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Welcome to the belivernomics blog

 

I will try my best to update this webpage with  thought provoking and interesting content, as often as I can.  Please feel free to leave comments as  there is much that can be learnt from the sharing of ideas.

By pa360, Mar 5 2016 01:08PM

The thought that one's effort, energy and expectations could become a smouldering pile of rubble is both sobering and humbling. Yet, as strange as it seems, failure is probably the best proving ground for great leadership. Qualities such as courage, resilience and determination, emerge in the face of obstacles and adversity not in the face of plain sailing. In addition, learning from our failure creates footprints to inspire and empower others.


Against this backdrop, set out below are five leadership lessons to learn from failure.


1. Contextualise your experience - to contextualise your experience is to recognise that failure is a experience not a judgement. The greatest journeys of success often require a detour through deep frustration, disappointment and despair. The key leadership lesson here is that failure represents a potential gold-mine of opportunity through which to re-think, re-focus and re-double your efforts.


2. Confront your experience - people often want to put as much distance as possible between themselves and failure, but that is actually the worst possible thing that anyone can do. People run away or avoid the things that they are afraid of and fear of failure invariably results in an aversion to risk. The key leadership lesson here is: never let the possibility of doing something wrong, mean that you end up doing nothing right.


3. Evaluate your experience - it's easy to forget that if you cannot learn from experience, you are destined to relive that experience. Let's be real, self-critique is one of the hardest things for anyone to do, not least because the act of poring over our own errors, exposes us to our own vulnerabilities and shortcomings. The key leadership lesson here is that learning from failure is one of the surest routes to achieving success.


4. Be prepared to try again, but know when to try something different - 'if at first you don't succeed, try and try again' right? Well yes and no. Clearly, you need to use good judgement when assessing and evaluating failure. In many instances you may find that a change in attitude and more resolute application will produce the desired results. However, at other times the best thing to do is to call it quits and move on to something completely different. The key leadership lesson here is that learning from failure should make you wise, not stupid.


5. Surround yourself with the right people - the impact of those that we surround ourselves with can often be seen in character traits that we develop. Nothing will equip you to overcome failure more than the words and actions of those whose company you keep. The right friends and relationships will encourage, inspire and empower you, whilst the wrong ones will hold you back. The key leadership lesson here is that the people we hang around with are also our most important 'investors'. If you want to be the recipient of good investments, you need to surround yourself with the right 'investors'.


The extent to which we learn from failure has much to do with each person's attitude to experience. To make the most of failure, you must first see every experience (no-matter how difficult) as an opportunity to learn.


By pa360, Jan 22 2016 11:23AM

Just about everybody will experience some sort of success during the course of their life. However, there is a marked difference between the success that most people experience randomly and the sustainable success that some people experience regularly. The difference between the random and the regular is action. In other words, if we consistently do the right things we are more likely to achieve the right results and if we occasionally do the right things we may occasionally achieve the right results.


That leads us to the question: what are the right things? Well everyone will have their own ideas on the answer to that question, but set out below is my take on the six key habits that create sustainable success.


1. Surround yourself with the right people - one of the best and most impactful things that you can do is to associate with those who share your values and from whom you can learn the right habits. A good support structure will provide a valuable source of encouragement in difficult times as well as a sounding board to bounce ideas off when you are looking for a second opinion.


2. Make sacrifices - you cannot experience sustainable success if you are not prepared to make sacrifices, take risks and go the extra mile. The thing to keep in mind is that sacrifices are scalable (ie: the greater your ambition, the more you will have to give up). A willingness to make sacrifices increases access to opportunity and increased access to opportunity increases prospects for sustainable success.


3. Take responsibility - success and trust go hand in hand. If you are going to be successful, you will inevitably need people to trust you. Nothing will do more to create a climate of trust around you than your willingness to take responsibility - particularly when things have gone wrong. Taking responsibility speaks to your credibility, credibility builds confidence and confidence builds trust.


4. Establish and maintain good routines - if you live ten minutes away from the train station, and your train leaves the station each morning at 7.00am, then you'll need to leave home at least ten minutes early each day to catch it. By maintaining simple routines like this, you will be able to maintain a relationship with success.


5. Exercise patience - even when everything is going well, the realisation of successful outcomes often takes time. However, when you throw frustration, disappointment and the prospect of failure into the mix, the journey to success can be take even longer. Always keep in mind that patient people don't want it now; patient people want it when it's ready.


6. Apply your mind to learning - to mature and grow in success you also have to grow in knowledge and understanding. It goes without saying that knowledge empowers you to make better choices, decisions and judgements. This in turn increases the frequency with which you are likely to experience successful outcomes.


I suppose the question we need to ask ourselves is this: "how do we want to experience success"? If, as I imagine, we all expect to experience success on a consistent basis, then we need to create the conditions for our expectations to produce consistent results.


By pa360, Dec 26 2015 02:40PM

Like it or not, what we believe is key to what we achieve. Look at it this way, to be successful you must first believe that you can achieve success in the first place. People who believe that they can be successful, organise themselves towards their chosen objective and pursue it until they achieve success. Meanwhile, those who doubt, choose not to organise their effort towards an objective and therefore succeed in achieving nothing. Isn't it sobering to think that doubt is indeed its own belief system, albeit one that traps people in mediocrity and limits their access to opportunity?


So how do you re-model and recharge your belief system? Well here are my six steps to turn belief into opportunity.


1. aim for something that you don’t have – if you have nothing to aim for you have nothing to believe for and if you have nothing to believe for you have nothing to reach for. Whether you have a big vision or a smaller personal target, having something to aim for means that your belief can provide a bridge to get you from where you are to where-ever you want to be.


2. start with reasons why you should, not the reasons why you shouldn’t – if you are going to change your belief system your pre-disposition must be geared towards the reasons why you ‘should’ do things as opposed to the reasons why you ‘should not’. A can do attitude opens up your thought pathways to fresh ideas, new possibilities and innovative solutions that take you closer to your success. By contrast, a can’t do attitude crowds out solutions and makes it easier for you to do nothing.


3. be comfortable with being outside your comfort-zone – everyone knows their comfort zone. It is a place where we feel least threat, least risk and are most assured. However, it is also the place where we are least likely to be tested and least likely to experience dynamic growth and progression. As a rule of thumb, anything that doesn’t require investment will invariably deliver a nil return.


4. beware the path of least resistance – someone once said that ‘you should never second guess your first instinct’, well I beg to differ. Remember, when we face challenges or crises our first instinct is often to travel the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance often delays and defers until tomorrow what we ought to do today. Things that are easy may be attractive, but ultimately they offer little reward. By contrast, real recognition and a true sense of accomplishment is to be found, when we do the awkward and difficult thing.


5. be inspired by yourself and others – there is nothing more inspiring than the experience of getting something done or seeing others do it. When you have experience of succeeding it inspires you to go again and to reach further and higher than before. Likewise, the achievements of others can blaze a trail and open up opportunities that you might not have thought possible. Yes it is possible that you may believe and still fail, but for sure if you do nothing you will achieve nothing.


6. do not make or accept excuses – few things are more self destructive than the excuse. Those who make excuses only serve to disempower themselves and justify their mediocrity. People who get in the habit of making excuses quickly become complacent and those that believe their excuses end up in a state of denial. By all means assess evidence, appraise options and reflect soberly, but never make excuses.


Belief is an incredibly powerful tool that, once harnessed, can have a transformational impact on our lives and on the lives of those around us. However, in order for this to happen, we need to make sure that our belief system is working for us and not against us.


By pa360, Nov 27 2015 07:53PM

I don't know what your favourite dish is, but mine is curry. After years of practical experience I have learnt that if I use the same ingredients and repeat the same basic steps, it will always produce the same mouth-watering results. The point I am making here is that there is a certain predictability about success. This predictability implies that if you adhere to a particular thought pattern, adopt a specific posture and dutifully repeat a set of behaviours, you will produce consistent results.


To experience a lifestyle of success, as opposed to a casual relationship with it, you need to understand the arithmetics and building blocks of successful outcomes. Set out below are my take on the five A's of success.


1. Ambition - our thoughts paint the landscape for our future success. An ambition is a thought, which gives expression to a deep-seated desire. Success is impossible without first having the desire to experience it. I remember reading a great quote by the legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali who said: "I am the greatest; I said it before I knew I was". Your ambitions set out where you want to be, but to be successful, you must first believe that you can get there.


2. Aptitude - a person's aptitude reflects their capacity to learn. Capacity to learn is crucial because those able to absorb and process new knowledge and information are better able to adapt to new and emerging challenges. Adaptability therefore is key to survival and survival is key to success. Without aptitude you cannot learn and if you cannot learn, you cannot mature and if you cannot mature you will struggle to succeed.


3. Ability - people often confuse ability with experience, but they are not the same. Your ability is what you can do, whilst your experience is what you have done. If success depended purely on experience, no-one would ever be successful. However, success favours the inexperienced, the determined and those willing and able to raise their game, learn new things and try new things.


4. Attitude - I have always thought of attitude as the fuel of success. Look at it this way, if you have fuel in your car, you can drive almost anywhere at anytime and in almost any conditions. Attitude operates in much the same way; it inspires, motivates and empowers you to keep going even in the most adverse of conditions. With the right attitude you can bounce back from failure, confound your critics and exceed expectations.


5. Application - success does not meet you half way. If you want it you need to do more than start the journey, you must complete the journey. The point about application is that you can have all the aspiration in the world, the best ideas and the strongest networks, but if you are unwilling to apply yourself, little or nothing will change.


The five A's of success must work together. If you have ambition, aptitude and ability but no application and the wrong attitude, it won't work. Likewise, there is no point having the ambition, aptitude, attitude and application without ability, because that won't work either. Success is a series of inter-connected and inter-dependent components that together are more than the sum of their parts.


By pa360, Oct 4 2015 09:56AM

Data is a language in itself. Those who can read, translate and interpret data have a competitive edge in terms of mapping trends, forecasting trajectories and planning for the future. A firm grasp of data will enable you to see the new product opportunity long before others even knew it was there. For start-ups, the ability to commercialise data is as good as cash in the bank.


The great news is that the market-place is being deluged with data. Much of it is available by default, some can be purchased and others can be requested under legislation. So what are these information sources and how might a start-up be able to exploit them? Well here are five ways to supercharge your start-up with data.


1. Consumer and market trend survey results – some market research companies gather cyclical business intelligence, which they publish free to download from their websites. These analytical products can offer powerful insights to better understand consumer behaviour and market trends. The key to making the most of these products is to use them as pieces of a puzzle. For example, market research data may only give you part of the picture, but supplemented by demographic and other data, might provide a more complete overview. For start-ups, access to pre-packaged free to download research, is invaluable.


2. Open data deposits – a number of Governments have an ‘open by default’ policy for public data. As part of this, literally millions of pieces of data are placed in the public domain, from contract values and consultancy costs to service spend. This kind of information can provide a veritable gold-mine for a start-up looking to find a way into new markets, exploit new opportunities and develop new products.


3. Population censuses, estimates and projections – one of the most powerful sources of data for any business are demographics. Good demographic data will disaggregate populations by a range of sub domains including age; gender; ethnicity and many others. The point is this, if you know how your target population is changing over time you will be better able to forecast product demand. Equally, demographic data will enable you to better tailor your product to new and emerging markets.


4. Economic digests – it is likely that your national statistics provider already publishes a treasure trove of information relating to local economics including business demography; VAT registrations; business starts & failures and labour market activity. By themselves these digests of are excellent raw material for smart products such as apps as well as invaluable intelligence for strategic planning.


4. Freedom of Information – one of the most effective and powerful ways to access data is through the use of freedom of information (FOI) legislation. Many countries have a Freedom of Information Act, which allows members of the public to access a wide range of information retained by Governments and their agencies. The key to getting the best from your FOI request is to be specific about the kind of information that you want – don’t leave it to the supplier to guess. A good FOI request can save you thousands of pounds in market research costs.


5. Subscriptions – for a relatively small fee, a number of companies offer subscriptions to pre-packaged market research that will enable you to access useful information on customer profiling, geo-spatial analysis and market research intelligence. These kinds of data could supplement your existing research or form the basis of new product development. If you need to speculate to accumulate, investment in a subscription is a very good way to achieve a high return at a nominal cost.


Data is a phenomenally powerful, but if you don't know what you are looking for you will not know when you find it.


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