Wisdom from ‘being’ “in” relationship …



When is life not about relationships?

A CONFUSED BROTHER:-I like surprises but I like surprising others more. I decided to drop in on my brother yesterday who thought I was still in Adelaide on my computer some 2000 kms away. Talking with him on the phone, while sitting in his driveway, he had no idea that we were in his driveway outside his house. I sent him a picture of his letterbox, mentioned the neighbouring properties, even the green rubbish bin – he still had no idea!  I had GOT him!

He later confessed to thinking I was in Adelaide on my computer using Google earth!!’ The teasing only heightens the pleasure of the family hugs that follow!

A VERY SMALL WORLD:- Over tea last night with family, I mentioned my previous contact with a particular professor in Queensland. At which point, my nephew, who works for Qantas, says I know her – she is a regular flyer! 

It made me think about the ‘degrees of freedom between any two people’ – the idea that in our interconnectedness, we are only separated by a handful of relationships, between ourselves and another fellow human being. I realise again, what a small interconnected world we live in. 

During this evening, I was sitting at the table as a husband, brother, brother in law, uncle, and ‘great uncle’. Earlier in the week I had been round a different table where I had been Grandpa, with my wife, Granny P, my daughter, son in law, and Grand-daughter. During this time we had sent messages to my son and his children to whom I was also grandpa. ALL THIS IN the same WEEK.  The pleasures of inter-generational ‘relationships’ and ‘life’. 

So when is life not relational?

Take care


Microsoft Virtual University lecture(s)

Recently I was invited to contribute to the Microsoft (USA) Virtual University Learning Series webinar on two topics; Relational Leadership & Appreciative Inquiry.  Participants were leaders from different continents (even some fellow ‘kiwis’)!

Today was the first day.

I spoke on Relational Leadership in 2 time zones this morning – the first between midnight and 1am, and the second between 9 and 10, with not a lot of sleep in between. And all this while on annual leave šŸ˜³

I appreciated the level of interest in Relational Leadership. 

One participant,  Sheree, summed our dialogue by reminding us of the Maori saying, “what is the most important thing? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people. It is people. It is people.”  Another noted that “relationships are the currency of leadership”.

This arrangement of taking 2 sessions on each topic happens again in August on my second topic of interest. On this occassion, I will do a duet with my esteemed colleague, Dr Michael Bell.

A very rewarding and challenging experience; my first use of a webinar.

I must return to my siesta while Pauline is not wasting time with her credit card on Hastings St in Noosa!

Talk soon


Having the nous to slow down

We flew to the Gold Coast last night and met up with our 8 month old grand-daughter, Ellie, my daughter Amy and hubby Mike.  Grandpa and Granny P were captivated. So good to see a young family building their inter-relationships (makes a Dad proud)!

Incredible how easy it is to hear your heart, and that of others, when we meet up with family.  

Amongst the busyness we have to have the nous to say “enough, tools down, need to slow up”.  I was there last Thursday.

These moments open the door for contemplation about what is really mattering. And is the mattering what ought to be mattering? And perhaps the present mattering moment is the moment in time to realign what should be mattering; indeed a matter for contemplation!   

Signing out 


The thread – what’s yours?

There is a thread you follow. It goes among

Things that change. But it doesnā€™t change.

People wonder about what things you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you canā€™t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

Or die; and you suffer and grow old.

Nothing you do can stop timeā€™s unfolding.

You donā€™t ever let go of the thread.

– William Stafford

Relating ‘in’ dialogue

Two thoughts that I’ve been chewing from the 2nd International “Relational Leadership and Learning for hope-full and sustainable futures” conference in Adelaide last week:

–   We exist as relationships (Dr Dipane Hlalele).

–  How might we add 2 further lines, and what would they say, if we added 2 lines to the following statement:

                       ‘to be human is to relate,

                       to relate is to dialogue,



What would you write?

Take care


Relational leaders are available for thoughts to find them

When we seek to work from our strengths and follow our ‘thread’, time flies, life takes over from tasks, and we find in hindsight how immersed relationally we have become.

I love to teach and write. After 16 days in China last month teaching 47 responsive and vibrant Chinese leaders in education, while at the same time ‘working’ the curriculum toward socially constructed ends, and then we add 2 graduation ceremonies with Nankai University and Capitol Normal University; time and priority appeared to reorder itself.
Being available for others’ learning is certainly a privilege teachers know. As Heidegger says, “to teach is to let learn”.

Similarly, having 16 days to be available for thoughts to find me is so satisfying. We are always thinking, but being available for deeper and powerful thoughts to find us is another blessing of teaching. 

Somehow our subconscious being continues to “chew” on ideas when we have stopped talking about them

It’s like our talking and dialogue puts the ingredients in the oven, and our resting in our wondering permissions other creative connections. Our part is to be available and less cluttered for the ‘thought arrival‘.

Next week has all the makings of a richness of thought. 

Flinders University is convening and hosting the 2nd International Dialogue on “Relational Leadership and Learning for hopeful and sustainable futures”. Can’t wait as our friends from Sante Fe and beyond fly in.

In summary then:

– Wishing you ‘thoughts‘ to chew on that you never thought of


Seize the moments that make up this day!

Ka kite


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