With thanks and gratitude: A love letter for you!

9781118637623.pdfA knock on the door. A courier presents a large brown box. What could it be? I eagerly open the box and find copies of the second printing of our book, Hooked.

But wait – there’s more. This new version of Hooked has a bestseller sticker on it:  YIPEEEEEE. My amazing co-author, Gabrielle Dolan, and I have now joined the bestseller list in Australia!

While our names are on the cover of Hooked, it’s moments like these that make me reflect on how many people it takes to create a book.

For example, not one word would have been possible without my wonderful clients. Your stories bring our story to life. Thank you and thank you again.

Also batting in our court are the too-often-unsung editorial and publishing talents, Lucy Raymond, Kristen Hammond, and all the team at John Wiley & Sons, our publishers. Love and gratitude also goes to my mentors Pete Cook and Matt Church for their encouragement and belief! And, a big thank you to our supportive family and friends, for being with us through the highs and lows, and to everyone who bought the book and wrote glowing recommendations online.

Sometimes I wear my heart on my sleeve, and this is one of those times. Thank you for celebrating this special milestone with me.

With love and gratitude,





PS: And for those of you who haven’t yet bought the book, what are you waiting for?!

Why so serious?

11615503-laughing-out-loud-emoticon1Imagine if you could boost engagement and wellbeing, encourage creativity and collaboration and improve analytical precision and productivity. Better yet, imagine if you could do all that with one tool? Alison Beard, in her 2014 Harvard Business Review article, Leading with humour, says “Make ‘em laugh to reap all those benefits.”

You know how you feel after a good belly laugh. Your brain and body are flooded with endorphins, you feel recharged, optimistic and happier. There’s a zing in your step and you feel anything is possible. Imagine the power of amplifying this across your team and your organisation!

In terms of influence, humour is the new frontier. “Humour? You have to be kidding”, you might say. “I’m not funny, and definitely not at work!” You might even add with some pompousness: “Do you know who I am and what I do?”

Beg your pardon. Somehow work has become synonymous with often-unnecessary gravitas, dour demeanors, pursed lips and furrowed brows. No wonder best-selling Irish author Marian Keyes has one of her characters moan about work, saying: “That is why it is called work; otherwise it would be called deep-tissue massage.”

Every motivational speaker knows that at the end of the day, no matter how compelling your message, the two tools that help you get through your audience’s defenses are humour and stories. In leadership and influence the same rule applies.

Humour is number one in business because it is so scarce. If humour was a natural resource our current state of humorlessness in business would immediately be declared a worldwide emergency. And humour – just like any skill – can be learnt. But why would you bother? Because humour is the MEGA contagion of connection and influence.

Please comment, I love hearing from you.

Rebel with a cause?

46c3fd4f-248f-4093-b225-186d8e91c99dA beautiful blonde woman in an elegant evening dress receiving an award in a glitzy ceremony on TV. It felt like just another celebrity moment. Then she pulled out a blue beanie and put it on her perfectly-coiffed head, presenting an incongruous yet moving image.

The star was Carrie Bickmore, and she was receiving a gold Logie for being voted Australia’s most popular TV personality. She told the audience: “I want to use my two minutes up here to talk about something incredibly close to my heart: brain cancer.” Having lost her husband Greg to brain cancer in 2010, she urged Australians to wear a beanie in order to get the nation talking about brain cancer. And Australia responded. TV hosts across networks sported beanies all through the next day and people around the country uploaded photos of themselves to show their support.

In that moment Carrie Bickmore became a cause leader. Author Roland Alexander explains that cause is an emanation pointIf one was to look back in history, the truly great leaders [who] attempted in some way to improve conditions in their zone of influence, [all] share this common quality of causation.”

So what does it take to become a cause leader?

  • The cause needs to light you up. Cause leadership is personal and people have to know your back-story: Why this cause? Why you?
  • Tell people why they should care. Bickmore stated: “Everyone thinks brain cancer is rare but it’s not. It kills more people under 40 than any other cancer. It kills more kids than any other disease.”
  • Give people a way to get involved with your cause. Bickmore had a simple ask – don a beanie – and Australians did so, also rallying behind the #beaniesforbraincancer hashtag.

Most of all, cause leadership has to be based on authenticity, and in your truth, so it lights you and the world up. Beanies optional.

Please comment, I love hearing from you.