It’s not easy being blue…

…but I like it!

blueWell done to Marilyn Paston, a boss who is prepared to give people a go. When looking for someone to work alongside people with disabilities, Paston was impressed with a young woman candidate. The 19-year-old job-seeker exuded self-confidence and cheerfulness, qualities you’d think would be useful in any work environment. But Paston seems to have been the only one in a long line of prospective employers who saw the young woman’s potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Protect your name

The simplest way to maintain brand reputation

nameI remember, growing up, my parents’ insistence on maintaining the family’s ‘good name’. It wasn’t until I started doing some family research recently that I realised why their instruction might have been so ingrained.

Without airing all the dirty laundry, it seems one ancestor spent time in what was then called a ‘lunatic asylum’, and his second son (not my forebear, I hasten to add) not only took a leading role in having his father committed, but was later accused of cruelty and adultery by his wife, and was eventually declared bankrupt. It’s fair to say he didn’t do a lot to protect the family name! Read the rest of this entry »

Crowdfunding: Providing a path to potential

When just being part of the crowd is a noble deed

Adventurers and innovators are rare, which is why they stand out in a crowd. How we in the masses react to their brazen plans says a lot about our character.

Some will barely lift a bored eyebrow, while the serial poppy-loppers will jeer at anyone who dares to stick their necks and their chests out. But there is a decent core of us who know that we need the brave and the daring. We crave the zing they provide to our pale little lives – the inspiration, the hope, the glimpse of horizons afar.

We long for heroes like Zac and Josh Lyon – 21-year-old Kiwi twins who intend to be the youngest and first New Zealanders to walk/ski from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole and kite-ski back again. Read the rest of this entry »

Play nicely, now

How gracious are you to your competitors?

Play nicelyIt’s one of the more unusual advertisements I’ve seen in a while. Two thirds of the way through the ‘A’ section of a New Zealand Sunday newspaper, the ASB Bank takes an expensive full page to say “Farewell black beauty”. ASB is referring, of course, to the National Bank, which had a prancing black horse as its brand symbol, and which is currently being led meekly to the knacker’s yard by its owner, the ANZ Bank.

“Even though we were rivals, we always respected the National Bank,” says the ASB advert. “In fact in many ways we’re alike, both striving to set high standards for the banking industry. So we’re sad to see you go. You’ll be missed.”

That’s quite a different stance from other competitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Be one who emPOWERs

Are you empowering others?

Good on Mel Browne. She is a South Auckland electrician who is on a mission to teach other women DIY skills. Mel is using her 19 years trade experience to show women how to do simple electrical jobs at home, and how to make outdoor furniture for sale. These are skills that will help the women financially, but there’s more to it than that. Mel is empowering them – giving them confidence to tackle tasks they would otherwise have thought outside their ability. Could you be one who empowers others? Read the rest of this entry »

Waving the flag

What makes you proud of your country?

Waving the flagTonight the All Blacks play France in a much-anticipated game of rugby. National pride is at stake, or so sports journalists would have us believe. Maybe it is because I’m not much of a sports fan, but I feel more patriotic about the self-sacrificial actions of a Napier businessman than I do about those of some high-profile, well-paid sportsmen in black. Read the rest of this entry »