This year has certainly delivered some very testing experiences for all of us.  I still insist though that once you find the learnings and the meaning, you will be a better, stronger person as a result of those experiences.

Human beings like to be in control of everything because when you are in control you feel safe and secure.  What 2020 taught us in spectacular fashion, is that you simply cannot control everything.   When pushed way outside the realms of comfort and security you will label an event as being negative.  The minute you label an event, you attach to it all sorts of negative emotions, and then you live in the pain, fear, hurt, sadness or guilt.  You quite often will be consumed by that emotion for days, weeks, or months.  Eventually though, the cycle ends.  It’s called the Law of Rhythm.  The red mist rises and you look back on the event, without emotion, and you see the event for what it was.  An opportunity to learn.

The sooner you find the learnings or the meaning behind the uncontrollable event, you step outside of the emotions.  2020 has prepared us for the future in a way that no other experience could.  Think about it.  How completely  unprepared were you for COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown?  I bet you if it happened again, you’s handle it so different.  If you’ve found the lessons you will.   If you simply put your head down and did not adjust to the lessons, well guess what?  You’re going to experience the same pain until you learn the lessons you need to learn.

No experience is ever bad.  It’s an opportunity to learn, and grow to a new level in your life.  That is, if you have your eyes open to the learnings.


2.  Risk versus Reward

Entrepreneurship is glorified on social media, especially with the youth.  Influencers posting inspirational pics from their private jets online only make it worse.  Most entrepreneurs will never see the inside of a private jet, let alone get the opportunity to fly in one.  They are too busy making ends meet, hustling daily to ensure their business supports their lifestyle, feeds their family, and the families of their employees.  That’s the reality for most.

2020 destroyed many dreams.  It didn’t matter wheter you were a hardened entrepreneur with years of experience, or a start-up still working towards break-even, 2020 taught entrepreneurs the real meaning of risk.  Knowing that you can lose it all at any moment, due to factors completely out of your control, is grounding.  I mentioned that my business was 2-3 months away from disaster.  Towards the end of lockdown I was starting to really feel the stress of some of the decisions I was going to be asked to make.  Fortunately for me, it never got to that, but it was close.  I spoke to friends daily during lockdown who weren’t so fortunate.  Some were forced to do whatever it takes to bring money home to their families, and others were so low, almost as if their entire identity had been ripped away from them.  Many were in tears, or close to it, yet still had to put on a brave face for their staff.

This is the type of risk that makes entreneurship special.  Those who truly have skin in the game and the ability to lose it all know this feeling too well.  It also makes the rewards taste even sweeter.  Entrepreneurship has taught me about risk versus reward.  2020 magnified it.  Even in my personal life, I will risk the pain of getting what I want, if I know the reward is worth it.  I don’t always get what I want, and I do experience pain from time to time, but pain passes eventually.  The rewards though, they can last forever.

Thanks to 2020 I’ve learned to trust my own gut, back myself and my own decisions, and not get too caught up in the opinions of those who don’t have skin in the game.  I’ll also never again be ashamed to make a decent profit.  That’s part of the reward for taking the risk.


3. Actions over Words

Big lesson for me this year – People will always do what they want.  Their words might tell you what they want you to hear or think, but if you watch them carefully, their actions will always reveal what they are really too afraid to tell you.  This is true in business as well as in your personal life.  Very few people in this world are authentic enough to tell you the straight honest truth, no matter how hard it may be for them to say, or for you to hear.  It’s part of human nature.  You cannot control the will of another, therefore, if you’re ever in doubt, watch their actions.  That’s how they speak their truth.

It’s the same for you too.  You tell yourself all sorts of rubbish to justify your lack of actions.  You’re placing your words above action all the time.  Your words though, will never bring you the success or happiness you are looking for.  Your actions bring results.  In fact, I can go as far as saying that your entire life experience to date is a direct result of not only the actions you have taken, but also the result of the actions you did not take.

Your self-talk is often proven to be wrong once you take action.  Remember that all negative emotions are a derivative of fear, and most of your fears are self-made beliefs based off past experiences that you have hung onto as a form of self-preservation.  These fears are preventing you from moving forward because you use them as an excuse to avoid taking action.  Well, if you never try, then you’ll never know.  Rather take action and prove your own thoughts to be false.

Actions over words.  Always.


4. The Future does not exist.

The future does not exist?  It took me a while to comprehend this after reading ‘The Power Of Now’, by Eckhardt Tolle.  Of course the future exists, but your future is completely dependent on what you focus on in the present moment.  If 2020 taught us all one thing, its that the future will never exist in any shape or form that you might imagine it to be.  There are so many variables that are out of your control, including global pandemics, world stock market crashes, decisions made by governments, and of course, the actions of other people.

You and I spend a ridiculous amount of time planning for the perfect future.  Its great to have your goals and dreams, and of course its important to plan for the future, but if you spend your entire life waiting for your perfect future to unfold, then how many magic moments are you missing in the present?  If you become too attached to any specific outcome, then you’re never going to see those amazing opportunities that are spontaneously floating through your life on a daily basis.

Focus on the present moment.  This got me through lockdown in 2020.  The future was uncertain, and every single goal I had been working for, some of which had been 3 years in the making, were suddenly placed on hold.  I’m sure for you it was the same.  If you had any temptation to hang onto your plans for sentimental reasons while the world rapidly changed around you, then you will probably find that you’re feeling a little stuck right now.  The world shifted and moved off in a different direction.  You cannot control that.  Your future may not end up in reality as it does in your dreams.  Open your eyes to the present moment and make good decisions based on what’s in front of you right now.


5. Be Who you Want to Attract

Gosh, this is a tough one.  When all seems lost or the universe seems to be taking you on a detour that you did not expect, maintaining the true essence of who you are, and who you are meant to be can be difficult.  Of all the lessons 2020 delivered, this has been by far the hardest for me on a personal level.  I probably have yet to master this, but I know it’s one I have to persist with.

I read once somewhere that if you want to receive love, you have to give love first.  If you want to receive kindness, you have to give kindness first.  If you want respect, you have to give respect first.  Nothing is received unless you give first.

There will be times when you will know that you are giving to the wrong person.  There will be times when you will question whether or not you will ever receive the recognition, praise, kindness, gratitude or love that you will give out, and you will often be tempted to recoil back into your shell.  That won’t do you any good though.  You have to persist.

Givers attract takers unfortunately.  Your defence will be boundaries.  2020 has delivered a massive lesson on how to set boundaries and maintain them for your own self care.  You cannot control the actions of those who simply want to take what you give in abundance.  You get to control how you set and enforce your boundaries with them.  You also get to choose to be the person you want to attract.  Persist with the giving.  Eventually you will get what you deserve.

Talk With Candour this Week

5 Tips To Help Build Your Resilience

A lack of Resilience is a massive factor that holds you back from achieving the success you desire.

Think of the last time you gave up on a diet, a fitness regime, or a really important prospecting plan in your business. Unfortunately, when you don’t see immediate results, or when the going gets a little tough, you tend to give up too soon.

If you feel you need to develop your mental strength, so that you can push through quitting points and develop good habits, here are 5 tips for you to implement this week:

1. Spend Time Daily in Self Reflection : Successful people all have a daily routine that includes time for reflection. Sitting in silence at the beginning of each day allows you to set your intentions for the day, and focus your mind on what you want to achieve in terms of your goals and aspirations. Remove the noise and distraction and see how the clarity assists you in becoming more intentional in your day.

Action : Schedule this time into your day, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and start with 10 min of calmness. Use an App if it helps.

2. Introduce Exercise into Your Week : Regular exercise is proven to combat stress, improve memory , helps you sleep better and boosts your overall mood. You don’t need to set goals to lose weight or gain muscle, rather, aim to improve your overall fitness. A healthy body leads to a healthier, stronger mind.

Action: Find a suitable place to go for a 30-minute walk, preferably in nature. Start by doing this two to three times a week, and if you do it with an accountability partner, you’ll find it even easier.

3. Do Something That Challenges You : What is the toughest thing you have to face this week? What is that one thing that you know you need to do, but you don’t want to do? Make this week, the week you take it on head first. This is the only way you will break out of your comfort zone. The longer you avoid this, the more you will feed your self-limiting beliefs. Take action, and watch how quickly your fears disappear.

Action : Write down your biggest challenge for this week as well as the reward you will give yourself when you accomplish this. Treat yourself for being so brave! Make sure its done by Friday so you can celebrate.

4. Start a Gratitude Journal : When you focus too much on what you want, you so easily forget about the things that you already have. When you shift your focus from expectation to gratitude, you will start to see the world through different eyes, and you will attract into your life exactly what you deserve. Practicing Gratitude also leads to reduced stress and better sleep!

Action : Spend 10 minutes per day writing in your gratitude journal. You can either do this first thing in the morning, or just before bed. In the beginning it might be difficult, but as you train your mind to think in this way, your pen will flow when you begin to appreciate all that you have in your life.

5. Celebrate Small Wins : A series of small successful steps will eventually lead to massive success. But only if you keep taking the small steps. Once you give up, the journey is over. In order to keep good motivation levels, celebrate the small wins. Avoid the temptation to be overly-critical of yourself, and rather feed your inner voice with positive messages about what wins you achieved, no matter how small.

Action : Write down 3 wins that you can celebrate daily. By congratulating yourself for even the smallest win, you are practicing positive self-talk and reminding yourself of the value you added to others, and yourself, during the day,.

Taking control of your mind and building your resilience will not only help you remain focused on your goals, but will also make you a nicer, more positive person to be around.

When this happens, watch what you attract into your life.