Tag: Flow

Musings on Time

Time
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”
opening line from 1984, by George Orwell

The bizarre times and national leadership we are seeing often makes me think of Orwell’s 1984 of late, but that surreality, as well as other pressing topics I’m focussed on, are for another day.

Today I simply quote that famous opening line and move on to musing about Time. I am and always have been fascinated by Time. Sometimes it seems to go so fast, sometimes so slowly, sometimes we feel we can see into the future, sometimes we have a vivid recollection of the past.

My focus on Time also links to my work. When I’m present with a client time often feels like it stops as I listen deeply, whilst I am also always paying close attention to the timeframe the client is focussed on. Short term or Long? Tactical or Strategic? How far ahead is their Vision?

So, yes, time is always an area of fascination and focus for me, but over the period of the lockdown (I’m currently in week 12 of solo isolation as I write this!), I am finding time ever more fascinating. The lockdown is both dragging on endlessly and also flying past. Each day, each week, each month are both passing slowly and fast.

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Masters practice incessantly, then improvise

oscar peterson

This week I was at my favourite recurring learning experience, a “Facilitation Shindig” led by the amazing Julie Drybrough.

This experience inspired today’s post, about Mastery being about the ability to improvise and that ability coming from incessant practice.

Though hesitant to call me or anyone else a “master”, the common ground for all present is that we are experienced coaches/mentors/facilitators and come together for a full day to deepen our practice, or, as Julie has put it, “rattle our foundations”.

At our latest shindig, one thing we talked about was about how little or how much we plan and structure before we run a session for a group. What came forth from this for me was that, though we all have different styles, what we had in common was that in fact, we learn, prepare, plan, structure in detail (in our own way), so that we can then “flow”, we can improvise.

As Debussy said (and I reflected on in “Less is more – leave space“:

“Music is the space between the notes”

In your leadership, when the critical, key moments occur, the “moments of truth”, do you need to think about what to do? Do you need to plan, to structure, or do you simply “flow”, as if everything in all your experience readied you for the moment.

Today, then, let me reflect on “Flow”, on my favourite athlete, and finally on my all-time favourite jazz moment.  (more…)