“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.
“Ambition is funny thing. You can completely screw yourself with it, if you’re not careful.”
Simon Le Bon
“It’s because I like to win”.
So said the smart, ambitious CEO to me during a private session. He was replying to something I’d said… something along the lines of:
“Why do you need to win every conversation?”
“Who doesn’t like to win?”, I also said, “But the way you’re behaving, you’re setting yourself up to lose in the long term.”
Because this CEO wasn’t letting any of his lieutenants ‘win’ when it came to conversations or opinions. As a result, he had created an echo chamber without realising it, where people only agreed with whatever opinion he had because they were afraid of antagonising their leader.
I’ve started taking a slight interest in gardening recently and I am finding it surprisingly therapeutic and ‘grounding’. (words I never thought I would ever write or say…)
It was triggered by a problem that had emerged when myself and TLJ* had put down new grass in an area of our garden. Surprisingly for Ireland, there has been very little rain over the last month (that issue has been solved as of today as it’s pouring outside!) and that, combined with a lot of sun in this area of the garden meant that the grass was dying.
So we took to regularly watering this area and the grass is recovering, bringing with it a lovely green sheen and vibrancy.
If you’re a fan of sport you will have heard all about the saga of the ‘Super League’ but even if you’re not, you most likely will have heard about it as it made headlines globally for all of last week.
In essence, 12 of the biggest soccer teams in Europe made it public that they were creating a new league that they would control, could never be relegated from and would depart the premier competition in Europe, The Champions League.
Within 2 days of that announcement it was dead in the water.