I’m reading a book about Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who created Zip2 (online business directories), PayPal (online global payment system), SpaceX (commercial rockets into space), Tesla (electric car) and chairs his cousin’s company Solarcity (commercial solar power generators). One of these would be enough for any person.  And he has even more outrageous plans for the future.

Musk seems to be maniacal, working 20-24 hr days and expecting others who work for him to follow his model to the extent possible. You could say he was crazy – many have.  Or that you couldn’t stand to work for him – almost everyone would agree with that.  But the fact is, he has created some amazing inventions that have – truly and literally – changed the way the world works or will work.  For that, he must be admired.

Over my working life, I’ve come in contact with lots of CEOs. My research has shown the importance of clear strategy and good leadership teams for organisations to be high performers.  But one thing that is rarely discussed in what makes organisations work well is the energy level of the CEO.

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This weekend, I’m going to the national jazz music festival at Wangaratta for about the 10th time.  But I’m going with a sense of foreboding.  The audience for the ‘national’ festival will be quite small, with fewer than 200 people at most performances, mostly over 60s, less than in earlier days.   Classical music’s situation seems similar.  Yet other forms of live music seem to be booming, attracting large crowds across the age spectrum.

I like lots of different types of music, from Handel to the Hilltop Hoods, Madonna to Miles Davis, Paul Kelly to Kasey Chambers, Rhianna, the Four Seasons and much more. I like live music too, not just recorded.  But ‘serious’ live jazz seems to have lost its way as entertainment.  Why?Read More »


I’m too busy’, most people say.

Yet the saying goes, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person. It is generally busy people who say ‘Yes’ when you ask for help, or when new ideas, or groups or tasks come along, needing resources to make them happen.

Why do people volunteer?

Why would a busy person – indeed, any person – ‘volunteer’ to undertake an unpaid task, such as president, secretary, treasurer or other responsible position of a sports club, neighbourhood association, culture or interest group?

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