I recently learned a powerful lesson from someone close to me who has a disease that they are choosing how to address.
They shared with me that they learned from their doctor that this was not something you “fight”, as to approach it from a “fight” mindset means that you are not giving your body permission and highest capability to heal. Instead, adopting a level of acceptance of “what is” can allow that healing to be strong, thus giving the highest chance for the body to be strong and so allow the medical team to take on the disease to the fullest extent.
Today some thoughts on when to fight and when to accept, whether when one has a disease, or in terms of learnings from martial arts, then around leading at times of crisis. (more…)
“we risk being deafened by the negativity all around us here in London”
Part of a message I received from a friend in London as I am in Baja at Modern Elder Academy. Later that morning, as I sat on the terrace with the Pacific in the background, I had a call with a friend and client, an entrepreneur and business owner who is facing challenges with their UK business, one that is in a sector that very much depends on consumer confidence and so consumer spending.
Today some thoughts on resilience for businesses and their leaders. (more…)
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.
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…)
I had lunch recently with an investor who expressed frustration about founders of startups and scale-ups.
They are not a fund partner, nor VC or from the Private Equity world. No, they actually built a business of value and lived it for the whole journey through to an ultimate sale and cash out for a significant sum, thus giving them space and funds to invest in other businesses. Cards on the table, I prefer such investors as they’ve been through it personally, rolled the sleeves up. Experience brings empathy at a level that is irreplaceable. This gives them a powerful edge in mentoring founders, who often are sorely lacking sounding boards on the roller coaster ride.
So, why was this investor so frustrated when I met them? Could it have been that they wanted to vent along the lines of my own common frustration with founders focussed on raising round after round of funding without actually building a business that generates revenues? Not that day, though certainly something I may write about another time!
No, they were frustrated with founders pretending they are bulletproof. (more…)
For the first months of daily writing on this site, I wrote around the theme of “Smashing Paradigms” each Friday, with many written on that theme you can now explore. I began each one with;
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”
Today I’m inspired by Eliud Kipchoge, who on September 17, 2018 utterly obliterated the marathon world record, so have come back to the theme of Smashing Paradigms and will share some ideas and thoughts for leaders. (more…)
I love the power of language, and of well-chosen words. A little over a month ago, I wrote a post bringing together a number of the words and short phrases I’ve mused on over time on this site with links to those posts. That post is called
In that post I highlighted the power of language for leaders: “we follow leaders partly through rationality, through thinking about what they say. However, we also process (often unconsciously) other ways in which they communicate. Are they calm? sage? energised? fierily passionate? purposeful? resolute?”
By choosing words and phrases of rich meaning, we bring depth to our expression and so our leadership. One such word of resonance to me right now is:
The thing is, here in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a real “back to school” energy which means that for those who were able to slow down over the summer and recharge themselves in nature, now only a very few will consciously and with awareness plan to take time to recharge themselves with nature in the coming months up until the end of the year.
In terms of leadership performance, sometimes with clients, I find some of the biggest shifts are the easiest and simplest to propose and support them in implementing.
CEOs are responsible for the performance (and, one would hope they recognise) and the wellbeing of all the people in their team. Often, though, they do a poor job of supporting one key member of that team. Themselves.
So, as you are the CEO of your own time and energy, how often do you consider how well you support yourself and your own performance?
Today let me share with you some ideas and a story about the power of managing time and energy. I hope it has value for you for your own performance and personal happiness and fulfilment, it certainly did for the client in the story. (more…)
The post asked of each of us the question: “what do your actions say about your Leadership?”, considering that everything we do is indicative of who we are, our values mirror our behaviours, our actions speak louder than our words.
From this, a risk is that we could consider that who we are and how we behave our fixed and set. However, I am a proponent of the concept of Growth Mindset (see a post with a mindset questionnaire you can try here).
If we accept the concept of Growth Mindset, we can always improve, we can always change, grow, evolve. (more…)
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.
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…)
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.
I write often about presence, about flow, about stretching out of our comfort zone.
I fully embrace that I am a romanticist, an idealist, I look for the best in people and situations, I see people deeply, their ability and opportunity to live their life to their full potential.
At the same time, I’m also very aware (and sometimes painfully so) that life is not all smiles, joy, success, pleasure, sometimes it also comes with pain, regret, suffering.
I talk often about having “enough structure to allow flow”, so today let me come back to a topic I also write often about, which is structure. We all need foundation, structure, solidity in our life, our thoughts, our emotions, and one area of study and practice for me around this is Stoicism
Taken from the great Stoics such as Marcus Aurelius, Nietzsche focussed on the term “Amor Fati”, or love of one’s fate. (more…)
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