Tag: Share Learnings

Building to last

The Reef

This week I am back in Cayman and, for the first time in a long time, am staying at The Reef Resort, this the view from my room at sunrise as I awake on my first morning here.

It is an odd feeling to be here, not simply Cayman, where I have spent most of my adult life, but to this resort that I have such a long association with, dating back well over twenty years to when it was only an idea. This has me ponder on:

What do we create in our work and do we truly build to last?


Where Entrepreneurialism comes from

mike driver

“..entrepreneurialism can’t be taught and the library full of books attempting to teach it are a waste of time. Short of travelling back in time and putting your childhood self through some sort of trauma you cannot ‘become’ an entrepreneur.”

The 17th and closing tweet in a thread posted this week by Mike Driver of Convex.

In short, Mike’s Twitter thread is concise, incisive and brilliant. Yes, it concludes that entrepreneurialism can’t be taught (so don’t bother trying to learn how to be an entrepreneur as an adult), but in his thread, he explains where it comes from.

As I put it in when sharing his thread onwards on Twitter:

“deep thinking around source from evidence in practice, allied to comprehensive and wide-ranging reading around relevant topics. Aligns closely to my own findings with many hundreds of entrepreneurs”

Today I’ll share his tweet thread (presented as a short opinion piece in this post for ease of reading, as well as my thinking around why I use Twitter.

Please read it.

Oh, and if you are thinking of embarking on a course of study on being entrepreneurial, don’t 🙂 (more…)

To see ourselves as others see us

DFW this is water quote

picture credit Sloww.co

Today I am reminded of the difficulty of seeing ourselves how others see us and the power of critical thinking both for that and to truly see and understand others.

These are universal challenges for each of us. For those who lead others, the “self-leadership” part is at the core, then the layers and dimensions simply expand, to the people in our organisation, the values, beliefs and cultures consciously and unconsciously present. The opportunities for understanding and exploring are endless as we then look at societal, systemic, structural issues.

For this reason, we often look to understand such issues through philosophy and also art, including writing.

Today I’ll share teachings from this from two great authors, David Foster Wallace and Robert Burns, I hope this supports you in looking at what you can do to see yourselves as others see you, as well as to look to understand and see others more clearly. (more…)

Revolut and the cost of toxic culture

the fish rots from the head

Earlier this year I wrote “The fish rots from the head“, sharing my experience over the years that toxic culture starts from the top, that:

“People observe their leaders, so no matter how much money is invested by HR and LnD in people, if the leadership are not, well, leading in their behaviours, all of that money invested is wasted. Change must come from the top as well as from all levels within.”

Well, folks, let me introduce you to Nickolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut, a terrific example and lesson leaders can learn from.

His business has hit the headlines this past week with an exposé from Wired magazine on their hiring practices, but they hit my “rotting fish radar” some time ago by the CEO’s attitude in press interviews. Let’s explore. (more…)

How many blue cars do you see?

xk120 ceg266

When my two oldest sons were very young, one summer we visited great friends in Norway. One day my friend and I took his two sons and mine, all aged between about 3 and 8, for the over two-hour drive from Oslo to their cottage on a lake for an overnight trip.

It was a wonderful trip, but on the way back the boys were bored. My friend asked them to pick a colour. They chose blue. He then asked them to count all the blue cars they saw.

Amazing how many blue cars you see when you are looking for blue cars.

Today a story about the word beautiful as it relates to business and seeing it when you are looking.

Also a thought around the power of having a focus word like Blue, or Beautiful.


Mark Hollis – Learn how to play one note

Mark hollis

“Before you play two notes, learn how to play one note, y’know? And don’t play one note unless you’ve got a reason to play it.” ~ Mark Hollis

Yesterday Mark Hollis died.

He was the leader of Talk Talk. Their music really touched me in different ways, then he stepped away from music and fame completely, at the top of his game. Last night, then, I spent hours listening to that music to mark his passage.

The quote above also says so much about how he evolved and grew as a musician over time, distilling to essence.

Learn how to play one note.


Cascading Leadership – Engage, Align, Enrol

TM Cascading Leadership Graphic v1_F

Recently I wrote : “Cascading Leadership – a new way for transformative change“. That post is a synthesis of many years of learning and practice in supporting transformative change. Please do read the full post, but for today I highlight:

“Which comes first, to Engage or to Align?….the answer is to iterate this repeatedly so that there is no “what to do first”, but a virtuous circle of engage, align, engage, align repetitively, each iteration deepening both elements and building more and more trust in the overall organisation for those within it as they truly feel part of the vision”

From this, I felt to create a “virtuous circle” graphic to distil Cascading Leadership to one simple drawing. Many thanks to the amazing Martha Rowe for creating this from my description of what I wanted. Martha is quite brilliant (she also handles my website aesthetics and more for me), and I highly recommend her!

Oh, and I believe in sharing widely and freely anything I may have that is of value, so note that this graphic (and anything I write) is for you to use, to share onwards freely.

As for applying Cascading Leadership, in addition to my writing, I am retained by a limited number of clients around the world to support them with their leadership and transformative change. Am always happy to talk to you about how I might support you.

Aligning corporate and personal purpose


A few weeks ago I wrote “Purpose, People, Planet – the new triple bottom line“.

That article is a synthesis of learning from many years of building businesses and supporting leaders of businesses and other organisations. In short, I said “we need a new triple bottom line, one that puts Profit as an outcome of focussing on the Source drivers of Purpose, People and Planet”

Today I am reminded of what drives the People of that triple bottom line, so let’s link the two. (more…)

You are what you measure – Employee Engagement

you are what you measure

I love this quote from Peter Drucker, one of the few people I’d give the term “guru” to around what he has taught around leadership.

“You are what you measure”

This is also a phrase I love, and I’ve written in various ways around this, including “Time for new metrics for leadership“, which focussed on leadership at corporate vision level as well as values of an individual and how they show up.

Today, though, I focus on the value of Employee Engagement Surveys. (more…)

Doing the right thing when everyone IS watching

integrity cs lewis

A few days ago I had cause to focus on three values very dear to me, fairness, integrity, and bravery.

I’m very familiar with the C.S. Lewis quote above. It is one reason why I love to play golf, it is the only major sport I know of where players call their own penalties, there is nobody watching to see if you play by the rules. Players must be of integrity when nobody is watching.

Today though, I’m considering, from a stance of leadership, what it means to do the right thing when everyone is watching. (more…)