The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

‘Paid off’ points you can use right away

Back in 2013 I attended a business lunch. The format of the lunch was a panel discussion on how to do business in Asia. Scott Frew, CEO of Distribution Central, was on the panel. In the media, Frew had been described as one of Sydney’s super-rich who flies under the radar.

Frew was an impressive speaker. He was a great example of ‘Perceived Genuine Passion Sells’. People often ask me which successful people in Australia impress me the most with how they present themselves and their ideas. Frew is definitely one. Paul Cave, founder of Sydney Bridge Climb, is another.

At Q&A time I asked Frew what attitude or behavior had paid off for him in his career – and because it had paid off – he continues to use today. He said he had a number of points but singled out ‘Candour’ as his main one.

Repeatedly, CEOs and MDs have responded with a similar response to that question.

I chatted to Frew at the end of the luncheon and then emailed him for his ‘what’s paid-off’ points.

Here is the list he emailed me:

PROFIT: For

without profit you cannot turn up to play.

PROFESSIONALISM: We are in a very competitive market, you need to be more professional than everyone else.

FUN: Life is not a practice run. If you are not enjoying being here and doing what you do, don’t waste your time – go and find your passion and let someone with a passion for your role come in.

ATTITUDE: The two things that separate people in the workplace the most are attitude and the ability to convince others of your ideas.

Attitude is the only thing that you have that is 100% within your control every day – have a good one! Nothing great has ever been done by people who didn’t want to do it.

There is absolutely no benefit to a bad attitude.

CANDOUR:  Great ideas come from candour. If you don’t agree with what is being said, voice your concerns. Unacceptable behavior is to have the meeting end and to state your concern to someone else outside the room. Candour helped us to make wise decisions in the worst time and has been key to our success.

CATCH someone doing something right: Having people focus on and recognizing the positive contributions of others is incredibly powerful.

LEADERSHIP rather than management: You manage things and lead people. A leader earns respect by creating value for the employee at the point of attack (helping them to be successful as opposed to just measuring results) and caring. Leaders help people aspire and inspire them to reach heights they didn’t realize were achievable. Aspiration and Inspiration are the keys.

HIGH (unlimited) expectations

EMBRACE change: If we don’t change and adapt we die.


Own the Conversation

What point above resonates with you most? In the next seven days could you be more candid in a meeting? Could you plan to catch and comment on a direct report doing something right? Could you embrace a change that you’ve been resisting?


p.s. Check out this post entitled: How to pitch a meeting to a senior exec.

#You might want to trial my Confident Personal Communication video learning programme because it will give you practical techniques to ‘Own the Conversation’.

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