How do you think about your "work"?
What mindset helps you navigate the complexity of life?
It doesn't really matter what you regard as "work" - so long as you're clear about it & it serves you well. That's right, isn't it.
Wish me well in Chicago.
It may be all "work" - but it'll be fun too. I'm "too" excited about the prospect. Also dying to
compose blogposts for you from a coffee house Chicago or from the Skydeck of Willis Tower.
Why I'm going to Chicago... Read More
Business books can make a difference to your career. Books do change lives...
These days I never read books - I consume them. I read a bit. I highlight chunks of text. Write notes in the margins with pens, pencils - anything that lets me leave my mark on the pages. I love physical engagement with a book. It's as if I try to convert the book into my notebook - using the ideas of the author as a prop.
By the time I've finished with a book - I can't hand it on to anyone else. I've personalised it so much, people would be reading me rather than the book. I even bookmark pages by turning down corners, sticking post-it notes & apple pips inside. I seldom read a whole book.
This is so different from the way I was brought up...
For me books are tools to be used. They are things I bend to my purpose. They serve me well.
It wasn't always so. Read More
I was in the Barn, a local restaurant the other night talking about the Irish Open (that's golf).
In the room were a crowd of people from the Mercy Hospital - that's a big old hospital in Cork. They were going on about the golf.
I could hear them chatting about the weather & how that would affect the players. Birdies, eagles & albatrosses were mentioned.
"Are you all twitchers?" I wondered.
(In case you've never sucked an egg from a bird's nest, twitchers are bird watchers - and I haven't met any since I came back to Ireland.)
"Indeed, we are not, twitchers, or whatever you call them. We're fundraising for the Mercy."
"So what's with the birdies?"
"For every birdie Rory McIlroy shoots - we'll get money for the hospital." Read More
We all like to be understood. We all strive to express ourselves & be understood. The weird minority view is "I like to be misunderstood."
I confess I'm the kind of guy who welcomes misunderstandings. I wasn't always like that (I suppose) but experience has learnt me a few lessons. Like the one I learned while I was running a training course for The National Trust in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
Years ago, my job was to train people on how to manage employees well. I ran a 3-day course called "Performance Management". The eight people on the course included four directors - everyone on the course was very senior & very preoccupied with big issues. After 90 minutes on day one, we took a coffee break (some went off to phone offices, others to chat, others to grab fresh air.)
One director took me aside, discretely & politely. "You know Paul you've sworn 4 times in the first hour." Read More
I was in my favourite coffee place in the whole world (it's tiny Filter in Cork) reading about the takeover battle between Pfizer & AstraZeneca.
Beside me - minding her own business - was a woman in a suit. She looked as if she'd come from the South Mall or even IFSC Ireland in Dublin.
You know the way coffee lovers get chatting...
One thing led to another & she asked me what I did for a living?
"You're mad. Don't tell me that's what you do? You can't be serious..."
She looked both shocked and a bit outraged.
"You can't do that. I've never heard of anyone doing that." Read More