Should You Choose to Accept It…

Today marks a public holiday in my state, occasioning the celebration of the Queen’s Birthday (i.e. Queen Elizabeth, one must assume). I have no idea why our State celebrates that date and does not celebrate the June marking of the Queen’s birthday, which is not actually the queen’s birthday, but an occasion designated by previous monarchs for the purposes of celebrating “the royal birthday”. Queen Elizabeth’s actual birthday is April 21. All I know for sure is that our Governor sets the date each year for our State and that it can even change each year.

There are no fanfares that I am aware of, no evident celebrations of the longest-living and longest-serving monarch in the world and of all history in the UK and Commonwealth. But plenty of people are happy to have the day off and to enjoy a long weekend.

Unfortunately, our organisations and cultures often make a hash of events, markers and rituals. Things often happen just because that’s always been the way and there seems to be no rhyme, no reason and no utility – it’s just the way things are done.

When we celebrate events, we can often miss the point entirely or not celebrate the real reason behind something – everyone gets caught up in the occasion or the trappings without understanding why they’re even there in the first place.

Consider the cultural milestone, rituals and routines that you have and engage with. Is there a reason for them? Does that reason still apply? If you throw them out, what will it affect? (Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t know the answer to this until someone tells us after we’ve gotten rid of it – “Oh, that’s why we did that!!” – or things just mess up after the fact.)

Conversely, is there a reason to maintain, defend or strengthen them? There may well be perfectly legitimate reasons. These rituals may be dead weight or they may be the glue for a culture bereft of traditions and supports.

I’m glad we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday – it’s a link to a strong history and past and helps give us perspective on the future. I just wish I knew why, here in Western Australia, we do it today!

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!!

Where You Can See Me Next: I’m speaking at the Rotary Club of Hillarys on October 29. The topic is “Beyond Leadership – Serving With Heart”. Join us at Hillarys Yacht Club for the evening.

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 – 25/09/2017
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