Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Debt of Love

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Isn’t it interesting that the week before Christmas as many of us are blindly slapping down our credit cards, that Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, has some stern warnings for Canadians about our ballooning consumer debt. While Carney sounds the alarm in hopes of convincing us of our dire financial state before we rack up even more debt before Christmas, one does have to wonder how we’ve gotten here? Is it really simply due to low interest rates and ease of credit? Or has something more fundamental happened to our thinking? And how is it that Christmas has become synonymous with debt?

I’m reminded of another warning made two thousand years ago to the people of Rome on the topic of responsible citizenship: ‘Pay your taxes, pay your bills…don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other’.

Funny that this passage precedes one of the most famous quotes of all time… ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. Seems that the latter was the stickier message over history. Perhaps it’s time to stitch the messaging back together and realize that loving your neighbour as yourself involves paying the debt of love we owe each other, not running up debts.

Jack Welch on Saying What you Believe

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Another recent takeaway I learned from Jack in his interview on leadership was his unique perspective on candor… my interpretation, ‘openness on steroids’. Jack explained the importance of candor in an organization and that companies must do everything to stop the ‘meeting after the meeting’ syndrome… you gotta love that! He advised that this is so destructive and acidic that you must do everything to make this an unacceptable policy in your organization.

While it’s not easy to speak one’s mind – as Jack further explains in his bestselling book Winning, he points out that philosophers argue that not being open is actually about self interest (self love) more than not wanting to hurt others. So an interesting thought might be that a little more candor, a little more openness and a few more wide eyed discussions in business organizations… could enhance our collective ‘seeing’, result in more clarity and a little self love (self preservation instincts).

Jack Welsh on a Love Gene

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


I recently attended a leadership conference where Jack Welch (former GE chairman and CEO) was asked to describe top people… i.e. top leaders.

In Jack’s characteristically unique style, he answered ‘they have a gene which says’

…I love to see people grow

He went on to explain that while they also have good values, energy and can excite people, most of all they celebrate their people. Top leaders have a generosity of spirit – they’re not mean spirited or stingy, they don’t have a lot of envy, and they celebrate others’ successes.

Well said, Jack.

Teaching Business People to ‘See Beauty in the World’

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

the soul… never thinks without a picture


Canada’s National Post just ran an article Aug 14 titled ‘Painting outside the Bottom Line‘ about McGill’s professor Nancy Adler’s message to business scholars, gathered for the Academy of Management meeting – the worlds largest association of business scholars.

Adler, an artist who also holds a PHD in management advises business schools to teach students how to ‘come back to seeing beauty in the world… and stop obsessing about the bottom line’. She challenged the scholarly attendees with this question… ‘How do we proclaim our profoundly human role as creators and as leaders?’

Video interview with Nancy Adler.

A powerful thought…

Monday, May 10th, 2010


…Reinforced for me this week by a couple of conversations with mentors I admire.

Hugh MacLeod: Wings

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Once I wrote this line, “Anything is possible if it’s done with Love”. This cartoon touches a similar vein. Love is what makes it all possible. Love is what makes us strive, build and create.

Without Love, our species would’ve been wiped out millennia ago.

Love is humanity’s killer app. Exactly.

From the GapingVoid Gallery and GapingVoid Blog

Love Leadership

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I’m delighted to have just read John Hope Bryant’s new book “Love Leadership” and even more mesmerized by his stunning accomplishments. His book “Love Leadership – The New Way To Lead in a Fear-Based World” will forever change your view on love in business, leadership, finance and the world economy. Obviously a brilliant mind – however, Bryant distills the way to lead into two simple basic primal forces: love and fear. “What you don’t love, you fear”. The antidote to fear is love and Bryant contrasts leadership based on love vs fear. For example, Inspiration vs Coercion, We vs Me, Compassion vs Coldness, Creating a bigger world vs Taking a bigger share and more.

Bryant states that the main reason the world is screwed up now is that most of the world’s leaders have been leading with fear. This just isn’t anybody saying this – this is a guy that world leaders listened to at the closing address to world leaders at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos. Also leading a fascinating and passionate life – Bryant’s book is refreshing and hopeful. He genuinely believes that a global movement of love leadership can be launched – making capitalism work for us and making our world great again. It goes without saying… we believe this too… as we are reminded, a loveless world is a sightless world.

Bryant’s bio and info on US President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and Founder of Operation Hope.

I’m in love!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

With Valentines day coming up I thought I would publicly declare that I’m in love! It’s a rare occasion to have such a great experience with a brand that you fall in love. In this case I have fallen in love with Honda. I arrived at my Honda service centre at 9:40 this morning and was greeted by a gentleman who wrote down my plate number, time of arrival, mileage, asked for my keys and escorted me inside. Once inside a friendly woman checked off my name on her list and showed me to the service counter where they confirmed my contact number. I signed the service agreement and was given a voucher which I took to another counter where I showed my drivers license and was given the key to a courtesy car. I left the centre at 9:50 am. This entire procedure took 10 minutes including the pick up of a rental car!

I love my Honda. Its the best car I’ve ever had. I love dealing with Honda and everything about Honda. My next car will be a Honda. I don’t know about you, but when I fall in love, I’m not open to dating anyone else! How are you going the extra mile to create a great experience for your consumer? How are you building brand loyalty? I believe that if everyone where having this kind of experience with every brand, we would all be a lot happier!

Apple of my eye

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010


23 years ago, at the age of 5, I was introduced to Apple. In 1987 I sat down in front of my first mac, a Mac Plus. I quickly fell in love. The user interface, the friendly icons, the fun apps. I had been introduced to a product that truly captured my imagination. At heart I was a geek, but no Windows PC would do. Apple’s passion for design and detail brought to life my own passion for creativity, design, and paying attention to the little details. The stuff that makes great products insanely great. Today in my career I work with an incredible team of people who all share a passion to design. I love what I do, the creativity that Apple inspires, and the incredible products they create that allow us to do what we do best. Think different, and create the unseen.

Is there room for ‘love’ in business discourse?

Monday, January 25th, 2010

My answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Fresh off the the heals of a presentation daunting in scope, I’m reminded of a learning taken from the page of politics and diplomacy – the transformative power of words. More specifically, how words of encouragement do more to inspire, build momentum, fuel collaboration, spur creativity to new levels and ultimately, create massive value for our clients. The ‘why’ has more do with our common humanity – that on some primal level resides within us all a desire to be heard and acknowledged whether we’d like to admit it or not. On a basic level, every individual needs to grow – but if the intent to grow is fuelled by positive reinforcement, growth flourishes.

Mine is not a unique point of view, but one I suspect that business leaders too often hold close and reserve for the ‘right moment’. I say positive reinforcement motivates and invites renewed commitment and encourage you to consider this, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”, John Quincy Adams.