Tag Archives: leadership

Quarterly reports and Jonah Lomu

October 18th, 2019

As a kid in New Zealand, Lomu was to Rugby as Jordan was to Basketball. Everyone wanted to do a side step, where you run at the other team then sidestep around them. You did not want to be on the opposing team against him.

I’m reviewing quarterly reports right now – and you see the sidestep or in our industry, the pivots. We were full steam ahead at this, then this happened, so we changed. Quickly. AND still got the ball across the line.

What’s most important is the fact that it happened, the team saw the landscape change – adjusted and closed out strong. Game over. Review/reflect/re-energise. Next quarter, next game.

If you haven’t seen any of Lomus play, see this highlight reel from the RugbyWorldCup.


Bench Strength

October 11th, 2018

This is something you need to continuously develop, whether your are winning, losing or somewhere in between.

I mean this literally and figuratively.

But mostly I mean this when it comes to your team. As a leader you must continually develop, challenge and support your team to build bench strength – so that as conditions change, you are best equipped.

When hiring, people recognize this and appreciate going to a company that’s going to be as invested in their success as they are.

You do your best work when you’re relaxed

March 18th, 2018

I thought I’d shared it here, but I hadn’t, I loved this quote from Bill Murray:

You have to remind yourself that you can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is, whatever your job is. The more relaxed you are, the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did. I thought, well, that’s a job I could be proud of. Source: LifeHacker

You could be mistaken that being relaxed means not having a sense of urgency. It’s that being relaxed in your delivery, in your pitch, in your candor, helps exude confidence, reassurance and doing the best work.

As a leader, I try to create the right conditions for our team, so that they themselves are relaxed and/or their context helps relax them, so they can focus and do the right work.

It means; allowing for mistakes (and failure), nudging in the right direction, high feedback, stating the obvious when the obvious needs stating, providing all the support that is needed and admitting your own failures.

It’s helped us keep on form, not fumble and do the right work when it needs to get done.

The other side of this is also preparation.

To ensure the right training, practice, feedback, gets people set up to be relaxed. Being under prepared is an instant stressor.

I like the training mantra of the All Blacks, to be more fit and on form in the last 15 minutes of a game than every other team is in the first 15 minutes. As that’s where games are won and loss. It sets an exceptionally high bar for them but ensures that when they hit the field, they’re prepared for everything that can and will arise.

In building products, there’s another lens on it, that you build for the extreme edge cases, with the view that the bulk of users will then be all ok. It’s when you don’t cater to the edges, or at least acknowledge where they exist that troubles arise.




Innovation always starts out looking like a bad idea

March 5th, 2014

I loved this quote shared by Ben Horowitz last night at a Columbia University held launch for his new book.

The whole hour of Q&A was pretty good, he touched on Leadership, the struggle of being the entrepreneur making the change, being courageous.

It was really good – put me in good stead for his book: The Hard Thing about Hard Things which I’m about to start.

He went on to say, that if [the innovation] looked like a good idea it would already have been done.  True innovation looks like a good idea.

It reminded me of a Peter Thiels advice ‘tell me something thats true but nobody agrees with’…  at Forbes.  It’s a great piece of advice when you think about it, let it settle in.

These are all just good reminders that things worth doing start somewhere out there alone and over time grow the crowd around them.  Being a leader is taking the courage to make that step and then bringing people along with you.

Jumping ship, only to climb back aboard

February 9th, 2010

I think we’ve all done it before.  Forseen some fundamental shift so jumped ship.

However once we jumped ship we realised no one else had.  Or that it looked like anyone would.

It suddenly gets quite lonely as Leadership typically is.

So what do you do? You climb back aboard…. only to find everyone is preparing to jump ship!

If only you’d stuck with your gut and held your position. It’s ironic huh?

When charging  trust your gut, others are likely to come around soon enough, especially when you realise you’re leading them.

No Strings Attached

November 27th, 2008

I was reading this brilliant article on Yoshiro Nakamatsu, Japanese Inventor.

A modern day Nikola Tesla.

This paragraph struck out to me:

“The key to successful innovation, according to Nakamatsu, is “freedom of intelligence.” By this he means working with no strings attached. Nakamatsu says he has never sought funding from any person, company or government and prefers to develop and produce his own inventions. “If you ask or borrow money from other people, you cannot keep freedom of intelligence,” he says simply.”

This freedom, opens up the potential to anything you can dream of.

Seth Godin says the same on his blog, he doesn’t work for anyone, or allow comments as that may impair him.

Really he wants to unleash the possibilities.

It was on this point I wanted to say this blog has no strings attached.

This isn’t here to push products out there.

It’s to provide an outlet to get ideas out there.

Like Seth I had no comments, but opened it up, to let you guys talk.

As honestly (if you know me well) I do what I want anyway. No strings attached.


November 4th, 2008

Leadership is powerful.

Pioneering, Revolution, Change


However leadership is lonely.

You are at the front, carving a new path, and have to endure the flak.

It’s a hard hard battle.

You need to persevere,

Through these hurdles.

To change.

Obama will be reflecting on this today (and realising)

Perseverance is genius.

And THIS is what leadership is all about.

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
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