I was very lucky in my early career as a banker to have had some wonderful mentors. First there was Ian, who taught me how to communicate with vastly different audiences – is that unusual for a banker?

Ian was great. Amongst other little communication gems Ian gave me (which I still use to this day), he showed me that writing a technical letter to someone in Germany for example, was expressed entirely differently and yet with the exact same information, to one written to someone in India.

Bob Selden

I was very lucky in my early career as a banker to have had some wonderful mentors. First there was Ian, who taught me how to communicate with vastly different audiences – is that unusual for a banker?

Ian was great. Amongst other little communication gems Ian gave me (which I still use to this day), he showed me that writing a technical letter to someone in Germany for example, was expressed entirely differently and yet with the exact same information, to one written to someone in India.

What a lesson!

What a lesson!

Then there was Ken. I snagged a very cool job in the Training Department of the bank and initially had to deliver a range of courses from customer service, to management, to such technical things as foreign exchange dealings. I was a nervous, introverted young man, a little unsure of what I was doing. The good thing about Ken is that he could obviously see some potential, and took the time to develop it.  

Ken taught me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learnt and which at the time helped me develop into a good trainer. It’s one that I still use most days. That lesson is very simple.  As Ken expressed it, “If you want to help people learn how to do things a little differently, or to do new things, or perhaps change their approach or even attitude, you have to get into their world before they’ll come into yours”.

So to take Ken’s advice, “I need to get into your world before you’ll come into mine”. 

This website gives me that opportunity. I’d like to find out what your challenges, your issues, even your problems are – particularly around managing, leading, communicating and business development – and offer some solutions. So, please do get in touch.

Most of what I offer on this site is free – it’s my way of giving back for the great career I’m having in management and business development – and to pass on some of the wonderful advice and lessens I’ve learnt from others along the way. Obviously I still need to make a living and defray expenses, so there are charges for things such as my books. And of course, if I can add value for one-on-one coaching, or with your team or organisation, we can negotiate the fee for employing me to consult, facilitate or coach – and yes, everything’s negotiable!

So by now you know that I started out as a banker. This, with my later organisational consulting, gives me a nice mix of finance, business and people management experience to draw on when partnering with clients.

Currently, my main work is as a Senior Consultant in the Manawatu region of New Zealand for Family Business Central, an Australasian based organisation set up by my friend and colleague of over 25 years, Phil Pryor. Family Business Central helps family businesses manage the business of family – i.e. the key relationships that make the family and the business work effectively. And I also work remotely with family businesses anywhere!

Phil says that I often undersell myself (I do find it a little embarrassing to sprout my expertise), so I’ve succumbed to his wishes (or is that ‘pushes’) and provided his quotes … So as Phil says;

“Bob has a deep understanding of the key issues facing family businesses such as:

  • How to have the challenging conversations that need to be had to ensure the family is working and living in harmony
  • How to identify the key family values that will lead to building long term legacies for the family
  • How to make, use and develop “merit” as a key principle for employing family members in the business
  • How to structure, manage and lead effective family and company boards for business success.

Bob has over 50 years of senior management, finance, people and business experience and brings this practical knowledge to the table when working with family businesses. It’s a privilege and pleasure to work with Bob”.

Previously, when living and working in Switzerland from 2002 to 2009, particularly when spending some time as a Coach at one of the world’s premier business schools, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, I was very keen to read as much as possible about management and leadership Development. Although there were some good books, much of their content was dedicated to traits/skills/qualities, as in “What makes a good manager”.

I wanted some practical “How to” stuff for the people I coached on the IMD Leadership Programmes.

So I penned “What To Do When You Become The Boss: How new managers become successful managers”, a book for newly promoted managers which has become a best-seller (over 75,000 copies sold and published in four languages). I’m very grateful to another great mentor of mine, Dennis Pratt who took the time to advise on, then edit every line. The book has received worldwide acclaim for its practical tips on getting things done through people.  

Then on returning to Australia, I hit a bit of a snag with my next project.

My second book, “Don’t: how using the right words will change your life”, a book on words, language and conversations that impact our behaviour and can make us all more positive in everything that we do, sold well at first, then the distributor went broke.

At time of writing this “About me”, I’m working through the process of re-publishing “Don’t” as I’ve had many requests for the book and believe it’s a must read for all managers, in fact everyone who needs to communicate.

Most recently, I've published What To Do When Leadership Is Needed, which is a bit of an anomaly for me as I believe that leadership cannot be learned by reading a book - so that was a real challenge. It's a workbook for managers who aspire to become leaders and shows how one can develop as a leader through one's life experiences,

Also on the writing front, I’ve been privileged to co-author a book with the vastly experienced company board coach, facilitator and advisor, Dr. Melinda Muth, for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, ‘Setting the Tone from the Top: How director conversations shape culture’. Wow, is that needed at the moment! And I’ve also just completed a chapter on “How to manage bullying in the workplace” for a just released book by Joe Catanzariti and my friend Carol Egan, “Workplace Bullying, 2nd edition”.

With qualifications in psychology and management, and expertise that spans organisational design to staff motivation, I’m very well placed to help and advise businesses and individual managers develop to their full potential.

And, I’m told I’m a good listener – so please tell me your story – I’d love to “get into your world”.

Interviews

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Studio 10: Unlocking The DO And DON'T
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Authors Exposed: Bob Selden
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Interview with James Valentine ABC

Get In touch please

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