Archive for the ‘leaders’ 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… ?

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.

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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???

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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!


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 about the music?

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

The UK’s just crawled out of recession with a whimper.  Davos has just failed to reach consensus.

I keep getting told, due to the crash, there’s been a shift in the ‘doing business paradigm’ towards flattened hierarchies, a collaborative approach, shared responsibility and… I almost want to burst into song!  ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music…’

They might have been alive with the ‘we’re all going to work together more humanely and creatively…’  but I don’t see much evidence of it.  Humans make all kinds of promises when in trouble,  like praying to a god.  Only to renege on those promises when things get better.  A selective ‘forgetting’.

For an old paradigm to be overthrown you have to reach critical mass.  But I’m impatient for the new and hacked off by the seductive pull of the old.

IT ISN’T WORKING ANY MORE!

And what holds us back clutching at the familiar?  A ‘familiar’ outdated and dysfunctional for a world of business moving and vibrating  far faster than we’ve ever known it  before.  What holds us back is our enduring existential fear of change and the unknown!

Fears are there to be worked with creatively.  Name them, face them and then ‘take tea with them'; welcome them into your parlour.  Then and only then can you achieve mistressy of your fears through developing that Inner Leadership.

Then and only then can you creatively inspire, influence, motivate and mobilise yourself, as well as others, to create and BE THE CHANGE … a massive, quadruple win  for business and humanity as a whole.

I’m so riled about the slipping back and reneging on potential.  And that ‘hot’ response tells me there’s work for me to do.  To what music of change and to what fears am I not paying attention?  And to what music of change and what fears aren’t you?

Speak the Unspeakable in 2010!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Leaders are loved, hated, praised, villified, applauded or condemned by some people some of the time.  Most likely all of the time in different measure.

As a leader, you won’t get to hear the negative stuff spoken behind closed doors or lurking silently on other people’s agendas.  Apart  from the critical missives from brave souls who’ve got the balls or don’t care what you think of them.

Yet it’s absolutely critical you do get to hear the ‘unspeakable’ about yourself.  It guards against grandiosity.  It guards against  complacency.  It guards against it all being about yourself.  So welcome the next constructive criticism or dung throwing as a pre-emptive strike for your professional and personal growth.  It’s world class fodder for developing your Inner Leadership.

And, as a leader, it’s critical YOU speak the unspeakable!  It’s critical for evolution and creative change.  It’s critical for your own credibility.

I’m sick of  UK governmental leaders for their grisly, sickly smiles and political shitck.   Say we screwed up and we’re sorry.  Say our party’s got nothing new to offer and we’re just making it look as if it has.  Where’s their courage to challenge worn out ideas?

I’m sick of the captains of industry, business and banking who pay lip service to social and ecological responsibility.  Say we’re only doing this to look good in the share-holders’ and customers’ eyes… but we don’t give a toss really.  Where’s their heart, soul and common humanity for others, our world and themselves?

Where are the Galileos, the Ghandis, the Darwins?  Where are the Emily Pankhursts, the Edith Sitwells, the Simone de Beauvoirs?  Leaders who in their time and their field spoke the unspeakable whatever the cost.

Where am I in all of this?  And where are you?

Revelational Leadership?

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The rush of the festive season can have us gasp with all we ‘have to’ do and then collapse on the 25th when really it’s a day to celebrate new life.  While I respect those for whom the traditional meaning of Christmas is sacred, I’m talking about another aspect of sacredness which applies specifically to you.

Your self!

It’s that ‘self’ within which calls you through fair means or foul, any whichway it can, to pay attention to yourself and how you’re being in the world.  The purpose of that?  To learn how to improve yourself; a metaphorical new birth of how you are and how you operate as a human being… which of itself defines the quality of your leadership!

It’s that ‘self’ within which urges, prods and even demands through kicking the door down that you ‘grow’ yourself through developing and refining your Inner Leadership.

As a leader THAT is your sacred work!  A sacred response-ability to the people you serve, the communities you serve, the organisations you serve… and oh so importantly to yourself.

So take some quietness in the hub-bub of the season to ask…

In what ways can I improve my leadership for 2010?

The logical ya-di-ya-di-ya answers usually come first.  While, of couse, they have value… you knew them anyway.  So keep making notes until you get what might seem biazarre or nonsensical ones.  They hold all the juice!

Then put your answers out of sight and let your Inner Leader get on with the job of clarification.  Go back to your notes at least 7 days later and be surprised and delighted by what you discover.

Wishing you the most inspirational and revelational festive season…

Much richness to you!


Be sharp or die!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Just read a blog by Mindy Gibbins-Klein ‘Be bold, be opinionated or don’t bother’ And I realised how lazy I’ve got by being ‘busy’ with 28 hour days.  What a great way to keep myself from being sharp and at the edge of my thinking.  What a great way to keep myself safe from being shot down or receiving validation!

There’s no room to grow when a leader plays safe… for others, for the organisation or for their self.  And lack of growth guarantees paralysis, depression and death by atrophy because the market is always moving on.

Definitely time to get off my butt!


Let’s hear it for untrustworthy leaders!

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

The deepest essence of  leadership is Inner Leadership.  Logic tells me that no Inner Leadership means no followers.  But I’ve known some seriously untrustworthy leaders with generous followings.  So, how on earth do they do that?

Suddenly, thinking of Inner Leadership, I realised naive superb me had been seeing through her idealistic glasses again!  It was obvious why untrustworthy leaders can have generous followings.

Firstly, ‘presence’ is the stuff of leaders while charisma is the stuff of ‘gurus’ and ‘superstars’… who also have followers.

No surprises then that the untrustworthy leaders of whom I’m aware absolutely excel at doing charisma.  They’re very, very, very affable.  They’re so good at consciously creating high levels of rapport that they’re almost ‘snake oil salesmen’… convincing to the point of ludicrousness.

Secondly, I’ve followed untrustworthy leaders myself  in the past, one over many years.  And, guess what?  I did so for my learning!

I found out exactly how it felt to be on the receiving end of untrustworthy leadership.  When reality dawned, it wasn’t a pleasant experience or one I wanted to ever inflict on anyone else.

Plus those untrustworthy leaders mirrored back to me my own untrustworthiness, my own ability for ‘snake oil’ salesmanship.  I discovered my own superifical ‘guru/superstar’ and the part of me who could shaft other people  in the name of self-preservation and success.

Happily, being aware of your personality ‘parts’ can bring you freedom from them.  Only when you can identify with a part can you then learn to dis-identify from it; to have mastery/mistressy over it rather than it being in charge of and running you.

So I feel much gratitude for the untrustworthy leaders I followed.  I am thankful for their pivotal role in my growth as a human being as well as a leader; for their contribution to my own Inner Leadership.

And, as well as learning from trustworthy leaders, here’s a big ‘Yayyyy’ for their opposites, the untrustworthy ones and all they can teach us… however challenging that might be.