Category Archives: Values

Subconscious motivators – things that you “feel”, maybe in your heart or even in the pit of your stomach.

Service with a Smile

In the hectic lead up to Christmas, we missed getting our hands on one of the Aldi “Three Bird Roasts” and so in a mad panic, I called Jenny and asked her if she had any bright ideas.  Her response in an understandably matter-of-fact style was along the lines of “DERRRR, have you called Tanya and Paul at RPT Promotions?”.IMG_0155

“Ummm…..  No”, I replied somewhat flatly as my brain clicked in to gear and asked itself ‘now why didn’t I think of that in the first place, EJIT?’, (followed by a couple of expletives).

Anyhow, a call was placed to Tanya and was met with Tanya’s message bank, where I explained my predicament and went back to work.  Not even 15 minutes later, the lovely Tanya was calling me back with Season’s Greetings and instructions for how to get a hold of Paul.  Two minutes later I was dialing Paul’s number which was answered with Paul’s always happy & bubbly English accent.   Once again I explained my stupidity and with a wry laugh and an eagerness you had to hear to believe, Paul was making arrangements for one of his Turduckens to be delivered to Gladesville RSL (in close proximity to my home) for me to collect.

I thanked Paul profusely and he promised to call me back to confirm when the delivery would occur and off he went.  24 hours later he was back on the phone, as promised, to let me know that the Turducken was en-route to the RSL Club as planned.  He couldn’t have been any more obliging if he had tried.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that Paul and Tanya were in the middle of one of their BIGGEST Christmas’ ever!  They had orders stacked up to the rafters and were right in the thick of the logistical-challenge of getting everything delivered to the right place at the right time before Christmas Day!

The reason that I didn’t know just how crazy things were for P&T was because Paul made me feel like I was the only customer that he had, even though I was only after one item and it was probably (if I’m totally honest) a bit of an inconvenience.  But Paul went out of his way to ensure that I would get my Turducken with a short lead-time, so that my family could enjoy their Christmas Dinner and BOY, OH BOY did we ENJOY IT!!!…

The pictures speak for themselves, so let me just add that we all thoroughly enjoyed the Turducken, so much so that we will be placing our order with Paul and Tanya EARLY next year for Christmas 2015!

IMG_0154 IMG_0156 And let me also add that we are all extremely grateful to them both for being such a pleasure to deal with and for making our Christmas Dinner so very special this year.  Thank you both so, so much…

An Exceptional Man with an Inspirational Story

Here at White Now we are provided with opportunities to work with a range of amazing people and incredible businesses, including a large numberIMG_0835 of RSL Clubs.

After speaking with the exceptional, Geoff Evans (pictured here) who has served as a Commando in East Timor and Afghanistan, we couldn’t help but be moved by his own story and more significantly, what he is personally doing to make a difference.   So we asked Geoff if he would write an article for us as a ‘Guest Blogger’.

(To read Geoff’s personal story, click on the image above, on his name or you can click here).

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Spare a thought for the thousands of Homeless Veterans sleeping rough at this time of year.  The Australian Defence Force has deployed 67,000 troops to various conflicts since the Vietnam War.

Homelessness was a significant issue for Vietnam veterans and their families, and sadly, is endemic among younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  In the shadow of the centenary of the First World War, up to 3,000 diggers remain homeless on any given night.

What can you do to make a difference?

IMG_0825

In March of 2014, RSL LifeCare established the Contemporary Veterans Homelessness and Assistance Program (CVHAP) in Narrabeen, NSW.  Homelessness itself is a symptom of war caused mental illness, such as PTSD.  To the right of the spectrum is suicide, to the left: alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and other problems.

We currently have 24 veterans and two families enrolled in the program, but we have been reduced to accepting only the most severe cases.  This is not due to lack of accommodation, but rather through lack of funding to provide the necessary wrap around support services that make the program work.  These include everything from providing tooth paste and furniture, to transport, case management and a toy or two for the children.

Since publicising the existence of the program just a few weeks ago I have taken requests for help from right across Australia.  The common and sad refrain is that currently we can only provide housing at Narrabeen.  As younger veterans have children and other commitments they often cannot leave their locality, and so they remain living in cars and on the streets.  We have to do better.

We have also seen growth in our services to veterans and families who are at risk of homelessness.  This can occur when, for instance, a young veteran leaves the military without an illness or injury being accepted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  If they are unable to remain employed, as is often the case with mentally ill veterans, they lose their income.  Homelessness can quickly follow.  We are working to try and keep them in their homes.  Entire families are at risk, and its proving a growth industry for us, as a decade of war collides with an inadequate repatriation system.

For those of us working with these remarkable young veterans it is soul destroying toIMG_0820 watch them suffer for want of funding.  All veterans entering the program suffer from mental illness, most enter with an intense sense of shame as well.  They were our nations finest, help us help them.

If you can help, please visit the RSL Lifecare Page Here… (and scroll down).

Our Most Recent Resident: Case Study
Veteran X is 38 years old, and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple tours.  He entered the program in mid-November 2014 and is our 22nd resident.   Veteran X was still serving in the Australian military when he was admitted to hospital for treatment of PTSD and related alcohol abuse.   Whilst he was in the hospital, the Australian Defence Force medically discharged him from service.  This meant he was no longer entitled to a Defence house, and accordingly, his family was evicted while Veteran X was in hospital.

Tragically Veteran X’s relationship could not withstand the terrible strain of Veteran X’s condition and his circumstances.  Veteran X’s marriage ended and his wife and children moved into their grandmother’s house.  Sadly Veteran X no longer had access to his children.  Veteran X has described to me the sense of utter desolation and helplessness he felt.  “I just couldn’t believe this could happen to me” he said. “I devoted my entire life to serving the Nation, I was good at my job and I had a career”.  A few weeks after his marriage failed he attempted suicide.

Many months later, as Veteran X approached the date of his discharge from hospital, he literally had nowhere to go.  Like most of the young men and woman in our program he would have been living on the streets.  Fortunately he met one of the young veterans we’d previously placed in the PTSD program, who gave Veteran X our details.  Veteran X was initially quite a challenge, but we are a peer led program, and other veterans who have walked the same path took him under their wing.  He has come such a long way; he has joined our AA support group and will shortly start a training course.  A remarkable young man, like the rest, all he needed was a chance.  A testament to his hard work and the program’s success: Veteran X spent Christmas Day 2014 with his children.

Read and Recover is on Again!

White Now‘ in conjunction with Brad Sugars of ‘Action Coach’ is again running the ‘Read & Recover Program‘ in 2011 which will see us donate 1600 books to 100 hospitals across Australia!

The books have already arrived and now we need nominations for Hospitals and other Children’s organisations that will benefit from receiving these books.

This great initiative came about after ‘White Now‘  MD Jenny White spent some time in a children’s ward of a hospital with her son when he was ill and found that the only books available were few and in poor condition.  She decided she would like to help out by donating books to hospital children’s wards, so other parents and children could benefit.  Brad Sugars was calling for suggestions for his ‘Santa Brad’ project through Facebook, so Jenny told him her idea and he was happy to get on board and Read & Recover became a reality.  The initiative went from 100 books to 10 hospitals and rapidly moved to 1500 books to 100 hospitals.

So, now we have the books (and they are filling up our office) we call for nominations from the community for hospitals and children’s organisations they have either been involved with or know of, who would benefit from the donation of some books for the kids and families who the help.  We do this via Facebook and our newsletter (Click here to sign up for the newsletter) to our contacts at White Now and want to hear from YOU!

Later on we will also ask for volunteers to help us pack and deliver the books, so stay tuned!

I joined the ‘White Now’ team at the end of last year so this is my first experience of the ‘Read & Recover’ Program and I am already caught up in the excitement and can’t wait to be more involved.  It is great to receive your nominations and learn about the positive experiences people have had with our great hospitals and other organisations and know how these books will be of benefit and bring a smile!

Click here to read more about this great program and PLEASE contact us with your nominations through info@whitenow.com.au.

All the best
Sarah Watts

What to do When Attacked by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack!’

As many of you may know, www.whitenow.com.au was recently attacked, YES, attacked! – by ‘Aliens from Planet Hack.’  What this means, is the company that hosts our website and emails was externally and deliberately attacked and this effected our website and emails (along with lots of others) for about 6 days.  Not good for a web-based business!

Anyway, we are now back, the Aliens DID NOT win!

As with most experiences some good things did come out of it.  As an employee of White Now, I was really impressed with the response of those managing the company and our IT resources (Jenny White, Toby Kennett and Andrew Bassett-Smith).  There was no time wasted on ‘wringing hands’, feeling sorry for ourselves or laying blame.  Our management team was straight into ‘solution- finding’ mode and minimising the inconvenience for our clients and website users.  As soon as the problem was discovered, they were onto letting people know as best they could (via Facebook,LinkedIn and twitter initially) and setting up a temporary site so at least our current positions vacant could be seen.

It is really refreshing and inspiring to work for a company like White Now that concentrates on being positive, focused and professional and getting the ‘crisis’ resolved.

This is also a management team that regularly acknowledges the work of staff both publicly and privately – we always know we are appreciated, which makes a BIG difference!  So now its my turn to acknowledge them and say ‘you guys ROCK’ and are great to work for!

There is a definite lesson for ‘What to do When attacked by Aliens from Planet Hack’ or any other ‘crisis’ that befalls your business (or life for that matter), stay positive, focused and look for solutions.  That way you retain your power over the situation and leave the blame laying alone,  get on with the job.

Listening to Customers

listening

I recently purchased the NEW Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste that has been advertised widely.  Having sensitive teeth, the ad totally hooked me and the next time I was looking for toothpaste I decided to give it a go!

When I first went to use the product I was unable to open the ‘tamper-proof’ cap, so went to my husband for help.  In the end, we had to take to it with a knife and cut the secure cap off!  Rather extreme for toothpaste!

I thought that this was so dangerous and ridiculous that I decided to contact Colgate and let them know.  If we had this much trouble, how would someone like my 84 year old mother in law, with arthritic hands and living on her own, ever get the cap off?!  I went onto their website and found the ‘contact us’ section and sent them a polite email describing the problems I experienced.  I quickly received back an equally polite email that essentially ‘fobbed’ me off. Oh well, I thought, I won’t be buying that product again, regardless how good the toothpaste maybe, it’s just too hard to get to.

I forgot all about it and returned to another brand of toothpaste with any easy-access cap.  This week I received a parcel in the post from Colgate.  Seems I must not have been the only one to comment on the cap and they have redesigned it and sent me a tube to trial plus a questionnaire to answer.

Well today I tried the new cap which is still ‘tamper-proof’ but I am pleased to say VERY easy to open and access the toothpaste inside!

All of this really impressed on me how important it is to listen AND respond to customers.  I felt great that my comments had been heard and acted on and my further opinion was then sought.  I am sure I was one of many people who made comments about the cap, but if no one had said anything and had just never bought the product again, Colgate would have been left wondering what the problem was – the toothpaste?  the taste? packaging – WHAT?!  By receiving and acting on the feedback they have been able to make a small change and thererfore, hopefully retain customers and gain new customers, when they spread the word.

So, the moral of the story is to firstly let companies/organisations know if you find a problem with their product or service so they can take action – its then up to them.  Secondly, if you are that company/organisation receiving that comment, WELCOME it with open arms and see at as the opportunity that it is to make your service or product even better!  I will now continue to buy Sensitive Pro-Relief Colgate!

The Future of Work – Workstyle

Recently I have noticed a few articles discussing the predicted trends for the workplace and how we will work in the future and was interested to note that some of these trends already apply here at White Now!

Forecasters predict that women will account for 46 % of the workforce by 2020, more Australians will work part time, the median age will be 38 and more of our colleagues will be over 65, thanks to a growth in ‘grey power’.  Women will hold more management roles and our leadership style is expected to become more collaborative, motivational and engaged.

There is also a trend towards what is being termed as  ‘workstyle’ (rather than lifestyle) where you fit work AROUND your personal life and family commitments.  Makes sense as more and more, both partners are in the workforce and the responsibility for care of children is being shared more equally.  And who says you have to get your work done between 9am and 5pm – what about the rest of the hours in the day and night??

‘Workstyle’ allows the worker to attend school events, go to the gym or attend appointments in traditional work hours, do an intersst course and work when and where it best suits them – perhaps from home after the kids are in bed, in the early hours of the morning or on the weekend.  It means that the worker is always ‘on’ but with the ability to work around other commitments whether that be family or other interests and use ALL the time available to them.

With access to the internet and mobile communications tools, we can now work from almost anywhere and at anytime so work and life can intersect and ‘seep’ into each other.

This was one of the things that attracted me to working with White Now, having the flexibility and tools to manage my work and life and make the most of both.  I was interested and pleased to realise, when reading these articles recently, just how forward thinking this company is!

While not every job can operate this way, (hard to deliver great face to face customer service from home or when your venue is closed!)  there still may be opportunities for greater flexibility and incorporating some aspects to give ourselves or staff more of a ‘workstyle’ lifestyle.  Start the conversation with your Manager or staff and find out what could be a ‘workstyle’ for both! 

Being happy at work, having an enviable workstyle, may just be how we will measure our career ‘success’ in the future!

Out with the Old and In with the New!

The end of a year is certainly a time for reflection on what has happened this year and what we would like to do differently or how we would like to be different in the new year.  So, many of us will make New Years’ Resolutions for the year ahead and there will be plenty of articles appearing in newspapers and magazines with advice on ‘how to keep your resolutions,’ such as;  write them down, tell a friend, post them on the fridge or even register them on a website www.newyearsresolutions.com.au

Apparently 69% of Australians make at least one New Years’ resolution yet less than a quarter actually stick to achieving our goals!  One suggestion I saw recently is to only make short term resolutions (say 3 months at a time) rather than for the whole year, then review them regularly and make the next one – could work.

Along with the old year we want to get rid of the old us, our old job, our old habits and bring in new, fresh and exciting ones!  Resolutions tend to be around improving our fitness, health or appearance, becoming better people, giving up smoking and other bad habits, saving money and getting that new job.  Having worked in recruitment for a number of years I have certainly seen an increase in both ads and applications for jobs,  occuring in the ‘New Year’ and this is certianly true here at White Now.  Whether this is due to holidays and festivities finishing, people making New Years’ resolutions to get a new job, or a combination of both, I’m not sure!

For me, I am still deciding on what my New Years’ resolutions will be and how I will ensure I achieve my goals.  I’m sure straight after Christmas I will swear off food and alcohol – but I doubt that will last long!   Then all of a sudden it’s Easter and life is busy and nothing has changed and ‘what were those resolutions again?’

So good luck with any resolutions you make, may you achieve your goals and may 2011 be everything you want it to be!

STOP & THINK. Its all the Action Plan – Make DREAMS a REALITY

Formulating a dynamic Action plan to translate dreams to reality

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today”

The first step in developing an Action plan is to stop and think! Before taking any action, it is vital to understand the purpose for the action, and ensure that the steps you take are aligned with your core values and visions. It sounds like stating the obvious, yet there are many people whose daily actions are actually moving them further away from their deepest desires! The clearer you are about what is important to you, the more dynamic your action plan, and the more likely you are to be energised to take action.

There are countless ways to devise an Action plan, and here is a framework for you to adapt to suit your specific situation. Turn off your phone, put on some relaxing music, take some paper and coloured pens, and answer the following questions:

What is my current reality?

Where am I now? What decisions and habits have brought me to where I am today? What resources do I have available? What are my existing skills and strengths? What gives me energy? Which parts of my day do I truly look forward to? What support do I need right now?

Where do I want to be?

What is the main vision for my Action Plan? What do I want to achieve? What will I see, hear and feel to know that I have been successful in achieving the goal / vision? Is this vision an expression of one or more of my core values?

What perceived constraints do I have, eg time, money, or other resources?

What habits do I have that may get in the way of achieving my goal? What are my limiting beliefs about being / doing / having the desired result?  What if the opposite was true? What support do I need to release these constraints?

What are my gifts, talents and strengths?

When have I been successful at achieving something I desired? What qualities do I have that will benefit me for the future? When was I truly energised and excited about what I was doing? What was present? Is my current vision aligned with my strengths and talents?

Write my desired outcome using the SMART method – old, but good!  Make it Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-framed. Write it in the present tense as if it is happening NOW!

How do I get there?

Think of all the possible things you could do to take you closer to achieving your goal, no matter how small. Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. At this step, focus on generating and writing as many different options and ideas as possible. Take a sheet of paper and write more and more ideas, just as they come to your mind. While you are doing this, it is important not to judge or analyse. This is a brainstorm, choosing the most appropriate steps will follow!

What is the very next step I must take towards achieving this goal / vision?

Arrange the steps in a logical, chronological order and put a date by which you will start each step. Try to set yourself weekly goals: what research you will do into jobs, what skills you will concentrate on learning etc. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of planning a timetable each evening listing your steps for the next day or two.

Each action step should include the following information:

  • What actions or changes will occur;
  • Who will carry out these changes;
  • By when they will take place, and for how long;
  • What resources (i.e., support, skills) are needed to carry out these changes;
  • Which core value is being expressed by taking this action

Create a collage or metaphor of your vision, and keep it in front of you every day. It is a powerful reminder when the going gets tough.

Celebrate the milestones! Remember to acknowledge yourself and others as you accomplish each step along the way.

 “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant” –Robert Louis Stevenson

This AMAZING piece was written by our AMAZING guest blogger Karynne Courts from Values Connection.  Ph +61 2 9983 0755

It takes HEAPS of Courage to be a Visionary Leader !

With the world in turmoil with the global financial crisis, climate change and environmental disasters, humans wreaking devastating harm on one another in various parts of the world, as a species we are facing some of the biggest challenges in history. Do you have the courage to lead confidently in these uncertain times? If you can see these challenges as opportunity, you will be one of the survivors. As leaders, we must be pioneers in forging new relationships, new ways of doing business, new ways of being in the world. It requires comfort with ambiguity, confidence in uncertainty, and a willingness to celebrate diversity. It takes Visionary leadership.

Visionary leadership is an art. Unlike the managerial tools of policy, procedures, techniques and measures, it comes directly from knowing and understanding Self. A visionary leader is one who serves through being Trustworthy, Inspirational and Passionate. The emphasis on serving through being is the essence of our work with values and energy. There is no recipe; there are no seven steps or ten tips. It requires the courage to abandon what we “know to be so” and embrace the mystery and complexity of what it is to be human.

A visionary leader is clear about who he or she is, and exudes genuine SELF-confidence. Visionary Leaders have a confidence in who they are and what they stand for which is accompanied by trust that they can face whatever situations come their way. A visionary leader knows and trusts in their ability to be infinitely creative, and also trusts that capacity in those he or she leads.

Why Visionary Leadership?
The prevailing model of the authoritarian leader is under-performing and failing, and in too many cases failing in spectacular yet sad circumstances. We only have to look at the Business section of daily press for numerous examples of this. If I was to ask you “who is the source of your greatest frustration in your current business climate” and you find yourself pointing the accusatory finger of blame, then there are also the three fingers pointing back to YOU, giving you the answer to the question! Your profitability and success is a direct result of the quality of your leadership. No exceptions! The good news is that you are also the solution. The question is: Do you have the courage to liberate the visionary leader within?

What are the characteristics and skills of the visionary leader?
Authoritarian leaders focus on protecting what they’ve been in the past while Visionary leaders focus on what they are becoming in the present and future.

Key differences are illustrated in the table below:

Authoritarian            Visionary
Is very competitive. Is very cooperative.
Is focused on the shareholder.            Is focused on the stakeholders.
Is risk averse.  Encourages innovation.
Is uncomfortable with uncertainty. Revels in uncertainty.
Is a creator of teams that ‘follow’. Creates leaders at all levels.
Operates within a tangible framework. Operates intuitively.
Seeks to control the enterprise. Realises the enterprise is ‘self-organising’.
Tells people what to do.          Listens by asking questions.
Talks of what the problem is. Talks about possible solutions.
Is reactive Is Creative
Is focused on “What’s in it for me?” Is focused on “What will benefit US?”
Debates Dialogues and values storytelling
Strong masculine energy Strong feminine energy

 

How are these visionary behaviours developed?
It is important to note that these behaviours are not mutually exclusive. Today’s leaders will benefit from being able to consciously operate along a continuum encompassing both styles as varying circumstances require.

The guidelines for learning the visionary behaviours above are rarely found in any current management texts, courses or training programs, let alone when you were at school.

Your choices to develop these behaviours are to:
• Engage a mentor or coach to assist you to unfold and develop these behaviours
• Read quality books and publications in this field
• Take regular time out for reflection – to listen to your inner voice and practice recognizing your intuition.
• Understand your values, and write your purpose, visions and strategies to reflect the most important priorities in your life.

The Language of Values
There is also a new language to be learnt, to understand the nature and role of values. Values, defined as our unconscious motivators, underpin every action we take. Everyone has values. Visionary leaders are people who have revisited and clarified their core values to consciously choose which values will be expressed in their lives. Visionary leaders pay attention to honouring and dissolving those values that are no longer useful to their future as a visionary leader and releasing the energy from values that keep them“stuck in the past” to values that energise them to create a compelling future.

Examples of this skill include:
• dissolving a lack of ‘self worth*’ and relocate the energy into ‘being self*’
• dissolving the value of ‘independence*’ and relocating the energy into ‘interdependence*’
• dissolving the need to be ‘competitive*’ and relocate the energy to being ‘cooperative*’
* from an Australian model of 128 universally researched values ( New Wisdom 11 by Colins and Chippendale)

Now ask yourself, when did you last reflect on and review your:
• Personal work practices, e.g. reading, time management, paper management?
• Management skills, e.g. communications, project management, technical competencies?
• Leadership abilities, e.g. visioning, creating, listening, mentoring, thinking/concentrating?

May I suggest that the reality is that these skills and abilities continue to be essential and need to be under continuing formal review if you seek to be a leader of change and innovation?

The quantum leap forward for you as a Visionary leader, way beyond the above, is to become aware of your inner levels of consciousness, offering access to abilities that are infinite.

This inner level of consciousness within each of us is often experienced as a ‘flash of insight’, an instant solution to a complex situation, an entirely new idea, and in each instant you will express amazement and wonder ‘how did I do that?” and ‘where do they come from?’

The process of accessing the visionary leader within engages a wide range of innate abilities and will include:
• Being present with oneself.
• Being present with another
• Dissolving negative judgment of oneself and others
• Listening empathetically
• Detaching and transcending the senses
• Detaching and transcending the human constructs of time.
• Listening to your feelings
• Looking for patterns in the complexity of the issue at hand.

Now as you can see, to engage these deeper levels of consciousness calls for changes to your traditional work practices and the emphasis on rushing around getting things done to being at-one-within, thinking and concentrating.

Key questions for courageous leaders
1. Who is your mentor and your protégé?
2. What is your next formal learning project?
3. When will you formally refresh your purpose – for your Self, for your business and for the people you lead?
4. What must you, as a leader, be willing to give up or let go of in order for your business to be more flexible and responsive to change?
5. Reflect on three core principles which determine how your business currently operates. How are these helping or harming the business’s ability to achieve its Vision?
6. What barriers will have to be removed in order for your business to be stronger, more profitable and exist 5 years from now?
7. What are your top 9 values that you orient your life around?

Our planet needs visionary leaders, your country, your organisations and communities need visionary leaders. Our children need new role models for leadership in the 21st century. I urge you to rise to the challenges and be courageous enough to discover the visionary leader that resides within every one of you.

This AMAZING piece was written by our AMAZING guest blogger Karynne Courts from Values Connection.  Ph +61 2 9983 0755

Lessons for Leaders – How we live our lives !

 

Journey to the Blue Road

The sheep station where I spent my childhood was a three hour drive from the nearest town over dusty unsealed roads. The town had nine hotels and two grocery stores, and we only went there every six weeks or so to stock up on our supplies. Living in such a remote area meant we needed to be self-sufficient and resilient. We had a vegetable garden, sheep and cattle for our meat, and we kept hens for eggs.

Every year, we would order our hens from the city poultry farmers. They were only young, not much more than a year old, and were already considered “burnt out” by the egg farmers. We would order four dozen at a time – for about 20 cents (1 or 2 rand) a chicken!

We would drive the three hours into town and pick them up from the rail depot. They were transported in large cardboard cartons with little air holes cut out. We’d bring them back home, tie the dogs up, and open the boxes.

 Out would fall the most bedraggled creatures we had ever seen. They were often featherless, their crests pale and shabby and their claws overgrown. They had spent their entire lives inside a cage in tin sheds under intense 24 hour artificial lighting, and were expected to lay to maximum capacity – sometimes two eggs per day.

They had never seen the sunshine or felt the earth beneath their feet. Some of them even had their beaks removed to prevent them from pecking their eggs. We let them out into the yard to learn how to be chooks – to pick at the green weeds, scratch for worms and bugs, and cluck at each other. After only a couple of weeks, their crests became a deeper, healthier red, their feathers grew back, and they even “walked taller”.

The most amazing thing was that they started to lay eggs again.

When we create environments that focus on who we are, that allow us to express our values and nourish us, then our natural talents and energy are released. The impossible becomes possible, and results exceed expectations.

By focusing on the who – allowing them to be the best they could be, the “what” came naturally. Of course they would lay eggs – that’s what hens do. So instead of saying “now go off and lay lots of eggs”, we let them rediscover how to be real chickens – and laying eggs was a natural consequence.

How often in workplaces do we ask our people to lay more eggs – turn the lights up, increase performance, keep producing – with the threat of replacement if they slow down?  If we focus more on the nurturing of our people, providing the environment that allows them to be the best they can be, then the natural consequence is for them to do whatever it is they do. Trust that if they are healthy, stimulated, encouraged, and believed in, you will have all the eggs you need!

Organisations, governments, and individual consumers pour millions of dollars into working out ways to lay more eggs – bigger, cheaper, faster, quicker, more! We are constantly offered tools and gadgets that are supposed to make our lives better, yet we become involved in a cycle of replacing the unnecessary to do the necessary, and we lose the ability and sometimes even the knowledge of doing things for ourselves. Tools that are supposed designed to “make it easier” have made us less productive, and many people are burnt out, exhausted, tired, sad, depressed. In order to shift the focus from maximizing egg production to cultivating healthy and happy chickens, we have to challenge the assumptions and beliefs that have created our current situations.

 It is not about being a better leader, which suggests that you have something “missing”, it is about recognising the qualities that already reside within you, and allowing yourself the courage to peel away the masks and layers to reveal the infinite creative energy of your real Self.  The most courageous journey is the “inner journey” of self awareness.

 By embracing and expressing the qualities that reside within, we develop comfort with ambiguity, confidence in uncertainty, and a willingness to celebrate diversity.

A leader is a person who serves through being trustworthy, inspirational and passionate. Leadership is not about role, position, salary, or authority. It is an innate quality in everyone, and leaders are at all levels of the community, family, and work place.

We lead how we live, and how we live our life is the way we leave the world.

Welcome to our guest Blogger – Karynne Courts from Values Connection who has donated her time to Blog for you some great lessons. 

(Source: Karynne Courts, Values Connection (see www.valuesconnection.com.au for more inspirational stuff  or to purchase the book – Journey to the Blue Road … an amazing book by an amazing person!!)