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Why I Believe Energy Can Transform Companies and Communities

My greatest challenge and I'm sure it's the same for many leaders today, is to continue to rapidly evolve Burberry to keep pace with as fast as the consumer and technology are changing. Regardless of this market dynamic, one thing has stayed the same:

The Power of Human Energy

I've been a leader in the fashion industry for over 60% of my life - and from a big family and small mid-western town, 100% of my life. Inspired by my philosopher father, spiritual mother and great global leaders, I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts, ideas and inspirations with you on this amazing new platform.

We are all at an incredible inflection point today - living and working in fast-moving, digitally-driven and globally connected societies where change is constant and we must thrive in ambiguity.


Have you broken trust at work and didn't know it?

Those businesses that are concerned about engaged employees should put their attention on where the violations of trust happen. You can have all the staff parties and engagement surveys and plans in the world but if you'€™re going to violate trust it€™s all wasted effort.


Here'€™s a viewpoint that could give you an access to transforming your own and others' performance.


In many ways, saying that trust is important is stating the bleeding obvious - but is it?


Employee engagement is one of the top priorities for many businesses today yet the activity that will rapidly and sustainably cause dis-engagement - violating trust and happens all too often.


Violation of trust is also at the heart of why a lot of people are cynical about governments and big business too, and now we can add cycling champions to the list. So what is going on?


Years ago the term '€˜man of his word'€™ meant something. If you said you would do something, you honoured what you said and you delivered. It seems that somewhere along the line we lost our way.


Somewhere it became about appearing sincere and trustworthy rather than actually being sincere and trustworthy. Watching the recent debates in the US between Romney and Obama was like watching a competition to see who could make statements with more authority and sincerity. Check your experience of any political campaign. Politicians obviously worked out a long time ago that it doesn'€™t matter what you say, it'€™s how you say it that will get you the gig.


A violation of trust can happen at any time and in a nano-second and when you discipline an employee for doing something wrong that you haven'€™t trained them to do right; when you say the meeting starts at 10 but you don'€™t turn up until 5 past; when you say you€'ll get back to someone in 2 minutes and they don'€™t hear from you for 2 days!


Being your word takes being awake. You need to be awake to be vigilant about what you say and where you keep what you say alive for yourself so that it doesn'€™t disappear. You need to be awake to see the impact your words and actions are having on others. You need to be awake to be able to intervene with your own behaviour when you are stressed, pressured or threatened and more likely to respond in ways that leave others mistrusting you.


Companies that have stated their corporate values are especially at risk because they set very high expectations with their employees. Every time a leader does something that is contrary to the company values it drives a wedge in the employee-company relationship.


When trust is there, challenges and difficulties can be dealt with rapidly and successfully. When it'€™s not there, life and work gets very complicated.


Wonder why your teams are not 100% aligned and€“ look at the underbelly of trust or broken trust at work. (Content sourced by Hewsons Executive Coaching, Australia)


Fear - Dictates Your Performance

I read an interesting article recently that reflects an experience I have had working in a large Australasian company with over 20,000 people. My accountability was to impact the performance of the leadership team, the operating state of the business, and deal with people and ??stuff?? on a day to day basis. It was high performance coaching at the level of group. Interestingly, the biggest challenge in partnering management to be effective was dealing with the fear people had of people and managing the matrix of relationships.


The Harvard Business Review might not be where you'??d expect to read about fear'?s pervasive presence, but an article there referred to a great passage from a Joseph Heller novel. The novel'??s hero and narrator, Bob Slocum, a middling executive at an unnamed company, is driven nearly mad thinking that decisions might be made behind his back that could ruin his career and his life. He's not alone in these thoughts. Slocum says, ??In the office in which I work there are five people of whom I am afraid. Each of these five people is afraid of four people (excluding overlaps), for a total of twenty, and each of these twenty people is afraid of six people, making a total of one hundred and twenty people who are feared by at least one person. The company, in other words, is a pyramid of potential panic, ready to topple when someone whispers, ?Jig??s up.? *


Lean Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses and Start-ups

In this post, we’re going to explore several strategies small businesses and start-ups can leverage when marketing their products or services without spending a lot of money or time developing comprehensive marketing plans.

First, some background for those not familiar with lean start-up principles. ”Lean Start-up” reflects a set of key principles used by some entrepreneurs to quickly and inexpensively develop new products and services. Lean start-up principles promote creating rapid prototypes of your products and services designed to test your assumptions about the market and then to rely on feedback from customers to enhance those products and services.

There’s strong support for the lean start-up movement in the marketplace, including from investors. Even agencies have taken notice and are talking about ways that agencies can apply lean start-up principles when they counsel their clients.

What can small businesses and start-ups learn from lean start-up principles?

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