Monthly Archives: July 2010

Coach John Wooden

To me, this video sums up the essence of what it means to be a great coach or role model, it is a “must see”  for any aspiring leaders.

Only recently have I discovered John Wooden and all to late as he passed away 4 June 2010 at the great age of 99. (May he rest in peace).

Let me encourage you to study his Pyramid of Success.

Paul S Allen

Don’t Blame The Sick

You’ve been battling long term illness, well meaning people have suggested all sorts of remedies (supplements, medication, spiritual intervention, prayer) but what happens when people don’t get better or even get worse?

This is a list of things not to do.


  • Blaming yourself/others/God does you no good at all it just makes you angry and wastes precious energy.

Give up

  • Giving up should never be an option, while there is breath there is hope.

Become bitter

  • This is like drinking a poison cup, no matter how sweet it tastes it will destroy you.

Shut yourself off from the world

  • When you shut yourself off from the world you shut out the people who can support, comfort and encourage you


  • Never allow feelings of guilt for being unwell

Is there a reason why people become sick?
Yes, but it may not be obvious, understood or discovered yet.

Is there a purpose to being chronically unwell?
I don’t know.

Does it mean a lack of faith if someone isn’t cured or healed?
Absolutely not.

Sometimes people are sick and will remain unwell. Why? We may never know.

Never blame the chronically ill for being ill.

No one should ever blame someone who is sick saying it’s their fault. What people with long term illnesses need beyond treatment is people who are prepared to take the good with the bad; to stand by and help when needed; to celebrate even the smallest victories and to help pick up the pieces when they have worse patches.

Do you know someone who has a long term illness? why not contact them over the next few days to check how they are, visit if it is appropriate and they are able to handle it. Be there for them without blame, or criticism, be there as a true friend.

This is our story of living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

©Paul S Allen 2010

Dangerous Leaders

To hold leaders and leadership in too high regard will lead to disappointment.

What happens when egocentric leaders meet needy people? Potentially a train wreck of use and abuse on all levels. When a self serving person is in a leadership position they are in a dangerous place and the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of the followers are at risk. The leader will do all within them to protect their position because their ego and self-esteem have been tied together with the position.

The danger that is faced is not just for the follower, the leader is building a folly for themselves that will (not could) fall down at any stage.

The follower with low self-esteem or is wanting constant approval will be encouraged by the egocentric leader to do more, give more, give up more, not for the purpose of the organisation but because it gives a sense of having people serve them, it is all about power and control. Then needy  follower will feel that they are being “useful” or “important” without being encourage to improve their own lives or situations.

This is all done in very subtle ways where even the leader may not be aware of what is going on.

So what can be done to protect the follower and inform the leader that they need help too?


  • Remember that the cause, purpose or vision is bigger than you (well at least it should be).
  • It is not about power and glory: You are in the position because there is a need in the community that requires attention or fixing.
  • Get help, to change an egocentric lifestyle or leadership style will require the assistance of others, may be even professional help.
  • Swallow your pride
  • If you need to resign, or step down while you get it sorted, do it
  • Become accountable to someone outside of your organisation


  • You need assistance too, again this may need to be professional assistance
  • Talk to friends and family not attached to the organisation, ask for their honest opinions and LISTEN to them
  • Take a big step and say “no”.
  • Learn where your boundaries are and where they should be
  • Take time out for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it
  • Know this: YOU are important, YOU matter, and YOUR opinions count

Getting your priorities in order is individual and although people may suggest what they should be, only the individual should organise their own.

Good leadership will always respect the individual, embrace the different opinions of others, it will respect boundaries while challenging the status quo.

Paul S Allen

Social Networking and Business

As micro-blogging and social networking sites increase in popularity and normality, the business community needs to make best use of these new media to promote and sell their services and products.

Language needs to be precise and concise so that the message given is clearly understood leading to the desired response from the intended market. This needs to be achieved in as few characters as possible.

Social media is no longer the domain of teenagers, students and geeks; it is rapidly becoming a normal part of life for a wide demographic of users including businesses.

For businesses to reach these new marketplaces a new approach is required… active participation in conversation with people via on-line networks.Building to the Sky

Regardless of the channel used, be it facebook, twitter, etc, the call is interaction. Online networking should be a natural extension of off-line connection. There are no more limitations around time zones or boarders or even language barriers, businesses of any size now have the potential to have a truly global reach.

So what is stopping this expansion into new media?

Office policy where tight restrictions are placed on access to these sites can be detrimental to new ways of communication. I am not suggesting to allow free and unbridled use of facebook to chat with friends or to play one of the many annoying games; but rather allowing it to be used to communicate, research and collaborate with people and businesses to achieve the goals of the organisation.

We take telephones in the workplace today as normal now where once they were very restricted, why not social media?

If you own or run a business let me encourage you to take time to investigate how these new media could benefit your organisation.

Paul S Allen

Surviving Leadership 2

Surviving Leadership – for the follower.

Previous posts

As a leader it is vital to provide an environment to develop the capability of those who follow, even if it means them becoming greater and more successful than you the leader. People who follow will work for a cause, they can and will even make great sacrifices (voluntarily) for a great cause, but the cause should never be replaced by a person. The “cult of personality” has no place in leadership.

Leader remember this… You are not important, the cause is;  get over yourself and work for the cause be prepared to get your own hands dirty and work. Never put rules or guidelines in place for others that you are not prepared to stick to yourself.

What environment does a follower need to be healthy?

  • The follower must always be able to think for themselves.
  • Must have the ability to question
  • Must be free to choose who they follow
  • The follower always has the freedom to say “no” without prejudice
  • Follower does not mean “slave”
  • The follower is free to leave
  • The follower is able to (and does) question the leadership
  • The follower may be right in what they think and say
  • The follower may not have the same priorities as the leadership
  • The follower deserves to be , and should be listened to
  • The follower has the ability to see the big picture
  • Never underestimate the ability of the follower
  • Respect the boundaries of others

A leader is not there to manipulate commitment out of the followers or to coerce the followers into things they would rather not do. They are there to champion the cause, the purpose the organisation exists for. The leader needs to put their own personal agenda aside to focus on the bigger picture and vision.

Paul S Allen

Barb Wire Fence

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