Being intentional about how you show up…

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Posture is practiced. Very few things in life come to us “naturally”. So much of what we call “instinctive” is first learned by exposure, repetition and cemented by success. Success meaning that it works in a given context or produces the desired outcomes.

Maybe what we usually mean by “natural” is that our capabilities are suited or attuned to a particular thing — we find that we are able to do them with seemingly less demand or exertion. …


Why it no longer makes sense to separate work and life

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The compartments we use in our lives are sometimes helpful. They help us to differentiate, to identify, and where necessary, separate. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that the compartments are our own creation, designed for the sole purpose of aiding our perception of the world around us. There are never intended to be reality or an alternative to it.

One such compartment we have created has led to the dichotomy between work and what we loosely call ‘life’. The distinction was helpful in categorising what we did, how we acted, the people we associated with depending…


We’re sprinting in a marathon and wondering why we’re burning out

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For a generation that is addicted to “results” and the visible trappings of success, addicted to hacks and shortcuts, we struggle with the patience required for dealing with complex, intractable problems. This is mostly evident in our time scales for seeing desired outcomes.

We want a 21-day diet to reverse 21 years of genetics, diet and (lack of) exercise. It used to take years, decades even, to build a business; these days with growth hacking and other esoterica, we have people chasing the next unicorn. It has become hard to read 300-page books, so we settle for 10-minute audio summaries…


Our quest for silver bullets…

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Risk is a universal presence; there are very situations in which there is no measure of uncertainty, however slight. Oddly, as humans, a lot of us live oblivious to it. In our bid to simplify our worldview, we tend to prefer the more linear, cause-and-effect understanding of how the world works. This is perhaps one of our greatest weaknesses. And this is regardless of how smart, educated or sophisticated we are.

There are a few places where this weakness shows up stronger than in the world of business and specifically, strategy. On our path to business conquest, we constantly seek…


The currency of the social universe

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It is one of those tricky subjects because there seems to be a deluge of opinions out there. A few random lines from me is by no means the final word on the subject.

Of all the things that have been said by my betters on the subject, I think the bit I’ve heard the least about is that empathy is costly, even for the best of us. This is because it demands that we momentarily cede our claims to being the centre of the universe to somebody else. …


An open letter to my Team Members

This is the second of a two-part series where I try to process and reflect on my roles at work. Like most people, I play dual roles — I lead teams, but I am also accountable to my bosses. In thinking about both of those linked but fundamentally different contexts, I have pulled out a few things I would say (if asked) to either my leaders or my team members. I hope you can relate. Here goes.

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Dear Employee,

  1. It might seem simplistic, but the most important thing is to actually show up and do the work. I don’t mean…

Things I’d Like To Say To My Bosses…

This is the first of a two-part series where I try to process and reflect on my roles at work. Like most people, I play dual roles — I lead teams, but I am also accountable to my bosses. In thinking about both of these linked but fundamentally different contexts, I have pulled out a few things I would like to say (if asked) to either my leaders or my team members. I hope you can relate. Here goes.

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Dear Manager,

  1. I am not clairvoyant. Please don’t expect me to miraculously know what is on your mind. Overtime, I may…

Who says we can’t have both?

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I have had this long running debate internally, trying hard to find the answer to many forms of the same question.

Is it more important that you work out at all or does it matter how you do it? Should you just lift weights without bothering with the correct posture and form? Should try to write everyday or write well? And on and on…

On one side, the answer seems really easy…at least at first. Of course it matters more that you actually show up than how you show up! This seems immediately wise. And we’re told that once you…


Managing a team comes with its limits…

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Sometimes you have to yield. You have to let go, and let people just be. You have to surrender to the fact that people not only don’t see things the way you see them, but it will take them some time to shift their position, if ever. Some of the anxiety you feel is of your own making.

When you’re leading or managing a team, this is hard. At best, you want your people to share your views and benefit from your logic about what is right, wrong or even just practical in a given situation. At worst, you want…


Are you living for today or tomorrow?

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It is very difficult to prioritize things that are not urgent. I think that over time, we have become conditioned to depend on warning signals and alarm bells to tell us when to act — or react. So we go from fighting one fire to the next, ending each day with a toxic mix of exhaustion and anxiety. To be fair, life does come with its share of emergencies, the situations that drag us by the collar and demand attention. However, this is not all there is.

There are so many other things that occupy a much more distant horizon…

Babatunde Mumuni

I think and write here about life as one continuous experience, not fragments stitched together. I believe that we should partake of this with our whole selves.

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