Tag: Share Learnings

Give handwritten thank you notes

thank you note

In 1989, when I was 24, I moved to the Cayman Islands. Sending faxes and making phones calls was still eye-wateringly expensive, so I sent aerogrammes, short, handwritten letters, to stay in touch with family and friends.

These days the art of a handwritten letter or even note seems very rare, so today a reflection both on the power of receiving a handwritten thank you note, as well as the perhaps surprising power this has for the giver. (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.

Who could you give the gift of listening to today?

Comfortable in your own skin

Steph Curry Underrated

Just over a month ago I wrote first about Steph Curry and his actions to empower girls.

Today I find myself sharing another example of leadership off the court from this athlete, and again from an article he wrote in The Players Tribune, a quite remarkable publication that gives athletes a platform to share, in-depth, their stories.

I’ll share today his most recent example of leadership voiced in the article “Underrated”, but I dug deeper and the phrase I want to highlight from him today is from an earlier article: “I’m a person who is comfortable in his own skin”

(more…)

Exploring Beauty – John O’Donohue

odonohue beauty

Yesterday I wrote: “CEO Pay and Ugly Leadership” in which I shared the words of Alan Moore:

“Beautiful Businesses Leaders respond to a higher order calling of service to a greater good. Their leadership is framed by values and informed by purpose.”

To act on that higher order calling part of that path is to know the difference between Beautiful Leadership and Ugly Leadership. To truly anchor to Beautiful Leadership it is is key simply to Explore Beauty for the beauty’s sake.

Today some of the beautiful thoughts and words of the late John O’Donahue, who truly dedicated his life to the exploration of beauty in thought and deed. (more…)

Be so good they can’t ignore you

steve martin

Today I’m recommending to you to choose to “be so good they can’t ignore you”, and to back that up by having people in your life, including mentors, that believe in you even more than you believe in yourself

“Be so good they can’t ignore you” ~ Steve Martin

Steve Martin is brilliant. If you don’t know his work, treat yourself to watching any of his brilliant movies across different genres, his sketch show work, his writing (and there is more, much more to him).

Today I’ll share a clip of him giving that famous piece of advice he has repeated over and over, then link to my own thoughts on the power of belief and being supported by those who believe in you. (more…)

At risk versus taking risks

RISK

Risk.

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…)

Belief and Mentoring

mentor belief

I love the sentiment in that picture above.

“It would be a stretch for others to believe in you at a level higher than yourself. Your mentors are an exception.”

Today I’ve just had two mentoring conversations and so feel like musing on the power of belief in mentoring and sharing some experiences both as mentor and mentee.

In summary, if you feel your mentor doesn’t believe in you at least as much as you believe in yourself, they are not the right mentor for you.

(more…)

Ma – thinking about the space between

kanji-for-ma

Ma is one of four Japanese terms for space, space being a concept that, it feels, is given much more focus in Japanese culture than in the West.

Today is Friday, January 4th and it feels to me to be a “space between”, where people have turned their minds back towards work after the holiday season, yet at the same time it still can feel like a “space between”.

Today some musing on space and then a learning from a client just before I wrote this, on what this can be used for to benefit you and your business. (more…)

Be careful of toxic language

toxic-1

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

For the last several years the UK government has operated their immigration policy under a two-word term: “Hostile Environment“.

This started out as being designed to make it difficult for those in the UK illegally to stay, but very quickly became an amplifier for the still heavily entrenched institutional racism still present in this country, impacting literally millions of people contributing to society.

Over the holiday season, the UK Government showed with a very simple choice of toxic words in a tweet how deeply embedded the doctrine and culture of Hostile Environment has become. (more…)

Everyday Leadership and Legacy

Penny-McDowall-Andrew-Smiley

Penny McDowall

Receiving the Special Olympics North America coach of the year award 

I just got news from Cayman that Penny McDowall passed away on New Year’s Eve. The short instinctive note I sent to her husband Rod simply said:

Such a loss, and such a life. An inspiration and wonderful human.

Today, I feel moved to write about Penny, about her legacy, and about how we can all live and model what Drew Dudley call’s “Everyday Leadership”. (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…)

We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen

credo card

Back in the early 2000s, I took on the opportunity (never a challenge, always an opportunity) to lead a resort in the Cayman Islands. I began by looking to best practice and saw that the top hotel brands in the world had an unerring focus on their internal culture and then delivering, through that, to their guests.

I often say “get clear on the WHY and the HOW is easy”, and at the same time, people need to know HOW to deliver on the WHY.

Today a simple story from one of the hotel brands I studied in depth back then, the Ritz-Carlton hotel company. (more…)

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