In 1957, in an Monastery in Thailand, a group of monks were relocating a giant clay Buddha when one of the them noticed a crack in the statue.

Taking a closer look, the monk was surprised to notice a golden glow coming from beneath the clay. Carefully chipping away at the clay, he discovered that the entire statue was in fact made of pure, solid gold.

Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay to protect it from an attack by the Burmese army. All the monks who had covered the precious statue had been killed in the attack. It took several hundred years for this treasure to be discovered.

I love this story because it also speaks to the gold hidden inside of us.

We so often lose sight of our inner core of gold. And, we often fail to see and appreciate the gold that exists inside the collective.

It was been estimated that we spend about 80% of our time trying to fix what’s not working and only 20% of our time trying to build on our strengths. And most of the time we are searching for the ‘fix’ outside of ourselves, or outside of our organisation.

But what if everything we need is already inside of us, waiting patiently to be discovered?

Last week I was engaged to facilitate an Appreciative Inquiry Mini-summit, which is really just a fancy way to describe a shared process of discovering the gold that already exits within an organisation.

The Appreciative Inquiry process is a facilitated, shared experience of illuminating the answers to questions that look for the true, the good and the possible.

Appreciative Inquiry is a powerful experience that guides us to discover and amplify the gold that is already here.

As Frank Barrett explains “Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-based, capacity building approach to transforming human systems toward a shared image of their most positive potential by first discovering the very best in their shared experience.”

I facilitated the group through 5 D’s.

DEFINE: What do we want more than anything as an organisation?

DISCOVER: What are we doing really, really well (individually and collectively)?

DREAM:  What would extraordinary success would look and feel like?

DESIGN: What are the pathways towards that future-state vision?

DELIVER: What are our next best steps?

The outputs of the day included:

  • A much stronger appreciation of each persons individual values
  • Three core values that unite the team (and harmonise with individual values)
  • A super-compelling future state vision, and
  • Clear actions to get there

I absolutely loved facilitating the day. The participants also loved it. The whole experience felt more like play than it did work.

Our next step is to co-create a simple, clear one-page behavior’s guide to create a single-source-of truth about what’s OK and what’s not OK as the team begin to embed these shared values into the way they work.

Brene Brown speaks to the importance of this critical next step better than I ever could “If you’re not going to take the time to translate values from ideals to behaviours—if you’re not going to teach people the skills they need to show up in a way that’s aligned with those values and then create a culture in which you hold one another accountable for staying aligned with the values it’s better not to profess any values at all. They become a joke.  A cat poster. Total BS.”


As businesses tighten their belts, every dollar spent on leadership development needs to be a dollar well-spent.

Here’s three great ways you can invest in your leaders for under $5k. Reach out of you would like to explore possibilities.

SELF-LEADERSHIP MASTERCLASS : Upskill your leaders with evidence-based practices that will empower them to lead themselves (and their many inner ‘parts’) through times of change and challenge, so that they can be true leaders for others (without the exhaustion).

VALUES ACTIVATION WORKSHOP : Refresh your values to ensure they’re easy to remember and in moments that matter, and co-create a single source of truth that clearly communicates what’s OK and what’s not OK.

APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY SUMMIT : Clarify, protect and amplify current strengths and best-practices to uplift performance across the entire organisation through a one-day Appreciative Inquiry Summit.


By reconnecting to our deepest selves we liberate our highest potential and serve the greatest good. That’s why I specialise in the tricky business of authentic leadership and why I’m pioneering the practice of self-fidelity. I’m a trusted guide for big-hearted leaders who are ready to explore their inner worlds and rediscover their true selves. I help leaders get out of their own way, so they can have the impact they want to have. I offer keynotes, workshops, programs, one-on-one and group coaching. Book a no-strings-attached discovery call with me here.

Before you became my coach I thought I was taking care of myself  – but I really wasn’t.  I was just scratching the surface.  I had no idea that there was a little girl inside of me that needed me to take care of her.  Marg (Coaching Client)