An online talk in response to the Corona virus for JCI Manchester about leading ourselves through challenging times with downloadable resources here:
Whilst this is not a definitive step by step guide, it will cover some basic principles and points to think about when leading your team through a challenging period.
The first thing to remember is that people are not very good at responding. Sure they’ll react to an immediate danger, but won’t acknowledge a danger that’s approaching slowly. Read more: here
I came across a discussion on twitter which alluded to the fact that the world was becoming more complex. This discussion was based on the ideas of General Stanley McChrystal, author of ‘Team of Teams, New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World’.
“Efficiency remains important, but the ability to adapt to complexity and continual change has become an imperative.”
I remember feeling irked about this statement and the reason for this response, (apart from having man-flu at the time) is that people are acting as if VUCA (the US military term to represent volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) is a new phenomenon. That’s not correct, the world has always been subject to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Ask poor people.
Read more: Here
“The biggest paradigm shifts happening right now are ironically the increasing awareness of the existence of paradigms…”
Paradigms are a worldview shared amongst a group of people so they can experience group identity
and achieve a common purpose. Our world is governed by them very much like seas influence the
life of a fish.
Examples of paradigms include the idea of countries, money, religion.
They are a set of beliefs, values and stories which enable collaboration with greater numbers of people and even with people living different locations. It is our ability to use paradigms that enabled us to climb to the top of the species hierarchy.
One monkey left on a deserted island might survive more ably than one person might (unless he’s Bear Grylls). But if you put one hundred people on the island, then they would organise themselves more effectively than the monkeys.
But there are a few problems with paradigms…. Read More
A favourite quote of mine is Buckminster Fuller’s, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” I’ve been looking for a way to implement this philosophy into my work.
I spent some time with overseas intelligence officers last year, teaching leadership. For amusement I used the opportunity to subversively challenge their worldview under the guise of improving decision-making skills. By challenging them to argue for their enemies’ viewpoint, it soon became apparent that both sides had ideas worthy of consideration. People are complex beings. Ultimately though, the officers realised that after leaving the course, they would hit the paradigm inertia present within consolidated organisations and governments and have to continue working on the assumptions they held before.
So, upon my return I wrote a book called ‘From Mercenaries to Missionaries’. It’s a fusion of
experience, observations and research whose purpose is to help business owners evolve into leaders who can unleash more of the purpose, passion and potential of the teams in growing businesses. Within society entrepreneurial people are creating wealth by selling products and services. To be successful they have to compete for their place in the Universe and bringing a product to the marketplace often requires a Herculean effort. I realised by working with business owners, that once they achieve a certain measure of success, they can be persuaded to challenge the present paradigm, much like I did with the intelligence officers.
Businesses usually follow the ‘growth for growth sake’ mentality. This leads to growing teams of people who become less engaged, trading their time for money, constantly in need of a pay rise to maintain the levels of dopamine they get from opening their payslips. It’s the mercenary approach. It becomes soulless and frustrating working in mercenary organisations as people become widgetized to remove uncertainty. But I help leaders harness the complexity and creativity within the team, not hide from it.
To challenge this paradigm in larger, consolidated organisations, is possible but it meets more paradigm inertia. So, this book helps founders and entrepreneurs develop high performing, intra-dependent teams who can make ecological decision which don’t sink the ship. This then allows the entrepreneur the freedom to solve other more meaningful problems and they can be guided to help their communities thrive too. I would say:
‘Inspirational leadership is ordinary people doing extraordinary things in a constantly shifting world. Leading themselves and, by example, others into a better world for everyone. A world which is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and a personally fulfilling place to live and work’.
Until we change the way we operate in society, I’m on a mission to challenge the entrepreneurial lifecycle helping them become purpose focussed instead of purely profit driven. By unlocking more of the potential of the team’s collective intelligence, organisations can become platforms for developing a new world which makes the old world obsolete.
Available on Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/ELITETEAMCONCEPT
Our normal day to day working life or even just life itself can leave us feeling mentally confused. When we find ourselves so caught up in the whirlwind we often cannot see the wood for the trees.
In this fast-moving mental state, our brains are very capable at using past experiences to make a decision. In these situations, we make decisions intuitively and mostly this works okay. The more successful experiences we have built up over time in a particular field, the better our decision making will be when we face similar challenges in the future. That’s why experience counts in business. READ MORE
When I ask business owners the above question, they’ll often ask me what I mean. So I qualify the question with another one. I ask them:
“Could you go on holiday for four weeks, have no contact with your team whilst you’re away and know that the organisation can still thrive?”
Mostly the answer is a resounding “NO!” READ More
The Oxford English dictionary announced after much discussion and research, that the word of the Year for 2016 was post-truth.
It described post-truth as an adjective defined as
‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
The word post-truth has been around for decades, but its usage spiked recently as a result of the Brexit referendum and the US elections. These two events combined with other daily news makes us all wonder if our environment, economy and society will survive. READ More
The story goes that Einstein was daydreaming about travelling on rays of light and this led to his famous theory of relativity. But you don’t find many leaders asking their team to daydream. Leadership that unlocks the creative potential of a team requires some courage. It’s easier, one could argue, for giants such as Google to set aside 10% of their employee’s time for creative thinking. This strategy has reaped big rewards for Google but smaller firms struggle with doing this.
Creativity takes time and it also means letting go of control which is another challenge for some leaders.
So imagine these scenarios. A group of Bankers are sat in an office and they are wondering how to extract more money from the public so they can all claim bigger bonuses. So they come up with what they believe is an ingenious solution. They wrap up some dodgy debts into some triple ‘A’ packaging. The rest is history, the effects of which are still reverberating around the world today.
Let’s take another meeting. A group of corporate leaders thinly disguised as politicians say to themselves:
“Let’s start a war in the Middle East, using a recent terrorist attack to unite public opinion, because we’re bound to win quickly and we’ll get all the contracts to rebuild the place and make gazillions.”
We all know how that’s still playing out. READ More:…