Tag: MakingPotentialPossible

Organisational Transformations – dropping pebbles

pebble pond

The #BeMoreYou page on this site is there to help leaders assess if I am the right person to support them and if they are the right person too. Words like bravery and transformation are peppered through the site, and this phrase from the page is apposite to today’s post: “My commitment is that our work together will facilitate the greatest possible impact for you, your business, and the world.”.

In my work, many of my clients over the years have been leaders of large organisations and they bring me in to support them with transformational change, to amplify their own already high impact, to put an even greater dent in the universe, so to speak.

Today I’ll share an excerpt from a recent article on transformational change I found valuable in an understanding of just what it takes to move from idea to execution of transformation.

In this, I’ll also distil some of my thoughts around the themes in the article, including how you can create a conversation around “dropping pebbles” to create an effective strategy to effect “complex contagion” and so real transformation throughout the organisation. (more…)

How would you cross the muddy pond?

muddy-pond

A story today around one of my favourite leadership phrases:

A leader is someone other choose to follow

The picture above is of quite the unattractive muddy pond, huh?

Now imagine you are a squad of young soldiers on army training. It is cold, wet, you’ve been out in the field for days. You are exhausted, tired, hungry. All you want to do is get back to base, shower, get into dry clothes, eat and get warm.

You and the other squads in the company have been marching back to base when you are brought to this place with a series of ponds, one for each squad.

The 20-year-old officer cadet in charge of your squad has just been told that, before you get to go home, a surprise. The squad must complete what is typically called a “command task”, to get each of them across the pond, using what seems like far too little equipment (a few planks, a little rope, some empty barrels).

He explains it to the group, and clearly, nobody has the first idea about how to cross the pond, The officer cadet is very “green”, he also has no idea what to do, but the key thing he observes is a bunch of unmotivated men who are simply thinking “I don’t want to fall into that muddy pond and get cold and wet”.

He could work out what to do himself and then give orders to complete the task, yet with the exhaustion and demotivation he sees, he immediately and instinctively an opportunity for leadership rather than management.

What does he do? (more…)

Elite Lessons – Making failure possible

Exclusive-insight-cate-campbell

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…)

Movies with Meaning – Life is Beautiful

la Vita e bella

Between October 2017 and June 2018, I published weekly posts of three Movies with Meaning. The full list of movies over that time is featured here. Since June 2018 I have chosen to publish a post about movies only as the spirit takes me.

As I write this post today, it comes from having just received a message from a friend that inspires me to write about this movie, Life is Beautiful, or as the Italian title goes, La vita è bella. (more…)

Only enough Structure to allow Flow

“Only enough Structure to allow Flow”

This is a personal mantra for me now and is the reason why the two photos above could happen.

I used to be known to plan life with great detail, packing the diary days, weeks, months and even years in advance. I also stuck rigidly to whatever was planned. Would you believe that until 2017 I had never cancelled or changed a trip plan ? Truly.

So, I chose to change that approach, and it created the two magic moments above. (more…)

Coaching? I do not think it means what you think it means.

i do not think that means princess bride

“You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

~ Inigo Montoya, swordsman and revenge obsessive, from The Princess Bride

This month “Most Managers Don’t Know How to Coach People. But They Can Learn.” was published in Harvard Business Review, publishing the findings of a study that concluded:

“managers tend to think they’re coaching when they’re actually just telling their employees what to do”

I’ll distil the distinction to basics, then explain how one can address this major gap in the leadership of most organisations. (more…)

Be the CEO of your own Time and Energy

high performance

CEOs are responsible for the performance (and, one would hope they recognise) and the wellbeing of all the people in their team. Often, though, they do a poor job of supporting one key member of that team. Themselves.

So, as you are the CEO of your own time and energy, how often do you consider how well you support yourself and your own performance?

Today let me share with you some ideas and a story about the power of managing time and energy. I hope it has value for you for your own performance and personal happiness and fulfilment, it certainly did for the client in the story. (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.

(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 😜)

(more…)

Modern Elder Academy – apply now !

Master_MEA_Gallery

Today, a rare “shameless plug”. As I’ve written about on numerous occasions, the amazing Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy is now “open for business”!

The first two week long residential immersive workshop experiences are November 4-11 and November 11-18 in Baja, Mexico. Applications are now being accepted and will sell out fast! At US$5,000 (scholarships available, see the site), this is a stunningly powerful investment in yourself and your future life and work.

Trust me… I was part of the beta programme, my week there was truly transcendent!

You can tell by all the exclamation point that I am excited about this, huh?

So, visit Modern Elder Academy and learn more for yourself.

Create Serendipity

Are you or your business lucky ? do you benefit or suffer from coincidences?

I don’t believe in luck, I believe in serendipity. Serendipity is not luck, it is not coincidence.

Serendipity is something you can choose to create for yourself and in the way you lead and structure your organisation.

You see, I hold true to the concept of “I create the whole of my reality”, and at one level, this links to Serendipity.

So, what is Serendipity ?  (more…)

Trust that the dots will connect

Steve jobs connect the dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

~ Steve Jobs

Yesterday I wrote about “Commitment, Boldness and Magic” from a log cabin under majestic redwood trees in California, closing with the quote from Coelho “When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Today I link to this quote from Steve Jobs, one of three core points he made in one of my favourite speeches ever, his Stanford Commencement speech in 2009. I wrote about this and shared a video along with two other favourite commencement/graduation speeches in: “Movies with Meaning – with a difference“.

So, a personal story around trusting that the dots will somehow connect.

As I sit here, I am in deep gratitude. You see, last night I became totally clear on the book that is “in me” to write and that it will take learnings from my late guide and mentor, Ed Percival, extend them and share them. The book is now writing itself in my head and with frequent audio and text notes downloading like a fire hose!

I also have #goosebumps as I gained this clarity sitting with my friend, the amazing Matt Clark, in his house in the El Cerrito hills overlooking San Francisco, and that this moment of stunning clarity came EXACTLY three years, almost to the hour and minute, from when I first learned of the passing of Ed Percival three years prior.

In that moment when I learned of Ed’s death, I had a moment of deep, deep clarity, that he had been preparing me to take forward his work in the world. I knew it, I trusted it, I didn’t know what that would mean and in what form it would take. That I found out exactly three years later… wow !

So, let’s see how some of these dots joined together.

Dot 1 : In October last year I somehow deciced to start writing again after a long pause, and though I have often thought about writing a book and friends have often encouraged me to do so, I decided to write posts instead.

Dot 2 : I committed to write daily, and continue to do so nearly 300 posts later.

Dot 3 : In late December last year I wrote about Chip Conley’s book Emotional Equations.

Dot 4 :  In sharing that post on Twitter, I chose to tag Chip. I’d never had any contact with him, only being a huge fan and sharing his learnings and lessons widely. From that tag, he retweeted my post, I then took a deep breath, replied to my business hero and asked him if I could interview him for a future post.

Dot 5 : After some energising emails between us, I spoke to Chip on video in early January this year. He invited me to Baja for the beta of Modern Elder Academy in June this year for two weeks. I said I couldn’t make it, I was busy.

Dot 6 : I got off that call, then almost punched myself in the head. What ? You said no ? You are too busy ? No way ! I emailed Chip back, somehow worked out I would go and COMMITTED to it !

Dot 7 : Somehow the schedule shuffled with the Modern Elder Academy so I was reassigned to a group in mid April, with Chip leading that week.

Dot 8 : What a week in mid April with the 13 members of the “Sweet Corazon” cohort, and at the end, I was invited with the group to a wedding in June in California.

Dot 9 : Also in that group was the amazing husband and wife team of Matt Clark and Alison Macdondray, and I sensed their unique genius would be hugely valuable to me in getting clear on communicated my own unique offering and value to clients (as I write this, we are still working on this, the new website wording will be MUCH clearer about me and what I bring !).

Dot 10 : Alison and Matt kindly hosted me the nights before and after the wedding, and last night we did two hours of work on “me”. Quite unexpectedly, the “Deep dive” process had Matt draw out of me the core subject and frame for this book !

10 dots.. and that is only from October last year. In the two years or so prior to that since Ed passed away on June 25, 2015, there were many, many quite unexpected changes in my life and work, and at time it was very challenging, other times highly joyous and uplifting. Throughout all of this, a wonderful thought to remember from Steve Jobs, once again.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Do you have a Growth Mindset?

growth vs fixed mindset

Regular readers know that each Saturday I write a “Writing I Love” article, and last week I wrote about Mindset by Carol Dweck.

I’d also reference the language and ask you to take a look at it and consider in the context of yesterday’s post: “Language shapes the way you think

I follow a number of thought leaders by their regular emails and twitter feeds, and one of them is Whitney Johnson. Have followed Whitney for years and love her growth mindset, exemplified by her book “Disrupt Yourself”. Visit her site to learn more.

So, recently her regular email was titled “Do you have an open mind?” and in there was a link to a mindset quiz.

Hmm.. before sharing that quiz, am thinking for a moment. Whitney does two things with her audience I don’t do.

One is that she only sends out her thoughts to people who subscribe to her emails, whereas I publish them online and then email to those who prefer emails. That one feels to me like a conscious choice on how I wish to engage.

The second, however, is that she interviews people for podcasts. I realised that podcasting has recently exploded among those I respect, admire, follow (from Adam Grant (who also, cough, posts transcripts for “them thar readers!” like me on his LI feed!) to Tim Ferris to Rosie von Lila to Cayman’s own Taylor Burrowes and many more). However, I realise that I repeat to people “I don’t like listening to podcasts” and similar limiting language. Hmm.. perhaps I could a) start listening to podcasts, then b) perhaps launch my own?

So, to Whitney’s thoughts from her email last week, then the mindset quiz:

“If you’re like me, I suspect that you think close-mindedness is a problem other people have; you, on the other hand, have an open door policy for new ideas.

And you, like me, probably do have an open door—when we like an idea or find it congruent with how we already view and operate in the world, we embrace it enthusiastically.

So this last weekend I took an interesting quiz—you can take it too, here —

Among other things, this quiz is designed to measure whether we have a growth or fixed mindset, and also an open or closed mindset. I fully expected my results to report that I have an open mind but then I scored in the bottom 25%. Yikes! Why would this be?

I think it’s because I figure out how I think things should be, and then want to proceed. Full steam ahead. We think a closed mindset implies bad intent; that isn’t necessarily the case.

You might want to take the quiz too—my whole family did, to fascinating result. Then decide on an action item…the next time someone makes a suggestion or you start to dish up advice, stop and take time to consider the possibilities. No matter how positive your intent is, or whether you like the person offering their idea, how could you be more open-minded as you listen to this person? Imagine the potential advantages—at work, home, or in any endeavour.”

The quiz is here. Enjoy !

 

 

 

Will you always do what is true to you?

First to anchor this beyond yourself, if you lead a business, organisation, movement, know that I see you. Know I see that sometimes you doubt yourself, you don’t fully act, say, do what is your absolute truth. I know that. I do it too, we are all human.

What are your “SLB”s, your self-limiting beliefs?

Two of the most common themes are  :

“I’ll be judged” / “I’ll be laughed at”

“I could lose my job” / “I need the money”

So many more, but today I’ll focus on these two broad themes around money and taking risks with your reputation.

Imagine if you no longer worried about money or reputation, what would you, could you, will you do differently? Some of it is in your head, some of it you can do something about.

A story now that vividly illustrates what is possible. (more…)