I got control by giving up control – peer to peer leadership

Jemma and myself the leadership journey - EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2011

People often ask “Did you ever imagine RedBalloon would become what it is today?”  In all truthfulness, not really…. but I do remember that it is a long time since RedBalloon was a startup. Back in 2001 there was no such thing as social media; digital photography was rare; no smart phones; the tech industry looked vastly different than it does now… there was no TechCrunch (we had computer daily which would fax it’s daily roundup – but I digress)……

Entrepreneurs Need Mentors, Role Models—and to Always Be Listening for Gold

Entrepreneurs Need Mentors, Role Models—and to Always Be Listening for Gold

  “We all need role models — someone to lead the way, and drag others along with them.” Back in 2011, I attended an Ernst & Young Young Women’s Entrepreneur Workshop and the words of Avril Henry still resonate with me. She explained that one of the traits of entrepreneurs is that “we are there for the long term.” We do not give up easily – we are fiercely opportunistic, and are forever looking at the next success story. Success…

Where do you get your wisdom?

Where do you get your wisdom?

I get mine from the local shop… It’s fast and a few minutes walk from home… this is a far cry from what Nick Sherry predicted in 2011 that book stores would no longer exist in Australia by 2016. From where I sit as an author and reader, they appear to be thriving… in fact we are now well into 2015 and about to be celebrating another National Bookshop Day for very good reason. Maybe it is a case that…

Taking the first steps are critical to connecting your people….

Taking the first steps are critical to connecting your people….

  A bit of give – and you will also get.. I’m a big advocate of ‘win win’. However you might wonder how on earth walking during the month of September, or ‘Steptember’ as we call it, delivers so much more than you getting healthy and raising money for a great cause… what about this: it could in fact build the connectedness of teams at work. I have been sharing with business leaders in recent speaking engagements how I (and…

We seek an #equalfuture and a #balancedvoice

We seek an #equalfuture and a #balancedvoice

 When ANZ invited me to hear The Hon. Julia Gillard, tennis great Martina Navratilova and former Chief of Army, General David Morrison speak I was all ears. Putting such a panel together means that they had something ‘big’ to share in the  ANZ Women’s Report. Primarily ANZ is asking the question; “Are our systems, and processes designed to disadvantage half of our population?” Could they start a movement to redesign systems to help women succeed? I have written about this…

What is the first step in the Entrepreneurial Journey?

What is the first step in the Entrepreneurial Journey?

I heard Megan Quinn share her entrepreneurial journey at a City of Melbourne business lunch recently (raising money for SecondBite). The audience was deeply engaged with her story and felt really comfortable to ask questions. The first question came from a woman who said: “I have recovered from breast cancer and I find myself risk adverse – how do I find the courage to do what I really want to do?” Megan firstly thanked the woman for the courage it…

No More Excuses: How to Get More Women Presenting Keynotes

No More Excuses: How to Get More Women Presenting Keynotes

No one likes getting yelled at, but there might be a reason. What appears to be anger may in fact be frustration – on both sides. The phone rang at 2.00pm on Friday afternoon and I note that it is Matt Barrie– this is only the second time he has ever called me personally, even though I have known him since 2011 as part of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program. Every time we see each other we always have a great…

Kids’ gifts that really score!

Kids’ gifts that really score!

I was recently asked back to Studio 10 and as part of the many and varied topics we covered was the “what do you do when told what to give as a gift” question. I know personally I struggle when my friends are getting married, and they say “we just want cash to go to our honeymoon.” I want to give them something that is memorable and special. Something that represents our relationship and how I know them… Okay so…

It does not hurt any less if you close your eyes

It does not hurt any less if you close your eyes

Sometimes life presents us with rare gems, people who are put in our path, that with a few quite words speak so loudly to what you need to hear in that moment. This week my great friends at Saxtons hosted a few of their speakers at an ‘open house’ for the event industry. And I had the chance to chat with Nadine Champion. I had not met or heard Nadine’s story before, but from the first moment I was spell…

The five new rules of work (connectedness will be critical)

The five new rules of work (connectedness will be critical)

I shared with business leaders this morning how I (and others) see workplaces shifting and evolving. For some it will feel more like a revolution than an evolution. Teams will be brought together – who may never meet… working anywhere on the planet. People will work concurrently for several and many employers. People will want to work part time, and flexibly as we live longer and want to stay meaningfully employed. Supervisors might not see or be present when team…