Dr Darryl's Blog

Tips for Start-ups

Darryl Cross - Monday, February 29, 2016

I was impressed with Mark Cuban's top 12 hints for anyone thinking about starting up a new business. 

 They're listed below:

Why Worry?

Darryl Cross - Sunday, February 07, 2016

I've often had people come into my office and describe themselves as a "worry wart." On questioning, they also admit that both or one of their parents were the same. As they say, the apple never falls far from the tree!

However, there are no born worriers. People might think they are, but they’re not. As I've said to many people, I've never seen a baby born a worrier. Worry is something you learn.

However, worry is unreasonable for a couple of reasons.

First, worry exaggerates the problem. Have you ever noticed that if you start to worry about a future event coming up, the more you think about it, the bigger it gets?

Second, worry doesn’t work. I once heard someone argue that to worry about something you can’t change is useless. If you can't change it what's the point of worrying? Further, if you worry about something that you can, in fact, change, then that's not smart either. Simply just go and change it!

Your body wasn’t designed to handle worry. When people say, “I’m worried sick,” they’re probably telling the truth. Doctors typically say that the greater percentage of the physical ailments that patients present with are associated with mental health problems such as worry, anxiety, guilt and resentment.

As Proverbs 14:30 says, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body” (NLT).

Worry is unhelpful. Worry cannot change the past, and worry cannot control the future. All it does is mess up today. So, stay in the present.

As the Nigerian musician and author Babatunde Olatunji once said:

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

And today? Today is a gift.

That's why we call it the present.

Psychopaths in Suits

Darryl Cross - Friday, January 01, 2016

It seems that psychopaths in the office are on the increase. Why? 

Well, with the continued move out of the industrial and manufacturing era where your productivity was clearly measured by how many widgets you made or packed or stamped or whatever, we are now moving much more into a service sector which is far more subjective with less KPIs and very much contingent on whether the boss, for example, likes you.

Hence, the rise in office politics. Hence, the rise in the corporate psychopath. A fertile ground for the person who is intent on getting places by whatever it takes and in ruthless ways.

Because 0.5% of psychopaths are females and 2% are males, there is every possibility that there might be one in your vicinity.

Whether or not you want to be involved in office politics, you'd better be briefed on the psychopath in suits because they have no hesitation in destroying you or anyone else for that matter, in order to get to the top. 

But don't be fooled. The suit is not the only disguise. They usually are affable, maybe humorous, friendly and often charismatic. They will always endear themselves to your boss or other superiors and if you happen to be a target or in the way, they will slowly but surely discredit you and ultimately destroy you.

So, what other tell-tale signs are there for this calculating callous individual? Why are they like this? How do you cope with them?

Read the article published on this website:


Economic Recovery for a State Headed South

Darryl Cross - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thanks Prof Richard Blandy (Business School, Uni of South Australia) for some straight-forward common sense in the latest article posted in InDaily


Sadly though, common sense doesn't seem to be that common any more.

The essence here is to understand that governments traditionally never "lead" the people. They simply wait until there is a momentum or a ground swell and then they tend to jump on board. Hence, they are not in a position to "lead" a jobs recovery or an economic turn-around or anything really for that matter. 

However, what they can do is cut the red tape and bureaucracy and make it easier for both start-ups and established businesses to do business and then government simply needs to stand back and get out of the way to allow commercial enterprises to make it all happen. And make it happen they will. Nothing is surer.

Businesses are built by entrepreneurs and innovators willing to have a crack from individuals who have drive, commitment , passion and motivation. These businesses are supported by those willing to persist and stay the course, by those who hang in there and have stickability -- something governments find difficult to do. Businesses are guided by those prepared to take risks and try new things -- something governments seem really allergic to do.

We have a wonderful example as to what can happen just across both waters; east to New Zealand and more recently, south to Tasmania which is now starting to leave SA behind. Just what more evidence do we need? 

What's it going to take for us as a State to "get it?"

If success leaves clues, what's so hard for the SA government to replicate the NZ & Tas story and get out of the way?

Where has Common Sense Gone?

Darryl Cross - Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I know that many times on radio I've commented that "common sense" no longer seems to be common. Somehow or other, we have lost good old fashioned logic and common sense. 

So, I was most interested in this article that was reportedly published in the "London Times" as an Obituary.

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
  • Why the early bird gets the worm;
  • Life isn't always fair;
  • And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). 

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned, but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. 

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust; by his wife, Discretion; by his daughter, Responsibility; and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his five stepbrothers:

  • I know my rights
  • I want it now
  • Someone else is to blame
  • I'm a victim
  • Pay me for doing nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. 

If you remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing."


Can Introverts Make Effective Leaders?

Darryl Cross - Sunday, September 08, 2013

I had a client pause in a coaching session last week, she leaned forward and then said, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" Of course it was fine to do so. Then she asked, "Can introverts be effective leaders?" Now that's an interesting question. 

I know why she asked it in that she perceived that introverts tend to be more inward looking and deep thinking and as a result are not as expressive or outgoing as their extravert counterparts.

Nevertheless, it is clear that introverts can make very effective leaders. Firstly, many introverts have very effective communication skills. Being introverted does not mean in any way that an individual can't communicate well. They can meet and greet as well as any extravert might do. However, it is true though that social interaction can deplete the introvert's energies faster than for the extravert and they do need to find some respite at times, but nonetheless, they can be effective communicators.

In cases though where the introvert might be more withdrawn and somewhat distant and not have learnt to communicate effectively, then I've seen that person appoint a more social, friendly individual as the second in charge or the deputy in the organisation. That arrangement tends to work well in that the introvert as the deep thinker tends to undertake much of the planning and strategy while the 2 O-I-C communicates the message down the line and to the rest of the company or organisation.

Yes, both introverts and extraverts make very effective leaders. It's all in the art of communication.

The Middle is the Hardest

Darryl Cross - Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beginning a project or task for most people is relatively easy (although for some this is the most difficult part; see my article on "Procrastination"). At the start point though, most are keen and motivated to kick off their project especially since it is new and it provides some variety and interest in their lives.

Towards the end of such a project where the end is in sight as it were, and the finish line is approaching, individuals are also generally motivated. "Not much further now." "I can see the finish tape." "Lets' finish well."

However, it's typically in the middle where many fall over. Gone is the freshness of the beginning and the end seems so far off. The middle is where we stall.

This is what separates so-called winners and those who struggle. Those who are successful generally do a number of things such as chunking it and taking things a step at a time. They feel the achievement of each step. Then they ask, "So, what's the next step?" And after that, "So, what's the next step?" It's called persistence and stickability, but it's simply taking things one piece at a time.

As someone once remarked to me, "How do you eat an elephant?" Answer: "Bite by bite."

Productivity Falls with Stress

Darryl Cross - Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fact: US based businesses lose $300-$400 billion dollars a year due to stress related loss of productivity (Rosch, 2001). This is more than the net profit of all US businesses combined.

In a study of a large, multi-employer, multi-site employee population, healthcare expenditures for employees with high levels of stress were 46% higher than those for employees who did not have high levels of stress (Goetzel et al., 1998). 41% of employees say they feel stressed out during the day (APA, 2009). 66% of US adults have been told by their health care provider that they have one or more chronic conditions. 63% of American adults are overweight or obese. Organizations with the most effective health, well-being and productivity programs, including coaching, had 28% higher shareholder returns (TowersWatson, 2010.)

So, is this just the case in the USA? I think not. Australia a has a funny way of replicating what happens in other places especially the USA.

What does this mean therefore for Australian companies wanting to look after, not only their profit, but look after their employees? Is this an argument for more closely examining coaching and well-being programs for companies?

The prudent CEO and executive management will not overlook the power that coaching and wellness programs can bring to their organisation. This may well turn out to be a defining factor in stand-out companies in terms of culture, employee morale as well as productivity and profit.

Step at a Time

Darryl Cross - Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's amazing really what researchers find out at times. 

As reported in "The Advertiser" (Saturday, Nov 24, Page 31), did you know that the average toddler covers more than 4km a day (probably no surprise to exhausted mums and dads at the end of a day)? That works out to be 14,208 steps and as well, believe it or not, 102 falls.

The researchers filmed more than 130 infants aged 12 - 19 months as they explored a specially designed playroom.

But this begs the question, how do we do as adults? 

Prof Martin Seligman in his 2011 book "Flourish," reported that the US Surgeon General's 2008 report enshrines the need for adults to walk 10,000 steps a day. He asserts that the real danger point is less than 5,000 steps a day where you are at an undue risk of death. (Of course, it doesn't have to be just walking that does the trick, but anything involving physical activity like swimming, dancing, weight-lifting and so on.)

So, we obviously started out well in life with the physical exercise, but as adults we are found wanting. The babies and children put us to shame.

As they say, use it or lose it!

Websites and their Privacy Statements: What Privacy?

Darryl Cross - Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cameron England in a feature article in "The Advertiser" (Saturday, 10th November, Page 56) points out quite clearly that although we have privacy statements that we sign off on with sites like Facebook, i-Tunes, Twitter, Google and the like, they slyly know all about us and are prepared to sell it to the advertisers not only as a way of proving that advertising works, but to boost their share price.

Interestingly, it was reported that researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA have calculated earlier this year that it would take 250 working hours per year or 30 working days, to read all of the privacy policies we encounter each year.

Who's going to bother?

And that's the point. We're time poor and just too busy to read through all the fine print, which is music to the ears of the big social media sites. So, presto, we're undone.

What's the message? Well, I for one am not going to read all the fine print, but it is a sobering reminder to be very, very careful what goes up on the internet.

Big Brother is watching, but so it seems is everyone else.

Click on the graphics below to learn more about Darryl's various ebooks

Growing Up Children

How To Stop Self Sabotage

Dark Clouds At Work

Listen Up Now

Teenager Troubleshooting

Pursuit Of Success & Happiness