Tag: Presence

Writing I Love – If – Rudyard Kipling

Having and stimulating your Growth mindset  is key for leaders, and so investing time to read widely as well as deeply is one way to give focus to this.  With that in mind, each Saturday I post “Writing I Love”. Sometimes a business book, sometimes a leadership quote, often something more esoteric, such as a poem, novel, song lyric. 

qp241-if-rudyard-kipling-greetings-card

I love this poem, and the way it closes.. all about being present, and presence is a core practice and skill of #OpenLeadership

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Wait overnight before replying

**first a note..historically I have posted “Writing I Love” posts on Tuesdays, and “Movies with Meaning” posts on Wednesdays. Effective this week, I’m iterating a change. My writing and movie posts will continue, simply on weekends, leaving Monday to Friday for evolving in my usual eclectic way my themes and posts around #OpenLeadership 

keep calm and just wait

What if you waited  at least overnight to reply to all your emails and messages ?

What Tom ? Are you crazy ?  I can’t do that !

Really ? Yes… (more…)

Ikigai, Presence.. Bucket Lists

Today the word “Bucket list” comes to me, through a recent experience best told by a video.

Before you watch the 21 second long video clip, please let me set the scene.

I’ll tell that story, then reflect a little on bucket lists, presence and Ikigai a little (as recurring themes around leadership on this site.).

I’m a big movie fan (hence “Movies with Meaning” posts every Wednesday on this site, and one of my favourite movies is “2001 – A Space Odyssey”

That movie was released in 1968, and for the 50th anniversary, in the amazing Royal Festival Hall, it was accompanied live by the Philharmonia orchestra and voices.

Somehow I managed to get two tickets that were front and centre in the auditorium.

I invited a friend who loved the soundtrack, particularly the score. It turned out she had never watched the movie, and her review afterwards was “Epic”. She also sneaked shooting a short video of the opening of the movie, of the orchestra playing the stunnign short piece that is Strauss’ “Thus Spake Zarathustra”.

Turn it on, turn it up loud, feel the #goosebumps !

A number of years ago, the term “Bucket List” was popularised, including by a movie of that name.  Basically it is about having a whole bunch of experiences before you die.

To me, in the moment of being in that experience of the movie, orchestra, choir, concert hall etc., I felt for a moment that I could die then and be happy.

Was it a bucket list moment though ? I thought about it, then realised that I hadn’t thought of the event that way, even though it was truly a once in a lifetime memory.

Instead, I reflected on what it means to focus on “what I want to do before I die”, as, worthy though that may be, it can have the effect of taking us away from experiencing what is happening in the present moment.

At that movie screening, I was totally present, my senses absolutely stimulated, a huge smile from ear to ear and goosebumps from head to foot.

When we are present to the moment, there can be magic in unexpected places.

I’ve written often about Ikigai, one definition of which is knowing your reason for being.

is it too zen to consider “being present is reason enough for being” as my own Ikigai ? I am sensing that this is a distillation that gets close to mine.

I truly love being present to moments and being present to and for others. It is also in being truly and deeply present that the magic happens, where we see things for as they are.

Take that into business and leadership, when we step out of the busy-ness of our work lives and focus on being truly present, it is amazing how often magic happens. We see the wood for the trees, we see and support our team through them simply being seen through our presence and listening.

Be Present, find your own Ikigai. Choose those over a Bucket List, and you won’t feel the need to think of a bucket list of things you’ll do in the future before you die. Believe me, your present will be more than enough.

 

 

 

 

Movies with Meaning – Different Perspectives

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.

As a trained and practiced coach, in my work as a sounding board to leaders, I am always deeply listening. In this, I seek to understand the perspective of the individual or group I am listening to. Sometimes my role is then to give my perspective as an impartial and outside observer, sometimes to help them see the source for the perspective they have themselves (which they may or may not be conscious of!).

There is real power in deep listening. As Stephen Covey advises, “listen with the intent to undestand, not to reply”.

Numerous movies have utilised the idea of different perspectives to dramatic effect in telling stories. As a practice for yourself in taking time to see things through the eyes of others, perhaps watch one or more of these three movies.

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Movies with Meaning – John Cusack edition

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.

Some weeks my theme is deep and meaningful, this week simply to honour one of my favourite actors with three movies of his that I love.
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Movies with Meaning – Trust and Consistency

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.

Recently I was at a talk given by Rachel Botsman, author of “who can you trust” who I found last year (thank you google search) is pretty much the only other person using the term “distributed trust” to describe the trust revolution ahead of us (and I’ve written about this in multiple posts on this site).

Anyway, inspiring talk and one piece she talked about was to ask who the most trusted person in the UK is. A survey has been done on this, and the answer was David Attenborough, who has been making TV documentaries on nature for many decades, and is still doing so in his 90s.

To me, the key reason we trust him is his consistency. He has never varied in what he is about, what he does, why he does it.

There are many elements around what makes us trust others, today I focus on consistency. Yes, the work of Joseph Campbell means that so many movie characters live the dramatic steps of the hero’s journey, yet some of our heroes we trust as they have a powerful consistency of intention and purpose under pressure throughout.
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Movies with Meaning – Focussing on what matters

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.

a river runs through it

Of late I have been musing and writing on focussing on the present and on what matters.

This week three movies on these themes.
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How is your heart ?

how is your heart

In English when we meet we ask “how are you ?”

As Omid Safi writes in “The Disease of being Busy“* :

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

In Leadership there are few things more powerful than giving people your full attention and truly seeing them. It can be as simple and fleeting as giving a flight attendant eye contact as you say goodbye as you disembark, or addressing a barista by the name on their name tag as you thank them for your morning coffee.

As a coach, sounding board, facilitator, I believe in and practice “Deep Listening” truly being absolutely present at all levels for others.

I therefore adore this term “haal” and Omid’s expression of it as a greeting of real care.

Omid writes beautifully, and continues :

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.

Beautiful.

My own articles on this site on related themes are too numerous now to list here, but do search on this page around themes such as “Being, not Doing”, “Stop the Busyness” “Being without agenda” and tags such as Silence, Ikigai, Presence.

*Many thanks to Christine Sperber of the Modern Elder Academy for sharing this article. More on “MEA” to come on this site, as I am excited to be part of the “Beta”. For now, to find more about Modern Elder, search articles on this site for “Chip Conley”

Listening, your Superpower

gaping void listening superpower

To begin, it always makes me smile that when I seek a phrase to google search for an image for a post, so often I find that Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void has drawn one, and today as I searched on the words Listening, Superpower, here we are again. Thank you once again for your visual expression of themes, Hugh.

You see, listening IS a Superpower, though it is empowering to recognise that we don’t have to be born on the planet Krypton, be bitten by a radioactive spider etc.

We all have this superpower within us !

Recently, encouraged and challenged by others to do so, I’ve been ruminating (and putting some of it on the page) about what I do, what I offer, what I bring to people in my work with them.

In “Letting the light shine in for others” I talked about this and noted : “Providing outside perspective in a supportive and deep listening way is what I do for others”.

Today let me focus on listening and share some of what I have learned about this superpower, but to begin I will share and reflect on thoughts from Simon Kuper, a writer for the FT.

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Movies with Meaning – Determination and Belief

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.

This week three movies about real people achieving through determination and belief, both belief in self and also the power of being believed in (more…)