Tag: Share Learnings

Gratitude + Presence


This week I am back in Cayman, with a full week of client meetings, a client workshop, meetings with friends, contacts, and, most of all, my boys.

What occurs to me at this moment is the powerful combination of :

Gratitude + Presence (more…)

What moves you? Writing, sound, pictures?

swimmer headphones

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, swimmers were given free sets of “Beats” headphones. Brilliant product placement, as it had been realised that almost all swimmers like to close themselves off from the world before their race and do so in a cocoon of sound.

Recently I arranged for my two older sons, both veterans of swimming at the Commonwealth Games, to meet the teenage daughter of a friend, a young swimmer who is now very fast for her age nationally. They had a great chat, with one of the biggest sparks of connection coming when they discussed what songs they put on their playlists to listen to before races!

It got me to thinking about how we learn, and also what moves us, speaks to us, inspires us.

All too often we rely too much on only one tool to connect to others, being the written word. This is a hugely deep topic, so today simply a few connected riffs that I hope get you cogitating! (more…)

Writing I Love – Robert Frost

robert frost woods

Today two simple shares from some writing I love, from the poet Robert Frost.

I’ve written many posts here on this site around “Writing I Love”.  Why do I do that on a site about #OpenLeadership.

Simple. Leadership starts with “Self-Leadership”.

Beauty, whether in nature, poetry, art, movies, special moments of connection. All moments of beauty have the opportunity to connect us more deeply to who we are, and to bring awareness to that is to create ever greater opportunity to lead ourselves and so to lead others, from our children and other family members on up to whoever we lead in our work.

So, I’ll share my own thoughts from two pieces by Robert Frost today.

What writing moves you?  (more…)

Forget the “Golden Rule”, adopt the “Platinum Rule”


The Golden Rule states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

The Golden Rule is cited so often it seems like a wonderful and positive aspiration.

However, the first time someone tells you about the Platinum Rule and suggest you “upgrade” your standards to Platinum, typically you’ll have a thought that often happens when you hear a piece of true wisdom and that is: “that seems so obvious”.

So now you’ve heard it, let’s talk a bit about it so you can look to where you might apply it, as well as where you may already have done so, or perhaps where you might see a real change if you use it in your next interaction with that person. (more…)

Slow down to speed up later

Cambridgeshire Oct10

Soon I will be travelling for ten days to Cayman and the USA, blending seeing clients, family, friends.

Whilst most of my active clients are on retainers, over the years I’ve built deep relationships with a number of clients who call me in periodically to support them as needed.

One such client overseas has asked me to spend a day with their team on this trip. When I asked them what they would like me to support them with, the client principal, with lots of experience of the work, sent a list of three specific tools and frameworks they’d like me to cover with the team.

Simple enough, at one level, but today let me use this example, as well as a story around the photo above, to explain what I mean by:

Slow down to speed up later


None of us is bulletproof – advice for founders


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…)

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…)

Leadership lessons – from an orchestra conductor

dressage orchestra

Yes, that photo is of a horse and rider doing dressage being conducted along with a chamber orchestra. My friend Steven Roth, a conductor of many years experience, has even conducted dancing horses !!

Steven is Executive Director of Scottish Ballet and I love meeting up with him when we can to exchange ideas on leadership.

We met recently for breakfast in Glasgow and afterwards he sent me this hysterical clip of Mr Bean as a conductor, then later shared some leadership lessons he takes from it.

Thank you for giving me permission to share, Steven ! (more…)

Looking for a coach? Questions to ask them first


Are you considering investing in a coach for yourself, and/or for members of your team?

If so, how are you going about selecting them? Are you thinking beyond simply going to a large coaching company or association and hiring one of their qualified coaches?

After all, as they used to say in the 80s around buying computing systems, “nobody gets fired for buying “Big Blue” {IBM}”, and, more currently, it seems that the safe option on the external audit is (almost) always to hire one of the Big4.

Coaching is very personal, so I’d recommend you look beyond “ticking the box” with the “safe option” in that way.

Interestingly, recently I was pointed towards a great article that was actually written by a coach training company on “15 signs a coach can deliver what they claim“.

As one might expect such a company, the article was prefaced with: “In theory, the first sign should be a qualification”, However, they then they go on to note how, though they offer three different formal qualifications, the secret is in their method for training. After that, they then finish the preface to their article with:  “So if qualifications aren’t the clearest indicator of an effective coach, what should you look for?”.

“So if qualifications aren’t the clearest indicator of an effective coach,

what should you look for?”

Great question.

Today, then, I’ll discuss that. Then, before reposting their article (which is full of excellent qualitative measures to consider), I will offer you a few questions to ask of a prospective coach that way cut to the chase for you. (more…)

Organisational Transformations – dropping pebbles

pebble pond

The #BeMoreYou page on this site is there to help leaders assess if I am the right person to support them and if they are the right person too. Words like bravery and transformation are peppered through the site, and this phrase from the page is apposite to today’s post: “My commitment is that our work together will facilitate the greatest possible impact for you, your business, and the world.”.

In my work, many of my clients over the years have been leaders of large organisations and they bring me in to support them with transformational change, to amplify their own already high impact, to put an even greater dent in the universe, so to speak.

Today I’ll share an excerpt from a recent article on transformational change I found valuable in an understanding of just what it takes to move from idea to execution of transformation.

In this, I’ll also distil some of my thoughts around the themes in the article, including how you can create a conversation around “dropping pebbles” to create an effective strategy to effect “complex contagion” and so real transformation throughout the organisation. (more…)

Context and choosing your team

dream big get shit down

Am working on building a tribe to work on a brave and different project that looks at business and leadership through the lens of beauty.

Thanks to Susan Aktemel for posting this on Twitter the other day. I saw Susan speak at the Entrepreneurial Summit at Gleneagles this past April and her passion and purpose for business with purpose was inspiring!

The diagramme also gives me an opportunity here to share a learning. (more…)