My Writing

Movies with meaning 1

A different kind of post, and the first of an occasional series.

Here are a first few movies I love that also have meaning within them that resonates for me. Do share yours with me and I’ll post another set soon. (more…)

A leader is someone others choose to follow

A recent post was on “How far is it acceptable to push ?” and reflected on the difference in two teams in pro cycling. One driven by fear and control and “zero tolerance”, another by trust and acceptance and, ultimately, love.

In this I was reminded of the quote from Dr King :


In my life I have worked for several decades in business, in sports, and in leadership. You want “hard-nosed results” for your business ? Higher Revenues ? Reduced Expenses ? Bigger Profits ? Higher Valuation ? (more…)

Pushing too far, and learning from it !

I’m fascinated by elite performance. Sometimes “pushing” can turn toxic, as I discussed with “how far is it acceptable to push?“, talking about the use of performance enhancing drugs in pro cycling and the culture around it.

Sometimes, however, we must challenge ourselves to see what our limits are, then learn, both in terms of skills and self-belief, where we can go further.

However, sometimes we go TOO far, so let me tell a few stories that make both points. (more…)

How far is it acceptable to push ?

I am catalysed to write this by an article by Richard Moore, a journalist and author I hold in high regard, written in advance of a key documentary going out on BBC on November 19, 2017, in which he concludes :

“..questions that are being increasingly asked about elite sport: how far is 
it acceptable to push; how close to the line do you want to go?”

Take a moment and consider this for your own leadership. Leadership of your business, leadership in your family, leadership of your own self. How far is is acceptable to push ? how close to the line do you want to go ? (more…)

Knowledge, Belief and Leadership

A reminder of the genius of one of the greatest comedy series of all time:

Sir Humphrey : “Have you read the Financial Times this morning ?”

Banker : “Never do”

Sir Humphrey : “Well you’re a banker, surely you read the Financial Times ?”

Banker : “Can’t understand it, Full of Economic Theory”

Sir Humphrey : “Why do you buy it ?”

Banker : “oh, you know, part of the uniform”

This clip illustrates how far and how high a senior executive can climb with limited knowledge and only lots of belief in themselves and their ideas.

Am recently back from Kilkenomics and seeking to distil learnings from so may amazing people, including so many brilliant economists with so much knowledge to share. (more…)

Did you hear the one about the funny Economist ?

Did you hear the one about why the Irish Economics professor did not one, but two research studies before publishing his new theory ? 

To be sure, to be sure !

Yup, I made that one up. Apologies, couldn’t resist ! I’m not an Economist, nor a Comedian (to be sure!), nor am I at all sure how I know what I know (see previous article  on knowledge here).

However, I was at Kilkenomics recently. Having seen the brilliant David McWilliams speak a few years ago in the Cayman Islands, combining great knowledge with humour to land his opinions, I was irresistibly drawn to this festival for many reasons, a key one being to get a sense for how injecting humour would support learning and shifting of opinions among both the panellists and the audience. (more…)

How do we know what we know ?

At the same time as I arrived in Kilkenny a few days ago for a weekend of Economics geekery at Kilkenomics, I was messaging on Twitter with a brilliant friend of mine to get their ideas on future themes for my writing on this site. They messaged :

write about epistemology?
You don’t write about things you can evidence in a repeatable study
But what you write has value and conveys knowledge
How do you know what you know?
And how do you know that you know it?

I’ve never focussed on Epistemology, nor even studied Philosophy in any depth, but the timing of the idea really switched on my radar as I listened and spoke to the many experts at Kilkenomics, both about what they thought and shared, and also for myself. How do I know what I know ? (more…)

The Distributed Trust revolution

In our UNTHINKABLE era,  #Open Leadership is the way forward for leading through such radical disruption, as we are not living in an era of incremental change, it is and will be revolutionary.

How revolutionary ?

From thought leader Rachel Botsman, the most beautifully concise expression of the Distributed Trust revolution to come :

“So an idea that intrigued me, and I’d like you to consider, is whether we can better understand major waves of disruption and change in individuals in society through the lens of trust. Well, it turns out that trust has only evolved in three significant chapters throughout the course of human history: local, institutional and what we’re now entering, distributed.

This is really, really big.  (more…)

Even thought leaders can’t keep up

speed of change

In recent articles I’ve focussed on DISTRIBUTED TRUST.

As a term, it is currently mostly applied at a technical level, and mostly to areas such as Blockchain and FinTech etc.

Distributed Trust is going to be so much bigger, see my recent post for some cogitations on what it could mean. Take a picture of your passport, it will be a historical piece well within our lifetimes.

The speed our world moves at means that we cannot possibly lead by staying up to date with content changes, even at the level of conceptual or even detailed level of understanding of areas like blockchain technology.

Such technologies create great leaps for us and catalyse further change. What the speed of change in our era means, though, is that they are coming closer and closer together and to lead, to stay ahead of what is current, to be a thought leader, means to stay in context.

Now, at this stage I wish to recognise a thought leader around Distributed Trust and also to share something she shared that is a very direct reminder of how fast the world moves, even for thought leaders. (more…)

Love, trust and Distributed Trust

I am hugely excited for the future of our world.

Yes, we live in UNTHINKABLE time and the speed of change renders the way we historically have learned and lead obsolete.

However, the answer is in moving to lead from our emotions and from a place of trust (contextually, from a place of LOVE), as opposed to leading from intellect, knowledge, control, scarcity, competition (ie from a place of FEAR). Put that way, I hope you are excited about the future too ! (more…)