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26 Nov 2011

Cultural, leadership and systemic ills to avoid

Where are we heading the corporate cat asked.....

I've spent the last 10 years of my life working in a professional services, leadership coaching, advisory and entrepreneurial capacity. During this time I've made lots of mistakes, seen the patterns of mistakes that others and organisations make and also had the opportunity to work across multiple sectors, industries and cultures, so I'm learning about diversity of styles.

My experiences are by no means exhaustive, they are my experiences nonetheless and I feel its right for me to express some concerns I have for organisations that fail to address some of the issues I see and increasingly hear.

I get to speak to lots of diverse and interestingly talented people who are both within and external to the corporate world. Over the last few years I've heard fears, issues and themes that I seek to navigate through below.....purely for my own future guidance.....

Recognise any of these.....oh dear, time to take some responsible action

The following list is by no means exhaustive, see it as a simple guide to the organisational landmines that I keep hearing about, seeing and have in the past had the misfortune of being a part of:

1. Time to rewire the neural circuitry - it's alarming that during times of trouble, strife or unrest just how quickly organisational culture and of course people replicate this. What is it, the classic, running with an autocratic, superficial and outdated hierarchical frame of reference. Leaders we need to grow up, respect our privileged positions and start to not be fearful of the talent that is emerging, get with a rising tide, rather than chaining yourself to the mediocrity rock of a telling, directive or abusive style..listen, acknowledge, recognise, coach and be real.....

2. Politics, bigotry and fear - the acceptance by people of a political, cultural or organisational belief system that says it's wrong to challenge people in senior roles or my word....dare to speak your truth. The result is fear, the debilitating and pessimistic kind that is the death call of an organisation that is to thrive in today's agile, interconnected and change thirsty environment.

3. Serve ME please - leaders who are focused on their own agenda, who fail to act in the best interest of the organisation, customers and people. They love nothing more than creating their own little fiefdoms and centres of complete disillusionment excellence.

4. Paranoia - cultures that listen to the news too much, who fail to be optimistic and see the opportunities that surround them. Result, a tribe that find themselves debilitated in non action due to the paranoia about the long term future and growth agenda.

5. Physician heal thyself - we all love this one.....organisations that espouse and even sell on the back of espoused values that are when you scratch beneath the surface as deep as the proverbial puddle. These orgs and leaders love to tell you what to do to improve your circumstances when internally within their own cultures and organisations its a mess......we no longer love those orgs that fail to live up to their own expectations, we disrespect them and increasingly out them - for gods sake good in the world and mean it....both internally and externally.

6. The internal drummer is banging out a terrible tune - an informal communication network that consistently takes a pessimistic if not paranoid perspective about the leadership and leaders agenda. Caused often by the willingness of leaders to shy away from honest, open, frank and even confronting conversations. People, lets grow up and have adult to adult conversations, it will be ok, trust me.

7. We are a talent focused organisation, people matter to us - oh I think many people will recognise this little gem. Organisations and leaders espousing talent centric values that monumentally fail to deliver what they say they will do. Then....cynically use the dark pessimistic cloud of economic uncertainty and challenge as a very valid reason not to follow through. You may sometimes hear the most senior representatives of such organisations stating 'oh they wont let me make that decision' and who exactly are they.......if employees and organisations keep their promises and commitments to one another we can all get along just fine.

8. Let's both grow up - now this one is a classic case of breaking free of the shackles of our educational conditioning. Both parties are classically held accountable for this little ice on the one hand we have people in leadership roles that have not be fortunate enough to develop their emotional, social and conscious awareness/intelligence sufficiently to be able to know that people love to be supported to develop, grow, feel valued and trusted.....hmmm psychology 101 territory :)

Whilst at the same time we have a group of more junior people who are so lacking in the basis of confidence in their own abilities, voice and the future that they fail to be willing to tell it as it really is and challenge the status quo. Worse still they then find themselves caught in the negative cycle of blaming their boss when they have never been explicit about their needs. At the same time, the leader has never sought to stop and ask them what is important to them......let's have some honest dialogue....

In Summary
I hope that you have enjoyed my slightly tongue in cheek and playful delve into the rotten fruit basket of the proverbial bad apples. I think in truth we can all see elements of the above in the imperfect worlds in which we dwell and to some level that is just fine......the question is where is the tipping point and more importantly, how are you really feeling about work today......?

Have fun in the organisational sand pit, play hard but fair......



20 Jul 2011

The Crazy Ones

The unreasonable ones....

I'm reading 3 books at the moment. A new earth, flow and the power of unreasonable people. I'm enjoying them all and would recommend them for anyone interested in raising their awareness, understanding what makes life flow/optimum experience and finally purposeful entrepreneurship - the game changers of the future.

I've interviewed 24 entrepreneurs now and more to come......some of the common characteristics of these guys and girls is the simple internal driver to have creative independence - they can't help themselves they have to create their organisations to make a difference.

Over the course of the next couple of months I will share insights and teasers for the future eBook - released in January 2012.

Some inspiration.....Here's to the Crazy Ones - I simply love what you bring to the world....

Hardly crazy ones but it makes me smile looking at me and my bros [ed - cheesy smiles all around]

If you haven't ever seen this awesome Apple film the crazy have to watch it and be inspired. What's that old famous motor racing driving quote 'if you think that you are in control, you are simply not going fast enough'

Loving the entrepreneurial spirit!


8 Jul 2011

The Games People Play...the Delusion of Superiority...Collaborate, lets not act Stupid!

A week in the News of NOT the World

This week has been a fantastic week for many reasons - my kidsco scholar has 2 potential job opportunities coming her way - both with organisations that are walking their talk. My youngest daughters eye surgery has been so successful that her squint has gone and she may no longer need glasses. I've won more work and I am thoroughly enjoying the projects that I am involved in. MOE has taken another step forwards as has the DR website....the book interviews continue to inspire. And.....I'm finally getting my A*** sorted out to ensure the Kidsco pioneers all have coaches and a chance at a better future.

The Latin of Compete learn together....SO let's make sure we do
SO....what else do I want to share this week - well this lesson. I am proud to be someone who has the privilege of working and leading in the world of the global coaching profession. I fundamentally, whole heartedly and passionate believe in the profession and its influence, impact, reach and long term difference, contribution and legacy we can make.

As a profession we aspire to sign up to a code of ethics, a set of values, an agreed way of being in the world, we claim that COLLABORATION is the only way and then out of the blue some people decide they no longer need to acknowledge, respect and honour this commitment. They decide through their ego based lens that their superior, that they have more right to a voice than the rest of you and your community.

I appreciate I am talking in code and for now I want to, but in essence here is all I want to say to people in the global coaching profession who are privileged to act as a leads and role models - don't espouse the principles, values, beliefs and philosophy of coaching and about being collaborative if you are not going to then have the balls to see it through..........

Short term competitive related plays end up damaging the goodwill, message and brand of coaching - how can we have integrity as a profession espousing the values of collaboration, consciousness and adult to adult based relationships - only for us to then take the opportunity to gain some small don't win - our professional loses.

SO........for those of use who are privileged enough to be in leadership roles in the world of coaching PLEASE stand up be counted, act with integrity, authentically live by the values that WE are so quick to espouse to gain credibility.....and if you can't be least have the courage to say that you DO feel superior and do not need to PLAY by the agreed RULES OF THE GAME.......don't suddenly shift mid play, stand up and be counted - role model courageous leadership -don't play a political game with our profession - its too bloody important for your short term values.

In my opinion, coaching has a global role to play in aiding humanity to realise it's fullest potential and become a more conscious guardian of this tiny little suspended blue/green marble that we call big going forwards because to play small is to disrespect our profession, your own personal/professional integrity and will deflect from playing our role and leaving a positive legacy that I believe we are responsible to and for..............

Rant over for now.......

All the best.


30 Jun 2011

Richard Branson's Top Tips for Entrepreneurs - Virgin Media Pioneers

When Richard met Dave McQueen

My friend Dave McQueen of Magnificent Minds had the privileged this month of taking a small lucky group of young entrepreneurs off to meet their hero Richard Branson.

Below are the insights that he shared and his final round up of top tips, to see the full video please click here.


  • When building a business from scratch in the early years you have to fight for survival - 9/10 businesses collapse - so do EVERYTHING that you can to survive for the first 3 years

  • Some people build specialist small businesses - true entrepreneurs look to talk to a large audience, try new things and say YES to opportunities

  • As business leaders the MOST important lesson is to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN and DRAW OUT from people their talents, creativity and ideas - sounds to me like Richard is recommending that leaders are COACHING LEADERS

  • Brand - get the right PRODUCT and REPUTATION - MOTIVATE people - make them feel PRIDE and BELIEVE in what you do - have FUN and do it with a SMILE on your face

  • Richards Top 3 Tips

  • If you are starting a business make sure that you are MAKING A DIFFERENCE to peoples lives and SHAPING an industry

  • Get the right PEOPLE, MOTIVATE them, PRAISE them don't CRITICISE, you want HAPPY staff

  • Marketing and Brand - get on the front pages of the newspapers, get yourself known, seen and recognised, then people will start buying your products

  • 1 Jun 2011

    The KidsCo Pioneers

    Following the success of the first ever KidsCo, Embercome and Ministry of Entrepreneurship young leaders programme, I want to share my personal reflections and as the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words and so lots of pics.

    The team left on Friday and here is the personal reflection and diary entry that I made.

    I've completed one of the proudest weeks of my life having co-designed, delivered and made happen the inspiring leadership course for 11 young pioneers and leaders of the future.

    I could not have foreseen how amazing the week would unfold, even if I believed that it had the potential. The level of energy, drive and commitment that has been shown by the 'pioneers' was inspiring and profound. The courage, humility and depth displayed by this special group was simply wonderful.

    The stories that they have carried with them all of their lives are incredibly sad, authentic, challenging and often difficult in equal measure for many of them. They have had to build a inner resolve, resilience and sense of self love as for many it was rarely a given in their lives to date.

    Whilst this was their truth on entering the Embercombe bubble I feel safe in the knowledge that this week has given them all the opportunity to develop their inner landscape, to find dignity, a sense of pride and a deeper understanding and knowledge that they are unique, special, talented and loved. I look forward to seeing how they take into practice the leadership lessons that they have all learnt over the course of this week and role model these in their real worlds away from Embercombe and eventually KidsCo.

    Really proud to say that 7 of the young people who attended this course were awarded 50% scholarships towards their Gambi trip in November where they will have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life, whilst further enhancing their personal leadership style.

    Congrats to the pioneers who helped shape this magical course!

    All the best.


    25 May 2011

    Ministry of Entrepreneurship - Young Leaders Programme - Kidsco and Embercombe

    About 18 months ago I had a vision to create a unique programme in association with Embercombe the sustainable farm in Devon and Kidsco - one of the UKs leading charity that works with Inner city London young people. Since I returned from India in early March along with a small team of people we’ve worked to get this programme off the ground by raising funds (8k), identifying the young participants and finalising the structure of the programme.

    This week we are actually down on the farm in Embercombe living out that vision with some special young people from Kidsco. We are currently into day 3 of the programme and for many of the young people it’s already starting to have a positive impact on them and how they feel – equally for the 4 facilitators involved in the programme we too are gaining so much from this experience. It’s so great to be around the teams energy there is so much passion, drive and energy – give them a challenge and they will on the whole take it on fully.

    It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions already with deeply touching moments, fun, laughter, frustration, upset, anger, vulnerability, maturity, excitement and still lots more to come. Below is a brief overview of the experiences to date and then a whole series of photos that capture the moments more lucidly than my words could ever.

    Sunday – the trip down – the guys where held up by a tree that decided it was time to fall on the tracks but wasn’t going to prevent them from making it down to Embercombe. I picked them up from the station in the mini-bus that smelt like it was last used by the local rugby team – I think this gave the team a sense of the rough and ready nature of what was to come. Some of them were at that moment still worrying about making sure they had plenty of nail varnish – this was soon to be exchanged with the grime and dirt of the Embercombe forest.

    The team were introduced to their Mongolian Yurts a combination of squeals and shouts of excitement with a thudding realisation that this was no 5 star hotel – and you have to light your own fires too – the team were soon at it organising themselves in to their bedrooms – organising their environments to feel more at home.

    We spent that evening discussing life over food and then in the centre fire sat in a circle on the sofas with a blazing fire keeping us all warm – it was a privilege to sit and listen to their stories and hearing their anticipation for the week ahead.

    Monday was an early rising for many it had been a chilly night for many and yet they were energised and up for the day. We shared with them the structure of the week and also let them know there would be a few team surprises including the team challenge on the Monday afternoon and the ‘Big Project’ that would be announced on Tuesday afternoon – I can’t tell you the amount of times they tried to find out what this was all in a playful and cheeky manner.

    Monday was spent focused on the impact of our beliefs and how they can support and limit us. We did an exercise around strengths and then got them to share with one another what they saw in others – this was a beautiful moment – for many of these young people it was their first opportunity to really acknowledge all of the potential they have and to realise the good that they demonstrate in their behaviours.

    We took them on a journey through life to consider what their purpose so that they could at first hand internally gain a sense of meaning, potential and purpose. These processes brought up a lot of rich learning that I’ve no doubt will serve them on-going.

    Monday afternoon took them to a new place, from the introspective world to the world of team working, achieving a common goal in challenging circumstances. A leader took the reins for the first challenge to the team which was to fire up the open clay ovens, preparing the wood for burning whilst another team went out on the farm to harvest fresh produce. Another team prepared pizza bases – there challenge was to prepare a wholesome and fresh dinner for 40+ people and all in a couple of hours.

    Individually and collectively they took to this challenge with gusto and focus, organising themselves and working as a team to make sure that they achieved their individual, team and overall task.

    They did a fantastic job with creating over 90 pizzas ensuring there was a second portion for anyone who wanted it. They served the Embercombe team like a first rate restaurant – Gordon Ramsey would have been proud!! They created a desert of fresh strawberries and ensured plenty of liquid refreshments for everyone. Once this was achieved they then set about collectively cleaning down, tidying and ensuring everything was back in its right place – they relaxed at the end of the day after a well-earned rest.

    Tuesday We spent the morning debriefing what was learnt from Day 1 and the team challenging, the team were on a real rollercoaster as they debriefed on what worked and what could have been better. They showed a huge amount of maturity as they talked through how they wanted to enhance how they worked together and sought to ensure that they built out a defined and agreed set of leadership team behaviours and rules so that they would be as effective as possible for the Big Challenge.

    After lunch they were taking to a large hole in the ground at the top of the Embercombe site and here they were briefed by their client on what was needed. The big challenge for the team is to build a beautiful wooden fence to go around the well. No easy task when you start to realise that they have to dig the holes, embedded the poles, chop, break and split the wood, before then stripping and preparing the fence panels – some 450 that need to be prepared.

    The rest of Tuesday afternoon in the woods learning the new skills that they would need to accomplish this task successfully. It wasn’t lost on the team that this would be a Kidsco contribution and legacy that would always remain here at Embercombe – I’ve no doubt that as this takes shape this will become even more important and significant to them.

    Following another intense and physical day it was off to the beach for fish and chips – a few brave souls decided to venture into the freezing British water – I was not one of them – but the pictures tell the story so enjoy.

    More to come!


    10 Mar 2011

    Ministry Of Entrepreneurship Life Story No 1

    Ministry of entrepreneurship is my latest social venture. The aim will be to support 1 million purposeful entrepreneurs, providing them with an digital environment to share, learn, communicate, network and be seen and heard.

    As part of the journey I recently visited India (Feb 2011) and Africa (Nov 2010). Whilst I was in India I sought to 'walk my talk' by putting my money where my mouth is and to start to understand what it is that street entrepreneurs and the underprivileged need from us.

    Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will share the first 6 real life stories of people whose lives I hope that I will be able to positively benefit. As you will hear their needs and circumstances are different and yet there is an undeniable truth that runs throughout. My aim through this process was to seek to deliberate aim to make a difference, learn some lessons and role model purposeful leadership.

    I intend to invite a small group of people to join me again later this year to visit India to see how these stories are progressing and also to provide them with the opportunity to make a contribution to the lives of others. If you are interested please drop me an email through to

    Real Life Story No 1 Raju

    How we met…

    So I turned up in Mumbai on a Monday morning, finally ending up in Colaba region of the city. My taxi driver wasn't able to find my hotel and so out of sheer tiredness I asked him to drop me off, informing that I would find my way. It was 4am in a place I hadn't visited before. I got out of the car coincidentally just outside McDonalds in Colaba.

    As I threw myself out of the cab grabbing for my rucksacks, whilst doing my routine check for passport, wallet, phone, camera etc…..I was finally ceremoniously dumped on the kerb in a strange place. As the cab pulled away I heard a friendly call from across the road……where are you going, what do you want etc….

    This was to be my first interaction with Raju, as it turns out he would help and show me kindness and I would return the favour…..neither of us was to know this at that time…..Raju would be the start of my Ministry of Entrepreneurship adventure.

    To say the hotels along the main strip of Colaba are dreadful is probably a bit of an understatement…I'm too embarrassed to actually share a photo (well I will anyway). After looking at 2 dingy, dreadful options I finally realised that none of the hotels here were going to be what I was looking for and so I gave up and decided to just get my head down for a few hours before heading off the next day to find somewhere more suitable.

    Raju had guided me around these various options and so I gave him the equivalent of £1.50 to say thank you for his time and that was that.

    The next day……

    The following day I headed out of the aptly named hotel Vulgar and found myself a much nicer and more comfortable place to sleep. The irony of this sentence is not lost of me when I consider that Raju was sleeping on the streets below me with no protection what so ever.

    After I found my new bed for a few days and I went off in search of adventure on the streets of Mumbai, taking in the sights, sounds, environment and loving the people watching whilst being constantly reminded of how lucky mine, my families and much of our societies lives are. I can't put into words what it does to you to see a young mother and her 3 children lying in rags on the street, begging for some food or change, for me it's one of those life moments where with an image that is now permanently seared into my mind and will always come back to me, to act as a positive reminder of how lucky I am!!

    McDonalds Colaba, Mumbai

    As I was wandering past McDonalds in Colaba when I heard a familiar voice calling out, I turned around and of course it was Raju beaming at me with his bright red teeth (chewing pan or however it is spelt). He was friendly, chatty and of course remembered me from last night.

    We got chatting and I knew that I wanted to interview him and so I invited him to have a chat with me in McD's……a quick aside, I ordered food and drink for Raju and as I was staring at the list of offerings I was wondering 'where are the burgers and Big Mac's…….'it took me a couple of hours of pondering to finally make the connection with the Hindu faith and the privileged place that cows hold in their society….even now my cultural blind spot makes me smile!).

    Raju's Life Story……..

    Raju is 30 yrs old, he has been living on the streets of Mumbai since he was 14 yrs old, he hangs out with his 'crew' of fellow street people. He is the middle child of a family of 6 boys and I don't fully understand why he left at 14but clearly something wasn't right. His family still live in Allahabad village and he hasn't seen them since he left.

    So imagine this, travelling for a day or so on your own at 14 to leave your family and to end up living on the streets of Mumbai, whatever was driving him to leave his family home it couldn't have been a good thing. His aspiration as a slightly naive 14yr old boy was to come to Mumbai to 'make business' and eventually make enough money to return to his village to 'build a home'.

    Those dreams still burn within his eyes, but you sense that 16yrs of living with the hardship of street dwelling have dampened his resolve, passion and ultimately belief that this dream is ever going to be a reality.

    He told me about the reality of living on the streets, everyone looks down on you, no one trusts you, the police dish out regular beatings and then of course there are the street robbers who target the isolated and vulnerable, preying on their inability to defend themselves. It's no wonder that Raju and his pals all congregate outside Colaba's McDonalds, at least there its light, its central and provides the opportunity for some form of relative safety in numbers.

    How he lives…..

    Raju explained to me that he made a small amount of money by helping tourists, needless to say that as I got to know more about Raju and his crew I realised that not all of the help was legal, but it was never my place to judge, simply observe, question, learn and support where I was able to.

    I got talking to him about the film slum dog millionaire and how I would like to go and see this region and he told me that he was able to take me and so we arranged to catch up in a few days-time, with him taking me on tour, not the expensive way but by travelling on the local buses and transportation network.

    The Authentic Slumdog Millionaire Tour…….

    So long story short Raju and I head of to see the slums, note that 60% of Mumbai residents still live in these communities. It was fascinating to head into this region and to see the facts from the fiction in the movie. There is no doubt that this lifestyle is not as we live in the western world with a combination of brick/cement based residencies along with the wooden/cardboard structures that are peoples' homes.

    I got a real sense of community in this environment, a real hustle and bustle to the place and with 1 million residents it's not surprising. Many of the homes had water, electricity and sewage systems. Kids were doing what kids do best, playing around in the streets creating games to entertain themselves, whilst the guys sit around chatting and the women are typically looking after the small ones and looking after the home.

    I really enjoyed wandering around the place, meeting people and it reinforced that a smile goes a long way, but more, this community has little in terms of material wealth but they seem to have a wonderful community spirit, fun and a sense of closeness to one another…… constantly amazes me that you can have 5 stalls or shops in the same row all selling exactly the same products and all seeming to make a living from it.

    The Idea……..

    Having experienced Raju's tour I came up with an idea for an authentic tour flyer for him. So once we got back from the trip I headed off to a coffee shop and wrote out the content of the flyer and then I sent it on to my brand man and close personal friend, Jake Shepherd (Sheppo to me), Director of MSDC ( I asked him to weave his creative magic and turn my one dimensional words and ideas into something that had impact and edge………4hrs later I had the flyer……1 day later Raju had 30 copies, 10 plastic versions and a copy to keep so that he could keep printing more off.

    So in one day with a little creative magic and a deliberate act of kindness we have Raju all set up to start to bring in some regular income by offering the real authentic Slumdog tour to tourists who visit the streets of Colaba in Mumbai. My request is that if you know someone who is heading to Mumbai, head to Colaba McDonalds and seek out Raju, take his tour and as the flyer shows, help him to break out of the mind numbing poverty trap that he currently finds himself.


    I want to say a personal thanks to Jake and the team at MSDC who 'gifted' their time and creative input, without their support the idea would not look good at all…..I may be able to visualise ideas, but I am no artist or graphic designer lol.

    Lessons learnt…

    Longer term Raju needs support to really get him away from the 'crew' or to re-educate the crew to find other ways to make money from tourists. Street life is tough and there is a constant air of violence around the people who live their lives that way. The night before Raju took me on a tour a street robber had bitten his hand in order to steal his money, I saw the evidence with his had swollen to double the normal size. The police did little and so Raju lost his money. I compensated him for this and paid him for taking me on the tour and gave him extra for food, clothes and to ensure that he is able to keep printing off the flyers.

    Will it work out for Raju? That is down to him now, I will start a social media campaign, I will promote his life story on the ministry of entrepreneurship website and I hope that when I return to Mumbai in November 2011 I see that he has been able to build on this early support. My investment in Raju equated to some creative time, access to my network and about £30 or equivalent to 3000 rupee.


    More stories of how all of us can take action to make a difference to people's lives……please share this story………BUT more, have a think about how you might like to make a deliberate choice to make a difference in someone else's life………Metta as the Buddhist say D

    26 Feb 2011

    The Law of Unexpected Consequences

    Ever considered what our individual and collective inaction means?

    Life is a paradox - its complex and yet simple, humans search for meaning outside of themselves, when the truth lies within. Stop reading the religious text its utter bollox and quiet frankly ignorant, the ills that are put on women outrageous, the bigoted views on aids, contraceptive all rubbish......please look beyond the words of men from the past and look into yourselves.

    .....and as we start to look within to consider our meaning and purpose, let us consider the decisions we make through abdication of responsibility, through inaction, ignorance, laziness and an attitude of 'oh yes that, but sorry I need to go and pick up the kids, scratch my backside, watch Eastenders etc' - our inaction says as much about us as our action......So consider through inaction we are currently paid up members of the following:

    1. Poverty, it's ok for our neighbours and fellow human beings to live a life of destitution, squallier and hardship; I was lucky to not be born into this relative safety, phew aren't I lucky, so why should I care and anyway I have to pay my mortgage, car loan, retail therapy blah blah let me walk on by and pretend I didn't see where is my blindfold.....
    2. Corrupt organisations that abuse society and then mock us, by failing to pay their fair share and by not taking responsibility for theirs and their peoples actions (you have to love the world of Enron - its still here)
    3. Politicians with a short term perspective and who love nothing more than playing the system, well the rules stated this.....yes morally I know it was wrong, but hey its not my fault that the rules allowed me to abuse the British tax payer - oh pleaseeeeeeeeee
    4. Narrow education, kids still leaving school with an inability to read, who then go into college and university to study 'stuff' that will not serve them or society in the longer term - please lets modernise the education culture. The next 10 yrs doesnt look great for the under 25s yes and lets find a way to support them.....................The Latin of education is to draw forth from within, so please let's start doing that rather than spoon feeding kids stuff that doesn't matter - in fact get rid of schools, they can learn more from watching social media and seeing the freedom and democratisation of the world......
    5. Organised, corrupt, evil, religious and social demonetisation or at least abuse, rape, censorship and violence against woman, they are our mothers, sisters.......why......STOP IT?
    6. The fallacy of hierarchy and the acceptance that others are superior or more worthy
    7. Greed, love of money, retail therapy and the need for external validation - it's no longer about proping up your pathetic little ego by keeping up with the Jones's oh no have you seen what they have got over deep as a puddle - get over your consumer mindset, buy now pay later.......great!
    8. Abuse and destruction ecological, deforestation, pollution, water contamination and natural resources being depleted by the end of the century
    9. Animal kingdom being destroyed because of our foolish belief that we are superior to nature, rather than being a part of the system
    10. Ultimately the devastation of our planet and home with the resultant extinction of ours and other species

    We cant take on all of these things individually, but if we begin to wake up and smell the coffee, knowing that it comes from a sustainable and meaningful source, we may have a chance. As a species we need to get out off our chairs, stop eating food that is causing lethargy, diabetes and obesity, switch off the mundane world of soap opera, open our windows and eyes and start to look at the world more consciously.......if we could all find it within ourselves to take one thing that is important to us and make it better then at least we are beginning to make a positive contribution.......

    So the next time you go to sit down and unwind from a job that you loath, to switch on a mundane soap opera that just repeats the same old crap every 4 weeks......why not stop to think about what is really important to you and then make a deliberate choice to go and do something about it.

    Be deliberate, find something that matters to you and take some action.......have fun whilst doing it......rant over all the best D

    23 Feb 2011

    A New Breed of Leaders and Entrepreneurs Needs to Emerge

    Capitalism with a Purpose, Business with a Heart, Organisations as a Force for Good, Emotionally Aware Cultures that Celebrate Talent, Strength, Diversity, Awareness & Responsibility:

    Purposeful Leadership/Entrepreneurship – A New Conscious Breed Needs to Emerge

    Capitalism with its free and mixed market economy has been a predominant model of value exchange in the developed and increasingly developing world (notable exception China) at least for the past couple of hundred years and even longer if truth be told. Within the model the emphasis often focuses on what is known as the profit motive where organisations and individuals exchange goods and services in order to make money.

    This model, like any has its pros and cons, its fans and its challengers. What’s clear is that the distribution of wealth often ends up with the limited few, who have the combination of will to own, power, networks, esprit d'entrepreneurialism and control the organisations and resources that ultimately create value and profit.

    Like any political, economic and social system it’s an imperfect model and with our increasingly global economy I believe that we need a new form of capitalism, one that does not place all of the emphasis on profit at all cost; be that to employees, suppliers, society or the planet.

    Wealth will still be distributed to the owners, entrepreneurs, shareholders, governments, employees and leaders of an organisation and I can’t foresee this changing in the near future.

    However, I do believe that we need a new form of capitalist model that has a deeper sense of meaning, purpose and commitment to a sustainable earth and a world where we are consciously seeking to defeat poverty that impacts upon societies the world over.

    Capitalism that has a heart and social spirit needs a new form of leadership philosophy and leaders. I call this new and emerging form of leadership and the individuals who role model conscious global capitalism/citizenship - purposeful leadership and entrepreneurship.

    These purposeful entrepreneurs and leaders continue to seek contribute to society through their profits and employment, they innovate to create new forms of value in the marketplace, whilst building sustainable and profitable organisations.

    Increasingly what I believe will be different and an emerging trend is that these same leaders, entrepreneurs and their organisations do so with a broader perspective on what it means to add value and profit.

    I believe that we are growing a new breed of emotionally aware leaders who understand the privileged position they hold, they are looking to find increasingly novel ways to make a positive social, economic, environmental and emotional commitment and difference in the world.

    The world and society is crying out for a more conscious, emotionally aware and increasingly purposeful set of leaders, entrepreneurs and organisations to step forward on the global platform to role model how we can make a profit with a purpose and heart.

    Society in the 21st century still has major issues: poverty is still prevalent in all developed and developing economies, the planets finite resources and fossil fuels will be reduced to nothing by the close of this century, access to arable land and adequate water is increasingly an issue for some communities, the polar cap continues to deplete and obesity, diabetes and other self-induced human epidemics are on the rise. These data points are especially true in some of the fastest growing economies (India, China) and not to mention the increased notice of stress related work issues.

    Businesses, leaders and entrepreneurs with a purpose understands that they need to positively seek to influence and impact on these negative cycles. They need to provide consumers with access to more sustainable solutions, they need to attract talent who want to work with conscious purposeful organisations.

    But deeper than these surface level observations about behaviours is that these leaders and entrepreneurs (both emerging and established typically highly successful and economically liberated) need to go on a deeply personal journey to raise their awareness, unearth their meaning and purpose and decide to take responsibility to make a meaningful contribution. Ultimately this becomes about personal and organisational legacy and brand story.

    Ultimately for these avant-garde, leading edge pioneers and purposeful leaders the decisions they make now, the behaviour they role model and the new form of leadership they employ will influence a new form of conscious, purposeful, social, political, environmental and emotional fair capitalism.

    An emerging book idea

    I’m researching and writing a book on this subject and so if you know anyone who is challenging conventional organisational and business wisdom. Doing something unique, different, inspiring and that is making a fundamental difference to the world and its people whether on a small of major scale I would love to hear from them.

    I intend to begin sharing stories of individuals, communities and organisations that I believe are aligned with this emerging philosophy, so as to support, collaborate and showcase their talents, aiding them in gaining further recognition, support and to build a collaborative network of socially conscious and purposeful leaders and entrepreneurs.

    Any thoughts, ideas and connections welcome. I’m learning as I go along……best


    The images here are from my trip to Tanzania with the great football giveaway in Nov 2010, 9 of us delivered 2500 to 100 schools and my trip to India in Feb 2011

    20 Feb 2011

    Making a Difference is about Love

    Making a Difference isn’t about Money, it’s about Love

    Making A Difference (M.A.D) is a choice, it’s about personal awareness and having a sense of responsibility to our fellow human beings and the earth we call home.

    Life is extremely short, in the fullness of time our lives are little more than a particle or speck of dust. When we begin to see life in this way we have a choice to make about where we focus our time, commitment, resources and energy.

    We may choose to focus on our own self-indulgence, the needs of our immediate family, local community, society more broadly or taking a more holistic and global approach to our view of our role in the world.

    In many ways I believe that the challenge for us as humans is to become increasingly aware and see ourselves as global citizens of our precious world.

    We have, in my humble opinion a responsibility to our world (earth) and to consider how we can proactively and positively nurture it, rather than seeing it simply as a vehicle that can endlessly provide resources for our consumptive behaviours, eventually it will struggle to feed a population rapidly moving to 10Billion (2050).

    In the short term, yes we will be able to take what we want and yet to do so is at the cost of future generations. On many levels we have a responsibility to future generations, our children’s children! That responsibility surely must be to nurture, farm consciously and protect the earth, ensuring that we hand it over to future generations in as good a shape as we found it, if not better!

    Human beings as a species never cease to amaze me, the creativity, adaptability and ability to be resourceful and to innovate from the sources that mother earth provides is simply amazing. So rather than waiting for fossil fuels to become extinct, water to run out, desserts to take over arable land and people becoming increasingly impoverished, let’s start championing individual and organisations that are who are finding ways to minimise our consumptive tendencies.

    Let’s champion those communities who are finding new, innovative and sustainable ways to build new products and services.

    These groups of individuals, consumers and organisations are starting to be more purposeful in their approach and in so doing are becoming part of the solution and less of the problem.

    In the western and developed economies of the world, we and our children are often blessed with good education, resources, networks, technology and access to choice. With this choice as a consumer will increasingly be a responsibility to ensure that what we purchase products from sustainably minded organisations.

    But more than this, I fundamentally believe that we have a responsibility to show love, kindness and support both to our fellow human beings, who are often struggling in less developed economies and also the planet earth we call home.

    We need to personally, collectively and organisationally pledge to hand over the baton of the earth to future generations in a better, stronger and more sustainable way than we are today!

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