The Power of Community in Nature with Freshwalks & Michael Di Paola

Rebels chatting….

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

What is Freshwalks?

In its simplest form Freshwalks is a community of people, primarily business owners and freelancers, who meet on regular basis to tackle peaks and traverse dales around the UK and Europe.

They’re an enthusiastic, inclusive and supportive group and a great example of what the human spirit is capable given the opportunity. The power of community should not be underestimated when it comes to helping you find business connections, expertise and boosting your wellbeing.

Michael Di Paola has always been a keen advocate of communities. Moreover, he realises that for a community to be successful, it must enrich the lives of its members and that Freshwalkers feel a shared sense of trust, connection and compassion for one another.

Just some of the benefits of taking your networking with clients and also your team and leadership learning outdoors includes:

Confidence to push against your limits as you climb hills and so building greater self-belief

Collective Wisdom – New ideas are generated on walks due to the conversations and neurotransmitters flooding your system

Being with the crowd allows you to be infected with their motivation, even if you’ve had a tough week

Mutual accountability- if you say you’re going on the group’s WhatsApp, you’ll feel a sense of responsibility for your comrades.

With the craziness of the world at the moment, it pays to not walk alone.

Listen to Michael’s journey here: https://youtu.be/5MBOK9U7tVs

The Power of Gratitude and an Indomitable Spirit in Leadership

In order to have the mental fortitude to take on big challenges, one has to be able to shift your mental and emotional state towards a more positive attitude, otherwise the task you face is perceived as overwhelming.

You’ll feel that the challenge is too big for what you can contribute. But although you’re one person, you’re part of a building tsunami of other stoic pilgrims awakening, realising that paradigms have to transform.

So, the next step is to be grateful for the moment you have, right now to make a positive difference. Be grateful that we still have a liveable planet, relationships and radical hope to maintain us.

When you feel truly grateful for what you have now, then you can go forward knowing that what you’re doing to create a brave new world…. Is worth the effort 😊

Better Business Summit

When change agents don’t speak out because they’re scared the system will reject them, then there are no pioneers, rebels or mavericks… Just managers and enablers of the status-quo.

Fortunately 👩🏻‍💻Hannah Cox FRSA FRGS kicked off the The Better Business Network Summit which brought together courageous collaborators on a mission to transform the paradigm we’re living in.

It was a privilege being asked to be on a panel on Day 2 and then be co-leading the Freshwalks around the hills of Edale.

The Great Outdoors is an excellent arena for meeting, talking, being inspired, getting into ‘flow’ states and building resilience. it’s important to challenge ourselves often.

The stoics call it voluntary challenge, an essential activity for change agents, because they face mighty challenges. Challenging the status-quo is not for the feint hearted. it was an honour to spend a day out in the hills with this plucky community:)

#network #community #business
#change
#leadership
#mavericks
#rebels
#changeagents
#bethechange

Adventure Based Learning Experiences (ABLE)

ABLE is effective in helping organisations solve their most pressing people development challenges. ABLE enables a myriad of opportunities to effectively learn leadership, and team performance skills, which are impactful and memorable.

As they’re uniquely designed to fit an organisations needs, they not only provide a shared learning experience, they will highlight and change behaviours and attitudes quickly as well as build cohesion amongst a team.

Real change happens when leaders and teams work differently in some way.

Whilst the world, after several systemic shocks, is unquestionably more challenging the potential to harness commitment, collaboration and coherent decision-making under pressure, is profound.

The ability to adapt is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It has been elevated to an ‘essential to survive and thrive’ in the near and medium future.

Agile, Confident and Enterprising teams are at the heart of organisational life and their effectiveness strongly influences the success of the enterprise overall. Times are both challenging and for those with the correct mindset… exhilarating!

Secret Agent Missions & Training days will test and build each participants’ skills at strategising, prioritising, collaborating, communicating, thinking on their feet and; not over-thinking as they race against the clock to solve a mystery or rescue their kidnapped boss.

Give me a nudge if you’re intrigued.

#leadership #team #superteam #smallteamsmakethedreamwork #leaders #training #development #peopleandculture #adventure

DEAD vs LIFE Leadership

Dr Kathy Allen made many excellent points when I spoke to her about her work at the intersection of leadership, system change and innovation.

One point was that old paradigms get really ‘loud’ before they fall. I noticed that in 2008 with the last bank crash. Paradigm winners get really greedy as they try to exploit as much as possible before the collapse, because they know they’re not going to be able to keep extracting so ruthlessly for much longer.

I’ve noticed it this time as well. Disaster capitalism loves war and now pandemics because again, the crony politicians and greedy corporates have ruthlessly exploited the situation. There would be no wars if there was no profit. More and more research is being uncovered to show that our earlier ancestors didn’t engage in war until hierarchy and exploitation became the main drivers of colonialism.

This leads to another well-made point by Kathy.

People are often coming up with ‘types’ of leadership such as adaptive, transactional and transformational.

Business owners and managers are often taught them on institutional leadership programmes.

These ‘types’ reflect people’s personalities and/or they described what was happening at a certain time and place in history.

You usually find that ‘great’ leaders emerged from society to overcome the challenge that society was facing i.e., they were the right person, with the right skills and attitude, at the right time and place.

When that time passes, we then find there is another type of leadership required and invented.

Kathy suggested a new way of describing leadership.

How about describing the outcomes of traditional leadership such as polluting, exploitative, cronyism or, as Kathy described, leadership that ‘makes places unliveable’.

At the end of the day, leadership is leading to our demise or it is liberating and life affirming.

#leadership #leaders #regeneration #society #climatechange #socialjustice #sustainabilityleadership #sustainability #businessowners #change

Fascinating talk here: https://youtu.be/8-9fX2uX9hY

How Capitalism and Hierarchy Continue to Destroy the Health of the World.

In the UK, air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health. The annual mortality of human-made air pollution in the UK is roughly equivalent to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year.

Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, with around one in 11 children and young people living with asthma. The UK has one of the highest prevalence, emergency admission and death rates for childhood asthma in Europe. Outcomes are worse for children and young people living in the most deprived areas

I went for a walk in the countryside yesterday and found myself coughing as I realised I was breathing in the acrid exhaust fumes emanating from #PolyntGroup factory in the valley below me.
This is an Italian organisation, polluting the air in Staffordshire and probably sending the profits back to Europe.

They boast on their website about their sustainability credentials, but somehow me thinks, they’re not really a robust effort to sustain the environment or the stakeholders who live near their factories.

But hey!! Capitalism is the best way to run society…. Really??

When you dig into how this is possible, you find out that the local counsellors are often friends of these organisations. Politicians are in the service of the wealthy.

The environmental department at the local council is overrun with cases, one can’t help think purposely under resourced, so they are ineffectual.

These firms employ clever lawyers who delay and obfuscate any kind of challenges brought about by councils or people.

The people who work there are dependent on the organisation for wages to feed and home their families, so understandably and invariably’ anti-anything which threatens their lifestyles.

Moreover, if wealthy, powerful people will abuse the ecology and environment of their own country, you can understand how they will definitely exploit countries such as Africa as Oladele Dosunmu 🇳🇬 is highlighting on his LinkedIn page.

It’s going to take some brave leadership to transform this world.

It’s necessary to highlight this behaviour, but don’t expect that the oil-tech capitalists will voluntarily transform their practice. They will have to be motivated and probably against their will.

As Buckminster Fuller advised: ‘Don’t fight the existing reality, create a better world which makes the old one obsolete’

#sustainability #health #environmental #oil #chemicalindustries #society #capitalism #pollution #asthma #wellbeing

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

The Book: https://tinyurl.com/BuyTheM2MBook

Website: https://martinmurphy.coach/

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/martinmurphy-coach/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamcoachmurph/

 

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.

The 4 Responses to Big Shifts

About every decade or so there are shifts. Big impacts land which affect personal and business domains. For some people its good news and for others not so.

I personally think this is part of a universal life cycle which encourages evolution. I also think that big changes are happening more often due to advances in technology and because of environmental and ecological challenges which are reaching critical threshold points.
I would suggest that the current situation – in the middle of a pandemic – is only a small wave within bigger ones to come , unless we dramatically transform our intentions, modus-operandi and social systems.
I’ve observed these responses in clients and often a mix of all four and this is how I explain it.
We have four basic operating systems, thinking, doing, feeling and sensing/communicating. Individually we have preferences for some over the others. But we are able to use all four with self awareness and training and need a blend. This is our evolutionary advantage to work as collaborative groups.
Our basic intelligences become archetypes. In paleolithic times it was probably Hunter/Gatherer- Shaman/Scout. Nowadays in business leadership we call them Entrepreneurs/Coaches- Managers/Founders. But again, we can utilise all these operating systems if we’re situationally and self-aware enough to realise what operating system is required and when.
So when we experience change, it’s a good idea as a leader to understand the paradigm you’re in and where the next paradigm will take you and what you need to do to thrive.
Before COVID we all operated within particular societal and personal paradigms. Now we’re not. We’re having to respond to what’s happening. Here are the four responses that we’ll see.

Collapse

Some sectors like hospitality are experiencing a collapse. With the best will in the world, the pandemic is going to be here for the rest of 2021. It’s not likely that some industries will ever come back the same, if at all. When that happens all is not lost, there is potential within the people which can be re-directed. Firstly, it needs acceptance of reality and as Buckminster Fuller advised:

Don’t Fight the Existing Reality,

Create a New One Which Makes the Old One Obsolete

It then needs a Founder mentality to create new ideas and bring together people with renewed purpose. People can re-organise, make new connections and create something new. Much like the mythically Phoenix, rising from the ashes they’re often a lot more resilient after experiencing post-traumatic growth.

Consolidate

Some people and industries will find themselves in the enviable position of being able to consolidate their position. This time around, the circumstances have suited the incumbent and they’re able to reap a fine harvest, push ahead of their competitors and even aquire some of them.
For them, they were in the right time at the right place. They’ll probably carry on their modus-operandi by managing the basics well. It would be prudent to remember that whilst they’ve been fortunate this time around, next time, and there will be a next time, the paradigm shift might not be so accomodating and smaller competitors may leapfrog ahead of them. It would be useful to remember:

All Glory is Fleeting

Change

When shifts occur, some people will find themselves not in collapse or consolidate but in a fight for their lives. This is when the manager will make changes and prune the organisation looking to cut costs. The entrepreneur also comes back into their own and motivates the team to tackle the challenges head on. Of course:

Lessons are Repeated

and it will often need more than change to survive in the long term. There maybe a need for some radical transformation and creativity.

Create

Whenever there is a crisis there will also be equal and new opportunities. But it will take a Founders mindset to spot the:

Diamonds in the Dirt & the Gold in the Grit

Then it will take a collaborative and highly engaged team to bring the new ideas, products and services into existance. They will become the foundation for a new paradigm and may even become the next dominant players, utilising all the latest technology and achieving more with less.
We’ll probably find that we’re implementing more than one of the four responses mentioned. This is when leadership skills are important. Leaders must rise above the storm and get clarity on the situation, then leverage the potential of the situation and people.
If you need a sounding board to help you get clarity, get in touch
Martin Murphy – Catalyst