Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 15.32.28

I learned about Leading from….THAT song!

As many of you know I love cooking and I love music, so when I get the chance to be in our kitchen, put the songs on a playlist and cook a meal for the family I am really happy and just in my element.  I am ME!

One night last week, on one such occasions, some of the songs from The Greatest Showman came on and, with one of the songs, probably for the first time (even though I’ve heard the song hundreds of times) I was drawn to the lyrics.

For those of you who don’t know the story, the film is about a man who I guess had an inferiority complex from early life and went out to constantly prove he was worthy and could achieve anything anyone else could.  As he progressed up the food chain he mixed in different circles and enjoyed the luxuries that come with such success.  All seemed wonderful…and then, as you might expect, everything came crashing down around him.  What he then found was that many of his new “friends” disappeared and it was the old ones and his family that he’d dismissed or largely forgotten about who helped to pick him up and put him back on his feet.

The song lyrics go:-

I saw the sun begin to dim
And felt that winter wind
Blow cold
A man learns who is there for him
When the glitter fades and the walls won’t hold
‘Cause from then, rubble
One remains
Can only be what’s true
If all was lost
Is more I gain
‘Cause it led me back
To you

From now on
These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
Tonight
Let this promise in me start
Like an anthem in my heart
From now on
From now on

I drank champagne with kings and queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

And from now on…etc…etc.

In life it is so easy to get trapped on a treadmill, aiming to get higher and higher to obtain greater status, more influence, bigger teams, larger budgets and more power.  Many of us (and I include myself here) look around us and see what everyone else is doing and think that’s the way we should behave and so follow suit.  There are also those talent and development discussions that focus us on what our next career goals and aspirations should be.  Back then I found myself travelling more and more, was away on business for about 4 nights a week and was shattered and irritable when then around my family.

Thankfully, one day, I was shaken back to “what’s this all for?” when my then 9 year old son (now 20) asked me a simple question and so began a journey to finally do what I wanted to do….the start of really being myself.

So what’s the point of this blog?  My own experience and that of many of those whom I work with is that often we find ourselves doing the things we think others expect of us.  Sometimes that’s because everyone else is doing it, it’s the “norm”, and sometimes it’s because a boss has suggested it to us.  My challenge today is for us all to stop and think about our goals and aspirations and ask yourself if you are being truly authentic; Is this me?  What am I really doing this for?  When we are fully ourselves, fully authentic, then life becomes really fun and somehow effortless.  There is a freedom and energy about it that is magical.  There’s nothing wrong with climbing such ladders, as long as we are not sacrificing ourselves for it.

This week, why not spend a few minutes to consider “am I chasing someone else’s dream?” and “am I clear what this is all for?”

We’d be happy to pick up this conversation with you…just give me a call.  Authenticity is one of THE 4 pillars of LEADership (Listening, Energy, Authenticity, Direction)…the impact on self and others when being authentic is simply magical.

Am I chasing someone else's dream?

Am I chasing someone else’s dream?

I drank champagne with Kings and Queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

 

After all, iTS Leadership!

Warmly

Antony

deadline

I learned about Leading from – the challenge of this busy week

This week I have carved out the opportunity to do two pre-work weight circuits before I start work and have been fascinated by the feelings and then the inner-talk that goes on.  You see, it’s been a very busy week with some really tight deadlines on some big pieces of work, that have required focus and creativity from many of the team and particularly, this week, me too.

I know instinctively that physical health is super important for us in the long run, way beyond our working life, and I also know from experience that when I am physically in shape, then my work performance (as well as every walk of my life) is so much better than when not.  And yet, on a week like this week, why oh why can I feel so guilty at spending 60-90 minutes focused on my physical health just because I have a mountain of work to do?

This is the kind of narrative that goes on inside my head:-

  • You’ve got so much work to do you know, have you got time for this?
  • But I’ll do it better if I have done a workout.  I’ll feel better and clearer about everything.
  • Yes but with the shower after etc that’s and extra 2 hours you could spend on work, have you got the time?
  • But in the long run this is more important than work
  • But if you upset the clients and are late on delivery they won’t work with you anymore
  • Yes but the work quality will be better if I am physically fit
  • Etc. etc.

Sometimes I am there, half way through my session feeling guilty at the time it is taking.  In reality this is also at a time when, if I wasn’t doing it, i  would still be in bed!  Crazy!  ..and as one person once said “we are not the voice inside our heads….we are the ones listening to it!”

Listen.  Our physical and mental health are THE MOST IMPORTANT things for us all to have a happy and successful life and to have the most profound impact on those we love and care about.  They should come first for all of us, be prioritised in our schedules and not “squeezed in’ and around our “busyness”.  The crazy thing is, it is at the times when we usually postpone and cancel these things that we need them the most!  We feel they are “luxuries” when the truth is they are the foundations.  But I’m a realist and as you can see this is not always how I do it either.  (My mum always used to say “don’t do as I do, do as I say!” – I’ll follow suit!)

This week, this busy week, one of my team sent me a note part way through the day to say “I’m off to the gym to clear my head before I tackle the next one”.  This seriously delighted me.  I smiled.  I beamed.  …and I also thought…how courageous would I have been to do this in my corporate life?  Even though I know it is probably the very best way to get the best results?

So…..September…all the kids now back to school and the bigger kids are soon to go back to University as another academic year begins.  People are challenged at what they want to achieve and are reminded of the big goals at the end of the year (10+, 11+, GCSE, A levels, Degree etc etc).  I want to challenge you…

  • What do YOU want to achieve in this next “term” with your physical and mental well-being?
  • How are you going to prioritise these?
  • What are your “golf balls” that are going into your jug first? (watch this:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqGRnlXplx0)
  • What are you prepared to sacrifice and what’s the impact of that?

Myself and the iTS Leadership team are here to support you.  We love helping people become the happiest and most successful that they’ve ever been, having more fun being themselves than ever before.  Put your mental and physical well-being first and EVERYONE around you will benefit.

After all, iTS Leadership

Have a great weekend

Antony