Just Do It : The I-Conic Approach to Lifestyle Coaching

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach


Nike® all rights reserved

The process of becoming your best self is guided by you; harnessing your experiences through learning, training and coaching along with some measure of creativity and imagination.”

– Hugh Anthony

It was Winter 1992 with bated breath that I anticipated the annual swimsuit issue of the now world famous magazine. There was a mystery about which supermodel would grace the cover of this coveted issue of the popular glossy magazine!! Yes, this magazine had record sales of over one million, not only because it was the most anticipated issue, it was every man’s dream and every woman’s envy. The supermodel that made the cover of that issue of the magazine Dina Specter expressed:

“…. should excite tons of readers who giddily await the glossy’s once-a-year release featuring page after page of barely-dressed models on beaches.”

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The magazine under the direction of its first editor, Jule Campbell former fashion writer and reporter, transformed the publication from a provocative glossy featuring a few bikini-clad women into a commercial behemoth and the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice. Its swimsuit issue, which has been published since 1964, is now an annual publishing event that generates its own television shows, videos and calendars… You have figured it now….it is Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit edition.

kathy-ireland-sports-illustrated-swim-1992-cover (1)

Sports Illustrated® Magazine all rights reserved.

You might be asking – What does SI have to do with the title of this article or how it relates to you? Well, that is where I first read the powerful and iconic Nike advertisement – JUST DO IT. With its powerful narrative, the ad espoused the authentic character of Nike’s brand values and purpose. It radiated a vibe, an energy and an iconic feel as that was so symbolic….as captured in the following quotation

“…it must evoke transcendent qualities of human soulfulness. And to do that it has to express deep insight into its unique purpose in the world.”

Derrick Conlon

That issue of the SI magazine with its powerful and iconic ad, with its strategic narrative from Nike – Just DO IT is a special kind of story. It espoused Nike’s essence as a company and provided a pathway for me to ask who am I as an individual? Where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going? How I believe value is created and what I valued in relationships. That iconic ad provoked candor and thought -it challenged and explained why I existed and what made me unique. It challenged me to get uncomfortable and do extraordinary things – it beckoned me to JUST DO IT. Nike’s mission is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” What makes this a shared purpose is that Nike actively encourages people to inspire each other. Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan is a key part of its narrative and the very influence on my being and what I do for my clients the world over.


Nike® All Rights reserved

Albeit, two decades later, I have the ad still and it has inspired me to do great things, the great inspiration by being the Co-Founder of Consulate | Milieu® a boutique lifestyle firm based in Toronto, Canada, an outlet through which we offer our I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program that builds on the powerful circles of influence that is your lifestyle which we explore and help you curate.

Melding the SI Swimsuit edition and that powerful Nike ad, I am excited to remind you that – your life is your gift, how you share it in a meaningful, positive and rewarding way with others in an authentic manner through inspired living is your lifestyle the essence of our I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program.

Your life experiences all contribute to the mosaic that creates a soul stretching, empowering and transformative way of being that provides a blueprint for inspired and focused living. The I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program is designed to engage you to expect, in an agile, concise and purely conversational tones capturing the voices gleaned with intentionality, which will create the quilt that becomes the premise upon which you strengthen the values that hold you as an individual together, celebrate your abilities, the essence of your existence, and provide a resounding affirmation of being self-aware, deeply connected, emotionally attuned, emotionally wired, and authentically understood.

The I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program is built on a deep value proposition and strategic narrative that intersects three core aspects of your life and their influences:

  • Exploration of Unresolved Expectations – The understanding of self and the unmet expectations and/or needs that create social tensions which are psycho-emotional that requires ownership to resolve.
  • Standing in the Truth of Who You Are – What are the things that bring meaning and truth that fuels your reasons for living versus existing?
  • The Narrative Circle – A collaborative approach to creating narratives in a holistic manner that encapsulates and connect specific desires, goals and unmet need in a way that creates pathways to authentically address the essence of your ideal lifestyle.

The cornerstone the I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program will assist you with curating your lifestyle – as a purposeful narrative – from your collective experiences. This purposeful narrative is the outcome meaningful reflections, understanding and engaging conversations that you will share with others. The outcome will be powerful; it creates your lifestyle value proposition about what you have to share with the world. Or even more interestingly, your carpe diem – your mission about now and what you will do for the world. This now becomes the journey for your life’s work that inspires you to be transformative and engaging throughout your encounters. The I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ program fosters a shared sense of purpose that is focused on the strategic and meaningful relationships that augment your energies on being a collaborator to a co-creator.
Your role as a collaborator and co-creator emerges from your awareness of your responsibility to learn how to live an inspired, focused, empowered, strategic, transformative, youthful, lifestyle that is exuberant with mindfulness, to ensure that you connect with your authentic self at all times.

We are hosting the I-Conic Approach Lifestyle Coaching™ Workshop in a number of global cities. This workshop is designed to show you exactly how to create your lifestyle value proposition – what you want to do for the world, by having an understanding of the journey that you are on. Furthermore, how you can connect your clientele by having a shared purpose and a value-proposition that enhances the relationship from consumer to co-creator in your business and creative endeavour.

For this workshop space is limited. The workshop is designed only for creative and transitioning professionals – entrepreneurs, technopreneur, authors, coaches, consultants and creatives – who already have their own business but are struggling to get the desired clientele to offer value and experience lifestyle they deserve. If this sounds like something you want to do, you can find out how to get access by clicking here:


This workshop is designed as a live training experience. Building on your expectations and move you from success to significance.

First of all, we don’t give you ‘theory’. We teach you the exact methods to successfully create value, attract not just more clients, but the right ones, so you can be sure to create and offer value to your clientele both as a lifestyle and a profession.



Hugh Anthony is a certified lifestyle speaker, author and lifestyle coach, with interests in the creative industries, tourism and hospitality, and not-for-profit sector. He is the Co-Founder | Consulting Lifestyle Director of Consulate | Milieu® a boutique lifestyle consultancy firm in Toronto, Canada that specializes in creative, avid and exciting art-based and lifestyle projects for its diverse clientele – corporate, creative and transitioning professionals. Hugh Anthony is currently a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Waterloo, Canada where he is undertaking research on the Film Festival Industry, with his current focus being on The Role of Programming in the Film Festival Experience: Curating the Cinematic Muse.

Hugh Anthony is an enthusiastic and consummate thought leader who loves to write and is the author of the forthcoming book The Ultimate Guide to Public Speaking: 7 Steps to Professional Mastery to be published Summer 2016.


The Land of My Birth..

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach


Image of the Jamaican Flag

The recently held elections in the “Land of my Birth” have left an indelible mark on my consciousness. The gleanings from the commentaries over the last few days have been nothing short of “let’s get the business of the nation going” for many well thinking and well-meaning citizens.


However, there are factions that have been expressing criticisms, egos parading, tribalism, ‘pork-barrel’ politics (reared its ugly head), lack of respect for a plural democratic system, disrespect for individuals who have offered themselves in service to the nation, the sense of entitlement; to what I wonder!! and where the Vox Populi (the voice of the people, is the voice of God) is misinterpreted and misunderstood.

The national voter % turnout was 46%, and a close margin for the two major political parties. There are no winners or losers, we have a new normal – one term governance. Because what parades as the ‘status quo’ – the recycled and entrenched mediocrity is no longer acceptable. The results are an indicator that a new narrative for governance and stewardship is needed for the new Jamaica that has emerged. The 54% of the electorate that did not exercise their franchise to vote indicates a failure of a system that is devoid of solutions to create a just, fair, accountable, anti-oppressive framework and equitable society for all citizens.

Our national pledge should guide all our political candidates and fellow citizens:

National Pledge

“Before God and all mankind, I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind, the strength and vigour of my body in the service of my fellow citizens; I promise to stand up for Justice, Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly, so that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.”

The founders, the liberators and the freedom fighters of our nation, requires of us to remember the Nation above self. Their contributions and sacrifices should never be in vain, but for us to create a society that for generations to come will teach us true respect for all no matter an election result. Citizens are stirred to respond to duty’s call of the Nation, to strengthen us the weak to cherish by volunteering, be selfless and unselfish in loving thy neighbour as thyself. To seek God’s guidance, so we have a vision of a new Jamaica, to do otherwise evil will beset us and we’ll perish as a nation.

The power is in our collective existence (not our individual), it is also in our plural democracy where we ought to have the truth be ours forever, respect for the institutions and the laws of the land. Where there is perennial hope for land we love, and no matter where we are from, we embody the National Motto:

“Out of Many, One People”

It is Jamaica land we love, where diligence to duty conquer hardships. Where hope replaces despair, where we sow generational seeds because the land is green and the sun shineth and we will reap a stronger and better Jamaica. A Jamaica where there is spiritual, economic, cultural, social, emotional and societal well-being for all. Where the sounds of cheerful laughter replaces the frigid grimace of untold pain, the birth of new life symbolize hope and not despair, where lives are cherished and not perishing. Where songs of hope, drowns into oblivion the ricochet of bullets and the capacity to be and do good strengthens the community.


IMG_20160202_153552 Image of the Jamaican Blue Mountains



This new narrative beckons us all to collectively overcome our differences and embrace our deference. In so doing, we take on the ‘Challenge of Change’ to create pathways to a renewal of nationhood, where the colour of our skin or the stripe we choose doesn’t matter in a negating manner. But represents the strength, creativity and collective consciousness of our people to foster a Jamaica, where we are seen as the overcomers, against all odds.

With that emergence, we will all be singing the words of Robert Nesta Marley, Global Icon | Legend & International Reggae Superstar’s song – Three Little Birds’

“Don’t worry about a thing.
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

Encouraging a new way for our people to share collective experiences that are pure and true. This will aid in fostering a renewed Jamaica that is a bastion of hope for all, with a narrative of inclusivity, respect, equity, truth, honesty, justice, love and humility be it on the local or global stage. Let us all foster creating a legacy that makes Jamaica not just being successful, but to become significant to humanity.

I am resonating the rising of the new Jamaica that beckons.

Will you help Jamaica, Land we love?

So she can play her part play in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

I remain.


© Hugh Anthony 2016



Hugh Anthony is a certified lifestyle speaker, author and lifestyle coach for executives, creative and transitioning professionals.  He is committed to helping individuals transform their passions into possibilities to enhance value creation by harnessing their lifestyle and experience to be more meaningful, profitable and purposeful.

Hugh Anthony is the Co-Founder | Consulting  Lifestyle Director of Consulate| Milieu®, a boutique lifestyle consultancy firm based in Toronto, Canada that specializes in coaching, live and virtual events, training workshops an avid lifestyle projects for its diverse clientele.  He is an authority on public speaking and presents on topics relating to speaking and presentation, leadership and value creation.  His forthcoming book The Ultimate Guide to Public Speaking: 7 Steps to Professional Mastery  will be published Summer 2016.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

by Marc and Angel Hack Life | Practical Tips for Productive Living

Stop Do These Things


When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer. let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.



Speed Mentoring – Creative Tool to Engage, Elicit and Empower

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach
“If you had ten minutes of focused interaction with a top industry professional, what would you ask?”

Speed mentoring brings together industry experts and career aspirants or professionals that enable exchange of industry relevant information. This emerges, whilst networking with a métissage of professionals with varied industry interests and experience.   Based on a speed dating model, this event offers a tremendous opportunity for networking and shared learning in an interesting and fast-paced manner.

Speed mentclockoring is an innovative, interactive, insightful, fun and creative approach to mentoring. It is a platform for connecting professionals who want to share, learn and have an opportunity to help other professionals (mentees).  It opens your eyes to the world of work (industry-specific or occupation-specific) within a given glocality through education, awareness and empowerment.  Interactively, mentors and mentees meet in a time efficient manner for focused conversations; and are timely rotated to bolster the experience.

‘Speed mentoring fosters focused, one-on-one interactions with multiple mentors that benefit both mentee and mentor.’

University of Miami

It is a light hearted interactive approach which affords professionals the opportunity to glean knowledge from a cross-sector persSM  2pective. Tips, information and insights on career choices and making decision about the future, which is now, are some of the key benefits.

Speed mentoring is a creative recruitment strategy for businesses and professionals seeking opportunities, no matter which industry or sector you work in.  Maybe you’re thinking about changing careers, or trying out a new field.  Speed mentoring affords the opportunity and time to ask the questions you, wouldn’t ask of your coworkers.  Speed mentoring events will connect you with top industry professionals, so you get the edge you need as an aspiring professional or future leader in any industry.

Benefits of Speed Mentoring

  • Preparation and Professionalismare essential to the experience. To optimize the experience mentees must be prepared with their ‘elevator pitch’ and mentors challenge is to elicit the right questions.  Your character, approach, enthusiasm, charisSM - 1ma and confidence are relevant in the exchanges.
  • Sharing and Learning – knowledge and information exchange on how to gain valuable tips to advance your career in a fun manner.
  • Focused Interaction and Engagement – one-on-one interactions with the best talent and years of relevant experience in an energetic and enjoyable setting.  Through the associated activities it is an excellent opportunity to establish and maintain a relationship.
  • Active Listening and Feedbacka tool to find out what employers are looking for; and glean professional synergies and techniques needed for success.
  • Culture – affords the participants insights on workplace culture and expectations.
  • Connectedness – Building a valuable network through social and traditional media. Participants can continue to communicate with important industry connection for guidance, insight and inspiration.

Speed mentoring builds on the skills, confidence and capabilities of the participants to create open, but focused dialogue.  It is a demonstrable experience of opportunity and willingness to learn, share and give invaluable insights and bring meaningfulness to talented professionals.

You may want to check out a related blog I wrote in March 2012 on Speed Networking; Connecting Talent, Creativity and Capital.  https://creativemagezine.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/speed-networking-connecting-talent-creativity-and-capital/



© 2013 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.

Social Media: Strategies and Techniques for Boosting Success

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coachSocial Media
In this brave new world of digital and social media the thoughts of how we can leverage the platforms to create success for business emerges. Interestingly, this question popped up at a creative economy summit where I facilitated a workshop on social media. How can social media help my business to grow? This question is key for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, innovators, technopreneur and social entrepreneurs, who can appreciate the nuances of social media.

“Social media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.”

Brian Solis, Author & Social Media Analyst
What’s the Future of Business – Changing the Way Business Create Experiences


Social network platformsSome of the strategies that can help your business can be simply understood from the perspective of  a SMEs (small to medium size enterprises) to conglomerates. In this digital media age, you need to have a social media platform (blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr), to communicate with the rapid growing and fast-paced community of technophiles. Here are some social media strategies and techniques that can help you and your business:


o Plan Ahead – Do your research, so you can have an appreciation of your audience; and an understanding of how they would like to be communicated with. Establish what goals you want to achieve with your social media strategies. Identify the most appropriate platform to connect with your audience.


o Audience Engagement – Having defined your target audience, you will communicate with them your brand. The value-added and value-creation elements associated with it. Social media requires focused messaging and engagement in a specialized manner, given the platform.

o Content Capture – The mantra, ‘content is king’ is a truism. There’s a lot of content available, however it ought to be relevant to your business; subscribed or researched. Clearly communicate your business intention to build and leverage your brand.

o Strategies and Tools – Align your social media strategy around defined strategic imperatives, rather than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.

Social Media for Biz

o Communicate and Connect – Social media is a method of delivering a message(s) and garnering feedback (even if you don’t choose the latter). You need to observe the etiquette and guidelines of the platforms utilized. Decide whether to publish posts, tweets or videos, and what content to include in them to communicate your brand’s message. Respect anonymity, be engaging and active; and ensure you have a plan to respond critics. Be guided ‘that no one has a monopoly on virtue…..not even you’.

o Brand Engagement – Utilizing this tool in your social media strategy can lead to a strong brand that communicates ‘the brand promise’. It can create opportunities for customer experience successes in a competitive environment.

o Measure Results – Set realistic goals or milestones to determine if your efforts are working. This can be done by utilizing available tools to track effort, features and successes.


Experiencing success for your business with social media is having candid conversations with community and building relationships. Messaging through social media will help communicate your brand essence, by getting it right. This will resonate with your customers long after it is delivered. The key attributes for your business remaining relevant to your customers in digisphere (digital space)  is to engage passionately, create authenticity, openness and honesty.



Social Media by Brian Stittle
10 Laws of Social Media Marketing by Susan Gunelius
Social Media and Your Business by Jason Palmer
Social Media: How can I share my ideas and reach my target audience? by Ian Turner


© 2013 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.


What about Leadership for the Future – Which is Now?

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach

“The world economy demands an alternative way of doing business and workers demand a different style of leadership.” — Dr. Tony Baron, The Art of Servant Leadership

In reflecting on the issue of leadership in organizations, be it those I have had the privilege of being a team member, professionally or voluntarily; or the ones I happen to read about from a magazine, blog or other sources, the core value that breed success is that of selflessness.

As with the open quote for this blog, I often wondered; if our leaders have taken the time to reflect on their own leadership or the style of leadership they bring, share or impose on others (or moreso, the people they should be serving).  In a more light-hearted questioning manner – Do organizations understand the type of leadership needed to respond to future, which is now?

We live in an era of unrelenting change, as individuals, citizens, customers, entrepreneurs and leaders the challenge is how we respond, to bring meaningfulness not just to our organizations, but even to our own lives.  Can we bring meaningfulness, if we don’t understand what is expected?   In researching themes on leadership, the suggestions are that the leader’s task is to align, empower, serve and collaborate.  In leadership for business, there should be adaptability, self-awareness and selflessness as we contend and engage in more complex, dynamic and creative work processes; and encounter a more diverse workforce than ever before.

Businesses do exist to meet a need, albeit, businesses are also driven by need for profits, however they should not be camouflaged as corporate motifs masked as greed, exploitation and to serve a select few.  Or be led by egotists or demagogues whose selfishness impairs their ability to lead authentically both professionally and personally.   The 21st-century leadership requires a shift in outlook, direction and strategy, if leaders are to be successful in empowering people (internal and external customers) bring value-driven philosophy and sustain superior performance, while contending with complexity in the world of business. How will this be achieved?

Bill B. Flint, Jr. in his recent book The Journey to Competitive Advantage through Servant Leadership proffered a thesis that will help leaders build a company every person dreams of working and every president has a vision of leading.   Bill referred to the term servant leadership developed by Robert K. Greenleaf, and its context is a leadership philosophy that values people, work and community; and focuses on helping people discover and reach their potential.

Bill defines servant leadership as a “… style of leadership that helps companies develop and nurture the unique and collective skills, abilities, and talents of the people within their company.” The servant leader brings purpose, passion and character,  and collaborate with the people they serve, by looking for ways to help everyone feel good about their efforts.

Servant leadership empowers the leader to understand that to lead is to serve. Encouraging and articulating a participative approach to leadership, with the outcome being the greatest possible performance and high levels of employee satisfaction.

The characteristic of the servant leadership as highlighted by Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and others:

  • Self-Awareness: Each of us is the instrument through which we lead. If we want to be effective servant-leaders, we need to be aware of who we are and how we impact others. The servant leader  has the ability to view situations from a more integrated, holistic position. As a result, the servant leader gets a better understanding about ethics and values.
  • Listening: Servant-leaders use emphatic listening as they seek first to understand and then to be understood. Servant Leaders listen actively in as many ways as possible and motivate team members to share and support them in decision identification.
  •  Empowering and developing people: giving people in the workplace responsibility for their own actions. Through empowerment, the servant leader acknowledges the talents and strengths of employees. Underlying empowerment is the acknowledgment that employees are not merely subordinates, but that each is an individual in their own right.
  • Humility: this is an attitude and acknowledgment by the servant leader that they are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and that employees may have more knowledge and experience. For servant leaders in organisations dependent on knowledge workers, this is especially important as it is highly probable that employees do indeed know more about their specialisation than anyone else inside the company. By acknowledging fallibility and the limits of one’s own knowledge, the servant leader helps to facilitate a learning environment: one in which employees can learn and develop through their own experimentation and by learning from others. This potential for self-determination has a powerful and positive influence on the workplace and further aids the long-term fostering of a learning culture.
  • Authenticity: is a significant factor as it enables the servant leader to show very clearly to employees that not only can they be themselves, but also that the work environment genuinely encourages and welcomes this. To show authenticity the servant leader must act with integrity: they must do as they have promised; show consistency in actions and morality; and be true to themselves and the spirit of the leadership principles they preach. The benefit of authenticity is that ultimately it supports and reinforces the values of the servant leader.
  • Interpersonal acceptance: the ability to understand and experience the feelings and motivations of others is essential in a servant leadership culture. Empathy and forgiveness must go hand-in-hand. The latter is particularly important if a culture in which it is accepted that people can and do make mistakes is to be developed with authenticity. By accepting employees as individuals, the servant leader shows understanding and appreciation of their unique perspectives and allows people to feel that they matter.
  • Providing direction: knowing what the servant leader expects of them is beneficial for employees and the organisation. To provide direction the servant leader must make work dynamic and have it tailored to the abilities and needs of employees.
  • Stewardship: is the willingness to take responsibility for the larger institution and to focus on service instead of control and self-interest. Leaders should act not only as caretakers but also as role models for others. By setting the right  example, leaders can stimulate others to act in the common interest. Closely related to stewardship is social  responsibility, loyalty and teamwork
  • Foresight is the ability to foresee the likely outcome of a situation. It enables the servant leader to learn about the past and to achieve a better understanding about the current reality. It also enables the servant leader to identify consequences about the future.

The fact is that leadership is not a position, it’s about character, and as John Maxwell highlights, “the measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve the leader, but the number of people served by the leader.”  How  companies inspire individuals to give their best and translate into superior strategy for businesses, translate in having leaders whose essence of character is helping others being their best.


© 2012 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.

The Idea Riot

The Idea Riot

hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach

February 03, 2012

theme: creativity + thinking + problem solving

When was the last time you or your organization looked at problem-solving as a brainstorming session!!  Let us suggest instead, an idea riot.  The creative imagination gives us the insight to think outside the box or even be on the periphery of greatness with solutions, but how do you or your organization embrace it.

We are wired to believe that the mindset that creates the problem will be the one that solve it, well that’s wrong.  A couple questions should be asked: Who is experiencing the problem? and what created it?  These are perspectives that the idea riot can explore to bring solutions.

Idea riot views the problem as a complex sub-set of processes that do not allow innovation and creativity as a part of group thinking.  Group thinking in idea riot is as individual as it is a collective, however at the heart of it all, is how we think.

I am not proposing a think-tank in the traditional sense, where you have to meet exhaustively to think through the problem.  No, idea riot allow members to bring divergent and convergent thinking to the process of problem solving, by viewing ideas as composites of an irreverent approach. Fluidity and fluency, relies on how malleable we are and our willingness to bring responses to the problem or ‘mess’ as we see it. Flexibility and adaptability, impacts our mindset to shift in to different gears and allows for spontaneity.

The idea riot embraces originality of thought, identify commonality with group thinking, but employs novel thinking and sensitivity to problem solving by redefining the ‘mess’.  Idea riot is not about urgency, it’s about: ideation, exploration, unconventional wisdom, mind-shifting and creativity – along with how we view and embrace problems.

How do we start and idea riot? That’s not the question….darn!  When will you begin an idea riot?


© 2012 Hugh Anthony. All rights reserved.