Monthly Archives: October 2015

MENTAL EXERCISE ‘Subconscious Leadership’


Hi everyone. Thank you for visiting this post.  My desire is to try and get you to consider and then commit to the MYCASKI leadership reminder system.  As with exercising or new years’ resolutions or any endeavor that requires commitment; our biggest challenge is to stay the course and actually achieve what we set out to do.

If you are comfortable in picturing the future and have great faith in your abilities and of those around you then this post may not be for you. However if you are open to suggestions, thank you for taking the time to read on and I believe that you will not regret it.

 In the next 10 minutes, should you consider it, you will comprehend a mindset that will sustain your leadership forever.  So how does MYCASKI achieve this!

 I would like to share with you what has fundamentally transitioned my leadership from green field to mature meadow.

 It all started over 30 years ago when I was pitching to ARAMCO.  They were heaping praise on me for a job well done and we shook hands on the contract right there and then. I did not think that I had done anything out of the ordinary but their feedback suggested otherwise.  Something they saw and heard but something that seemed normal but unrecognized by me. I subsequently made note of the comments and too my surprise realized they had collectively hit upon what I was subconsciously recalling. The more I thought about it the more it became apparent. Over the years I had heard on many occasions ‘Raymond gets it done’ ‘He stays with it’ ‘He would be in my first five’ ‘Always moving forward’ ‘Will have a go at anything’ ‘So passionate’ These comments had made an impression and, in my view but not too scientifically, had stuck and obviously influenced my thinking. I take no credit here, that goes to those commentators and to them I say a thank you for noticing, without them MYCASKI would not have been born, subconsciously or otherwise. I am sure that you have heard similar and achieved great things yourself.

 It is what I did next that fashioned my mindset and is fundamental in how I perform today. I instinctively knew there was a lesson to be learned from this experience, one that could be beneficial and it was important to remember it well. As a trigger I identified key words from the comments and created a prompt that was memorable. That prompt is MYCASKI.  Fortuitously it points to being a very personal prompt as a friend remarked ‘it begins with MY and ends in I’

 Throughout my career I have freely shared this with my friends and colleagues at work, in the community and in my personal life. It has fashioned who I am and if it has helped just one person, then I consider that my experience has been worthwhile.

 There are two parts to it; conscious and subconscious. I have consciously recalled it during job interviews, motivational speeches, sporting occasions, presentations and problem solving. Subconsciously it is a major factor in shaping my leadership by providing a mindset that consistently calibrates my performance. I recall and repeat it daily.

 This post is written to encourage you to share my experience and create and sustain your own leadership aspirations. After a short while you, those around you and those connected with you will noticeably benefit and/or continue to benefit from your leadership.

 I truly believe and have faith that you can acquire the MYCASKI mindset.

 Please find below explanations and suggestions to support your journey.

A Scientific Approach

I recently came across a body of scientific work by Colin Robertson that I have found to be a great source of inspiration that is helping me stay the course and I believe that it will benefit you too!.  As I have followed the process the more I am convinced that MYCASKI would benefit from its conclusions.  I have outlined below a direct reference to mental exercise utilizing Colin’s physical exercise mindset [¹].

Let me state right up front that there is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experiences and it is these attributes that separate good, great and exemplary leadership. The objective of MYCASKI is to provide you a reminder system that continually sets a standard mindset enabling your leadership aspirations to stay the course. With planned consideration and practice MYCASKI will make you a better leader!

I incorporate MYCASKI into conversations with my work colleagues, friends and my family and it has served me well to this very day and I know it to be timeless.

Each letter of MYCASKI represents a primary and secondary focal point acting as a powerful and personal reminder to me that fashions my mindset. It is this mindset that enables my goals and commitments to be achieved on a regular basis.

It is a subconscious reminder system and nothing more.

M= MAKE things happen and MAKE time for others

Y= Do not dwell too much on YESTERDAY and YOU must want it

C= CHALLENGE yourself and be CONFIDENT

A= Be ACCOUNTABLE and ALLOW others to grow

S= SET the example and SEE your vision

K= KNOW your limitations and improve your KNOWLEDGE

I= INTEGRATE relationships and be emotionally INTELLIGENT

Outlined below is the process of how Colin scientifically created a habit of exercise and how I believe its application can enhance the mental subconscious mechanism to ensure you leadership journey prevails.


The single biggest hurdle is setting the goal and then achieving it. Failure to achieve it is soul destroying and creates a further hurdle when you set out to revisiting that goal. It becomes a difficult cycle to break. So uppermost in your mind should be on winning with failure not an option.

A quote from Colin ‘When setting up your exercise habit, ensure that no matter what you will achieve it. It does not matter if it is 1 day per week or 7 days per week. The important thing is that you will never skip it. You cannot set up a habit if you are not consistent’


When is the best time to engage the grey matter?  I guess most people plan for after work, after they have exhausted themselves applying their minds and bodies to their job at hand.  Doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, does it?  Wisdom from Colin suggests there is too much going on in the evening; our willpower is at its lowest as we try to navigate our way around and thru what life has in store for us…it is easy to give up or put it off in favor of an easy choice.

Fortunately there are fewer temptations in the morning, hence our willpower is at its highest, and therefore it makes sense to calibrate the mind to completing a task first thing.  In our case the task is nothing as onerous as getting ready to go to the gym or taking on the forest trail; it is only a simple matter of recalling a mental reminder. In the early days you can simply write a giant letter on your bathroom mirror; who doesn’t look at the mirror first thing…simple repeat the meaning of the letter (ie M = Make time for others) whilst doing your teeth.


The Leadership journey is a lifetime endeavor, and genuine leaders do not simply switch off when they leave the office.  They utilize their skills, values and experiences gained in a working environment throughout their community and personal lives. Underpinning these attributes is a dependence upon an emotional, physical and intelligent mindset.  If you have ambition to become and continue to be a leader you must fashion your mindset in a way that suits your aspirations.  Some people take no attention to forming a mindset and simply fall away and fail their followers and themselves as time passes.

MYCASKI provides you with a common thread that has more than likely coursed thru the minds of historical leaders, statesmen and philosophers alike.  If your purpose is to establish a deep rooted mindset in your subconscious, then MYCASKI will provide a suitable recall system that allows you to become a balanced leader and sustain your objectives.

Let me reiterate that there is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experiences and it is these attributes that separate good, great and exemplary leadership.  MYCASKI does not provide an easy or alternative path to leadership; what is does provide is a mindset that enables your goals and commitments to be achieved on a regular basis.


This is a tricky task.  How do you measure a leader or their leadership? What do you hold performance or their effectiveness up against?

 You could use a form of self-assessment to judge your own performance or effectiveness. This may be difficult as we may not be objective but it may be worth doing to provide a personal benchmark.  Alternatively you could conduct a 180º subordinate assessment to see how they view your leadership.  You could also offer this to your peers and superiors to obtain an overall view of how your leadership is observed.

My recommendation is to create a MYCASKI assessment indicator. List the first 7 primary points then assess and score each out of 5; then score the 7 secondary points. Use this as a personal benchmark.  At the same time ask for 180 º assessment using the same indicator.  After a period of time, say 3 to 6 months request a reassessment and compare scores.

This approach should not prove too complex and will at least provide you with fairly reliable feedback.  It will be up to you to interpret and act upon the results.  You decide which needs the most attention.  There is no right or wrong direction. My belief is that not only will your performance improve but that of your team also as there will be a direct benefit for them.


If you try to remember what MYCASKI represents from day 1, and then repeat it at a regular frequency say hourly, daily or weekly; it is highly probable that you will fail.  So take it one point at a time.

Take the letter M and what it primarily and secondarily represents and say it either subconsciously or out loud until you are confident that you can remember it.  Do not force it.  Then move to Y and repeat the process as for M. Follow this with repeating both M and Y before moving to C. Then repeat M and Y and incorporate C. Continue thru ASKI.  Move at your own pace.

Before too long it will sink in and you will be amazed at your recall.  Not only that, the points that are introduced to your mindset will start to be performed subconsciously.


As time passes you will find your effectiveness and performance improving without much recollection of recalling MYCASKI.

This is a great sign.  Just like what you may have already experienced. Have you ever driven a regular route from A to B and on occasion arrived safely at B never remembering the last part of the journey. How did you do that?  It is the process of repetition that embeds the details into your subconscious, that is how; and it is that which takes over and reminds you what to do and consider along the way.

I recall MYCASKI daily to improve my performance and to sustain my leadership mindset.  I do confess that somedays I only concentrate on a single letter.  The point is that I do it repeatedly.  I follow the process.


I look forward to hearing of your successful leadership and in conclusion offer below a quote from Colin…

‘It has been a long journey since I set out to become a habitual exerciser. My biggest ally throughout the entire journey has been patience. So often we overload ourselves with exercise because we are impatient to get results. We want hard abs and we want them now! But this is completely contrary to what will actually get you results. 

Great things take time. It has taken me over 3 years of persistent effort to go from zero exercise, to being on the verge of becoming a sponsored athlete. And it all started with exercising 1 day per week. You will likely live many more years, so there is no rush to begin exercising every day. Remember, a river cuts through rock not because of its strength, but its persistence’


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