Be a Leader in All Things Creative

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 9.48.59 am

You all know that unforgettable first experience. Your heartbeat quickly increases to the point where you can actually hear that rhythmic booming sound of blood throbbing in your ears. You look sheepishly with a sense of nervous reluctance and trepidation up and down the street, just in case there is anyone that may know you. Then you dare yourself to do it. You finally muster up the courage, place it hurriedly on your head, pull it down a tad to achieve the requisite appearance, and then lose your fashion virginity. Yes, you are now a beret wearer.

You think that all eyes are upon you as you surreptitiously walk to your destination. But actually, those who observe you only have thoughts of deep admiration and respect for your individual fortitude and creative head wear selection.

As your days of fashionable beret wearing progresses, you will quickly find that your feeling of head self-consciousness completely diminishes and you will laughingly question yourself as to why you had the initial apprehension or thoughts of doubt. However, you have unwittingly placed an innovation stake in the ground that is a landmark creative catalyst to your fellow workers, those that pass you by on the street, and to your family.

Yes, many people are scared to speak up, to share an idea, or to challenge the status quo for fear of looking foolish. But, like your first beret wearing experience, when you have done it once, or even twice, you achieve a confidence to stand up and portray your personality. This act not only empowers you, but those around you to follow in your beret wearing footsteps!

So, if you don’t yet have a beret, go and buy one and place it with innovative pride upon your head. Then go forth and show the world that you are a leader in all things creative!

The Thought Creation Leadership Stick

Walking-Sticks-02

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

I pondered these William Shakespeare words as I respectfully picked up my “Thought Creation Leadership Stick” and quietly acknowledged that I had just been “thrust”. Yes, it was my allocated turn to lead my fellow corporate office lunchtime walkers on a journey of fictitious discovery.

Like clockwork, at precisely 12:00 PM, those employees yearning for creative daily enrichment hurriedly assembled in the marbled office reception area eagerly awaiting the arrival of the scheduled holder of the Thought Creation Leadership Stick. Each person looked like any other typical employee, apart from the comfy grass-stained walking shoes brandishing their feet, and the small discrete hiking pack emblazoned with the corporate logo that snuggly contained a healthy company supplied lunch.

As I was now thrustfully tasked with my honoured opportunity of creative greatness, I carefully lifted the Stick of leadership authority that signalled to all onlookers the commencement of the lunchtime walk.

Off we went with an air of corporate cohesion, with me leading out the front as I mentally prepared for the numerous planned requisite creative stops. But this was not just any lunchtime walk. No sir, this was a walk in which the leader had to innovatively entertain everyone with an almost believable, yet highly fictitious, story along the way.

Each walk had an allocated duration of exactly 60 minutes, and to constructively utilise this time, I elected to take my walking colleagues along the muddy banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River. As stipulated by my esteemed position of holder of the Stick, we stopped at various picturesque locations where I creatively described the non-existent basic cave markings of prehistoric Melbourne man, the enticing smells wofting up from aboriginal campfires cooking a charcoaled selection of tasty barramundi fish fillets and yabbies, the first European naval ships equipped with copious stocks of rum soaked barrels, and the exploratory “beaming up” of our competition’s most valuable staff by the Martian aliens.

At the conclusion of the allocated walking time, we all returned to the corporate office with our FITBIT step count massively increased, our minds full of thoughtful creative inspiration, and an empty backpack symbolising a most content and happy stomach.

As holder of the Stick, I then proudly passed the leadership symbol over to a fellow colleague, which they accepted with a strong sense of humility and equally nervous anticipation.

So should you want to develop a culture of innovation in your corporate office, together with some complementary employee exercise, then may I suggest that you also have greatness thrust upon you and pick up your own Thought Creation Leadership Stick!

The Eyes of Electronic Stimulation

eyes

The E-mail designated “High Priority” in large red font from the HSE Director arrived in my Inbox at exactly 5 PM. It advised all employees that tomorrow was going to be an “Electronic Free Day”. I, and my fellow work colleagues, read the following safety directive as stipulated with keen interest.

Attention All Staff,

Owing to a dramatic increase in the number of deteriorating eyesight complaints derived from employee’s continually using work computers, iPhones, iPads and other electronic visual stimulators, we have been advised by our insurance underwriters that we have now reached the maximum number of optical claims allowed for this year.

As such, we have decided to mitigate this corporate eyeball risk by announcing that every Wednesday will now be deemed an “Electronic Free Day” (EFD), commencing tomorrow.

The IT department has been advised to implement an unconditional electricity supply freeze on all computer assets which will be effective between the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM.

When arriving at work, please place all personal smartphone devices, tablets, kindles, and other such like into the nominated collection baskets as advised by the Safety Wardens. Any refusal will result in immediate dismissal.

At your workstation, each employee will be greeted with a pen (complete with ink), writing paper (devoid of any words) that are to be used to capture any creative thoughts that may be generated during the work day. For those staff that may have forgotten how to use these work implements, a special tutorial has been scheduled in the auditorium at 9 AM.

On your desk, you will also find a personalised information sheet that provides some suggested finger exercises to ensure that no repetitive strain injuries (RSI) occur, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the movements.

We value your eye safety, particularly as it will reduce our insurance premiums.

The management team thanks you for your understanding and optical conformance, so together, our business future will be visually bright.

Regards

HSE Director

“Bicycletic” Benefits

7419445436_338b4c1683_o

Recently I joined the globally popular group of two wheeled self-propelled transportation riders commonly known as cyclists. As I sojourned along the picturesque bike paths of Melbourne that are strategically divorced from the motorised road system, I observed numerous behaviours in my fellow riders that have direct application and benefit in the corporate office.

Leadership
As a cyclist, you are indeed master of your own destiny. There is no point following the person riding in front of you, regardless of how attractive and cute that rear view may be, as this will only result in you reaching their goal, not yours. However, if you are happy being a follower, and not a leader, then make sure you enjoy the ride!

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Yes, there are many needs in this hierarchy, but to me, the most applicable and important one relates to the Physiological. After many hours propped vertically on your bike, bottom comfort is a mandatory requirement and a padded seat needs to be a pre-requisite. If not, walking, and other forms of social interaction in the corporate office following the riding experience becomes most awkward and potentially embarrassing.

Status
Riders need to dress for success and to portray that perceived professional appearance of looking like they know what they are doing, regardless of whether they actually have no “bicycletic” clue. Here’s where a stunning riding outfit embellishing the appropriate corporate logo, complimented with an equally expensive road bike with all the latest GPS navigational gadgetry becomes a necessity.

Emotional Control
Being polite and courteous in the corporate office is a must for any manager, regardless of how annoying and frustrating your colleagues may be. Similarly, an emotional outburst at a fellow rider, or daydreaming pedestrian, that gets in your way should not be tolerated. However, for that selfish pompous cyclist that stopped suddenly in front of me yesterday as you answered your mobile phone, I do not apologise for my verbal onslaught as it was absolutely warranted! (yes, you know who you are!)

Safety
All cyclists fully understand that they are smaller than a car and that when it comes to a clash of momentum, they will come a most definite second. HSE guidelines demand that a suitable helmet be placed correctly on your head, regardless of how it may impact your hairstyle. But, there is a place and a time for the use of your bell, and protocol dictates a subtle delicate ring when approaching and passing a slower rider, or walking hazard. But, a high frequency of bell ringing is just annoying and may lead to you being ostracised by your bike path community.

So next time you are experiencing the pleasurable joy of the sound of wind rushing over bike helmet, let your mind wander a little as you contemplate the above “bicycletic” thoughts. However, shutting your eyes to increase your concentration will have a negative side effect and may negate any corporate benefit.

Bow tie Leadership

Bow Tie

Should you be looking for a symbol of change in your corporate office? Well, look no further than a bow tie! Besides providing the wearer with some upper collar shirt pizzazz, this stylish and fashionable enhancement will set the custodian with a unique and highly noticeable position of business grandeur amongst your fellow work colleagues.

Let’s start with the basics. Firstly, forget your clip on bow tie, seriously, what’s the point! These are OK if you are 3 years old and don’t know any better and probably can’t tie your shoe laces either. However, if you are an adult, it must be a hand tied bow tie. Once you have mastered the tying procedure, a certain sense of personal achievement will have been attained, a skill that the wearer can most definitely list on their CV with pride and accomplishment.

In my office, I recently had the joy of adorning a bow tie for a 6 week period. I decided to wear this fashion statement to personally support a cultural change management program that had been initiated within my organization.

Now besides getting quite a few inquisitive looks from strangers I traveled with on public transport to and from the office (I still think it was bow tie envy), and from those I work with in the office, to me, the bow tie experience was quite profound and enlightening. So, what did I learn from a corporate leadership perspective that can be used in a change management program?

1. People noticed the bow tie (if you want to be a leader, you need to be noticed).

2. You can’t wear the same coloured bow tie each day (a leader needs to tailor the message for co-workers that can be readily understood, it can’t be a general communication).

3. The bow-tie was hand tied (it takes skill and some persistence to be a leader, the process needs to be practiced).

4. Bow-ties don’t suit everyone (some people like to follow…..and wear the traditional long length and rather boring and conservative tie, but then again, we wouldn’t want everyone wearing a bow tie!).

So, next time your organization is thinking of implementing a program of change, may I suggest you go and purchase a hand tied bow tie and start wearing it in the office. Yes, you will be noticed, you will feel different from the masses, but you will be making a fashion statement, and you will be a Leader!

The GPS Business Mentor

Mario Kart Icon on TomTom GPS

There is a unique business mentor for a person starting a new job role…it is called the “GPS navigational system”!

When you think about it, the correlation and learnings are quite staggering and provide a useful insight for the new employee and their manager.

1. Starting
When you start a new job, you have minimal idea what to do, or how to go about things. You are looking for leadership and guidance as you commence your new career in the right direction.
When you turn on your GPS, it is also “lost” for the first few minutes whilst it establishes its position coordinates with the satellites.

2. The Planning
In the early stages of your new role, you and your manager discuss your learning program for the first few weeks/months.
The GPS plans your travel route.

3. The Journey Begins
The new employee and driver (user of the GPS) both follow directions as provided without straying from the chosen path.

4. Experience
With time, both the new employee and the driver become less dependent on instructions and start to experiment and explore new paths.

5. Next Steps
The manager should start to provide some “new maps” for the employee so they can obtain new and challenging experiences and expand their knowledge, skills and business horizons.

With time…”You will reach your destination”

%d bloggers like this: