Should You Choose to Accept It…

An acquaintance was recently telling me the story of how she and her family had survived intact the devastation wrought by Cyclone Tracy on Darwin in 1974. Taking refuge in a corner of their house, they came out to find the rest of it torn away around them.

She then looked out from their elevated vantage point back across the city towards the usually hidden ocean. All was flattened and destroyed except for remnants of stronger government buildings (built to withstand bombings in the wake of the Japanese attacks of WWII). The sea, usually hidden beyond the city, was plainly in sight.

Government and law enforcement acted in the most extreme and unreasonable ways in response to the disaster, clamping down on the population, prohibiting residents from fleeing the devastation and executing animals, even when while being held by their owners, for some raging fear of disease and want.

She and her family – and their dog – fled and even became short-lived celebrities for the journalistic descriptions of their rebellious escape with their dog.

It’s the panicked response in the face of unknown and unfamiliar situations that strikes me. Army Generals and the people they ordered around made terrible choices because the circumstance was so far outside their competencies and they clearly wouldn’t listen to reason.

In Australia, we now have much better prepared disaster response. From a distance, I note that the US also seems to have learnt many good lessons in the last dozen years. Yet, uninformed, obfuscated responses in a myriad of endeavours seem to continue around us with increasing frequency.

Responsiveness requires rationality, flexibility and provision for contingencies. Let’s ensure we employ these in equal measure during crises.

Quote of the Week – worth repeating:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Gandhi.

Sponsor Me for True Grit: I have already received a number of very generous donations towards my True Grit run on October 29, in support of The Ability Centre. Within the first week, we’re already almost halfway to my initial fundraising goal. Details are here at if you would like to consider donating to this worthy cause and supporting my efforts. Updates on my preparations are posted throughout the week. There’s some tiring training involved! Thank you to those who have already donated!!

The Great Leaders Project: Spend a half day with me reviewing the fascinating stories and episodes of some of history’s greatest acknowledged secular leaders [*see following note] and take away lessons that you can apply that day. Date will be later in 2017, depending on interest. If you would like to do this in a shorter online format instead, let me know. Register your interest by email to [*Religious leaders would involve too many ontological discussions, but if you ever want to do that, let me know and I’ll work it out – I have a minor in theology and worked in the faculty.]

The Business Success Workshop: Too many people fail to thrive in their business simply because they don’t know how to put everything together to execute. We’ll spend one supercharged day together in an entrepreneurial mindset, with owners, MDs and execs from diverse industries looking to dramatically drive forward their business idea. At the same time, we’ll consider the mechanisms you need to employ to ensure that you thrive personally and don’t lose balance in your life while you pursue your mission! Tentatively planned for February 2018. Register your interest by email to

Transformational Leadership Retreat 2018: I’m using all of my coaching, educational & development expertise, research, resources and personal executive leadership experience at ultra-challenging levels to design the ultimate transformational leadership retreat – everything that can be accomplished in two and a half days does that not involve ropes and a drill sergeant yelling at people! I’ll be bringing in the big guns for designing this one and sloughing off all the dross and dregs of buzzwords and buzz strategies, so-called development and research that merely obfuscate and “lose the name of action”. If you want to be involved, or have a request for something you’d really wish you could accomplish through a leadership retreat/workshop, then let me know while I’m in the design phase. Watch this space!

© 2017 Peter J. McLean

Peter McLean’s Monday Morning Mission – 11/09/2017
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