Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Who do we choose to be? - Day 20

Day 20 (Wednesday 20th December 2017)
20 metres is the minimum height of the Christmas tree erected every year since 1947 
in Trafalgar Square, London. The tradition commenced in 1947, when the Norwegians 
offered a Norway Spruce to the British as a token of gratitude for support in the Second World War. 
Each tree is 50-60 years old. The tree is cut in Norway in November, during a ceremony attended 
by the British Ambassador to NorwayMayor of Oslo, and Lord Mayor of Westminster.
The tree is lit on the 1st Thursday of December at a special ceremony with bands and a choir. 
It remains a focal point for carol singing and poetry until just before Twelfth Night when it is taken 
to be recycled into mulch. It is always lit with simple lights.

Please whisper... it was a good night last night, but I am a tad tired.

Today's inspirational post is written by Helen Green, the founding director of the specialist change consultancy Orient8 Consulting Limited. A former FTSE 250 Director, Helen decided to leave conventional corporate life and found her own firm in 2011. Helen is a psychologist by initial training (indeed she still works occasionally as an associate consultant for the occupational psychologists Rothwell Douglas). She is also a much-valued coach. Helen believes in kindness and does her bit to make the world a better place, for example she volunteers as a coach at the charity Save the Children and she is very supportive of those wishing to learn via social media. You can connect with her on Twitter (her handle  @orient8you). She writes an occasional, informative, business focused blog 
via her company website - here is the link


In 2017, I have continued to be inspired by the work of Dr. Margaret (Meg) Wheatley, both in person and via her brilliant writing. This is an extract from her bio:

“Margaret Wheatley writes, teaches and speaks about how we can use our power and influence and willingly step forward to serve this troubling time. As things grow darker and more difficult, she summons us to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil, by creating Islands of Sanity.”

This year, my Advent blog draws heavily on her words. At the end, I share my my own “so what?”

From Meg’s 2017 book, “Who do we choose to be? Facing reality, claiming leadership, restoring sanity”:

“We can no longer solve the global problems of this time at large-scale levels: poverty, economics, climate change, violence, dehumanisation. Even though the solutions have been available for a very long time, they require conditions to implement them that are not available: political courage, collaboration across national boundaries, compassion that supersedes self-interest and greed.
I realised years ago that large scale change was not possible. Leaders were grasping for control, over-reacting to crises rather than thinking systemically, treating people as ‘units’ rather than as humans.

I began to challenge every leader I met with these questions: Who do you choose to be for this time? Are you willing to use whatever power and influence you have to create islands of sanity that evoke and rely on our best human qualities to create, produce, and persevere?”

So what?

Well my conclusion has been to create my own Island of Sanity. Mostly that’s about choosing more mindfully who to spend my time with, both in and out of work. It’s also about choosing more mindfully how to spend my time when I’m alone.

In Meg’s book, she writes: “Teddy Roosevelt enjoined us: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

In my work, as a Change Consultant and Coach, I choose to “do what I can, with what I have, where I am.”

Inspired by Meg and her words, this is my take:
I can’t change the world, none of us can, but I can focus on serving others. I can offer insight and compassion. I can be present. I can stay and not flee. No matter what is going on around me, I can attend to the people in front of me and offer what I can.

It doesn’t sound very grand or ambitious, does it? It’s small. It’s do-able. And to me right now, it seems right.

Now I am asking you as a leader of your life, your family, your community, your people,


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