Tag: bravery

Stop staring at mountains

stop staring at mountains

I saw this photo this week posted on Instagram by my friend Arno de Jong, the amazing founder and lead guide of AlpAdventures.

In August 2018 Arno arranged a private trip for me and my three boys to the French Alps, including hiking over multiple mountain passes, e-biking up and down mountains, white water rafting and more.

The name of his business includes the word adventure, defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as :

“An unusual and exciting or daring experience”

To that description, I’d add the word “challenging”. Arno will always take time to understand the needs and capabilities of his clients and always look to challenge you (well within safe limits, he is all about safety).

When you have an adventure that challenges you, it will, as he puts it, lead you to a better view. We certainly had an amazing adventure and it was all the better for the physical challenges we faced and surmounted.

A metaphor for us all, as individuals and in leading our businesses.

Golf Trips and Collaborative Leadership

Iceberg principle

Collaborative Leadership:

“the process of engaging collective intelligence to deliver results across organisational boundaries when ordinary mechanisms of control are absent”

Oxford Leadership – Collaborative Leadership White Paper, 2011

The other day a dear friend of mine, a top elite sports coach and voracious learner and networker around leadership and behaviour, sent me this white paper.

Within it are some powerful learnings for leading collaboratively, yet, as so often, I wonder why corporate leaders and their consultants need to speak in such overly complicated ways.

Today let me endeavour to use Oxford Leadership’s version of the iceberg principle (ie the image above, captured from their white paper), to make a few simple points for leaders to anchor upon if they choose to lead collaboratively. (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…)

Simple, but not easy


“It’s simple, but not easy”

Yesterday I wrote “To be truly radical is to make hope possible“, and closed that post by saying today I’d write a little about what it takes for radical change.

I love radical change, transformative and brave. Incremental change is important, “marginal gains” and all of that is vital to maintaining forward momentum. However, for me what I love is supporting leaders who are hungry and brave and know deeply that something more radical is needed and that this is their path.

So, when a client asks me for my advice on how to transformationally change their organisation, after I listen, ask questions, then listen some more, I often come up with this statement.

“It’s simple, but not easy” (more…)

Elite Lessons – Making failure possible


In order to make failure possible, you first have to try, to commit, to go where it may scare or even terrify you, to be vulnerable, to say “this might not work” and do it anyway.

Very recently I was disappointed to witness this first hand in someone. They were presented with a real opportunity, yet my sense is that it felt too scary to them to try, so instead, they creating a rationale for them to choose to back away and shut down. Rather than risk failure, they chose not to commit, to make the effort, to try.

By making the choice not to try, as Cate Campbell notes (see letter below) that person “let the fear of failure destroy the possibility of success”. We all have our own journey to go on, our own choices to make, and reflecting on that experience, today I’ll riff on this with lessons from two leaders. (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…)

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