Craig Johns Are you Living


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By Craig Johns

Life is not separate from work as work is part of life. Too often we hear people in the workplace saying, “I’m working hard now so I can live my life when I retire or when the weekend comes around or during my next holiday”.

“I don’t think of work as work and play as play, it’s all living” 

Sir Richard Branson

Life is how work, home, community and your private self integrate, intersect and interact. They interconnect and feed off each other as we grow and develop through life. The biggest challenge in life is to figure out how to find the time we desire to excel at all aspects of our life.

How many hours a week is required to deliver peak performance at work?

If I spend an extra hour at work, how does that affect my life at home?

To ensure that I have maximum energy at work, how much time do I need to be exercising, switching off, socializing and sleeping?

Should I spend money and take that holiday to paradise now or wait until I have more money saved and are a bit older?

Do the people I socialize with have a positive or negative impact on the other aspects of my life?

We talk about having to make sacrifices in life. This maybe true, but sacrifices are all just choices. Choices that we have full control over. So, how do we know what choices to make if we want to achieve at a higher level? If you don’t have a clear purpose, vision and goals, then you will find it very difficult to find clarity in the decisions you need to make.

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between work and play.” 

L.P. Jacks

Work-life balance is a common buzz phrase talked about in society. So what is it? Is it either standing still and stagnant, or spending half our life working and half our life living? Depending on how you define balance, it will depend on how you approach your life. If you are working 12hrs a day 7 days a week doing something that you don’t enjoy, engage with or understand why you are doing it, then it only leaves only 4hrs a day for other activities in life, if we take into consideration that we are sleeping 8hrs a day.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” 


Let’s take a look at Work-life integration. It is an outcome of people exercising control and choice in their life to meet life’s challenges. They ensure that they enjoy what they do, take pleasure out of the people they interact with, love becoming better, have purpose and feel satisfied with the life they live.

“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” 

Thomas Edison

Your emotions, mood and energy tend to transfer from your work to your life outside of work and vice versa. Very few people have a split personality that they can switch on and off depending the circumstances. Therefore, if you want to be successful in all areas of your life, it is important to be genuine, honest and believe in who you are.


People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link
It’s Your Story Link
Be A Rookie Link


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Trust Craig Johns It Is All About Trust

It Is All About Trust

An article in the New Zealand Herald (Donaldson, 2018) brought up a great discussion between ‘Command and Control’ versus ‘Self-Determination Theory’ in sport. It raised some great questions that relate to both the business world as well as the coach-athlete relationship. Has the traditional ‘hierarchical’ systems, which lead to command and control, become outdated or is there still a place for this type of leadership behaviour?

Let’s take a look at what the central currency to any community or relationship is. Trust is essential to any relationship and is, according to Mayer et al., made up of three key elements: ability; benevolence; integrity.

Ability is built on the skills, competencies and characteristics that enable a person to perform tasks in a specific domain. As a relationship is building those involved will be ascertaining whether the other party can do what they say, have a track record of performance in that particular area and is their any evidence supporting their claim to competency. It is usually situation specific as we cannot be highly skilled in everything we do.

Benevolence is based on the foundation of how much do they actually care about the relationship versus aspects such as money, power or self-fulfilment. Early in the relationship you are trying to understand each others situation, how much do you want to help each other and are the actions being taken beneficial for each other.

Integrity refers to our acceptance of a set of principles and whether they are being adhered to. Are the actions taken from and adhered to against a set of principles? We want to know whether they will guide or motivate our performance, are we accepting of each others performance principles, and do both sets of principles align or can they coexist.

I would also add a fourth dimension to trust, and that is enjoyment. Enjoyment is the number one retention factor for any type of community or relationship. It helps to love what you are doing and have fun why you are doing it. If the environment is enjoyable, then you are more likely to stay connected.

Command and control is based on an aggressive, micro-managing and dictatorial approach, which sometimes maybe referred to as ‘it is my way or the highway’ approach. It is a common approach that leaders fall into when the pressure for success in business or sport is enormous and a win-at-all-costs mentality is allowed to fester. In certain circumstances this mentality may result in bullying behaviours and a ‘culture of fear’, which are not appropriate our society.

We are seeing the command and control hierarchial approach being replaced in the work place and on the sports fields over time, but there are still many instances of this type of behaviour occurring in society. As people’s awareness, rights, confidence in ability to speak up and community acceptance that you should bring issues to the forefront, acts of bullying are being raised and stamped out. However it is still prevalent in politics, sport and the workplace.

Over the past two decades or so, we have started to see leaders evolve their approach as they understand that their are more effective ways to reach higher levels of performance and productivity. The Self-Determination Theory provides a great platform to understand how we can perform at our best and bring out the best in the people we work with.

Self-Determination Theory is built on 3 core elements; autonomy; relatedness; and competence.

Autonomy is feeling you have a choice, that what you’re doing is of your own volition. Relatedness is to care for and be cared about by others, to feel you are contributing to something greater than yourself, to have your values align with the goals of the team or programme. Competence is about skill levels but athletes also need to feel they are learning and growing, not just reaching a set level.” (Donaldson, 2018)

If we are building a high performance environment, we need to allow our people to feel valued, be able to speak, have a sense of purpose and be true to themselves. We need to provide an environment where people feel highly motivated, feel like they belong and are happy, which the components of the Self-Determination Theory provides.

To build a feeling of autonomy in our people and ensure they are highly motivated and engaged, it is important that we reduce and refrain from approaches that involve dictating, incentivizing and applying heigh levels of pressure. We need to trust the abilities of our people and work on alleviating the fear inside our heads that we won’t achieve the desired results.

One of the most powerful skills a leader can possess is listening. To bring out the best in people, they need to have a voice and be involved in a collaborative way. That doesn’t mean as leaders that we can’t make the tough decisions, it eludes to ensuring that the feelings, values and thoughts of our people are taken into consideration to ensure they are closely aligned to the goals.



Donaldson. M. (2018). New Zealand Sport Model ‘Outdated’. New Zealand Herald, 24 June 2018. link

Roger C. Mayer, James H Davis, and F. David Schoorman (1995). An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust. The Academy of Management Review, 20 (3), July 1995, 709-734.



As a leader you are at the steering wheel of your organisation or team’s cultural journey. You set the temperature in the room as you bring people together to change the personality of the organisation or team.

Being a role model of beliefs, through practising what you preach, is an important part of reinforcing the new values of the organisation or team. You need to give cultural building the effort it deserves as you set the tone for everyone involved.

Subtle leading is important as you don’t want to force the changes down their throats. It is crucial that your structure resembles the culture that is desired. You need to stimulate healthy discussion and prioritise the key aspects of cultural change.

Leading cultural change requires you to teach it, define it, live it, measure it and most importantly reward it. You must be consistent in your approach and ensure the delivery hits the sweet spot every time.

Positive Workplace

Creating a positive workplace, through successful cultural change, provides many great benefits to your organisation or team. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable benefits, which employees can experience:

  • Improved productivity throughout the organisation
  • More focus on their work and the work of the whole organisation
  • Proud to be associated with the organisation
  • Knowledge & experiences are shared to enhance the organisation
  • People enjoy coming to work
  • More committed to the company
  • Go home happy & feel satisfied
  • Positive impact on society, especially the relationships with their friends, family and the community

High Performance Culture

Why do certain companies or teams excel beyond the norm in productivity, cohesion, ratings and performance? They know how to deliver a high performance culture. They live and breathe it every minute of every day. Let’s take a look at what a high performance culture is all about.

How do you know where you are going, if you don’t know where the destination is?

High Performance cultures start with clearly defining and understanding what winning looks like. The culture is connected to the big picture. The team spells out their preferred culture and sets about ensuring everything and everyone is aligned.

Performance is increased through transparency, employee engagement and an ownership mentality. Team members are adaptable and highly accountable. They work as one and feed off each other.

There is an internal focus for continuous improvement and information sharing. Coaching and mentoring programs are ingrained to ensure leadership is developed and nurtured.

Storytelling is deeply embedded in the company or team. It’s the lifeblood that continuously fuels performance. It draws the DNA of the company or team and allows it’s personality to shine.

Exceptional customer service and open internal communication is a natural way of being. It drives customer satisfaction and fuels employee cohesiveness.

Employee recognition is prioritised and they take the time to celebrate all wins, both large and small. Celebrating small victories lift the spirits of the team, help in motivation and team encouragement.

As Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. If you think of building a house to sell, the culture is the foundation that enables the strategies to shine through that draw hundreds of people to the Open Home.

A high performance team sets high standards, stretch targets and won’t settle until they figure out how to achieve it. They are dedicated, determined and meticulous in their planning. The team knows their culture is only as good as its strategy and therefore are reviewing both on a regular and planned basis.

Do you lead a team of winners and the company DNA to deliver a high performance culture?


Are Leaders Born? Link
It’s Your Story Link
Be A Rookie Link
Art Of Communication – Change Series Part 4 Link
Achieving Successful Change – Changes Series Part 3 Link
Change Tantrums – Change Series Part 2 Link
Why Change? – Change Series Part 1 Link
I Make No Apologies This Is Me! Link


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