Thursday, 31 July 2008

On Caring

Dear Leader,
I'm so glad you care.
Just testing:
What's the cleaner's name?
How many kids does she/he have?
What are there names?
Just wondering
Someone who cares

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

When to handle problems

Dear Leader
David Alan says it best:
Handle problems (issues) when they SHOW UP, not when they BLOW UP.
So what has shown up?
The Bomb Squad

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Dear Leader,
Make sure people know WHY they do what they do.
One of your biggest duties is to ensure people understand the context.
If you wonder why,
It's a good start.
A Wandering Wonderer

Monday, 28 July 2008

Swich off to tune in...

Dear Leader
Remember to switch off your technology (cellphone, computer etc) if you really want to "tune in" to your people.
When you are on-line for others, you are off-line for your employees.
So, switch off, tune in. (When it's necessary, which may be more than you think)
It matters.
A Listener

Friday, 25 July 2008

On appointments

Dear Leader
Try to always appoint someone who is better than you.
It shows how good you really are!
A Friend

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Positions and Leading

Position does not determine whether someone leads...
We all LEAD Lives...
Some people have been leading from difficult positions, yet they inspired...
Nelson Mandela led from a prison cell.
Where are you leading from.
Whereto are you taking your life?
Go ahead, lead on.
Your Friend
A Writer of life stories

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

A commandment

Dear Leader,
Don't always do unto others as you would have them do unto you...
Do unto others as they would have done unto them.
What matters to you may not matter to them...And what matters to them may not matter to you.
But it should.
Take care,
Your Friend

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

In Spire

Dear Leader,
Ever noticed the IN in INSPIRE.
You can do what you want, but if people don't feel it "IN" them, they will not be inspired.
So, talk to the HEART when you want to In-Spire.
Forget facts and figures sometimes, they are important, but so are dreams and wishes.
Work on both,
And they will be in-spired.
Kind Regards
Your Friend

Monday, 21 July 2008

When anger is good

Dear Leader,
South Africa was playing a crucial rugby match against their arch-rivals Nieu Zealand. In the previous game, which South Africa lost, their captain, John Smith, was injured. He had to return to South Africa. He was furious. The reason was - he could not play in the next game - and he believed they would win...on a field where South Africa had never won. He wanted to be part of that victory. The team were hungry to win.
And they did.
Because even though he was absent, his anger showed that he really believed the team would win.
And it's all about believing in the team.
A Coach

Friday, 18 July 2008

Mindful of the future

Dear Leader
What are the characteristics of future leaders?
1) Know what it's all about (your field, your discipline).
2) Be Creative.
3) Bring together things that seem to be apart .
4) Respect others.
5) Remember the importance of values and ethics.
Your Friend

Thursday, 17 July 2008


Dear Leader,
Remember the fun we had as children?
Are your people having fun?
It's funny, but sometimes it's worth more than money.
Your Friend,

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Conducting Leadership

Dear Leader

Ever noticed that great leaders are like the conductors of an orchestra?

They bring out the best in the different players...

And they have their back towards the audience.

Even more...

When there is applause, they indicate that it should be given to the players (orechestra).

Keep Conducting.

Your Friend,

Classical Composition

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Why you are where you are

Dear Leader,

You are where you are because someone, somewhere believed in you.

Return the favour today.

Believe in someone, create opportunity.

That’s where true leadership begins.



Monday, 14 July 2008

What balance?

Dear Leader,
I've spoken about this before, but I want to remind you again...
Balance does not come naturally. You have to fight for it.
If not, your time is going to disappear, and shortly after that, so will you family, your social life and your friendships.
It's going to be a tough battle!
And long.
Keep fighting, it's worth it.
Your friends and family

Sunday, 13 July 2008

On tales and trails...

Dear Leader,
What's your role in my story?  
I seems strange for me to ask, but since I am a follower, I would like to know.
It will determine the kind of obstacles I am willing to face.  My loyalty to you as a leader.
So, tell me, where are we going, and why should I go along?
A Follower

On legacy...

Dear Leader,
What will they remember about you 5 years after you have left?
What would you want them to remember?
Keep working on it.  
And make sure it's about them and not about you. Otherwise you were not leading, but merely taking a walk.
Your Friend

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Power of Perception

Dear Leader
Why do people listen to you?
Because they fear you?
Because they respect you?
Think hard about it, many leaders get confused between the two , and think they are respected when, in fact they are feared.  
Respect is gained.  Fear is imposed.
Know the difference.
Your friend

Monday, 7 July 2008

On the pause button

Dear Leader,

Whenever you are in a crucial conversation, remember the most valuable thing:

The Pause Button.

When things get emotional, or you start feeling angry, hostile, negative etc...

Take time out in your mind.

Remember to go slow in order to go fast. Don't say something you may later regret because you forgot to pause!

Your friend

The Negotiator

Sunday, 6 July 2008

On visions and expectations

Dear Leader
Some leaders have great visions.  These visions inspire followers.
Really great visions make followers feel like kids at a christmas tree.
They look forward to see how these visions will be unwrapped (given by the leader and unwrapped by the followers).
So, if you think about your people today, ask yourself one question...
Are they looking forward to the future with great expectations, or are they biding time?
Then go ahead, give the gift of leadership - a dream they can believe in.
Merry Leadership!
Your Friend,

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Egos and Echoes

Dear Leader,
Great leaders need a sense of pride.  They must be proud of what they want to achieve and who they are, but not too proud, then it becomes a question of ego.
You see, some people say leadership is about influence.  Let's call it the echo.  It reverberates from the leader.  It spreads from cliff to cliff.  
Sometimes, leaders confuse pride with ego.  It happens.  There are no clear boundaries.  But ego never has the power of echo.  Ego is about the leader, echo is about making the world a better place.
Ego is shown through power.  Echo comes to us through stories.
Then we keep on telling those stories, because we have to.
So, send me great stories, I will tell them.
A Cliff.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Notes from an important child

Dear Leader,
Remember me?  I was you once.
I laughed and smiled and lived.
I celebrated life.
I loved for the sake of loving.
I valued the greatest gift, called the present, gift wrapped between sunrise and sunset.
I loved building sandcastles and castles in the air.
Just remember,
I am here if you still need me.
The child within.

The forgotten followers

Dear Leader
Busy times?
Every day, everybody needs your attention.  You are working towards the vision of the company.  You are climbing the corporate mountains. You are managing performance and performing well in your management.
You are occupied with the busy-ness of business.
Please, pause and listen while we ask.
Don't forget us.
Your Family

Just for giving

Dear Leader,
What is the essence of leadership?
Well, just look at great leaders...
It's about a kind of giving.
It's called forgiving.
Forgive yourself for your failures. Forgive your parents and others for failing you.
Forgive your employees for not always living up to expectations...
And you will found that you give towards your vision, yes, you give forward and forget the past.
That's why it's called for- giving.
Lead well
Your friend
The Future

Have faith - Believe in people

Dear Leader,
What really matters is not the material but the mind, so, it's material matters against mind matters.
People love bonuses and increases, but they never forget a leader who really makes a difference in their lives.  This is  mostly done by believing in them.
Do you believe in your people?  Remember you are probably where you are because someone believed in you.
Return the favour.
Your Friend,

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Vision or words?

Dear Leader,
Words like vision and mission have become so commonplace in leadership. It's so much more important to understand a leader or company's story. You see, if I listen to your stories, I will be able to tell you what your vision, mission and values are.
So, think about it, do you have a story, or do you have mere words.
Stories reside in the hearts of people, words reside on posters and banners.
Look at your people and ask yourself: Am I allowing them to be the characters they want to be, or can be, or are they mere characters in the company's plot?
Then listen to their stories!
Here's to your ears!
A character.

Footsoldiers to the front

Dear Leader,
Well done on becoming a leader. You know, people think it's easy. Let me tell you, it's not. As the "Spiderman" adage reminds us: With power comes responsibility.
Well the first responsibility a leader has is to care for her people. Really care.
So if great leaders really care, why do they send the footsoldiers to the front?
Is a dream or ideology really worth the loss of a single life?
Just wondering
A footsoldier.