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…

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…)

Are you in the arena getting your ass kicked?

man in the arena brene brown

The last few weeks for me have been amazing and wonderful in different ways, and also felt brave and at times a bit scary as I embarked on something new that immediately felt important and that felt risky.

I was reminded of the idea of “to dare greatly”, and then that led me to some thoughts from the amazing Brené Brown, a leading researcher, writer and speaker on the power of vulnerability.

Today sharing some concise learnings from her from her book Daring Greatly and from President Theodore Roosevelt. (more…)

Anthony Bourdain: Be Open, Be Curious

bourdain obama

As we reach the end of another year, we tend to reflect on the words of Robert Burns of “auld lang syne”, or “old long since”, or simply “of days gone by”.

In such reflections we tend to reflect on those who have left us in the past year. For me, one of those losses that moved me the most was that of Anthony Bourdain. Today I share some lessons he taught us before he left us this past June. (more…)

We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen

credo card

Back in the early 2000s, I took on the opportunity (never a challenge, always an opportunity) to lead a resort in the Cayman Islands. I began by looking to best practice and saw that the top hotel brands in the world had an unerring focus on their internal culture and then delivering, through that, to their guests.

I often say “get clear on the WHY and the HOW is easy”, and at the same time, people need to know HOW to deliver on the WHY.

Today a simple story from one of the hotel brands I studied in depth back then, the Ritz-Carlton hotel company. (more…)

Happiness and Gratitude

Happiness is a choice

For this post to go out on Christmas Day, a time for gratitude, I am reflecting simply and concisely on Happiness and Gratitude, starting with this image, then the thoughts of the Dalai Lama on “Compassion as the source of happiness“, and finally to share with you a quite beautiful TED talk where the speaker explains: “Want to be happy? Be grateful(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.