The quality of the question shapes both the dialogue and the nature of its outcome

Arrrgh great…Britain de-cides to divide.

A binary question begat debate and delivers a divisive decision. I am feeling exited by a binary result*

How united or great does the kingdom o’Britain look this evening?

And as we enter a disrupted status quo and step into the reality of our new found uncertainty, the outgoing captain declares a time for “fresh leadership”.

By dint of geography we are Europeans, our relationships and our investment in them will determine our lived reality. Jo Cox MP, assassinated last week for her stance, said “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”

What fresh leadership, what partnership now?

Independent or Interdependent, what is the potential need we to focus on now?

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching simply as
“Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process, (a relationship) designed to inspire and maximize their personal and professional potential”.

As coaches what is our purpose, our role, our leadership possibility now?

Discover Who you are; Connect that to Why you are; Do What is most important.

Discover WHO you are;

Connect to WHY you are;

Do WHAT is most important.

What Lao Tzu tells leaders is essentially this:

Discover who you are.
Learn to sense the world around you directly, and contemplate your impressions
Do not rely on ideologies, because to do so will rob your life of meaning and make you unfit to lead.
Cultivate and trust your intuition, because a leader who is not intuitive cannot predict change.
Build up your personal power (Te) though your awareness and knowledge of the
physical laws as they operate both in the universe and in the minds of others
(Tao) – then use that power to direct events, without resorting to force.

How is this done?

Use attitude instead of action, and lead others by guiding rather than ruling.

Manage people by letting them act on you, and not the other way around. In this way, your subjects will develop a sense of self-government, and you, as their guide, will be rewarded with their loyalty and cooperation.

Learn to achieve your ends meaningfully, yet without means.
Do this by cultivating a strong vision of the way things most naturally resolve themselves.

Practice simplicity.

Continue to grow.

The Tao Challenge for Leadership Today

The Tao Challenge for Leadership Todayy

Lao Tzu’s classic work challenges us to influence others though our example, using nature as our pattern – balancing the extremes in the world instead of causing them.

Lao Tzu believed that the ideal way to direct events was to use methods that do not create resistance or elicit counter-reactions. In observing the laws of nature, he realised that excessive force in a particular direction tends to trigger the growth of an opposing force, and that therefore the use of force cannot be the basis for establishing a strong and lasting social foundation.

It remains essential for leaders to always observe of the laws of nature – in short, to develop a sophisticated understanding of the ways that matter and energy function in the universe. He called this Tao. He realised that the physical laws of the universe directly affect the ways that individuals behave and societies evolve, and that to comprehend these laws could give a leader the power (Te) to bring harmony to the world.

The Tao Te Ching is a challenge. It challenges us to see the world as it actually is by accepting the stark truth of the interdependent physical laws that control existence and evolution. It challenges us to discover intellectual independence – a mindful state in which we have complete trust in our own perceptions of the world and can rely fully on the appropriateness of our own inspirations and instincts.

It challenges us to find the courage to reject force, and instead, to influence
others though our example, using nature as our pattern – balancing the extremes in the world instead of causing them. This final challenge is perhaps more vital today than ever before, both for ourselves and for our leaden.

Lao Tzu put it this way:

Evolved Individuals hold to the Tao,
And regard the world as their Pattern.

They do not display themselves;
Therefore they are illuminated”

They do not define themselves;
Therefore they are distinguished.

They do not make claims;
Therefore they are credited.

They do not boast;
Therefore they advance.

Have you connected to your Te today?

Renew your “Why” this Easter season

Renew your “Why” this Easter season

The essence of the Easter message, indeed the Easter season is that of Renewal.View Post

Here in the UK, we are seeing lambs skipping in the meadows and wildflowers emerging in green hedgerows – colourful, vibrant, new life. It’s a good time to be bringing all the experiences and learning of the past year, out of the darkness of winter, forward in to the new spring of life.

What I heard from the vicar in the local church where we are resting in Cornwall this week was

New Day; New Life; New World

A lot of life has gone before us, and there is a lot ahead. If choose to take the time, then please read the perspective piece below then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what your leadership is really about this Easter.

If not you who?
If not now, when?

The history of the Earth
“Planet Earth is 4600 million years old. If we condense this inconceivable time-span into an understandable concept, we can liken the Earth to a person of 46 years of age. Nothing is known about the first seven years of this person’s life, and whilst only scattered information exists about the middle span, we know that only at the age of 42 did the Earth begin to flower. Dinosaurs and the great reptiles did not appear until one year ago, when the planet was 45. Mammals arrived only 8 months ago; in the middle of last week man-like apes evolved into ape-like men, and at the weekend the last ice age enveloped the Earth. Modern Man has been around for four hours. During the last hour, Man discovered agriculture. The industrial revolution began a minute ago. During those 60 seconds of biological time, Modern Man has made a rubbish pit of paradise. He has multiplied his numbers to plague proportions, caused the extinction of 500 species of animals, ransacked the planet for fuels and now stands like a brutish infant, gloating over his meteoric rise to ascendancy…”


What is your burning Why and How will you do What about it?


Perhaps the simplicity of “happiness” comes from an appreciation and acceptance of the complexity that accompanies it?


Ubuntu – You are therefore I am

Ubuntu – You are therefore I am

The core of ubuntu can best be summarized as follows:

“A person is a person through other people strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance”

Michael Onyebuchi Eze – Intellectual History in Contemporary South Africa