2nd Rite of Passage Stage

Rites of Passage stages mark important changes in your son’s life and help to guide him into adulthood.  The 2nd significant stage is a critical one, as if it is facilitated well, it allows for a great level of communication and understanding between a child and their parents, essential for stage 3.

Below is a summary of the stage and some tips on creating an environment that encourages the process and helps you as a parent / teacher / elder understand it a little better.


From nine years of age, boys start looking more to their dads to understand risks and learn behaviours in the ‘transition’ rite of passage stage. Between 9 to 12 years of age, boys love and respect their dads. At this rite of passage stage, their dad is the centre of their universe, the ‘alpha’ male, the person they want to be with and learn from.

With help, Dads, Mums, Grandparents and teachers can understand this rite of passage stage more deeply and take the opportunity to maximise this stage and be “consciously competent” in guide their son’s development in a positive way. A dad shows his son that ‘we can work this stuff out together’. A boy’s confidence and self-assurance increases during this rite of passage stage when he knows that ‘Dad’s here for you’ and sees you…

Tips to Assists this Natural Process

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Conscious Competence in Leadership

Have you ever observed someone as they are about to do something that could cause them a lot of pain or even endanger their life?  If you have you’ll be familiar with the skin crawling and cringing feeling that accompanies these moments.  As a climber I often observed people doing things at a cliff face that mean they are dancing with death.  Often this is an indication of their “unconscious incompetence”, in other words they have no idea of the potential harm they are placing themselves in.  A good leader appreciates that when working with people, often “conscious competence” is more desirable than “unconscious competence”.

Unconscious Competence versus Conscious Competence

By its very definition “unconscious competence” means that a person operates at a level that they are so well drilled in the task they are performing that they don’t think.  This may be a good thing completing a task but when it comes to leadership, it can be just as much a hindrance as a benefit.

The term “unconscious competence” is used in the “Four stages of competence”” learning model.   Summarised briefly a person moves from a state of no idea they are incompetent, to becoming aware of their incompetence.  They then develop their competence at a level where they have to think about a task to be competent at it and finally they reach “unconscious competence” which means that the skill becomes second nature.  Think of the stages you went through leaning to ride a bike or tie a knot in a rope.

Applied in Leadership

So how do these stages apply to practical leadership?  How effective are leaders that are operating in an “unconscious competence” manner?  In my own experience it has meant the difference between growing and achieving better results versus getting stuck in a rut and failing myself and those I was leading.  Below is an essential element to this theory that is often forgotten and 3 tips on how to develop this quickly.

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Developing a Growth Mindset – Some Tips on How

Developing a Growth Mindset.

Applying growth mindset theory to our lives can be a challenge but in my opinion, there is no area that it is required more than in young people as they navigate their early experiences of learning and development of their work ethic and self esteem. Many people with unknown potential limit their learning and opportunities due to their mindset being closed. Closed mindsets believe we are only as good as our results. We are capable, only of things “within” our predetermined or established level of competence. In other words, if I’ve been told I’m capable, if I’ve been told I’m leadership material and these opinions are the overriding “why” that means I’ll try things, then I am placing a higher level of importance on the opinion of others about my capabilities rather than my own self belief, awareness and joy of self discovery. This is why developing a growth mindset is so important.

Here are three points that are essential for you to introduce more of a growth mindset into your life and those around you.

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Nursery Rhymes Have Gone Bad

“Baa Baa Black Sheep”  ………. We all know the nursery rhyme.  But apparently some nursery rhymes have gone bad and are not appropriate for this generation.  How do we refer to a “black sheep” in any other way?  Are the colours of the colour wheel now debunked due to the need to not offend anyone?  It’s a tricky one to navigate as an adult, let alone a young child growing up.

So to explain my point that I feel it is ridiculous that some in the media and education are claiming that nursery rhymes have gone bad, let me tell you a story about a conversation I had with my two girls.  There we were in our lounge room, my daughter was talking to me about some basketball players we used to be involved with and she’d forgotten one of their names.  She remembered what number he wore but that didn’t jog my memory, she was too young to understand the concept of him being an “import player” Read more

Protect Kids at Their Peril

A couple of weekends ago, for the Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, my youngest daughter was asked to contribute by being interviewed about her illness.

She has been going to the kids hospital from about the age of 9 weeks, first for an unformed hip and then later from about the age of 4 and a half, for arthritis. We went to Melbourne and did our little 3 minute interview for the Good Friday Appeal and it reignited in me the inspiration I have to see us stop trying to protect our kids from everything. Read more