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Posts from the ‘Blog’ Category

Mindfulness

I have recently been coaching a couple of people whose issues include being more mindful – that is, being able to destress and unclutter their minds and find a way of “switching off” and relaxing.

Mindful

This has prompted me to share the resources that I usually offer people who want to explore this area:

There are some great resources on Mindfulness at Work here, including a video that the “guru” did for Google. http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2012/10/31/a-guide-to-mindfulness-at-work/

A really good book is  Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

The seminal text is this one by Jon Kabat Zinn, who developed a lot of this stuff, and who is featured in the video in the link above. Full Catastrophe Living: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation

Finally, lots of people find the Headspace app really useful.

I also love this (excuse the “rude” word!)

Mindfulness

I’d love to know which of these resources appeals to you, and how you got on!

The “top 20” challenges of modern business leadership – did we miss any?

During an excellent coaching workshop with the Academy of Executive Coaching this week some YSC colleagues and I had an interesting discussion on the challenges that the leaders we coach have to deal with. Our brainstorm came up with the following “Top 20”. Did we miss any? Can you think of any others? Do you have any thoughts about any of these? If so tweet me @derekdraper.

(In no particular order)

Public Scrutiny

Digital and social

Security

V-U-C-A

Globalisation

Millennials

Diversity

Increased Competition

Authenticity

Contracting out Culture

Environmental Issues

Ethical Leadership

Sustainability

Increased Disruption

Psychological Contract/Expectations

How to Shape the Organisation (After Flattening)

Hierarchy

Informal Leadership

Environmental concerns

Diversity

 

Attention! Lessons on leadership from the US Army

While writing my own book “Create Space: How to Manage Time and Find Focus, Productivity and Success”” I have been reading a lot of literature on leadership. This weekend I came across the US Army’s Leadership Manual, which is incredibly impressive.

Military Leadership

It covers the values, character and competencies that underlie army leadership but has relevance way beyond the military. In the foreword the US Army Chief of Staff writes:

“It is critical that Army leaders be agile, multiskilled pentathletes who have strong moral character, broad knowledge, and keen intellect. They must display these attributes and leader competencies bound by the concept of the Warrior Ethos. Leaders must be committed to lifelong learning to remain relevant and ready during a career of service to the Nation.”

If you are a leader in any organisation, or just interested in leadership per se then it is well worth a read.

You can find a pdf of it here. It also led me to see if there was an equivalent for the British military, which there is, in this Sandhurst document, which is also worth looking at.

The best business books for your Christmas stocking

Christmas stocking

I have just suggested some reading to an advertising executive that I am coaching. It made me to think about the business books I’d most recommend for anyone wanting to become a better business leader. One of the advantages of writing your own book (Space: how small leaders become big leaders which you can read about here) is that it forces you to read a lot. In the last year I’ve come across 3 books that really stand out. Buy them for yourself, or as an inspiring present for someone else. So, here, in no particular order, are my top 3 business books for you to consider adding to your Christmas stocking:

Execution

Buy here

LC

Buy here

Good to Great

Buy here

Let me know what you think of these or suggest your own favourites via twitter @derekdraper

Create Space – How to Manage Time and Find Focus, Productivity and Success

Update 8th February 2018

My new book “Create Space – How to Manage Time and Find Focus, Productivity and Success” – was published by Profile this summer. COVER Create Space

The book is inspired by my work as a leadership consultant, at the company I founded at the end of 2016 CDP Leadership Consultants, and prior to that at global consultants YSC. The book contains twelve stories drawn from that work, along with reflections and practical suggestions on each of the twelve subjects the stories address.

It makes three key arguments. First, in order to achieve our best we need to create space in order to think, connect and act on a deeper and more profound level. Second, that the modern world indiscriminately fills our life. For the first time in 1000 generations our task isn’t to fill space but to push back and create it. Third, if we want to perform optimally, and reach our full potential, we need to, as an a priori task, create space, before we do anything else. In other words, before people can excel and develop as leaders they need to create space. The book then goes on to explain how you can do this, drawing on real life examples inspired by my work with executives at some of the world’s biggest companies.

As well as examining what I mean by “space” the book addresses how, on a very practical level, people can create the space they need in order to:

  • Think
  • Connect
  • Do
  • Be

Create Space circle

The focus of the book is on the corporate leaders who I assess, coach and help develop every day in my work. But it’s insights apply more widely: to leaders in the third sector, more junior managers, entrepreneurs, and, ultimately, anyone trying to get something done in collaboration with others.

I presented the core ideas the book explores (which have changed slightly since) at the 2015 Association of Business Psychology UK Conference in Reading. You can watch a 20 minute video of that presentation here.

ABP Presentation Image

 

Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro

I have been thinking about friends a lot in the last few days. Partly because I had a birthday party last Saturday, and was able to see, together in a room, a good few of my friends collected over 30 years of life. Some I met decades ago, some just this past year. I have also been doing some work with one of my coachees at YSC on the importance of making time for friends in the midst of our frantic professional lives. It’s prompted me to dig out a talk I gave at the ICA a few years ago and rework it a bit. Let me know what you think.

Friends

(This post is dedicated to my BFF Henry, who couldn’t make my party because he now lives abroad but who I miss a lot).

A Powerful prayer for all of us…

I was just clearing out a few things and came across this. Its an old poem or prayer, inspired by a Norman crucifix dated 1632. However, its power doesn’t come from the fact that its a Christian prayer, but from the powerful idea within it. In one interpretation it is Christ speaking, and he is “your life”. Another interpretation makes it as powerful to people of any religion, or none: That the subject is literal – your life. In other words, all of the wonderful things we have within us, the better parts of ourselves, that we often squander or pay no attention to. Despite enjoying going to church, I prefer the latter interpretation. Anyway, it speaks better for itself.

Old stone cross

 

I am the great sun, but you do not see me,

I am your husband, but you turn away.

I am the captive, but you do not free me,

I am the captain but you will not obey.

 

I am the truth, but you will not believe me,

I am the city where you will not stay.

I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me,

I am that God to whom you will not pray.

 

I am your counsel, but you will not hear me,

I am your lover whom you will betray.

I am the victor, but you do not cheer me,

I am the holy dove whom you will slay.

 

I am your life, but if you will not name me,

Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.

 

Charles Causley

From a Normandy crucifix of 1632

Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/

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