Be nice to yourself…

Danielle George , whispered to me as she handed out the results of my follow up survey for a leadership program…. To me the proof that a years work on personal stuff had made a difference.  And despite all the teaching about focusing on the process, resetting your mindset, it being more about me than what others thought….  It still mattered and I was still going to be my harshest critic…. she was of course right. 🙂

Here now as a CEO of of small company, almost a year later. I’ve circled back.

There’s been plenty written about it, but it is still subterranean… only half acknowledged despite the efforts of some.

expectations of greatness at all times, and dismissal of anyone not up to scratch is the norm.

Running any business is bloody tough.  For the leaders you have to give a lot of yourself. Not just in hours, but in energy, mindshare, empathy, anxiety, family time, cash, sleep… whatever.  Often it is bloody hard to know how you are doing besides the obvious revenue and cashflow….I describe it as a knife fight, and every day is a battle.

The reality is not many people do this,  when you do catch up with a peer its a relief.  I meet one last week and the first words out of his mouth were ” are you doing ok?”  He gets it… thanks a million Vaughan for that. It meant a lot.

So while you are hard charging, fighting every battle and trying not to take it personal, what ever the score card says….. Be nice to yourself….

Go Big

“all progress is the work of unreasonable men”

Being unreasonable is different for everyone, but it has one thing in common, you have to push hard, way beyond where you think you can get to.

I was reminded again about this need to push hard by an old university friend of mine.  He had a pretty life changing injury event,  while he was recovering decided that an extra-ordinary life was what he wanted. So he set out to do something massive for him – to climb Mount Everest. He had to rehab and then train for years to get there. It took him two goes but he got finally got there, something that required him to push himself hugely.

Right now he is literally attempting to get from Singapore to his hometown of Taranaki New Zealand… 12000 km’s all by human power. He’s literally Rowing and Cycling the whole way  (read about it here if you are interested ) .  I find Grant’s exploits very inspirational. It reminds me that to do great things, you have to push yourself, normally beyond what stops other people….


I know a man

of immense integrity…

A man who I have seen take unpopular positions, because he saw the hype for what it was. BS…

A man who consistently takes the higher ground, not responding to the provocations of lessor people…

A man who willingly shares his knowledge, contacts and expertise without expectation of return…

A man who put his friends before money, because to him, it was the right thing to do….

A man who loves his family and loves his life….

I know a man inspires me to do better…

I know a man with immense integrity… and he is my friend. Thank you