Can you create a meaningful life out of something you love?

passion-live-with-itIf you want to be successful at your job and move up the company ladder you need to be passionate about your work. You need to be motivated and driven to be the best you can be regardless of your job or your work.

Passion, drive, motivation, the self-driven attitude about your job and your work that can help lead you down the path to success.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said: ‘If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’

I believe our success comes not so much from what we do, but how well we do. It also illustrates that regardless of your job or your position on the company ladder, you can be successful if you have passion for your work, we can all be successful – this is very much down to how much we apply ourselves to life.

Passion is the energy that pushes marathon runners over the finish line, that keeps the artist chiseling, or painting, or typing, day after day and night after night. Passion without a plan, without action, and without hard work and without passion you’ll run out of energy long before your actions yield the desired result.

How much energy would you have tomorrow morning if you knew that the work you were going to do when you got out of bed was going to impact the world in a way that would fuel your inner fire?

Before you can jump into a life full of living out your passions, you need to discover what you’re truly passionate about. It may be even be something that is sitting right in front of you, but you have never been motivated enough to take the risk. To find out, ask yourself some simple questions: What do you enjoy at your current job? What do you hate? How do you find yourself spending your free time?​

Here are some tips for starting your passion journey:

1. Assess Your Current Scenario

2. Visualise Your Goals

3. Make Passion A Priority

4. Hone Your Craft

5. Make Sacrifices

6. Uncover What Makes You Unique

7. Share Your Passion With Anyone And Everyone

8. Find People Who Are Just As Passionate

Passion is an emotion that comes from within you. It is your enthusiasm, your zeal, your drive and your motivation. You don’t want to just feel passionate about your job, you want to put passion into it. You want to apply all of your skills and all of your energy into your work.

Passion does not go unnoticed. People will see how well you do your job and your attitude towards it. They will see even if a task is hard you don’t give in, you apply yourself even more to overcome it. They will notice your drive and your motivation and consider how you would do in another position.

Creating value from values

the-value-of-valuesWhat does the term ‘creating value from values’ mean?

It is in fact a powerful concept for companies to use. Ultimately, it is a strategy for developing the future market while also strengthening economies, the marketplace, communities, and corporate money.

Recently I wrote a blog post on ‘Do we live in a current economy where we have no customer lifetime value? ‘

Have you ever stopped to consider that the word values contains the word value?

We talk about them as two separate and often very different words. Often strategy, finance, operations, people talk about value in economic value or added value, and human resources, communication, and marketing people talk about values in the terms used across business values and brand values. Yet value sits inside values; a powerful combination of human and financial factors.

Do we treat them separately, discuss them separately, and give them to different departments to deal with separately?

Surely, delivering values needs to be adding wealth creation by adding value. Building brand values, builds brand value. Building emotional values builds economic value. If people believe in what they do, are committed to delivering, and in a way that satisfies their customers, then the community in which they work and as a business will benefit as a whole?

If you believe values create value you need to question the following:

1. What’s important to us as a business?

2. What do we value?

3. What our customers, our staff, and their suppliers say about us?

4. Do we deliver on time, every time?

5. Do we make sure that we follow quality control?

6. Are we passionate about what we do?

7. Do we announce good news stories?

8. What do we dislike about what we do?

The above questions are values that can deliver value when everyone in the organisation is working to live up to their values; in simple terms, the things that are important  to us, the things ‘we’ care about, what makes are job and purpose worthwhile.

It is imperative that the values are developed across the company to be effective and from the board down, otherwise the ‘we’ will be meaningless and risk being treated with disdain by the majority.

Even more important is to turn the values into behaviours that represent value creation.

A shared value creation will involve new and heightened forms of collaboration. While some shared value opportunities are possible for a company to seize on its own, others will benefit from insights, skills, and resources that cut across profit/nonprofit and private/public boundaries. Here, companies will be less successful if they attempt to tackle societal problems on their own, especially those involving cluster development.

Successful collaboration will be data driven, clearly linked to defined outcomes, well connected to the goals of all stakeholders, and tracked with clear metrics.

With the impact of Social Media, do we actually plan for crisis management?

crisis managementcrisis management
noun:  the process by which a business or other organization deals with a sudden emergency situation​



A crisis is the ultimate unplanned activity and the ultimate test for managers. In a time of crisis, conventional management practices are inadequate and ways of responding usually insufficient.

Fewer circumstances test a company’s reputation or competency as severely as a crisis.

Whether the impact is immediate or sustained over months and years, a crisis affects stakeholders within and outside of a company. Customers cancel orders. Employees raise questions. Directors are questioned. Shareholders get very nervous. Competitors sense opportunity. Governments and regulators come knocking. Interest groups smell blood. Lawyers are not far behind.

As the ultimate unplanned activity, a crisis does not lend itself to conventional “command and control” management practices. In fact, some of the techniques for managing a crisis may fly in the face of conventional notions of planning, testing and execution. Preparation and sound judgment are critical for survival.

One of the most vital skills a company can possess is the ability to determine if, when and at what level of importance a crisis has struck:

  • Is this a crisis, or is it simply a continuing business problem coming to the surface?
  • Is it confined to a local area, or does it have the potential to become a situation of national or international importance?
  • Has someone verified the incident or crisis?
  • What are the legal implications?
  • What level of resources will be required to manage it?
  • So what’s to be done?

Ten rules for crisis management

1. Respect the role of the media.

2. Communicate effectively

3. Take responsibility.

4. Centralise information.

5. Establish a crisis team.

6. Plan for the worst; hope for the best.

7. Communicate with employees.

8. Third parties.

9. Use research to determine responses.

10. Create a website

The Chinese have an expression for crisis: wei ji, which is a combination of two words: danger and opportunity. While no company would willingly submit itself to the dangers inherent in a crisis, the company that weathers a crisis well understands that opportunity can come out of adversity.

A well-managed crisis response, coupled with an effective recovery program, will leave stakeholders with a favourable impression and renewed confidence in the affected company.

What is a SWOT analysis?

swot-analysisThere has been much discussion recently over what is a SWOT analysis and if there really is a need for some much work internally and externally, particularly in small businesses.

The answer to the question is simple: a SWOT analysis is an imperative as it is a tool used for situation (business or personal) analysis.

SWOT is an acronym which stands for:

  • Strengths: factors that give an edge for the company over its competitors.
  • Weaknesses: factors that can be harmful if used against the firm by its competitors.
  • Opportunities: favorable situations which can bring a competitive advantage.
  • Threats: unfavorable situations which can negatively affect the business.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company and can be directly managed by it, while the opportunities and threats are external and the company can only anticipate and react to them.

When examining the potential for a new business or product, a SWOT analysis can help determine the likely risks and rewards. SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, is an analytical framework that can help your company face its greatest challenges and find its most promising new markets.

The purpose of a SWOT analysis

In a business context, the SWOT analysis enables organisations to identify both internal and external influences. Outside of business, other organizations have found much use in the method’s guiding principles. Community health and development, education, and other groups have used the analysis. SWOT’s primary objective is to help organizations develop a full awareness of all the factors, positive and negative, that may affect strategic planning and decision-making. This goal can be applied to almost any aspect of industry.

Though SWOT is meant to act primarily as an assessment technique, its lengthy record of success makes it an invaluable tool in project management.

When to use SWOT

SWOT is meant to be used during the proposal stage of strategic planning. It acts as a precursor to any sort of company action, which makes it appropriate for the following moments:

  • Exploring avenues for new initiatives
  • Making decisions about execution strategies for a new policy
  • Identifying possible areas for change in a program
  • Refining and redirecting efforts

The SWOT analysis is an excellent tool for organising information, presenting solutions, identifying roadblocks and emphasising opportunities.

Performing a SWOT analysis is a great way to improve business operations and decision-making, it allows you to identify the key areas where your company is performing at a high level, as well as areas that need work.

Some small business owners make the mistake of thinking about these sorts of things informally, but by taking the time to put together a formalised SWOT analysis, you can come up with ways to better capitalise on your company’s strengths and improve or eliminate weaknesses.

Businesses should not consider the SWOT analysis a cure-all however. Like any self-analysis tool, it can be used incorrectly if we allow our ego or insecurities to drive the content. It is imperative to be as honest with yourself [as possible] and be prepared to provide input that truly reflects your competencies, accomplishments and abilities.

By knowing these things about your company you can work toward an action plan of self-improvement or minimally ensure you select jobs, organisations and leaders that are an appropriate fit for you to improve your chances for success.

Managing fast growth companies

fast growingWherever you are on your journey to market leadership, successful start-ups and companies around the world are experiencing and are having to change to adopt to managing a fast and accelerated growth, growth from a small start-up with a handful of employees into companies with hundreds of employees distributed around the globe.

With such cyclical rapid growth and change, how do companies ensure that they maintain the level of quality, innovation and business sustainability for growth?

As companies scale their teams to keep up with aggressive growth goals, a new challenge arises: companies are increasingly forced to promote technical developers, engineers and other specialist individual contributors into managerial roles in order to manage the influx of additional team members. Someone has to manage these expectations?

This presents what may be the single biggest employee management challenge facing growth companies today, as specialists with none or little management experience or training are now introduced into leadership roles – but without the skills. And usually, with no structured training or guidance provided to them, and no concern for the importance of “soft skills” or best practices to help them quickly become effective in such new manager roles.

As your business grows, investors and other stakeholders will want assurance that you understand the key risks facing your business and that you have these under control.

Here are some points you need to evaluate and assess for growth:

1. Set clear expectations

Different companies stress different types of management duties. A new manager can be responsible for setting priorities that drive toward company goals, giving feedback, helping employees stay motivated, knowing company policy, addressing performance issues, reporting results, and much more. Make it clear what they are responsible for so they can prioritise their time.

2. Train right away, and check in regularly

Make sure to establish a consistent training program right away so that it is an expected part of the role. It may seem like training takes too much time away from other important tasks, but a great training program will save time in the long run. Training courses or workshops should be offered to all new managers, and regular check-ins should happen to ensure managers are getting what they need to grow and improve. It also helps to schedule recurring one month, three month and six month check-ins. New managers do not always know what they do not know, so they need the ongoing dialogue.

3. Pair new managers with seasoned managers

Training only goes so far and the value of mentors cannot be understated. New questions arise constantly for new managers. Make sure your new manager has a dedicated mentor, who can help them navigate the ins and outs of their role. Learning from example is a tried and true practice and even if the mentor is someone from a different department, having that resource is crucial.

4. Know their limits

Great managers know their product and operations, but they aren’t a ‘know-it-all.’ Setting up new managers for success requires knowing their strengths and pain points. Educate your managers on the resources available to them. This will enable new managers to flex the muscle of their good judgment but also know when it may be time to bring someone else into the fold.

5. Culture of management

As we’ve seen in recent headlines, corporate culture can make or break a company. Emphasising the corporate culture as a guidepost for management style will keep problems at bay. Managers should embody a consistent set of values that extend right up the chain of command.

Companies need to put both the processes and technology in place to make it possible for people to become great managers. Startups move incredibly quickly and managers need to do their own work on top of managing others. If building good management skills is not a priority, and tools for building skills are not accessible, people will not necessarily commit. Investing in new manager training is even more important in fast-moving growth companies. Management training may seem like a nice to have, but strong management is one of the essential ingredients for scaling quickly and staying competitive.

Finally, your long-term vision and mission is actually a series of medium-term objectives. When your company grows too fast, it is easy to skip these medium-term objectives because you are seemingly forced to change goals.

Many fast-growth business leaders change their goal too often, never quite completing a plan before starting the next one. So it is important to set a medium-term goal and deliver it.