Monday, 26 July 2021

The 15 roles wise leaders play playbook

This is my last regular blog for awhile. 

I'm focusing my writing for the foreseeable future on producing a series of playbooks for wise leaders. 

This is the first one, The 15 roles wise leaders play. You can download it here.

Here's the depository of all my resources.

Be the wise leader you want to be.


Friday, 23 July 2021

Activism is part of a wise leaders purpose and vulnerability is essential

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 118. 

Part of the reason I got up this morning full of enthusiasm is because at heart I’m an activist who wants to see a better world. In my case my passion is eliminating injustice. I believe activism is part of a wise leaders purpose. I also believe that a willingness to be vulnerable is essential.

Of course any study of vulnerability would include reading Brene Brown’s wonderful book 'Daring Greatly. How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’. I’ve read the book three times. I also highly recommend Brene’s ‘Call to Courage’ presentation on Netflix.

I love many of Brene’s insights. A favourite is her statement that abundance is not the opposite of scarcity rather enough is the opposite of scarcity. She says “I am enough, I’ve had enough, showing up, taking risks, and letting myself be seen is enough.”

I thought much about this as I wrote my chapter for the upcoming book with my colleagues in The Right Company.

How much do you see yourself as enough?

This doesn’t mean that we are not on a quest to be better. It does means we are satisfied with where we are now and we will to show us as we are.

When I believe I am enough I find my willingness to share is greater and my willingness to vulnerable inspires others to be vulnerable.

The more we are willing to be vulnerable the greater trust we inspire.

The folk at Edelman said after 20 years of research into trust:

"The 2020s promise to be a decade of activism. There’ll be more popular activism – i.e., community groups, public campaigns, and networks of people fighting for their environment and the planet, for their identities, safety on the streets, justice in the system and for opportunity and integrity at work. 

There’ll be a new wave of financial activism – i.e., company pension funds, college endowments, state-backed savings programs, charitable trusts will be harnessed to put pressure on business, government and the media. And there’ll be much more local activism – i.e., states and cities within countries will take it upon themselves to deliver for their citizens, where the national government is falling short.

This activism need not just be something done to the big four institutions of government, business, media, and NGOs. It can and should be done by them. And while none of the four institutions can afford to wait for the others to act, the more they do so in concert the better.

For government, activism is going to mean addressing the disruptors: technology, globalization, automation and data, information platforms and carbon emissions. It’s self-evident that the governments that can harness the accelerating changes of the 21st century in the interests of their citizens will be rewarded with trust. So far, it has been the governments of Asia, generally technocratic and interventionist that have been willing to do so.”

What are you activating for? Who with? How would you rate your willingness to be vulnerable?

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Become the wise leader you want to be?


Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Enablers

This is the final video in a series of fifteen (each has an accompanying blog post) about the roles wise leaders play. There's link to the previous fourteen videos and accompanying posts at the bottom of this post. Alternatively you can download this PDF which links to each video on the one page.

One of the reasons that I have little time for most politicians is that instead of being the enablers we need them to be they are full of themselves and actually in the way of progress.

Wise Leaders Are Great Enablers.

The great Zig Ziglar reminded us long ago of a profound truth “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.”

So yes there's an element of self-interest in leadership, the key is that it's enlightened self-interest.

There are five essential ways that I know to enable other people:

1) Believe in people.

2) Value everyone you meet for the special one-of-a-kind human being that each of us is.

3) Show appreciation to people and invoke the other heart qualities.

4) Ask other people what value they want from you and how you should deliver such value, and then deliver.

5) Learn from people through storytelling and conversations whatever is in the way of them achieving what's important to them. Then help them to remove all barriers. Get out of the way yourself if needed!

Become the wise leader you want to be.


Previous videos and posts in this series

Monday, 19 July 2021

The significance of signature stories and sparkenation conversations

 In all of my work today my methodology embraces these three pillars:

Signature Storytelling has three key components

1. Stories unique to the teller.
2. People feel themselves in the story.
3. Meaningful, inspirational, valuable now and in the long term.

While all signature stories can only be told by the person who has lived the experience, expressing vulnerability is a further unique aspect (often related via self-depreciating humour). What is also distinctive is the inspiration and short and long term value in how the storyteller overcame the challenge/difficulty. All of these components conspire to enable people to feel themselves in the story.

Sparkenation Conversations also have three key components

1. Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.
2. Candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious, compelling.

Key reasons most meetings fail are: there is a lack of passion, no agreed actions, and the status quo remains despite talk that often goes for hours. 

Embracing the concept of sparkenations changes this as does embracing the five C's. A further significance of sparkenation conversations is the inclusion of personal and relationship matters as well as organisational ones.

Signature stories and sparkenation conversations make meaningful master mentoring possible. Master mentoring means:

1. You’re the master, I’m the mentor.

2. Mastering 15 roles wise leaders play.

3. You’re the mentor, other people the masters ensuring process innovation that means it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Learn more about all of the above here. At this link there's videos that feature all of the components.

Three ways to experience these distinctive ways of working and to adopt them yourself in your own best way

1. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter. This means you get a complimentary place at my first and third Wednesday's online events.

2. Participate in a We Need To Talk Experience. Learn more and register here.

3. Undertake The Wise Leaders Workshop.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Now is the only time that matters

Listen to the podcast version of this post 

Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.

This is episode 117. 

Wayne Dyer was the first person I heard say “you can’t change the past.” I’ve learned that we can change our view of what happened in the past. We can also change, modify or nuance how we let past experiences affect us.

If we look back at the past with anger or frustration or whatever negative emotion, we have made a choice to do so.

Equally we can choose to look into the future with fear or not. I like American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, and wit, James Thurber’s approach. He said:

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” 

I believe self-awareness to be the number one skill of wise leadership, and awareness of others the number two skill.

I’ve concluded that very few people excel at awareness, or to use a common phrase, being awake. Be the one who excels.

One way is to be known for changing your mind, a belief or way of being when appropriate.

The famous economist John Maynard Keynes said:

"When my information changes, I change my mind. Why, what do you do, sir?"

This is a great question. And yet every day, all around us we see and hear people with thinking and behaving that clearly needs an upgrade!

A second way to be a person who excels at awareness is to keep a journal of what you are noticing about yourself, other people, and what’s in your world

Then focus on what you can influence for the better.

A third way to be a person who excels at awareness is to meditate

Meditation is different to prayer as some wise people have noted. "Prayer is asking, meditation is listening."

When faced with a life-threatening illness over 40 years ago my doctor taught me meditation. At the time I couldn't spell it let alone understand it. Meditation is a key to self-awareness and awareness of others.

There are many ways to meditate. Find a way or ways that suit you.

I prefer breath meditation, which was the way my doctor originally taught me. I also use sitting in silence, focusing on a single object or idea, contemplating open-space in the sky, ocean, field, walking alone.

In addition to these since I begin embracing the heart-leadership path four years ago, I often meditate by focusing on a particular part of my body, feeling my pulse (rhythm) there, and then focusing on the feeling of one of the eight heart qualities that I live by.

Each of these three ways to increase our awareness is about living in the now because now is the only time that matters.

Become the wise leader you want to be?


Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Wise Leaders Are Shared-view Sustainers

This is number fourteen in a series of videos and posts about the roles wise leaders play. There's link to the previous thirteen videos and accompanying posts at the bottom of this post.

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles.

There's a self-directed, complimentary online course here about the seven areas of significance where the most successful leaders stand out in sustaining shared-view in organisations.

At the completion of this series I will share a new series of videos and post about sustaining shared-view personally and in your relationships.

Become the wise leader you want to be.

Previous videos and posts in this series

Monday, 12 July 2021

When 'We Need To Talk' is positive, caring and creative

It's likely that when you hear the words "we need to talk" your reaction is neutral at best. More than likely you immediately feel something negative or you start thinking about worse case scenarios.

What if "we need to talk" was a positive, caring and creative experience? My new online program is such an experience.

You can learn more about this here or register for either episode one or two below. It all begins on August 25th. I have created two different times so that wherever you are in the world you can participate at a comfortable time for you.

Wise Leaders We Need To Talk is a combination of stories (yours and mine) that stir hearts and shift thinking, and the life-enhancing sparkenation conversations that follow. Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.

By participating in either of these events you are supporting a fairer world for disadvantaged girls. See details at the links.

Become the wise leader you want to be.