Mentoring is a powerful way of imparting knowledge and developing people within organisations.

Mentoring is a powerful way of imparting knowledge and developing people within organisations.

Mentoring is a powerful way of imparting knowledge and developing people within organisations.

The word Mentor originates from Homer’s classic poem, ‘The Odyssey’, describing a time around 1200BC when Odyssus was preparing to travel a great distance. He asked ‘Mentor’ to act as a teacher, guide and friend to his son, Telemachus.

Many famous people who have enjoyed success have had the benefit of a mentor relationship. Oprah Winfrey looked on the writer Maya Angelou as a trusted mentor.

The mentor – mentee relationship is also referred to in the Hypocratic Oath: ‘To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood;’

Mentor programmes in organisations are beneficial to all parties and increases retention within organisations.

From Mercenaries to Missionaries -Designing, Developing & Leading High Performance Teams

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What Hunter Gatherers – ‘The First Affluent – Society’ Can Teach Us About Surviving a Changing World Order!

Ray Dalio the famous investor said it’s a good idea to look back into history to understand and predict the future. It’s an insightful talk (I’ll leave a link in the comments) in which Ray outlines the various changes to world orders that happen around every 250 years (not 500 as I say in the video) and if we want to stop the downfall of the west as China increases it’s power & influence, then we’d better be nice to each other and not spend as much as we earn!

I think whilst his analysis is excellent and solutions useful, it doesn’t take into account the evolutionary aspect of why the human race is heading towards an ecological collapse. It’s dominance hierarchy.

It seems that as soon as founders, entrepreneurs & managers get positions of status, wealth & power, then they switch-on their ‘Inner Chump’.

Your inner chump is competitive and controlling, harmful to the ecosystem, because it is driven by unconscious bias, motivated by fear & greed and paradigm blind and suffers inertia to change.

The hunter gatherers it appears, have the answer. They don’t stand for greedy indivduals because they understand the damage it does. Damage that’s all too plain to see in our leaders. Have a watch:

What is the Elite Team Concept?

Too Many TAPs, Not Enough STOP’s, We Need More LEGO

When I wrote my Book: ‘From Mercenaries to Missionaries’ I wanted to give entrepreneurs, executives and managers tools around leadership and teamwork that are sublimely simple and easy to implement. Too much of the leadership lexicon has fallen into the realms of academia. Nothing wrong with academic study, but academia is often the activity of proving what’s already known. Academia didn’t invent mindfulness but we have people who can explain the neuroscience of mindfulness but don’t practice mindfulness, teaching mindfulness.

Moreover; we sometimes experience academics developing philosophies from observed behaviour then presenting it as logic. Milton Freidman did this with shareholder greed. Just because it happens doesn’t make it right because an intellectual said it. On a couple of occasions recently, I have found myself talking to some learned people, or rather they were telling me I was wrong, when what I already knew from experience, was true.

TAP’s – Tools To Accumulate Power.

Ever since the agrarian revolution, competitive people have used technology to hoover resources from a wide area and funnel those resources into a place where they can control the supply. Like our water supply, drawn from a wide area and funnelled into a tap. In a household the water is shared freely, but not in business.

When you develop control of a resource in a capitalist system, you are not going to share the resources equally, you’re going to exploit the situation. Hence why trickledown economics has never worked. It was just another BS explanation which is used to perpetuate greed. Old world examples include the Oil Industry and Banks. They’ve been hoovering up local resources whilst holding the world to ransom and passing the costs of pollution and debt slavery onto society for a century.

The latest example is the ‘platform economy’. This is just another TAP and code for the ‘monopoly economy’. Recent platform examples include: Amazon- hoovering up the local economy, Facebook – hoovering up our attention, Google- Hoovering up information and ad revenue. Most tech ideas have the potential to make our lives and the world a better place. But the challenge comes when people don’t understand why in our present culture they soon become weapons of subjugation.

Platforms combine network effect and first-mover advantage to gain enough users which then makes them immune to competition. With monopoly comes monopoly behaviours and as other large organisations identify the benefits of using the platform effect, you can guarantee that there’ll be more bad behaviour on the horizon.

We need to understand that given an opportunity people will revert to an earlier evolutionary psychological state which is dominance hierarchy. Basically, our inner-monkey will not let go of the ‘Apple’ once they’ve a firm grasp, even if it is detrimental in the long term. Once a person or small group have achieved dominance, they begin to believe their own nonsense and develop a sense of entitlement. They delete, distort, generalise and convolute whatever information is available to argue their point, even to the point of calling in divine powers to back their case. Kings, Queens and Presidents have been at this for centuries, aided and abetted by Bureaucrats. No matter how much media exposure reveals them to be ordinary and somewhat quirky people who managed to gain an advantage, they still sit in castles and big white houses. Tech moguls are the new royalty.

Research of contemporary hunter-gatherer communities revealed them to be rather egalitarian. They were able to live in a less stressful social existance because they employ STOPs- Strategies To Overcome Power. If a hunter returned with a prize, the rest of the community would, in a good-naturedly way, mock him because they wouldn’t want the hunter to become too big for his boots. They understood arrogance, entitlement and hierarchy was not good for their communties well-being.

STOPs range from satire to assassination, rock throwing to revolution. It’s a way to redress the balance when hierarchical leaders exploit their position too much. Unfortunately, there is little appetite for making the world a fairer place, everyone in tech wants to become the next Larry Page or Jeff Bezos. As these tech giants rise in power, their ability to externalise costs onto society and the environment increases. If Facebook and Amazon had to pay for the damage they’ve inflicted on democracy, the environment and the public’s mental health, to name a few dmaging examples, they’d be bankrupt pretty quickly. They operate under a façade of delusion just as the tobacco industry did.

What we really need is more LEGO – Local Economic Generating Opportunities. TAPs focus power into small areas, we call them cities and of course if you are not part of the tech digital world, there shortly be very little for you to do unless you find opportunities to generate local economic opportunities. Brexit and the pandemic have revealed how reliant we are on extended distribution lines which are fragile and polluting.

What if we followed the doughnut, circular economic and employee ownership philosophies?

I believe these aforementioned ideas are just a return to a more natural evolutionary advantage we’ve forgotten in the pursuit of the capitalistic delusion. If tech people focussed on building local resilience with platforms then it wouldn’t have to be doom and gloom, they could probably be a force for good. Then tech entrepreneurs could shift from being Mercenaries to Inspirational Leaders on a Mission to make the world a better place.

OODA Loop vs EDUCE a comparison

OPERATION BUTTERFLY (TOP SECRET)

When I was teaching leadership to intelligence agents in a far off land, they explained to me that although they loved the concepts they feared they would encounter resistance in the bureaucratic systems they work in.

We’ve all got to become leaders. I wrote a book ‘Mercenaries to Missionaries’ (see link in comments) which is about transforming into inspirational leaders on a mission to make the world a better place.

Leaders are ordinary people achieving the extraordinary, leading themselves & by example others, into a world which is socially just, environmentally sustainable & a fulfilling place to live & work.

People need 3 things to change:

ASPIRATIONAL: Who will I become?
INSPIRATIONAL: How will it benefit others?
MOTIVATIONAL: How will it benefit me?

I explained to the secret agents that they had to become like the imaginel cells in caterpillars. These cells act differently within the caterpillar, making small changes from within until they reach a threshold point & transform the whole system into a Butterfly

They were already secret agents, now they had to become SECRET CHANGE AGENTS; steadily influencing the outer world from the inside

WHAT’S YOUR MISSION?

Message if you want help!

What kind of decision maker are you?

Being able to overcome our habitual decision making gives us a helicopter view. That’s important in complex and challenging times.

Chances are you’ll favour 1 or 2 of the following 4 styles:

REACTIONARY: You like to move to think, you tackle challenges head on. You make snap decisions based on your preferences & you like to be in command of the situation. (Autocratic)

RATIONAL: You prefer the tried & tested. Check-lists are important. Expertise and experience count & you like to be certain because you don’t like to be wrong. (Bureaucratic)

RELATIONAL: You like to make decisions based on the ecology of the situation i.e. How will it affect others? You like to be certain because you don’t want to upset people. (Communal)

REVOLUTIONARY: You enjoy challenging the status quo & playing devils advocate,. You’re exploratory in your approach & don’t like to cut off your options. (Democratic)

The Trouble With Values

Values can be quite confusing, and more to the point they’re pretty useless unless you know how to action them in your decision making process.

What Traits Make a Good Leader

Whilst being interviewed I was asked what traits make a good leader. It reminded of an exercise I do on the Mercenary to Missionary Leadership retreats.

What are you going to Stop-Start-Recover & Adapt?

Scientific philosopher, Thomas Khune, stated that ‘advancement is not evolutionary, but rather a series of violent revolutions and in such revolutions one conceptual worldview is replaced by another’. Khune called these revolutions in worldviews ‘Paradigm Shifts’

As I was explaining the universal life cycle to a client yesterday, the pandemic was a useful example of the latest paradigm shift.  Every decade or so, we experience upheavals because shifts happen. As much as we’d like the world to be certain, it seems that the second law of thermodynamics regarding entropy of systems always comes to pass.

A shift is when the world as we understand it suddenly stops working and we go into some sort of emergency event. Examples of shifts I’ve experienced are 9/11, the Great Recession and now we’ve got Covid-19 and the fall-out from that in terms of second and third order effects are yet to be fully realised.

Right now, the pandemic has disrupted our lives and business behaviours but it is also an opportunity to create new beginnings. Winners of the present paradigm however, are not very good at accepting reality and adapting, especially when it comes to giving up power, status and wealth. So, it is vital that whilst the incumbents are wrestling to maintain the status-quo, that we get busy challenging, connecting dots and creating a brave new world.

There are three responses:

  • You can create some new ‘things’ to do.
  • You can stop doing some things.
  • You can recover and adapt whatever you were doing before.

However, in the recover and adapt stage, one has first to recognise and understand why something collapsed in the first place. Then work out what you need to do to make that ‘thing’ more resilient, valuable and sustainable.

Whilst we might not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, it will be necessary to adapt otherwise you head into the realm of ‘lessons are repeated until they’re learnt’.

When that happens, the weak point will become more difficult to recover in the future. Moreover; lessons are repeated more often and cost more resources often leading to a slow death. How long organisations bounce up and down from collapse to recovery and back again, depends really on how much money they have to waste.

A better response if you don’t feel adaption is going to be beneficial is to indulge in some creative destruction, get rid of the old and create something new.