Create Network Blog

 

What do we mean when we talk about our values?  Often they are mixed up with concepts like ethics or morality, but we have a different way of looking at values.  Values are the things that matter to you most, the things you want to stand for.  We often define them ‘as our chosen life directions’.

There is no doubt we are facing an uncertain future.  This may not be a bad thing, the future might be great!  That’s the trouble with uncertainty, we just don’t know.  Unfortunately, we humans just don’t like uncertainty. 

Leading in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world takes up a lot of our psychological space.  Leaders are required to think in more complex ways, build relationships with a wider range of people, and behave with a higher level of agility. All of these take a lot of conscious effort.   When we are under pressure our psychological space shrinks and we are unable to make this effort.  As a consequence, our thinking becomes black and white, we become emotionally defensive, and our behaviour becomes inflexible.  

The most logical answer is that it depends on what we mean by leading. It doesn’t depend on the person doing the leading. It depends on your definition of a leader.

It's human nature that we get distracted, neuroscience shows us that it is due to how our brains are wired.  With more distractions surrounding our every second than ever before, maintaining a focus on a task or intention can be a real challenge.  Our minds can easily wander onto checking Facebook, Twitter or thinking about picking the kids up, what to have for dinner etc at many intervals during a day.  That's natural.  When time is such a precious and valued concept in today's complex world, minimising these distractions and maintaining focus can pay amazing dividends for the investment in training your mind to focus. 

It’s likely you have heard the term “mindfulness” already, it’s being talked about everywhere from classrooms to law firms, prisons to spa retreats… I first heard the term "mindfulness" at a coaching conference about 9 years ago, and was intrigued to find out more.

Is our approach to education, training and development producing the leaders that organisations need now and in the future?

Are leaders becoming more intelligent and stupid at the same time?
It has been found that peoples IQ’s are rising by an average 9 points per generation across many countries in the world.  This has been termed the Flynn Effect, after James R Flynn who did much to promote this phenomenon. So, as a global society, what do we have to show for this increase in intelligence?  Solutions to many of the world’s problems, such as economic volatility, food shortages, poverty and environmental degradation still elude us.

Are leaders fully conscious at work?   They may seem conscious, but are they are in fact behaving unconsciously or habitually?  Are they just acting out a combination of their personality and the skills that have brought them success in the past? 

Advocates of ‘Authentic Leadership’ argue that there is currently an ethical meltdown in leadership and cite major corporate failures such as Worldcom, Enron, and Arthur Andersen. The recent financial crisis and the current low level of trust in business leaders have inevitably bolstered their cause. 

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