What I'm thinking about...
There has been a lot written recently around Mindfulness. It seems to be the latest "thing" in the world of leadership! Some people are put off it because it sounds too "new-agey", requiring us to lie down on the floor and lose ourselves in existential thoughts. I see it as something much more tangible and practical. I also see it as a vital practice for modern, strategic leaders. There has been some great stuff on it by Harvard Professor ELLEN LANGER

However, my friend and colleague JACKIE SMITH - a smart and savvy fellow consultant - introduced me to a really great way to use Mindfulness every day - it is called PERSONAL LEADERSHIP. It's two principles are Mindfulness and Creativity. Mindfulness has two elements - being fully awake and using full intelligence. Creativity is about being curious and being choiceful.

So, here are some great questions to ask yourself in the moment (during a meeting, an interaction or anywhere). How awake am I right now? What do I notice? What am I not seeing? How intelligent am I being? Am I using my full intelligence? How curious am I being about other people's views, actions and reactions? How choiceful am I being - to try new things, take new approaches, change things for the better?
What I'm reading...
Many of the teams I work with have very bright people in them. Few of them have really effective team dynamics. I've recently got into the work of David Kantor, a systems psychologist, organisational consultant and clinical researcher. His work around the 4 PLAYER MODEL is so useful in creating effective team dynamics.

His most recent book, READING THE ROOM is a great resource in helping leaders and teams become more effective in their interpersonal dynamics.
What's inspiring me...
Currently, it's not a "what" which is inspiring me, but rather a "who"! My partner, Sarah Miller, who recently lost her mum to the degenerative condition PSP, has not only shown great courage during this very difficult and emotional time, but has found the strength to use her sadness to help so many others.

In July 2014, she ran her first ever £10k for Cancer Research raising around £1500. And in October 2014, she raised the bar even further and ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon for the PSP Association. She raised an amazing £6,500 for the PSP Association! Then, in April 2015 she ran the London Marathon (wow!) and raised nearly £7,000 for PSP and the Camden Psychotherapy Unit! She is now a regular 10k/half marathon runner!
Who's making the work rewarding...
Four of my current clients really help make my work so rewarding. JULIA WELLARD is Head of HR at Miller Brands UK (SAB Miller's UK arm which outperforms most of the rest of the global business). Julia is great to work with. She is open, honest, fast moving and mindfully intelligent. What impresses me most is that she knows everyone in her business and is both well-liked and well-respected - a difficult combination to achieve.

I've known NICKY GOLDMAN, the Executive Director of Lead, for over 25 years. She is a friend, a colleague and a client (What a great combination!). She is also caring, generous, strategic, passionate and the hardest-working person I've ever met. She knows everyone in the community and is admired for her warmth, dedication and  talent. NICKY and I have been co-Directing Lead's flagship leadership programme GAMECHANGERS over the past year. It has been fantastic working with her.

I recently had the privilege of facilitating the annual leadership conference of NHS Blood and Transplant's Blood Supply directorate. Amongst several impressive people I met there was GERRY GOGARTY, one of Blood Supply's senior leaders. Gerry is a smart, commercial guy who is constantly looking beyond traditional NHS confines for ideas and inspiration that can move NHSBT to the next level in the vital work it is doing.

I've been enjoying working with LIZ PALMER and NATALIE MARSHALL on a senior leaders programme for Horizon Nuclear Power (via Berkshire Consultancy). Liz is a great programme co-facilitator - sharp, knowledgeable, supportive and challenging - a true co-creator! Nat works with us on action learning and is a bright, talented and fun person to work with. Both are a real pleasure to work with!
What I'm watching...

In his 2014 TED TALK, journalist David Brooks asks whether we should live for our resume or our eulogy.

He quotes American Rabbi JOSEPH SOLOVEITCHIK who said there were two sides of our natures;

Adam 1 - the worldly, ambitious, external side of our nature who seeks success;

Adam 2 - the humble side of our nature, who seeks love and redemption.

Soloveitchik argued that the two sides of our nature are at war with each other - the perpetual confrontation between external success and internal value.

I think that we should always live first for our eulogy - the internal value piece. If we do that, the external success will probably come as a result!


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