Friday, 3 February 2012

Newsletter Issue 212, February 2012

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 212, February 2012

Hi guys,

Is home invasion, robbery or rape about having your Valuables in Plain View

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.

Are You Primed and Ready for 2012?

Wow! Here we are in 2012 already, and wondering where on earth 2011 got to.

I am teaching summer school at the moment, and my students are putting together learning portfolios. With my students doing this work, it ensures that I too am more reflective about not merely ‘fire fighting’ in my own career, but in constructively planning to become better at what I do.

Portfolios are a wonderful way of journaling our current learning, self analysing, and doing some concrete and action-oriented planning to cover where we are weak. It doesn’t really matter what form it takes – whether electronic or hardcopy; a diary; a long letter to yourself or to another; a regular, structured set of questions which you review; a scrapbook; a video; transcribed professional supervision; mentoring notes; or a combination of all – what matters is that we do it.

As a lecturer, career practitioner and business owner, I am well aware of professional development. I keep a log of what has gone well, and what I could have improved as I go through each year. The trick for me is to reflect on what has happened, to review it, and to action the things I uncover.
For all of us, this means that we mustn’t just track where we are now and where we want to go, we must plan how we are going to get there, and how we will stay on course.

Its about self-leadership. Self-leadership has been largely popularised from the rising professionalism of sports–if we can be the best Me, then together the We is stronger. There should be no passengers in a team; professional athletes can’t afford to carry deadweight.

IIn this era of individualisation, self-leadership is a “my way” approach for all of us– including Gen Y – to lead ourselves (Manz, 1986; Manz & Neck, 1999). Self-leadership happens when understand and motivate ourselves, understand and moderate our own behaviour, plan our own development and are responsible for ourselves. There are no excuses: it is down to us, and to us having an internal locus of control (Daft & Pirola-Merlo, 2009). Self-leadership and that internal locus of control mean we manage our own performance, and act as our own mentor and development coach. We don’t blame others. We don’t make excuses. We don’t blame the fates. We find solutions.

Self- development is a key to self-leadership, and fits seamlessly with performance management.

With self-development, often those things which make the biggest difference in how well we do our work are not those directly related to our career. They can be process improvements from another field; a better way of deciding, managing, planning or controlling our workload; a new model of thinking through problems; a wider network of people to brainstorm with; exposure to new ideas or type of study; or a broader catchment of clients. For example, adopting ‘cloud’ freeware so clients can book appointments online, or joining the local Chamber of Commerce and meeting new people at business networking functions.

We all know that money is tight and workloads heavy, and likely to get tighter and heavier this year. That means we need to be smarter. We may not be able to afford the training; but maybe we can ask a graduate to run a seminar, or watch a “how to” on YouTube or We may not have budget to join an organisation, but perhaps we can share membership cost, join as an associate or set up a coffee-morning with full members so we can pick their brains. We might not be able to enrol in a full course, but perhaps we could pay a ‘session’ price and go for the lectures that we really need. We might not have a local professional supervisor, but we could do some Skype sessions with a supervisor in another centre.

I mentioned asking some structured questions earlier in this piece. Here are some questions you can ask yourself, as a 2012 kick-start on improving your work self-leadership:

  1. If there were no constraints, would I still be doing what I do? All of it?
  2. What big things do I want to change/shed/amend? What is the first thing I can I do to achieve this?
  3. At the end of 2012, what do I want to be able to do better? Where can I learn what I need for this?
  4. If I were going to redo [any item] totally from scratch, would I do it the same way? If not, how would I do it and where can I find what I need?
  5. What do I feel is holding me back? How can I change this?
  6. Who do I trust to challenge me on my task list? How can I get them on my team?

The list above is what career professionals and educators do all the time in their (my) profession. And, although we spend so much time looking at others,  just like everyone else, we can forget to look at ourselves.

Let’s make 2012 a reflective year :-)



  • Daft, Richard L, & Pirola-Merlo, Andrew (2009). The Leadership Experience (Asia-Pacific Edition 1). Australia: Cengage.
  • Manz, CC, & Neck, CP (1999). Mastering self-leadership: Empowering yourself for personal excellence (Second Edition). USA: Prentice Hall.
  • Manz, CC (1986). Self-leadership: Toward an expanded theory of self-influence processes in organizations. Academy of Management Review, Volume 11, issue 3 (pp. 585-600).


Valuables in Plain View

In trawling through some old magazines over the summer break, I re-read some back issues of the Listener. Frances Rombel (Listener, 23 July 2011) in letters to the editor said "blaming a victim for inviting sexual violence is as logical as blaming the victim of a home invasion for having a home”. Frances went on to say that "Nobody deserves or invites rape, not the one in four females or one in eight males who, according to the NZ Rape Prevention Education website, are likely to have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. And of those one in eight males, how many were told they were 'asking for it' because of their clothing?"

In riposte (Listener, 6 August 2011), Rachel Priebee agreed with Frances' comment, but went on to say that, "However, it is also accepted common sense not to leave your valuables in plain view lest some lowlifes decide to help themselves".

Rachel's comments interesting, largely because, while I understand that vox pop would agree with her, I had always thought that rape was about power, not lust; a view that Rape Prevention Education promotes (n.d.). If rape is a perpetrator's way of gaining power, it explains why the elderly, infants, children and battered spouses become victims along with sex workers, partners, teenagers and anyone of consenting age. I haven't noticed many of the elderly or babies leaving their "valuables in plain view".

I understand Rachel means, by leaving our "valuables in plain view", that she feels we 'allow' temptation. I equally understand the other side that says we should all be grown up enough to know what is right, and what is wrong, and not be swayed by the temptation 'offered' by "valuables in plain view".

But, if rape is an act of power, not one of lust activated because there is temptation, then neither argument has any bearing on why rape happens. Neither Rachel's 'be paranoid' nor Frances' 'promiscuity should be OK' stance is relevant.

In addition, I also see an underlying and unspoken assumption in Rachel's comment. I feel what has gone unsaid is that "asking for it" is an excuse for sociopathic behaviour.

There may be reasons, but in my opinion there is no excuse.



Excel's Convert Function Codes 3

Remember in newsletter 210, when I said you can convert measurements from one metric to imperial, or from the format to decimal in Excel 2007, by using the CONVERT function? Last time I showed you the codes for weight and mass (and remember "Inbuilt" means Excel will autocomplete, "Multiplier" won't).

This time I am showing you the codes for temperature and time:

  • Temperature Degree Celsius "C" (or "cel") Inbuilt
  • Degree Fahrenheit "F" (or "fah") Inbuilt
  • Kelvin "K" (or "kel") Inbuilt
  • Time Day "day" Inbuilt
  • Hour "hr" Inbuilt
  • Minute "mn" Inbuilt
  • Second "sec" Inbuilt
  • Year "yr" Inbuilt

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:

  • M&A, Mergers and Acquisitions. A corporate strategy, finance and management rationale for buying, selling, dividing and combining different entities.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at using Spike in Word:

  • Word "copy multiple selections of text & graphics to the Clipboard" - Ctrl & F3
  • Word "paste all selections of text & graphics as a group to a new location and clear the Spike" - Ctrl, Shift & F3
  • Word "paste Spike's contents without clearing" - "spike", then F3

Hot Linx

MIT is going online with its courses: free. If you want a qualification, you can purchase one, once you have completed the requisite course work and assignments, from MIT's not for profit organisation. Check it out at or

Learn how to 'colour' inwards or outwards email from certain people or organisations using this TechRepublic tip at

Dutch company Studiostudio has come up with a fantastic tool for dyslexics; they have changed the standard font. Read about it on Springspotters website at  or on Studiostudio's site at

Attention coffee drinkers! Coffee Joulies, a coffee bean-shaped metal heat absorber you drop into your coffee to regulate heat to 'drinkable' and slow release stored heat over time. Go to  and order at

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

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