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The Temptation and Corruption of Power

Trump orders Bombing of Syrian Airbase. Last Thursday night, between six and 20 people at or close to the Shayrat airbase in Syria were killed by a US Tomahawk missile. Before you dismiss this piece of news and justify the deaths of THESE people  by reference to the...

Portuguese Drivers and the Power of Not Knowing

Not knowing can be very Powerful Many years ago I got a lesson on how to manipulate roundabouts in Lisbon, Portugal. My companion told me that Portuguese men can be the nicest and mildest of people, but not when they have a steering wheel in their hands and a car in...

Involvement, Democracy and the Good

Reagan, Bush and Worse! These three, Involvement, Democracy and the Good,  may seem strange bedfellows! We may be all for involvement – or believe we are – and may also wholeheartedly endorse democracy. Fine so far, but what about the Good? How can we wholeheartedly...

Trust, Transparency and Truth

“Liars” When I was the manager of a General Motors Plant in Ireland some years ago, my management team and I were often accused by our workforce of being dishonest, of telling lies. And, of course, they had no shortage of examples where they claimed to have caught us...

Management and the Deep State

Where does Real Power Lie? The Deep State: It’s easy to feel pretty powerless these days! I mean, even if you had the power to get to the President of the United States, you still wouldn’t have got there.  You haven’t got to the Deep State who are supposedly the ones...

There´s More Than Bread on the Table

“Public Service Hit by Strikes” In Ireland, in recent times, we have had a spate of strikes, threatened strikes and considerable industrial unrest, virtually all of it in the public sector – teachers, nurses, bus drivers, train drivers, Gardai (police force) and...

Don’t Worry. Be Happy

There is a danger that a lack of belief in the feasibility of achieving happiness at work could lead to us giving up on happiness as a goal in life in general and settling for an impoverished life. The Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF) mentality, living for and during the...

Reorganising the Office – But I WANT to do it

Just Lazy! A nephew of mine who regularly comes to stay with us can be a bit of a paradox! He is contradictory, an enigma. His reluctance to do chores around the house could lead you to think he is lazy. And yet you know this can’t be true when you see the...

Creativity – key to getting people to want to work

All kinds of ruses and approaches are used to get people to work and want to work.  Thousands of books have been written on motivation and you have probably read many of them.  The simplest approach, however, and the most powerful one, is to invite people to use their...

Easter and Resurrection are good for Business

Spring Easter is a beautiful but strange time. As we say goodbye and thanks to the daffodils, the cherry blossoms come and take our breath away with their “outrageous clothes” as John Spillane describes them. And, irrespective of how many years we have experienced...

Short piece on book launches – A Gift

A book launch with a difference ! It was with great happiness that Brian welcomed many friends, family and clients to the official launch of his latest book YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE – A GIFT. As you can imagine, this was no ordinary event.   The title of the book was...

More Harm than Good !

The Trial In Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial, a man, K,  wakes up in his apartment bedroom to find two prosecutors informing him that he has been accused of something and that he has a court case pending. He is under arrest. They dismiss his protestations of his...

Resolutions and Objectives

I’ve just finished reading one of my Christmas presents. Despite the number of books I possess, I still get lots of books as presents and they are always welcome. This one Wonder was a delightful young person’s book about a boy with a terribly deformed and ugly face...

Maybe’s Twelve Business Messages for Christmas

Making Everyday Christmas Day Maybe Christmas is the norm, not the exception, not just one day in the year, but every day! Why not enjoy that Christmas spirit every day? Maybe being generous and trusting and investing in the wonderful gifts we give to our customers...

Strong Leadership

Oh Not Trump again! Why is it that someone like Donald Trump does seem to appeal to something good in people?  Is it his decisiveness, his calling things as they are, his stated commitment to do whatever makes most sense – whether it  does or doesn’t is another...

The challenge of our response

Attitude is everything I was talking recently to a friend who told me of someone saying to her: “You’re great, things don’t seem to get you down or hold you back.  You’re very lucky.”“No”, my friend replied, “It’s not about being lucky.  It’s all about attitude....

Would you say managers are always leaders?

This was a question asked of Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley in a recent interview as part of Virgin Disruptors modern leadership series.  Upworthy in case you haven’t already heard of them is a new type of media company focused on bringing the world’s attention to...

Creativity – key to creating live, intelligent organisations

“Billions of people show up for work every day, but way too many of them are sleep-walking.”      Gary Hamel – Leading The Revolution What a tragedy if so many people spend so much of their lives at work half asleep or going through the...

Work – key to our happiness? Yeah right!

When I share with friends my belief that work can be one of the biggest keys to our happiness, in the majority of cases I’m generally met with the above response “yeah right”.  Or something along the lines of “what planet do you live on?”  They very often then go on...

The Battle for Resources – Fighting your Corner

A key skill any manager or head of a function or department would appear to  need to have is the ability to be able to negotiate and get their share – at least – of available resources for their area. Being able to fight your corner, make your case, convince, out-gun...

Your Beautiful Life – A Gift

I’m a very ordinary person, middle-of-the-road, always middle of the class. And yet, my life has been far from ordinary. Some time ago I asked myself why? And I also wondered what makes some people’s lives extraordinary. Was it more about them and how...

Managers ..Autocrats or Democrats?

Difference of Opinions on Suitability for Promotion and other things A friend of mine had problems with aspects of how I handled a recent discussion I had with a manager whom I was helping deal with a member of his staff who believed he was fit and suitable for...

What have Principles and Morality to do with Management and Business?

“Manipulation” The word ‘manipulation’  got mentioned during a recent Coaching programme I was running. The person who raised it  was neither recommending it nor accusing me of doing so. I think the word came into her head because of how effective she saw Coaching as...

Want to win at the promotion game? Shift your thinking.

Going for a promotion these days is not for the faint hearted. It can involve a whole series of hoops and hurdles to navigate from shortlisting, to psychometric testing, to presentations and position papers for second, third and possibly even fourth round interviews,...

The Manager Trumps The Brand

On Thursday last I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon in Facebook’s EMEA  HQ in Dublin as part of the Best Place to Work series of events.  This wasn’t my first time in Facebook’s HQ or my first time to hear Jeff Turner who to the best of my knowledge is the...

Frogs – Comfort, Complacency and Collapse

Comfort, Complacency and Collapse The Poor Frog: I know you will be bored if I remind you of the story of the frog in the pot of water. Y0u have probably heard the story many times – how, if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out of the pot. ...

Involvement and Consultation – Just a Game

Management Paternalism Closed Mindedness: Last week I was facilitating a discussion with a group of managers around governance in their company. They were looking at making some big changes to how they organised themselves,  clarify their roles and responsibilities et...

Being a Good Manager – as difficult as Being a Good Nazi!

That title could be stepping on all kinds of toes.  Bear with it….for now at least. I am sure you would agree that being a good person and being a good Nazi was not exactly straightforward.  It is not easy to be kind, attentive and even human in an inauthentic –...

"Good Jobs are a thing of the Past” and the Millennials

“And it will be a long time before you see them again” he added. ‘He’ wasn’t a consultant, sociologist or futurologist. He was a farmer jumping on to his tractor outside my house. But let’s leave him for now and come back to him later.  Let’s talk a...

Stupid Plum Tree and Stupid Reward Systems

Zero Hours Contracts and Contracts in General Recently I asked a handyman I get occasionally  to do a job for me, one that I couldn’t do or that he would do a lot better. He promptly came and did it and I was happy with his work. But, I know that when I get his...

The Devil in the Detail – NOT the Manager!

Bankers and Pat Hickey I think I heard that bankers in Ireland, who are in jail for fraudulent financial transactions involving millions of euros,  no, Billions of euros, are taking their case to the Supreme Court or to some higher level. The families of Pat Hickey,...

Ignorance is Bliss

I was delighted with Michael’s predicament: “It’s just that I have been so busy that I haven’t had time  to keep checking in on how my people are supporting the line. I just have to trust them to get on with it and that’s exactly what...

A Plum Job!

You have a plum job! …If you are a manager, that is. You have a plum job because your job is about making something happen that otherwise would not have happened. That’s called creativity. You are creating something. You! It wouldn’t have happened without...

Don't worry – Someone is Looking After You

It can be difficult to arrive  to your desk or place of work with no worries and without having done a fair bit of worrying before you even get there. But, suppose you knew that  before you arrived to work somebody had: put the lights on in your office or place of...

Work Life Balance

No Shortage of Answers! The most recent of the many articles on Work – Life balance  that crossed my path or screen was entitled: ‘Don’t take work Stress Home with You’.  As justification for the importance of the  topic it  cited that 43% of days lost to illness were...

From Chaotic Bakery to Professional Business

A Parable It was many years ago that I began my bakery. I was always interested in baking  from the time I licked the bowls  my mother had used for different kinds of  wonderful cakes that she made. I took advantage of a redundancy package my company had been offering...

The Comfort and the Pitfall of the Story

Post Match Analyses: I don’t watch soccer and, thankfully, I haven’t wasted much of my life in the last month watching the ‘Euros’.   I did see small bits of two games when France beat Germany and Portugal beat France.   In the France – Germany game, my...

Good Money after Bad or Getting Value for Money

Leaving aside the 87 who earn more than what half of the world population earn, you are probably shocked from time to time at the seemingly exorbitant pay increases many CEO’s and the like expect and receive. Unless you are one of them, that is, and even if there...

Decision Making, Democracy and Voting

So much for Democracy The people of the United Kingdom have recently taken a decision as a people, a pretty important one it would appear, to leave the EU.  At the end of it all, there is no real clarity or agreement as to why people voted one way or the other. What...