Reaction v Response

After surviving Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl famously talked about the gap between stimulus and response. What he called “the last of the freedoms” is our ability to choose our response to any given situation. I recently came across a variation of this idea in an interview with Harvard professor Sheila Heen, an expert on communication and negotiation. She spoke …

Confident Uncertainty

There is a difference between confidence and certainty. Certainty is when we have 100% confidence – we are utterly convinced that we are right. We’ve done all the research, and all our information is completely correct and undeniable … this 100% confidence shuts down conversation. Certainty closes doors – it stops people disagreeing with you. And it closes you to …

Attention and Optimism

With the growing awareness of the risks around the internet and how much of our attention it is taking, It’s understandable that this is accompanied with deep levels of scepticism and pessimism from many quarters. Data breaches, deep fakes, device addiction and social media abuse are just some of the things that people are rightly worried about. I’m one of …

ZigZags and Zebras

It’s fair to say that I am addicted to podcasts, and one of my favourites is ZigZag. In the words of host Manoush Zomorodi, it’s about “the changing culture of business and work” – but I’d say there’s a bit more to it than that. There is a business thread that runs through the episodes, but the themes they talk …

Dogs and Mirrors

My Portuguese Water Dog, Scout, turned seven today. [If you’re wondering why the breed seems familiar, it’s what the Obamas have – I got mine first, though]. I’m not one of those dog owners who treats their pet like a surrogate child, but there’s no doubt that she’s a big part of my life. Aside from the two walks a …

Silence is Dangerous

Studies across the world have repeatedly shown that in around 85% of businesses, people are aware that there are problems but are afraid to raise them. In her book and TED talks, Margaret Heffernan calls this ‘Willful Blindness’ – the point where we have chosen to ignore something because that seems like the easier path. Why don’t we speak up? …

Cheat Days and Debt Cards

In his book “The 4-Hour Body”, one of the many things Tim Ferriss talks about is the Slow Carb Diet. Go here for details, but for now I want to focus on one of the key components – Cheat Day. The basic idea is that you follow the eating programme strictly for six days of the week, then on the …

Finding Your Truth

One of my most inspirational friends is working on a big project at the moment, with the potential to impact thousands – maybe even millions – of people all over the world. (I realise my saying that without providing you with any details is a bit frustrating, but unfortunately I can’t say more than that at this point. Sorry!) We …