Monthly Archives: October 2013

Living a full life and dying empty

The electricity went out this morning, a wet sleety Saturday in October in Michigan and it was cold.

I put on my earphones and started to listen to Andrea Bocelli and picked up a book.

That book was  “The Accidental Creative” by Todd Henry and as is my way I immediately started to doodle thoughts in the margins.

It is true that I philosophize about life and perhaps reflect too much, for some people anyway.

Too many questions Peter they might say, just relax and live the moment. Never mind about tomorrow, enjoy today.

All that is true, however at least once a week I go on to utube and listen to the commencement speech of Steve Jobs:

That speech was back in 2005 and it is worth reminding us, that life has to have a value.

I agree with Jobs, people can only make the connections looking back! After all is that not what wisdom is and imparting your experience to our young ones?

Reading for me is an aphrodisiac something that refreshes my mind and re-ignites my energy.

Thanks to this book I was reminded of some connections we can all relate to.

The challenge for all of us is: What are you prepared to do? When all is said and done how much will you have left in the “tank”?

The connections:

Stop trying + Stop doing = Mediocrity

Be the same + Do the same: + don’t question = Go with the Flow

Courage + Questioning + Challenge = Ride against the Flow

Structure + Intentional purpose = Effectiveness

Purpose + Intent  + Persistence = Generational ideas

A purposeful life is when you blend all that you do:

Work + Family + Relationships + Friends + Interests into who you are?

Someone who takes the next blank page and turns it into a picture and knowing that it is not what you know that matters but rather what you do.

Brilliant ideas are in everyone Thanks Todd

Ideas + thoughts + inspiration = the accidental Creative by Todd Henry




Managing Employee Representation

peoplesvoiceReducing unnecessary deceptively attractive opposition to change 

 Some time ago I did a great deal of work on this subject with a colleague.

It is true though that the context never changes. So with that said here are some thoughts:

  1. Remember that some conflict is inevitable. Employee representatives are in the business to secure objectives, which are sometimes different from management.
  2. Consider that the priorities of many employees who are NOT managers are PRIMARILY to their families. The priorities of those who are managers are frequently their CAREERS.
  3. Don’t assume that every employee representative is an anarchist or internal terrorist.
  4. Remember that sometimes employees’ representatives simply “fire the bullets on behalf of someone else!”


  1. Be prepared to explain and consult fully not just the decisions but the rationale behind them.
  2. Ensure that YOU also TALK to the employees not just the employee representatives. NEVER forget they are your employees!
  3. Where the employee representative resists you talking to your employees RESIST they have no rights to this.
  4. INVEST time in your employees and explain how the business is going. They also have a stake in the success if for no other reason their paycheck.
  5. Remember that the business also affects the employee and their family whether in good times or bad.
  6. Communicate regularly with your employees. Even sending letters to the employees’ homes makes lots of sense. Remember families influence your employees sometimes more than you the employer.
  7. Ensure that you give the opportunity for employee representatives to talk to you on a regular basis not just when you want something from them.
  8. Make sure when you talk to them you give them the opportunity to discuss what is going on. It is a TWO WAY dialogue.
  9. Make sure you know the difference between:
    1. COMMUNICATING – informing
    2. CONSULTING – Asking
    3. NEGOTIATING – Bargaining

i.     And let them know which part of the process you and they are taking part!!

10. Let everyone know when the informing, asking and bargaining phases stop and then STOP

Original collaboration on this and thanks to Andy Sargent

Managing Managers – the only key to business success

managingsuccessLeadership as we all know begins with every single employee.

The key is to develop leadership qualities that are already “in” everybody.

The front line of leadership  comes with the essential role of the first line supervisor or manager.

If you have the wrong people in this role business performance and culture is substantially negatively affected and damaged for years to come.

Some fundamentals you have to avoid and essential requirements that you need:

Reduce specious and unnecessary opposition to change in Managers and Supervisors:

  • Some have their own agendas
  • Some ARE the problem
  • Some talk with “forked tongues”
  • Some can’t “hack” change
  • Some just don’t want anyone else to affect their decision making
  • Some will always want their way


  • They have to be prepared to consult
  • They have to be prepared to be informed
  • They have to be prepared to be told what the decision is
  • Managing is not about consensus
  • Managing is about leading into the unknown
  • Managing is about vision but remember have more than others
  • Managing is about developing your people and the business


Business needs strategies, which deliver the results, and managers who can deliver the strategies!

The only way you can develop your business is through developing your people (and their families).

There is no other way.


Picture courtesy of

CareerCurve™ – Where Coaching Counts


The Analytical role of Human Resources!

CIPD_logoI was reading a welcome note from Peter Cheese the CEO of the Charted institute of Personnel and Development in the September issues of Personnel Management.

It has once again got me thinking about what is going on within my profession and institute!!

The fact that the CIPD is now kicking off collaboration with the Charted Institute of Management Accountants means what??

That it has taken to the year 2013 for all those professionals out there and our own Institute to realize that HR professionals need to understanding BIG DATA!! The new buzz word!!

We have always had to understand metrics and what the ROI of HR is and what added value means.

The fact that we still make such a big issue of data knowledge is an ongoing concern and little wonder why only the very few HR folks get recognized at the highest levels of the business.

In my blog “HR folks just don’t get it and its getting old!”’t-get-it-and-it’s-getting-old/

I made the point that it about time we really focused on the fact that HR needs to understands business first!!

After all why would we hire anyone that does not make our business more profitable, successful and grow?

If HR cannot do any of these then there is no role for HR. We do a disservice to the business and importantly the people who we hire and develop.

I was asked once why do I understand so much about finance.

My answer was and will always be. It is because I know finance that I can save jobs and develop and grow the people within the business and in turn the business.

Peter Lanc Fellow : CIPD


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