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On Life And Leadership


On life: There's no map for your inner journey


When it comes to your inner journey, there's no map. No one has done YOU before. Unlike driving from A to B or progressing in your career from role C to role D, there are no foolproof maps to personal growth. One way this ‘map-less-ness’ shows up is through the illusion of personal permanence. We tend to think we're basically the same person today that we have always been. But when we deeply reflect on who we are today - compared to, say, the ten-years-ago version of us – the change can be quite significant. The fact is, you're going to change in the next ten years too, whether you like it or not. And whether you notice it or not. So how can you have some input into your own progress - while recognizing that you can’t fully control it? I think we can put ourselves in situations that our future selves will thank us for. A bit like making sure you are on the right page of the map, even if you don’t know the exact destination. Here are three ways you could approach this:

  1. People. Spend time with people who bring out the best in you. You probably already know which co-workers and friends have a positive impact on you. Surround yourself with those "multipliers," as Liz Wiseman calls them in her book.

  2. Places. Choose to work in an environment that allows you to use your strengths and live up to your values. You'll be spending a lot of time at work over the next decade, so make sure it's a place where you can thrive.

  3. Experiments. Try new things, and do it deliberately. Visit new places, try new hobbies, and get out of your comfort zone. You're unlikely to grow much if you stick to the same routine every day for the next ten years.


There's no map for your inner journey, but by creating opportunities and being intentional about your choices, you can create the right environment for positive progress.


On leadership: Luna(cy) Park At Luna Park Sydney there’s a ride called Volare. It takes around 50 people, sitting in swing seats, and spins them around for around 2 minutes. Can you guess the turnaround time for Volare: how long it takes to get one group off the ride, load people on, and then get going again?


16 minutes.


I timed it today as my kids were on it and my parking was close to running out. Of course, that doesn’t include the queuing time - that’s just the downtime from when one group finish til when they can start the ride up for the next group.


If you’ll excuse the pun, this is Lunacy.


Now I don’t want you to think I go to amusement parks and stand there looking at my watch and being grumpy (!) but I admit that we also went to Luna Park in December, and I also might have happened to notice that the Volare took around 12 minutes between rides.


So, in the last 3 months it’s got WORSE.


And you know what? There is no way to give feedback. I didn’t see anyone there who I could mention it to, and nor is there anywhere to “contact us” on their website. Surely feedback could be helpful?!


I was chatting to a client over lunch recently who mentioned a similar issue: his team were telling him that their customers were happy, but when he went to meet the clients, they were anything but.


In both situations, it’s crucial that leaders stay close to customers, and customer feedback.


As a leader, what are you doing to understand the customer experience, and to prioritise customer metrics alongside your financial metrics?


If you’re not on top of this, I reckon it’s sheer Lunacy.

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