“But is it done-done?” How billion dollar industries still get it wrong.

November 30th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on ““But is it done-done?” How billion dollar industries still get it wrong.”

There’s a fine line between done, and done-done.

My father-in-law works in Safety for a large commercial airline carrier. Every safety-related incident – from an engine exploding inflight, to a pregnant woman mistakenly placed in the EXIT row – goes past his desk. These incidents are documented,  monitored, tracked and precautions are put into place to ensure they don’t happen again. All relevant individuals are consulted on the particular incident to clarify all information was correct, and to ascertain where the fault lies. From there, new policies, new tech, staff training, etc. are put into place to ensure the safety of all future passengers.


Make yourself an option

November 29th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Make yourself an option”

Two weeks ago I bumped into Kevin and Allison at Cape Town International, all – it turned out – on our way home to Lanseria.

While catching up about the weekend, they told me about a school waterpolo game they watched, supporting their nephew. The coach, an early-twenty-something-go-getter, had a specific catchphrase for his team while the game was on:

“Make yourself an option!” 


The Power of the Ask – What CEOs believe makes a successful CEO

November 25th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Power of the Ask – What CEOs believe makes a successful CEO”

When we started 21Tanks almost a decade ago, we had no products, all we had was perspective. Yup, perspective. Knowledge that we’d acquired over the years (that we thought was valuable) and a network of smart people to help us along the way. How’d we get work? Well, most of the time, people just asked if we could help. And we did.


Are you a Thought Leader or Thought Follower?

April 13th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Are you a Thought Leader or Thought Follower?”

Mitch Joel from Mirum explains the term ‘Thought Leader’ as follows:

A thought leader is someone who is sharing (in text, images, audio and video) their own unique perspective. That would be the “thought” component of the equation. A thought leader is someone whose unique perspective is seen and accredited by both peers or other industry experts as truly being visionary (saying and doing the things that others have yet to do). Leadership isn’t just about being first. Leadership is about how the thinking is ingested and used by the audience.


Why your #selfquote strategy should die a fast, horrible death

March 31st, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why your #selfquote strategy should die a fast, horrible death”

I remember it like it was yesterday.


Confucius, Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou and Steve Jobs sitting in their light-wood-design co-working space, plugging away on their Macbook Airs, trying to decide which of their soon-to-be-famous quotes worked best with which studio photos they’d just taken of each other.


Dolly Parton had it easy: Why 9 to 5 is not enough anymore

March 26th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Dolly Parton had it easy: Why 9 to 5 is not enough anymore”

Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is a beautiful representation of the dull, mindless slog most people feel like they go through every single day, in order to get their paycheque at the end of the month, with no recognition, resulting in making rich men richer. The chorus is extra-specially fun…


The Indicator Dilemma

March 17th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Indicator Dilemma”

Indicate [in-di-keyt]  verb

1. to point out or point to; direct attention to

2. to state or express, especially briefly or in a general way; signal

In my experience, most cars on the road have indicators fitted for obligatory purposes only when changing lanes. To indicate is to share an intention with others. Therefore, when changing lanes, indicating to let others know you’ll be turning, before you actually turn, is the correct procedure. Most drivers, though, hit the indicator with their hand while they’re turning the wheel.

Did they share their intention with others beforehand? No.

As a biker riding between lanes, I know this sneaky little cage-driver trick, so my first indication of anyone turning is not the indicator, but their front wheel. If it starts to turn toward your general direction, you know they’re about to make a break for it. I’m pretty good at identifying these, however, sometimes I get it wrong.

This whole non-indicating indicator dilemma got me thinking: Is the real reason people actually don’t give enough time to indicate (set their intention) because when others see it happening, they race ahead to not let them in? I’ve seen it happen. It may have happened to you. Hell, you may have been the douche closing the gap!

Is this how people generally tend to think? Much like they hold back on the indicators until the last minute, what are people holding back on in their business or personal lives? To make it personal, what are you waiting to do/launch/create that you don’t want others to know about until the very last second, just in case they steal your idea or break it down before its begun?

Time and again I hear of people who had amazing ideas but never executed them (I’m guilty of this myself, too) because they didn’t want anyone else to know about it until it was ready to launch, but then someone else launched it before they could.

<insert sad face here>

The one thing that we never learn though (read this about learning from others’ mistakes) is the fact that their idea was, in fact, eventually executed by someone else. Which means your idea is not only in your mind. It’s everywhereIdeas are developed through experience, and there are loads of other people experiencing similar things to you right now, and will have ideas too. Probably ‘your’ idea.

So what to do?

Simple: Get that idea out there. Don’t hold it in. Make it. Own it. Tell the world. Do your idea. Stat.


(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was onto something!

March 8th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was onto something!”

It amazes me that in today’s opportunity to learn, grow and do better, the world is still full of idiots.

German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote “By seeking and blundering we learn.” Well, it was probably “Durch das Suchen und Fetzen lernen wir” (hat tip Google Translate), but the point remains: We seek, we blunder, we learn.

However, so many people have sought, blundered and learnt in the past, and those seekings, blunders and learnings have, in turn, been shared and taught! So I sit here and ask myself this question: Why are there still people in the world who get on planes headed to Abuja to settle the estate of Nigerian princes that they believe they might be related to (or won a lottery they never entered), or forward emails from Bill Gates thinking they’ll get a free laptop, or add friends on Facebook that are 100% fake – who are undoubtedly set up to glean information from them.

I received a request from “Susan Zimmerman” earlier today, and wasn’t shocked that not only had she made some friends already, but they’re all guys. Why Eugene, Kyle, Utit and all the others added her? I’m guessing for the hope of some more raunchy pics to hit their timeline. Have they not heard of the internet? Raunchy is on-demand!

A quick reverse-image-search on Google revealed Susan as Instagram-famous model Chantel Zales, FYI.

Usually I report/block these users to assist the many gullible/pervy gents who love these requests, but today I’ve made a stand to say “Durch das Suchen und Fetzen lernen wir.” If these guys aren’t going to learn from others’ mistakes, they’re going to have to learn them for themselves. They’re seeking free soft porn, they’ll blunder if they give information away that may harm them, and therefore learn.

Hopefully. I’m holding thumbs.

So why am I writing this? We’re running a strategy facilitation for Missing Link tomorrow, guided by the Legacide principles. In this session we’re going to look at our own business, identify what legacy thinking is holding us back and, in turn, look to the world to see who’s sought and blundered and already learnt from these mistakes, how they fixed them, and then define how we apply them to our own business.

It’s going to be one helluva ride. Thanks Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Legend.


(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, officer…

March 3rd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, officer…”

I butted into a conversation in the office last week that went something like this:

Guy 1: “Insurance is such a waste. And expensive.”

Guy 2: “I know. And the value of my bike keeps going down, but I keep paying more insurance. So kak.”

Me: “You know King Price offers paying less every month, right? That’s basically their biggest selling point.”

Guy 1 + 2: <crickets>


Now, maybe it’s because we deal with insurance firms a lot, or I have a strong affinity to people/organisations changing things up, but I honestly thought that something as ground-breaking as ‘you pay less insurance every month as your vehicle depreciates’ would be known and understood by every person who complains about insurance premiums. Seems, to me, to be a no-brainer. The story is sound.

Which made me think about other organisations and how they’re telling their stories. “Brand refreshes” – for the most part – are only real big winners for consultants and the advertising/marketing industry. Customers don’t want a big fat new promise every second year, what they want is for you to be awesome. Let me pay you money to do a great job, and we’ll be friends. Simple. One of the big lessons from Tom Peters’ “In Search of Excellence(originally published in 1982, FYI) is simply “Stick to your knitting”. Do what you do well, and keep doing it. Companies who stick to this principle in not only the work they do, but the message they deliver, are the ones who succeed.

Am I saying ‘never change’? Of course not. Better yourself, better your product, but always stick to what you believe in. Things change and need to be addressed as and when necessary (read Legacide to help you out with that) but that doesn’t mean you should lose the fundamental essence of what you’re in business to do. The way that message sticks with your customers and staff is through a solid story.

Because a great story lasts a lifetime. Ever met Aesop? Nope, me neither. Know any of his stories? Of course we do. Why? Because they’re easy to remember, and easy to share with others.

So, is your story being told enough? Are you hitting the right market? More importantly, is your story being told the right way, and are people sharing it?


(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

My choices are better than yours

February 21st, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “My choices are better than yours”

…said everyone. Since the beginning of time.

A few years ago my wife sent me an article by Mark Manson, entitled The Most Important Question of Your Life, which essentially spoke to one core message: What are you willing to struggle through in order to get what you want? In order to be happy?

This week in Jo’burg has been particularly wet, a result of the Dineo Storm affecting Mozambique at the moment. As people close to me know, I’ve been riding a Vespa as my sole means of transport for coming on 7 years now.

It’s always in the rain that I, bizarrely, am reminded how that decision to remove the weekday-four-wheeled-cage from my life has changed me for the better. Does it have its drawbacks? Sure. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.

As I was waiting at the traffic light in the pouring rain today, a guy – smoking – shouted through his half-open window, “Why don’t you just buy a car!?”, obviously commenting on my non-roofed mode of transport as the rain pelted down on me.

The answer is quite simple: I’ve chosen what I want to struggle through, in order to be happy. You see, for a small minority of days in the year, it rains. For those particular days, I – like today – wear a rain suit. It protects every bit of me and keeps me dry. I ride to meetings, events, anywhere, and I arrive as dry as a bone. Sometimes my shoes may be a little wet, but, if you didn’t notice it (no one ever does) you’d never know that I was out in the elements in the pouring rain only minutes before I walked into the room.

For the majority of days in the year, though, I am blessed with the freedom of riding my little green beast through lanes of traffic, between cars who spend hours commuting to and from work. Their choice. The path they took to struggle through.

What I find fascinating though is that, to them, I’m always the idiot.

  1. In the rain, I’m an idiot because I’m getting wet.
  2. In the sun, I’m an idiot because who am I to think that I can just ride past you while you have to sit in traffic, huh?

To people who commute: You’ve chosen your poison. Suffer through your traffic 95% of your working days, and I’ll suffer through rain the other 5%. And while you’re sitting in that mind-numbing rat’s arse that is bumper-to-bumper ludicrousness, consider this: What choices are you making in your life that are working towards your happiness? And what other choices, that you’re afraid to take on because there may be a little downside, should you be pursuing?

As Mark Manson says: “Our struggles determine our successes, so choose your struggles wisely, my friend.”


* This is a re-post from LinkedIn.

Copyright Don Packett 1980-2020