Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Live by vision… Am I crazy???

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

No more Ms Miss Mrs Mr Nice Guy, being and doing everything you’ve been conditioned and disciplined to be and do!  No more put up and shut up or being sensible.  No more work/life balance baloney or glass ceiling ga-ga.

No more being seduced by your culture… familial. tribal, organisational or national… to fit ‘norms’, some of which are so skewed they are, without a shadow of a doubt, lunacy.  Is it just me or has bullying become the order of the day with certain kinds of pin-stripes???

Enough!

Is it so crazy to live by vision, a vision within which we humans, you and I,  become self-aware and reflective; living in line with our natural integrity and self-esteem?  Human beings who, rather than being reactive robots, are able to respond with grace from our hearts, minds and souls acting as one.  Human beings who altruistically collaborate with each other and our environment for the greater good… and, therefore, our own.

I spent much of my life ‘living dead’ so I know how it is to be a reactive robot.  I also know how fabulous it is to come alive; to be and do as a free woman and a continually freeing herself woman.

That’s why, for sure, I AM CRAZY!

I am undeniably 100% intoxicated by living on purpose, by living with the kind of passon and power which comes from Unlocking The Power Of YOU! Ecstatically and divinely drunk through living by vision.  Through keeping faith with my vision of MAGNIFICENCE for all human beings…

And you… ?

There’s a chameleon in the office!

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


When chameleons come in human form, they appear to be the sincerest of sincere, the most absolutely believable and credible anyone could ever be.

The problem is, without a continuous, integrated and solid core self, they have to mirror their environment.  That’s you or whoever the ‘you’ is with whom they’re relating in the moment.

So, when with you, they’ll mirror your beliefs, your values, your attitudes… and, because of that, create fantastic rapport with you. You’d think they were your best buddy.  Ten minutes later, they’re with some-one else and… what do you know?  Now they’re mirroring that someone-one else’s beliefs, values and attitudes and, because of that,  creating fantastic rapport with them.

In the office, a chameleon is a Grade A menace!

In a group, they’ll mirror the general consensus of beliefs, values, norms and attitudes.  They’ll go whichever way the wind’s blowing so as to maintain their likeable front and serve their own particular agenda.  The problem is that, as part of  a group, once alone with an individual they’re blowing hot and cold again according to that individual’s take on things.

And, with Machiavelian tendencies, they’ll be divisive and destructive, often opposing the leader, or setting themselves up as ‘better’ than the leader, and/or stirring up trouble in subtle and underhand ways.

Call them on their behaviour and they’ll flare up defensively, question your judgement and downright lie.  Only, it’s not a lie to them.  They believe they have integrity, if that’s what you’re calling them on.  They believe they have strong moral values, if that’s what you’re calling them on.  They’ll believe they said ‘white’ in the face of undeniable evidence that they said ‘black’.  They will bombard you with rationalisations and excuses to maintain their position, whatever that happens to be at the time.

Never give a chameleon the benefit of doubt!

Because, due to this psychological personality flaw, they’re eminently untrustworthy… with themselves, as well as other people.   They can talk the talk and even look as if they’re walking the walk because they’re very good at acting out a role, convincing themselves as well as others.

So, it’s not surprising that a regional director with whom I recently worked, doubted his own judgement and sanity, when the chameleon, who had been so plausible. was exposed.  Because, if they stick around in one place for long enough or long enough periods… and, often, they don’t… they’ll get caught out through inconsistencies and incongruent behaviours.  They will always, always trip themselves up eventually.

And when they do, their usual way of resolving things is to get on their high horse, have a big falling out with who-ever’s calledl them on their behaviour and walk out/leave in high dudgeon. Which is exactly how my client’s ‘chameleon’ behaved with him.  No performance management there, then!

The only way I know of managing a chameleon is having them ‘fall in love’ with you.  So besotted do they become with you that they’ll follow your lead, i.e., clone themselves in line with you.  However, that lacks integrity and is manipulative… which mirrors the chameleon’s behaviour wonderfully.

So, your comments on chameleons, in general, and if it’s possible to manage them in an ethical way would be most welcome!


Dark Side of Servant Leadership

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

DARK SIDE I think the American term ‘Wahooooo!’ aptly describes my recent life experiences, what with work, play, new grandchildren, working on PR and     marketing materials for my new book, developing new coaching packages and enjoying nourishing times with family and friends… so exciting!  And, I got invited by the superb Dr Jack King to write a guest post on his blog.  A real honour!

So, here it is… click on the link to discover the Dark Side of Servant Leadership and how to avoid it!  And catch up with some great added value comments there too…

Leadership Gossip – What’s it hiding?

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

When you have nothing to say… say nothing!

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m a little jaded with over a month of more than usual socialising and networking. From listening to buckets of small talk which has, at times, seemed very small to me.

Not that I need the lofty heights of academia or to debate the latest leadership theories at every opportunity but, pleeeeeez, … how can anyone in their right mind think the menu of their lavish dinner or latest challenging Atlantic flight are of any interest to me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that many people keep themself busy with gossip and lacklustre minutae as a distraction from focusing on things which really matter. What they lack in wit they make up for in volumous, stultifying garbage. And while they do…

They don’t have to face their lack of inner leadership, the personal or business relationship that’s falling apart, the difficulty they’re experiencing with their role, the lack of meaning and purpose they experience or that they’re as bored with themselves as I am with their conversation.

I wanted to yell, WAKE UP!  I was falling asleep too, being hypnotised into a coma where we could all pretend everything was alright when it wasn’t. Oh for some honesty, some transparency and authentic communication.

And, if I had yelled WAKE UP!, would I have been acting with integrity, just been downright rude or have defined myself socially as a lunatic?

Insanity here I come.

For more challenging thoughts, click here to subscribe to my fortnighty  Inner Leadership Briefing… Stright forward stuff for business and being.

Leadership Leather!

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I was going to post about my unsuccessful attempts to break in some new and ‘to die for’ shoes which are just a bit too small and cramp my toes.  I was going to use that as a metaphor for leaders who are themselves just a bit too small and, however much you try to stretch them, their ‘leather’ just won’t give.

Then it struck me like lightning that maybe the topic was about something I should be asking  myself…

“Where am I cramped?  Where is my leadership leather resisting a stretch?”

Looks like I stumbled on rich questions.  They’re marinading as I type and I’ll get back to you when they’re well and truly cooked.  In the meantime…

How about you???

For more self-challenging stuff, subscribe to my fortnightly Inner Leadership Briefing and I’ll personally email you with today’s issue.

Three Essential Steps To Fierce Leadership

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Fierce is a word which gets bad press.  Look it up in any dictionary and you’ll get meanings like violently aggressive or frightening, unpleasantly strong or intense.

Yet ‘fierce’ is the heart of passion and, without fierce leadership, inner or outer, you cannot do the not do-able, you cannot speak the unspeakable… and that’s no leadership at all.

Correction!  Without fierceness, I cannot do the not do-able.  I cannot speak the unspeakable.

And my heart screeches to break free.  I’m a maverick for god’s sake!  I always have been… yet there are times when I truss myself up for fear of not being acceptable, of being ‘too much’.  And so might you.

In leadership, being ‘too much’ is exactly what’s required sometimes.  What would the human race have missed through the absence of Galileo, Einstein, Edith Sitwell and Rosa Parks.  And if you don’t know who those women were, go look them up.  They also carried fierceness in their breasts… as do you and I.

At other times in leadership, being ‘too much’ could be inappropriate and destuctive… but you and I betray ourselves if we use that  fear to gag and disempower our self.  There is a truth in it so far as anything can be used for good or evil… but it’s not the truth.

Sometimes, I get told it is the truth, that I am ‘too much’, by people who don’t want to hear my challenges.  No surprise… because I’m not here to be quiet.  I’m not here to let you get away with the small version of you with which you can fool yourself.  Just as I’m not willing to accept my own self-deception.

To pay you the respect you deserve, I first have to do that for myself!

So,  if you don’t want to work deeply and at a pace, don’t work with me.  Find a different kind of facilitator because…

I’m fierce!

Both in the gentleness of support and love in which I’ll hold you and in my unwillingness to collude with your small self… my unwillingness to collude with the internal gremlins which trick you, the trances into which you fall asleep and the stories you weave to keep yourself there.  All of which is but a loving echo of my unwillingness to collude with my own.

Tears are flowing through my eyes now as I type BE FIERCE!… I’m passionate for you to be a fierce leader for yourself and others!  To be that kind of a leader in a world needing you and I to step up, speak out and take action.

Three essential steps…

1.   Absolutely take on board that you have the potential to do harm as well as good with fierce leadership.

2.   Sharpen the senses and skills of your discernment so as to be able to distinguish the quality of your action for good rather than harm.

3.   Regularly sit in that ‘dynamo of silence‘ I wrote of in my last ezine.  That dynamo of silence which fuels and inspires your discernment and your leadership.

Then, go be a fierce leader.  Go do fierce leadership.  And embody it boisterously or gently… however  you choose!


Language of Leadership

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Words are symbols for the energy they carry.

Experiment with this…

Think of the word ‘anxious’ and say it over to yourself a few times in your mind.  Notice how you feel.  Wriggle your body a bit to get rid of that experience.  When you have, think of the word ‘peace’ or ‘love’ or ‘joy’ and say that one over and over a few times in your mind.  Notice how you feel now… and keep that experience.

Note to self: Remember at all times that the words I use are symbols for the energy they carry.

Remain mindful… From the boardroom to the bedroom, from the meeting to the marquee, from the networking event to the netball game, from the business dinner to the baby shower.

Anywhere everywhere at all times, the words I use are powerful symbols for the energy they carry… and the energy I convey!


Vandals and Leadership?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I recently stayed at the largest Quaker study centre in Europe based in the UK,Woodbrooke. I go there periodically to nourish body feelings mind and soul.  And, this time, to also complete the first edit of my book about purpose, passion and power at work.

Unfortunately, they have an occasional problem with vandals.  The Grade 2 listed Georgian mansion and adjacent buildings are kept secure with a tight system of key cards, identity badges and reminders to close outside doors tightly behind you.  But the grounds are a magnet for marauding youngsters.

10 acres of organic gardens, wild woodland and a lake are a call to adventure.  Sadly, though, produce has been vandalised in the walled kitchen garden, equipment broken and trees and plants  attacked by youngsters with less than adventure on their minds.

Yet… no CCTV and no security guards. And when I enquired how they deal with the vandals, I was told firmly, “When we catch up with them, we talk with them.”  Apparently, they approach the youngsters unthreateningly and explain to them the purpose of the place and, with respect, ask for respect in return.

What effect might that approach have had on pre-empting the banking crisis.  Having vigilant human beings to provide good governance rather than programmed technology supposed to pick up anamolies and ‘vandals’ but which didn’t.

Does the Quaker system work?  I don’t know… but the vandalism is cyclic and so likely to be carried out by different youngsters over time.

What I do know is Woodbrooke people show leadership totally congruent with their model of the world, their values and beliefs.  They live leadership in the power of right relationship with themselves and others, straight communication, negotiation… and modelling how human beings with Inner Leadership can behave.

I call that leadership at the cutting edge of humanity.

And who knows what ‘cutting edge of humanity’ leadership might do for dealing with the ‘vandals’ in your business, in your organisation… and your life?


For more, join my fortnightly Inner Leadership Ezine right here…


Leadership in Retreat?

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

I read a lot about leaders needing to be proactive, set the vision, support and develop their ‘followers’.  Sometimes the literature makes the leader sound like a benevolent version of the old patriarchal order, though ‘serving’ rather than sounding off.

However, the wise leader knows when to retreat.  She knows when to let those she holds get on with things without her intervention.  She knows when she’s screwed up and that ‘fessing up is the ethical and ecological thing to do… a very wise retreat!

She also knows when to withdraw to nourish her body, feelings, mind and creative energy.

This leader’s taking her own advice, leaving for 7 days withdrawal from my normal world.  Ostensibly it’s to complete the first edit of my upcoming book.  But it’s also for woodland, lake, quietness and warm company, palpable history which touches my soul… and great food!

When’s the last time you served yourself with a leadership ‘retreat’?

What’s Leadership Got To Do With It?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

My daughter has Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease for which there’s no cure.  She’s had 2 major operations, the second in 2008 hospitalised her for 8 weeks.  Crohn’s is no joke.

Within the last 2.5 weeks she’s had 2 minor operations, ‘day’ surgery, 10 days’ apart.  The second didn’t turn out as well as hoped leaving her with a technological intervention, unable to sit for more than a few minutes without pain.  And there’s another mini-op in a further 8 weeks to complete the process.  I won’t go into the gory details.

At first she ranted and railed against her situation, wanting a reversal of what had been done now.  I don’t want this!

Fortunately, she’s sufficiently worked on her own Inner Leadership to consciously know she was in denial.  That didn’t assuage the emotional upset, her plumetting mood or the the desire not to have ‘this’ but she was totally aware of what was going on inside herself.

The worst thing to do at such times is tell someone to look on the bright side.  The best thing to do is to acknowledge…  This is crap!  Validating the reality of a situation is the most authentic and wisest thing to do to enable recovery. It enables resolution and solution thinking.

And it also creates the space for ‘tough love’ discussions!

To act at effect or cause? She could limp along in ‘victim’ mode enduring the situation, depressed and constantly needing ‘help’.  Or she could take charge, adapt however temporarily, find ways to incorporate her difficulties creatively in her life… and move forward into a more productive and enjoyable stage.

This includes allowing time for tears if need be.  Allowing vulnerability to be present as a support for strength.  The strength of the bullrush which recovers from a hurricane rather than the oak which is felled.

Reconnecting with her Purpose, currently manifesting as great motherhood with 4 months’ old Naomi, her Passion for the health of her own little family, including husband, and her Power to be a creative force in the world… Guess which option she chose!

I’m so proud of her.  No Polyanna cover up job, she acknowledged and stayed conscious of what was going on.  She explored options with some ‘tough love’ input to move the situation forward.  She made choices and took appropriate action for her good and the greater good, mindful of the wellbeing of herself and others.

What’s Leadership got to do with it?… Everything!

To discover how you can enrich your work, business and ‘being’  through Inner Leadership…  scroll down to the box on your right and sign up now for my fortnightly Ezine.