Kipling on self leadership

‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same…’

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Our trump cards 

There are things that beat all other things in life. Events that make other thoughts and worry clouds disappear. When these trump cards are played, your priorities suddenly become crystal clear and the problems that previously occupied your mind feel small.

These days my son is the mother of all trump cards for me. If he is in danger or even just hungry, I become a complete bulldozer ignoring everyone else’s needs, including my own. Particularly painful when he started walking at 9 months and went on kamikaze assignments around the house.

The other day my uncle past away. We were very close and for several days I cried when I thought about his life and what his immediate family is now going through.  Death, illness and family are other trump cards for me. How tough these things might be they do remind us about what is worth worrying about.

What are your trump cards? 

How can we be better at playing them every day without waiting for a crisis to reminds us?


Pushing our buttons 

pushing our buttons

Why are we disproportionately affected by certain events? Why do we find some things offensive – not just Insta-offensive?

A while back a friend told him that he resigned from his job after he discovered the management was unethical. He left for a competing organisation and was unfairly accused of stealing trade secrets. His world fell apart and he has still not recovered. Why was he so affected by a situation that someone else might have been able to laugh about over time?

Yesterday I was reminded of a similar experience I had. When I was on sick leave due to stress and at the same time got a new boss, my employer threatened to relocate me due to performance issues. This just six months after I had been selected as top talent. A Kafka-like process was initiated where no account was taken of my circumstances. I fought back with legal means and eventually made them change their position but I still today feel very bad when I think about it.

Why can’t I just brush it off as having the misfortune of working for an incompetent organisation and uncompassionate boss?

What sets my friend apart is his strong sense of justice and integrity. When these core values ​​were questioned, albeit on false grounds, it shook his world.

Similarly, I have understood that one of my fundamental values ​​is achievement. I have as long as I remember wanted to perform, that’s who I am. Even though I know I did a good job under the circumstances, a small part of me died when my performance was questioned. Just like in my friend’s case, my employer pressed the wrong (or right) button. My values were challenged.

One of the most powerful exercises I do with clients is to chart their core values.

Once you know where your buttons are, you can choose who will hit them, when and how.

How money can buy you happiness

We usually don’t equate money with happiness – openly at least. At a stretch we say money can make life easier.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about money in relation to time and freedom. How long should you stay in a job you don’t like? How much money do we need before we retire? Or if you start at the other end – how big of a house or car do you really need to be happy?

If toddler parents constantly struggle with time poverty – how can we get our hands on more time?

I read an interesting article from Psychology Today about money and happiness. It claims that there are 3 ways that money can actually make you happy. Buying time is one of them.