…which are actually general (life and work) lessons (of course)

(Long post alert. TL;DR, life happens, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a life thing.)

Leadership Case Study…

Basecamp announced a suite of changes recently, self-described as ‘a full version change’, that caused quite some chatter on the social channels.

It got me curious… what goes on behind the scenes (of the human mind) that causes these kinds of situations? And what options are available to us?

So, curiosity in hand, I thought it would be fun and potentially useful to run a case study. Less for the gossipy chatter and outrage I…

Looking for Joy…

Sometimes my first client conversations go deep into the problem, the challenge or the desire my client is bringing to our work together. And sometimes they go high and wide, discussions about the meaning of life that don’t seem to connect to the immediate challenge, and yet explain everything.

My conversation yesterday was the latter. A highly successful professional, a famous name in his field, who felt like he’d lost his way, like his success had peaked and the only track was down. He wanted to recapture some meaning to his life and work, to feel fulfilled, to feel excited…

What will I do with this one wild and precious life?

Image from Bluesnap on Pixabay

My Time?

When I wrote about deep time, I had in mind planetary time, or longer, a sense of timelessness, where ‘time’ is a construct of human consciousness and there is something that exists outside of human understanding.

The idea of time as ‘infinite’ perhaps?

But these are contemplations rather than the reality most of us live in and, most days, I find myself in much more practical conversations,

How shall I live?

How do I make the most impact with my one short life?

Will I ever achieve what I…

Or at least becoming more sensitive to seeing them!

Thank you to coyot on Pixabay for the scary cat image

Seeing the Personal Narrative

I spend some of my time with clients, usually at the beginning of our time together, helping them see the difference between what is out in the world, and the thought-created ‘illusion’ they experience as real.

We’re aiming to develop the facility to take a moment, pause before rushing to make sense of things, and sit with the ambiguity a little longer. I want them to widen the scope of the actions they think they can take, and make considered, hopefully wiser, choices before rushing in.

But Then This!

I was with a client…

And what’s it actually made of?

Photo by author.

How’s It Going?

I posted this cute picture (well cute to me) on social media this week, snapped on a bike trip, with a witty comment about sharing the lady’s pain over her lockdown locks.

It got a few laughs, who doesn’t like a nice animal picture?

But I also know that any presumption on my part, is completely that, it’s on my part.

I saw one interpretation, who knows what you will see, and, of course, we neither of us have any idea what the experience of being photographed was like for the lady in the…

An unusual and unexpectedly fascinating place to find leadership lessons…

Thank you to Couleur on Pixabay for the image.

Love and War?

It may seem bizarre for someone who believes that the foundation of all leadership is unconditional love to be drawing lessons from military strategy, and counterinsurgency strategy at that-the darkest of the military arts. But a combination of coincidence and curiosity led me down what turned out to a fascinating path.

(and yes, the context for this ‘intellectual curiosity’ is the death, destruction, harm that we humans do to each other in the name of… well whatever word we might insert but it does not begin with L and end…

How long is your timescale? And what difference does that make?

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

How Long is Your Timeline?

Let me ask you this,

How long is your timeline?

The one in your head when you think about all the things you make decisions about? Shopping, buying / renting a house, choosing a career, a partner, a holiday?

For me it’s variable.

Sometimes immediate, mundane, regular,

When is my neighbour going to bed and when will that music go off?

Sometimes it spans weeks or months,

When will I next hug my son in Australia?

And sometimes I lose completely the sense of time and there is a…

…a real question!

Sitting in the Unknown…

Something I play with a lot with clients, is where they go (in their head) when they don’t know what to do.

It’s a simple enough question to ask,

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

And I’m usually asking when someone is in a calmer, settled state of mind, which means the answer I get is pretty wise-usually some version of,

Someone might tell me they escape to nature, they stop, perhaps meditate, take on a diversionary task to let their mind do the work in the background.

The Reality?

We all know this…

Day trip or quest? It’s a metaphor for life.

Strategy versus Strategic Thinking?

If ‘strategic thinking’ is our ability to navigate, and ‘strategy’, are the coordinates we might choose on a GPS, then it looks to me as if it’s way more significant to consider our capacity for navigation of self and others, than it is to print out a copy of the destination, or even the detailed instructions our mapping software might create.

The latter is nice to have, but it’s a product of a decision about where we want to go, and our capacity to imagine destinations, be able to set a…

Should we hold a paradox lightly?

Thanks to Pexels on Pixabay for the image.

I See It; I Understand It.

We humans love to make sense of things. We’re programmed for it, we look, we see confusion, we might feel puzzled, we look again, we see a pattern. Phew relief. The world makes sense!

Or does it…?

As Daniel Kahneman says,

Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.

It seems that our need for the world (however small we define the word ‘world’) to make sense, is stronger than our willingness to sit in the unknown, to appreciate paradox, to…

Cathy Presland

What if making an impact was part of your everyday? Stories to light up your soul. Read more and free courses: https://cathypresland.com/

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