Friday, 7 May 2010

Newsletter Issue 183, May 2010

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 183, May 2010
Hi guys,
Check out Leading with Courtesy below.
Read about what the OECD thinks about NZ's Proposed Fibre-Optic Network below. 
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Leading with Courtesy

In one of Kenn Butler's recent missives (Newsletter 168), he reported something that Bob Gass said in his "Daily Devotional" on 1 April 2010 about leaders; that "they are courteous. They never look down or talk down. They do not have one set of manners for important people & another for less important. To them everybody is important because everybody has ...potential; they just work to bring it out."
That phrase got me thinking. Courtesy is something that we don't necessarily notice when it happens - but we really notice when it is missing, false or grudging.  "Common courtesy" is a phrase we used to bandy about often, but interestingly, you hardly hear it mentioned these days.
A online dictionary ( defines courtesy as:
  • (n.) An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favour performed with politeness.
  • (n.) An act of civility, respect, or reverence, made by women, consisting of a slight depression or dropping of the body, with bending of the knees.
  • (v. i.) To make a respectful salutation or movement of respect; esp. (with reference to women), to bow the body slightly, with bending of the knees.
  • (v. t.) To treat with civility.
  • (n.) Favour or indulgence, as distinguished from right; as in, a title given to one by courtesy.
  • (n.) Politeness; civility; urbanity; courtliness.
A very interesting lot of meanings for such a small word; and some sound repeating themes. Civility, respect, politeness. It translates into regard for one another, and that regard equates to mutual respect.
A quick Google search of both 'leadership' and 'courtesy' will turn up pages on netiquette, IT, martial arts and car sales yards. Finding authors online who have explored courtesy as a component of leadership is not straightforward. Even the text books are largely silent on courtesy. Courage, yes; but of courtesy, there is no sign.
However, if we wind the clock back to an early hero leader, that 18th century explorer of the ice, Shackleton, we find that he had a lot to say about courtesy. In Dennis Perkins' book "Leading at the edge: leadership lessons from the extraordinary saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition", Shackleton is quoted as often saying "a little thanks will go a long way" (2000, p. 95). Perkins' explores the idea that Shackleton uses common courtesy to establish an aura of mutual respect within the expedition team; because the members treated each other continuously with respect, they came to respect each other. Shackleton continuously reinforced common courtesy amongst his team - with the result that even in the face of starvation and death, the bonds of his expeditionary force held fast.
Courtesy is a social lubricant. With it we regard each other as equal; we see each other as people who have worth. Without it, we can delude ourselves that we are superior, and see others as 'things'; less worthy than ourselves.
Sounds like we need to lead following the maxim my mother always told we children: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". And say "please" :-)
NZ's Proposed Fibre-Optic Network

Computerworld's online magazine recently ran a story about the NZ's Government's try at setting up a nation-wide internet broadband via a new optic fibre network (at
The OECD's economist, Taylor Reynolds, told Computerworld that the New Zealand Government's $1.5 billion plan to connect 75% of homes and businesses with fibre-optic cable was "A bit unusual, but unusually good". He explained that, in the OECD, New Zealand and Australia were the only countries proposing national fibre networks, and that this approach was very forward-looking and in New Zealand "it is going to be a foundation for economic growth in the country for 50 years".
In Europe the approach is much more fragmentary, with some cities (eg Amsterdam) proposing a city-wide network, but most countries aiming to use a "patchwork" of different technologies.
Australia has proposed a NZ$56b fibre network, with the federal government not expecting a financial return on investment for up to 30 years. However, Mr Reynolds said that, if the NZ & Australian networks managed to cut health, education, transport and electricity industry costs between 0.5% and 1.5%, he felt that a financial return was achievable within 10 years.
Locally, Network Tasman is leading the charge to connect every house on every street with fibre at
Create a PowerPoint Ticker-Tape Message

Now I am sure that you all know that I am impatient with whizzy-do things in PowerPoint presentations. However, I saw a neat tip the other day from TechRepublic about how to 'ticker-tape' a message across the bottom of an Office 2003 PowerPoint slide (view the original at I thought that it could be a nifty way of reminding people to fill out your survey, enter your competition, or when your next class was going to be.
Here's the 'how to':
  1. Add a text box to the slide and type the message you want to scroll.
  2. Now move the text box off the LEFT BOTTOM edge of the slide. Have just the right edge left on the slide.
    By moving most of the text box off the slide, you allow the text to fully scroll off the left edge.
  3. Right-click the text box and choose Custom Animation.
  4. From the Add Effect drop-down list, select 'Entrance'. Then choose More Effects.
  5. From the Basic effects list, select 'Crawl In'. Click OK.
  6. Change the Start setting to 'After Previous'.
  7. Change the Direction setting to 'From Right'.
  8. Change the Speed setting to Very Slow.
  9. From the Effects drop-down list, choose 'Timing'.
  10. From the Repeat drop-down list, choose 'Until End Of Slide'. Click OK.
  11. Key F5 and watch your message from step 1 enter the screen from the right…
Easy as, eh.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • WIIFM, What's In It For Me. Identifying the key motivator(s) for your target market and matching your offer to it. Every potential customer wants to know what is in the deal for them, so we need to clearly delineate our offer so they can identify that our product fulfils their desires.
  • OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we have a great tip of the ten most useful Excel hot keys from TechRepublic (view the original at
  • Excel "Insert a new line within a cell" Alt & Enter
  • Excel "Enable editing within a cell" F2
  • Excel "Add a comment to a cell" Shift & F2
  • Excel "Open Print Preview" Ctrl & F2
  • Excel "Fill selected cells with an entry you typed in one cell" Ctrl & Enter
  • Excel "Fill data down or to the right through selected cells" Ctrl & D or Ctrl & R
  • Excel "Create a name" Ctrl & F3
  • Excel "Insert the current date or time" Ctrl & ; (semicolon) or Ctrl & : (colon)
  • Excel "Create a chart from a range of data" F11
  • Excel "Toggle the display of formulas" Ctrl & ~

Hot Linx
Check out for a network of Kiwis around the world, connecting you with more than 25,000 talented Kiwis and 'friends of New Zealand' around the world, all getting on and getting the job done.
For something inspiring to cogitate on, take a look at the NZ Architecture Institute's New Zealand Architecture Award winners for 2010 at
Who could have imagined a shiver of sharks, a troubling of goldfish, a marmalade of ponies, a skulk of foxes? For a bit of a laugh about all those collective nouns for animals, head off to
And if you want a laugh, head off to "There, I fixed it" at for an insight into the imaginatively fast & dirty ways people can mend something expediently...

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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