The cult of busy

When we’re lost in the story of what we think “busy” means we find ourselves in judgement of others or being judged. Frustration, upset, anger, suffering. When we see through it, we’re free to act from love.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

I laughed yesterday at the synchronicity of life. I’d just finished recording another podcast episode* with Gary Bridgeman & Natalie Nuttall and went on a call with Andrew Smith.

Andrew told me he’d been working with a group in business recently about ‘the cult of busy’ and how they’d told him being busy was like a ‘badge of honour’. I burst out laughing! These words were literally the title of the just-recorded podcast. Word. For. Word! read more

What are you resisting?

We get lost in ideas that we fix as facts and truths. Resisting reality. It’s uncomfortable — thankfully — because then we have a chance to see through the illusion.

River flowing towards you, white water rushing over stones, green trees lining the banks.
Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

What are you fixing as true, definite or absolute?

Is it the ‘fact’ that person’s really annoying? Is it the ‘fact’ you’re no good at X, Y or Z? Is it the ‘fact’ that nobody ever gets work done to the standards you think they should? read more

The start of my waking up journey

There was nothing fundamentally wrong with my life, in fact I thought it was good. I only started this exploration for the benefit of my clients. Little did I know what I would discover and uncover for myself.

Photo credit: Mark Gilroy

In 2017 I read a book called Buddhism Plain and Simple and it had a profound impact on me. I saw that the essence of Buddhism that the book described was like coaching plus plus plus! Like coaching beliefs on steroids. I knew that, if leaders saw this for themselves, they and their teams would be off and running. read more

Stressful thinking doesn’t mean a thing

What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?

Man on sofa with his head in his hands
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over thinking leads to..

Stress

Leads to

Poor sleep

Leads to

Inhibited cognitive function & IQ

To try and change we can work at the level of:

  1. The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
  2. The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
  3. Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
  4. Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.

None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them? read more

I need more balance

Needing balance shows up in various guises in clients’ worlds and yet each and every experience of ‘out of balance’ has the same origins.

Stones balanced on top of each other with orange sunset sky in the background
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

I wrote recently about leadership and said I’d write a linked piece about balance because it’s such a common feature of experience and something that was more than a one-liner.

The out-of-balance problems I hear from clients tend to show up as:

Leading the team vs doing my work

Strategic vs operational read more

Leadership for the whole of me and the whole of you

I just listened to this podcast and my reflections were beyond the wordcount of any social media post! I’d love to hear what you think too.

The conversation is an interview with Mike Vacanti on Teresa Quinlan and Rhys Thomas’s podcast TNT ESQ and there were three big themes that jumped out for me.

  1. Whole-listic leadership
  2. Bringing people with you
  3. Healthy attachment

Read on…

  1. I love the concept of ‘whole-istic’ leadership. Confirming Daniel Goleman’s findings all those years ago that the most successful leaders were those who deployed all the categories of leadership that he defined.

What I really see in this is how you can’t ‘do’ flexibility with leadership styles effectively from the intellect. You can’t come to each situation, pause, refer to the boxes and pick which to use for this person in this situation. read more

Lightening the load of leadership

Leadership development: an industry worth over $3.4bn. Are we seeing the results of that? I don’t think so and here’s why.

Do you remember the days when Head & Shoulders was one shampoo?

Old fashioned bottle of head & shoulders shampoo

I was online shopping last night and was struck by the fact that in one shop there was a choice of 32 different variations of this once lonely bottle. 32!

OaaaKaaaay, and what’s that got to do with leadership development?

Volume!

Not hair volume. Volume of content, information, concepts, theories, models, ideas. Your personality alone can be tested by hundreds of different tools to tell you which animal, colour or collection of letters you apparently are. read more

Conformity: the ultimate self harm

In conforming and being ‘good’, we’ve ignored our heart. We’ve created the perfect conditions for collective suffering. And for waking up.

The mind says ‘do the right thing’ because then you’ll be mended, you’ll have crossed the finish line of acceptable and ‘good enough’. And we’ll have order. Without being good – certain anarchy! Chaos!

Or so it says.

But it doesn’t know the deep wisdom behind it.

The deep wisdom of the heart which does the ‘right thing’; naturally inevitably. The perfect ‘right thing’ for you. No reference to right and wrong, no consideration for ‘will this get me the kudos?’. Just doing, from love, which includes strong words, and includes powerful action. This is not about fluff. All in alignment with a deeper reality behind the scenes. read more

Don’t reject the ego

In attempts to become enlightened, the ego can become the enemy. Something to be pushed out, got rid of. There’s another way.

Two men wrestling head to head.

Ego. Not the source of our self-confidence or self-esteem. In fact it diminishes our innate brilliance.

Ego. A collection of thoughts, some curated in your life, some inherited from past generations. A repetitive thought process which highlights only the ones which conform to the story we’ve been told and tell about ourselves. read more

Psychological safety : the individual’s perspective

Last week I wrote about Psychological Safety from the perspective of a leader trying to create that environment for their team or business. But what about the individual? Do they have to just wait for someone else to come and create that for them? You can probably guess that’s a no — but read on to explore more…


Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

I can’t work with that person they’re so intimidating.

This team just seems incapable of a decision and drive me crazy going round in circles.

I’m too introverted to get my point across, the extroverts just take over.

Nobody ever listens to each other. It’s pointless.

All possible scenarios where we can drop into the role of victim, believing that we need a rescuer to come and change things for us. The leader in his coat of shining armour who will take responsibility for the dynamic and make it all better. read more