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Leadership Development Blog

Small Things Big Difference

Posted on 13th July, 2018 - Comments


If you don’t think small margins can make that much of a difference just ask the athlete who is .01 sec. off winning the 100 mitre sprint, the drink driver who is .1 over the limit, the gambler who risked everything on black not red, or the jockey who weighed in at 30 grams over weight.

The smallest of differences can mean the difference between life and death, winning or losing or good to great.

Yet in everyday scenarios when there’s no skin in the game it’s easy to be mediocre and let things slide – like getting back to people who want to see you, checking in with someone who is unwell or lost their job. After all, there is always tomorrow right? Well not always, and not always for everyone.

By raising our consciousness by the smallest of margins about how our colleagues, friends and family are travelling on any given day we can be the difference they need to keep them safe and acknowledged.

What is the smallest thing you can do that can make the biggest difference in the lives of others?

When you know what it is, do it.

The inconvenience of no more supermarket plastics!

Posted on 5th July, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Change


By removing plastic bags at supermarkets, we’ve uncovered a curious side of human nature; the side that doesn’t like change or paying for anything that was once free. Our behavioural patterns have been challenged as we go from free to fee and pay for carrier bags or wake up and bring in our own bags that usually lie dormant on the floor of our cars. What is even more curious is that some people who require additional bags on the spot are returning to ask for a refund after they’ve unloaded their shopping into their car! True! Just ask the checkout staff who are forced to respond to cool or hot resentment at the checkout, huffing and puffing about the inconvenience of it all. Will this lead to a reduction in purchases in response to being forced to buy an additional bag for 15 cents? People don’t like paying for something they once got for free. When will we wake up to the fact that this is about the environment and not us? What can businesses do to further educate the public of the end goal and in doing so, help change our patterns of behaviour and embrace change.

Make Your Presentations Memorable

Posted on 4th July, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Presentation


Great leaders set the scene, mood, feeling and ultimately the impact and results. They provide a compelling story about what is happening in and around the organisation and their people, so that staff know exactly when and how to deal with change. To do this, they must have memorable presentations and storytelling skills.
As a leader, you need to enhance these skills by focusing on five things: Energy, Listening, Empathy, Anticipation, and Humour. Know your audience and gauge how energetic you need to be to hold their attention and insert humour where and when appropriate. However, humour is more about uncovering the ‘funny’ or the ‘unexpected’ rather than jokes or funny stories that are someone else’s.
Here are other ways to make your stories come alive: Listen when someone comments on your presentation and confirm their thoughts through paraphrasing, and ask them what part of your story was memorable or compelling. Avoid the temptation of telling them what you thought was great – hear it from them so you know the parts that work and what may need work.  Show them that you want to understand where they're coming from so you can continually improve making the connections between them and your message. By anticipate their needs and adding relatable anecdotes and stories you will be able to build rapport and credibility.
Great presentations are no accident. They need work, practice, work, practice and work again. The art of a good story teller is someone who makes the story easy to see in their minds, to remember in their hearts and to tell in their way to others. 
If you would like to deliver a story or make a compelling point in your next presentation or conference, Book Rickyas MC or Facilitator, for a keynote presentation by 31/7/2018 and get a complimentary breakout session for 45 minutes.


Why no-one answers their iPhone anymore

Posted on 21st June, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Communication


Our iPhones buzz, bleep and ding 24/7 giving instant gratification with pics, people and possibilities! And our response to these alerts is automatic and immediate. But a strange thing happens when it actually rings. No one picks up. No one wants to talk. No one wants to listen. Obligatory voice messages are ignored. In fact, perhaps we could solve this problem by taking the phone out of “iPhone” and just call it an “iDevice”? Whatever happened to courtesy, follow up and people having a conversation in real time? Whatever happened to the good old’ days when people valued people more than they valued getting lost in their phones? If you want to know the answer, leave me a message and I’ll get back to you!


FInd out more, listen to receint interview on HitFM Perth 


How to step up staff engagement

Posted on 11th June, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Communication, Leadership


Retaining good staff is arguably one of the greatest challenges that employers face. So what can you do to attract, retain, and engage your staff to make sure that they're motivated to do their best for the duration of their tenure?

As a leader, you may think engagement is something as simple as providing your staff with projects that you think are stimulating and challenging, so as to give them a sense of direction. It's not wrong and if done correctly, can raise work productivity and business profit.

However, engagement for employees may mean being in a workplace that is rewarding professionally and personally. They expect their work to somehow cater to their individual needs and aspirations. At the end of the day, they want to feel respected, valued, and trusted at work.

Engagement, therefore, means connecting the heart and mind through values and dreams. Great leaders foster an environment that nurtures curiosity, learning, fun, innovation, and respect. For this to happen authentically and organically, it needs to be based on trust, opportunity, and fairness.

Learn how to take a strategic and intuitive approach to building engagement with business coach Ricky Nowak at your next conference or workshop.

Performance Appraisal

Posted on 5th June, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Staff

Effective feedback is one of the most powerful organisational tools that can improve employee performance, yet many leaders fail at ensuring that this process provides optimal outcomes.

Many managers, supervisors and team leaders would rather be doing something else than spending time working through issues and problems, or simply clarifying what is happening and what is not. Sometimes this is due to a lack of skill in under-taking the process, while sometimes it is simply due to complacency. Other times, leaders are concerned about potentially angry or emotional responses, which can create another set of problems that they may be unable or unwilling to deal with.

It is important for leaders to realize that empathy and the ability to acknowledge the contribution of their staff are the most important skills they can have when providing effective feedback. It is worth taking some time to reflect on why you conduct per-formance appraisals and what you want to achieve by doing them – for both you and your staff.

Sometimes, providing feedback can cause great stress, intimidation, shock, anger or resentment and can actually have a counterproductive effect on productivity, personal relationships, and even people’s willingness to work in the best interests of the organisation. However, if the necessary groundwork is done first, and appro-priate strategies and processes are put in place, performance feedback should not result in any unpleasant surprises or embarrassment for employees.

Learn how to provide feedback to colleagues, staff and associates as an effective appraisal exercise in your organisation with executive coach Ricky Nowak at your next conference or workshop.

Innovation requires creativity

Posted on 28th May, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Make Good People Great Leaders

While creativity involves generating ideas to fuel growth in your organisation and finding opportunities for the people around you to realise their full potential; innovation, on one hand, is about taking ideas to fruition – bringing them to life.

In order for this to happen, leaders need to provide time and permission for their people to think and act outside the box.

A great leader gives people the mental freedom to explore options, while suspending judgement as to whether the ideas are brilliant, average, or a waste of time. A great leader also supports the development of ideas to ensure that people feel validated, acknowledged for their contributions, and that they have been given a “fair go” in their attempts to improve processes and outcomes.

Creativity and innovation—ideas and the implementation of those ideas, are the only true source of sustainable competitive advantage for an organisation. The job of leaders is to ensure that the organisation’s environment is conducive to creativity and innovation at all times.

 Learn more about turning good people into great leaders through innovation and creativity by engaging executive coach Ricky Nowak to present in-house Leadership Development Program at your next conference or workshop.


Three outages and you’re out!

Posted on 27th May, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Customer Service

Australians used to be reasonably happy with a ‘sorry’ when it came to a customer service problem. No one expected much more, but things have changed and none more so than in the world of digital dependency. The rules of customer service are almost out of date before they are written, people now want “waddyagonnadoboutit?” as soon as a problem is detected. Customers now want something as compensation and they want to be informed. These are the new rules of business. Given Telstra’s trifectas of outages, it’s not surprising that people are more than a little ‘peeved’ when no compensation has been offered. Yes, sorry is the first part of responsibility but if a major player doesn’t do what’s deemed to be fair, are we going to give them another chance or it is “three outages and they’re out?” And what should most businesses do when things turn pear shaped?


Do leaders need to coach or mentor?

Posted on 21st May, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Make Good People Great Leaders

Before anything else, it's vital for you to understand that while the terms "coaching" and "mentoring" are commonly interchanged, they're not the same thing. Yes, they have common elements, but their differences are profound. They require distinct skill sets and involve different expectations. 

Coaching is a process wherein new skills are developed. As a coach, you are the primary expert in facilitating learning and accomplishing goals. As a result, your protégés will be able to build skills, overcome problems, and manage tasks more efficiently. Not only that, they will also be able to apply adult learning principles and motivational techniques to achieve their objectives.

On the other hand, mentoring includes helping mentees think outside the box when faced with specific business challenges, including strategy and policy. You need to have a broad experience in various fields and share your knowledge at a practical level. A successful mentorship involves open communication to allow many opportunities for seeking and giving guidance in a respectful and productive way.

You as a leader need to be both mentor and coach. Learn how to open doors to career and personal growth with the help of leadership coach Ricky Nowak at your next conference or workshop.

The importance of authentic leadership

Posted on 7th May, 2018 - Comments


To be a great leader, you need to create a culture that encourages your team to think and work more efficiently. For this positive culture change to happen, you must be authentic in approaching them. This means responding to their points of discussion in a timely, respectful, and genuine manner.

There's no denying that authentic people are honourable people; and honourable leaders display the following key management characteristics: Honesty, Integrity, Reciprocity, Empathy, and Respect. Great leaders know how to present these qualities with different levels of intensity depending on the circumstance and people they relate to.

Communities, businesses, and people alike are all demanding greater transparency and authenticity from leaders; when there is a healthy amount of mutual respect and disclosure, reciprocity is second nature because everyone feels like their contributions are valued. 

Taking an authentic approach shows that you not only use your head, but your heart and hands as well. This makes it easier for people to trust your business and the products and/or services that you provide. 

Learn how to apply authentic leadership in different contexts and with different people from executive coach Ricky Nowak at your next conference or team meeting.

The purpose of empathy in good leadership

Posted on 30th April, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Leadership

If you want to be in a position where you get better results from your staff and stakeholders, then be a leader who is empathic and externally attuned. When people feel valued and trusted, they are also more likely to treat others the same way, no matter the situation they find themselves in.

You might be surprised to know that the most important quality that people look for in a leader is empathy. For leaders who are compassionate and show that there is no judgement when conversations take place, people will willingly reciprocate with solutions and honest responses. 

To be empathic means to tap into your internal attunement and show your team that you genuinely care about them as people. Be open about helping them manage their work as well as their relationship with suppliers, customers, and/or stakeholders. Let them know that your door is always open if they need to talk about any personal challenges that affect their work. 

Develop your empathy as a leader with the help of corporate trainer Ricky Nowak at your next conference/team meeting. You'll learn how to be intuitive about situations and people, as well as the emotions they may be experiencing.

Advisor or fraudster?

Posted on 26th April, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Values

With improper conduct being the culprit exposed at the Royal Commission on Banking, it’s little wonder people are fast and furiously losing trust in people with power or influence. Seems gone are the days when title means something and the word of the advisor was golden. 

What has led people to be above the law and live above their means at the expense of others?

Will trust be a value of the past?

Is it because doing the right thing no longer matters or are we arrogant enough to think improper conduct is just a game and we are willing to take the risk?

Yet, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann stating that ‘doing the right thing does matter’, why haven’t people taken action earlier rather than wait for Inquiries?

The role of open communication in a business

Posted on 19th April, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Leadership, Communication


As a leader, you need to be able to provide innovative and resourceful solutions that stimu-late your team to think and work more efficiently. But more than that, you must be transpar-ent when communicating with people to create a powerful leadership culture that encourages richer contribution and deeper commitment.

The key management qualities that turn good people into great leaders include Trustworthi-ness, Depth, and Clarity. These building blocks lay the foundation that fosters genuine sup-port and loyalty in any organization, and they all contribute to creating a work environment with transparent communication

Taking an in-depth and open communication approach provides an avenue for reflection, re-search, accountability, and clarification because your team trusts you. However, remember that your words have to be clear and simple during discussions, so that everyone is on the same page about how their work fits into the overall big picture. Know what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to.

Learn how to properly demonstrate transparency in communication based on the intensity of the situation and the personality of the people you work, with from leadership development expert Ricky Nowak. Book her now to speak at your next conference or team meeting.

The power of a good business reputation

Posted on 18th April, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Communication, Leadership


Your business reputation is built on — good and bad — past performance and interactions with various stakeholders, but your viability and potential for growth all depends on your TRUSTMARK. If you honor what you say and do, your reputation will stand the test of time and you will get the recognition you deserve, so invest in it to ensure your credibility.

Distinguish yourself from your competitors and associate yourself with trust, openness, and authenticity by telling it how it is. Communicate; don't sugarcoat. You are your brand, so keep that in mind when forming relationships. People will remember how you make them feel more than what you say.

It's a fact that personal reputation is closely linked to business brand, so check yourself to see whether you pass the TRUST Test or not. A great leadership image is the foundation for a strong business rep; and these two working in favor of each other will help you easily convert contacts into long-term contracts.

Now is the time to build relationships that will, in turn, build your net worth. Consult with executive coach Ricky Nowak at your next conference or team meeting to explore your TRUSTMARK and reinforce your honourable reputation.

Does your process guarantee success?

Posted on 12th April, 2018 - Comments

Categories: Leadership

Leadership success is measured by two critical factors. First, connections and communication. Second, making change visible to relevant stakeholders. If people don’t know what you have achieved and the impact it has had, heavy lifting will be required every time you need something. Are you focusing on these critical factors? If not, why not?

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