Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I just watched a TED talk by physicist, Janna Levin:
Inspiring! Thought Provoking! And- for me- mostly Question Provoking!
On a recent trip to Kenya, on a wildlife safari, we were lucky enough to encounter eight lions resting in the sun after a recent feed of zebra. What unfolded in front of us was fascinating.
The hyenas approached and made a circle around the lions. Then the vultures came and made a circle around the lions. Everyone was waiting his or her turn. If they got a bit aggressive and made a move towards the carcass of the zebra, one of the lions would stand up and let them know it was not time yet. The hyena/s would retreat.
We passed by the same scene an hour later and there was an additional layer of complexity added. The zebras had gathered on the opposite side of the road and were stomping their feet to show their displeasure at the death of one of theirs.
It struck me that this scene was similar to the way our workplaces, communities, cities, countries and world are organized. A micro version of the macro complexity.
After watching Janna Levin’s TED Talk I wondered if the same applied to space. As the unknown becomes known, is it more of the same? Or will there be a new order?
So many questions, so few answers.....
As a coach I love the powerful question, the question that make me think/see things differently.
Can we move from our concept of a Universe to a Multiverse? Where does this take us? What new thinking do we need to survive in a Multiverse? Do we need new thinking?
I would love to hear your thoughts/questions on Multiverse. email@example.com
Sunday, October 2, 2011
This blog is inspired by Andrea Lea. I was listening to her coaching a client on the Moore Master Series calls. She requested her client and everyone listening to “take a bold stand on something”.
Her next powerful question:
My one song to sing - it would have to be the HU song! What an amazing word to sing, one that allows me to expand continuously!
"Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground." Rosa Park
Here’s to bold stands and powerful songs!
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
“Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value.”
—Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic
How have you been playing? What happens when you have play in your life? How does play affect your work? Oh, so many questions. I would love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org is still open for your thoughts and stories.
I am fortunate enough to be coaching Omani men and women leaders here in Muscat. In my opinion the Omani people are very heart-centered and this makes coaching a very enjoyable process.
This getting lost in work and play invigorates me, opens me up to new possibilities. It is as if I once again have a new pair of eyes to see the world. The world is alive and brilliant, so many opportunities and possibilities. The people I encounter each day are stars—brilliant shining lights in the night sky. Each holds a wonder for me to discover and revel in.Outside of my work I continue to play. My recent playtime is screenwriting. I am taking a 10-week course on writing a screenplay. I am truly amazed at how much fun this is. I get to make up the characters, the scenes, and the actions; oh it is such great fun! I have met so many fascinating people in my lifetime and now I get to make them come alive through writing. Of course, I get to embellish their characters, which is quite exhilarating. One of those activities that I get lost in—time slips away! I find myself having to pull myself away from the writing. Oh what a feeling! (More on the screenplay in future articles- title: Dinner with Cathy.)
When I first began coaching ten years ago, Thomas Leonard, considered the founder of the coaching industry, spoke about moving from the Knowledge Age to the Inspiration Age. I believe we are now in the Inspiration Age and play is how we will operate in the Inspiration Age.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I had the privilege to join an Oman Guide group on a desert crossing Jan, 19-21st. It was amazing! www.theguideoman.com
Lesson learnt in teamwork, sales and leadership on the crossing. Fist, some statistics – approximately 75 4X4 vehicles, 15-20 of which were support vehicles, 123 people. These are the numbers as I best remember them. For a nominal fee you show up with your transportation and camping equipment. They lead you on a desert crossing, make sure you are safe and feed you. The food was excellent but for once it was not the main focus of my attention.
The trip is for anybody wishing to go - from expert to novice drivers! The support vehicles are volunteers; they seem to get a kick out off figuring out how to get people unstuck. Truly amazing to watch!
What struck me the most was how 123 complete strangers worked together when required. As soon as a vehicle was stuck the other vehicles stopped and came over to determine if they could help (or were they just gloating because it wasn’t them - this time! Ha ha). Even the expert drivers found themselves up to their axels in sand on occasion. We would await the support vehicle, the expert drivers and follow instructions. Sometimes the support drivers asked permission to drive your vehicle and they just drove it out. Other times they would direct a group of people to rock the vehicle sideways and direct the driver on what to do as progress was made. Often times it had to be a tow and if a tow didn’t work then a winch. We soon realized the best things to do if stuck was to wait until the expert arrived as you only seem to dig yourself deeper trying to get out. Reminded me a lot of driving in snow.
On the third day I was honored to be in the lead car. Mr. Mohammed Al Zadjali, was the leader and what an expert driver, besides being a very nice man with a great sense of humor. He broke the trail. This particular day was the day we attempted the big dunes. Ismaeel provided this next story. We were on the top of the first dune of the day. I was sitting on the dune watching vehicles trying to get up the dune. Ismaeel was taking pictures. A Hummer came roaring up the final leg of the climb and suddenly we hear a pop. His tire came off the rim! Boy, was he stuck in the sand. Ismaeel, just happened to be a sales manager for Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram. When the driver of the Hummer arrived on foot at the top of the hill, Ismaeel very calmly expressed his sympathy for the bad luck and gave him his card, saying if you ever decide to replace the Hummer, please give me a call! WOW! Kudos to Ismaeel- here we are literally in the middle of nowhere and the perfect opportunity presents itself. Many would have let this opportunity pass by but not Ismaeel, he was very professional and sincere. This made my day. Later I went over and congratulated Ismaeel and asked if I could share this story. He agreed. Can hardly wait to use this story in one of my sales training workshops.
Same day, different dune. Mohammed was trying to find a way to climb our third dune of the day. He had made many attempts but just had been successful….yet. On one of the attempts we got stuck, the vehicle was sideways and almost on its side, well it seemed that way to me as I held on so as not to fall onto my friend in the seat beside me. I looked at her , saw the look of terror on her face and collected myself. Mohammed, said to us - it is bad when the leader gets stuck, everybody rushes over to help. Everyone wants to help the leader. The leader has to be careful not to take too many risks. How true I thought to myself.
And last but not least, back to the nature vs. nurture debate. Mohammed shared that he has some drivers who have been with him for ten years and yet they still do not “get it”, yet some drivers “get it” right away. What is getting it? The ability and understanding of how to read the angles and sands to calculate your best route. Nature or nurture?
Nature – the dunes were beautiful and dangerous, simple yet complex.
Nurture – I nurtured my soul during this trip.
I find it difficult to find the right words to describe the desert so share these words from a Sufi teacher:
"When I think of the desert, I think of the desert's wildness, its gorgeous and terrible loneliness, it silence, its purity. I think of how in the desert you feel at once annihilated yet totally alive and present in all things around you and above you, as if you had become at once the sands stretching from horizon to horizon and the sky so vast and empty and still. And I think of what is written in the Koran, 'all is perishable except the Face of God..'The desert is the Face of god, the final mirror in which humans see their nothingness and their absolute splendor-in-Him’.”
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Exciting, fascinating, WOW! I have been reading “Your Brain at Work” by David Rock. The research done in the field of neuroscience in the past five years has been incredible. In his book, David Rock, has given me the science behind several of my life guiding principles.
1. My principle - write it down! I personally have experienced the power of writing things down and have shared this technique with my clients and friends. It is an amazing technique for remembering things, sorting things out and self-awareness.
How the Brain Works It was wonderful to discover the scientific reason this works. Briefly and in my simplified interpretation of Rock’s work, writing things down moves large amount of data from the pre-frontal cortex (which is energy intensive and has a limited capacity) to other large regions of the brain.
2. My principle -The brain is our most expensive real estate! Do not waste this valuable resource storing information, keep it organized and easily accessible for future reference. Yes, this is actually true.
How the Brain Works: the pre-frontal cortex which is our processing centre can get overloaded. Too much arousal means too much electrical activity in the pre-frontal cortex. Clear it out (my words) – Rock’s recommendations – write it down, take a walk. Read more about this in Rock’s book- fascinating techniques for discovering your “sweet spot” or being in the “flow”.
3. My principle - Sometimes we need to let ideas/thoughts cook for some time. Like preparing a good soup, add some ingredients and then let them slowly cook for several hours, the flavors integrate and boost each other. In the end you have a complety different taste then when you started.
Like the soup, there is a point where something new is created!
Note: these are my interpretations of Rock's work (,not necessarily Rock's words). Please read his book, How the Brain Works, to establish your own interpretations.
I have recently been struggling with a decision about my current employment. It has been a very difficult struggle; as Rock says, too many players on the stage and overload is the result, stress not clarity.
I have taken Rock’s suggestions to heart. Spent a weekend away in the mountains, star gazing and enjoying the peace and quiet. Started dancing again – Salsa and Argentine Tango. Dancing allows me to forget everything for a couple of hours.
Rather than travelling this Eid Al Adha holiday I have stayed in Oman. Time to catch up on some rest and some reading. Very nice!
Insights have been plentiful! I encourage you to find your unique way to clear the stage and allow the insights to emerge
Wonder what insights will come as I journey through the rest of his book? It is divided into Four Acts and I just finished Act One.
This connection between neuroscience and daily life is very affirming!
Friday, August 20, 2010
No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the point of playing it is to reach the finale. The whole point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening. It is the same I feel, with our lives; if we are unduly absorbed in improving…we may forget altogether to live.