Tag: Self-Knowledge

At risk versus taking risks



Understanding Risk is core to Leadership

Today some simple thoughts around what Risk means to us individually rather than as leaders of organisations.

Specifically, around what it feels like to be “at risk” and how that impacts our ability and willingness to “take risks”.

Even more specifically, how our personal feelings around being “at risk” may impact our ability to “take risks” in our job and our lives. (more…)

What is your one-word theme for 2019?

one word theme year

First of all, welcome to 2019 as today is the 1st of January!

Over the last two weeks or so I’ve mused on a process for first a) reflecting on the last year, then b) being present to where you are right now, then finally c) setting a focus for 2019.

Now, you may well have some ideas for 2019. You might have, for your business, a strategic plan for one or more years, allied to operational plans, budgets etc.

However, do you have a one-word theme for the year? If not, I recommend you do. (more…)

Reflections. Where are you today?


As we come to the end of another year, I find my thoughts and writing turning towards year-end reflections. Yesterday I wrote “Day by day, nothing seems to change” and in there noted a process for reflecting, noting:

“At this time of year, my meetings and calls with clients turn towards reflection on the year past, then to where they are now, and only after that to where they will focus in 2019”

That post largely focussed on a process for reflecting on the year past. Today, with guidance from the philosopher Alan Watts, an esoteric look at how to consider where you are today, so that then you can embrace that reality and so be truly effective in considering where you will focus in 2019.

Yes, I’m not your conventional leadership sounding board, I’m here to take you where you want to go if you are up for the journey as it can be! (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…)

Simple, but not easy


“It’s simple, but not easy”

Yesterday I wrote “To be truly radical is to make hope possible“, and closed that post by saying today I’d write a little about what it takes for radical change.

I love radical change, transformative and brave. Incremental change is important, “marginal gains” and all of that is vital to maintaining forward momentum. However, for me what I love is supporting leaders who are hungry and brave and know deeply that something more radical is needed and that this is their path.

So, when a client asks me for my advice on how to transformationally change their organisation, after I listen, ask questions, then listen some more, I often come up with this statement.

“It’s simple, but not easy” (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.


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…)

From Pooh to Cantona

This week I brought you wisdom for Leadership from the sagest of sage bears (apologies to Paddington, who comes a close second), Winnie the Pooh.

Today, I bring you the legend that is Eric Cantona, who I also wrote about recently in: “Ferguson and Cantona – Vulnerability and Strength“.

Yes, Leadership learnings from Eric Cantona. You come here expecting the eclectic, yes?

I’ll share learnings from an article he recently wrote, as well as my own reflections.


Recapturing the power of intuition


“Our world seems like a heap of fragments and it is hard to see how they cohere. Wisdom has been replaced by knowledge and knowledge has been replaced by information. Pieces of data. Chunks of data.”

Iain McGilchrist, author of “The Divided Mind”,

speaking in the documentary”Innssaei – The Power of Intuition”

In our modern world, we have largely forgotten the power of intuition.

On this site, I often muse on ideas and themes that may appear tangential at best to the theme of leadership. However, the term I use here is #OpenLeadership, and that is about being open in many ways. including to listening to “the sea within”, as the tagline to the documentary Innsaei puts it.

Let me talk to you today, then, about the power of intuition, and also a few thoughts on how to recapture it for yourself. (more…)

Setting your personal context


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.


Your playing small does not serve the world


This week has been rich with 1:1 meetings in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London with amazing people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

These meetings, and one in particular, reminded me of three things:

  1. We have far more in common than we allow ourselves to recognise
  2. Profound Beauty can create a shift
  3. Repetition, repetition, repetition

Let me explain, and I hope you can take your own leadership learnings from my experience. (more…)

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