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work life balance

On the front foot

helmet

While on leave this week I’ve been contemplating a couple of work/life decisions in preparation for the implications. It’s the ultimate personal/professional dilemma.

They say never go back but I’ve had a niggling regret for 27 years that I never got a half century when I last played cricket. I fell short by 3 runs. So this year I’m reigning back on the golf clubs and taking up cricket again to try and get that elusive 50.

Many things have changed in 27 years and a recent reminder made me realise this isn’t something to be taken as likely as it once was. So I’ve invested in some proper equipment and this time bought a helmet. It’s not particularly comfortable but necessary, and peace of mind for those I care for and who care for me.

Continue reading “On the front foot”

Respect in how we share

It wasn’t the trip we’d planned. It wasn’t the Friday night the majority of people had planned. We were lucky; a forgotten set of keys and what might have been.

We were in Paris the weekend of the terrorist attacks. Whilst deeply saddened, shocked and since troubled by it; we came home. Hugged by friends and relatives and helped through the weeks after at work by colleagues, we thank everyone for their concern. Others weren’t so lucky.  Continue reading “Respect in how we share”

The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp

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Like fog, grey areas can be places where it is difficult to see what is going on and where sight of the bigger picture can be lost. Continue reading “The grey area of disruption – a breakthrough from #agecamp”

Fear of missing out

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I recently stayed somewhere without wifi or TV. Imagine that for a minute. Pretty much cut off from the networked world. Alternatively; I’ve just been lucky enough to go somewhere and experience things I’ve never seen before or might again. Perhaps a serendipitous outcome, which is the reason for posting.

When a friend offered me a week in her newly built holiday home in the north of Scotland as a birthday present, my first thoughts were it’s 400 miles away, has no telly or wifi. But, as it was a gift, then I’d gladly accepted.

I then told the family.

“What, no TV or wifi?”

“Nope – just fresh air, countryside, the sea and probably rainbows; big rainbows mind!”

So we went and it was great to experience a new place, different flora and fauna and spend time off the matrix.

Continue reading “Fear of missing out”

The importance of divergent voices

Divergent

“We need people to take different choices. We need people to state different views. We need people to go a different way. Some will work. Some won’t. Let’s judge the outcomes when there are outcomes to judge, not by the pack called sentiment. Our ecosystem of innovation in ways of organising will be richer for the diversity.”

The above is taken from a thought provoking post by @simongterry titled The pack called sentiment. Take a read and pop back.

Simon talks about how sentiments in a networked world change quickly and how in our reinforcing bubbles of information we can see shared views increase rapidly and reverse direction quickly on the slimmest pieces of information. Continue reading “The importance of divergent voices”

Just a little bit proud

Helligan 2002Me and my boys at Helligan circa 2002.

Today I’m the parent of two teenage sons. Tomorrow the eldest will be 20. I will have a 20 year old and in 9 days an 18 year old. When did that happen?

Happy birthday boys!

When you decide to have kids, let’s face it, you have no real idea what you are about to take on. Helping them to walk and talk, sleepless nights, grazed knees and illnesses, birthday party manicness, the financial implications of increasing the world’s population, sharing their disappointments and achievements and many other things including the good times, days out and holidays. You take on a responsibility for their upbringing and safeguarding until they become an adult. Continue reading “Just a little bit proud”

Having a say, it’s our culture

GG quote

Things get messy sometimes but mostly, when the dust has settled, some good comes out of it.

I’m writing this as ‘Phil from Moortown, Leeds’ rather than ‘Phil from the council’, although sometimes I can see it’s difficult to tell. More on that here. Does that matter? On this occasion; yes – big time.

On Friday night, my football team – Leeds United, got itself in a huge mess. The story is still unfolding but in summary the club announced it had sacked the manager and then yesterday announced it hadn’t. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Messy, very messy and a bit embarrassing for the club, the fans and the city. It made me feel embarrassed to come from Leeds. Stupid I know, but true. I care about my club and my city. It’s times like these that you find out how much. Twitter and various other forums lit up with unanimous condemnation of what had happened. Some immediately disassociated themselves with the club, something they had loved for years. They will probably return. Continue reading “Having a say, it’s our culture”

2014 – has to be more than an interest

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2013 was a busy year with plenty of changes at work and home and much learnt. Some of the things I realised were:

  • most of the time I talk sense and make informed decisions;
  • the rest of the time I need to listen to others as we’re never too old to learn new skills or to try and see things differently;
  • 0thers rely on me more than I thought;
  • I therefore need to keep myself fit in body and mind to be effective;
  • if we think we have been through a lot of recent changes in how we live and work then it is nothing to what is yet to come.

Crucially, I’ve realised all the above rely on success of the second and fourth points. If we are over committed, stressed, aren’t fit or able to continue to learn we will be less effective. Listening, learning, contributing to, sharing and developing what others are doing can be creative ways of problem solving. It’s basic stuff but sometimes overlooked as we go about the daily grind.

So some things I’ve recently read that I want to share and highlight as I think they will become mainstream for me and hopefully others too in 2014. I hope you find them useful.
Continue reading “2014 – has to be more than an interest”

One shade of grey

KeswickSometimes I write my thoughts down to help me work things through. Some of it I make public, some I don’t; ‘working out loud’ I think they call it these days. My writing has brought me into contact with people who encourage me to make a difference and, in turn, I hope what I write is useful for others.
Continue reading “One shade of grey”

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