thought for the day
thought for the day
Friday 22 September 2017
" Start with why. Let your why inspire your what and guide your how. "
Inspired by natural BEAUTY
Mon, 01 Apr 2013 03:54:00
 
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Here in New Zealand - the home country of my wife Veronica. It’s a welcome relief to get away from the Siberian conditions in the UK…also to have some precious space to reflect as I overlook native bush. My latest 3 thoughts…

  1. Commit to Daily Inspiration. There is no doubt about it being surrounded by the wonder of nature is awesome. This morning it was marvelling at a family of dolphins as we went fishing. Yesterday it was boogie boarding with my gorgeous kids. However, living in London does not lend itself to these gifts. Being away strengthens my resolve to finding inspiration in the everyday. Upon awakening ask yourself, “How can I be inspired today?” This type of inquiry means that inspiration will find you.
  2. Say Thank You. I know the principle that the more you appreciate the more there is to appreciate, however I also know that in my normal busy routine I forget. My life is so blessed there is no reason to not be in a permanent state of gratitude. When I hear stories of people who are really up against it…consider the family of the 47-year-old man killed by a shark off at beach near Auckland, the people of Cyprus suffering from financial negligence, or the 1 billion people living on $1 US per day…then we have so much to simply say thank you for. 
  3. The Power of Relationship. At the heart of my work is people engaging with people. Marketing guru Seth Godin calls it “A Connection Economy”. The Futures Company describes it as “The New Kinship Economy”. Whatever you want to call it investing in relationships is the most single important activity you make on a daily basis. On the whole we take others for granted. We make wrong assumptions. We have unexpressed expectations. The result…a lack of genuine connection. Spending time with my amazing family reminds me that at the end of the day what makes life so meaningful is loving those who love you.

Love to know your thoughts on inspiration, gratitude and relationship. 

Ben

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Lifelong Learning
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 09:19:25
 
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My daughter has just completed 11+ exams here in London. A nightmare time. Morally wrong to put young kids through such intensity judging their cognitive capability through Maths and English, however it’s the system. Got me really thinking about what’s most important in learning as Maths and English haven’t really made the difference in my own life!  Here’s some capabilities I think make a difference:

  • Connectivity - we live in a relationship economy, also described as a  kinship or connection economy. Everything happens through relationship and our ability to develop and sustain deep connections is a game changer.
  • Service - standard work is not going to cut it in the future. Research shows that ‘learners’ will have had 14 different jobs by the age of 38. We need a service mindset focused on how we can use our best talent and passion for what we love to add massive value.
  • Uncertainty - I coached a team recently with a new member who described his role as the “manager of uncertainty”. His schedule was full! The one guarantee in this world is that the amount of uncertainty will increase. The more comfortable we can get with the discomfort of the unknown, the more able we will be to flourish in this ever-changing world. 
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Are you in your life?
Mon, 18 Feb 2013 12:46:40
 
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It never ceases to amaze me how we can live our lives fast forward and miss what’s most important - now! Are you in your life, or is it passing you by? Check these 3 simple ideas to ensure that you are making the most of now:

  1. PAUSE. When I was a musician (violinist) what made one of the biggest differences to the quality of a piece was the quality of the pauses taken between notes. A great pause allowed everyone time to breathe and truly appreciate the magic of the music. Where are the pauses in your schedule? As a bare minimum take 5 minutes each day.
  2. ENERGY. Everything is energy. No energy, no life. Think about what energizes you? What drains you? On a personal note I get energy from being around cool people, inspiring ideas, doing work I love, playing with my kids, dating my wife. What zaps my energy is negative people, administration, rules and being over-extended.
  3. VISION. What do you want? What do you really want? Unless you create your own big picture others will try and paint it for you. Set aside some quiet time and write down the 10 things that you want to see, feel and hear in your life. My vision includes creativity, wisdom, courage, fun and freedom. This ensures that I live the life I want. 
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Top 13 for 2013
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 06:00:49
 
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Ok so it’s a new year and already everyone I have spoken with trying to catch their breath to keep up! Here’s my top 13 ways for making the most of this year:

  1. Reflect. The act of reflection provides the real substance of your life.
  2. Openness. Dare to be even more open than you could possibly imagine.
  3. Create. Let your creative talent out of the bag.
  4. Serve. Over-deliver on your promises.
  5. Empathy. Genuinely care about others.
  6. Energy. Do what energizes you. Stop what doesn’t. 
  7. Grow. Commit to growing 25% more than is comfortable.
  8. Enjoy. Have fun along the way.
  9. New. Welcome what’s different.
  10. Now. Be present to today. 
  11. Relax. Let go and watch what happens.
  12. Trust. Deepen your willingness and ability to trust.
  13. Celebrate. Recognise all the wins along the way. 

Wishing you a memorable 2013.

Ben

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Top 12 in 2012
Mon, 31 Dec 2012 05:33:46
 
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New years eve. The perfect time to look back on what made a real difference in the last year. Here are my top 12 learnings to take me in to 2013:

  1. Follow your courage. Do what unleashes your energy. 
  2. Focus, focus, focus. There are so many distractions - become relentless in what you commit to.
  3. Put relationships first. What is the most important thing in your life? The people in it.
  4. Deliver on your promises. Make sure your actions are consistent with your words.
  5. Enjoy the journey. If it’s not fun, don’t do it.
  6. Grow. Stretch yourself. Go beyond what you think is possible.
  7. Nourish yourself. Read cool stuff. Hang out with inspiring people. Play tennis. 
  8. Listen. Be still. Go inside. Listen to the whispers of your body, head, heart and soul.
  9. Exercise daily. 20 minutes before 7am is a winner.
  10. Travel. Experience new cultures, learn different perspectives, celebrate diversity.
  11. Give thanks. Be grateful. Appreciate your lot. Whatever it takes to genuinely value what is valuable. 
  12. Love your kids. They are simply so precious.
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Lead with Courage
Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:11:09
 
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Courage

Somewhere you know what is right for you. You have a calling. There are signs. You can feel it. You do know what is your truth. Yet, with all the invitations to follow our truth we ignore it, push it away, neglect it, deny it. At the end of the day it is fear that stops us from stepping into our greatness. And the solution is simple, but not easy - COURAGE. 

Every day I coach senior leaders to become more courageous. It could look like getting greater clarity about vision and a new level of possibility to entertain. It could be digging more deeply into defining success in order to stop chasing false idols. It could be having more honest conversations in order to clear the past and make way for a new future. Whatever the situation leading with more courage is usually the solution. 

The challenge with coaching others is that you have to take your own medicine! So I’m dedicating 2013 to stepping up my level of courage in my own life - as a parent, husband, friend, author, coach, consultant and business partner. I always take one overarching theme as the focus of my growth each year. I can feel the excitement and fear of leading with courage and I’ll keep you posted!

Would love to learn about your moments of courage that changed your life for the better.

Ben

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Coaching Leaders
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:35:43
 
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I’m currently immersed in designing my programme next week…Coaching Leaders. It’s a 3-day journey working with a group of brilliant coaches and professionals. Together we are going to raise our game to bring out the best in others. We will start by exploring the importance of understanding the context in which people lead. For instance I met a potential new client yesterday and the first hour was simply devoted to listening to his world of business, stakeholders, family and interests. As a consequence we learnt that we shared some similar family roots back in Poland over a 100 years ago! 

The next key theme will be looking at how to support leaders in defining their own identity - sometimes known as their leadership brand. This involves clarifying personal purpose, values, vision, strengths and most importantly what we’re like when we are simply being ourselves. We will then shift our focus onto others and how the secret to great leadership lies in the quality of relationships that we build. No relationship. No leadership. 

Our final day will cover the numerous challenges that leaders face and how to support them in taking the necessary steps to moving forward. We wrap-up by recognsing that the only way for leaders to progress is to become even more committed to their own growth. No growth. No progress. 

It’s a privilege to work with great leaders and an equal privilege to share my insight with others. 

Keep taking a lead in your life…

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Remember what's important
Fri, 05 Oct 2012 05:04:17
 
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Went to my son’s nursery this morning…sang songs…listened to “I’ve got news” by a collection of 3 year olds (headlines about conkers, a hamster and a stick!) and came away refreshed and refocused on what’s most important. 

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to forget what really matters. In our hyped up, speeded up and highly pressured world we get off track and get caught up in the weeds. As way of contrast to the nursery I started working with a newly forming team this week who are responsible for delivering one of the largest construction programmes in Europe. A fantastic challenge and naturally filled with complexity. I know that the key to success will be to remember what’s important every step of the way. We will be coming together next week as a team to start the journey of defining success for the programme, for the team, for individual relationships and for personal development. The most important bit though will be regular review so that everyone can remember what’s important. 

So what’s important for you in your work, life and relationships? Take 5 minutes this weekend to remember. 

Enjoy!

Ben

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Being Intentional
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:27:28
 
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All acts of creation start with intent. For instance the opportunity to welcome you to my new website is the result of setting an intention to clarify what I’m about and share it with the world. 

Most of our lives are the result of reacting to circumstance around us, rather than thinking about the intent that we want to have. As a consequence we waste considerable amounts of energy in a backward mode trying to catch up with ourselves. I was coaching someone the other day who literally described their reality as being behind on everything, always trying to catch up but never quite making it. This is exhausting and not fun.

Being intentional means pausing long enough to define how you want to be. For example, if you want to enjoy a creative live decide to be creative. If you want to inspire others choose to be inspired. If you want to have great relationships, commit to being a great friend. 

My intent with the website is to inform and inspire you. It’s a privilege to have this contact with you and my greatest wish is that you come away more energized, more open and more committed to being more of who you already are.

Enjoy! 

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Woody Allen
Thu, 13 Sep 2012 03:00:00
 
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Totally inspired watching Woody Allen’s documentary on a flight. He’s a genius. A few of the things that stood out. 

“I don’t know what I’m going to shoot because once I’ve written the script, and re-wrote it, it would then get stale.” Woody would show up for a shoot with no idea what he was supposed to be doing that day. Imagine living with that amount of spontaneity and desire to live an interesting life. 

“I spend an hour thinking about stuff. If it doesn’t go anywhere I just move on.” Consider that. An hour just thinking. Most people freak out at the idea of 5 minutes thinking. And then if it doesn’t go anywhere simply letting it go. Very cool.

“The achievement I’m going for is to try and make a great movie - which seems to have alluded me!” He had a relentless ambition for greatness. It inspired him. It drove him to become one of the most prolific film makers ever. One movie a year for the last 40!

“It’s the first time I came out of a movie whistling the photography.” So spoke a film critic who was so enraptured by Woody Allen’s ability to create beauty. 

What would you want people to say in a documentary about your life?

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Winning
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 02:57:00
 
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WinningWorking with a team focused on winning. Got me thinking about what does it take to win. So here are are 7 of my best ideas:

  1. Define winning. You’ve got to start with a clear definition of what winning looks like. 
  2. Have a clear sense of purpose. Without a strong ‘why’ the meaning of winning dries up and you run out of juice - fast. 
  3. Create shared values. Unless a team has common values they won’t win. Simple. People will behave in ways that alienate, cause friction and will break the team.
  4. Agree success measures. You’ve got to know the tangible things that equate to success. The truth is that without clear and aligned success measures a team will travel in different directions. 
  5. Be open & honest. The biggest derailer I see in teams is the ability to be transparent about thoughts and feelings. I know how hard this is but the accumulation of unexpressed feelings breaks teams apart. 
  6. Commit to personal growth. Unless each member of the team is committed to their own learning and development they won’t create an environment conducive to the necessary flexibility and energy to win.
  7. Enjoy the journey. Winning is a way of travelling, not a destination. Enjoy the ride.

Bottom line is that you can’t win unless you figure out what it will take. 

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Keeping Promises
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 02:58:20
 
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Coaching an inspirational guy who has large amounts of drive, focus and clarity – but what trips up his leadership is the ability to pause and reflect where he is on his journey. He passionately wants to engage his people. He is relentless in his commitment to deliver his commitments. He provides great opportunities for his team to grow and perform at their best. In his relentless pursuit of more he fails to recognise if he’s keeping his promises and if he needs to course correct.

When and where in your schedule do you make time to reflect on your promises and if you’re staying true to them? In fact the beauty of writing a blog is that it encourages you to clock what’s on your mind. It’s time to build reflection into your daily habits. Just 5 minutes a day – only a bit more time than brushing your teeth. Ask yourself, ‘Am I on track with my promises?’ ‘What do I need to do differently to course correct?’ Building this into your daily schedule will help you ensure that you are keeping your promises and reaping the rewards. 

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Be Purpose-led
Mon, 10 Sep 2012 02:57:00
 
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What is your purpose? this question used to send chills down my spine. It felt so big, so immeasurable and yet I knew that my purpose was central to living a fulfilled life. I then had the great fortune to run a leadership program called, “Leading with Purpose” for a FTSE 100 company. This forced me to look at my purpose in great depth. 

But how do you discover your purpose? There is a powerful exercise I use to help people get in touch with the essence of who they are. Known as a lifeline journey you go back and chart the major experiences, turning points from your life and reflect upon the impact that they’ve had on you. You then need to understand the conclusions that you made from each experience and how they influenced your values - what’s most important for you. The next step is to record all the peak moments from your life, in other words when you were at your best, in flow and loving your life. Take a look at these peak moments and see what key themes emerge and the linkages they have. This gives you a picture of your life and a sense about the key drivers behind it.

On a personal note my turning points had to do with events like education, family and career which were underpinned by my values of love, honesty and growth. My peak moments had to do with nature, sports and travel. These all symbolise things like freedom, enjoyment and adventure. Once you have this picture then reflect on questions like, ‘What do you love?’ 'Why do you do what you do?’ 'What is your joy?’ One way of recognising your purpose is that it’s to do with a sense of joy, freedom and fulfilment. 

I describe my purpose as, “Being the presence of truth.” Everything I have been about is devoted to the discovery of truth. My work is about enabling others to define their truth, whether it’s about leadership, success, happiness or relationships. As a parent my commitment is to nurturing my kids to find their truth. 

The search for purpose is a journey with no distance. Your purpose already exists within you. Your job is to turn your attention within and listen to the calling of your being. Listen carefully and your purpose will reveal itself to you. 

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No Complaints
Sat, 08 Sep 2012 12:14:43
 
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One of the most difficult challenges I ever received was the assignment to stop complaining. That’s right no complaints allowed. Just the thought of not being able to complain sent shivers down my spine. The man who posed me this challenge to me was Don Riso, one of the most influential developers of the Enneagram system – a profound study of personality typology. I was attending one of his intensive programs and he had the ability to see right through me as I was complaining about my life. He stopped me on my tracks and challenged me to actually consider how great my life was. Did I have a wonderful marriage and loving family? Yes. Did I do work I loved? Yes. Was I financially abundant? Yes. Did I enjoy good health? Yes. On and on he went. Then came the killer question: So why are you complaining? There was not a lot to say. I didn’t have a good answer. I recognised that it had become a habit and I need to stop.

Have you ever tried to stop complaining? For a while it felt like I had nothing to talk about. Complaining had become such a way of life. Over time it shifted and I started to have a much greater appreciation of life and a deeper acceptance of what is. Whenever I was tempted to complain I would catch myself and look at what was behind the complaint. Usually it was some form of concern which if I could address meant the complaint would dissolve.

I challenge you. For the next 24 hours don’t utter a single complaint. Notice the impact. Greater peace of mind. More serenity. Heightened enjoyment. Who knows you might even get used to it!

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In my first video blog, I talk about Energy - what truly energizes you ? where does your energy come from ?

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 01:57:52
 
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Coaching Leaders
Sat, 01 Sep 2012 05:00:00
 
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It’s lonely at the top. It’s an old adage, but true. My work coaching senior leaders has really shown me that if you’re in that position there are not a lot of people that you can really confide in. The coaching relationship becomes a sacred space where leaders can reveal what’s really on their minds and work out the way forward. From the perspective of the coach this is a true privilege. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone find out their own truth and taking the necessary steps to achieving it.

This is only one of the things I love about coaching leaders. Now for the first time, after many requests from people to share what I do, I’ve synthesised some of my key insight, tools and practical wisdom to support coaches, HR & Talent professionals, psychologists – in fact anyone committed to bringing out the best in others. It’s happening in a gem of a hotel, myhotel Chelsea, owned by one of my closest friends the visionary Andy Thrasyvoulou. Come and join us for a

life-changing 3-day intensive. Oct 31-Nov 2. BOOK HERE

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Coaching Success
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 05:00:00
 
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Great news. My dear friend Robert Holden is running is ground-breaking 5-day Certification Training in New York, Nov 14-18. I’ve had the privilege of being up close and personal with Robert for over 15 years. Helping start The Happiness Project back in 1994, and then launching Success Intelligence in 2000. Robert is simply a genius. His ideas are pure inspiration. His focus on the most important areas of work and life are magical. His work transforms lives.

I first read Authentic Success, which the training is based on, just before it came out. It was one of the very few times that I was so inspired by a book that I committed to doing one of the exercises in it. For the next year – yes 365 days I started the day by writing down the question, ‘What is success today?’ I had always been in search of success, but never figured it out. During the course of that year I developed an entirely new relationship with success. No longer was it an illusive goal in the future. It became a daily experience, which I could measure and enjoy. If there’s one event you attend this year – get to NY for Coaching Success.

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The Power of Intention
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 05:00:00
 
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This summer I was looking forward something to read that would energize and inspire me as well as challenge my thinking. I decided to digest The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer, the “father of motivation”. It’s a great book for getting you to really reflect upon where are you coming from in life. Wayne talks about how intention is generally viewed as a pit-bull kind of determination propelling one to succeed at all costs. However, he presents a very different view through his research, which shows that intention is a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place.

When we are consciously connect with this source we have a different experience of life. Rather than trying to make stuff happen, we become very clear about the real outcome that we want to manifest. For instance, as a parent what I really want with my kids is an experience of unconditional love, which forms the foundation for our relationship to grow. As a coach what I really want is to inspire my clients so that they can be more authentic, free and fulfilled. When I make the outcome I want my intention I reverse the normal process of seeking for something in the future. My intention inspires me reality in present time and therefore I can give more of myself and be more of myself now.

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At the forefront of Leadership and Executive Coaching

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 02:28:00
 
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<p>At the forefront of Leadership and Executive Coaching</p>

At the forefront of Leadership and Executive Coaching


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