On Leadership

30 05 2012

Just read this on a LinkedIn page:

Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.

— Lao Tzu

I’ve never read any Lao Tzu, so can’t attest its origin. Seems solid though, eh? How many leaders are comfortable with sitting back to watch their success through others, rather than jumping up and down saying “It was me! I made that happen!”

Want a ride? Check the dress code! – Richard’s Blog – Virgin.com

29 05 2012

Sir Richard… all is forgiven! (Though I see your socks are still hidden!) But now a new question… is Sir Richard Branson a left-hander, or is the photo flipped?

Want a ride? Check the dress code! – Richard’s Blog – Virgin.com.


More on the story here:

Christy Clark receives creepy kite surfing invite from Richard Branson | Canada Politics – Yahoo! News Canada.

Richard Branson on Office Ties and the Company Dress Code | Entrepreneur.com

29 05 2012

I like Sir Richard. I really do.

I like the way he started business in a phone booth (to get a free phone number) selling vinyl records. I like the way he made a brand name worth more than any product associated with it. I like the way he had a line of condoms called Virgin Mates. I like the way he took on the big guys like BA, and redefined whole markets.

But I was a little saddened to read this article. In it, he talks of his own self-confidence at not wearing a tie in the massed presence of others who were. Kudos. No problem with that. Anyone who’s seen the types of socks I wear could never believe I thought otherwise when it comes to expressing individuality.

But it was his assumption that others could not like to wear ties that bothers me. Others that choose to be as individual as he by wearing a tie when nobody else is. Is this invalid just because he doesn’t like ties?

Je pense pas, mes amis!!

And just for the record, does anyone have a photo of his socks?


Richard Branson on Office Ties and the Company Dress Code | Entrepreneur.com.

Judith I Bridgland: George Wylie – Scottish Scul?tor

27 05 2012

Thanks to MM for bringing the Scottish artist George Wylie to my notice. I had never heard of him, and it seems he has very recently died at the age of 90. Good innings, all told. A question mark for a P, and addressing big questions seem to have been his hallmark. Particularly the transient nature of powerful industries such as Glasgow’s locomotive and ship-building industries.

Judith I Brigland has a nice piece on her blog if you’d like to learn more…

Judith I Bridgland: George Wylie – Scottish Scul?tor.


26 05 2012

Isn’t it amazing bro that we’ve both got red blood and brown shit. That sums it up really.

Freo's View


NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEKstarts today and will go to June 3, so say hello to a Nyoongar person today!

There is a lot we Wadjelas can learn from Aboriginal culture. All it needs is an open mind and to embrace the custodians of the land.

I have been lucky to have Aboriginal people in my life. My oldest (not in age!) Aussie friend is Michelle,  an Inyibandi woman who trusted me to look after her two boys now and then. And then there are Shari and Kyle, for whom I have real paternal feelings. I miss the hockey and swimming training, the school assemblies, the fun of introducing them to German Vienna sausages and Dutch cheese. They’ve all grown up now and don’t need a babysitter anymore. Michelle’s oldest son Simon is getting married next week, while Shari is studying media at Curtin University.

As a big blackfella…

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26 05 2012

Nice find Odetocapitalism! Being born a Brit, I think I’d feel incredibly uncomfortable at personally witnessing a flashmob, but there’s no denying the beauty of the music…

Wickedly delightful

26 05 2012

I was very naughty today.

More than usual in fact, which is saying something!

I spent the day at a Scouty event, but the level of catering was a little higher than one usually expects at such things. Mid-morning snack was Danish pastries and my downfall: pains au chocolat.

As an ex-Brit, I have spent many lazy summers in France and have become more than a little partial to these Gallic temptations. I confess I ate more than one before the end of the day. OK – more than three. Or was it four? They weren’t served warm as they really should be, and the chocolate within was almost certainly not European, but temptation is temptation. I am weak. I succumbed to their patience – they sat there just waiting for my will-power to fail as it surely would.

Yet I don’t now feel the guilt I thought I would. Is it because they were French? Does that somehow excuse naughtiness? I shall sleep with a smile playing on my lips tonight…

English: A Pain au chocolat from a Belgian Bak...

Mercedes Benz: Left Brain – Right Brain, Passion | Ads of the World™

26 05 2012

Mercedes Benz: Left Brain – Right Brain, Passion | Ads of the World™.

Oo.. right brain! Glad I’m left-handed…

Mercedes Benz: Left Brain - Right Brain, Paint | Ads of the World™

26 05 2012

Looking forward to her concert in Vancouver in July.


The first single off of Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel… is out and it is ready for you to canoodle with it. Our love for Fiona Apple is unsurpassed, so any audio from her is going to be highly appreciated.


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The Push for Change

26 05 2012

The Push for Change | The Push for Change.

Passions are amazing.

Possibilities are awesome.

But without action, we are only left to dream… and nothing changes.

Today I went to a retreat as a member of my local Scout Council leadership team (what can I say?) The keynote speaker was Joe Roberts. He is now a consultant, but draws from his own background as a troubled youth, living on the streets of Vancouver, a junkie. He speaks well. He’s careful to not ask for sympathy. He doesn’t need it. He’s a successful businessman. Now.

Instead his message is that there are many youth out there who have made some of the same poor choices he made, or who have by some other means been forced into living on the street. Having come through that and grown from it, he is keen to offer that illustration of positive change to others. Obviously this was a message that resonated well with the gathered Scout leaders. Scouting is all about offering positive opportunities for growth to youth.

This summer (1st of July) he’ll be pushing a modified shopping cart from Calgary to Vancouver. Symbolic of the carts pushed on the streets of Vancouver by people collecting cans for recycling to feed their habits. This one has been engineered for the event, and will collect money for the charity Roberts has co-founded. But this is only the start. A trial run for his May 2013 goal of walking coast to coast – finishing up in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he had his epiphany and turned his life around. He is careful to acknowledge others who helped in that rebirth. His mother, and a kindly old gent called “Gus” in the DES who not only gave him the cigarette and toonie he was bumming off him, but also a pearl of wisdom: “you could be something great”.

His pitch to Scouting wasn’t for money or access to our membership as fundraisers. He’s confident of his organisation’s own ability to do that. What he was looking for was engagement with Canada’s youth. He’s aware that unless youth engage with his cause he’s largely just some old bloke pushing a cart across Canada to no great purpose. Kudos to him for that.

I wish him well, and look forward to the YouTube awareness he expects from his trial run from Calgary.

His “day job” as motivational speaker can be followed at Skid Row CEO.