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…

Learning from The Beatles – “Mixing” your Leadership

In supporting leaders over many years, I love to distil to simplicity, to allow them to focus on their priorities, their message, their context. As Da Vinci said:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

At the same time, sometimes we need to consider more than ultimate simplicity, we need to consider several dimensions to give depth to our context. By dimensions, I like to envisage sliders on a studio production mixing desk.

Imagine moving them up and down based on what is appropriate for your leadership and what your organisation need. This gives you the choice of moving beyond “either/or”, “yes/no” binary choices, to give some richness and depth to focal areas.

In doing this, to use only one or two “sliders” may be too much, but to have more than (I find) three or four leads to confusion both for the leader and the organisation.

A few examples of dimensions/sliders then I’ll use the story of the Beatles and how they added more and more dimensions to their recordings as technology changed. I leave it to you to decide for yourself whether you preferred the simple or the complex in their music.

Oh, and the last video contains one of my favourite musical moments of all time..

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Kintsukuroi – Leadership Lessons

Kintsukuroi

Continuing a theme from this week’s post “Beautiful words bring dimensions of meaning“, today considering the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi and lessons that leaders can learn from it.

So many entrenched organisational paradigms look to avoid breakdowns, mistakes, even to pretend they didn’t happen.

At a human level, we are the sum total of all of our experiences and the cracks and breaks that we repair are part of our uniqueness in and for the world. (more…)

Make your dent in the universe a crater

What is the dent you wish to make in the universe?

How can you make that dent into a crater?

My answer today?

Surround yourselves with people, thoughts, ideas that stimulate you to live your own purpose and you’ll make your dent a crater.

Let me give you my own example, one that is very much current.

Many readers may only come to this site to read my daily musings, so today feel to share that the whole site has been totally refreshed with all new copy, aimed to make clear who I love to work with and what I do to help them.

I’ll then leap into inspiration from four writers that have inspired and continue to inspire me.

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Beautiful words bring dimensions of meaning

Recently I wrote “Petrichor – How our environment can impact us

In that post, I reflected on Petrichor, a word of rich meaning.

At the heart of my writing is a passion to elevate Leadership, and so much of that comes from understanding of self and others. Words of such richness of meaning can also facilitate awareness and understanding of other areas, fields, dimensions.

I frequently say “a Leader is someone others choose to follow” and 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?

We process in ways beyond language, and words of rich meaning can be a bridge for us between our thinking to our feeling and our intuition.

Petrichor, as it turns out, though from ancient greek word roots, is a modern word, coined by Australian researchers in the 1960s.

Over time though, I’ve reflected many times on this site around words of beauty from other languages, often with deep meanings of cultural richness over many generations and that do not directly translate into English.

What this has meant for me, then, is that each of them can catalyse our thoughts around the meanings and allow us to bridge to our awareness of self and others.

Today I simply collate a few of my earlier posts around such beautiful words and encourage you to explore those posts. I share my own thoughts in each post, and I hope these writings also catalyse your own unique reflections. (more…)

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

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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

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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…)