Tag: OpenLeadership

Ikigai and Bacon Rolls

In the middle of October last year I went for my last bike ride of the season around Richmond Park and after that, I was inspired to write about Ikigai and Bacon rolls.

I’m going to simply repeat the core of that post below. Please scroll down and read that first, then come back to additional thoughts added today, as last weekend I went back for my first bacon roll there for seven months (I am a “fair weather” cyclist!).

So much has happened, so much changed in the last seven months, yet when I went back to Pen Ponds cafe, everything was the same as in my October post excerpted below.

In those seven months, I have continued my lifelong search for the best bacon roll in the world, so when I went to order one at Pen Ponds café, I noted to the cook that he still held the title of “best bacon roll ever” for me, as since being there last October I had not found a bacon roll better yet !

His eyes glinted, and he poured out a story that explained everything… (more…)

Movies with Meaning – Leading through doubt

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week we feature three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning.

Sometimes as leaders we face tough decisions. Sometimes it may even be that all those around us try to convince us our chosen path is wrong and we need to change our mind.

When everyone around you not only sows seeds of doubt but actively tries to convince you to change your path, your decision, it takes a special kind of leadership to lead through the inevitable doubt that such a situation will implant in even the toughest leader.

Three movie dramatisations of three true stories, of three great leaders :

  • Winston Churchill
  • Steve Jobs
  • Nelson Mandela

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Smashing Paradigms – Stop thinking your way to decisions !

Latest in the series on Smashing Paradigms. For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. One way of defining a paradigm is “we’ve always done it this way”

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(c) smasherofficial.com

1165185-Jill-Bolte-Taylor-Quote-Although-many-of-us-may-think-of-ourselves

As leaders, whether we do this ourselves, in collaboration with others, or by creating an environment for the right questions to be asked and answered, we are responsible for solving problems.

However, in all my experience, we only use one part of our human ability to solve problems, and that is by THINKING.

What if, as per the quote above, we recognise instead that at least as large a part of our ability to process information comes from FEELING?

Reiki masters can tell us, from thousands of years of practice passed down from generations of masters, that so much more energy is generated, processed, emanated from our heart and other energy centres than our rational mind.

In more modern times, science is beginning to catch up with the wisdom of the ancients, so neuroscientists are now able, more and more, to confirm such wisdom with their evidence-based analysis.

To go one level further, I will also put to you that we don’t separate THINKING and FEELING in processing and solving problems, instead we integrate them. (more…)

Diversity and Culture – a lesson from an elite sport

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game” ~  Lou Gerstner

What can leaders learn from pro athletes ? After all, elite professional athletes are known to be paid stupefying amounts, be full of ego, selfish, etc etc etc.

Except…perhaps not…read this closing to a lengthy, passionate and erudite open letter written by a superstar player who has earned well over $100m in his career and felt to come to the defence of someone in that sport, that league. In this, he stands up for diversity and for the feeling of family. You can sense his pride and passion.

Can you guess the sport and the league? : (more…)

Leadership Superpower – Encouragement

schwab encouragement

Today a short post bringing awareness of a true leadership superpower available to all of us.

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise.”

~ Charles Schwab

Charles M. Schwab rose in the late 19th century to be a star executive under industrialist Andrew Carnegie, one of history’s wealthiest people. Carnegie paid Schwab a $75,000 salary with a frequent $1 million bonus, which was an astronomical sum of money for the time.

Carnegie told the author Napoleon Hill that “the yearly salary was for the work Schwab performed, but the bonus was for what Schwab, with his pleasing personality, could get others to do.”

One key caveat.  Encouragement and appreciation must be praise based on true ability and achievements, given sincerely and with recognition of the true value of what is being praised.

Go out there and praise someone today !

Curiosity, a key to Leadership

albert-einstein-quotes-curiosity

Yesterday I wrote “Are you an Old or New Paradigm Leader?”, encouraging you to look at whether you are aware of the goldfish bowl you are swimming in, and to look at new ways of leading. However, I also reflected on how difficult it is to see ourselves (and yes, trust me, though I do this for others all the time as their sounding board, I too have my own blind spots around myself and so have my own coaches, sounding boards, trusted advisors!).

This brings me to the theme of curiosity.

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Are you an Old or New Paradigm Leader?

Who's next?

Leadership is the overarching theme of my writing on this site.

As part of this, I write every Friday an article on “Smashing Paradigms“, looking to challenge my own thinking and to be of support to you in the same way.

First, for clarity on the word Paradigm, please read my article on “What is a Paradigm“, though to put it concisely, a paradigm is a set of unconscious beliefs, a goldfish bowl we don’t know we are swimming in (see the base of this article for a beautiful expression of this).

Today I feel to pause and once again reflect on old and new paradigms of leadership, as another expression of being stuck in a paradigm is “we’ve always done it this way”. I refer to Old and New Paradigms as leadership is so entrenched in society and business that we somehow seem unable to see the need for change, and even that we can change.  (more…)

Movies with Meaning – GDPR and Tough Decisions

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week we feature three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning.

Later this month, a law known as GDPR comes into effect, with highly stringent requirements for businesses to have audited confirmation that people still wish to be on their email lists. Those of us in the EU are deluged with emails asking, nay, begging for us to confirm we wish to remain on lists. Reports in the UK are that only around 10% of email subscribers are actively reconfirming, and some businesses will go ahead and delete all information on those who do not take time to reconfirm, irrespective of the nature of their relationship. They are doing this to be in strict compliance with the law, the intention of which is to protect people from misuse of data.

What, however, if you have an email list (umm, mine) where a) over 40% of subscribers routinely open and read your emails, b) you get lots of positive feedback from them from those emails, and c) you aren’t actively selling anything (but hey, perhaps a compliance officer could construe otherwise, so you are still at risk). Are you really acting in service of your subscribers to wipe them out of your business memory ? What decision will I make ?

Sometimes business owners have to make tough decisions based on the advice they are given, and sometimes what makes it tough is that it goes against conventional wisdom.

Steve Jobs often did this, Henry Ford built a car, not a faster horse.

Sometimes leadership is about sticking to your commitment, your context, and then making tough decisions.

One real story from my past then our three movies this week, each featuring tough decisions.  (more…)

Smashing Paradigms – the less time you take, the more you can charge

Latest in the series on Smashing Paradigms. For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. One way of defining a paradigm is “we’ve always done it this way”

Smasher_logo_cracked+black

(c) smasherofficial.com

Say what? huh ? What is Tom talking about today?

“the less time you take, the more you can charge”

Over the last two days, I have talked about inspiration from Ben Hogan and Michael Jordan, two all-time greats in their sports of Golf and Basketball.

Both were athletes who not only practiced more than anyone else, but they did it mindfully, always with a focus on improvement, or “Deliberate Practice“.

Malcolm Gladwell has a hypothesis called the 10,000 hours rule, broadly that it takes that amount of practice time to become a true master of any skill.

Combine such a huge amount of practice with that being “deliberate practice” and that mastery is of huge value. (more…)

Michael Jordan : I failed, that is why I succeed

Michael-Jordan-Quote-1

I love this quote from Michael Jordan, as it speaks to “Deliberate Practice”, a topic I wrote about yesterday, focussed on golf and Ben Hogan, as well as looking to prompt readers to consider where they are deliberate in what they do, whether it be in their personal life or at work, in what they do personally or what they guide and lead their people to do.

So, to “MJ” or #23″. Oh, and I’ll come back to that quote at the end of this post to reflect on perhaps his greatest success. (more…)