I recently shared, on Social Media, that I would be giving a keynote speech at a large online event. Unfortunately, the best image that showcased 'yours truly' included two other white men. The optics were not great considering that I am an advocate for women's leadership and have signed a pledge to not appear on all-male panels.
There were some women and other ethnicities speaking at the conference and the panel was diverse, but not diverse enough. I called the organizer, a former mentee of mine, and he shared his frustration that he had asked many women, but they refused to speak.
I have faced this same issue before when I have organized physical and virtual events. It can lead to weird conversations like, "We are missing a Black Woman or an Asian man, and we have nobody representing LGBTQ".
In a perfect world, we would have the best person for the job, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, ableness, or sexual orientation. But...
The media are currently discussing the latest 'tell-all' book about President Trump today. Specifically his relationship with his father. But the need for validation is common in life, but is it healthy, how can we overcome it'?
In the above video (recorded live on LinkedIn), I share my journey from the need for validation to self-leadership. As an Executive Coach, I often find what holds my clients back from their full potential is a pattern of seeking validation.
When we are born, we can do nothing useful but are loved by our parents for just being. Just being human in itself has value, and how much we appreciate that value is the measure of our Self-esteem. BUT, and here's the rub, when we go out into the world, to school, to college, to work, we are not appreciated for just being, we are measured for our doing.
We have been conditioned to perform. From the encouragement to take our first faltering steps, and successful potty efforts,...
Before the Covid Pandemic, my schedule was packed with travel, speaking, and coaching in multiple countries (see video above). Now, there is no travel, but as a Virtual Leadership Speaker and Coach, I can still make a difference from my home-office in Singapore.
I don't call myself a futurist, but I have been predicting disruption for the speaking industry for some time. With this in mind, I began to set-up the means to deliver inspiration and information remotely from my computer and cloud-based software in 2017. Now it's 2020 and I am glad I had the foresight and self-leadership to disrupt before being disrupted.
With a 2-PC setup, I can broadcast leadership speeches, workshops, and coaching anywhere in the world. It's now not unusual for me to start my day coaching on the East Coast of the USA, facilitate a meeting in Silicon Valley, speak in somewhere in Asia and finish my day in India, Africa, or Europe.
All of this was possible...
Leadership is challenging at the best of times, but during periods of uncertainty and rapid change, it requires a special mindset.
In this video, part of my Leadership Accelerator Program, I talk about the 'Stockdale Paradox'. This term was used by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, after interviewing Admiral James Stockdale. Stockdale had been the highest-ranking military officer held and tortured in the 'Hanoi Hilton', a Vietnamese Prison. Admiral Stockdale was shot down during the war between America and Vietnam in 1965. He was held for 8-years with no certainty that he would survive, be released, or ever see his family again.
The Paradox of Leading in Uncertainty is that you must face the brutal facts of your current reality AND never lose faith that you will prevail.
If you find yourself in a leadership position during uncertainty and rapid change, it is essential that you communicate clearly, consistently,...
What was I thinking?
20-years ago I kept my goal setting, ideas, drafts for speeches, notes from courses and outlines for books in spiral bound notebooks. During a recent tidy-up I reviewed these notebooks and was fascinated to see how the ideas have become part of me and the goals have been achieved.
One of those goals was to write a book on Self-leadership. This goal was completed in 2012 and in Chapter 7, I share the Goal Setting Worksheet that I used.
I’m sharing it again here it here in my leadership blog, as I believe it’s important to look beyond the current situation and plan your future. I know I’m going to.
Self-Leaders set goals for themselves and through Self-observation and Self-feedback regularly achieve them. When you have a clearly defined intention you gain a laser like focus and act effectively. If you want to effectively and intentionally achieve a goal, the following process will put your goal into your physiology so that...
When I was at school in the 70’s in England, I was encouraged to read two newspapers, The Telegraph and the Guardian and then make up my own mind. I am grateful for learning this discipline early because it showed me the political bias of each of the publications and tuned my critical thinking. That said, because each paper was paid for, the news was mostly balanced. Compare that to US TV today. The FCC fairness doctrine was introduced in 1949 with the intention to get broadcasters to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. This rule was eliminated in 1987 and the polarization of the media has increased every year since.
The current Covid-19 Pandemic brings this problem into sharp focus. There has been so much ‘opinion’ from TV, the Internet, Politicians and Religious leaders, that it is hard to separate fact from opinion. If you make the wrong choice, you can put yourself and your...
The world, as we know it, is in a spin. Assumptions we made about life and business have been upended by a tiny virus that has had massive impact on the Global Economy and individual lives. Typically, when we receive feedback to our actions, we make a course correction and carry on, but in this unprecedented time – we need to challenge our assumptions and apply double loop learning.
Argyris & Schon (1974) proposed double loop learning theory which promotes learning to change underlying values and assumptions. The following diagram explains it:
In single loop learning, we receive feedback from our actions and adjust our behavior accordingly. Indouble loop learning we take a ‘step back’ and challenge our assumptions, beliefs and values about why we behaved that way in the first place. Double loop learning is really ‘disruptive thinking’.
As with any learning strategy, using the double loop requires asking...
Yes, this current pandemic is frustrating, disorientating and very sad, and yes, it’s OK to feel the emotions that come with the current disruption. For those who have a roof over their head and food in their belly, it's a time to discover what’s really important and what you are made of.
In my 2012 book on Self-leadership with Dr. Ana Kazan, we described Self-leadership as:
"the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objectives”
Right now we need to be practicing self-leadership and one way of 're-framing' how we think about things is through quotes. I'm sure you have your favorite quote that you turn to, to get you through tough times, but to get you started:
1. “Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power” - Lao Tsu
2. “The first and best victory is to conquer self” - Plato
Virtual Teams or virtual team members have been a business reality for many years, however during the current crisis, with stay-at-home orders, the need to lead has increased. As I coach senior leaders to navigate this current storm, I’m often asked for strategies to effectively lead a virtual team and so here are Seven of my best.
With each member of a team remotely located and no opportunity for a face-to-face meeting, there are both challenges and opportunities for the new or established team leader. We have a new ‘level playing field’ where everyone is working and communicating virtually. Gone is the proximity bias, where those in the same location could network face-to-face and build collaboration. Finally, those that have been working in remote hubs have an advantage, in that they are already acclimated to remote technology and communication.
With the crisis creating a ‘reset’, there is an opportunity for leadership to harness the ‘power of...
In keeping with the Virtual Meetings visual format, today's blog is a Vlog - are you a victim or a leader?
I share some insights from one of my leadership coaching session and answer: