After my last post about being (literally) hit by a bull, it was perhaps fitting that I would attend a breakfast on Friday morning, with author, comedian and corporate speaker Andrew Horabin talking about his latest book ‘Bullshift‘. He had placed a copy on every seat, and he went through, in a lively interactive manner, some of its key points. Let’s cut out the BS in the workplace, he argued. Stop making your workplaces poisonous, stop adding to the negative, defensive, gossipy political environment.

We spend more time at work than we do with our kids, than we do with our friends, so let’s make it enjoyable!” Amen to that. When I ran my own business, I always put the accent on ‘happy productivity’ and it’s how I try to run the departments I head up too. Not just everyone having fun only (because then nothing gets done), but one where we respect each other, get on with our own work while thinking how to help others, and enjoying the day. Not everything at work can be fun, but if we genuinely try to do our best and help each other, my goodness what a pleasant productive environment that can be. I remember a contract worker coming in a few years ago and remarking what a lovely atmosphere it was at work. That was great to hear. I was strict about ‘making our numbers’, but also religious about celebrating things together, quarterly staff dinners with partners and such. I remember in the very early years, the pub on a Thursday or Friday evening was a must for staff. It was tough times, but we were all happy to hang out together after a hard day’s work building the company. Great team work was developed in those sessions. Some of those staff still work with me today.

So, cut the bull. No excuses, be honest. No sarcasm, no gossiping, no waffling. And let’s have great workplaces. You’ll get more done, have better results and enjoy it all the more.


Bullshift‘, by Andrew Horabin

About the author

Charlie has spent more than 20 years in Perth’s tech and startup sector, firstly as a founder himself, through to exit, and more recently as a writer, advisor and investor. Originally from the UK, Charlie worked in Singapore before arriving in Perth in 1997 to do an MBA at UWA. Graduating as top student in 1999 he set up online real estate business, running it for 10 years before selling to REIWA, whereupon Charlie ran In 2013, he moved to Business News to lead their digital transformation as CEO, and then worked for the federal government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program, funding pre-revenue startups and innovative businesses. He now works in an advisory capacity for multiple tech and other businesses, is managing editor of Startup News and co-host of the Startup West podcast. He also writes a column for Business News on startups. Charlie sits on the advisory boards of WA Leaders, TEDxPerth, WAITTA, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and the full board of Rise Network.

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