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wooden boats  I believe about leadership

  • Challenges seek out leaders, when opportunity knocks you need to be ready to respond.
  • We should respect history and learn from it.
  • People are inspired by achievable stretch goals.
  • People act in their self interest, they will not follow you if they fear for their subsistence or are asked to act against their beliefs.
  • Leaders must “model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart”, The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner.
  • Leaders understand their personal beliefs and values and are consistent in their words and actions.
  • Organizations need to clarify their beliefs and values just as we do personally.
  • Leaders that have different beliefs and values to that of the organization they lead are not a fit, as each shifts over time fit can change.
  • We should respect those that have gone before us, they have experience to share if you listen.
  • People see the world through lenses, to create change of perspective you need to change the lens.
  • Successful leaders and organizations confront the brutal facts about themselves and understand their hedgehog concept. Great organizations understand their hedgehog concept: what they are passionate about, know what drives their economic engine, and focus on what they can be best in the world at, Good to Great, Collins.
  • “Good is the enemy of great”, Good to Great, Collins; but I believe this must be balanced as achieving perfection may be wasted effort better spent on other critical success factors.
  • Good leaders have a balance of technical, people & group, and communication skills.
  • Learning process includes the steps of: telling, showing, demonstrating, and teaching, Blue Lake Leadership Centre Learning Model.
  • Good communicators tell a story, they repeat the message three times in three forms
  • As grownups we still play king of the castle.
  • Education is a life time commitment and accelerates as we get older.
  • Leadership is as Jasper the Bear in the springtime emerging from the cave with her cubs says: “I have to follow them I am their leader” re. servant leadership, The Power of Servant Leadership, Greenleaf.
  • Leaders seek to destroy routines, although these are important if they are the right ones, it is the leader’s function to make the determination.
  • Leadership is connected to innovation, bringing new ideas, methods and solutions into use.
  •  “We cannot predict the future. But we can create it”, Great By Choice, Collins & Hansen.


I believe leadership is about telling your story and getting others to participate in bringing action to the moral, the ends “mission”, of that story.

wooden boats  I believe about management

  • Don’t chase shinny objects. When you are a swamp shark under a boat looking for a meal there are many fishermen in the boat tossing out shinny lures/objects to chase. The problem is that if you chase them all you may never catch one and all you do is thrash around.
  • When in doubt – charge.
  • Those that monitor and act in the face of change thrive, Who Moved My Cheese,  Johnson
  • Successful managers act: firm, fair, friendly, and consistent.
  • Managing strategy is different than managing operations, both are essential to high performance.
  • Successful organizations plan for financial, customer, process, and learning and growth perspectives, they map the strategies, measure them, and they test and adapt, The Execution Premium, Kaplan and Norton.
  • There are eight stages in the process of change: establish a sense of urgency, create a guiding coalition, develop a vision and strategy, communicate the change vision, empower broad based action, generate short term wins, consolidate the change and produce more, anchor new approaches in the culture, Leading Change, Kotter.
  • “Seek first to understand then to be understood” First Things First, Covey.
  • I believe people and organizations are prone to “Nibble Theory”, Blue Lake Leadership Centre, we keep nibbling and criticizing the cookie until it breaks up and is no longer its former self, alternatively a focus on building upon strengths creates cohesion and success.
  • Organizations need to define their dominant value proposition, The Execution Premium, Kaplan & Norton .
  • Organizations need to have a risk statement and a risk management plan (map likeliness of occurring to the consequences of occurring for each risk area). Then map these to risk management actions of: plan contingency, reduce, transfer, accept, and prevent.
  • Good leaders understand their stakeholders, they map their level of influence and their attitude to the project then design interventions to move them to where they need them to be.
  • All successful projects have the end user customer in mind and this customer should have significant input into the scope of any project.
  • First shoot bullets then cannon balls during turbulent times, Great By Choice, Collins & Hansen. In turbulent times often the turtle not the rabbit wins the race.
  • People in dysfunctional situations or organizations are usually good people in a bad process.
  • Once you have mastered the way of doing things you are free to improvise.
  • In marketing people respond to “purple cows”, Purple Cow, Godin.
  • The spiders at the bottom of the slide hope to capture the baby using it, although optimistic of the big score they are not facing reality, we must face our ability and constraints realistically.
  • I believe that the best model of strategic planning is the Balance Scorecard/Strategy Map, The Strategy Map, Kaplan & Norton. The traditional linier approach is suitable only to very small or single focuse organizations.
  • Everything is a compilation of overlaid systems (systems theory), to understand a problem you break down the systems into their component parts and understand the connections and the motivations; much like understanding ecology.
  • Those that are prepared and have patience prevail.
  • Fire your terrorist customers.
  • When you are racing yachts you cannot go directly into the force of the wind you tack your way to the windward marker, sometimes many times to attain your forward motion. When we are on the far outside reaches of the tack, away from the direct line to the mark you cross back to the centre and consolidate. We do this to assess our progress and to manage the risk of unanticipated wind change that would put us far off course. We must monitor and measure our progress in the achievement of ends not the journey or the means.


The organizing and taking of proactive action to deliver products or services    and to confront change to ensure ongoing achievement of desired ends. This action respects history, acknowledges realities, views strategy ecologically, is measured, and builds on the strengths of internal team members and stakeholders.

wooden boats  I believe about board governance

  • Groups and Boards eventually make good decisions, better than individuals.
  • The best form of Board governance is Policy Governance as described in Boards that Make a Difference, Carver.
  • In leadership of the nonprofit sector it is expected that management gives away credit for success to the Board members and accept the failures, the CEO is ultimately accountable.


I believe good Board governance comes from clear differentiation of ends and means and appropriate assignment of and accountability for their achievement.

wooden boats  I believe about society

  • Chocolate should be added to the Canada Food Guide as its own food group.
  • Special interest groups have gained too much power in today’s world and are inappropriately influencing public policy and decision making process.
  • People don’t take enough responsibility for their own condition: health, finances, love
  • We have a mental illness and addictions de-institutionalization issue in our society not a homeless problem.
  • We have a fast food crisis in our society that is causing unhealthy lifestyles
  • The older baby boomers claim to have created a great society, they did, but they also extracted the wealth, created unachievable expectations, and left their children in a crisis of unmanageable debt and infrastructure.
  • Advocacy, complaining about stuff, has become a leisure activity.
  • For many special interest groups & media they often act as follows: “don’t let the facts spoil a good story”.
  • Generations view the world differently and thus behave based on these.
  • As Dr. House says often in the TV series, people are not hesitant to lie for self interest or to avoid embarrassment, beware of these folks.
  • Happiness is not created by wealth and consumption, once basic sustainability is achieved, it is relationships that fuel the soul.
  • We must continuously challenge ourselves to achieve the “flow” in experiences, this is what brings us joyful lives.
  • Without modern computer spell checkers we would all be considered illiterate.
  • 98% of people are wonderful but 1% are nuts and the other 1% are just not nice.
  • Being the greatest at something is a personal assessment of our unique perception of reality.


I believe that we live in challenging times for financial and social equity that are a fall-out of the baby boom influence on western society. But we are fortunate as we live well and are free to self-determine our pursuit of our perception of happiness.

wooden boats  I believe about myself

  • There can’t be an evil twin like in the movies, if that were true I’d have a 50/50 chance, and I know my twin brother is a good guy.
  • I’m persistent, some may view this as being “pig headed”.
  • I have a natural capacity to link complex issues and influences together to understand the environment.
  • Second marriages and efforts are better, we learn from our failures.
  • I have advanced skills in being able to break strategy objectives into tactics and execute on them.
  • I see what is needed to do and quickly set priorities for action in leadership, management, and personal tasks.
  • I enjoy challenges, this is why I have gravitated to managing organizations with challenges in my career; I like to see them turnaround.
  • I value loyalty.
  • I dislike dishonest and manipulative people and I let them know it.
  • You stand up for people who are wronged or hurt and can’t do it for themselves.
  • I trust people, to a fault.
  • I show my emotion, particularly disapproval of those that are bullies, untruthful or do not act with integrity.
  • What you give you get, if you are having problem with people look in the mirror.
  • I take measured risks comfortably.
  • You should be recognized and rewarded for your efforts, often it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success.
  • I can make decisions quickly with little information that have significant consequences.
  • I can be a workaholic and know that too much stress is not healthy, balance is essential between work, social, family, self, and community commitments.
  • I’m politically “C”onservative in my view of a just society.
  • Red boats are faster than white boats at regattas.
  • If you work hard enough on anything you will be successful, experience has demonstrated this is not always true, but I still act this way.
  • Some people have a natural talent – music, race car driving . . ., my talent is racing sailboats and strategic perception and intuition.
  • A simple life is a better life.
  • Victoria is the best place in Canada to live, work, and play.
  • Success in any endeavor requires 100+ percent commitment.
  • The goal in life is simple – “to be a good person” .


I believe that I am an intuitive strategist that gets things done because I am persistent about pursuing the things that matter.

wooden boats  I am:

  • loyal, expect it back, and always act with integrity
  • hard working and persistent
  • intuitive and see the big picture quickly
  • able to get things done by breaking down tasks and systems
  • not afraid of risk or conflict and stand up for what I believe in
  • glad to share my experience with others
  • always striving “to be a good person” in all endeavors