Back Blogging after ‘work sabbatical’

October 3, 2010

Back to the blogosphere ! (after 6 months away focused on day job).

Moving forward, will probably concentrate blogging efforts over on new mobile blog, Aim Over Speed (AoS)  vs  Viral Leadership TV.

‘Aim Over Speed’  is hosted on Tumblr ‘micro-blogging platform.

Tumblr has great BB and Android mobile clients and is simplicity itself to use. It is therefore  amenable to quick and perhaps more spontaneous posts compatible with time and opportunity I have to blog right now.

I have found my current WordPress blogs, esp chosen approach for VLTV with interspersed slides and Vimeo video, too production-intensive.

Hope you will continue to follow my hopefully more regular leadership rants (which will continue to use video )over on AoS. See you there.


Viral Leadership TV Episode 5 – Beyond Work-Life Balance (Easter Reflections)

April 5, 2010

This is Episode 5 of Viral Leadership TV or VLTV for short – the video blog which aims to catalyse conversation about leadership.

I recorded this episode on Easter Monday. I was sitting at the table in the kitchen, looking out into the green of the garden and unconsciously basking in the possibility afforded by the the arrival, at last, of spring here in Cheshire.

It sure has been a long hard winter. At work, I realised that I have been going at it pretty much full tilt since the New Year. I really needed these precious few Easter days off. It got me reflecting on work-life balance. But can a balance really be achieved here? Or is there a more insightful way of framing this as per the thoughts in David Whyte’s book “The Three Marriages” ? Look/listen in the video blog post below to find out more….

Notes for Episode 5

  • Here is my summary take on bringing the three marriages together and suggesting at the outlier dysfunctional situations when you don’t do this. This is as per the last slide from the gallery I put together for this blog post….


Slides from Linchpin episode on Viral Leadership TV (VLTV)

April 3, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope folks are having a good Easter break. Noticed the new WordPress slideshow functionality, and thought I would test this out to showcase slides from the latest Viral Leadership TV (VLTV) episode covering Seth Godin’s book Linchpin.

Viral Leadership TV Episode 4 – Book review of Seth Godin’s Linchpin

March 29, 2010

This is Episode 4 of Viral Leadership TV or VLTV for short – the video blog which aims to catalyse conversation about leadership. Bit of a time gap since last episode, so sorry about that ;).

The episode is given over to a review of Linchpin, the latest book from celebrity blogger Seth Godin, and a book which is uncannily timely given the way the world of work is unfolding.

It was Seth who previously gave us the classics Permission Marketing and Purple Cow, but this time the book is much more personal – focused on the need for people to be remarkable (linchpins vs cogs) and not on remarkable products or services. Godin is the doyen of sticky concepts and this book is deliciously chock full of them.   Hope you enjoy the review..

Notes for Episode 4

  • In the video, I mentioned that Seth’s book is peppered with great illustrations by Hugh McLeod – the Venn diagrams in particular are cool. Check out Hugh’s stuff over at The Gaping Void.
  • One other interesting point I missed out in the video is that Seth believes that linchpins also invariably have Pranja – the ruthless ability to see things as they are versus how you would hope or wish them to be…

  • For those who like lists, here are seven things Seth says can make you a linchpin…

  • Finally, see my summary of ‘selected Sethisms’ below…


Viral Leadership TV Episode 3 – starting a new team

March 8, 2010

This is Episode 3 of Viral Leadership TV or VLTV for short – the video blog which aims to catalyse conversation about leadership.

Although I had planned to review a couple of books in this episode, in fact I decided in the end to talk about starting up a new team as leader. This is something which one periodically has the (very privileged) opportunity to do at work and which I am in the midst of at the moment – so currently ‘front of mind’.

In any endeavour, it is well known that making a great start really tips the balance in favour of eventual success. And in my experience this is true in spades for large projects!

Architecting a good team ‘kick-off’ event where you can share hopes and dreams and contract how you are going to work together helps even more. I have found this can accelerate you on a more rapid trajectory to becoming a high performing team by as much as 6 months. Of course, this  assumes that following the kick-off, you continue with your team in making the right leadership interventions which support/re-inforce the agreements made at start-up!

I believe that if you agenda your team start-up meeting around 4 key questions, then this can really get the climate and conversations at for the event into a really fruitful space. I will discuss these questions in the episode….

Notes for Episode 3

  1. I’d like to express my thanks to fellow leadership bloggers Dan Rockwell, Will Lukang, Katy Tynan and Allen Roberts for encouraging comments opposite a ‘newbies’ first faltering efforts in their field. Old mates, Will Sudworth and Eric Thompson have also helped with thoughtful input.


Viral Leadership TV Episode 2 – Real Success

February 21, 2010

A very warm welcome back to viewers of Viral Leadership TV or VLTV for short – the video blog which aims to catalyse conversation about leadership.

A big thank you all for the feedback and comments on Episode 1 – this has allowed me to sort out a few things this 2nd time around straight off the bat, like the audio levelling for instance. I have also gone for a ‘one take’ concept, in terms of the spoken piece which hopefully should flow better.

This 2nd  episode has taken a bit longer than anticipated to get around to as it’s been simply mad at ‘the day job’ these past few weeks.

Since it’s coming to the end of the 2010 target setting season, at least in my organisation, I thought I would say a few words about what I’d call ‘real success’.

Notes for Episode 2

  1. The book ‘Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done”, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, is certainly one that has had a huge influence on how I have gone about things this last few years. I commend buying and reading this to those aspiring leaders who haven’t already. A decent summary is here if you want to cut to the chase!
  2. Made a bit of a ‘boo-boo’ towards end of the video where I contrasted the consistent real success of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United over the years, with those who tried to ‘buy their way’ to success and cited again Man U as team who had done this. Of course meant to say MANCHESTER CITY – currently backed by the deep pockets / trillion-dollar wealth of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from Abu Dahbi.


Real Success – next episode taster

February 10, 2010

Great post over on strategyaudit’s blog essentially on sustainability of targets.

He is truly ‘right on’ with this. I read Thomas Freidman’s new book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded”  over the New Year break and he makes the same points very well around business and individual performance targets which have a sustainability aspect to them vs. IBGYBG.

Fred Kofman in “Conscious Business” also talks about “success beyond success”.

Metrics / target-setting as a driver of inappropriate short-term behaviour is an important area of leadership and I intend to discuss this topic of what  ‘Real Success’ looks in the next episode of VLTV.


Viral leadership TV Episode 1 – famous for five minutes…

February 9, 2010

Update: uneven audio volume now sorted – I know this has been a problem. Sorry folks – iMovie ’09 newbie…

A very warm welcome to viewers of Viral Leadership TV or VLTV for short – the video blog which aims to catalyse conversation about leadership.

This first episode is the launch of this blog and in it I talk about 3 things:

  1. In this 2nd decade of the 21st century, what does this thing called leadership look like to me?
  2. What is my personal driver in putting this video blog out there?
  3. If you stick around for future episodes, what are some of the leadership ideas you going to be seeing and hearing me conversing about?

Back in the 1960’s, Andy Warhol was quoted as saying that “everyone was entitled to be famous for fifteen minutes”. In today’s attention-deficit age, you are probably down to 5 mins max, which is why the VLTV episodes will feature me speaking for said time 🙂

Notes for Episode 1

  1. Intro animation by Chazodude (Charlie), my young apprentice. Great work that boy. Still waiting to agree remuneration for this effort with his Dad though 😉
  2. For the curious, the intro music is “You Have a Special Purpose in Life” by Steve Jablonsky. Highly apt I thought. This is the soundtrack from the 2005 film “The Island” – another song from this movie “My Name is Lincoln” was used by James Cameron more recently in Avatar.
  3. Closing music is Runrig – “Hearts of Olden Glory” from the album “The Cutter and the Clan”. To a Scot, Runrig music is very evocative stuff – the sort of stuff which in the past got you running across the heather madly waving your wee pointy sword towards the English cannon ranged up against you on the other side of the battlefield!
  4. Karl Wallenda died at age 73 and not 83 as I erroneously mention in the video!
  5. Ricky’s ’10S framework’ has never in fact been published (those moved to do so are welcome to nick the idea). However, I did use the slide one time with one of my teams in a presentation during a Pecha Kucha Night we ran for a bit of a laugh.
  6. The picture in the closing credits is me looking out to sea from the Applecross penninsula in the North West of Scotland out to the Hebredian Islands of Raasay, Rona and Skye – shot quite near these cottages