If you want to be a high performer today you need to fearlessly, courageously and pro-actively embrace exponential growth. This is growth that just keeps on coming. It never stops to give you breathing space. It can overwhelm if you don’t know how to move with it. It is, however, the kind of growth that enhances your ability to manage the uncertainty, unpredictability and complexity of today’s world.

To embrace its empowering excitement and ride its challenging relentlessness, you need to move out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself where you will discover potential you never knew you had. More significantly, on the way, you will gain insights into the intrigues of how this new economy operates. This empowers you to work more effectively within it, provoking even further growth and ultimate success.

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In June 2015, Roy Morgan Research revealed that Australia’s full-time workforce had a total of 123,510 days of annual accrued leave. That’s a lot of people who have deferred taking holidays presumably for a whole range of reasons. In this age of exponential change that happens faster than we can keep up, one of those reasons would be that they don’t have time! Work-life integration is one of the unsolvables.

So a better title for this blog may have been – How To Take Leave When You Are Too Busy To Take It! That’s the dilemma so many people share with me when I am mentoring or coaching them. You know you need a break. You want to take a break, but you also know that the amount of work involved to get you out of the office and what will be there when you get back means there is little value in going. If you do go it takes you at least a week to unwind and then the second week you begin to build up to your return. You begin to worry about what will be there when you get back. So the leave is not really serving any purpose.
David Rock’s “Half-time August” is one solution to this dilemma.

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Today is the last day of 2016 – another year is drawing to a close. Today you will have no time to think but I’m going to pose some questions for you to think about before you go back to work and launch into the new year. They are about your unfinished business in 2015.

I’d like to suggest that you take a pen and paper and sit quietly somewhere and write down your thoughts. Or if you are the creative type, draw it out on your sketch pad. Reflection while tapping on a computer keyboard does not open you up to your deepest creative and reflective self!

What have you achieved this last year?

What has changed in your life and your work from this time last year?

How have YOU changed?

What have you learnt about yourself over this past year?

What have been the highlights of your last year?

What have been the disappointments?

Did you set goals at the beginning of 2015? What happened to them?
If you have had a great year, there are probably many reasons why that might have happened. If you’ve had a disappointing year, then it’s time to reflect on what you need to do to make 2016 your best year yet.

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Finding top CEOs for organisations around the world is the challenging task faced every day by Rajeev Vasudeva, global CEO of leading headhunting company, Egon Zehnder. It’s challenging, he says, because no longer is past performance the best predictor of future success. The task of leadership is changing so rapidly.
In an interview with Anne Hyland in The Financial Review, 28-29 March, 2015, he says that while leadership is the most discussed topic today there is no clear answer to what makes a good leader.
He uses four markers in selecting CEOs, and many of us may be surprised at these – curiosity, insight, engagement, resilience.
But he also says that CEOs have to unlearn much of how they previously operated that if they want to remain in their positions achieving success, because “what got you here is unlikely to keep you here or get you further.”

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None of us need to be reminded that we are living and working in a period of rapid change. Being able to move with that change in a responsive way is exceedingly challenging. What is even more challenging, however, is the uncertain and unpredictable nature of that change.

That’s what makes a new report, released on Monday, 7th September, so important. “Super Connected Jobs : Understanding Australia’s Future Workforce” was commissioned by Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and written by KPMG Demographer, Bernard Salt. While it highlights the dramatic changes and transformations that have taken place in the Australian workforce in the first 15 years of this 21st century, more importantly, it predicts the even greater changes that will occur in the next decade to 2025. For those who want to future-proof their jobs, this is mandatory reading. Salt demonstrates strongly in the report that new technology and new ways of accessing that technology, largely driven by the roll out of the NBN, will change how Australians work, where they work and what kind of work they do.

He highlights 5 clusters of jobs that will be most in demand in the future.

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Whenever we are challenged, face a crisis, or are confronted with a problem, so often we immediately start thinking about the bigness of the required response.
We start thinking about how much money this is going to cost us to right it, or the enormous amount of time it will take to fix it, or how many months (or even years!) it will be before things get back to normal.
Rarely do we think small: What can I do right now to make a difference here? What small thing can I do that will bring about even a small change here?
It’s the empowered leader who knows that small hinges swing big doors and looks for the small hinges in his company that will bring about the big change in the culture of his organisation.

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My 4 year old grand-daughter’s sea horse, Gill, died this week. Her mum, Anna, was explaining to Eden about death and dying. She listened carefully, asked some questions and then said: “Now I know everything”. She thought for a moment and then she said to her mum: “Mum, sometimes I know everything and sometimes I don’t know anything.”

I am a whole lot older than Eden, but I thought to myself: “That’s just what I feel. Sometimes I know everything and sometimes I feel I don’t know anything.” In spite of a rich life-time of study, all the university courses I have done, all the information I have in my head, in my library, in my filing cabinet and at my disposal on the internet, I have come to realise that the more I know, the more I become aware how much I don’t know.

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