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The Irony Of Not Getting A Coach

“The coach doesn’t have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best.”

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

“I just don’t get why business leaders need someone like you.”

This, or a version of it has been said to me many times by business people. Now when I hear it, I have to stop myself laughing so as not to come across as rude.

Re-Invention And The 4th Of July

“Many public school children seem to only know two dates – 1492 and the 4th of July; and as a rule they don’t know what happened on either occasion.” – Mark Twain

“Why would I want to go to America?”, said my son Sam (13) recently.

“Kids get shot there and they all hate each other.”

Perhaps just a tad extreme in his view, but it’s an indication of how young minds are now seeing this global super-power.

I grew up in a time when going to the US was the dream. Indeed many of my ilk spent long, glorious summers on what was then called a J1 Visa. Happy times.

Avoid Being Focused On The Wrong Thing

“There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.” – Antisthenes

“It seems like I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing”.

These were the words from a smart business owner who had been asking a group I was in, for input on a big business decision he was being facing.

For the previous 20 minutes he had shared his analysis of the situation as he saw it.

Even though the guy was bright and articulate, I’d found it very difficult to stay with the logic of what he’d shared. He was jumping from point to point erratically and not thinking clearly.

The Biggest Problem I Face With Clients At The Beginning

“At this critical junction in the history of humankind, leaders that are proficient in magical thinking aren’t going to solve our problems. Creating alternative realities is not the answer.

We need a very different kind of leadership— leaders who can resist the calls of regression and whose outlook is firmly based in reality.

The problem we all have is that what most people ‘think’ is reality, is not. It’s their ‘thinking’ about reality. In fact, getting my clients in touch with reality is the first challenge I face when working with them.”

– Manfred de Vries, Professor of Leadership at the renowned business university Insead

My experience of working with people over the last 20 years has been the exact same as the Professor above. The first big problem to overcome with every client is to help them get in touch with what’s actually going on and not what they ‘think’ is going on.

For The Big Decisions In Life, Remember This

“For the big decisions in life, you need to reach a deeper region of consciousness. Making decisions then becomes not so much about ‘deciding’ as about letting an inner wisdom emerge.” – W. Brian Arthur, renowned economist

W. Brian Arthur is an economist and complexity thinker. He has degrees in operations research, economics, mathematics, and electrical engineering i.e. he’s a smart dude! 🙂

So this quote above is fascinating because he’s pointing to something beyond our intellectual minds when it comes to the big decisions.

Your Greatest Enemy?

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

There’s a scene in the new Tom Cruise movie ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ where he’s with a group of young pilots that he’s training for an impossible mission and he says:

“Our greatest enemy is time.”

Without giving anything away, the story arc of the movie involves Cruise’s character realising that he’s not as old as he thinks he is, that he still has something to contribute, not only as a teacher but as a pilot.

The Key Difference Between The Victim And The Victor

“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James

“Is it wrong that I’m enjoying this so much?”

This was said to me in the middle of the pandemic by a business owner in the hospitality sector.

As you know hospitality was one of the hardest hit industries when the pandemic struck and his business was right in the middle of it.

If ever there was a time that showed the power of the right attitude, it has been the last 2 years.

An Essential Ingredient For Harnessing Collective Intelligence

“Diversity isn’t some optional add-on, it isn’t some icing on the cake.
Rather, it is the basic ingredient of collective intelligence.”

– Matthew Syed

A couple of weeks ago myself TLJ, Jane and Sam went to the theatre for the first time since before the pandemic began.

It was to see The Curious Case of The Dog In The Night-Time (TCCOTDITNT) at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin – Ireland’s home to a lot of visiting shows from London’s West End.

Feeling Flat Vs. Feeling Charged

“See every problem as an opportunity to exercise creative energy.”

Stephen Covery

“I’m flat.”

I’ve heard this phrase many many times from clients. But I’ve also heard it from myself.

Most of the people I work directly with are entrepreneurs or people with entrepreneurial minds. Feeling flat happens to the best of them and it’s important that they learn how to recharge themselves in a healthy way, because it’s their creative spirit that really drives everything.

If you get flat everything suffers. Your communication, your thinking and ideas, your results.

I firmly believe that everyone has access to this creative, entrepreneurial energy but I know not everyone agrees with that.

Inspired By A Champion Jockey

“I’ve never bothered about records. I’ve never performed well if I’m going for stuff like that. I like to win, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. I just try to enjoy the game, compete, enjoy being on the circuit, try to enjoy what I do and work hard at my game. Then you just let the snooker gods decide what they are going to decide. These 17 days, they were on my side.” – Ronnie O’Sullivan after winning his 7th World Snooker Championship

I heard the above from great snooker player O’Sullivan last week after he had just become the oldest ever world champion at 46 years of age.

The next day I had the opportunity to interview another sporting legend, champion jockey Rachael Blackmore.