Showing posts from November, 2014

Is loyalty a good thing?

Loyalty is an old-fashioned word. We think that our pets are loyal, but we no longer expect loyalty from our business partners and often we don't expect it from our friends either.

The Oxford English Dictionary thinks loyalty means this:
A strong feeling of support or allegiance
What do you think it means to be loyal to a person or company? To me, it means having someone's back, showing up when you know it's important and when it is reasonable for someone to make a claim on your time and effort. It's not a matter of keeping score, but it is a matter of action and presence.

I show my loyalty by making an effort to show up and pay attention. Presence (the kind that involves both body and mind) is the rarest of all gifts, the one that is not renewable. When we want someone to know that they mean something to us, we show up. That's loyalty.

It's a struggle. I struggle with it. How can I be present for people who are doing work I believe in or who live lives I want t…

What happens when the storm hits unexpectedly?

We had a storm in Toronto yesterday. Not a storm like they're having in Buffalo this week, but enough snow to turn a one hour commute into a four hour commute. We all expected a little light snow. What came was more than that, and many drivers hit a little ice and everyone else was suddenly trapped in a car that had nowhere to go.

That happens in life, too. Out of the blue, there's a storm.  And little girls all over the world are celebrating those storms because of one Disney princess.  She causes a storm by exploring the full nature of her power. I watch my 3 year old niece singing "Let it Go" and I know she gets it - there's energy and there is also joy in finding out what you can do.

It would be cool (pun intended) to follow Elsa's lead and sing "The cold never bothered me anyway." The cold is the price that comes with letting go and risking the consequences of finding your own power.

I'm running a conference on November 29 on the theme: Do…

What makes a great conference?

It is interesting to me that most of the NLP (neurolinguistic programming) conferences of which I am aware run exactly like other conferences: they put experts talking at the front of the room (usually with powerpoint) in unremarkable hotel rooms. This seems to me unfortunate. Why not use the practices and principles of NLP to create format that satisfies people's goals for attending a conference?

While it is certainly true that people go to conferences to learn new things, it is more true that most people go to conferences to learn while making new connections and planting seeds for further development and networking. Most NLP conferences do no better or no worse than other mainstream conferences in giving participants opportunities to meet those goals. People sit and listen, and then mingle and make small talk during breaks. Whether or not the speakers are good is not really the point. The point is that the framing doesn't really facilitate meeting the outcomes.

At NLP Canad…

What's killing your curiosity?

We've all heard that curiosity killed the cat. That's a problem because what we should all know is that many great thinkers (and achievers) attribute their success to their curiosity.

Curiosity is an amazing motivator. It allows us to explore the big picture and the fine details with great intensity and no sense of suffering. As long as we are following our curiosity, we are happy to work endlessly at a problem, to take a break just long enough for inspiration, and then to return for more exploration and experimentation.
Curiosity will not break you. It will be the making of you.
When I teach college classes, my heart breaks a little at how hard it is to awaken their curiosity. After years of being taught to sit still and listen, they have stopped being distracted by their own passion and curiosity. Instead of asking wildly tangential questions that might lead to innovation and understanding, they check out of the subject and into social media. That wouldn't be awful if th…