Tag: Purpose

Purpose, your inner rocket fuel

rocket fuel shuttle

This week I left home one day at 1pm for a truly intense day and a half of client work, yet when I got home late the next evening I felt great at all levels.

The secret?  Yes, I make sure I look after myself physically (sleep, exercise, nutrition etc), I am a passionate and high energy person anyway, but the true inner rocket fuel that powered me through and always does? Purpose. I am clear on my purpose and choose purpose-led leaders and teams as clients that see me live that purpose through my work.

Passion, energy and drive ultimately can only be sustained and grown where Purpose is the inner rocket fuel. (more…)

Planting trees you will never see

sagrada familia interior

Interior of Sagrada Familia

I love cathedrals and other major centres of worship, such as Sagrada Familia, Hagia Sophia, Durham Cathedral and many others.

A key aspect of such buildings are that almost all of those who were part of their construction knew that they were contributing to something they would never see completed in their lifetime.

They were planting trees they would never see.

Today some musing on #OpenLeadership and planting trees you will never see. (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…)

Setting your personal context

context3

Today let me put it to you that, in many years and thousands upon thousands of hours as a coach, the single most powerful tool for coaching is Context.

Today I’ll talk specifically about the power for an individual of setting a personal context and three focal areas for action aligned to that context.

To get there, as the diagram indicates, one needs to ask oneself different questions to arrive at what both drives and supports you to move forward from the present.

(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…)

Ignore the noise of Metrics – tune in to what truly matters

Seth Godin writes daily and has over 1,000,000 followers on his email list.

I write daily and have around 1,000 email followers.

Metrics.

For many years a part of my work was engaged with digital marketing. So much of that was about building traffic to websites, spending money on promotion to draw people to your site then sell them something. Metrics were everything.

As I’ve gone past 300 daily posts and loving writing more and more, I muse on how I no longer care about metrics the way I used to, I have become clearer and clearer about what truly matters. As one of Peter Gabriel’s songs highlights for me, I’m clearer on clear on what is Signal over what is Noise.

I muse on metrics and meaning today after yesterday, in “The Power of Intention – “This is post 300””, writing about how that day marked post #300 of my posting daily on this site, and noted “Listen to your intention. Follow it without always having to know where it will lead. You will create serendipities. Amazing things can and will happen!” (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…)

Petrichor – How our environment can impact us

Petrichor – the smell after rain hits dry ground

From the Greek, Petros, meaning stone, and Ichor, meaning “the fluid that flows from the veins of the gods”

Today my mind goes to this beautiful word, and, inspired by the word, also to how I felt after the rain came and the weather cooled off, which then had me muse on how, over time, we can unconsciously adapt and change to a different environment. Such awareness of the environmental impact on an individual can have value when considered at scale for relationships, families, businesses, organisations, societies.

I live in central London, and this summer has been truly exceptional, hot and dry as never recorded before. In fact, until the early evening of Friday, July 27th it had not rained for around eight weeks. Day after day, week after week went by with the weather replicated.

clapham common savannah

Hot, dry, sunny. Every day. As it continued week after week it felt like a new normal, as if the weather had ever been this way. (more…)

We can all be brave leaders through our individual actions

the world is changed by your example coelho

Today I woke up to see this story of a 21 year old Swedish woman taking a stand against deportation of an Afghan from her country by standing up to prevent her flight from departing. Her name is Elin Errson, and she literally took a stand for what she believed to be right.

The video below is edited to 3′ and is very emotional and inspirational.

I’ve then linked to a Guardian interview of Ms Errson, then added my own thoughts and links to thoughts from two earlier posts on this site.

We can all be brave leaders through our individual actions

All we need do is simply take a stand for what we believe in, by simply being of integrity to that and acting from that place.

Leaders who do not, lose their followers. (more…)

Leadership: Romance, Life in Full Colour and Magical Reality

Today I’ll muse on life, art and how what I have learned links to leadership in business.

Romantic Idealism. First, I’ll look being a romantic and idealism in leadership.

Next, I’ll explore what I mean by “Life in Full Colour” and then taking risks in leadership.

Magical Reality. Finally, I’ll look at what I meant when I recently coined for myself this term, then what that means for leadership and not settling for less than your ideals.

(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.”

Move your “NO” to “HELL YEAH!”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
~ Will Durant

An absorbing, energising and inspiring conversation recently has me musing on the process and the act of writing and what it can bring to us. In that conversation, I was nudged to remember and once again sign up for the wonderful thought-provoking curations of Maria Popova and her Brainpickings (highly recommended!).

In that conversation I was guided to an article:  “Jennifer Egan on Writing, the Trap of Approval, and the Most Important Discipline for Aspiring Writers“, which has an anchor quote of:

write regularly jennifer egan

“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.” (more…)

Synthesising ideas – who inspires you?

synthesising ideas

One definition of Synthesising is:

“combining different aspects of your ideas and research and the ideas of others in order to produce new ideas”

Many synthesised ideas are captured in my writing on this site, which is driven by a purpose best stated as :

“Our highest purpose is to share knowledge.”

from the Luc Besson movie “Lucy”

Inspired by “genius extractor” and fellow #ModernElder alumnus, Matt Clark, below is a list of writers who inspire me to synthesise ideas.

I hope my list gives you some inspiration and also has you consider who inspires you to synthesise ideas?

 

Some writers who inspire me:

Viktor Frankl
Seneca
WB Yeats
Shakespeare
Antoine de Saint Exupery
Steve Jobs
Winston Churchill
Rumi
Don Miguel Ruiz
Paolo Coelho
Mary Oliver
Nilofer Merchant
Adam Grant
Rachel Botsman
Chip Conley
Rumi
Peter Frankopan
Stephen Covey
Ray Dallio
Michael Neill
Seth Godin

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…)

Writing I Love – Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers

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. 

outliers

The other day I posted “Ben Hogan : Deliberate Practice” and referenced in it the “10,000 hour” rule from Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

I was a little shocked at myself to realise that in all the many daily posts on this site, so far I had not actually mentioned Malcolm Gladwell in my weekly “Writing I Love” posts. Time to remedy that.

Gladwell’s books have been wonderfully catalysing for me over many years. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, for over a decade I focussed almost entirely on financial and other metrics as the answers to building value in a business. However, I then came to realise that people and culture within organisations are also massively important, so I started studying widely and deeply to understand how “people and profit”, “commercial and cultural” elements of business, in combination, drive value.

Of course where I am now is that I feel I have a pretty deep understanding of both, so now focus on leadership and working with leaders, and one part of that is to eclectically look at what makes a great leader, hence the very varied nature of posts on this site !

So, to Gladwell. He is a master story teller, not an economist, not a psychologist, not an academic. He is also massively curious and so takes passionate interest and lots of time and research into finding and diving deep into what drives people. HIs books smack of wisdom, my personal definition for wisdom being: “something concise that, once you hear it, you feel you always knew it”. (more…)