Tag: Presence

When a blacklist is, unfortunately, just that

Screenshot 2019-04-02 at 11.53.11

In a post last year: “Diversity of Thought – how much is too much?” I remarked upon a panellist at an event choosing to be present, to listen, then to respond calmly. Within that post I wrote:

“..brings to mind to me a quote from 1770 from the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke:

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

A powerful phrase that has been adjusted and repeated for many years as :

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

So, today I share with you a recent article from a dear friend of mine, the brilliant, passionate and purpose-driven economist, Marla Dukaharan.

In this, Marla calmly and clearly calls out empirically obvious racist and white supremacist actions against offshore (defining that as “not large countries” though the majority are islands distant to the major economic powers) jurisdictions. For this, I applaud her for taking a stand, for saying something. (more…)

It’s not what you look at that matters

what do you see first

What do you see first in the picture above?

In looking at it, did you notice yourself slowing down and focussing closely on the image?

In my most recent three daily posts, I have focussed on a theme of reducing and simplifying.

When we do this, we are able to bring more focus to what we are observing, the person we are listening to.

When we give ourselves space to do that, as one of my favourite philosophers said:

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

~ Henry David Thoreau


Give no advice


Yesterday’s post was called “Give less advice“. My friend Bruce Peters read it, then emailed me:

“Have you considered “no advice” Or advice is prohibited approach?
Wisdom Circles in the Quaker tradition set an example, perhaps?”

Sage man, that Bruce.

If, as I often say, “less is more”, then let us consider the next step to “give less advice”. being the power of “give no advice”. (more…)

Do you have a pile of books?

Pile of books

Only one part of my current “pile of books” to read

Do you have a “pile of books?”

Mine never seems to get anywhere near “manageable”, as I simply keep buying more and more to read.

This pile is only the ones that are loosely to do with business and leadership, there are also more that are novels, poetry, history and and and… at least twenty books on my coffee table alone.

It is a thing, you know!

I guess I could read some of them before I buy some more, but I typically spend about an hour a day researching and writing for my daily posts, so don’t really seem to read books enough.

I guess I’ll work out a solution, but for now, I am happily sitting with this huge pile of books here.

Perhaps I’ll sign off for today now and read one!

What is prosperity?

how do we measure prosperity

Recently I wrote: “Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and the Corporation” in which I talked about what I called a new triple bottom line of Purpose, People, Planet.

I fundamentally believe the world needs new ways of considering what is prosperity.

For today, I am simply considering the value of time.

Every day I post on this site. Though mostly I write and schedule my posts at least a day or ahead, this morning I am sitting quietly on a Saturday morning writing this post to go out for today’s daily post.

This Saturday I have nothing planned other than a walk to the park, and tomorrow another quiet day.

What is prosperity?

Sometimes prosperity is as simple as the luxury or unstructured time.

Today, then, I choose to write only this short post and give myself the rest of the day to read a book, walk in the park and whatever else may flow.

Enjoy your weekend, and may you have the time you wish for yourself.

The less I am present, the more I can be present

dissolve self

I love what I do and have found, over time and practice, that I have developed a level of mastery at being a sounding board, with the key to that having little to do with knowledge and experience around leadership and business, it is far more to do with the ability to deeply listen.

As I wrote about yesterday in “Presence and asking the right questions“, I am constantly looking to deepen my practice. As with yoga, it is called practicing yoga. We are never “there”, it is a lifelong practice to grow, to improve.

Today a reflection on a particular exercise we ran at the Modern Elder Academy this week, ultimately leading me to come up with the Koan:

the less I am present, the more I can be present (more…)

Presence and asking the right questions

rock balancing

This week I am at the Modern Elder Academy at a week-long workshop entitled “The Psychology of Presence“.

This is a week I am taking to “deepen my practice” in my work. What do I do? Fundamentally I listen, ask questions, reflect, sometimes (only sometimes) advise, mostly support others in finding their own answers. I call it being a Sounding Board.

Over many years of this work, yes there are many skills and practices one can learn, but at the heart of it all is one word. Presence. When we are truly present then we can truly become attuned (a word that is defined as “to become receptive, aware”) to another person or a group.

So, here I am, focussed on how I can become ever more present.

Now to the photo above. (more…)

Beautiful Moment – Guiding Light


Sometimes life can feel too much. Speed, complexity, demands, deadlines, all can mount up and create a feeling of overwhelm in any of us.

At such times, rather than trying to think our way out of it, to analyse to a solution, perhaps pause, get out, take a walk, be present.

Today a moment of beauty and a story about what happened for some people who took a walk on the South Bank of London a few months ago in September 2018. (more…)

Be the type of person you want to meet

be the type of person you wish to meet

My writing is around leadership and is often focussed on how business leaders can “be more”. Perhaps some may find this post title a little “woo woo” for them, but hey, to model the title, those aren’t the audience I’m seeking.

The people I want to meet, to reach, to support, they understand that beyond their skills, tools, experience, who they are and how they show up are key to who they will meet.

Take this up a level and the same is true for any business or organisation. How anybody in that organisation behaves, how they “show up”, can at any time have a major impact on what other businesses will want to connect and do business with them.

As often happens, I’m spurred to write once again about this by several recent meetings and calls that reminded me of the truth, not only of “be the type of person you want to meet”, but also that the type of person you are being will dictate the type of person you do meet.

Today then, I’ll muse a bit and then simply link back to various posts I’ve made on this theme from the archives. (more…)

Give people the gift of listening

gift of listening

Recently I wrote: “What is your one-word theme for 2019?“. After writing this, I instinctively offered to a few groups the opportunity for them to have me support individuals with a one hour call to get to their theme, and have since had a number of such calls.

I work as a sounding board for leaders, yet even though a large part of that is about listening and reflecting, somehow these recent calls were a strong reminder to me of the value of truly listening.

Or, as Ed Percival, my greatest mentor, used to say, I give people a “jolly good listening to”. For more on what I’ve learned about what it means to really listen, see my earlier post “Listening – your Superpower“.

Who could you give the gift of listening to today?

Happiness and Gratitude

Happiness is a choice

For this post to go out on Christmas Day, a time for gratitude, I am reflecting simply and concisely on Happiness and Gratitude, starting with this image, then the thoughts of the Dalai Lama on “Compassion as the source of happiness“, and finally to share with you a quite beautiful TED talk where the speaker explains: “Want to be happy? Be grateful(more…)

Gratitude in threes. Serendipity, Bruce and Roma.


Yesterday I wrote the second in a series of posts sharing my ideas around a way to reflect on the year that is coming to completion such that you can truly set up a theme to focus on for 2019.

As part of reflecting on the year just past and before looking ahead to the future, take some practices to bring presence to where you are now.

Today I’ll continue that theme of Presence on where we are today and share three things I am grateful for as I write this on a sunny and crisp winter Sunday morning.


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