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…

 

 

Ignore the noise of Metrics – tune in to what truly matters

Seth Godin writes daily and has over 1,000,000 followers on his email list.

I write daily and have around 1,000 email followers.

Metrics.

For many years a part of my work was engaged with digital marketing. So much of that was about building traffic to websites, spending money on promotion to draw people to your site then sell them something. Metrics were everything.

As I’ve gone past 300 daily posts and loving writing more and more, I muse on how I no longer care about metrics the way I used to, I have become clearer and clearer about what truly matters. As one of Peter Gabriel’s songs highlights for me, I’m clearer on clear on what is Signal over what is Noise.

I muse on metrics and meaning today after yesterday, in “The Power of Intention – “This is post 300””, writing about how that day marked post #300 of my posting daily on this site, and noted “Listen to your intention. Follow it without always having to know where it will lead. You will create serendipities. Amazing things can and will happen!” (more…)

The Power of Intention – “This is post 300”

156917-Deepak-Chopra-Quote-The-power-of-intention-is-a-critical-factor-in

This is post 300

Today is the 300th post on this site.

With no plan in mind, last year I felt powerfully drawn to writing again after a long break. Not only this, I decided to commit to posting daily.

I’ll tell the story, then reflect on some unexpected serendipities that directly link to this that show the power of following our intention and without overthinking what it could lead to!

(In the image above, Deepak Chopra talks of synchronicities. I talk of serendipity (as in the post “Create Serendipity“. He says tomayto, I say tomahto 😜)

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Petrichor – How our environment can impact us

Petrichor – the smell after rain hits dry ground

From the Greek, Petros, meaning stone, and Ichor, meaning “the fluid that flows from the veins of the gods”

Today my mind goes to this beautiful word, and, inspired by the word, also to how I felt after the rain came and the weather cooled off, which then had me muse on how, over time, we can unconsciously adapt and change to a different environment. Such awareness of the environmental impact on an individual can have value when considered at scale for relationships, families, businesses, organisations, societies.

I live in central London, and this summer has been truly exceptional, hot and dry as never recorded before. In fact, until the early evening of Friday, July 27th it had not rained for around eight weeks. Day after day, week after week went by with the weather replicated.

clapham common savannah

Hot, dry, sunny. Every day. As it continued week after week it felt like a new normal, as if the weather had ever been this way. (more…)

Winning at Halftime

Today a guest post from Bruce Peters of Beyond Teal, who is based in upstate New York. His post is on leadership lessons from elite sports, a recurring theme on this site. Thank you to Bruce for allowing me to share this with you here.

Bruce is a remarkable human being that I’ve had the absolute pleasure and privilege to get to know over the last year.  Our initial connection is around “Teal”, around the future of organisations. For more, go to the post: “Books I Love – Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux“. Bruce is a warm, kind, generous man with an absolute wealth of knowledge in business and leadership, and full of energy and curiosity!

GS-Warriors-huddle

Winning at Halftime

If winning is your business goal, how can you help your team do it? (more…)

Patience – “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye”

Some Scots for you in the title today.

“Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye”

Translation: What’s for you will not go by you.

My Scots grandmother or, in more recent times, a dear friend (also Scots, naturally!) would use this to remind me to have patience, to relax, to be myself rather than feel urgency.

As this once again came up for me recently, am musing today, then, on patience and time. (more…)

We can all be brave leaders through our individual actions

the world is changed by your example coelho

Today I woke up to see this story of a 21 year old Swedish woman taking a stand against deportation of an Afghan from her country by standing up to prevent her flight from departing. Her name is Elin Errson, and she literally took a stand for what she believed to be right.

The video below is edited to 3′ and is very emotional and inspirational.

I’ve then linked to a Guardian interview of Ms Errson, then added my own thoughts and links to thoughts from two earlier posts on this site.

We can all be brave leaders through our individual actions

All we need do is simply take a stand for what we believe in, by simply being of integrity to that and acting from that place.

Leaders who do not, lose their followers. (more…)

Open Leadership – Being Human

being vulnerable bob marley

This is a repost and update of one of my earliest posts on this site, “Presence…and Vulnerability“. Why a repost?

My current musing is on Romance, Beauty and business. Yesterday’s post, inspired by the “Business Romantic”, Tim Leberecht, had me think about being human and building a business around that, and I finished yesterday with:

“Business can be beautiful when it embraces what it means to be human. Appreciate beauty for beauty’s sake, be vulnerable, open, intimate, curious, authentic. Such qualities in humans are beautiful at a deep level, as they are with a business.”

Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk is my favourite TED talk of all time. Every time I watch it I well up with tears towards the end. Why? Simple, such humanity is truly beautiful.

As Bob Marley also notes above, vulnerability is essential if we are to take true pleasure in life. Oh, and it also risks it all too, so vulnerability is indeed brave and a gift to ourselves and others.

Be Human. (more…)

Romantic and Beautiful Business

red heart romantic beautiful business

So, the last two articles I wrote here have mused on romance, idealism, romanticism and magical reality.

Leadership: Romance, Life in Full Colour and Magical Reality

Life in Full Colour – Cry, Heart, But Never Break

In (so far) nearly 300 daily articles on this site, I have covered a wide range, and beauty is a recurring theme, but what does beauty have to do with business ?

A few years ago I came across the writing of Tim Leberecht, who calls himself (and this is also the title of his book) “The Business Romantic”. We’ve not yet met, though I look forward to doing so as I know we will have much to share and perhaps synthesise together !

In writing those two posts above this past week, I remembered coming across Tim so started to research his more recent work and came across a TED Talk which I will focus on here. (more…)

Life in Full Colour – Cry, Heart, But Never Break

I believe the future of leadership is #OpenLeadership and self-knowledge is a key part of the foundation to this, so sometimes I step into choosing to share where I am on life’s journey and what I am musing on.

Specifically, I am musing yesterday and today on the power of romance, idealism and romanticism. We can all be inspired in many ways in our life and work, and at the moment, this is a theme I am drawn to write about.

kahlo

(more…)

Leadership: Romance, Life in Full Colour and Magical Reality

Today I’ll muse on life, art and how what I have learned links to leadership in business.

Romantic Idealism. First, I’ll look being a romantic and idealism in leadership.

Next, I’ll explore what I mean by “Life in Full Colour” and then taking risks in leadership.

Magical Reality. Finally, I’ll look at what I meant when I recently coined for myself this term, then what that means for leadership and not settling for less than your ideals

(more…)

Stretch but don’t break – and watch Nanette

“A leader is someone others choose to follow” ~ (me)

People follow leaders who are “keepers of the vision” and who create and maintain a space where people feel inspired and also stretched to be their best to be part of achieving that vision.

What if, however, a leader stretches things too far? It is always a risk, and should you stretch too far, the container, the space, can be broken and you can lose your audience.

So, who can leaders learn from who do this masterfully? Who stretch but don’t break that bond with their audience, their followers ?

Yes, many business, political, societal leaders. Who else? Actors and Comedians. (more…)

Modern Elder Academy – apply now !

Master_MEA_Gallery

Today, a rare “shameless plug”. As I’ve written about on numerous occasions, the amazing Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy is now “open for business”!

The first two week long residential immersive workshop experiences are November 4-11 and November 11-18 in Baja, Mexico. Applications are now being accepted and will sell out fast! At US$5,000 (scholarships available, see the site), this is a stunningly powerful investment in yourself and your future life and work.

Trust me… I was part of the beta programme, my week there was truly transcendent!

You can tell by all the exclamation point that I am excited about this, huh?

So, visit Modern Elder Academy and learn more for yourself.

Onlyness and Chip Conley

Nilofer Onlyness

In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several thought leaders, speakers, writers who I have very much admired and respected for many years.

Two of those people are Nilofer Merchant and Chip Conley.

Nilofer I just talked to for the first time recently, Chip I first connected with via my writing on this site late last year, then I followed the energy and spent time with him and an amazing cohort of Modern Elders in Baja, Mexico this past April.

Now, from talking to Nilofer, today I simply will connect her concept of Onlyness to what I see that means for Chip Conley.

In her book, she writes about this word she came up with:

“You’re standing in a spot in the world that only you stand in, a function of your history and experiences, visions, and hopes. From this spot where only you stand, you offer a distinct point of view, novel insights, and even groundbreaking ideas. Now that you can grow and realize those ideas through the power of networks, you have a new lever to move the world.”

“Through the power of onlyness, an individual conceives an idea born of his narrative, nurtures it with the help of a community that embraces it, and, through shared action, makes the idea powerful enough to dent the world.”

Nilofer and I recently had a wonderful “virtual walk and talk” call (after all, she did a wonderful TED talk on walking meetings!). On that call, among other things, she helped me see my own “Onlyness”, for which I am deeply grateful, and as the call progressed I also witnessed and had insights around hers.

This call then saw me muse back to spending time with Chip a few months ago. (more…)

Create Serendipity

Are you or your business lucky ? do you benefit or suffer from coincidences?

I don’t believe in luck, I believe in serendipity. Serendipity is not luck, it is not coincidence.

Serendipity is something you can choose to create for yourself and in the way you lead and structure your organisation.

You see, I hold true to the concept of “I create the whole of my reality”, and at one level, this links to Serendipity.

So, what is Serendipity ?  (more…)

Levels of Leadership – Idioms

dilbert cliched idioms

Today a Leadership lesson at two levels around the use of Idioms.

Level One: Leaders, avoid USING clichéd idioms.

Cliché : 

“a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”

Idiom:

“a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words”

“a form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people.”

Level Two: Leaders, avoid BEING clichéd and losing your “idios”.

Level one feels easy, yes?  Level two though? What is Tom talking about? (more…)