Your Brand is Spider Silk

May 10, 2016

Brands, your company’s and even your reputation, are made of metaphorical spider silk.

Spider silk is the 9th strongest material in the world.

It’s tensile, or pull strength, is stronger than diamonds.

Sure, we all feel like we are more than that.

Our values statements and logos, training and best practices are shields against mediocrity.

But any moment can break your brand.

Treat your staff poorly – snap.

Staff treat clients or customers poorly because they are upset with you – snap.

Staff tell their families what happened at work – snap.

A spider can build a web in an hour.

It takes longer to build a brand.

Both are broken at the same speed.





May 8, 2016

Leaving the beach, I spotted a beer bottle and picked it up.

Jim looked at me and said, “The standard that you walk by is the standard you keep.”

“Say that again” I said. “Where is that expression come from?”

“I’ll find out,” he said.

We joked about how much garage we pick up along shore lines.That was before I saw him do 70+ push ups in a row or knew he was a retired Major General, Member of the British Empire, lifetime member of the nation’s Olympic Committee and Order of Australia honouree.He was just Jim, calling it like he saw it. Living his values one quiet, powerful decision at a time.

Thanks mate.

Spirit of Australia – Maj. Gen. J E (Jim) Barry AM MBE RFD ED (Retd) BCom UMelb


“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept” – Lieutenant General David Morrison, Australia’s Chief of Army.



Prove it.

May 6, 2016

You, your brand, your organization exist to make some sort of change.

While some think of big campaigns, maybe it’s worth taking a nano second to think small.

Whom did you serve last?

What was the encounter like?

When that person finished with you what improved for them?

More clarity? More peace of mind? Uplifted or pissed off?

Relaxed, relieved or rushed?

Each encounter proves a point.

What’s yours?


Over Heard – The Secret Skill of Transformative Leaders

May 1, 2016

The most powerful phrase I’ve learned is “What I’ve heard you say is…”

It deepens connection and builds trust.Where there is conflict it de-escalates it.

Especially when  followed by “Did I get that right? Is there more?”

When you are able to show that you have heard someone’s story, when you can mirror it back without judgment, advice or channel hopping to your own story, the person in front of you can hear themselves fully, probably for the first time.

Cue cheesy new age, nature soundtrack.

But wait… this works.

I’ve heard this technique called “hearing someone into speech”

I learned it trying to save a relationship when I had pimples not wrinkles.

Decades later, I’ve used it in crisis centres and top global corporations (same, same but different).

This gift of presence changes the listener and the listened to.

The one that is listened to, hears their truth amplified. They can find their own way more easily.

The listener gets a super hero skill. They start being able to hear between, over and under words.

It’s like learning to hear the air that holds what is not said.

This skill has helped me find business names, tag lines and entire marketing campaigns.

It’s saved my marriage and held the shattered pieces of friends together.

Over hear, it’s a game changing skill.


4 Ways Your Company Can Be Badass Valuable

April 28, 2016

I’m noticing a trend. It’s not the demise of the skinny jean or rise of the wide leg pant.Though as a gal with a wide asset, I’ll take the extra fabric.This is a different bottom line, the quadruple bottom line. The 4P’s are people, profit, planet, and progress.The best and most innovative businesses are succeeding because they’ve chosen this 4P approach.

Niulife gets it. They are breaking the cycle of poverty and replacing it with a circle of prosperity. Niulife gives remote coastal communities in economically impoverished nations a way to harvest extra virgin coconut oil in their back yards, in an hour.

Imagine one machine used by 28 families, some led by single moms, to produce the highest quality, fair trade, organic, sustainable, delicious, good for you coconut oil in the world. See the wild orchards nesting in the crooks of coconut trees encircled by lush rainforest. A single mom sits on the beach with an iPad in her lap. She swipes the screen and manages the business Niulife taught her to run. Llittle ones can go to kindergarten, a key predictor of literacy and numeracy, because families can easily pay in   coconuts – 20 a week. But wait, there’s more (as ads say) the by-products of the harvest are fed to pigs.

In the age of the story, a good story matters. The story that does good is the real gold.




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If it is not your genius it is not your job.
Louise B. Karch