Get started even though you might fail

Since I started in my new job 4 months ago I have initiated a number of new projects and ideas. While I have succeeded in many I have also failed at more than one.

That is why this recommendation from Dr.Travis Bradberry, “Get started even though you might fail” resonated with me.

As I am learning to understand the new environment I am working in, I have been testing what works and what doesn’t. I have hit a few doors and one or too muddy stretches. Each time I reminded myself that it was OK to slow down or change direction, as long as the overall goal was still in sight. That is the “step by step” application of what Dr. Bradberry recommends. The low-risk version one might say. 

What about the high risk? Changing job, employer and industry does qualify as the high risk version. I might fail. Fail at what? Adapting to the new culture, understanding the new business I am in, leveraging my competences to get the job done, effectively influencing the business for a better outcome. These are just a few of the dimensions I could fail upon… and it would take a lot of failures to fail altogether!

That is why I got started in the first place. How I did it? I sliced the beast. Or the elephant as project managers say. I defined the steps that lead to my goal. I cut it in digestible chunks. For me. And I started each small step, knowing I could fail, doing everything so I would succeed.

How do you get started on big goals? How do you get started over and over again on the small things of life?

Inspired by following article from Dr. Travis Bradberry


Getting unstuck

Once in a while I get stuck. In negative thoughts, in crazy “what-ifs”, in “it is not that bad anyway”.

By now I recognize the signals: I become irritable, impatient, dissatisfied or even just drained. When I consciously start recognizing these signals I must stop. Literally. I need to sit down and ask myself “What is bothering you? What is triggering this reaction in you?”.

And my first reaction is to think it is not that bad (!). But I know better. I insist and  force myself to stop and look in the mirror. I have done this many times, sometimes early, sometimes very late, and I have learned that a lot of positive momentum comes out of it. So I make myself look forward to the expected reward. And it usually comes along. 

How does it work? What is the secret to answering the “what is bothering you question?”

I learned to be honest with myself. And the most important word is not honest but myself. My real self. The one with weaknesses, fears, hopes and aspirations. The one who doesn’t want to get hurt and the one who wants to make a better world. I am compassionate and understanding with my own self. But also challenging and pushy. 

In doing so I actively listen to my real self, mitigate my fears and fuel my higher aspirations. 

And I get unstuck. I am amazed everytime it happens. It is like magic. It unleashes so much energy. I feel I could change the world.

How do you get unstuck? What is your secret recipe?

Learning Manifesto V1

This is the first written documentation of my thoughts on learning. A minimum viable product if you will. 
I welcome feedback, questions and ideas that will lead to a better “product” in the future. 

I believe the value of learning (relevance, timeliness, useability) will be largely influenced by systems enabling access to billions of micro learning elements (micro-learnons) with a negligible intrinsic value. The value of the resulting learning is conditioned by the accessibility, searchability and visibility within such a system and by how well the collated mass of micro-learnons effectively covers performance needs. 

Key to that mass is rapid simplified production, integration and curation of micro-learnons on an on-going basis. Ranking and usage tracking creates the necessary data for curation. 

Classroom trainings will remain flagship products: visible and memorable, creating strong emotional and social connections. They are highly needed to build the learning brand and take the pulse of the organisation.

So what comes next?

Carpe diem!

Carpe diem sounds so easy when you have a lifetime ahead of you. It must feel bitter or maybe pointless when you know how many days you have left to live.

What is the point of waking up and working in the garden? I might not be here next spring to enjoy the blooms.

How can I enjoy the chat about next summer’s vacation? I might not be there to see it. 

Why should I share and feel for my grand-daughter? I won’t see her grow up anyway. 

It is hard not to judge or be hurt by those thoughts when you are on the receiving end. They cut through me like the sharpest blade. Yet I understand. 

I can only barely imagine the emotional pain of knowing, and not really being sure, not wanting to accept or to give up without a good fight, that your life is likely to end very soon.

Life becomes a roller coaster of good and bad days, of pain and relief, of bitter and sweet, of hurting and being hurt, of anger and despair. 

How can I help? You cannot.

Guillotine statement that cuts the tie between the ones who live and the ones who don’t. 

Don’t ask. Just be there. Give. Take. Enjoy every happy moment, ignore the rest.

Carpe diem!

— Inspired by life and “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Coaching is so rewarding

I just finished a coaching call. One hour of fun, challenge, listening, giving, asking, engaging, contemplating, receiving… I received so much energy I am now bubbly talking to anyone willing to listen. I think I am addicted to coaching. 

Focusing on someone else’s objective or issues for 30, 45, 60 min and fully dedicating my energy to creating a safe yet challenging listening zone is exhilarating. Seeing a coachee leverage this environment and take their reflection to the next level is incredibly satisfying. 

Having had a drastic reduction in the coaching hours I can give, I appreciate the few opportunities even more. I focus my energy and at the same time I am more aware of what is happening.

Less is more. Literally. 

How do you stay truly engaged in your coaching practice? How do you manage the routine risk? What other pitfalls have you identified?

Learning inspiration

In my sunday night read I just came across this quote:

‘To succeed now, we have to continually refresh our stocks of knowledge by participating in relevant “flows” of knowledge – interactions that create knowledge or transfer it across individuals. These flows occurr in any social, fluid environment that allows forms and individuals to get better and faster by working with others.’

Hagel, Seely Brown and Davison (2010).

What flows of knowledge are you part of? Are you consciously becoming a member of such flows? How does it happen?

Aux larmes citoyens…

2016-07-15 14.39.59I wake up this morning, full of cheer. Second day of this summer’s karate camp. Eat breakfast, chat with my friends, go back to my room. Wham! Boum! Whack!
Attack in Nice, right after the firework celebrating our national day. Some crazy fou-furieux drove into the people with a truck. A truck!!! He drove into men, women, children, peacefully assembled to look in awe at a beautiful pyrotechnical masterpiece, the traditional firework on the bay.

I am stunned
My heart is filled
With anger and grief
I want to cry
My hands are trembling
My legs keep shaking
The panic is brief
I need to cry
I want to hit and kick and bite
In my head it feels so tight
Only pressure, no relief
My tears are dry

That’s how far I came today. And as I look for peace and love and sense in all this chaos, I wish all of them, all of you, all of us will find the inner strength and drive to move forward and build a better world, a safer world for us all.

I believe in humanity, stronger than ever.