Tag Archives: Growth

Inconvenient success

It’s rare to have one’s ducks all in row, leading to a strategically planned and executed successful outcome. It’s more often the case that an unexpected challenge prompts a need for action or a different direction.

Can we still have a successful outcome arising from uncertainty?

The opportunity for success, for growth and development, rarely arrives in a neatly packaged convenient bundle. The intersection of our plans and goals with the unexpected, creates inconvenience. It is how we respond to this inconvenience that shapes our attitude towards success. The ability to regroup, take stock and adjust course is fundamental to continued personal and professional growth and, ultimately, success (however we may measure this).

Success through inconvenience builds our resilience and sharpens our skillsets. Rather than viewing inconvenience as something to be avoided, perhaps we should search within the inconvenience for the opportunity.


What I’ve learned from a grape…

A year in the life of a vine is all about seasons. As each new season unfolds, the vines progress through various growth stages towards the much-anticipated harvest.

As the temperatures start to rise, the vines awaken from their winter dormancy. Buds begin to burst and new shoots appear – this is Spring. When the warmth of the Summer arrives, growth accelerates. Autumn is harvest time, the culmination of a whole year. During Winter the vines are dormant, but this is the time for long and exacting work to position the vines for maximum growth in spring.

Each season lends itself towards the purpose of the next season. You cannot harvest without the buds arising from dormancy. And you cannot expect high yield if the winter pruning is not done.

In what season are you in life? If things appear dormant, this is the time for culling and pruning – the tedious yet critical work that positions us to flourish. It could a season of tremendous growth – what fruit will we yield?

Regardless of what is happening (or not happening) in our world, we need to recognise it is simply a season through which we will cycle. We need to understand what season we are in and take the necessary steps to ensure we are readying ourselves for our next season.

For what season are you preparing?

A father’s responsibility

I had cause recently to reflect upon aspects of the responsibilities I hold simply because I am a father. These are not responsibilities I was necessarily aware of when my wife and I choose to become parents, nor are they necessarily responsibilities I would willingly choose. Irrespective of my attitude towards them, these are my responsibilities.

As a father, I am responsible for my home. This is my house and everything, and everyone, within is my responsibility. If I choose to allow a person, an attitude or a behaviour inside my home, then I am responsible for it and the ramifications thereof. I cannot absolve myself of responsibility if I have opened the gate to let in the pest, be it an insect or a bull!

As a father, I am responsible for growth. I revel as my children progress through the various school grades, transitioning from grappling with sight words to reading novels. This is a seemingly natural progression and one we expect. Why then, would I limit my kids when they want to attempt something at which I know they will, at first attempt, fail? Natural protection is important, but so is natural learning. I need to create environments where my kids will definitely win so they can savour victory and where they may fail, so they can appreciate the learning and work required for success.

As a father I am responsible for leadership. Guiding the ship across smooth waters and through storms, the responsibility is mine. I cannot abdicate my captain’s duty just because the seas have become rough. It is at this time, I truly have the opportunity to lead and where the impact of my leadership will be greatest.

As a father I am responsible for respect. Respecting authority, respecting one’s self, respecting their mum. I may not agree with nor even like elected leaders but I must respect the position of authority they hold. Similarly, the respect I display for my wife will be mirrored by my boys not only in their attitude towards their mum but women generally. And, critically, if do not respect myself through what I allow myself to think and do, then this too will be reflected in the lives of the men I am shaping.

As a father I am responsible. The buck stops with me.


Image credit: maigi / 123RF Stock Photo

Remembrance Day…

11am, 11/11/1918, the guns on the Western Front draw silent, the armistice signed to end “the war to end all wars”. History shows that World War I did not end all wars but it did help shape the character of many nations. A fledgling nation at the time, Australia was yearning for identity, a sense of collective character from which the country could grow.

Whilst not a proponent of war, I do value the battle from which character is forged. I understand the significance of coming together for a common cause, united under a single banner.

WWI delivered many losses, none more important than the 8 million soldiers and 12 million civilians. Yet, from the misery has arisen events that have defined purpose, honour and courage that are perhaps more fervently acknowledged today than in the past.

In times of stress, we each need to appreciate that, yes, there will be discomfort and pain however there will also be an end. Knowing this enables us to endure, to persevere with courage, ready to acquire and apply a potentially valuable lesson. It is often only many months or even years later that one can look back, identifying the breakthrough that emanated from what was a very challenging and distressing situation.

WWI was not the war to end all wars, and the challenge you’re facing now will not be the last. It will however equip you to better handle and overcome the next challenge.