What Game are You Playing? (WT543)

What Game are You Playing? (WT543)


What Game are You Playing? WT543

This week I was privileged to attend Part 1 of Simon Sinek’s leadership training series, based on his book The Infinite Game.

Do you know the difference between a finite game and an infinite game?

I confess, I didn’t know the difference and it seems I’m not alone.

According to Sinek, “leaders don’t know the game they’re in”.

A finite game is a game that has a winner. It also has rules and known players and competitors.

An infinite game has known and unknown players. Its rules are changeable and the objective is to stay in the game, not to beat your opponent.

Examples of infinite games include: business, marriage, global politics, education and healthcare.

Playing the infinite game in business means becoming obsessed with where you are going versus beating the competition.

Sinek outlined the 5 components of the Infinite Mindset and explained that the Infinite Mindset is a “striving”. If we take health as an example, we strive to be healthy. To be healthy we need to exercise, sleep, meditate, drink so many litres of water each day and eat healthy food.  We can’t do them all at the same time. We go in and out of balance, however if our ambition is to be healthy over time, and we focus on each of the components of health, we will eventually achieve health. The same applies to business and marriage etc.

Sinek’s 5 components for business and leadership include:

  1. Advance a Just Cause
  2. Build Trusting Teams
  3. Respect/Study your Worthy Rivals
  4. Develop the capacity for existential flexibility
  5. Have the courage to lead.

What game are you playing?

What game do you want to play?

When will you start playing? 

You Don’t Have to Do It – Why Do You Do It? (WT538)

You Don’t Have to Do It – Why Do You Do It? (WT538)



Sitting at my computer, on a deadline to write this week’s thought, I looked to Ross for inspiration.

“What can I write about this week?” I asked.

“Why don’t you write about the Weekly Thoughts”, he replied.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you don’t have to do them, you know.”

I was aghast.

“Of course, I have to do them.”

“Why? Nobody is making you.”

Whoa! That was confronting.

It is true. Nobody is making me write these thoughts nor have they for the past 10 years.

“Why do I do it?” I wondered to myself, which then led to even deeper questions, “Why do we do anything?” “What motivates us to do the things we do, especially when no-one is holding us accountable?”

Now they’re questions worth pondering.

Dan Pink, in his book, “Drive” talks about “AMP”; Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

He explains the difference between carrots and sticks to motivate us to do things that are repetitive as opposed to tasks that require creativity and problem solving.

Writing the Weekly Thoughts certainly requires creativity. It also gives me a sense of purpose because I love writing for you and giving you something to think about. I am also my own master. Ross is right. I don’t have to do them if I don’t want to. I have complete autonomy about what I write about and when (as long as they are delivered on time) and finally, they require some sort of skill or mastery.

Pink explains that we experience deep satisfaction in our work and will do things, even when we don’t get paid, if we experience Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. As an example, he cites Wikipedia. Here is a knowledge base, freely available to anyone with the internet updated by volunteers. Think back to the days when door to door salespeople did their very best to sell World Book Encyclopaedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica containing volumes and volumes of information that quickly became outdated and which employed many many experts to compile the volumes.

Pink also goes on to say that when you include Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in your work environment, “Across the board, productivity goes up, worker engagement goes up, worker satisfaction goes up, turnover goes down.” 

That’s why I write the Weekly Thoughts.

How about you?

Why do you do what you do?

What things do you do, even if you don’t get paid? Why?

If you’re interested to learn more about “Drive” and motivation, especially if you lead a team, here’s a link to an 18 minute Ted Talk by Dan Pink.

Now That’s a Given (WT525)

Now That’s a Given (WT525)


WT525 Now That’s a Given

This week, we were on the road again in Tasmania. It’s chilly and many attractions are closed for the winter; still there are lots of opportunities to observe business. Today I want to share one of my observations with you.

Driving through a little village, I noticed a sign on the chemist’s building, it read: “Caring Staff …”. I shook my head as I thought to myself, “Yes, of course. Isn’t that a given?” That’s like an accountant advertising, “We’re good with numbers”, well I should think so.

Advertising and marketing is about helping your potential customers to understand what is unique about you. What makes you stand out from your competition? This is called your USP or Unique Selling Proposition.

One of the best examples I heard was an accountant who was into personal development and used her knowledge of personal development to motivate and empower her clients, not only about their numbers but about who they were as business owners. She was able to differentiate herself and attract the clients who wanted that.

Remember, when attracting clients, we want to attract the ones we want to work with; that means making it easy for people to disqualify themselves as well.

If you’re going to use a byline, it has to mean something and contribute to your bottom line. It has to evoke something in your potential customer to have them choose you.

Another example was a real estate agency in Launceston. The advertising stated, “We sell a house every 2.3 days”. If selling your house quickly is important to you, that might be enough to have you make enquiries or another agency may say, “We sell more than the others”, which may give you confidence they know what they are doing.

My tagline is “Reclaim Your Freedom”.  I want to attract the people who believe it’s possible to have a business and career and lifestyle. My ideal clients are those who don’t currently feel like they have freedom. There isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to your advertising and marketing IF it hits the mark for whom you want to attract.

There is a right and wrong if you use words to describe what we would expect would be a given as part of your service or product.

How about you and your business? What’s your USP? Who do you want to attract? Are you using the right words?

I’m Not Interested in Your Personal Life (WT523)

I’m Not Interested in Your Personal Life (WT523)


WT523 I’m Not Interested in Your Personal Life

You’ve heard me mention the REACH profiling system a number of times. This week, I was privileged to see one of the profiles in action.

I was talking with a new acquaintance who was explaining his philosophy on hiring and working with staff.

“I can’t stand it,” he said. “I hired this person and every morning I had to waste an hour while we talked about her kids, the dogs, what she did on the weekend, etc. before she would start work.”

I smiled to myself as I thought, “Wow! This is typical Driver behaviour”.

“And if that wasn’t enough,” he continued, “I then had to thank her for everything she had done that day and waste another 30 minutes while she told me what she was going to do after work.”

The Driver profile is interested in results. They are quick to take action, often making decisions with their gut. They don’t get small talk. If you understand the Driver, you’ll be less offended. They are “driven” to get results. We need Drivers. Without them, not much gets done.

The Advisor profile is similar to a Driver in that they are more focussed on tasks than people, however, they like to take their time to plan and organise things and are very methodical. You can’t rush an Advisor. Imagine then an Advisor and a Driver. The Driver wants to go, go, go and the Advisor says, “No, no, no, not yet. Have you thought about….? Have you considered …..?”  Advisors are our risk mitigators.

Counsellors and Coaches are focussed on people. Coaches want to inspire. They want to know “why” and Counsellors want to know “Who”.

It doesn’t matter what your REACH profile is. They are all needed to make a team function at its best.

As I listened to my new Driver acquaintance, I could imagine how his employee felt. I imagined that they were probably a Counsellor, which is diagonally opposite the Driver on our profile matrix. Counsellors provide immense value in that they are there for the people. They complement the Driver.

As you read this, I’d like you to think about your own personality type and see if you can find it within yourself to be open to learning more about the other profiles. The more you know yourself and know others, the more results you’ll get, easier and quicker.

Think of it like learning another language. If you were going to Italy, you might learn a few words of Italian to help you get along in your travels. Same with the profiles. Whilst your personality doesn’t change much over time, you can increase your REACH. This is the degree that you are comfortable with the other profiles and the degree to which you can speak their language and relate to them.

If you’re a leader, you really do need to make sure you work on your REACH. The best leaders are able to influence their people because they relate to them on their terms. They understand people are different. They understand we need the differences and they actively seek to understand their people.

How about you? How well do you know yourself and your people?

Let’s Talk About Culture (WT522)

Let’s Talk About Culture (WT522)


WT522 Let’s Talk About Culture

I’m curious. What’s your definition of culture in the workplace?

Who do you think is responsible for culture?

Do you think culture is important?

Can you change it?

These questions and more came up for me as I attended yet another hair salon on my travels.

Overall hairdressers/hair stylists perform the same tasks wherever I go and I have to say, since COVID-19, I am eternally grateful for hairdressers. One round of Ross colouring my hair was enough for both of us.

Anyway, we digress. Let’s get back to the tasks performed in a salon. In my case, that’s a cut, colour, some highlights and a wash/shampoo and dry.

Even the terminology used changes according to where you go.

Today I walked to the salon for my appointment, only to find a stylist inside with another client and a “Closed” sign on the door. I didn’t push on the door because I read the sign. The stylist reluctantly came over, flipped the sign to “Open” and opened the unlocked door (like I was supposed to know it was unlocked).

In most salons I’ve been to, someone takes your coat. There was no one to greet me. “Sit over in that chair, 2 stations away”. I took my coat off and stood. I didn’t know what to do with my coat.

Another stylist came rushing through the door. The phone rang. She answered it. I stood holding my coat. I asked if there was somewhere I could hang my coat. She grimaced, took the coat and went and hung it on the rack at the front near the door. (I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in.)

She was my stylist. I did my best to find a way to confirm her name. “Are you Maree or is it Maria?” I asked. “Maree,” she answered (not her real name). She didn’t bother to confirm my name.

I did my best to make polite small talk. By this stage I wasn’t very interested myself. I looked around the salon. There was no artwork or colour or even posters of glamourous models with beautiful hair and makeup. “Oh well, that’s her choice,” I thought to myself. “After all, she is the owner.”

Colour and highlights applied, it was time to wait. No covers for the arms on my glasses. No offer for water, tea or coffee, etc. and certainly no champagne, wine or chocolates. Sigh.

Time to shampoo the hair. No lay down comfy chairs here. No cotton wool for the ears, rather two lumpy hard scrunched up tissues.

Now I was really thinking about culture and all the different salons I’ve been to in the past few years, both in Australia and America.

Same jobs, different people, different culture.

My definition of culture is, “This is the way we do things around here.”

I also believe everyone in the organisation is responsible for culture. Sure management can determine the culture, however, team members also need to be on board.

Culture is also a feeling, an energy, a vibe you get when you go somewhere. In some salons I’ve been welcomed in, made to feel like royalty and felt like a million dollars when I left. I’ve felt like I mattered and the team cared.

Sadly, that’s not the case in all salons.

What’s it like in your workplace?

How would you describe your culture and more importantly, how would your customers describe it?

In fact, your culture is what attracts and retains your customers.

Who do you want to attract?

We’re Celebrating 10 Years of Weekly Thoughts (WT520)

We’re Celebrating 10 Years of Weekly Thoughts (WT520)


WT520 We’re Celebrating 10 Years of Weekly Thoughts

Do you ever surprise yourself?

Wow! This week I’m celebrating. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could commit to writing a Weekly Thought, EVERY WEEK FOR 10 YEARS.

I have to say I’ve surprised myself.

I’m also really happy with myself and I’m proud of my achievement, and more importantly, I am GRATEFUL. 

I am grateful that you have been on this journey with me, whether we’ve just met or you’ve been here since the beginning.

THANK YOU for being there.

I love receiving your feedback, especially when a thought resonates with you.

I love my community and I just love sharing what I learn.

You see, I can’t help myself.

Years ago, I studied with Cristi Cooke who developed The Pillars of Genius program to help entrepreneurs look at marketing from a different perspective. Cristi helped us to identify what it is that is unique about us; the things that we cannot not do and to use this to help potential customers decide if we’re the person or company they want to work with. In essence, you attract customers who are the same as you or completely opposite and therefore needing what you have to offer or anywhere in between. The point being, you get to choose who you want to work with and the customer gets to choose based on who you or your company are in addition to the services you offer.

My 4 Pillars are:

1. Learn Learn Learn | Teach Teach Teach (I can’t help myself. I’m always learning and growing and recently, I added up how much I have invested in my own personal growth, business training, leadership training and the like and it was over $500,000. What that means for you is that you don’t have to invest the time, the travel costs or the program expenses to get exactly what you need at the right time. That’s what I can offer you.)

2. Systems Set You Free (I love designing and developing systems to take away the stress of being in chaos and disarray. Over the past 14 years I’ve developed my own 5 Step System to help business owners streamline their operations. It’s part of my DNA. It’s something that comes easily to me. My clients tell me I make the complex simple.) 

3. Don’t Tell Me. (I have to admit, I’m a bit of a rebel. I hate being told what to do. I don’t mind asking for help, but please don’t assume you know what I want and tell me how to do something or what I should do. That’s why I won’t tell you what you should do. You know you best, and you know what you want and why you want it. My job is simply to help you get it and support you along the way.) 

4. Fascinated by How People Tick. (I think this is fairly obvious from my Weekly Thoughts. I’m always watching and analysing and doing my best to understand people and then help others to understand their people. I find myself constantly working with leaders and business owners helping them to understand themselves and their people and how best to communicate with them.) 

So how about you? What are your Pillars of Genius?

What are the things you cannot NOT do?

As Cristi says, “What are things that you would be confident to stand in front of a judge and jury and show all the evidence from your life and work?”

And of course, this week I learned something new from Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen created The 4 Tendencies. According to Gretchen, one of the daily challenges of life is: “How do I get people—including myself—to do what I want?” The Four Tendencies framework makes this task much easier by revealing whether a person is an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

You can find out here. It’s a free Quiz and will take you less than 5 minutes.

Let me know what you are.

No surprises for me, I’m an Obliger. I’ll do things for you before I’ll do them for myself.

10 GLORIOUS YEARS. WOW! WOW! WOW! I’m excited.

I invite you to celebrate with me.

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