Thursday, July 31, 2014

Leaders with a Different Opinion

This week has been extremely busy and I'm sure airlines are happy to have me as a customer. I've been in London, Madrid, Paris and Milan. Spoken with lots of people, ranging from CEOs to SVPs to CTOs of medium sized as well as Fortune 500 companies. I've learned and got inspired in each and every meeting, but there's one that I found particularly interesting.
I've met a brilliant leader, working for an extremely large and fast growing organization (yes, that possible) who started his pitch telling me why they are different. That's an effective way of grabbing the attention and being remembered.
We're surrounded by noise and need some tips to understand what are the things that matter most. Additionally, the conversation wasn't one way, but instead a lively exchange of opinions on why our companies can make even a greater difference together.

Sometimes leaders have a vision and are very enthusiastic of what they do. So much so that they take for granted that people understand and share that vision. Taking the time to explain why something is different makes a big difference (pun intended).

Saturday, February 8, 2014

On Transparency

It's been a while since the last post in my communication-related blog. I've changed job at the beginning of last year and the journey so far has been fast-paced and fantastic and that's my official excuse. I'm lucky enough, however, to draw inspiration from what I do for a living. I've just been through a great week as we've had our kick-off with the executive team and the rest of the organization. This prompted me to reflect on transparency.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, transparency is: "a situation in which business and financial activities are done in an open way without secrets, so that people can trust that they are fair and honest"

This is what I've seen in this company. Executives speaking openly, clarifying the reasons for their choices and making the entire team part of the decision process. I've seen issues being addressed and fixed frankly. I've seen entire groups rejoicing together of great results as they feel part of this.

Transparency wins. It secures hearts and minds. It conquers individuals, teams and companies. Ultimately, it'll be the key to succeed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius


Some noteworthy quotes: 

  •  “‘Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” — Elizabeth Gilbert 
  • “I have had work or ideas come through me from a source that I honestly cannot identify. What is that thing? And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds, but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?” — Elizabeth Gilbert 
  • “Maybe [artistry] doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished … it starts to change everything.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Never Give Up on Your Principles for Short Term Results

These days have been very challenging. A dear friend of mine was at the hospital in tough conditions and, by sitting next to him, I've learned a lesson that I'll bring with me for all my life.

Never give up on your principles for short term advantages
Don't worry, I won't start a philosophical discussion, but rather keep it very practical.We live in a world that's narrowly focused on immediate results and the principles we choose in our life are sometimes difficult to live by.
21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1
We may be tempted to cosmetize facts to please our boss. We clearly see the short term benefits, but what's the end result? Lost trust can't be considered good, even if accompanied by a bit more money in our pocket. We may use edulcorated words to discuss a recent event and again, an immediate advantages are waiting at the door. However, what happens when the truth is presented by others? The recipients may be confused and draw their conclusions about us.

What do you prefer from others? What do you expect from your best friend? What would you expect from your favorite brand?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Applying Clarke's Law to the Present Age (a Quick Tip to Foster Innovation)

Arthur C. Clarke
Cover of Arthur C. Clarke
The British writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three laws of prediction and, undoubtedly, these can be easily transformed to tips and tricks to foster innovation, but let's start with the rules:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. 
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. 
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I pretty much like all the laws, but I'm amazed by the 1st of them. Funny at first sight, if you scratch the surface there's something enlightening. I won't argue that youngsters are smarter than adults, that's not always the case and it would be an over-generalization.  The problem is that, once your mind gets used to see things in a certain way, changing that habit becomes difficult. In other words, if you think as you've always done, you can interpret the old days and read your present with confidence, but see the future as a reflection of past times.

I'm not sure if I can change how neurotransmission works in my brain, but I'll not raise a red flag every time my experience tells me that something is impossible. I'll also try to change the lens I see the world trough and consider thoroughly all the options before making any conclusion. Time travel anyone? ;)

Disclaimer: I've drawn the inspiration to write this post from Daniel Gilbert's "Stumbling on Happiness". If you want to read an well-written book on how the human mind works and how we tend to predict and like our future, that's a great starting point.
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