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Personal Renewal Comes From Meaning

I have and continue to curate a range of reading and listening material, and this is another in a small series of newsletters that offer interesting insights not necessarily anchored to a specific topic. The first piece on personal renewal and finding meaning provides much to reflect upon. Several other articles look at how values, communication, co-creation/partnership within our work places affect culture (positively and not so much), and how we can and, more importantly, need to “lead from our seat” to create sustainable and scalable professional environments. Both podcasts are outstanding and well worth your listening time IMHO.

As always, happy reading and listening!

Articles

Personal Renewal. “Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you.”

The Former CEO of Guardian on Using Values to Drive Strategic Planning. “That experience [leading Guardian in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy] taught Mulligan to think even longer-term than she always had: What were all the things that could go wrong, and how could the company protect itself from them? What could go right if Guardian were poised to seize the opportunities presented?”

Imagine a Workplace Where You could Actually Tell the Truth. “In many organisations, it can be difficult to get a straight answer to the most basic questions…Someone might mount a response but, in many cases, we know the answers given are only partial truths… Even when there is no direct question to answer, our interactions are replete with curated comments. The truth can be so hard to come by that many of us believe that our workplaces, and the people we encounter in them, are awash in bullshit.”

Company Culture Is Everyone’s Responsibility. “A new culture-building approach is already in place at some organizations, one in which everyone in the organization is responsible for it. Importantly, this model doesn’t relegate culture-building to an amorphous concept that everyone influences but no one leads or is accountable for. And it weaves in perspectives from employees to customers, from middle managers to the CEO.”

One Way to Create Better Workplace Incentives and Protocols: Codesign Them with Your Employees. “New practices are more likely to be embraced if they aren’t dictated from the top.”

Why we adjusted salaries for all traditionally female-dominated roles at our company. “Unito’s CFO explains the company’s radical approach to fixing its pay gap, including building a transparent matrix, so everyone knows exactly what their coworkers make.”

The Most Pressing People Questions Facing Companies Today. “…Now is a good time for corporate leaders to also focus on the deeper set of employee-related issues that will dominate corporations in the post-Covid period. There are at least five “people” questions that companies will need to address as they emerge from the pandemic and the period beyond.”

Podcasts

Renegades: Born in the USA: “A series of conversations between President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen about their lives, music, and enduring love of America—despite all its challenges.”

a16z Podcast: Amazon Narratives: Memos, Working Backwards from Release. “When you hear stories about Amazon’s famous ‘invention machine’, we often hear about things like: Memos, six pages exactly and no powerpoints at all! Or, the idea of ‘work backwards from the press release’. But what’s lost is the how, as well as the broader narrative of how all companies and leaders, not just Amazon and Bezos, can define their ways as they scale…[as well as] the leadership principles, decision making practices, and operational processes that got Amazon there.”

Blog Posts

Seth’s Blog: Your big break.Little breaks don’t like being waited for the way big breaks do, because while you’re waiting, you’re wasting the little breaks you’ve already gotten.”

The Marshall Goldsmith Newsletter: Creating a New Team Culture. “When my good friend Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford, he set to work to create an environment where the executive team, notorious for not working together, could learn to play well with each other. Through Alan’s leadership, the focus of the team and ultimately the focus of the entire company became, ‘How can we help one another more?’”

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

TED 2020: Art In the Age of Machine Intelligence. “What does it look like inside the mind of a machine? Inspired by the architectural vision of a futuristic Los Angeles in “Blade Runner,” media artist Refik Anadol melds art with artificial intelligence in his studio’s collaborations with architects, data scientists, neuroscientists, musicians and more. Witness otherworldly installations that might make you rethink the future of tech and creativity.”

The Mad, Mad World of Niche Sports Among Ivy League–Obsessed Parents. “Where the desperation of late-stage meritocracy is so strong, you can smell it.”

Reflection

Poet Diane Ackerman on reinventing yourself:

“Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant?

Flora or fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.”

Source: Cultivating Delight

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan a senior advisor for Consultants Collective. He is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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