Tag: OpenLeadership

Kindness as Leadership

fred rogers

Yesterday I published “Be Nice“, talking about Jeffrey Sachs and his advice for changing the world. As a leader he has certainly changed the world through his thoughts, actions and choices.

November 13th, two days ago, was “World Kindness Day”, and at one stage that day I sat and read the Sunday Times review of “Won’t you be my neighbour”, a documentary just released about Fred Rogers, one of the kindest humans I’ve ever come across.

Today let me share my thoughts around Mr Rogers and kindness, closing with one of the most powerful appearances at a congressional subcommittee you will ever see.

He exemplified kindness as leadership. (more…)

Be nice

Jeff sachs david mcwilliams2018

“Be nice”

These were the two most powerful words in a one-hour interview last weekend at Kilkenomics where David McWilliams brought Jeffrey Sachs to illuminate and inspire. (more…)

Do work that you’re proud of

seth-godin-300x200

“Do work that you’re proud of – work that matters for people who care. It’s all about connection, empathy and making a difference.” ~ Seth Godin

Seth Godin inspired me to post daily. With well over 7,000 daily posts already he has moved way beyond the “marketing guru” identity and his curiosity and vision has taken him into some powerful directions.

My personal favourite book of his is an example of powerful new directions and is called “The Icarus Deception”. Read my piece here for thoughts on the power of getting out of your comfort zone and why, in fact, you simply have to in our world.

Today though, I found that phrase above in a magazine article last week, so let me talk about it a little. (more…)

Diversity of Thought – how much is too much?

Kilkenny 2018

This weekend the annual Kilkenomics economics and comedy festival in the gorgeous tiny city of Kilkenny.

I write this on a Sunday morning musing on diversity of thought and “how much is too much?”.

We learned that Andy Haldane (Chief Economist of the Bank of England) has found that Economist talk and listen less to those outside their profession than any other social science. My own experience is that the lens of traditional economic models places quite some limits on their thinking, though that is the ‘sandbox’ they play in, so I have openly been keen to see different thinkers at the festival.

Yesterday, though (again, as I write this on Sunday morning though), an episode occurred with one show where one person was so, so offensive to many that people got up an left. It has me musing on “how much is too much”, as one particular panellist showed up and expressed extreme views so distasteful that some people got up and left. I stayed, and these are my thoughts and reflections.

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Conscious mental exercise

Feldenkrais-image-1

I’ve been carrying an Achilles injury for some time now. Recently I had my first Feldenkrais session.  Since then, my level of consciousness around how I move has elevated to new levels, such that I feel energised as I sense that this will both accelerate the healing of that injury and also build flexibility and strength.

I’ve been a Pilates aficionado for years, as well as done a reasonable amount of Yoga. Both of these inform my posture and movement at all times, ie not only during Pilates training or Yoga classes. Feldenkrais, I sense, will take that to a new level and I look forward to learning more.

So, from that, today my mind turns not only to how we can be conscious as we exercise our body but also how we can choose to run conscious exercises with our mind to stretch and grow that “muscle” too.

Let me start with a story about conscious mental exercise that links to physical exercise, then shift to a purely mental exercise that I feel can then link to asking questions of you the reader as to where you may apply this for yourself.

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Not my circus, not my monkey

not my circus not my monkey

Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy

A Polish idiom. Literally, “not my circus, not my monkey”.

At the simplest level, this could be expressed as “not my problem”, which for me can be of value but can also be an abdication of responsibility.

So, let me today give two other layers of depth which may be supportive for leadership and in a responsible fashion. (more…)

Making a positive impact

UK Train Travel

Ed Percival told me once that he actively looked to make a positive impact in every interaction with others.

If he went to a coffee shop he’d look at the name tag of the barista and call them by name as they asked for his name for his coffee cup.

If someone used the typical “how are you?” greeting or to open a conversation, he’d open up the energy of his 6’5″ frame and say something such as “wonderful! If I was any better I’d be you!” and unleash his megawatt smile!

Now the thing about being positive and making a positive difference in every interaction is that it physically changes you. I won’t bore you with the science, please simply trust me on this. Being positive creates physical and other changes linked to exchange of positive energy created by such interactions.

Now, why did I choose that photo above? As a relatively new Londoner, let me explain and bring awareness to our choices in how we act in everyday interactions. (more…)

Beautiful Leadership

Alan Moore

Alan Moore of Beautiful Business is a visionary of deep thought, care, intent and passion who is often way ahead of others in his ideas and direction.

I have the great privilege of being at the beginning of supporting him as the “Keeper of the Vision”, a vision of a world of Beautiful Leadership, of Beautiful Business.

A month or two ago I sent someone an email with the subject line “Beautiful Leadership”. They replied right away with:

“Think this is my favourite email title in ages…..X”

I hope this theme of Beautiful Leadership resonates for you too and has you curious to learn more. If so, read on, I’ll share today some of Alan’s recent thoughts as well as to let you how we are beginning this journey. (more…)

Facing the blank page

facing the blank page

Monday morning. My first calls and meetings start in an hour and will continue until late, so I sit here with one task at hand, to write the daily post to go out tomorrow morning.

Normally that feels great, except today, there is a problem.

I have no idea what to write about, I am facing the blank page.

So what to do, not only as a writer but also as a leader when momentum has stalled, when your team is stuck, when you don’t know what to do next?

Join me as I explore these two questions. (more…)

All work and no play…

all-work-and-no-play-makes-jack-a-dull-boy-florian-rodarte

(c) Florian Radarte

“all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

also goes along with

“a change is as good as a rest”

I wrote some time ago in “Stop the “Busyness”“:

“Put simply, for leaders, less is more. Simple, yes? But how many of you just skipped over this and then skipped to thinking: “I get that, but I have so much to do, I’m so BUSY !””

Make time to do things outside of your busy work life, it will pay dividends across all areas of life.

I sit writing this early afternoon on a Sunday, as often up against a deadline of meeting my commitment to post daily, as this will go out Monday 8am.

Today a reflection on making time for not only play but commitments outside work, after a fourteen hour day yesterday of work of a different kind. (more…)

Patience – Don’t swing at every pitch

Aaron Judge

This is the look of a batter striking out swinging.

williams_strike_zone

This is a picture from the book, “The Science of Hitting” by Ted Williams, where Ted broke the strike zone into 77 baseball-sized circles, colour-coding each one based on where he had the best chance to hit the ball.

He knew his sweet spot and waited patiently.

Ted Williams did not swing at every pitch.

Ted Williams was the last player to bat .400 for a season.

77 years ago.

Today, lessons from Ted Williams and Warren Buffett on patience. (more…)

Kilkenomics 2018 – will anyone challenge traditional economics?

scales

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine”

These words are from Benjamin Graham, author of “The Intelligent Investor”, who I referenced just the other day in “Patience, Venture Capital, Buffett and Kipling

The other day I also saw a tweet by my friend, the brilliant and impassioned and purposeful economist Marla Dukharan:

“We are what we measure” is an old adage, so today let me simply reflect on one answer to Marla’s question, anchored by the latest Harvard Business Review report on what they call “The Best-Performing CEOs in the World 2018

Let me also note that it takes a brave leader to buck that status quo. One such CEO (who I won’t name here) in the UK has just been unceremoniously dumped by their organisation for what I believe is the sin of choosing to lead their firm in the direction of being about more than short-term profits for their owners, but instead being of broader worth to their stakeholders and broader society.

If you lead an organisation, please take a look at this analysis below, then consider my closing thoughts and ask yourself how you will measure yourself.

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Seth Godin, Stet – Bravery to Let It Stand

stet

Seth Godin inspired me to commit to writing daily over a year ago, something he has done for nearly two decades.

His posts are without images, vary from a few words to much lengthier pieces, some with many links to the work of others, some with none.

Recently he posted a particularly pithy one, so today choosing to simply share a repost to honour Seth and how he inspires me. (more…)

Being comfortable with solitude

Dumbo sunrise

Quite the view, isn’t it?

I recently spent a week back in Cayman, where I had upwards of thirty meetings, talking with well over sixty people, including leading a four-hour session for a team of twenty-two. I worked out that in all that time I had less than two hours at a stretch on my own on any day.

I then flew to New York for three nights, finding myself waking up on my first day to this view and, by dint of serendipity, with no plans at all and with my host not arriving back until the next day.

So, what did I do with that solitude and what can I share about the power of solitude? (more…)