Tools are tools – they are not the answer.

Sounds a funny title but was chatting to a business friend of mine this morning on the way to the office.

We were talking about psychometric testing and how it had been used during our careers.  And how there were many new and amazing tools available now to help understand how we think and operate under different conditions and stresses.

A friend of my business partner is doing some great work using “Brain Training” to assist people process information and their thoughts better, especially in times of crisis or stress.

During my chats, I was able to recall my first exposure to this type of HR/management tool, a Human Synergistics test carried out in my first job back in the early 80’s.  Yes I’m that old now!

I was quite impressed with the results it gave and how accurate a picture it was of me at that time.  One of the key differences to other tests at that time was that it was not only a personal review/test but also a peer review.  So as well as testing how I saw myself it also tested how my peers/subordinates/boss saw me and identified any differences between the two.  It resulted in a subtile but safe performance review and identified some really key differences between how I thought I behaved and how I actually behaved.

One of the key findings for me was that I had plenty of career goals but no personal goals.

So I set about adding a personal goal to my life and 18 months later I completed my first and only marathon, The 1986 Rotorua marathon in 4:32.

Now in hindsight this was an opportunity to address a wider, more potentially damaging issue in my life – that I only had career goals.

But the tool and the associated advice was only focused on me and matching my life to a series of checks and balances rather than looking at the deeper personal issues that were affecting my decision making and the views I held of myself.

So the tool was awesome but the application of the findings and the interpretation of the results as they specifically related to me were missing.

Again in hindsight, they would have highlighted a dangerous trend I was on that would eventually lead me to burnout and a mid life crisis in my early 30’s.

So today, as I’m working with my buddy Patrick and introducing pscometric tests and other useful personal development tools I’m reminded that the tool is not the answer.

But rather the consideration of the findings through the years of experience and wisdom gathered by us both over our careers and then APPLICATION of the findings. It may sound obvious but it sadly is not.

And even the “peer” review aspect is sometimes missed.  How important is it in team development to know how you “appear” to others rather than what you think you are to others? Why is there a difference between what you think and what others actually see in you and your behaviour.

So as I end this post I’m just confirming that tools are great.  But it is the application of the findings to you personally and to your team that will result in positive change.

And that’s where a good business or personal mentor comes in – we see the bigger picture of you and, utilising our experience, wisdom and perception, can add different positive values, advice, guidance and support to you not only in your business or team but in your personal life as well.





Living life to the max!

Too often I meet with people whom are stuck in the trap of living a mundane life – often based on their jobs and pressures of work.

Since when did your job determine your happiness or fulfilment in life?

One of the simplest tools in a business/life coaches armoury is to help people see their “entire” life and recognise the possibilities in each segment.

Our life is not just our work or our marriage or our children or our study – it is all of these and more.

So we need to recognise the different components that make up our lives and live each one in a way that brings satisfaction. And if one component overwhelms all the rest them maybe that is an sign of an unbalanced life and its time for significant intervention! Read more

Be an Encourager

I’ve been feeling a prompting to encourage you to be encourager.

Someone sent me a personal encouragement today – “Praise God for warriors like you who step out and pioneer the things that are so close to His heart  Thank you for blessing us all with your ministry – it matters much”

Too often we can take others for granted, especially those who do not have visible, out the front ministries. God Kingdom is so much about “all” His people and not just the public profiles. So we need to encourage “all” the people, all the time.

Read more

Strategic Planning with God

When I last wrote we were about to undertake a strategic planning meeting for the movie project a business connection of mine is involved in. They want to make a feature film revealing the “Fathers heart” but for the secular market. This project has been on their hearts for several years but God has been stirring them recently to start working on it. So I became involved about six months ago. (

Now this could have been a can of tuna or a new ice cream flavour, the planning process is similar so hopefully you will all get something from it. As you read our journey you may be stirred to ask questions or provide feedback on similar experiences you have had that you want to share. Please send me an email with your comments and where appropriate we will include them in future articles and to generate further discussion.

Read more

Biblical Business Ethics – Is it possible?

Being ethical in business, is it really possible!

Many people would take a list of good values and make them their guiding principles. And for years this may work until a real issue comes to light. Then, like the law, our ability to hold our standards will be tested and sadly often our ability to maintain our integrity is compromised.  It is the way of rules, it is the way of law.

Read more

Marketing – attracting the right DNA!

(Extract from an article written for a Christian business magazine)

Who do you want to attract!

I know the other writers will provide excellent business advice on target marketing and building your client bases.

When I thought about this question I felt to comment on a “similar” issue but from a different perspective. I want to address two issues – targeting your church activities and targeting your potential leaders. Then we can look at how this might apply to us targeting staff and potential customers.

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Interesting. Last week of my holidays and I’ve started catching up with a few friends and sharing vision for the coming year.

At the same time several complete strangers have connected with me and want to be involved in or receive support from my Marketplace ministries.

It is going to be a busy year with several marketplace initiatives expanding this year – both in Auckland and into other cities in New Zealand.

Read more