“If you want to change the world, who do you begin with,
yourself or others?”
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“I’ve had enough of these tech companies. They all say they’re going to change the world but most are just full of it.”
So said someone to me recently, who’s business is all about dealing with tech companies.
They went on to tell me that many of the tech CEOs they were dealing with all had the same mantra of ‘We’re going to change the world’ – but in their opinion a lot of them would mess up the world if they succeeded and indeed, they were already messing up the people around them with the way they were behaving.
Perhaps they feel the need to ‘big up’ what their company is doing to attract talent or investors. Or maybe it’s their ego.
But just like we’ve all become de-sensitised to cold calling insurance salespeople, it seems to me that we’ve all become de-sensitised to the ‘changing the world’ mantra.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude;
be kind, but not weak;
be bold, but not bully;
be thoughtful, but not lazy;
be humble, but not timid;
be proud, but not arrogant;
have humour, but without folly.”
“If you hear a voice within you say
‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
Sometimes when I use sporting analogies, people who are not into sport don’t like it.
Fair enough – but I AM into sport… 🙂
My own experience has shown me that you can glean insights from any field even if you’re not into them. I’m guessing that’s why I’m very interested in ‘performance’ in general – be it business, sport, music, sales, cooking, writing, tiddlywinks…. 🙂
In my podcast this week, the title is Learning From Golf (Even If You Don’t Like It). In it I share some insights from my own work in that area with top players. The insights are directly relevant to anyone interested in bringing more clarity, success and flow into their lives.
“Allow yourself to experience what it is to learn step by step the freedom that comes from being unattached to the outcome, but operating from an empowered heart.” Gary Zukav
Back in the early 2000’s, I had a business with 2 partners, and our focus was helping sports people to perform better. For a period we focused on golf and partnered with a former match-play world champion, Wayne Westner.
One of the things I remember from Wayne was how to hold a golf club.
It went something like this:
You should think about the club like holding a bird. If you hold it too loose, the bird will fly away. Too tight and you might kill it. The trick is to told it in a way that it stays but feels safe and relaxed. That’s the way to hold a club.
For me it’s also the perfect metaphor for how to think about goals.
“The best way to predict the future is to design it”
– Buckmister Fuller
This time last week I was in the middle of hosting annual retreat for leaders, which was all the more special because of the prolonged delay with the pandemic.
23 unsuspecting victims, I mean clients…,joined me for 3 days in the beautiful village of Carlingford. We hiked, talked, reflected, laughed, listened and learned.
While there is a structure to this retreat I’ve found that there is always an emergent property to the event – themes or ideas will emerge in the moment as the group deepens it’s connection. One of the recurring themes this year was around ‘including yourself in your success’ more.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
“I’m too far down the road to change now. It’s just the way I am”
So said the smart, ambitious leader to me.
They were referring to why they thought it was impossible for them to change some of their behaviour and habits – especially mental ones.
On one level, at least they were honest in saying what they were thinking.