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.
Winter is definitely here in London, and this Caymanian happily skipped his msot recent Sunday morning cycle when it was pouring with rain and 6c as I woke up. As an island boy, also happy for newspaper delivery, so no actual need to leave the cosy comfort of indoors.
As I opened the Sunday Times one of the sections I read was the Style section. No, I am not a fashionista, but the editor, Lorraine Candy, in and amongst the fashion stuff, consciously features thoughtful articles and interviews each week that are all about uplifting and inspiring women, and each week there is always something in there that inspires me too. This week featured an interview with Dina Asher-Smith, at 22 one of the fastest women in history, yet so much more than that. One particular section of the interview really got me thinking about the power of youth sports for our children and the impact and value this can have for us and our mindset as adults and leaders, in whatever leadership roles we play in life. (more…)
I recently spent a week back in Cayman, where I had upwards of thirty meetings, talking with well over sixty people, including leading a four-hour session for a team of twenty-two. I worked out that in all that time I had less than two hours at a stretch on my own on any day.
I then flew to New York for three nights, finding myself waking up on my first day to this view and, by dint of serendipity, with no plans at all and with my host not arriving back until the next day.
So, what did I do with that solitude and what can I share about the power of solitude? (more…)
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change” ~ Suki Laniado Smith
“Leaders who focus on building both internal and external self-awareness…can learn to see themselves more clearly — and reap the many rewards that increased self-knowledge delivers” ~ Dr Tasha Eurich, HBR, January 2018
This week I’ve been home in Cayman. Seeing my boys, clients, friends. There are so many wonderful elements of living on that small island of only around 60,000 people, and at the same time, there is an element of “big fish, small pond” mindset, particularly when it comes to sports. Big fish in a small pond. Top in Cayman is often too low a bar to achieve much beyond that, and can, in fact, act as a limiter. It can mean failure on the big stage internationally.
I can understand that happening, but what I do struggle with is people who don’t try. They aren’t ready to fail in order to succeed, so they don’t truly try. That way they have a built-in reason for their being defeated.
Let’s explore that further and look at why that happens and what can be done if one wishes to truly achieve their personal best. (more…)
When I was a teenager, occasionally at school someone (yes, sometimes that someone was me!) would let slip a swear word in class. The teacher would typically say something like “watch your language!”. Interesting turn of phrase, now I think about it!
Language is really powerful, and awareness around and choice of language can and does make an enormous impact on our communication.
At the Rio 2016 Olympics, swimmers were given free sets of “Beats” headphones. Brilliant product placement, as it had been realised that almost all swimmers like to close themselves off from the world before their race and do so in a cocoon of sound.
Recently I arranged for my two older sons, both veterans of swimming at the Commonwealth Games, to meet the teenage daughter of a friend, a young swimmer who is now very fast for her age nationally. They had a great chat, with one of the biggest sparks of connection coming when they discussed what songs they put on their playlists to listen to before races!
It got me to thinking about how we learn, and also what moves us, speaks to us, inspires us.
All too often we rely too much on only one tool to connect to others, being the written word. This is a hugely deep topic, so today simply a few connected riffs that I hope get you cogitating! (more…)
Today two simple shares from some writing I love, from the poet Robert Frost.
I’ve written many posts here on this site around “Writing I Love”. Why do I do that on a site about #OpenLeadership.
Simple. Leadership starts with “Self-Leadership”.
Beauty, whether in nature, poetry, art, movies, special moments of connection. All moments of beauty have the opportunity to connect us more deeply to who we are, and to bring awareness to that is to create ever greater opportunity to lead ourselves and so to lead others, from our children and other family members on up to whoever we lead in our work.
So, I’ll share my own thoughts from two pieces by Robert Frost today.
The Golden Rule states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
The Golden Rule is cited so often it seems like a wonderful and positive aspiration.
However, the first time someone tells you about the Platinum Rule and suggest you “upgrade” your standards to Platinum, typically you’ll have a thought that often happens when you hear a piece of true wisdom and that is: “that seems so obvious”.
So now you’ve heard it, let’s talk a bit about it so you can look to where you might apply it, as well as where you may already have done so, or perhaps where you might see a real change if you use it in your next interaction with that person. (more…)