Category: Leadership

I’m A Hypocrite. [And That’s OK].

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, has just given his company away. As he says, “instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re ‘going purpose’.” Transferring the entire billion-dollar business to a trust “dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature” is the latest example of how they are reimagining capitalism. Patagonia are a company I have long admired. They openly confront the tension of both being a clothing company and thereby contributing to the

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Awareness » Knowledge » Action

“The ocean starts in your sink.” Pascal Lamy. [Awareness]. The UK ranked dead last in Europe for bathing water quality in 2020, and water companies leaked sewage into UK waters 370,000 times in 2021 – while the execs gave themselves an average bonus of £100k. [Knowledge]. I just emailed my MP about this, because I can literally see how bad the water quality has been where I live. [Action]. Will it make any difference? Maybe,

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Effective and Good

Being effective is important. Effective means it works – it does what it is designed to do. Seatbelts are effective. They reduce casualties on the roads. Social media is effective. It’s designed to keep our attention as long as possible, in order to sell that attention to advertisers. Just being ‘effective’ isn’t enough. We also need to be good – to do the right thing [at the right time]. Some other examples:Apple iPhone.Apple Newton.Coca-Cola.New Coke.Boeing

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Can You Walk The Plank?

Imagine a thick, strong plank of wood – 30cm wide and 10m long. Can you walk along that plank without falling off? If it’s lying on the floor – sure. That’s pretty easy. A dozen steps is all it takes. All of us could manage that. What if we suspend the plank between two chairs, so it’s 50cm off the ground? Ok, that’s a little trickier … some of us would manage, some might not

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Why Am I Eating An Elephant?

You’ve probably heard the question – how do you eat an elephant? [In case you haven’t, the answer is – one bite at a time]. There’s undoubtedly wisdom in that advice … but it’s not the whole story. Often, it helps to understand why we’re eating the elephant in the first place. Taking a task that’s easier to define than elephant-eating:How to cover 30km in 30 days? Options could include:Smash out all 30km on Day

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How [Not] To Be A Leader

This seems like a good day to talk about leadership. One way to lead: Have no identifiable values. Change your mind based on what seems to be popular, rather than what you actually believe. Adopt a “do as I say, not as I do” approach. When faced with a crisis, dither and procrastinate. Blame everyone else when things go wrong. I doubt many people would see that as a good list. Posting this today makes

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Discipline and Motivation

Recently, I’ve found motivation hard to come by. I’ve been thinking hard about what I do, and why I do it. Should I change direction, or go all in? Stay here, or move on? As part of the figuring out process, I am re-reading Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits’. Among all the other brilliant insights is this nugget:“A satisfied need no longer motivates.” Ah. That makes sense. Fundamentally, my ‘needs’ are met. I am in the

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The Golden Rule [and invoicing]

I’ve changed the payment terms on my invoices. They now say:“Please pay this invoice in the way you like to be paid.” It has no legal standing. Instead, it is based entirely on trust. The more time I spend working in leadership, the more clear it becomes that trust is the foundation that all relationships are built on. And leadership centres around relationships. This is hardly groundbreaking stuff. It’s not new [is anything?]. We already

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The Difference Between Passion and Purpose

“We’re short of leaders and trees.” Paul Polman I attended an awesome webinar this week organised by the Global Executive Leadership Initiative with Paul Polman as the key speaker. The biggest takeaway for me was Paul’s distinction between passion and purpose, and how understanding the difference is a critical element of leadership. Passion is doing something you care about and enjoy – pursuing your dreams. [Nothing wrong with that]. Purpose, however, is about putting yourself

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Why Values Matter In Tech

We’ve all seen it – couples, families, groups of friends out at a cafe or restaurant … ignoring each other, and staring at their phones instead. This behaviour isn’t unusual. It’s normal – to the point we barely notice it any more. Technology is everywhere, embedded into every aspect of our lives. Of course there are benefits, but we need to be aware of the downsides and dangers. As tech develops, we need to make

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