My Writing

My Writing

I get my best ideas from listening to people. Fortunately, that’s my job.

I like to say that people are my library, and my daily writing practice is a way to discover what’s in it: new ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and a little whimsy for good measure.  As your humble librarian I invite you to check out a new idea every day. No late fees ever.

Enjoy…

All things come to those who wait

All Things Come To Those Who Wait. English saying.

Today, on a quiet and grey winter Sunday morning, I am taking a “slow day”.

I know myself to be someone instinctive and intuitive, who often moves fast from decision to action, that when I “light the blue touch paper” I move fast and people move fast and act fast in concert with me.

At the same time, lesson after lesson presents to me and to all of us through history that sometimes the truest and best course of action is to be patient.

The trick, then, is to know when to “light the blue touch paper” and when to pause or simply move patiently. (more…)

Exploring Beauty – John O’Donohue

odonohue beauty

Yesterday I wrote: “CEO Pay and Ugly Leadership” in which I shared the words of Alan Moore:

“Beautiful Businesses Leaders respond to a higher order calling of service to a greater good. Their leadership is framed by values and informed by purpose.”

To act on that higher order calling part of that path is to know the difference between Beautiful Leadership and Ugly Leadership. To truly anchor to Beautiful Leadership it is is key simply to Explore Beauty for the beauty’s sake.

Today some of the beautiful thoughts and words of the late John O’Donahue, who truly dedicated his life to the exploration of beauty in thought and deed. (more…)

CEO Pay and Ugly Leadership

bad good-1123013_960_720

“Beautiful Leadership is a choice, so is Ugly Leadership”

I wrote these words recently in: “Be careful of toxic language

Two days  in “Our Clarion Call to Beautiful Leaders and Makers“, I shared Alan Moore’s thoughts on Beauty in Leadership and Business, including:

“Beautiful Businesses Leaders respond to a higher order calling of service to a greater good. Their leadership is framed by values and informed by purpose.”

Yesterday someone asked me if Alan and I were reaching too high to frame up our focus as high as Beautiful Leadership. My answer was simple. “No, we can all be aspiring to be more. Lead more beautifully, build businesses that are more beautiful”.

We know beauty when we see it. We know Beautiful Leadership when we experience it.

Today an example, CEO pay levels, where current models (and they are a choice) are ugly rather than beautiful. For CEOs and other leaders reading this, I ask you to consider your choices and whether you could choose to lead more beautifully. (more…)

Be so good they can’t ignore you

steve martin

Today I’m recommending to you to choose to “be so good they can’t ignore you”, and to back that up by having people in your life, including mentors, that believe in you even more than you believe in yourself

“Be so good they can’t ignore you” ~ Steve Martin

Steve Martin is brilliant. If you don’t know his work, treat yourself to watching any of his brilliant movies across different genres, his sketch show work, his writing (and there is more, much more to him).

Today I’ll share a clip of him giving that famous piece of advice he has repeated over and over, then link to my own thoughts on the power of belief and being supported by those who believe in you. (more…)

Our Clarion Call to Beautiful Leaders and Makers

Alan_Moore_Beautiful_Business_Walk

A walk in Snowdonia: Image by Julian Calverley

Over the last several months I’ve begun a collaboration with Alan Moore.

This has, as a first step, extended to a nascent “Beautiful Community”. Thsi will be the first “pebble in the pond” creating a ripple that will ultimately become a movement around the philosophy of #BeautifulLeadership.

This movement will encompass everything from full-year transformative leadership programmes to one-day workshops, online communities, web summits, publishing, even documentary series.

Today I share with you Alan’s post, effectively our “Clarion Call”, a statement of Alan’s vision that signifies our intent to do our part in leading beautifully towards a more restorative and beautiful world through business and leadership.

Below is Alan’s post in full.
(more…)

At risk versus taking risks

RISK

Risk.

Understanding Risk is core to Leadership

Today some simple thoughts around what Risk means to us individually rather than as leaders of organisations.

Specifically, around what it feels like to be “at risk” and how that impacts our ability and willingness to “take risks”.

Even more specifically, how our personal feelings around being “at risk” may impact our ability to “take risks” in our job and our lives. (more…)

Belief and Mentoring

mentor belief

I love the sentiment in that picture above.

“It would be a stretch for others to believe in you at a level higher than yourself. Your mentors are an exception.”

Today I’ve just had two mentoring conversations and so feel like musing on the power of belief in mentoring and sharing some experiences both as mentor and mentee.

In summary, if you feel your mentor doesn’t believe in you at least as much as you believe in yourself, they are not the right mentor for you.

(more…)

Ma – thinking about the space between

kanji-for-ma

Ma is one of four Japanese terms for space, space being a concept that, it feels, is given much more focus in Japanese culture than in the West.

Today is Friday, January 4th and it feels to me to be a “space between”, where people have turned their minds back towards work after the holiday season, yet at the same time it still can feel like a “space between”.

Today some musing on space and then a learning from a client just before I wrote this, on what this can be used for to benefit you and your business. (more…)

Be careful of toxic language

toxic-1

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

For the last several years the UK government has operated their immigration policy under a two-word term: “Hostile Environment“.

This started out as being designed to make it difficult for those in the UK illegally to stay, but very quickly became an amplifier for the still heavily entrenched institutional racism still present in this country, impacting literally millions of people contributing to society.

Over the holiday season, the UK Government showed with a very simple choice of toxic words in a tweet how deeply embedded the doctrine and culture of Hostile Environment has become. (more…)

Everyday Leadership and Legacy

Penny-McDowall-Andrew-Smiley

Penny McDowall

Receiving the Special Olympics North America coach of the year award 

I just got news from Cayman that Penny McDowall passed away on New Year’s Eve. The short instinctive note I sent to her husband Rod simply said:

Such a loss, and such a life. An inspiration and wonderful human.

Today, I feel moved to write about Penny, about her legacy, and about how we can all live and model what Drew Dudley call’s “Everyday Leadership”. (more…)

What is your one-word theme for 2019?

one word theme year

First of all, welcome to 2019 as today is the 1st of January!

Over the last two weeks or so I’ve mused on a process for first a) reflecting on the last year, then b) being present to where you are right now, then finally c) setting a focus for 2019.

Now, you may well have some ideas for 2019. You might have, for your business, a strategic plan for one or more years, allied to operational plans, budgets etc.

However, do you have a one-word theme for the year? If not, I recommend you do. (more…)

Thank you for visiting my website

People are my library, my daily writing a way to discover what’s in it: ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and a little fun. As your humble librarian, I invite you to subscribe to check out a digest of daily emails emailed twice each week. No late fees, ever.