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High Performance, Laziness And Idleness

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.” – Agatha Christie

During the pandemic I witnessed first-hand leaders innovating at a dramatically increased scale. Why? Because there was a very real and present danger, which threatened the survival of many businesses.

I innovated within my own business and tried many new things – because I had to.

So on one level I disagree with Agatha.

Who Cares About Easter Anyway?

“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa.” – Bart Simpson

“So what happened on Easter Sunday anyway?”

So asked my son Sam over the weekend.

At his age, Easter was drilled into me as a 13 year old Irish Catholic boy and I’m now wondering what exactly do they teach when it comes to religion in his school… 🙂

Truth be told, Easter was a week I dreaded at Sam’s age.

At it’s worst we had to go to mass/church every day for 7 days. Throw in altar boy requirements and it was a week like no other. Loooooonnnnnnnnng, slow and tedious.

Clearly, and thankfully times have changed.

But on one level it almost seems a pity that for many Easter has lost the symbolism that it has at it’s core.

The Toughest (But Most Rewarding) Work

“Nothing really works unless you do” – Maya Angelou

I remember working with someone who had achieved some incredible things in one industry but had jumped into another one and was struggling to make their new enterprise work.

When we met I advised that the best use of his time was to reflect on his leadership approach and where it was coming from. Indeed to reflect on how his inner world reflected into his outer one.

Learning From Will Smith

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet

The above words from Warren Buffet occurred to me after watching the now infamous scene from last week’s Oscars.

I think we can all agree that Will Smith decided to do something pretty shocking to Chris Rock at an event that was watched by millions around the world.

There are many angles you can take on this event but one angle struck me in particular.

Be At The Door Laughing

​”This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. ​A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

​Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

​The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

​Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

– The Guest House by ​Rumi

A certain virus beginning with the letter C arrived in our house about 13 days ago and one by one each of the family have succumbed to it’s nature, with me being the last.

Advice To My 18 Year Old Self

“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realised, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy.

For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus

If I went back to when I was 18 and gave myself any advice, it might be a version of the above words.

Much In The Window But Nothing In The Room

“We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicines, but less healthiness;

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We’ve built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communications;

We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These times are times of fast foods; but slow digestion;

Tall man but short character; Steep profits but shallow relationships. It is time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.” – Dalai Lama

Every now and then I come across words like the ones above that make me really stop, and reflect.

The Key To Inner Clarity And Control

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

My wife, TLJ*, is a disaster when it comes to going to a cinema.

She literally gets immersed in the movie, to the extent that she lives and feels everything the characters do on screen.

She will become so engrossed in what’s happening that she has no awareness of being in a cinema or indeed that there is anyone else with her. As far as she’s concerned she is IN the world of the movie characters.

So if there’s any sort of scary scene in the movie, forget about it. TLJ will literally be beside herself and usually screams or shouts at the main character as they are about to enter a dark room where the murderer is… ‘Don’t go in there!!’.

Where Your Best And Your Happiness Lives

“If you have a clear mind you won’t have to search for direction. Direction will come to you.” – Phil Jackson

“Have you seen the movie American Sniper?”, one of my clients asked me at one of our meetings.

As it turned out I had.

The story revolves around a US soldier, played by the actor Bradley Cooper, who suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). My client proceeded to tell me that there was one scene that really struck a chord with him.

The solider had returned from a recent tour of duty and was trying, unsuccessfully, to re-integrate with his family at home. In one scene, the solider’s wife says to him:

Drilling Into Your Growth And Success

“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life – mental, emotional, spiritual as well as physical.”

– Julius Erving

In today’s world, there’s a lot of hype and attention given to scaling a company. But not as much is given into ‘Scaling Yourself’…

In my experience, having worked with many companies who have scaled, the single best way to scale and grow a company is to grow the people FIRST.