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Top 5 Podcasts

Heidi Pollard - Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Top 5 Podcasts I'm Listening
To Right Now

Video was certainly the mainstay of the internet over the past few years but I believe the future lies in audio. Time is our most precious currency in this fast paced, attention saturated world and so tuning into podcasts while on a run, on the treadmill, washing the dishes, working or commuting is becoming more popular. Our own podcast here at UQ Power called The Theatre of U is one of the most fun parts of my job as is tuning into other great shows like the 5 I've shared below for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! 

1. Stand Out Life with Ali Hill

Stand Out Life is a podcast dedicated to living boldly amongst the busyness; finding those little moments of magic amongst the mess. Podcast host Ali has a lovely conversational tone and interviews a host of influential women who are living a life of purpose - some of my favourite episodes include Matina Jewell and Emma Booth.  

2. School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

I first met Lewis Howes in 2011 in Dallas, Texas when he had just started out on his entrepreneurial journey after a career-ending injury ended his professional football career. Charismatic and hungry, Lewis was keen to learn from coaches and mentors and has built a solid online business and is now an author, speaker, and podcast host. My favourite episodes would have to be Gabby Bernstein and Dan Millman.

3. Super Soul Sundays with Oprah Winfrey

Oprah's popular show has now hit the air waves as a podcast with a bank of original video interviews cut down to a 20 minute format on podcast it's a chance to listen to some amazing guests share their insight and wisdom. My favourites so far include Shirley Maclaine and Paulo Coelho.

4. The GaryVee Audio Experience

Love him or loathe him, Gary's punchy delivery, constant babble and opinionated predictions are worth a tune in once in a while for the latest trends on all things social media and trading in the new currency - attention.

5. Futureproofing with Kelsey Ramsden

Imagine being future proof. Kelsey Ramsden, award winning entrepreneur, has candid conversations with experts (well known and little known which is why I love it - it's very candid like our own Theatre of U) about how to remain relevant and avoid obsolescence! For all you budding futurists it's worth a listen. 

Human Power Versus Forced Power

Heidi Pollard - Friday, August 18, 2017

Strategic Planning Research

Heidi Pollard - Saturday, May 13, 2017

The results are in!

Click here to download what we found in our 2017 Strategic Planning Survey.

Ten Things Successful People Do to Become Experts

Heidi Pollard - Wednesday, April 05, 2017

As a brand and culture strategist who helps individuals and brands define their unique position in the market, I meet many business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to position themselves as Brand U experts.

Not only do they want to be known as key influencers in their field, they want to leverage and build a reputation so clients and business finds them, so media ask them for their opinion rather than them having to sell, sell.

I just read an article by Lolly Daskal from Lead From Within and it aligns so closely with the advice I give my clients that thought I would share a part of it here and add my personal commentary (my personal thoughts are included in italics). Thanks @LollyDaskal for the great resource!

Here are 10 simple strategies that can help you raise your profile and help you find the people who need your expertise (plus commentary from me):

1. Identify your skill.

When you know your skills and capabilities, it is easier to position yourself as an expert. What are your skills, experience, and knowledge?

(I recommend the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder, you can also explore DISC, PCSI, Myers Briggs but my personal preference is the Strengths Finder - if you need help undertaking this contact us!)

2. Find your voice.

Create a website, define a target audience, and begin speaking from your experience. Let people find out what you know and what you stand for. Having a voice builds your authority and allows others to find you online.

(If you don’t have a website yet use a blog or LinkedIn articles like this to state your position).

3. Maintain your credibility.

Define what you know and draw a line. With your reputation at stake, this is not a time to practice "fake it till you make it." As you progress, remember that what is most important is to maintain your credibility and your reputation.

(Everything you say and do must be on brand to maintain this. Everything, especially online - post consciously. Expand your skills of course but don't bulls@#t about what you can and can't do).

4. Network generously.

The real currency of networking is not about getting; it is about giving. It is about being generous with those you meet and sharing what you have to offer. Networking is what will get you introduced; generosity is what will make a connection.

(My motto is always Give, Give, Give. Follow up – send a referral, an article a resource that will help them, and of course connect on LinkedIn).

5. Speak up everywhere you go. 

A great way to be acknowledged as an expert is to apply to a conference and get booked to speak. Speaking engagements are a great way to reach your audience and build your credibility. Find professional associations or company boards or town hall meetings. Are there classes you can teach, either in a noncredit program or a traditional academic program? When people start calling you to speak about your what you know, you have become an expert.

(Speaking is one of the best positioning tools – speak and you are perceived as the expert. To expand my speaking in 2016 I gave away 20 speaking gigs for free in the month of May, it got me focused, got me seen and helped me hone my craft).

6. Develop a blog.

Blogging provides you with a potential worldwide audience, and showcases your subject-matter expertise as well as your abilities as a writer. The key to writing a successful blog post is to keep the information useful and highly relevant, and to put out value articles frequently. Remember, you want people to see you as a resource, so provide the best information possible.

(See #2 - also keep track of what people like to read and the information they comment on, like or share - my two most popular blog post to date show people are having trouble with their bosses and leaders. Check them out here:  1 - How poor leaders are killing us and 2 - How to tell your manager they suck)

7. Become the source.

Journalists and writers are always looking for experts that they can quote in their articles. You can connect with these professionals with websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or The Expert Connection (ProfNet); these sites can connect an expert with their audience.

(We have SourceBottle here in Australia. Also you can write opinion pieces for the journals etc that are in your clients field).

8. Produce something.

Produce your own informational pieces such as books, e-books, or monthly newsletters. You can also create learning platforms with webinars, podcasts, or online videos to promote your services. You can then feature these products on your website or blog, or give them away when people enquire about your products.

(Yes yes yes this is why I recommend many of my clients write a book or a white paper. You can check out my quirky book - it's only a plane ride read - here!)

9. Make use of social networking. 

Social platforms are important to getting your expertise out. Be active on all social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

(Use your expertise to add value, especially related to your keyword or key point of expertise whenever you can).

10. Help others along the way. 

You can also develop your reputation as an expert by using your knowledge and expertise to help others. Signing on to skill share is a great way to become acknowledged as an expert in your field.

(Connect, engage, and assist as many people as you can - even here on LinkedIn - that is how your influence will grow. Before you know it people will be asking for your experience because they know, like and trust you. My measure of if you are beginning to become a brand U expert is are you being asked to have coffees often because people want to "pick your brain").

Branson Vs Obama who dares wins

Heidi Pollard - Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Sir Richard Branson - aka Dr Yes - has been at his antics again!

This time the tie loathing adventurer and thrill seeker challenged Barack Obama to a kitesurfing v foil boarding competition around Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Not only do the photos (full credit to @hijack Jack Brockway for the awesome pics) and video Sir Richard  shared on social media depict a good dose of humour but they also show a relaxed and carefree former president lapping up the sun, surf and social life.

There are so many lessons we can take away from watching two world leaders at play.

As I talk about in my video Lessons From Necker Island I learnt so much about life and business from Sir Richard especially how much you can get done and the connections you can make when you are having fun and letting go. How wonderful to see Sir Richard invite Barack and Michelle down to his private island Moskito (across the channel from Necker Island) for a complete break after Barack finished as President and left the white house.

For eight years while in office Barack didn't get to surf, enjoy water sports or do any of the things he loved so it is wonderful to see him living in the moment, carefree and enjoying the water once again.

Sir Richard challenged Barack to learn to kitesurf before he could learn to foil board - on the final day they had a challenge - who could stay standing the longest - check out Branson's latest post to find out who dared and won in the end!

In this start of 2017 with my goal of it being the year of the JOYful Unicorn I look forward to continuing to incorporate fun, play and friendship into my world and business. What can you takeaway from watching two world leaders at play?

New Year Ritual: Begin With Gratitude

Heidi Pollard - Sunday, January 01, 2017


Are you over 2016 already but not sure how to make sure 2017 is your best year yet? I have just one tip for you.

Begin with gratitude.

Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that can expand your happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve your health. Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t.

Sounds like a perfect way to start the new year eh?

No matter what happened in the past, today is a fresh new day and you have the power to completely change how your life plays out in 2017. Each year I undertake an annual ritual of reviewing my current year's ANNUAL GRATITUDE LETTER on New Year's Eve and reflecting on all I am grateful for. If you want to try this too then start with reflecting on all the people you are grateful in your life, the experiences and the growth and learning you've had as well as the missteps and mistakes.

I then start the new year on New Year's Day by penning my new year's letter of gratitude, putting out into the future all I want to feel, think, see and do. If you're keen to start the year of well and want to have a go at writing your own Gratitude Letter for 2017 then begin with asking yourself questions.

FIVE powerful questions
to focus your year

Each year when I sit down to pen my annual gratitude letter I start with my five questions - I hope they inspire you to think bigger and to bring about expansion in your life:

1. How do I want to feel?

2 - What learning and growth do I want to experience?

3. What do I want my relationships to be like?

4. How do I want to contribute?

5. What is my unique intelligence I can bring to life?

This year I decided on the keyword or phrase or theme for my year as the Year of the JOYful Unicorn. (Yep it's a little woo woo)

Read on to find out more, or not if you're ready to dive in and develop your own ;-)

Heidi Alexandra JOY's Annual Gratitude Letter for 2017 

Sharing is caring! (and it adds to your commitment)

Post your answers to the five powerful questions or your key word or theme for the year below – I'd would love to hear them!

Happy new year - may the joyful rainbow unicorn poop find it's way into your life in 2017 - go spread that sh#t all around!

"Tis the season for R&R

Heidi Pollard - Sunday, December 11, 2016

I was listening to a podcast today by Rob Bell and in it he talked about about how the invention of electricity changed our sleep patterns and awareness of natural rhythms of life.

It's so true isn't it? Rush, rush, rush. Chat, chat, chat. Type, type, type. Swipe, swipe, swipe. It's all we seem to do.

Have you been pushing too hard?

Have you been on the 24/7 treadmill?

Are you calibrated for how your life used to be and not ready for the next level?

Are you excited about starting a new season but haven't given yourself time and made space to let go and complete this phase?

I'm preparing to head into a new season in the lead up to the new year by giving myself permission and time to just be in the space that lies in between, to savour the empty days in my calendar, to soak in the bath and not do anything. I'm going to allow the dissolution of order and allow for a fluid, malleable situation to enable spontaneity, creativity and flow to re-emerge.

This liminal space between two phases can be extremely healing and restorative if you let it be so. Consider your life like the rise and fall of a sine wave, appreciate the seasons and ebb and flow of your life, career and relationships. Learn to go hard and then release. Like a slingshot pull back and then let go in order to shoot forward.

And if you're concerned about the future and what jobs, opportunities and skills are needed then watch this video and take stock over the break to consider "what's my next move?" Humans are needed to be more human more than ever. The future looks bright if you consider lifes phases as seasons and prepare yourself for what's next.

Above all else. Practice kindness. To yourself and others. Have no regrets and just be.

May you find peace and stillness this Season.

Managing Meeting Madness

Heidi Pollard - Monday, October 31, 2016

This past week I have had a lot of discussions about meetings; in particular how much time we waste making meetings, attending meetings and travelling to meetings, how managers are always the ones calling meetings and how bad we are at running meetings.

If you added up all the time people waste in bad meetings every day in your organisation, it would probably equate to a months profits or more. The truth of the matter is that long, unproductive, poorly focused meetings cost time, money and energy.

Of course, there are lots of great reasons to hold a meeting, but right I’m seeing too many people suffering in silence, secretly lamenting the curse of the M&Ms (managers and meetings).

Why is it that so many of us could be so bad at meetings? Why are they as boring as bat stuff? Why do we hate how they fill up our day and how can we make them something worthwhile and even productive instead?

Last week I spoke to a group of middle managers about carving out 45 minutes every day of uninterrupted time to get stuff done and the majority of them said there was no way they could get 45 minutes of uninterrupted time and that they spent the majority of their day in and out of meetings. Can't find 45 minutes? Isn't it the role of a manager to do strategy, planning and critical thinking?

In today’s modern world when our time is our most precious resource, why oh why do we spend so much of it stuck and frustrated in meetings?

Habit? Expectation? False hope?

The problem I see in many organisations large and small is people call meetings without being super laser focused on why or what they want to achieve, or worse yet the meeting is a recurring appointment in their calendar that they just show up for each week like an underwater walking zombie. Without meaning, a why or a clear outcome we really are just gathering a gaggle of people to shoot the breeze. You may as well tell the attendees to stay home for the day.

'Making meetings meaningful is a key factor in making them worth the investment of time and energy.'

Some of the most common characteristics of bad meeting include:

- No clear goal
- Lack of structure
- Attendees are distracted (usually on their phones)
- The meeting goes off on tangents
- The wrong people are in the room
- No decisions are made

Think about it for a minute if you add up the hourly salaries of every person in attendance at a regular meeting ie: 10 people @$50ph, that’s $500 for a 1 hour meeting. Worse that’s not really a 1 hour meeting as you need to take each person’s time into consideration. Therefore 10 people, that’s 10 hours of lost productivity. When you cut a meeting back to its bare bones there are a few reasons why you would bother getting everyone in a room together.
1              to make an important decision

2              to brainstorm ideas, create new options and find solutions

3              to bond participants and build relationships

'I’ll show you a leader’s priorities if you show me their calendar.’

Next time you are setting up a meeting or have a meeting to attend you may want to get clear on the meeting’s intent first. Is there a decision to be made? Are we building relationships? Do we need to brainstorm options? Are we tracking our progress? Are we planning ahead? Do we have a clear agenda?

It drives me bonkers to see people setting meetings in organisations with a cast of thousands as they don’t want to leave anyone out or rub the new HR, Finance or Marketing person the wrong way. Crazy! In an ideal world you wouldn’t invite anyone to a meeting out of obligation. Instead you would only those who genuinely have something to contribute or whose expertise is needed or the decision may impact. Otherwise it may just become a talk fest of egos needing stroking and discussion.

And if you must hold a meeting consider breaking away from the old traditional style one and introduce a newer, more effective and stimulating format such as:

·         Stand up meetings

·         No phone meetings

·         Walking meetings

·         15 minute meetings

·         Daily huddles

·         Skype meetings


Why not find other, more efficient and productive ways to communicate and put an end to the meeting madness. Your people will thank you for it!

Fallen into the success trap?

Heidi Pollard - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Imagine what you could create if you just focused on what you are powerful at. You know, not try to be someone else. Not try to be something you’re not.
You would win. 
Take a look around you, who do you see that is winning and who is losing? It’s kinda obvious right?
A lot of us look at successful people, businesses, brands and cultures, products and programs and people at the top of their game and try and copy them.
The truth. Trying to win, fearing losing, chasing success and feeling blocked are all the result of the same thing.

  • Worrying about what others think;
  • Worrying about saying the right thing;
  • Worrying about what other people will think if you lose;
  • Worrying about all this stuff that means you’ll never take a chance on you, on just being real and getting started.

It’s focusing on all the wrong things.
People are equally attracted to and repelled by success. The problem is the focus.Success is really just a byproduct of you being you. It’s not the goal in itself. 
To really create a life, a business, a team or culture you love, you really have to begin again at the other end. Instead of looking outside yourself at what everyone else does well, you have to look within and grow your own unique power. You have to #startwithU

Start with:

  • what am I good at?
  • What do I like?
  • What do I love sharing?

Stop wanting and trying to be something versus recognising what you already are. 
You are unique. You already have your UQ Power within you and somewhere along the journey you forgot that. 
You know what I see? I see it’s the people that understand themselves, their strengths, their motivations and their communication style first that are winning.
There’s a winner in you too.
Focus on living and giving. Find your gifts and share them. Unlock your UQ Power. Start owning, feeling and acknowledging your uniqueness and authenticity. Stop detaching from who you really are. You can’t run away from who you really are.

Article reposted with permission from The Sista Code Blog http://thesistacode.com/the-success-trap/

Are you doing well by doing good?

Heidi Pollard - Wednesday, September 14, 2016
We live in the exponential age. Rapid progress is happening at break neck speed. 

The future of work is uncertain. With predictions of 500,000 jobs being made redundant in the next 5-10 years we are going to experience more change in this generation than in the previous 200 years. 

You can look at this a number of ways. You could react with fear and retract, hoping it will go away and you can continue delivering Business As Usual. Or you can embrace the change and find ways to evolve and maintain your relevance.  

Leaders - the skills you use today are not the ones needed for tomorrow's world of work. 

A report by the Institute for the Future

identifies six drivers of change:

And ten skills for the future:
Sense making 
Ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed  
Social intelligence 
Ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions  
Novel & adaptive thinking 
Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based  
Cross-cultural competency 
Ability to operate in different cultural settings  
Computational thinking 
Ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning  
New-media literacy 
Ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication  
Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines  
Design mindset 
Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes  
Cognitive load management 
Ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximise cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques  
Virtual collaboration 
Ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team. 

This means that to be successful in the next decade, individuals will need to continually reassess their skills, be adaptable, collaborative, lifelong learners. 

It means a shift for all educational institutions as the emphasis shifts to new skills development using more advanced technology. It means for business an increasing prominence of ensuring talent are equipped with soft skills such as reading social cues, responding adaptively and working collaboratively.
What's exciting to us at UQ Power is we also see a good business revolution occuring. One that encourages a new way of working, a more collaborative, cohesive, fluid work style that values people, planet and purpose as much as profit. An opportunity to do well by doing good. 

In an update on the progress made so far by the B Team - an initiative of Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson writes: "Three years in, I am more convinced than ever that business can have a positive influence on the world. Governments and civil society cannot solve the world’s problems alone. It is going to take all of us — especially those of us with the resources to make a wide impact.

From driving innovative and human centered people practices to putting equality and diversity issues at the centre of the business agenda, The B Team is already making an impact. But its greatest successes are yet to come. I truly believe that the private sector can — and must — change from being motivated primarily by profit. It’s no longer an option. Business must become a force for good."

It's time. At UQ Power we are playing our part in joining this revolution. We have joined forces with the good people at Being More Human and Tribe Hunter to create a people powered brand Human Power. Our first socially focused event aiming to generate discussion around homelessness in the Hunter is on next Wednesday evening and I invite you to consider signing up and joining us. 

"Individuals can try to solve problems in their own community, small businesses in their city, medium-sized businesses nationally and bigger businesses internationally. Imagine a world where the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit." Sir Richard Branson. 

That's our vision - to unite people and leverage their power so together we can create a more humane world. Please join us. We need everyone's voice, loud and soft, homelessness support providers, business, property, government, not for profit and citizens. 

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What Our Tribe Say

Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
I would recommend UQ Power to anyone that is seeking support, guidance and growth in their business. Catherine Miller, Human Resources Manager, Allightsykes