I’ve spent a lot of hours on video conferences over the last 6 weeks. I’ve run my company with Zoom, IESE faculty meetings through Zoom, webinars on zoom, family lunches and dinners with Zoom. Here are some of the entertaining and engaging options to add more fun and engagement to your zoom calls.

Card Games

Whiteboards, Interactive Documents

  • Shared Google Sheet/Doc http://sheets.google.com Do “Share” and share a link that allows anyone with the link to edit… Voila you have a shared space that everyone with the link can edit
  • https://miro.com/ Shared whiteboard

Game Apps

Mainly because my daughter and all her cousins connect and play one or two times each day. Each game lasts 1-2 minutes, so handy for a reward after finishing a pomodoro.

What do you Use?

What have you found to increase team engagement via Video Conference calls? If you share more resources with me I will add them to this post.

PS Photo credit to Rich Mulholland for Cat Watches Conor

These are my notes from the webinar that EO Coimbatore organised for today, 25th April. The livestream replay is at the bottom of this post.

“When you are in fog, you don’t need inspiration… you need clarity”

Sadhguru

Don’t seek inspiration, seek clarity.

Memory and Imagination – this is what we are suffering.

Right now you are home with family. Nothing is missing.  Your memory can haunt you and your imagination can scare you. It is you who generates suffering. 

Where is your intelligence working?  For you?  Or to scare you?  Or to haunt you?

Family and Relationships

Every relationship we have formed, we have formed to fulfil our needs. We cannot control the other. Everything that happens outside of us (outside of our mind) will not happen our way.

Do you want control? Get a dog.  Guaranteed 12 year love affair.  No human being will give such love.

On Freedom…

Freedom in the USA = I want my freedom to not change, to not adapt, to have my haircut… even while people around me are dying

70% of US employees “hate their job”… and still go… what damage it does to oneself to spend time with people or things that you “hate”

  • Many are stuck in the rut… but it is a comfortable rut
  • If the virus lockdown is short… we will stay in our ruts
  • If the virus lockdown is long… we will be forced to leave our ruts

If the quarantine is less than 12 months… we’ll go back to our old ways. Growth, growth, growth… 2%, 5%, 8%… we will destroy this planet.

What is success without growth?

Either consciously we slow down… or an outside force will slow us down. If we don’t do this now, we will never make this change.

Thought experiment…

Everyone in India is walking around with the latest phone, the latest sneakers. It is like it is an embarrassment to have a 4 year old phone. Imagine:

  • If you buy a phone, you must use it for 4 years
  • If you buy a car, you must use it for 8 years

If we don’t do this now, 2050 or 2100 will be bring massive challenges for humanity.

Are we serious about sustainable development goals?

Investment is messed up

“Over 70% of global investment goes into 30-40 cities”

Sadhguru

No city can handle this level of inflow. Not New York, not Mumbai. Slums are a terrible place for women, for children. There is dignity on the land… but not in the slums.

How to create opportunities for human beings where they are?

If we saw our children without food for just one day, the food industry would change very rapidly. We would each highly value having some land.

Education – ripe for major change

Today: Teacher is someone who has read a book you haven’t read. Education as transmission of information is on the way out.

Teacher must become someone who helps you read books you haven’t read, and inspire you to create the works you can create.

Taking care of Oneself

“I have not given the privilege to anybody to make me happy or make me sad”

Sadhguru

What is being well? …to be Happy, to be healthy, to be functioning well. This can only happen if the controls are inside.

Are you joyful as your own nature, or triggered by outside? Once you leave it in the hands of other people, you are accidental in your existence.

If you are accidental, anxiety is guaranteed.

There was happiness before iPhone, car, home. The experience of being human doesn’t change. Only the outside changes. We get used to certain things, and we think this is life

What we gather should serve us. People have lost the distinction between what is me and what is mine.

There are two kinds of suffering – body, mind.

Today it is like the Animals/Plants are saying: “Let’s make the planet great again”.

It is Friday for 6 weeks…

  • The problem is not work
  • The problem is not family
  • The problem is your own mind

Education should focus on “the inner wellbeing of the human being”.

Your body and your mind should work for you, always. Anxiety is your own mind working against you

The science of inner wellness

Only to create pleasantness in our surroundings depends on many many factors. Pleasantness in mind, in health, in compassion… this is under my control

“The One Thing”

Be part of the solution. Inner audit – am I contributing to solution or to problem?  

Be part of the solution. Do what you can do. Don’t make things worse. 

If you liked this, you will also like Sadhguru: If you lose your laugh, you lose everything and Relationships: Build trust.

Livestream EO with Sadhguru

…not if you give with expectation.

So often, our gifts… are not gifts. They come with an obligation. This is not a gift… this is a transaction.

Human beings are hardwired to act in a reciprocal manner – we give back what we receive. If we receive a kind action, we are almost compelled to return the kindness… as long as it is perceived as a gift.

If the action is not perceived as a gift, reciprocity will not work.

What do you take from this video?

More on Reciprocity…

Just listening to Stuart Lancaster deliver a webinar for IIBN. He shared his path to head coach of the England rugby team, the hard blow of falling out of the home rugby world cup, and his current role as part of the leadership of Leinster rugby club.

10 Necessary Ingredients of a Great Leader

  1. Be authentic – know who you are, know what you like and don’t like, learn to manage yourself.
  2. Develop Great Communications Skills – both 1-1 and to the large groups. Learn to speak well.
  3. Create and align people to a cause – you need every member of the team to move beyond their own wants and needs and be a genuine contributor to the team… for this there needs to be a meaningful cause that is bigger than “winning”. Stuart shared how he wrote to the parents of all the england team players and asked them to share what it meant to them to see their son play rugby for england. This helped him show the players how they represented something much bigger than rugby.
  4. Develop a point of view – people do not want to be led by those without a point of view on life. Develop an opinion on the questions that are important in your field. (A blog is a great tool to develop your opinions).
  5. Be good with people – learn what moves people and how to listen. Ask good questions.
  6. Sense the “mood in the camp” – build a good “radar” and surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth.
  7. Be trustworthy “DWYSYWD” – Do What You Said You Would Do”
  8. Moral courage to do the right thing – especially when it is hard.
  9. Great body language – you are never “off stage”.
  10. Build belief and “make performance meaningful” in yourself and others – it has to be more than “just getting the win” – why will this next win be meaningful?

Loved this from Stuart…

“Always want to Improve”

Stuart Lancaster

Extreme competence + extreme open to learn = Be here 😉

By the end of the next 60 minutes you will have been exposed to a lot of ideas, some of which you will incorporate into your own repertoire, and they will ensure that you get the maximum opportunity to have your ideas valued and accepted by the people you speak with.

Patrick Winston, MIT

Patrick Winston’s How to Speak talk has been an MIT tradition for over 40 years. Offered every January, the talk is intended to improve your speaking ability in critical situations by teaching you a few heuristic rules.

Background

Around 40 years ago, Professor Patrick Henry Winston ’65, SM ’67, PhD ’70 gave his first talk on How to Speak.

We were sitting in my office, whining about somebody’s horrible lectures, when he said, “You should do a class on how to speak.”

Actually, that first edition of How to Speak drew about 100. This past week about 250 showed up. It’s a little hard to say exactly because [the lecture hall] officially seats 150 and perhaps another 100 sat on the stairs and floor or stood in the back or watched from the hall.

It became so popular, in fact, that the annual talk had to be limited to the first 300 participants. Every year, Professor Winston improved upon the talk. As he put it, “There is much more now, of course, because I keep learning new things. I’ve added techniques for passing oral exams, delivering successful job-interview talks, and ensuring that ideas become as famous as they ought to be.

Outline

TOPICSEE IN VIDEO
Introduction @00:16
Rules of Engagement @03:11
How to Start @04:15
Four Sample Heuristics @05:38
The Tools: Time and Place @10:17
The Tools: Boards, Props, and Slides @13:24
Informing: Promise, Inspiration, How to Think @36:30
Persuading: Oral Exams, Job Talks, Getting Famous @41:30
How to Stop: Final Slide, Final Words @53:06
Final Words: Joke, Thank You, Examples @56:35

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell

Someone has shared the documentary film “Finding Joe” on YouTube. It is a fantastic introduction to the life’s work of Joseph Campbell… who first articulated the common structure to mythological stories: The Hero’s Journey.

I don’t know how long it will be up… it is well worth a watch (I’m watching it up on my TV right now).

It is better to have a story to give meaning to what is happening in our lives than an explanation… because a story is richer… and gives meaning. What story are you telling yourself about Coronavirus? We can choose the story.

“If you bargain away your life for security, you will never find your bliss”

Joseph Campbell

The journey is a pattern of our our journey of growing up as human beings. We are called to adventure… and resist the call… until the right set of challenge, mentors, self belief comes into place… and we begin a journey of transformation > the journey from an unsatisfying life (lived in service of other’s values) to a fulfilling life (lived in service of a greater cause).

I’ve been reading the novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull with my 4 year old daughter over the last week… it is a hero journey… and it is prompting many interesting conversations with my daughter.

The Hero’s Journey… 17 steps, 3 stages

Here is a previous post of mine that describes in detail the journey…

Here’s an old video of mine where I describe the 7 steps of the Hero Journey:

I ran a webinar yesterday for IESE Business School. I answered 4 of the questions during the webinar, but there were a lot more questions that we didn’t have time to cover in any depth. I’ve copied the questions here and will give my brief answer to each.

How to Lead in times of Great Uncertainty

What can I do personally to engage myself, my leadership team and the people throughout my organization to respond positively to this crisis?

What was covered in the session…

  • My Personal Experience of Leading through a Crisis (2008)
  • What is a Crisis?
    • Communicating in a Crisis
  • How will you benefit from this session?
  • What do Leaders do?
    • Clarity of Vision
    • Certainty of Action
    • Values
  • Leadership is a Choice
  • The Most Important Lesson I have learnt
    • Practice, Habits and Mindset
  • How to Shift my Mindset?
    • Where am I focussing?
  • How to Lead your people?
  • How to continue this conversation?

What are your views on the link between true leadership in troubled times and transparency/openness/truthfulness? – Antonio Millán

If your motivating energy comes from external validation (income, fame, prestige, status) it becomes very difficult for you to keep moving when we hit a downturn.

It is easier to lead during difficult times if your own set of core values and the way you live your life is based on inner honesty, and not on external validation. If your self-esteem is linked to your wealth, size of house, revenues, number of employees… it will be low just when the people around you most need you to provide hope. If your self esteem and peace of mind come from inside yourself… and you are not chasing external validation… the time where you have energy and are a beacon of hope will be when it is most needed.

Rafa Nadal’s motivation doesn’t come from winning… it comes from playing great tennis. If he wins, but didn’t give his best… he is frustrated. If he loses, but he knows that he gave all that was his to give this day on the court… he is satisfied and motivated for tomorrow.

Do you also wake up at 5 am? Is this the best time for sitting and looking internally? – Francisco Castaño

Answered during the webinar… I don’t wake up early.

It is not the time you wake up that matters, it is what you do with your waking hours that really counts. Dan Sullivan says “do 3 important things” each day… then rest. It will force you to get clear on what is really important… and not spend each day filling your hours with busy-ness.

How do you think that leadership styles will be shaped after the Coronavirus stage? – Adnan Falah

Greater trust in people. Rapid digital transformation of all industries. Offices will become meeting areas and clubhouses for the social life of the company, not for getting work done… which will be done more and more in remote.

Do companies urgently need a re-organization to cope with the change? (many working at home, social distancing, etc.) – Antonio Mata (Youtube)

Yes. More trust of people. More communication of why we work, what is important… and trusting people to be disciplined in focussing their time and energy on what matters.

The founder of Braun, Max Braun had a requirement that all communications in the company answered the 5 Questions: Who, Why, What, How, When. If any member of the organisation did not address each of the 5 questions he would be sanctioned by Max, and repeat offenders were asked to find another organisation for their work.

If leaders are able to communicate not just what they want done… but why it is important, what is the objective, who is involved and impacted, when it is needed to be completed – then people can be far more creative and resourceful than when then are just told what to do.

Have you considered what it is that makes Face2Face (IRL) unique, compared to the online encounter Face2Face? – Julio Bascur

Trust. This is my question. How do we build trust through video. I have little doubt after the last 3 weeks of zoom calls that video can be very effective for communication – where there is already a strong bond of trust between individuals. My question for myself… and for anyone who has answers (not speculation, but direct experiential evidence of it working) is how to build trust that allows me to challenge people and create disruptive tension when I teach or lead.

What is the relationship between leadership and public speaking? – Monika Borgers

Leadership is two things:

  1. Seeing a change that is required in the world
  2. Bringing together the resources to effect the change

1 is about thinking deeply about who you are and where you are going and how that purpose relates to the organisation and society in which you live. It is about surrounding yourself with mentors and colleagues that raise you up and expect the best from you, and listening and learning from their life experiences and perspectives.

2 is about communication in a way that engages others to make your change something that becomes their change. 2 is built on being trustworthy, listening to people, conversation, public speaking and disciplined action. Public speaking is a small, but important, part of the whole that is leadership.

Tell us about the tele-leader. How can you lead with a virtual team? – Santiago Lopez

Ever since Ronald Reagan in the US, federal leaders are “tele-leaders”. Few americans will have had any offline engagement with state and federal political leaders. I have never met Boris Johnson, but I have a sense of who he is as a person and what he stands for. I have never met Pedro Sanchez, but I listen to his speeches and am interested in his vision for the future of Spain and Europe. I have never met any of the European leaders, but my life is shaped greatly by their decisions in Brussels. I worked for almost a decade at Accenture, and I only spent 120 minutes (at work) in those 10 years in direct conversation (in a group of 150 employees) with the CEO or senior leadership. Tele-leadership has been a reality for most global corporations and most developed societies for at least 50 years.

How can you lead with a virtual team? We had a recent webinar with Miquel Llado for the Vistage members in Spain where he addressed how to lead as an e-CEO. Check out the webinar here: Miquel Llado, the e-CEO (in spanish).

Do you think that after the crisis, companies will look for staff in the same manner as before? – Alejandro Díaz

I’m not sure I have any competence to speak to this question. My thoughts… electronic tracking tools will become more normal, and more sophisticated. This is a two edged sword. We will be able to track individuals in much more detail – hours, what they are actually doing, where they spend their time… can leaders be trusted to use this data for the common good? Or will it be used to micro-manage and control?

Government policy has a big impact here. The spanish government has effectively banned layoffs at the moment… and required that companies continue to pay full salaries. What will happen the moment that this policy stops? Companies will be far more risk averse in hiring… and will make even more extensive use of short term, freelance and temporary contracts.

Can you recognise good leaders in politics these days? Why do certain controversial leaders are top on the polls these weeks? – Ricardo R.

A little bit of representational democratic philosophy… a politically elected official is the representative of the majority view… not someone given the freedom to express their own individual opinion.

As with all human endeavours, this is a messy process and most elected officials have their own beliefs and opinions which they allow to shape their national policy making.

The role of politicians is to represent, not to lead. A danger in our society is the expectation that me, the average citizen, can sit back and let the national elected officials take care of the situation… this is a dangerous posture. Democracy works when their is high levels of education about the types of decisions that nations need to take about social security, public health, defense, security, economy, protection of minority groups, public/private initiative… and high involvement of citizens in day to day political life (in our schools, in our streets, in our towns, in our countries, in our countries and in the world).

Gandhi was not a politically elected leader when he made his most significant impacts upon the world. Nelson Mandela was not a politically elected leader until well after his personal leadership and sacrifices had impacted the world. These great leaders of the past led from principles, created vast change and then only afterwards were elected as trusted representatives. We are in danger when our politicians never led as individuals, and we expect them to take leadership of major national decisions.

I recommend the Coursera course that I completed a few years ago from Yale on The Moral Foundations of Political Systems.

This pandemic has brought to light the inadequacies of “conventional” management thinking (i.e. hyperefficiency and byperlean organizations). How can a leader then challenge these concepts? – JJ Moreno

True.

I was a product of the MBA efficiency school when I first began as an entrepreneur. I had bought into the idea a 60% debt 40% equity optimal capital structure and eliminating all redundancies in my businesses… then in 2008 I lived through the bankrupcy of my business… and 9 years of dealing with the debts.

Today I have very little debt and believe in the Microsoft adage of having 1 year of cash available at all times. I regret some of my youthful advice to business owners… that they could use more debt and less equity to grow or to sustain their business. That came from a young man who had never lived through a downturn in the economy. Now, I’ve lived through 2 downturns as a business leader… and I will have buffers, multiple sources of capabilities and lots of cash around me as I run my business.

This fundamentally comes down to whether I am running my business for the short term (to sell it, or to hit a particular measure of success) or I am acting as a steward of my institution for the very long run (what is called the Infinite Game by Simon Sinek amongst others).

This event will be streamed live on the IESE Business School Linkedin Page here: https://www.linkedin.com/school/iese-business-school/

Monday April 6th 16:00 CET

You can also follow live on youtube or on this blog post:

How to Lead in times of Great Uncertainty

What can I do personally to engage myself, my leadership team and the people throughout my organization to respond positively to this crisis?

What we will cover…

  • My Personal Experience of Leading through a Crisis (2008)
  • What is a Crisis?
    • Communicating in a Crisis
  • How will you benefit from this session?
  • What do Leaders do?
    • Clarity of Vision
    • Certainty of Action
    • Values
  • Leadership is a Choice
  • The Most Important Lesson I have learnt
    • Practice, Habits and Mindset
  • How to Shift my Mindset?
    • Where am I focussing?
  • How to Lead your people?
  • How to continue this conversation?

My friend Tony, business owner, shares his reflections on how the quarantine is impacting his life… and how he has learnt that “doing nothing” is not doing nothing… there is power in sitting still.

His big hope… that we do not return to “normal” after this.

Tony is someone who has used this quarantine period to start making videos… and I recommend you follow his youtube channel as he shares his lessons and leadership with the world.

In these difficult times, this story about the 20 Mile March is my reminder of what to focus on… and how to stay in control of my life.

I first heard this story from Jim Collins. He shares it in his book Good to Great. Here, I share my version of the story… and how it relates to leading yourself and your organisation in difficult times.

Your 20 Miles?

What are your 20 mile march habits? What are your aspirational self 20 mile march habits? What can you do in this period of quarantine to practice your 20 mile march?