Tips, techniques and research to help you take control of your sleep. If your sleep is cracked or broken, this fun to read book provides guidance on how to fix your sleep.Read More
A handbook for anyone responsible for the change in their organisation. Whether that change is a transition, transformation, merger or acquisition.
It's time to focus on the people first, rather than the profit.Read More
The Swoosh Story
Leadership thoughts and lessons by Louise Thomson
With children who are easily targeted by media advertising, we have a wardrobe of NIKE. Tops, pants, socks and of course, shoes.
My daughter Jennifer is so obsessed with NIKE, that she thought the book was for her when I showed it to her! Impressed, yes. Yet, at 10, I’m not sure if it will be of interest to her – especially when there are no photos of NIKE products.
On the contrary, I became quickly immersed in a beautifully crafted story of a man with a big vision, crazy idea and a passion for running. It’s a long story too. There is no overnight success and it doesn’t have a totally happy ending. Out of adversity, there is still an empowering and indeed an organisational story which had me reading at any opportunity to understand what drove Phil Knight to keep going.
It began in the early 1960s where on paper, Phil graduated from the University of Oregon College, Stanford Business School and a stint in the Army yet, in the flesh, he still felt like a kid at the age of 24. He knew he wanted to be successful, purposeful, meaningful, creative, important and above all, different. He didn’t want to lose. But he didn’t know at what.
Doing what he loved best, running, his crazy idea came to him. Play. Do what makes you happy and feels like play. And like running, just keep going. Don’t stop. Just don’t stop.
This advice anchored Phil for the following fifty years. It's tough to imagine his strength to keep focused as this was a story of business hell - continually chasing cash to fulfill the orders of good running shoes, convincing people to believe in his dream and spreadsheets.
My Swoosh Story learning and take-outs:
Travel – don’t delay it, plan far and wide and don’t be concerned to travel solo
Passion – follow what you love, don’t keep doing what you’re not passionate about
Risks – take risks to make things happen, big risks to be different
Success – don’t expect it to happen overnight - it’s long, slow and painful
Family – they will always be there, but don’t put them last in the queue, regret is heavy
Friends – work with people and treat them like friends (Nike = ‘buttfaces’)
Relationships – earn your respect which will be followed by trust – a foundation recipe for business
Communication – keep honing your skills as your role in business is to influence
Play – do what you love, follow your passion and involve others to share the play
Dream – get lost in your thinking and find the thoughts which make you happy
Mentor – always have people in your life to talk about your dreams and your business
Culture – do what works for your team, don’t do what you think you should do
Phil’s father gave him $50 to purchase his first box of Japanese running shoes to sell from his car. However, his father never really understood his entrepreneurship which wasn’t respected as a ‘profession’ let alone valued in the 60s & 70s. This and sadly, the death of his son Matthew (Scuba diving accident) took the edge of happiness out of Phil’s life. With all the money in the world, these deaths curtailed the life of comfortable happiness which Phil was always seeking.
I have since found myself fascinated with Phil’s life. He must be one of the most private billionaires on earth, however from what I have uncovered, he has since stepped down from the Chairman’s role at NIKE (he’s 79), stepped up his philanthropy, donating $400 million to Stanford where he did his MBA. He also has a daughter Christina – which isn’t mentioned in the book and one guess is she was adopted as a teenager which would have been outside the timeline of the Shoe Dog story.
I have put Shoe Dog on my list of favorite Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs. This was more than an account of success, but a life story showing the reality of achieving success.
THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF
It’s great to get away from behind a book and be in the audience of an author. But this is no ordinary author. Lisa O’Neill, from over ‘the ditch’ entertained us, shocked us and convinced us to take charge of our life.
This isn’t a new message, we’ve heard it numerous times, but Lisa found the switch in our minds to take note, evaluate and reprogram some serious flaws which we’ve managed to convince ourselves that it’s a feature.
As a mother, sole-trader working from home, wife, friend, and daughter there are too many connections and distractions which get the attention; these drain the energy and I wonder why my ‘important stuff’ list doesn’t get actioned.
When are you at your BEST?
Collectively, we need to help ourselves and each other to prioritise the ‘me’ activities, outsource the time-wasters and increase our self-promotion to enable us, women, to be the best version of ourselves.
Chops, licking, and deliciousness are words which have stuck with me for a week - a great measurement of the messages in the front of my mind. I often can’t tell you the name of the author of the book which I read a week ago let alone recall their models and views.
I notice that Lisa is venturing back to Melbourne and other parts of Australia, very soon, and I highly recommend that you grab your bosom buddies (or Champagne Chic Chicks) and go and be entertained and specifically unlearn a few habits. And, just a little word of warning: Lisa’s vocabulary may shock you, however, for some of us, it’s what’s needed to get our attention of what needs changing.
Who's Your Butt-Kicker?
When you think of networking, how do you feel and what do you picture?
I see the Olympics. An event which sees people racing around the room to gather and give the most business cards – with the gold medal going to the person who runs out of cards! I feel uncomfortable with this scenario and I continue to experience this twentieth century phenominom!
Fronting up to a networking event is hard enough for some, especially when the ‘card’ is more important than forming the relationship. Many people lack the confidence to attend on their own which makes the whole networking a task to master.
Whilst I’ve been doing some research into networking practices – it’s amazing to see the many varied practices; from hard core referral (think BNI and Business Builders) to the social aspect where it is more about entertainment (think Business Chicks) than 'doing business'.
Author, Janine Garner approaches her network as a prized possession – determining her core four, then her key 12 people and those that can potentially sabotage all your hard work.
These are small numbers – we’re talking four people, or at the most 12 people who you need in your network. It’s the flipside of the likes of LinkedIn and my address book where I have hundreds in my network.
Janine emphasises that we really need to treat our network as a valuable commodity and question ourselves - Who will add real value to our professional and personal development?
This sounds far more palatable than fronting up to an event on your own with a stack of business cards!
Her approach of 'Rework your Network' reminded me of how I declutter my wardrobe on a regular basis … likewise, we are advised to rework our network which involves analysing and auditing who we are leveraging. We need to move from’ how many you know in your network to focusing on ‘who are the right people to know’.
We need to invest time, energy and commitment into strategically building a small but smart network. I read ‘It’s Who You Know’ a few weeks ago, and it's still on my desk and I keep thinking of the ‘The Nexus’ model, which highlights your Core Four - you can check out Janine’s website and complete the Nexus Profile diagnostic.
1. Promoter – makes noise about potential possibility and inspires you to dream big
2. Pit-Crew – keeps you on track, nurtures you and prevents untoward emotions from getting the better of you
3. Teacher – helps you develop knowledge, wisdom and foresight
4. Butt-Kicker – accelerates your journey, pushes you to do more and holds you accountable for your actions
These women are my Core Four. We call ourselves the Champagne Consultants. We meet every quarter and help each other out - tap our butts (ever so lightly), share great wisdom and fabulous ideas.
Like many good self-development books, there are several worksheets which you can access from the author's website (a good marketing strategy to get you connected with the author and services.)
I had a great ‘Ah ha’ moment after completing one of these worksheets – sadly, I have a significant gender imbalance in my network. I need more men! What about you? If you had to write down the first 15 people in your network (think beyond your business network) – is there diversity? And we know when there isn’t diversity, we think silo: men think of men in their network and women aren’t thought of first.
‘Choose, Cultivate and Connect’ is Janine’s mantra – a smart approach to encourage you to be proactive in your choice of who’s in your network – it’s not a numbers game, it’s a game of quality which involves nurturing and investing in allowing these people to support you.
You’ve got to make your network work for you. And I think the first person you need to identify is your Butt-kicker. Whom in your current network performs these following tasks?
o Asks you about your goals and plans and how you are going to get there
o Checks in on your progress regularly
o Expects clear deliverables
o Gives you honest feedback: the good, the bad and the ugly
o Keeps you focused and decisive
o Holds your accountable
o Helps you navigate challenges and find new solutions
o Helps you do more with less
o Says, “you can do it, just get on with it”
DO YOU HAVE A BUTT-KICKER IN YOUR LIFE?
I'm proud of my networking skills and the number of people whom I network with and yet, I can honestly say, I really learnt 'heaps' from 'It's Who You Know'. I don't have a Butt-kicker ... and I'm now deciding who I need to ask to do this for me.
I highly recommend reading it to work on your network. You can purchase a copy down below and I look forward to hearing your feedback on what you think about networking and this concept.
Viktor Frankl has gifted us, people before us and no doubt, our next generation, a truly amazing insight into his life in the holocaust which he makes sense of how he and others coped and why people died.
Part story, part therapy explanation and part ‘life’ instructions, who would have thought that this little book would and is still being read by so many people on earth.Read More
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How can a company put its people before profit?
This question is answered throughout Everybody Matters- a story of how a company with it's origins in the 1800s is successfully a combination of 80 acquisitions using a checklist of leadership behaviours to lead and now educate in their own university.
A must read for anyone who questions the importance of people and leadership in their business.Read More
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Angela Pippos exposes the continuing unfairness associated with women in sport in Australia in her book, Breaking The Mould - Taking A Hammer to Sexism In Sport.
Teachers, Students, Parents of Students involved in sport and anyone passionate about equality should read this book.
In my review, I have highlighted some key text and recommending your read.Read More
Book Review: 365 Thank Yous - The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
We don't write thank you cards any more. Maybe parents did and grandparents more likely. Sadly, we might send a quick text rather than select a card, write a thoughtful note, and post it.
We rarely experience the delight of opening a card which say's "thank you".
John Kralik takes us on a journey over a year: from a sad unthankful life to a life of happinesss. It's a page turner and I highly recommend you read it.Read More
We spend too much time analysing and debating if we're right or wrong - when research tells us that our gut instinct or that thinking in the first two seconds is probably sound judgement.Read More
The Boomerang Effect takes us to modern-day marketing - the type which is full of content, helpful and quick. Gone are the days of just advertising - it's time to solve problems. It's about jumping on social media and sharing your talent, experience and products. And there's a benefit - if you do it, especially with YouTube, Google will reward you.Read More
An excellent source of important 'obvious' points to make your business successful. A fun and simple read.Read More
Book Review: This Year I Will break a habit! Yes, this book will guide you to break a habit or build a new 'positive' habit.Read More
This is a great read - What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend by Laura Vanderkam. The key message is that successful people are always planning and in particular, planning so that they can enjoy their weekend. Their planning is so vital that they thrive on the anticipation of the what they have planned.Read More
Rising Strong is by one of our favourite writers, Brene Brown. You know, the TED talk which took off, went viral as she ventured into the territory we don't discuss - vulnerability. Rising Strong is how to actually do that 'rise' if you've fallen. It's a tough book but well worth the read.Read More