Not our fault

A teenager died in the weekend after attending the King’s College Winter Ball. Much has and will be said about this tragedy, but three things said by leaders from King’s caught my eye: We can’t babysit the students 24 hours a day. True. We don’t need an inquiry to see how the Balls are run. Mmmm. They weren’t drunk and there were no drugs. Right.

A letter to the editor in one of the Sunday newspapers caught my eye too. The writer, a mother from Masterton, said that she didn’t try to be friends with her children when they were growing up, that she saw her parenting role to role-model behaviours that she wanted to instil into her children. Continue reading “Not our fault”

Authenticity now

It’s a special moment. We’re on day two of the Centre for Innovative Leadership’s Authentic Leadership Course. Every course we’ve run is new, fresh and builds on learnings and insights from the previous. Each one has been the best I can safely say, because it’s what the participant’s wanted and needed for them. We did some work on personality preferences this morning which is a great way to get an authentic leadership conversation going about our strengths, blindspots and how we grow and develop our teams.

When you’re on a programme like this you’ve got a gift. A gift of time for reflection, growing awareness of self and others and a chance to reconnect with your authentic self. For some that might read connect with authentic self. It’s a gift to watch it happen too.

So when you’re with us on the Authentic Leadership Course you’ll probably hear it clearly that you should take the opportunity you have. This group of people will not come together here, at this time, again. What is in the room here and now is perfect for you. This moment in your leadership journey can be defining. I say can rather than will, because at every opening there is choice. You can take it, embrace it, or you can watch it.

Watching might look like being part of, but we all know it’s not.

Our leadership coaches Richard Kerr-Bell and Jasbindar Singh working with me this week aren't waiting for next week. Nor should you.

Gathering data and information, fact and figures and processing that is a buffer for real leadership development.  You might put the folder on the shelf and feel satisfied that “I did that”. You might even feel proud to tell other people about the information your got.

It doesn’t just apply in leadership development programmes. Leadership development is a journey. Quite likely a journey you’re on if you’re reading this and there will be moments, possibly every day, that you can take for your own and define the next path for you.

To do so is authentic. Now.

If you know my personality preference you’ll know it’s not about bringing quick closer. I do know about the present. Days are limited, on the Course and on this planet. So authenticity now. Don’t wait to read the stats, or for anticipated special moment in the future.

Today is that special moment.

Stephen

Slightly excited

I’m feeling slightly excited. I ran the first module of our Innovative Leaders GM Programme last week and spent this week getting ready for the fifth run of our Authentic Leadership Course. And it all seems to be coming together (which you’d hope if you’re reading this and you’re joining the programme on Sunday!). I hope we haven’t left too much carnage on the way – my team are in really good shape (well they haven’t told me otherwise so let it rip on the comments now!) – but we have put our suppliers under pressure with so much to be done with so little time. They have all got there and I hope that as well as enjoying the business, they feel some positive energy as well as the pressure.

Energy is really important. I’ve worked in environments where the energy is not only lacking, it’s negative. Working where I do where there’s positive energy, gives me energy and I hope others feed off that. It’s like a perpetual motion machine, where the more energy you give the more you get, and so on. It’s an elusive thing this energy and some people, in an attempt to explain what they can’t explain, call it synchronicity or “the invisible force”, attaching some sort of quasi-supernatural notion to it.  It’s a reflection of what we do, how we communicate it, how open we are, how quick we can process but still reflect and whether we really want to make something happen.

A bit like leadership really.

So feeling slightly excited because we’ve done a lot, achieved what we wanted and enjoyed it (well mostly!) is a sign I think, that the team has performed. Well done I say. The team at CIL, some in the building, some out, and our suppliers.

I wasn’t sure where this was going when I started, but I started because I had some energy and ended up talking about energy in leadership and a high performing team. If that’s where your work is, I know how you feel. I don’t even want to say what it’s like not to be there, it’s so dull. Oh I just said it.

By the time you read this I will have done my running speed training in the morning. Friday’s going to be even more energetic!

Stephen

Just for laughs (especially if you’re a decorator!):

Stories we didn’t hear

We never heard their last moments and we didn’t even find their bodies, but the families and friends of nine people who perished in the Christchurch earthquake had their day in the coroner’s court last week. The chief coroner decided that they all died from multiple traumatic injuries and I guess some closure was brought to the families and others close to those that perished.

I just liked this photo that I took today!

They didn’t do anything special – they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time when the earth moved as it regularly does, especially in Christchurch at the moment.  Luck can be a good thing, but also a devastating thing and my thoughts are often with those that lost loved ones  in the 22 February earthquake.

Facilitating a day of storytelling workshops last week we heard some fantastic stories, from the heart. Disclosures of events long ago were made, as the group worked with each other and shared, and in the process grew. Storytelling has a practical application in developing and enhancing leadership. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing a story from years past, and the meaning that it now brings to the leader. Or so I thought. When I thought I’d uncovered all the depth that could be to discover from one participant, I asked (intending to work with how the same stories are told differently in different contexts) “So you’ve told this story before”. Answer “No, that was the first time”. Given the story, that was big and I reckon we had a very special session for all those present.

Luck can decide all sorts of things. Share your stories now. You’ll be giving a gift to everyone, including yourself. Luck put us on the planet. Don’t wait I say.

Stephen