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…

Context and choosing your team

dream big get shit down

Am working on building a tribe to work on a brave and different project that looks at business and leadership through the lens of beauty.

Thanks to Susan Aktemel for posting this on Twitter the other day. I saw Susan speak at the Entrepreneurial Summit at Gleneagles this past April and her passion and purpose for business with purpose was inspiring!

The diagramme also gives me an opportunity here to share a learning. (more…)

Beautiful Leadership – Shining Eyes

ben zander ted

You can see from the front pages of this site that I look to work with visionary leaders to see beyond their vision, to “work with them to bring out their unique gifts.”

Benjamin Zander is a legendary classical music conductor, he sees his role as “to awaken possibility in other people” and he knows he is being successful in this when he sees their eyes shining. To him, “success is not about wealth and fame and power. It’s about how many shining eyes I have around me.

Read on for Ben Zander’s amazing TED talk and no how I see that link to my focus on Beautiful Leadership. (more…)

Profitable, difficult or important

children important work

Is being a parent Profitable? No. Is being a parent Difficult? Sometimes, sure. Is being a parent Important? Absolutely. To me, it is the most important and valuable work I’ve ever or will ever do.

As I write this post the last of my three sons has headed out of London, ending a summer where I got to spend so much time with them all. Two of them are already “fully-fledged”, the third trying out his wings, so who knows when I will have so much time with them again. My reflection on that, then is on how important time spend with our children is.

Why, though, today’s title and thoughts around “Profitable, difficult or important” though?

Well, this came from a post this week from the man who, nearly a year ago, inspired me to commit to posting daily. First was the commitment to make it a habit, then the habit became embedded, now I simply write. I am a writer.

Writing is something I do not because it is profitable, nor do I find it difficult. I do, however, find it to be important, both for me as a human to share what I learn and also from reflections from others on the difference it has made for them. If I can touch one person with what I write, it is important to me.

So, the post title here comes from the man himself, Seth Godin, and today I give you his post this week: (more…)

Lukewarm is no good

Go at it full speed

This week was “Roald Dahl day“, celebrating and honouring his unique genius. This quote circulated and moved me.

On the #BeMoreYou page on this site, I give an expression of what I offer to clients, to #BeMoreYou, and express that as:

  • Be Hungry
  • Be Humble
  • Be Brave
  • Be Open

Chances are, if you are reading this, you are drawn to the Dahl quote above. I certainly am. My work and who I work with are an expression of these sentiments for me.

If this resonates, read on for a little more on this. (more…)

Don’t be more than one hilltop ahead

don-quijote-de-la-mancha

What can Don Quixote teach us about leadership?

Today I saw this post from a leader in the UK I respect and am frequently inspired by, and it had me recall a leadership parable I have often found of value with clients, so will share it now. Who would have thought Don Quixote could teach us about leadership? (more…)

Proactive resilience

crystal_ball

With the pace and speed of change in the world and in business, resilience is a core attribute at all levels, and this very much includes personal resilience for leaders.

All successful leaders have built their own toolkit for their own resilience.

My question for you today, though, is:

“how proactive are you about your resilience?”

Resilience is all too often a matter of how you cope when things get tough. Reactive, in other words. What if you elevate your self-leadership to see in the crystal ball that you will need resilience in the future even if things are quite wonderful right now.

Sometimes you will have no idea what, where, when, how that will look, so you need general structures and tools. Other times you can predict it.

Let’s delve in more…. (more…)

Being aligned with who you are

freddie mercury live aid

This week I went to the cinema in the UK with my oldest son.

During the previews, there was one for the new movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a biopic about the amazing Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. As a teenager I saw Queen live twice, then along with basically the whole of the UK and much of the world, saw that amazing performance in 1985 at Live Aid from Wembley Stadium.

The trailer gave me goosebumps, but then came another video, of a primary school show of children performing the song Bohemian Rhapsody. At the very end of that film came two brand logos and a statement, and the goosebumps were at a whole higher level.

It was, in fact, a brand ad. Not just “a” brand ad, but the BEST. BRAND AD. EVER.

Today I’ll share a clip of Queen at Live Aid, then the movie trailer, the children’s show of Bohemian Rhapsody, then a short explanation of what makes it the best brand ad ever. (more…)

Beautiful words – aestivate

aestivation

I love the power of language, and of well-chosen words. A little over a month ago, I wrote a post bringing together a number of the words and short phrases I’ve mused on over time on this site with links to those posts. That post is called

Beautiful words bring dimensions of meaning

In that post I highlighted the power of language for leaders: “we follow leaders partly through rationality, through thinking about what they say. However, we also process (often unconsciously) other ways in which they communicate. Are they calm? sage? energised? fierily passionate? purposeful? resolute?”

By choosing words and phrases of rich meaning, we bring depth to our expression and so our leadership. One such word of resonance to me right now is:

Aestivate (more…)

When will you next recharge..yourself?

Bak to nature device

Thanks to Monique Valcour for sharing this, with the tagline:

Recharge yourself with nature

The thing is, here in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a real “back to school” energy which means that for those who were able to slow down over the summer and recharge themselves in nature, now only a very few will consciously and with awareness plan to take time to recharge themselves with nature in the coming months up until the end of the year.

In terms of leadership performance, sometimes with clients, I find some of the biggest shifts are the easiest and simplest to propose and support them in implementing.

The most obvious and most overlooked? (more…)

Beauty, serendipity, music, grace, power

3149-jenyne-butterfly

Today I am returning to the theme of beauty, as behind the scenes ideas are marinating with myself and others on transformative leadership programmes. I’m truly enjoying developing these ideas with Alan Moore, who I wrote about earlier in “Is yours, could yours be a Beautiful Business?” , in which I referenced his book “Do/Design”, which carries the subheading “Why beauty is the key to everything”.

Beauty is elemental, beauty is inspirational, beauty inspires.

So to a story today involving a pole dancer, a DJ and Florence and the Machine. Beauty in different ways that, for a moment for me, came into a serendipitous connection.

(more…)

How to be a Master Mentor in Midlife

master mentor midlife phone and phone

{I love the generational symbolism of this image. Thanks Chip !}

Today, for the third day in a row, I find myself sharing guest posts. Coming off the summer, the “back to school” energy sees collaborative energy flowing all around me, is it the same for you? I have a number of collaborative project concepts at various stages and having a lot of great conversations to explore and develop.

One of them is absolutely around the launch of Chip Conley’s book, “Wisdom at Work – The Making of a Modern Elder“, and I am supporting Chip with this and the interest it is stimulating in the UK and European market. If you’d like to have Chip talk to your business, organisation, membership, conference, we are planning a trip over here in Q1 2019, so I’d love to hear from you and connect to possibilities!

For today’s post, then, Chip posted a wonderful “how to” post on mentoring, and this resonates to me on two levels.

First, it is absolutely key to what it means to be a Modern Elder, as highlighted in the book and at the Modern Elder Academy.

Second, the way he defines the role of Mentor resonates for me in how I have evolved in what I am passionate about offering to clients, and I describe both what type of person is attracted to work with me and also how I work with you on the “#BeMoreYou” page of this site.

So, to Chip’s post, originally published on Linked In here. (more…)

The compass matters more than the calendar

compass

Image credit : Lewis Howes – Leadership Compass

Today a guest post from my friend Jeff Raker of Level Up Leadership.

Jeff is a wonderful guy and a top swimming official in the USA. We met a number of years ago through world of international swim officials. When not volunteering in swimming, Jeff is a certified executive coach who develops leaders at all levels in business and in sports. Regular readers know that I am passionate about seeing the linkages between elite sports and elite business. Jeff and I therefore often exchange ideas and thoughts.

When I saw his latest post, and given that one of my phrases when helping clients set direction is “if you don’t know where you are going, all roads will take you there”, he kindly accepted my request to make this a guest post today.

Oh, and when I made the request, he shared this.

“The inspiration for the article comes from a phrase I either created or picked up somewhere (I know not where if I did). My wife, calligraphied it and I sit it in front of an actual compass on my desk:

“The compass matters more than the calendar. The direction you’re heading matters more than the speed with which you are getting there.”

So many applications of that thought.”

So, to Jeff’s post (more…)

Premium means Premium

1_Product-Image_P5-Wireless-review

**Guest posts welcome at any time, I love to collaborate and to share learnings!**

Today a guest post from friend and past colleague, Alan Wick.  Alan is a great coach, passionate about empowering entrepreneurs. He listens and talks softly, and at the same time everything he says is direct, powerful and on the money.

I loved his post this week on LinkedIn, and he has kindly allowed me to share it today.

This succinct article makes a clear point to me around leadership. As I wrote about earlier, “how you do anything is how you do everything“, in this case, how Bowers & Wilkins responded to Alan’s customer need surely is reflected in everything they do.

As Alan wrote, then…..

Premium means Premium (more…)