Monthly Archives: November 2010

Deal With The Negative

If someone is angry, bitter or negative don’t just dismiss them as they may be right and justified. The best way to deal with them is to engage with them, through the dialogue you will discover the cause so that it can be dealt with appropriately.

Ignoring them will lead to the dissatisfaction and anger quickly spreading to others.

The path of ignoring the “naysayers” will lead to the stagnation of the organisation, but if you dialogue with them, and listen to them without agenda, you may win a solid ally. The negativity, when handled correctly, may lead to improved product or process or at least to improved communication. Start to worry when your organisation has only people who say “yes” to everything that is happening, it means there are no boundaries; very dangerous territory.

Be very careful with criticism, it may be right. Consider it a blessing, it means someone is listening and wants to engage.

Paul S Allen

Barb Wire

Judge Not

There are so many different viewpoints, value systems and ideologies in the world.

Just because someone is different from you, or disagrees with what you say, doesn’t give you or me the right to judge them.

I am a follower of Christ, I make no apology, I have not been appointed judge (thank God). I believe it is better to spend time to get to know people for who they are where they are.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

— Mother Teresa

Gospel of Matthew (new testament of the bible) says this regarding judging others

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

A true follower of Jesus Christ will live the model that he lead. He spent time with the outcasts, the sick, the “sinners”, the prostitutes, the demonised, the lepers , people from other cultures. Did he condemn them? NO!

The example that Jesus gave was to accept and love everyone that came across His path (again thank God for that, he accepted me). The ones He spoke hardest against were the religious intolerant people of the day. I wonder if it would be any different today – I think not.

We should be prepared to love people regardless of the persons current lifestyle, even if their values are different from our own. It is not for you, me or anyone else to judge. We are called as Christians to be the hands of Jesus in the world today. Those hands in the past reached out to heal, forgive, share food, give sight to the blind, to love unconditionally.

We can’t do that and judge people too.

Paul S Allen

Rainbows and Roses

TEDxDunedin (A Reflection) 3

TED: ideas worth spreading


TEDxDunedin once again has produced a chance to participate in conversations with significant people from within the community of Dunedin. These people are making a difference in the communities they live and to the world beyond.

The third TEDxDunedin event was held at Diesoline Espresso in Dunedin, 12 November 2010

Three local Dunedin people presented very interesting topics.


Professor John Tagg

Professor John Tagg, microbiologist and founder of Blis Technologies, discussed how we are more microbe than human and that we depend on these microbes to protect and help us survive.

As a boy Prof Tagg had a strep infection that lead to rheumatic fever and as a result was on antibiotics for ten years. This lead him on a search to find a better solution to dealing with streptococcus infections.

He discovered that there are good streptococcus and bad ones and that if you encourage the good ones the protect the body against the bad ones.

This lead to the foundation of  Blis Technologies a Dunedin based biotech company producing products full of the good bacteria to fight strep infections to bad breath.


Pip Laufiso – Educator – The Epistemology of Reciprocity

The presentation from Pip was warm, friendly and a challenge for all of us to give back to the community.

The presentation was built around her late mother Eti, using the initial of her name to enhance the importance of reciprocity.

E = Education

T = Tenacity – Having the audacity to carry things through, dedication to build a vision.

I = Interdependence – linked to values and culture, giving back.

O le ala i le pule, le tautau

The pathway to leadership is through service (a Samoan saying)

“To serve other, your family is to learn how to accept and carry responsibility. ”

(Check out my article “Strategic Leadership”)

She shared again the axiom “there is no ‘I’ in team”; “There is always a way”; the expectation of ourselves to be ready when others need our help; and to hold on to faith.

Pip gave a truly heart warming presentation with a clear message to get involved.


Francisca Griffin – Naturopath – Weed Medicine

“Weeds are plants in the wrong places” or are they, they could be the plants we need, our medicine our natural healers.

Francisca gave an enlightening talk on how common “weeds” can be used for both food and for therapeutic remedies. Four example were given

  • Calendula– Colouring rice, spicy, and for burns
  • Chickweed – Good for sunburn or nappy rash
  • Yellow Dock – for removing splinters (an example was given how it helped to remove a slither of glass )
  • Stinging Nettle – High in iron, and used as a remedy for many ailment in history

The challenge facing the use of herbs and plants in naturopathic remedies is competing with high budget pharmaceutical companies and the presumption that they have the control of the scientific community. Yet we need to remember for thousands of years these plants have been used successfully to treat people. and that many pharmaceuticals are based on making synthetic versions of naturally occurring chemicals.

  • The questions that I have about this is how do I know what plants “weeds” are good to eat or use in remedies?
  • How safe are they?

And importantly…

  • Do I now have an excuse to never weed the garden again?


TED and TEDxDunedin provide an chance to be exposed to new ideas to be challenged to think and widen your world view.

We are surrounded by amazing people who all have a passionate story to tell… if only we would listen.

If you get a chance to go to a TED event GO.

Paul S Allen

Previous reflections

TEDxDunedin 1

TEDxDunedin 2

Blown Away Dandelion

What is the Purpose of Leadership?

I have today been reminded of a quote from Ralph Nader (American attorney, author, lecturer and political activist) who says

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Although I understand the sentiment of the quote, I believe it misses the point about why leadership is needed at all. The purpose of leadership is surely to see that a vision is fulfilled and a cause completed.  If the focus of leadership is just to produce more leaders then the effectiveness of the organisation diminishes to the point that it will become ineffective to achieve its purpose.

If the development of leadership is a byproduct of working to achieve the vision then it is beneficial. If a long term vision is in place then succession planning is essential. But to focus on just leadership is detrimental, it is just leadership idolatry.

So what is the purpose of leadership? To do what it takes to ensure the attainment of the vision.

Paul S Allen

Hard at Study

In Support of Hidden Illness

My latest song dedicated to all those with chronic illnesses like ME/CFS and mental illnesses, depression and anxiety.

Song: “Sweet Lullabies” by Paul S Allen (©Paul S Allen 2010)

Written for my wife who has Myalgic Encephalopathy/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Images and Video: ©Paul S Allen 2010
Photos of flowers from around Dunedin New Zealand

Paul S Allen

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