Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Yes if........not no because

Give this a go for a day. Or maybe an hour. Do a week and really see the difference.

Every time you are faced with a request to do something, either from yourself or from someone else, think and respond with "Yes if...."

Shall I go to the gym today - yes if i make time in my diary now.
Can you finish that report early - yes if you help me prioritise my work.
Will you close that big deal this week - yes if we get the commercials signed off

Yes because has options, puts you in control and frames responsibility.

No beacause has no future. It's a dead stop.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Paying It Forward

I've had a few people ask me about what I meant by "Paying it forward" in my first blog so I thought I'd write a few words to explain what I meant. I wish I could take the credit for such a great idea however the concept has been around since ancient Greek times. It became famous in 2000 when the novel "Pay it Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde was released and it was popularised by the film of the same name starring Haley Joel Osment and Kevin Spacey. And you can find out more at

So what is it?

Most people will be familiar with the saying "Paying someone back" where a good deed or act of kindness (although sadly sometimes bad) is returned to the person who originally made the gesture. Although this is undoubtably a fantastic thing to do, "Paying it forward" takes philanthropy to another level. In this process, when you are the recipient of an act of generosity, you are asked to pass on this act to a different person therefore creating a perpetual path of goodness passing from person to person. With no end. And many unknown possibilities.

The skeptics will doubt it's effectiveness, the pessimists will think it is pointless and the critics will say it will never work.

I paid it forward today. I remember the moment and feel great. If the person talks about it even better. If they then act upon it how fantastic is that? I don't need to know what happens afterwards to reap the benefits. And neither do you.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Art of Doing the Right Thing

How often do you know what the right thing to do is but decide to follow a different path? It may be slightly out of kilter or it could be the absolute opposite. I'm not talking about realisation after the event where you have had chance to reflect but the occasions where your inner self taps you on the shoulder and you choose to ignore it. Understanding why you do this will help your decision making process and also improve your self awareness. Sometimes we do it out of fear. Or to avoid issues. There are many, many reasons.

So next time this is about to happen, pause, think, and unless you are aware why you are about to take a second class option don't do anything. Once you understand your reasons then go ahead with your choice. At least now you can truly accept responsibility for the actions you are about to take. And also the results you will get...

But beware. Doing the right thing will be become a way of life and not just a choice you make when things are easy.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Consciously Incompetent - A great way to be.

What do I mean by this? How can being incompetent be a good thing? Let me first explain the various levels in relation to driving a car:

Unconsciously incompetent - this is the point before you have any lessons and you haven't the foggiest idea where to start.

Consciously incompetent - this is when you become aware of what you need to do however haven't yet acquired the skills to drive. Even changing a gear is a mystery although you know you need to do it at some point.

Consciously competent - this is the point where you can actually drive but have to consciously think about the process such as apply clutch, changing gears, check mirrors. This is where you are at when you pass your test.

Unconsciously competent - at this level you just get in the car and everything comes naturally. This is achieved via practice and experience.

So lets get back to conscious incompetence and explore why this is such a great place to be.

It's quite simple.

This is the point where real learning starts and the potential for positive changes arise.

However you do have a choice to make.

You can choose the easy path and remain incompetent and this is your call to make. Or you can do the right thing (and there will be more about this in a later blog). So take up the challenge, change, and drive yourself forward to conscious competence. When you get there, enjoy the view, hone your skills, flex your worth and look for the next challenge.

This is a never ending journey and you may decide to take these skills to the next level of unconscious competence. But let's not get complacent. To get to this level takes perseverance. To stay at this level takes dedication. And don't be surprised if you drop back a little every now and again. It's all part of the fantastic process we call learning.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Rory McIlroy - An Amazing Performance

Hot topic today - and for those of you that are not golf fans please keep reading as I think there is a lesson for us all in what happened at the Masters. A lot has been said and written since Rorys final round on Sunday including "He lost focus", "He choked", "What a disaster" etc etc.

So lets take a couple of these in isolation.

Firstly "He lost focus" - we don't actually lose focus - however we may focus on the wrong things. Whatever Rory was focussing on for the first three rounds worked incredibly well and Im sure he will be working with his performance coach to find out what changed.

Secondly "He Choked" - I would have to disagree. He had a level par front nine. No bad thing at Augusta in my mind. Yes, he did have a couple of not so successful holes on the back nine and most of his problems were caused by two poor shots. Yet he composed himself and finished off steadily. I think he rallied.

Finally "What a disaster" - Really? Shot three rounds under 70 including a 65. Led the Masters for 3 days straight. And at the grand old age of 21.

If people can so easily view Rorys performance in such a negative way, is it any wonder that we miss the positives in our own great performances?

There is a BIG difference in learning from your mistakes rather than beating yourself up - the key is recognising the difference and changing for the better.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

It's not what you know....

......it's who you know. A well coined and often misunderstood phrase that I feel needs a little attention. Well to a certain extent I'd agree with the ethos however I'd finish it off with

"and it's how much you help them that counts".

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that knowledge is not useful. But knowing where this knowledge resides can be just as powerful. And knowing people who are indeed in the know can be a very useful thing too. However I would wager that the best way to optimise this situation is really develop the relationships you have with unequivocal assistance at every opportunity.

What have you got to lose? Nothing.

What have you got to gain? Friendships, alliances, stakeholders, supporters, comrades and companions.

So let's polish this statement up a little with "It's what you know and who you know and how you selflessly apply both to empower people." And even if it doesn't work you'll at least feel good about yourself.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A Brave New World

Here we go, my inaugural blog that I have been threatening to write and publicise to the wider world for a long time.  These will be my views, opinions, reflections, observations and rants and raves about coaching, psychology, enlightenment and all things brilliant. I trust you enjoy them, challenge them and ultimately make your own positive changes if they empower you. Even if they don't then feel free to let me know - especially if you can figure out why.
And if they do empower you?

Well pay it forward to all that will listen. I'm not expecting a tidal wave of change and at the moment I'm really talking to myself on an empty blog. But who knows, maybe we can change the world for the better and let's not apologise for giving it a go. Like Martin Luther King once said:

"You don't need to see the whole staircase to take the first step"

He was a wise man. I've taken my first step. The question is....what will your first step be?