Tag: Elite Lessons

Give less advice

spurs-timeout-coach-pop

Coach Gregg Popovich running a timeout for the San Antonio Spurs

Imagine that coach watching the game. Naturally, he can see many things he could advise individuals and the group to do, to change, to stop doing.

However, the best coaches do one thing consistently in such situations, they:

give less advice

To illustrate this, a lesson learned from my own experience as a basketball coach running time outs. (more…)

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…)

Where Entrepreneurialism comes from

mike driver

“..entrepreneurialism can’t be taught and the library full of books attempting to teach it are a waste of time. Short of travelling back in time and putting your childhood self through some sort of trauma you cannot ‘become’ an entrepreneur.”

The 17th and closing tweet in a thread posted this week by Mike Driver of Convex.

In short, Mike’s Twitter thread is concise, incisive and brilliant. Yes, it concludes that entrepreneurialism can’t be taught (so don’t bother trying to learn how to be an entrepreneur as an adult), but in his thread, he explains where it comes from.

As I put it in when sharing his thread onwards on Twitter:

“deep thinking around source from evidence in practice, allied to comprehensive and wide-ranging reading around relevant topics. Aligns closely to my own findings with many hundreds of entrepreneurs”

Today I’ll share his tweet thread (presented as a short opinion piece in this post for ease of reading, as well as my thinking around why I use Twitter.

Please read it.

Oh, and if you are thinking of embarking on a course of study on being entrepreneurial, don’t 🙂 (more…)

To see ourselves as others see us

DFW this is water quote

picture credit Sloww.co

Today I am reminded of the difficulty of seeing ourselves how others see us and the power of critical thinking both for that and to truly see and understand others.

These are universal challenges for each of us. For those who lead others, the “self-leadership” part is at the core, then the layers and dimensions simply expand, to the people in our organisation, the values, beliefs and cultures consciously and unconsciously present. The opportunities for understanding and exploring are endless as we then look at societal, systemic, structural issues.

For this reason, we often look to understand such issues through philosophy and also art, including writing.

Today I’ll share teachings from this from two great authors, David Foster Wallace and Robert Burns, I hope this supports you in looking at what you can do to see yourselves as others see you, as well as to look to understand and see others more clearly. (more…)

How many blue cars do you see?

xk120 ceg266

When my two oldest sons were very young, one summer we visited great friends in Norway. One day my friend and I took his two sons and mine, all aged between about 3 and 8, for the over two-hour drive from Oslo to their cottage on a lake for an overnight trip.

It was a wonderful trip, but on the way back the boys were bored. My friend asked them to pick a colour. They chose blue. He then asked them to count all the blue cars they saw.

Amazing how many blue cars you see when you are looking for blue cars.

Today a story about the word beautiful as it relates to business and seeing it when you are looking.

Also a thought around the power of having a focus word like Blue, or Beautiful.

(more…)

Mark Hollis – Learn how to play one note

Mark hollis

“Before you play two notes, learn how to play one note, y’know? And don’t play one note unless you’ve got a reason to play it.” ~ Mark Hollis

Yesterday Mark Hollis died.

He was the leader of Talk Talk. Their music really touched me in different ways, then he stepped away from music and fame completely, at the top of his game. Last night, then, I spent hours listening to that music to mark his passage.

The quote above also says so much about how he evolved and grew as a musician over time, distilling to essence.

Learn how to play one note.

(more…)

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards

life-can-only-be-understood-backward-but-it-must-be-lived-forward-49

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Today a simple thought around living life.

Learn from the past, analyse it, study it all you will so you can learn more about yourself, others, your business, your leadership.

When it comes to the future, however, trust yourself.

Like the kid on the skateboard, he knows what he has learned about riding a board so far, now he has to just go for it!

Today sharing (not for the first time) my favourite speech of all time, as the first of three themes within it is all about this. (more…)

Look for the spaces between

Level 39

“Look for the spaces between” 

This week I am at the Modern Elder Academy in Baja. On the first day, one of the directors, Christine Sperber, took time to give us a “level set”, positioning the week for us.

One key phrase that resonated for me is that she encouraged us to “look for the spaces between”. Yes, there is a full schedule and curriculum, but they have also very consciously left lots of space for members of the cohort to find space to talk to each other, to share, to learn from the amazing experiences of this curated group of budding Modern Elders. (more…)

Maslow’s Hierarchy and Beauty

maslow colour pyramid

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a powerful tool for understanding what drives us. I’ve used it often including this post on “At risk versus taking risks“.

My friend and business hero, Chip Conley, is a leading expert on Maslow through his work in taking Maslow’s hierarchy into business through his book Peak and subsequent synthesis of ideas. For more on Chip, visit “Humble Leadership and Trust

Today, sharing an unexpected link between two people I’ve got to know in the last year or so and admire greatly around their wisdom and take on business and leadership, Chip and Alan Moore. (more…)

Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and Herb Kelleher

Herb Kelleher

Yesterday I wrote: “Purpose and the Corporation” and wrote:

“I ask businesses I work with to consider a different type of triple bottom line:

  • Purpose
  • People
  • Planet

Yes, I always ask them to focus on the Profit they will make, yet Profit, to me, is the outcome of a corporation, a business focussing first and always on their Purpose, their People and our Planet.”

On January 3rd this year we lost Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines. Ever since flying with them in the early 90s, I have studied this airline and how Herb led it.

A true example of putting Purpose first, then the People of the airline. As to Planet, well, as I wrote about in “Being More“: the word more “takes away specific targets or goals, it simply creates space to be, to do more. More is an invitation. An invitation creates space for opportunities.

I studied and learned so much about leadership from Herb Kelleher, today I’ll muse on this to share some of what I learned. (more…)

Comfortable in your own skin

Steph Curry Underrated

Just over a month ago I wrote first about Steph Curry and his actions to empower girls.

Today I find myself sharing another example of leadership off the court from this athlete, and again from an article he wrote in The Players Tribune, a quite remarkable publication that gives athletes a platform to share, in-depth, their stories.

I’ll share today his most recent example of leadership voiced in the article “Underrated”, but I dug deeper and the phrase I want to highlight from him today is from an earlier article: “I’m a person who is comfortable in his own skin”

(more…)

Billy Connolly – Lessons from a Master

billy connolly made in scotland

BBC just put out two one hour shows called “Billy Connolly Made in Scotland” (link here for those in the UK).

Billy Connolly represents a line in the sand. Comedy in the UK was either before Billy or after Billy. He is, simply, the “Big Yin”.

Today sharing one particular lesson from his mastery that can be applied by leaders managing the energy of their people. (more…)

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