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In my element helping you be in yours

A future with a smile in it…

People don’t buy your product they buy you

Cian Mcloughlin  

This week I heard stories from amazing people of escaping through the iron curtain, of setting up businesses in the Middle East, of running for election, of the Berlin Wall and what it meant to look at it, without being able to pass, of going to Mombasa aged 16 to teach. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories. 

So many people have amazing stories to tell, and their stories are incredibly memorable and incredibly different. 

Which would you rather listen to – someone with 30 PowerPoint slides all about features and functions or a real human with a real story, especially if that story shows you how amazing all people are including you, or if you are talking to someone who shows you how you can have a future with a smile in it. 

I know which I prefer. What would you prefer?

Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte – My #Sketchnotes

“Protect your audience. If you have to use bullets, use them sparingly”

A classic on presentation design for a reason – these are my ‘Sketchnotes’

Balancing candour and courtesy..#sketchnote

Thanks to Franck Alfero for the book recommendation – Talk Lean –

Balance honesty and courtesy to have better conversations. 

Some nice insights here on how to do it. Based on the work of Philippe De Lapoyade and his company interactifs

Never argue with fools…..

Onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.

Mark Train had some amusing gems.

Worth bearing in mind in the virtual world as well as the real world.

Ready, Fire, Aim…..a common problem

Have you ever seen an email chain, where one person starts it with a question and copies people on it?  Then lot’s of the people on the chain start to jump in, and work on the initial question, without asking, is this the right question to ask, or is this the right way to talk about it?

This is a common ready, fire, aim problem……sometimes the email is the wrong format for the conversation, or worse again, working on the wrong question.

A colleague I worked with years ago described the way he saw it working…..

…some boss at the top freaks out about something,

…they put the boot down on someone to fix it, who in turn does the same, who in turn does the same, who in turn does the same,

…..and it all culminates in someone walking up to me telling me to do something……

…..so I do it, and then go back to doing what I was doing anyway..

…..I never really know what the fuss is about……

Variations on this theme occur in most organizations at least some of the time.  Adding up the wasted minutes of all the contributors to these ready, fire, aim problems, would make for sobering reading in terms of productivity.

Urgent thinking is not the most efficient thinking.  This is where leadership really kicks in.  A sense of urgency is a good thing for a leader to have, but even more important is the sense of direction.  When you notice people reacting, or feeling a sense of urgency, stop and think, even for a second, to see if what is happening really makes sense.

As John C. Maxwell describes it:

“If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading…”

Ask yourself.

Is this really urgent?

Is this shooting in the right direction?

Are we working on the right questions?

Is this the best format for this question to be discussed?

Make the purpose of your story…the story of your purpose 

My #sketchnotes of a book by Marilyn Atkinson- CEO of Erickson Coaching – entitled “Creating Transformational Metaphors.”

One insight from the book is – The purpose of a story is to show people being courageous – this can be someone talking to a stranger, going on a round the world trip, speaking authentically at a meeting, trying something new in a job where people say – ‘it can’t be done.’

Many people feel stuck from time to time, and to get moving involves a small step – it will always seem like a risk to step out of our comfort zone. It requires bravery to step out of our comfort zone. 

Even a little bit more bravery can make for a much more interesting story – for you, and for others. 

Plus, as Simon Sinek points out, people buy why you do what you do, before they buy what you do. 

Making the purpose of your story the story of your purpose can give you insights into your own motivation. 

It might free you from any comfort zone and challenge you to become even more interesting. 

Just a thought….

India – Thank you and ‘Jugaad’

If you are not willing to be changed by what you hear, you are not truly listening.

I’m not sure where I read the quote above but it struck home as I reflect on two amazing weeks in India.  The experience changed my outlook in many respects. 

Listening and learning, with respect is the only way to travel. While we in Europe are in 2017 the calendar of India is more than 5000 years old.

Thanks to the people of India particularly colleagues in SAP and channel partners I learned about ‘Jugaad’ .

Jugaad (alternatively Juggaar) is a colloquial Hindi-Urdu word that can mean an innovative fix or a simple work-around, used for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or a person who can solve a complicated issue

At first glance traffic in India appears to be chaos, certainly in comparison with the small west of Ireland town I call home. 

However there is little evidence of shouting or road rage apart from the constant beeping and flashing of lights. The sounds and sights are more an indication of letting people know where you are, rather than any indication of frustration or high emotion.

Like the flow of water which finds a way to the sea, through and around all obstacles, the traffic in Mumbai somehow works. 

I’ll be looking at areas where Jugaad is appropriate – simple workarounds, innovative fixes….nice to learn from great people.  Thank you India.

Adventure….

A small adventure every week and every weekend……why not?

Be the best at the things that require no talent

Show up on time, be present, be authentic, give it all you have…….don’t forget to enjoy it…..

….none of this takes talent…..

Quote via Joe.ie…

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