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How do we stay composed in the face of craziness with the agility required? Keeping your head while all around you might be losing theirs! Cool, calm & collected adds up to a quiet composed confidence that you will be able to navigate well all that is coming at you. This is simultaneously an Outer Journey and an Inner Journey of two parallel universes to master ... the outer universe of other people, systems and strategies ... and the inner universe of thoughts, feelings and identities. We must go on both journeys simultaneously, with each informing the other.
Imagine it's the middle of the night. It's freezing cold. There is horizontal snow driving in your face. We are hundreds of miles offshore, at sea, on an oil and gas drilling rig, and we're in the middle of a hefty operation running heavy equipment in the hole. That's where I started my career, as a Petroleum Engineer, working for Shell as a 21-year-old. I spent eighteen months on onshore, and six months on offshore drilling rigs. Week on, week off. Helicopter out, helicopter back. When you are on, you are on, 24/7. You sleep if and when you can. It was a great experience, the closest thing I ever got to a boot camp. I found out a lot about myself and those early experiences of agility and composure informed the rest of my career.
Building on my own experiences as an executive and CEO in the prior 20 years, for the last 20 years I have been coaching and facilitating agility in the C-Suite. On boards, with clients and in peer advisory groups of executives and CEOs. I ran 4 of my own groups with more than 300 members, facilitating more than 500 group meetings and 2000 one-to-one coaching sessions. I have spoken to more than 400 groups comprising 5000 members in 5 countries and was acknowledged as the thought leading agility expert for the global community of more than 25,000 small-to-medium-sized business members. I have worked with a full spectrum of boards and clients ranging from start-ups to global public companies across a diversity of businesses/industries. Yes, that's me and a group of CEOs visiting MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar, of Top-Gun fame, learning about Agile Composure from fighter pilots!
Few of us sit in the flying seat of a fighter jet, but we all sit in the driving seat, well most of us. I hold up a mirror of accountability for executives and CEOs in the driving seat of their businesses and lives. Yes, we have an eye level conversation, that you are simultaneously the solution and the problem! Look in the mirror! All transformation journeys start with the individual and so there is only one place to look. Especially for executives and CEOs. I know, because I have sat in your seat and have coached and facilitated so many executives and CEOs who have sat in your seat. It is a big seat to fill. They are big shoes to fill. Especially these days in an accelerating world of disruptive change.
Do you recognize yourself (if you are brutally honest)?
I found Positive Intelligence (PQ) and the leading edge work of Shirzad Chamine, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours.
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This Positive Intelligence (PQ) body of wisdom reveals 10 ways in which we sabotage ourselves disempowering our future and 5 ways we can tap into our sage powers to empower our future. Research based and providing insights at the intersection of so many overlapping bodies of work such as Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Mindfulness, Growth Mindset, Other Domains of Psychology, Other Domains of Neuroscience and more. Most of all I really like the practical application of these PQ insights integrated in the day to day flow of our reality, facilitated by a great smart phone App. While I know that many people use meditation to empower their deeper self, I always found that impractical as an executive and CEO and consequently never developed it as a personal practice with any meaningful impact. I have found PQ to be the exact opposite.
PQ has the potential to impact the negative vortex we can so easily find ourselves in, with our saboteurs feeding on themselves and holding us down. Instead, impacting the positive vortex with our sage powers feeding on themselves and lifting us up. I have always educated executives and CEOs that the fragile majority are easily stuck in a self-defeating, vicious cycle and downwards spiral (negative vortex) in which fragility begets fragility, as a leader, team and organization. By contrast, an agile minority of leaders, teams and organizations tap into a self-fulfilling, virtuous cycle and upwards spiral (positive vortex) in which agility begets agility. For the outer universe /journey and the inner universe/journey as a double helix spirals and vortices feeding on each other. PQ has the potential to impact both at the deep seated level of Agile Composure.
Your next positive vortex awaits you.