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.
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:
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.
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.
(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).
While recently undertaking some thinking for an advertising agency I started to develop an idea about an important factor in human motivations. Traditional advertising planning concerns itself, rightly, with the rational and the emotional. But is there a third factor at play? I think there is and that initial concept, outlined in this short presentation has led me to start researching and writing my third book, provisionally entitled “Primal Intelligence – The Secret Ancient Keys to Who You Are and What You Do”.
Have a look at the slides and see what you think. I’ve also started posting relevant articles etc. in my scoop.it magazine Primal Intelligence.
Mental health has been in the news again due to a speech by Ed Miliband. It is a cross party issue, though, and the subject is explored in detail today by Neil O’Brien of the (Tory inclined) think tank Policy Exchange. The massive costs of mental illness, measured not just financially but in immeasurable human misery are undisputed. Almost everyone would agree we should be doing more. But how do we square that with the need to spend less on public services? A few years ago I wrote a chapter in a book on the future of the NHS which offered one possible solution. You can read it here. Let me know what you think…