Wednesday, 25 November 2009

What would make you proud to have named after you?

Interesting how things happen. Dr Who names a galaxy Alison. I ask a question in LinkedIn about what would make you the proudest to have named after you (not a person). And the responses provide me with the perfect question for my workshops when discussing step 3 of a process I've developed called Mission! (see link)

The last blog will have given you a sense of the 7 steps I've developed to help you get out of the creek or take action to avoid going down it in the first place. After stopping and putting on your life jacket the third step is about using what you enjoy, are good and have passion for, along with connecting to your values, to identify your mission or purpose for your life. In other words what will get you out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm? (This was discussed in my contribution to How not to be like your parents - again see links on rhs.)

I've tried many different questions to get to the heart of the matter and so have others - what's your legacy, what would your eulogy say, what difference would you most like to make in the world etc etc. The question 'what would make you proudest to have named after you' seemed to hit the mark. The answers have been truly inspiring:

Those things being named included: schools, colours, streets, institutions, libraries, rooms, processes, methods, cures, vaccines, parks, funds, charities, awards, hospitals, ways of living, roses and butterflies.

It was the why these would be named after them that seemed to tap into their mission - the difference they wanted to make in life.

What would make you proudest? and why? and what can you do today to start to make it a reality? You may not get the library named after you but you will have made a difference.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Get out of the creek

I'd like to tell you a story and it's about @upcreek and @paddlefinder. It's a story about how to get out of the creek. It's also a story about the new way to work. It all started with a tweet....

Upcreek: I'm up the creek without a paddle - get me out of here.
PaddleFinder: I can help you.
Upcreek: What do I need to do?
PaddleFinder: Simple - first you've got to stop.
Upcreek: That sounds right.
PaddleFinder: and then put on your life jacket.
Upcreek: You're joking right?
PaddleFinder: and then agree your mission.
Upcreek: Like on star trek and "to boldly go where no man has gone before" you mean?
PaddleFinder: Possibly - and then pick your fellow guides and travellers.
Upcreek: WHAT?
PaddleFinder: and then it's simply Map, Compass and Paddle.
Upcreek: Who are you @PaddleFinder?
PaddleFinder: The person who can help you get out of the creek.

The rest of the tweets can be found by searching twitter for #utc01 followed in turn by #utc02, #utc03 and #utc04 (the original trial using twitter used #rbcm but it seemed easier to split it into chapters). The full transcript is available now - see links on RHS.

The tweets in addition to using extracts from my forthcoming book 'I'm up the creek without a paddle - get me out of here' (see links to extract).

Monday, 16 November 2009

Sometimes not winning means you do

The title may have given it away - I didn't win the SFactor (XFactor for speakers) competition on Friday at the PSA convention. Congratulations and very well done to Simon Bucknall who did. My reaction and subsequent learning however would never have been available if I had won and that was worth much more to me.

At the end of the heat in Scotland in Sept I was really happy with how I'd performed. I knew it could be improved but I was happy I'd done my best. In the final on Friday I knew I hadn't and went into the familiar pattern of beating myself up for not being 'perfect'. Only minutes before I'd been speaking to someone and was in the zone. How did I so quickly lose that feeling when I stood up?

The speech by Alvin Law ( that night helped me understand. I'd made it about me and not my audience.

Whilst practicing I had envisaged sharing what steps to take when you're 'Up the creek without a paddle' with my audience. I'd envisaged the words being of help and service to others and them being able to get out of the creek as a result. On the night that went out the window - or should that be up the creek! I'd even written here inmy blog and in the recent PSA magazine about our energy when we speak. I talked about grounding, connecting and communicating and yet I didn't fully walk my talk. My thoughts weren't on the audience they were on me winning, me beating others, me feeling nervous, me doing a good job, me using it to promote what I do - me me me me me!

Is this a pattern I can fall into when speaking - Yes. Would I have understood that when I heard Alvin speak later if I'd thought for one moment I'd nailed my speech earlier in the evening - No. There's a card in a process I use when coaching clients that says 'Vulnerability is the perfect protection'. I believe that the vulnerability I felt by not doing my best on Friday meant I was able to hear a message that will truly enable me to connect and make a difference in the future.

I didn't win the competition but the learning I got was the real win for me. So next time you think you've lost look for the real win and you might be surprised.