Graffiti Media Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:45:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8 Totally Kiwi Foods to Try Sat, 12 Oct 2019 08:24:39 +0000

New Zealand is so much more than rolling hills, snowy mountains and Lord of the Rings. The breathtaking nation is also home to an amazing array of rare culinary treasures that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else in the world.

1. Pavlova

A crumbly shell filled with a fluffy meringue, stacked with fresh cream and seasonal fruits, pavlova will put your head in the clouds. The contrast of the flavours and the textures is just too delicious to even imagine.

2. Fush and Chups

Perhaps better known by it’s English name of “fish and chips” this New Zealand twist on the classic deep-fried fish is a can’t miss meal. As you’ll never be more than 140km from a beach during your stay, it’s no wonder why New Zealand is famous for their battered, fresh fish. Gastro-enthusiasts will have a range of batters and marinades to choose from and for those of you wondering what the difference between a french fry and a “chip” is…prepare to be amazed.

3. Lamington

There has been a long-standing debate as to whether this coconut deliciousness is technically Australian or Kiwi. But after much historical research, debate, and consultation, we have to give it to the New Zealanders. A light vanilla sponge cake, rippled with jam, covered in chocolate icing and smothered in desiccated coconut, these delicious cakes go down so easily that you won’t be able to stop at just one.

4. Fish

But hang on, isn’t fish already on the list? We see how that could appear to be a mistake, but this is a whole different ballgame entirely. We’re talking about chocolate fish; a fish-shaped delight that is jam-packed with strawberry marshmallow, coated in chocolate and cherished in the hearts of every Kiwi’s inner child. But let it be noted that you don’t need to be a child to enjoy these marshmallow miracles.

5. Feijoas

Fei-what? Such a difficult name for such a delicious fruit, but we’re here to help: feijoas is actually pronounced Fee-Joe-Ahs. Don’t let their South American origin fool you, this fruit is 100% Kiwi. Pun intended. The flavour of this avocado doppelgänger is a blend of pineapple, guava and strawberry, so you know that they’re going to taste incredible.

6. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey, a flavour explosion of smooth vanilla ice cream rippled with chunky bits of honeycomb toffee, has been mending broken hearts since the 19th century. If you’ve never tried it, we highly recommend you give it a go on your next trip to New Zealand. In the meantime, you best get to work inventing a portable freezer, because once you try it you’ll never know how to live without it again.

7. Kiwis

I know it must be tricky for you to know which “Kiwi” we’re referring to right now but we’re talking kiwifruit. Our love for this yummy New Zealand icon is utterly insatiable. With its furry skin, bright green vibrant flesh speckled with small black seeds and a crisp white core, this superfood has a distinct flavour, making it both sour and sweet with every single mouthful. While this fruit is refreshing on its own, we recommend enjoying it alongside one of New Zealand’s famous pavlovas.

8. Lamb

Ok so wherever you are in the world, there’s most likely lamb available to enjoy. However it’s made the list because you’ve never really tried lamb until you’ve tried it in New Zealand. In a country where there are twenty-two sheep to every person, you can imagine that the Kiwis know their way around a great cut of lamb. Roasted, marinated, barbecued or braised, your palate will celebrate the amazing flavours with every bite.

The Ultimate Aussie Burger with The Lot Sat, 12 Oct 2019 08:19:28 +0000

Truly unique to Australia is the idea of having on a burger; pineapple, beetroot, egg, bacon… whether you love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it; it’s the Aussie way.

Burgers are a true international food, found in every corner of the globe, and this is how Australians do an Aussie Burger with The Lot.

The common belief is that the American hamburger borrowed its name from a dish called “Hamburg Style Beef” or “Hamburg Steak” which arrived in the United States from the German city of Hamburg in the 19th century. The dish was nothing more than chopped meat eaten raw.

BURGER BUN. A soft, pillowy, and distinctly sweet bun. Should be able to withstand the burgers sauce and juices, holding together to the very last bite.

SAUCE. The bbq sauce should be strong, with a dash of smokey flavour. Dark in colour, the sauce will contrast the sweetness of the pineapple and beetroot.

LETTUCE. Fresh, crisp lettuce is a must for any burger. Diced iceberg lettuce will assist in soaking up any extra sauce or juices.

BEETROOT. Since the 1940’s Australians have added beetroot (beet) slices to burgers. Giving the burger a sweet flavour, best added last to avoid sogginess.

ONION. Raw or semi raw, or cooked through. Either way, sliced onion is a must have on any burger.

BACON. Unlike other parts of the world who like it crispy, australians prefer rashers of flexible, soft bacon as standard “with the lot”.

PINEAPPLE. A slice of pineapple is the quintessential signal that you are eating an Australian burger. Sometimes briefly cooked – be careful of extra juice.

TOMATO. Tomatoes on a burger are like icing to a cake – not necessary, but makes the whole experience better.

EGG. Fried egg is another symbol of an Australian burger – represented by an almost slow-motion oozing egg yolk.

PICKLES. Often misunderstood, pickles will often end up on the walls and floors of burger joints. Poor pickles.

CHEESE. Best option is cheddar cheese, and it should be melted for best effect and optimal taste. Single or double slices.

BEEF. Moist, flavoursome, have charred edges, and strong flavours brought out by salt, pepper and internal seasoning. Thick and juicy works best. #1 ingredient.


  • Burgers helped bring down Australia’s biggest counterfeiting ring worth $43M. Fake notes were used at a Hungry Jacks (Burger King) which lead to the capture.
  • Americans eat approximately 50 BILLION burgers a year. Or on average, that equals each person in USA eating 3 burgers per week.
  • Hamburgers originally came from Germany – and were called the Liberty Sandwich in WWII (but no Freedom Fries – yet).
  • A cafe in Sydney claimed the title of the world’s biggest burger, weighing in at 90kg, or 198lb.

The Aussie Burger (also “Ozzie Burger”) is a national delicacy, and has evolved over the years from the standard burger, to something truly unique to Australia. The idea of having on a burger; pineapple, beetroot, egg, bacon… whether you love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it… it’s the Aussie way.

7 Must-Try Foods in Southeast Asia Sat, 12 Oct 2019 08:12:08 +0000

There are many reasons to be excited for a pending trip to Southeast Asia – the different cultures, the people, the incredible landscapes and not to mention the stunning sunsets.

But let’s get real, when we’re travelling to Asia there’s only one thing on our minds: the food.

We’ve put together 17 dishes that you might have sampled elsewhere in the world, but that you must have when travelling throughout Southeast Asia.

1. Laksa

A combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine, Laksa is a spicy noodle soup commonly found in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia

2. Pad Thai

Originating in Thailand, Pad Thai is a dish available at most street stalls and restaurants across the country. It’s made of stir fried rice noodles and served with either chicken, fish, seafood, pork and sometimes vegetables alone.

3. Pho

Vietnamese noodle soup of rice noodles, broth, herbs, onions and meat, generally chicken or beef.

4. Larb

This mince meat salad flavoured with lime and fish sauce is the national dish of Laos. Can be made with duck, chicken, beef, pork, fish or mushrooms.

5. Durian Fruit

Native to Southeast Asia, The Durian is regarded as the ‘King of the Fruits’. The thorn covered husk is home to a distinctly odoured, edible yellow flesh.

6. Spring Rolls

Spring rolls will differ from region to region, made with meat or vegetables and wrapped in rice paper, either served fresh or fried.

7. Cao Lau

Originally from Hoi An, Cao Lau is a Vietnamese ‘mixing dish’ made of rice noodles, local greens and pork.

Roti is a light and flaky flatbread that originally came from the Indian subcontinent. This common base for many Malaysian dishes can be filled with well-seasoned onions, eggs, vegetables, meats or cheese, fried and served with a dal, or curry dipping sauce. Remove all of the fillers, and you’re left with roti canai, a simple yet popular dish eaten by pulling apart pieces of roti bread and dipping it into the accompanying curry sauce. Its simplicity allows one to appreciate the subtle oil and lightness of the bread and rich flavours of the sauce.

Hainanese chicken and rice is a Singaporean street meal and comfort food. Served wrapped in paper, this dish comes exactly as the name describes, with steamed chicken on top of a pile of rice, served with a little bag of light chili sauce to pour over it. The rice is not a mere accompaniment to a well-seasoned chicken, though. It is also cooked in chicken broth with onions and other seasonings, providing big flavour to a dish with essentially only two components.

Banh mi sandwiches are a common Vietnamese dish that combines the traditional flavours of the country with its French colonial heritage. Originally made of pâté on a baguette, banh mi’s ingredients today run the gamut from pork sausage and cold cuts to shrimp to eggs – or some combination of the above. Common toppings include coriander, jalapeño, daikon radish, carrot, cabbage, cucumber and chili. Add some mayonnaise or soy sauce on top, and you have a delicious meal to go.

In the springtime, mangoes are plentiful in Thai markets and the demand for mango sticky rice is equally high. Fresh slices of sweet, yellow mangoes are paired with coconut milk and sticky rice, a glutinous form of the grain. Its rich sweetness belies the simplicity and healthfulness of this dessert that comes together from only three whole-food ingredients.

The Best Chinese Food Sat, 12 Oct 2019 07:20:51 +0000

Freshly steamed dim sum, stir-fried vegetables just out of the wok, morsels of crispy tender duck, smoky noodles, piping hot soup… the list goes on and on. It’s hard to know where to start with this Chinese food guide, after all, it’s a vast cuisine, at times so simple and at other times, so rich with flavour and depth matched by its history, heritage, legacy and place in our world.

While food plays an important role in Chinese culture, because of China’s former empires and geographical location, their cuisine has influenced many other countries across Asia. As Chinese people moved around the globe and explorers came and went, their food traditions began to travel across the continent and beyond. Chinese favourites like rice, noodles, and tofu, for example, became a feature of many different cuisines. Today, Chinese food has been adapted for the western palate and to South Asian tastes alike, and their ancient cooking techniques inspire chefs from all over the world.

An overview of Chinese cuisine in a minute

Located in East Asia, and one of the world’s most populated countries, China is huge and boasts a topography of mountains, rivers, forest lands, and even the desert. You’ll find a tropical climate in the south and freezing temperatures in the north. All of these factors have influenced Chinese food.

Along with its geographical diversity, religion and philosophy have also impacted the evolution of Chinese cuisine. For example, in the Taoist diet, food plays an integral role in the faith, and certain foods have spiritual, mental and physical benefits. China is also influenced by Chinese Buddhism, and this brought about Buddhist cuisine, vegetarian cooking that grew out of monasteries. Because of the large population of Muslims living in the country, Chinese Islamic cuisine came to pass. Chinese medicine also impacts the way people eat; for example, in traditional Chinese medicine, eating vegetables cooked as opposed to raw is favoured.

China’s diversity has led to regional food variations that reflect climate, geography, history, and lifestyle. Before being introduced to the rest of world, different styles of Chinese cuisine, seasoning and cooking techniques were born of different regions, and continue to play a huge role in the country’s food, even today.


Cantonese, or Guangdong or Yue cuisine comes from the coastal southeastern province of Guangdong. It is considered to be the most widely served type of Chinese cuisine, and one of the most popular Cantonese dishes is dim sum. This culinary tradition is distinguished by lightly cooked ingredients and sauces that are both salty and sweet and the most commonly used cooking techniques are stir-frying and steaming.

Spices and flavourings such as ginger, chives, and black pepper are kept deliberately light, and used only to bring out the flavour of the food. Visitors used to what is served outside of China may find that traditional Cantonese food is very different to what they eat back at home!

What to eat:

  • Char siu: Barbecued pork
  • Cantonese seafood soup: A thick silky soup made with various fish
  • White cut chicken: Whole chicken marinated in salt which is then poached in hot water or chicken broth with ginger


Located in eastern China, Anhui is home to the Huangshan Mountains, fields and forests. As a result, dishes from this province are rustic and hearty thanks to prevalent cooking techniques like braising and stewing. Ingredients are sourced directly from the land: regional game, wild plants, herbs and fungi found in forests and fields are used for cooking and to lend flavour to Anhui cuisine. If you enjoy pork or tofu, Anhui relishes both, and many dishes incorporate these proteins.

What to eat:

  • Stinky tofu: Fermented tofu with a pungent aroma often eaten as a snack
  • Egg dumplings: Pork stuffed in an egg wrapper instead of flour
  • Li Hongzhang stew: A complex and deeply flavoured stew made with seasonal vegetables and meats like chicken and ham


Famous for its use of the Sichuan pepper, hence its moniker, this cuisine comes from southwestern China. Other than pepper, spices like chilli, shallots and garlic feature heavily in this cuisine, as well as ingredients preserved by salting, pickling and drying. A number of cooking methods are used in the preparation of Sichuan cuisine, including stir-frying steaming, braising, baking, and the most popular of all: fast-frying.

What to eat:

  • Mapo doufu: Tofu cooked in a broad bean chilli paste – an essential Sichuan ingredient
  • Dandan noodles: Smoky noodles covered in chilli oil served with vegetables and pork
  • Kung Pao chicken: Diced chicken fried served with red pepper and peanuts


The value of effective people management Sat, 12 Oct 2019 07:19:33 +0000

In addition to being accountable for financial success, business leaders are responsible for the culture they create, the people they have and the motivation levels across their teams. More often than not, they go hand-in-hand. Financial results are a true consequence of the individual activities that happen every day in an organisation.

It’s therefore no surprise that effective people management underpins business success. Creating a people-centric approach requires business leaders to align these values within their business model, ensuring they are able to achieve the right cultural mix to build high performance and high engagement.

In a career that has spanned multiple continents I’ve been fortunate to lead businesses through a range of scenarios – from navigating a team through the GFC and quadrupling profitability in the following five years, to co-founding a HR tech start up, and now running the ANZ arm of a multinational organisation that helps solve the world’s biggest challenges.

In that time, I’ve formulated five key learnings for modern leaders:

Have clear values of integrity, teamwork and commitment

Integrity is one of the fundamental values I seek in anyone we hire. It’s the hallmark of a person who demonstrates sound moral and ethical principles at work. Integrity is the foundation on which humans develop relationships, trust and commitment to one another. Ensure your organisation embeds its values in its ethos and that your teams live them out daily (by assessing them during performance reviews, for example).

Be transparent in your communications

Leaders should be transparent about how the business is tracking financially and how this performance maps against the strategic vision. If employees are kept up to date on the struggles or successes a company is experiencing, and the CEO shares frequent, clear communications at team meetings, they will feel that they are valued and trusted within the business.

They are also less likely to feel disenchanted if the company’s performance drops and the financial belt is tightened. In instances like this, it can also be valuable to get the team’s input on your turnaround plan, as it builds more trust and respect in your leadership team.

I’ve taken on roles where companies weren’t performing well. Some people suggested that these problems could be solved by simply getting rid of old staff and hiring new people. This would be a big mistake. More often than not, it’s financially and strategically better to invest in current staff – particularly if you’re hiring not just for technical ability, but for attitude and cultural fit.

Empower your team to speak up

It can take guts for employees to speak up at work if they feel like something isn’t right morally. Businesses must create opportunities for sensitive discussions to happen in safe spaces to empower staff to voice their questions and concerns. In addition, ensure you are hiring managers that will facilitate these open discussions.

At the same time, it’s critical to ensure you’re also acting on suggestions from staff. Build questions into staff surveys that will unearth confronting responses. For example, ‘Do you trust your senior managers?’. If the results come back and only 60% say yes, you need to work hard to fix that.

Hold yourself accountable

Vision is only one part of a business plan, execution is critical. It’s important to ensure that everyone in an organisation is accountable for their role and more importantly does what they say they will do. The benefits of a strong management team always flow down the employment chain. If managers clearly explain a company’s vision and lead by example, staff are more likely to strive to meet their own performance benchmarks.

What’s more, when your entire workforce is led by a strong vision and becomes passionate about delivering it, that can quickly compound into higher productivity and less staff turnover, which will in turn drive other business outcomes.

Have the courage to focus on long-term goals

Business leaders need to show courage, even in the face of adversity. We’re all under short-term pressure to deliver results, but the focus should really be on delivering a long-term competitive advantage. To start with, build a winning team around you that you fully trust, and that you really want to work with.

You spend so much time with your executive team, you want to be sure they are highly capable, ambitious and great leaders that share a vision with you. In addition, don’t be afraid to make hires based on where you want your business to be. It’s beneficial to have strong foundations and skills that will drive the business forward.

Lessons for leaders in implementing change Sat, 12 Oct 2019 07:01:22 +0000

The pace of technological change is unprecedented. Breakthroughs such as big data, IoT and artificial intelligence are disrupting traditional business models while creating new ones. And leaders are having to upgrade their capabilities all the time in response to this.

So, what are the capabilities that will count beyond today and take a leader well into the future? Assimilating data, agile decision-making and influencing skills are all key for the modern leader. How about implementation? As a capability, it’s less talked about – however, a leader’s ability to implement and manage transformative change is now more crucial than ever.

Implementation – the skill to drive transformative outcomes – is imperative to future success. It is the application of your skills to influence and change behaviours for the better as you implement new strategies, technologies, systems, processes or ideas. Much like a road trip, with well-planned execution, transformation programs can be highly successful, inspiring, fulfilling and incredibly worthwhile.

Historically, the challenge for many leaders has been the impression that implementing transformation is highly complex. Very few have repeatedly led transformation efforts. But successful transformation doesn’t need to be elusive. When leaders have the right implementation skills and tools, transformation programs succeed.

It starts with communicating your future vision at organisation level, so that people understand the road ahead and have confidence in the journey – but that’s not enough. Leaders must also develop a clear micro vision – one that talks directly to those responsible for the implementation of transformation. Getting your aspiration right is only half the story – the other half is a solid implementation plan.

Here are 4 key lessons for leaders when implementing transformation:

Map out your transformation road trip.

First, define a bold yet concise picture of your destination and the road trip required. Following this, rapidly engage those making the trip by collaborating on which route to take. Make sure you include the individual road trips necessary for each person, which roads to take, the pit stops and how to manage the occasional flat tyre. The plan or ‘map’ needs to equip your teams for navigating the roads ahead, so they know what to anticipate and how to deal with any challenges.

When you involve people in mapping the journey required, you also show that you are willing to accept and action their input. A great transformation program sets clear expectations on execution and outcomes while defining who plays what role and how things will happen. It breaks the journey into bite-sized sprints in order to easily engage people and enable them to see clear steps. It becomes a series of smaller, manageable trips, to cross the finish line.

Don’t underestimate the role of confidence and its power to drive success.

Confidence makes or breaks the implementation transformation program. When you commence with confidence, you give others assurance that you are the right leader for the job, and in turn, their own confidence is built and they are more likely to succeed.

Using the road trip analogy, implementing transformational change is all about having the confidence to start the car, exit the driveway, drive the course – often in changing conditions – and finish the trip. If people lack confidence in themselves, the leadership team or the business, it’s difficult for them to embark on a journey.

Define the size of the prize and the distance to the finish line.

Your roadmap must include your future vision as well as the benefits of getting there and the milestones along the way. It is key to measure progress at precise times to know you are on schedule, assess progress, and know when to celebrate the wins.

Without breaking up your journey into road trips, you risk losing your people – they get tired and lost. Stress sets in before you even complete the first leg. Confidence wanes. You must routinely remind everyone along the way the reasons for being on the road trip in the first place and the progress they’re making.

Let them drive… but support them along the way.

When you learn to drive, you might read the driver’s manual, but you really learn through the application of driving. If you made a mistake it was OK, there was a safety net – an instructor. When implementing transformation, you don’t throw people into the driver’s seat alone and without support. Coaching and support are key to enabling people to finish the trip, and a crucial yet overlooked requirement for success.

How to survive your first year in business Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:58:37 +0000

It starts with a lightbulb moment, but the road from brilliant idea to booming business is never smooth. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of hard work that’s required to keep a business open long enough to turn a profit. They open their doors with great excitement, only to find customers are not rushing to buy their product. Building a successful business takes time, patience and hard work.

So how can you survive the first year without burning out or giving up?

Develop a solid business plan

Fully explore your business idea – its strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities. Research the industry, including your competition. What makes you stand out? You must understand your competitors to know where your product or service fits, and to gauge how successful it might be. Once you’ve drafted your plan, review and refine it until it tells your story clearly and convincingly.

Here are some tips for writing a business plan.

Be flexible, be adaptable

A business plan is a living document that should be revisited often – it’s wise if you’re willing to re-write parts at any time. Don’t lock yourself into one particular path. You need to be agile enough to adapt to changes in the market or other obstacles that may present themselves along the way. Don’t keep sailing blindly forward if you see rough seas ahead. Change course or risk capsizing.

Be prepared to work hard

Even if your idea is brilliant, the business isn’t going to build itself. The inventor of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison, famously said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

Be prepared for long days and get comfortable in that no man’s land where no one is paying your salary. You will need the confidence to convince yourself you’re on the right track, even if there’s no one else there to tell you. Only those with the strength to endure the uncertainties of the first year will make it to the other side and enjoy eventual success.

Discipline is everything

A lack of discipline has been the downfall of many entrepreneurs. They have a fantastic idea, but don’t follow through with the effort to match. Review your business plan frequently, and examine the cold, hard facts. Get intimate with your finances and keep them in order. If you see a problem, correct it. Be consistent with your efforts and eventually they’ll be rewarded.

Keep your ego in check

Ego is a powerful weapon if used for good, but it brings many entrepreneurs unstuck. You need a healthy amount of self-esteem to have faith in your own ideas and abilities, but an overblown ego will put off customers and investors, spelling disaster for your business. Those who succeed are confident but humble. They back themselves fully but aren’t so arrogant that they can’t change with the wind if that’s what the market demands.

If business was smooth sailing, everyone would be doing it. But as Edison said, having a brilliant idea is only the first step. The first year will be fraught with risks and challenges, but if you’re well prepared, you will make it through unscathed.

Harnessing the full potential of your EA Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:54:24 +0000

Contemplate for a moment the extent to which your EA supports your ability to be at your best. What influence do they have on your reputation, relationships and ultimately effectiveness? Is your EA instrumental in enabling your own success and that of your organisation? Do you work in partnership with your EA to drive the key outcomes of your role? If not, why not?

EAs often complain of feeling underutilised and disempowered, and yet the CEOs they support are working beyond capacity. Failing to tap into the talent and energy of the person dedicated to enabling productivity in their own day is a common mistake busy CEOs make. Many leaders fail to recognise that investing in building a close working partnership with their EA can have a substantial impact on not only their ability to deliver, but also maintain healthy balance in life.

Leveraging the full potential of your EA starts with ensuring their role is clear to both of you. The job description for an EA can vary widely, so don’t assume because someone has held that title before, they are aware of the expectations you hold. Take, for example, the EA who believes maintaining accurate records is top priority, when in fact what you need them to do is manage the constant flow of demands on your time. While they may be diligently working away on minutes, agendas and records management, do they know they also need to help manage your day?

Like any other partnership, success demands trust and respect. To what extent do you trust your EA’s character and competence? It’s difficult to effectively empower someone you doubt has the knowledge or skills to deliver on the standard of output you need. It’s equally difficult to delegate responsibility when you are wary of trusting your EA’s attitude, emotional intelligence or behaviours.

Do you respect your EA’s role and empower them to do their job when they are able? A common obstacle EAs face is their boss’s reluctance to let go and allow them to take the lead on tasks well within their capability. One CEO I coached struggled with the concept of giving his EA access to his emails. While he trusted both her character and competence, he simply felt more comfortable being in control. His primary concern was she would delete an email he needed to see or respond in a way he wouldn’t. This same CEO was struggling to keep up with the overwhelming volume of emails he received every day.

Work with your EA to identify ways in which they can have greater impact on your success or that of the leadership team. Reflect on more than just the role they can play and consider also the skills, experience, mindsets and behaviours they need to be at their best.

Often EAs are provided with training in how to leverage processes, systems and technology to optimise effectiveness in their roles. Many, for example, have done Microsoft office, time management, and management or board reporting courses. Far fewer are given the opportunity to develop the strength of character and interpersonal engagement skills needed to influence people and outcomes.

Great EAs are able to step into a leadership role and drive results. They are emotionally intelligent with strong communication skills. Critically, they are able to say no, while maintaining rapport. EAs who make the biggest difference take ownership of their role and are skilled at managing up. How well does your EA influence your approach or decision making? To what extent do you allow them?

It’s important to understand that the EA profession is rapidly evolving. Attracting and retaining the best EAs takes a willingness to invest in their development and support their career. More and more EAs are assuming management responsibility and driving major projects. Long gone are the days when the average EA will see their role as simply typing your letters or fetching your coffee. The modern high performing EA wants to contribute far more – and CEOs are wise to let them.

What are your KPI’s for personal growth Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:50:09 +0000

One of the things that can easily be overlooked in the busyness of everyday is your own personal growth. How do you know you’re not repeating last year, without learning new skills, becoming more productive, or growing in character and maturity? Perhaps there are even some areas where you’re losing ground. When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Personal growth takes energy

Growth involves change, and change takes energy. Busy people do not always have energy left over for personal growth.

We are creatures of habit. We all develop patterns and ways of doing things that help us to cope with work and life. These patterns need to be challenged every so often, or they can become ruts in which we get stuck.

Depending on our personal behavioural style we might change it up, play safe, become perfectionistic, or do whatever most pleases the people around us. In a busy role, when things get tough, we can tend to focus on surviving, and just do what feels safe. This is usually what is easiest or has worked for us in the past. The challenge for every busy leader is to keep developing ways to approach our roles with creativity and with an eye to continual improvement. How else do we keep growing personally, and thus challenge and inspire the people around us?

Personal Growth in one area affects your whole life

Experience has taught me that the things most likely to undermine your long-term business success come from neglected areas of your personal life.

Here’s a big one: getting fit. Starting an exercise program will, at first, be very uncomfortable, but if you stick to it, has the power to provide the impetus and fresh energy for making other changes in your life.

Making significant physical change also leads to positive mental and emotional effects. You’ll release stress and create more energy in your body, assuming you are also getting good nutrition and sleep.

Creating a Personal Growth Plan

Start by setting personal growth goals for 1–2 key areas of your life. Do an assessment of your world with someone who will help you be totally honest and identify weaker areas.

Perhaps it’s your fitness, marriage, friendships, or self-awareness.

  • Being fitter in your body will boost your energy, give you greater clarity, reduce stress and improve your focus when you’re with others.
  • Working on your relationships – whether with a partner or friend – is always a worthy thing to do. Busy people can so easily grow apart emotionally without even realising, and lose the deeper connection required for a great marriage or close friendship.
  • Self-awareness is the key to increasing your emotional intelligence, and developing your EQ is essential to growing your leadership capacity.

How to Measure your Personal Growth?

Set some ways to measure your goals:

  • It could be to lose 5 kilos; run a certain time or distance; lift a particular weight; walk upstairs without getting out of breath; or for an item of clothing to fit.
  • Discuss, plan, and have a date with your partner once a week, over activities that you mutually enjoy. The goal is to re-discover and enjoy your partner and increase the freedom to be able to communicate together at a more intimate level.
  • Check in with yourself and write down how you’re feeling, what your body is saying to you, and what’s challenging you at the moment – do this in a journal 4 times over the course of the day, from morning to evening. Ask 2 or 3 people in your team, or hire a mentor, to monitor you over a year, checking in with you to reflect on how you are tracking in your capacity to be self-aware and tune in to others around you.

After an honest assessment, pinpoint the area you may most need to grow. Carve out time in the calendar and start working on it. We all need to become more deliberate in our personal growth to ensure our lives are moving forward and we are becoming a better version of ourselves each day. A key to fulfillment is a sense of progress in your life personally. Achieving work goals is important, but self-work is more important for wellbeing. If all you have is a full diary and an exhausted body and mind, it is time to set KPI’s for your personal growth plan.

9 Reasons You Should Teach Abroad Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:32:11 +0000

Teaching abroad can be a life changing experience. So why aren’t you doing it yet? Were you thinking to yourself, “Hmm, if only someone could tell me nine reasons I should teach abroad…” Well then it’s your lucky day!

1. Travel Freely and Often

Aside from the actual act of picking up and moving somewhere brand new, teaching english at a foreign school has many, many perks. Depending on where you decide to teach, you may find yourself in a region whose countries are within very close proximity to one another, allowing for frequent and inexpensive holidays. Many schools will even offer you travel stipends and significantly more vacation days then you’ll find yourself with at your North American 9 to 5.

2. Learn New Languages

Speaking from personal experience, there’s no easier way to learn a language than actually immersing yourself in it 100%. In Canada, learning French is a mandatory requirement up until the ninth grade. That means I learnt and spoke French for one hour a day for approximately 9 years and guess what? I am not fluent (or even partially fluent) in any sense of the word. But learning a language like Korean becomes a lot easier when it’s the only thing you read and hear every day for a year. There’s no practice like practical immersion!

3. Make a Difference

There’s no debating that English is becoming more and more of a necessity to people all around as it has quickly become the international language. Those who are able to speak English confidently and fluently will have countless more opportunities to improve both their own lives and the lives of those in their communities. You’ll find that being able to directly contribute to this process can also make a difference in your own life as well.

4. Low Cost of Living

Those looking to make more money and receive benefits like free airfare and housing typically take jobs in Asia and the Middle East. In these regions most English teachers make enough to save 30%-50% of their income each month after expenses, which can range from the equivalent of $200 – $400 in countries like Thailand and China, to $1,000 a month or more in nations such as South Korea and The United Arab Emirates. Schools often provide accommodation, flight reimbursement, and even an additional transportation stipend on top of the salary, meaning all income goes into your pocket.

5. High Demand

Because nearly half of all English teachers abroad will leave their position and return to their home country each year, more than 100,000 positions for English teachers abroad open each year. In both South Korea and China, roughly 1,000 new English teachers are hired every single month month. In China, this number is expected to double in the coming years.

6. Become Independent

Moving somewhere brand new is scary even if you’re staying in your own country so imagine the surge of bravery you’ll feel while unpacking your stuff in a place that’s completely unrecognizable. Everything will become a major win for your self-esteem, from working the funky washing machine to successfully ordering the food you actually want in a restaurant. Once you have to do it all on your own, you’ll realize that you actually can!

7. Experience Local Life

As a teacher, you’ll be able to meet, work and live alongside locals for a long period of time. Although culture shock will be a very real symptom of living in a new place, there’s truly no better way to experience a destination then to insert yourself into its centre. Instead of hiding out in tourist hot spots and rushing through jam-packed itineraries, you’ll be able to breathe and take the time to discover the secrets that only the locals know. There’s few feelings more satisfying then finding a new pub or coffee shop to become a regular at then when you’re doing it in a foreign country.

8. Your Resume

There’s nothing like some international work experience to make your resume stand out in an inbox. Not to mention that an international network of contacts can prove priceless to your future career prospects. Maybe someday you will be making a career change, looking for an internship, starting a blog, or helping a friend move overseas. Imagine having scores of people from everywhere to help you on your way.

9. It’s Easy to Do!

You don’t even need a teaching degree to teach abroad! In most cases you’ll be required to complete some fairly basic certification which is both easily accessible and affordable. As the demand for teachers is so high, you also won’t be waiting long to hear back from schools once you apply. In many cases, it’s not a question of whether you can get a job, but rather which job in which country is a good fit for you.