Tag Archives | feedback

Why “Follow Your Passions” Is Dangerous Advice

I learnt something this week which will stop me from ever encouraging anyone to ‘follow their passions.’ Oh- I’ve said it many times. But never again. It’s just too dangerous advice. Here’s why.

I know of several young adults finishing school who are deciding career paths, and university course choices. My advice to them: ‘Follow your passions.’ It’s the new age approach, right? Then I actually thought about it. It’s deeply flawed counsel. How on earth does a 17 year old have any clue what their passions are? I’m 54 and am only just getting some clarity on what these might be for me.

Sir Ken Robinson talks about ‘working in your element’: doing what you love and what you’re good at. It’s within that concept that the best advice to any younger talent lies. It’s not about passion. It’s about the other bit. Here it is:

Don’t Get Emotional When You Read This- If You Can

I received an email from a colleague last week. It was brutal. Blistering. Vitriolic even. Anger oozed out of it. Accusations abounded. My heart sank. Because I knew what would happen next. I knew the outcome. And it saddened me. Do you? Here it is.

I once worked with a very wise man, Paul Cocks. In fact, we’re still colleagues- just one step removed. I owe him much, and love him dearly. He was an important mentor to me a decade ago. His insight into people is what I remember most. And he quickly sized me up as a hot head- someone who would fire up quickly, get emotional, and attack.

His advice, which he gave me many times when he saw steam coming from my ears, was this:

How To Find Inspiration When You Need It

I have been looking for clues as to what genuinely inspires me. And I found it when a colleague did not like a suggestion I made. There it was. The answer. Right in front of me. Now- does this hold true for you? Is this a key to your inspiration?

“You must get closer to the client work,” I encouraged my colleague, who spends most of his time ‘managing’ business issues. He looked uneasy. Silent. “What’s up? Is there a problem with that?” I asked, perplexed. “Well,“ he replied hesitantly. “It’s just that…the client work thing… it’s kind of not what I do these days… I am just, well, not sure I am able to do it anymore.”

And there it was. The secret to inspiration. You see, it was clear what my colleague needed to do. It would absolutely revitalise and inspire the pants off him. Here it is. Hold true for you too? Sure does for me.

The Toilet Seat, Crossed Wires and A Secret To Leadership

Something happened in my toilet once that shocked me deeply, and taught me a valuable lesson about life, relationships, and leadership. How could I have been so blind? Beware though- this is an ‘adults only’ Possums episode, with unsavory photographs. Read on at your own risk. My promise- the reward is profound.

“Put the toilet seat down!!!!” she screamed at me for the 20th time that week, and third time that day. I was livid. “You must be in La La land you crazy person- I HAVE and DO put it down and you have quite simply gone mad.” “ME? ME??? You’re the lazy, inconsiderate, uncouth animal who does not have even the most basic manners or respect to do the right thing. It’s disgraceful. I have had ENOUGHHHHHHH!!!!”

And so had I. “Ok- look here and watch this,” I snarled, standing over the seat. “Let me demonstrate, once and for all.” I did, and then suddenly realized the massive mistake I had been making. It’s a lesson in life and leadership worth knowing- and here it is.

A Very Weird Story on How To Be Your Own Very Best Coach

I am worried. This post might be just too weird, and I will see “Unsubscribe’ emails dotting my screen. I’ll take the risk, and share this one simple idea that has been at the core to my resilience in my career, and my life. I use it every day. But be warned- it’s a bit weird. Here it is.

One of my greatest fears is reaching the end of my career, at a timing not of my choosing, and knowing I could have achieved more – that I had not encouraged and backed myself to realize my full potential. Actually, I fear this about my life – will I push myself to be the best I can be: as a father, son, husband, brother, uncle, in law, cousin, friend, boss, colleague, neighbor…. The list is long.

I fear it because I know I am weak and flawed, and live on the edge of a darkness that I can easily slip into… not an evil darkness, just a place of slovenliness and lost opportunity. I saw ‘The Lorax’ movie yesterday: “A tree falls the way it leans. Watch out which way you lean.” I keep leaning the right way in my life, just, and growing and contributing positively, through following three critical steps, every day. But one is really weird. Here they are.

Eat this and you will be a true champion

In Andre Agassi’s fridge lies the answer to the type of diet we need to feast on if we want to be the best we can be. I find it hard to swallow. Do you?

A friend once asked the guy next to him on a plane what he did for a living.
“I’m one of tennis player Andre Agassi’s three backhand coaches,” the man replied.

WOW! Three backhand coaches! Agassi was clearly a guy who feasted on feedback. And they say feedback is the food of champions. The lesson is clear. We need to become feedback gluttons if we are to reach our full potential. Just as Agassi did, over many years. And here’s a simple and proven way to do it.