It's never too late to be what you might have been
Philip said with conviction, "No, Australia's only silver medal in 1976 was won by the men's hockey team. Stephen Holland won a bronze medal"
I said with equal conviction that it was definitely silver. I was so sure I was right I said I'd bet on it. "Are you really sure about that?" he said, graciously giving me the chance to back out of this. "Yes!", I said. I wanted to punish him for being so foolish to think that he was right.
As I sat down with my family to watch the often amusing and sometimes inspiring TV programme, Britain's Got Talent, there was clearly a very new dynamic on the panel of judges.
Head judge and creator of the show, Simon Cowell was back along with regular, Amanda Holden, and new judges, Alisha Dixon and David Walliams.
Previous judges have included Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre, but none have made Cowell seem much less cool and powerful, and more ordinary in the way that Walliams did last night.
He got away with it for three reasons:
Last week I went to the dentist for an overdue check up. I'd had no problems with my teeth in the last year and as I he looked in my mouth, the dentist could see no problems. However, we agreed it was time for an x-ray to make sure. This showed something else. One tooth had a lot of decay beneath the surface. The dentist was a little surprised I not had any problem with it and recommended I book in for a filling ASAP. I said to the receptionist that perhaps I could wait until after my 3 week trip to Australia. She said it is not worth the risk. .... She was right.
Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck noticed the difference between a "fixed mindset" and a "growth mindset". Now people may vary in their innate abilities and potential, but which of these mindsets they choose can have a huge impact.
People with a fixed mindset assume their capabilities are already set. They therefore place a limit on themselves and will miss opportunities.
Those with a growth mindset recognise that application and experience enables them to achieve more in life. And so they usually do!
Having committed myself to accelerating the development of the next generation of leaders, I find it helpful to either reinforce or extend my existing knowledge on the subject.
His comments did both.
We agreed that some things have changed since his days as a young leader stepping up into big roles in his 20's and 30's, compared to today's new generation of leaders. These include:
Recently I met with a client who recruited a new team member with a view to this person being a potential successor. What appeared to be a great "marriage" has thus far proved to be a disappointment for all concerned. There are many reasons for this but it highlights why a successful marriage (whether to a prince or to an organisation) requires a bit more forethought and attention than the fairytales would suggest.
In 2000, I had to take an honest look at myself when a colleague said this to me: "Peter, sometimes in meetings you say things that don't need to be said."
Upon reflection, I could see myself trying to justify my existence in the organisation. I was wanting to show how "clever" I was. In fact, what I was doing was making "noise" that wasted time whilst revealing a lack of deep confidence and self-awareness!
Not wanting to make a fool of myself again in this way, I made an important decision. Whenever I felt the urge to speak I would ask myself ONE SIMPLE QUESTION.
There may be some truth in this broad generalisation.
If we look at cultural/social conditioning, men tend to be socialised to appear strong, confident and in control. It is considered more acceptable for a woman to question herself, whether it is around professional competency or physical attractiveness.
We can experience the imposter syndrome when we find ourselves in a situation and then start to question whether we're actually good enough to be there, and whether we'll cope with any challenges. There is a little voice inside our head telling us that we may fail because we are trying to do something we've not done before. We can feel like a fraud, waiting to be found out!
How we relate with that little voice makes all the difference.
Here are 3 different ways (illustrated by examples from my own life):