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

Quiet quitting? A misnomer for a Quiet Revolution?

Quiet quitting has been in the news over the last couple of months. I wonder if it’s not to do with the fact that people have enjoyed a level of agency and autonomy, and this freedom has put into stark contrast what it’s like operating under a hierarchy that exists within most offices.

When people have been in the Special Forces, if for any reason they have to go back to a more ‘command and control’ structure that exists in their parent regiment, they often leave.

Once you’ve tasted freedom and been treated as an equal, it’s hard to give it up again.

Somebody who likes to dominate and believe that being rich gives them some sort of entitlement to demand more from others, well that’ll have a negative effect of increased stress on their ‘subordinates’.

There’s plenty of research that indicates that surviving under the influence of a hierarchy is bad for your health. Perhaps resistance to going back to the office has more to do with instinctively protecting their mental health than not wanting to work.

Anecdotally, among the businesses I’ve spoken to, it is mainly younger people who miss the social interaction of working in the office. People with families didn’t suffer from isolation so much.

Perhaps quiet quitting is really a quiet revolution that’s been triggered by feelings of returning helplessness and subordination.

Dominance hierarchy is a system in the brain which is triggered when somebody has achieved a position of status. The people who’re subjected to dominant behaviour get triggered into the opposite ‘involuntary defeat’ system. They’re both a throwback to our evolutionary primate states.

But although we’re 95.8% ape, we’re 99% hunter gatherers and they’re predominately egalitarian.

Perhaps instead of building a business, build a community of equals. People can manage themselves; they just need support from understanding leaders.

#buckhierarchy

#ecocoaching

#performance

#leadership

#decisionmaking

#superteamconcept

#smallteamsmakethedreamwork

Don’t Be a CAD Leader!

Unfortunately, the world of work and capitalism is driven by stressful neurotransmitters such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine.

Founders and Entrepreneurs have to be driven people when it comes to breaking new ground and competing for their place in the world.

Technology and processed foods need to be addictive and give you a ‘RUSH’ otherwise you’d probably get off your phones and go spend more time in nature and eat fresh local produce.

People who’re very competitive rise to the top of the food chain in hierarchical organisations. They get a rush from crushing the competition. Status and power give them that adrenaline and dopamine rush they crave but it triggers the stress hormone cortisol in those around them.

From a leadership perspective, this feels great for the leader but it can mean that an organisation is reliant on the leader to keep driving. After all, if you can get by as an employee doing the bare minimum so as not to irk the mansplaining chump at the top, then why not?

It just isn’t very satisfying to live under the rule of a CAD driven leader, is it?

I sat in a meeting not long ago with one such white male (there were two females in the room). He asked if he could give me some blunt feedback. “Sure” I replied, realising I shouldn’t have taken this meeting whilst recovering from a dose of flu!

As he pontificated the two females were silent. It was obvious he was getting his dose of CAD at my expense as he continued to ‘no-mark’ me.

After he ran out of steam he asked “So why do you want to work with us?” …. By that time, I didn’t.

Normally I’d have asked to give him back some feedback in return, but I was pretty drained by then and I knew it would have fallen on deaf ears.

Why should I compete with his ego to explain why he and his ‘world-class’ organisation suffered from simplistic thinking, He didn’t realise there was a difference between complicated and complex. He is materially successful selling old world ideas and style over substance because he’s great at competing for business.

We’re experiencing stressful times; we don’t need more trauma inducing leadership.

In a world of ambiguous and novel challenges, we need more self-aware, purpose focussed and supportive leaders who are open-minded and willing to learn collaboratively their way forward.

Leaders who don’t need to be rewarded with the rush of cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine at the expense of those around them.

#business #leadership #work #power #entrepreneurs #leader #complexity #traumainformed #leadership

 

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.