Tom McCallum
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The insight for me is that the internet is the most incredible serendipity generator. -doh!

Why didn’t I see that way before! A bit like the time I agonised over the best way of cutting pancakes with lasers without creating a burnt hair smell — then talking to a scientist for 2 mins, who basically said why don’t you do it in an atmosphere without oxygen! -doh!

So to show how the internet can be a serendipity generator, let me show the connections that resulted in this epiphany, in reverse chronological order:


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Yesterday I was on a zoom call with my sons and, as I told them now things are in England with “Lockdown 2.0”, they reflected on how odd it feels for them to hear people in other countries who are still so restricted by the pandemic, as they have been living normally for at least 4+ months at this stage. Their memory of their severe lockdown (including 24/7 curfew for several weeks) had already started to fade.

This had me reflect back on Hurricane Ivan in 2004 in Cayman. The devastation was so extreme that, at the time, it was not only hugely traumatic for all of us who lived through it (and the aftermath of what life was like), but also difficult to imagine life ever returning to normal. It certainly felt that way in late 2004 and the first part of 2005, but within only one or two years, things really were back to normal in Cayman “post-Ivan”. Cayman memories of Hurricane damage faded fast (and today we see almost all new construction being built lower than the storm surge flood levels. …


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Yesterday we launched the new website.

It isn’t 100% ready, but I chose to launch.

It is about 90–95% ready, all the main elements are there, so we chose to launch anyway, then we (the small team around this site) will make lots and lots of fixes, edits, changes over the next few days until it is nearer 100%.

Sometimes it is useful to wait until something is 100%, sometimes we benefit from taking action that focusses us on “catching up”.

I’m moving house in two weeks. The guys with the moving van arrive 7:30am on a Sunday morning. I already know I’ll not get much sleep the night before as will be up late packing and readying, then up very early taking things downstairs to the front door ready to load. …


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I was on a zoom board meeting in early July and one of the board members started whipping out cards instead of interrupting. I captured the moment because I thought it was awesome.

from Fred Wilson’s daily email recently

In the early days of email, we had no emoticons, but we did have text equivalents (hence the shortcuts on our keyboards for emoticons now). I was that “grown up” who used :) (smileys) to add to my email communicate. Yes, even for business.

Email communication is a very partial form of communication (I often suggest using email only for information, but not for communication as so much can be lost. Clearly the fullest form of communication is face to face, as we can “read” people, including their non-verbal communications. …


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I’m about to re-launch my website after several months of going back to “First Principles” (First Principles thinking will be the subject of a future blog) in order to patiently build a concise “less is more” site.

However, note that I said “several months”. My site will be largely static in terms of information about “You, Me, Together” (who I work with, what I bring, the journey we can go on together).

This means it misses out on telling people what I’m focussed on now.

It is tough to meet up in person right now. Sometimes we can meet on zoom, if not perhaps we can get a sense for what someone is focussed on through their social media or blog posts, but there is no one concise place to find out what they are doing “Now”. …


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For the AvGeeks out there, VP-CAL, a B737–400 from the early 90s

Today a story from my past, then a piece of news around another fast entrepeneurial move around Covid vaccines from the Lloyds insurance market.

Cayman Airways and a two hour coup.

In July 1991, aged 25, I started a new job as the Financial Controller at Cayman Airways. After a hugely intense first few months of focus on internal restructuring, I thought I’d be able to cut back on the 70+ hour weeks.

However, on December 4th, 1991, I was woken by an early phone call that simply said: “PanAm is going to announce they are shutting down this morning, get into the office”. …


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If you “get” this image, you are clearly a fan of one of the ultimate cult novels, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.

So many life lessons (who knew towels were so important?), including:

It is the questions, not the answers, that truly matter.

However, to begin at the beginning, any book that starts with this sentence has me hooked:

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”


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One of my favourite coaches, “Coach Pop”

Believe in people that you believe in

What does it feel like when someone tells you they believe in you, then shows you in their actions, then continues to support you.

I think back to my own coaches, mentors, friends, family who have and continue to do that for me and I feel truly grateful for the impact they have had on me realising my potential.

In my early 20s, I was an obsessively keen Basketball player who had morphed into coaching my old university team. Looking back on that experience, in coaching each player my process was:

  1. Start from a belief that they are there to give their best for the team. …

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line
Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line
The new triple bottom line, from the article “Leading from Purpose

Hard is soft. Soft is hard

In working in the field of leadership (including coaching, facilitation, being a sounding board), over and over again I’ve heard people label anything to do with people as “soft skills”, or the “soft stuff”. I typically respond with something like: “to the contrary, the soft stuff (values, culture, behaviours) create the hardest measures in business”.

To use one example, let’s talk about leading from values. Those leaders that do this run a filter of the values of the organisation over every single decision. Listen to hear if the CEO and other leaders are asking “Is this in line with our values?” …


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Happy cyclist, fresh gözeleme in hand. Out of shot, Turkish coffee (of course!)

Sam Duong (guest author of yesterday’s post: What is the word for business in Chinese? ) is a dear friend and someone who absolutely creates adventures to make the very most out of life.

Whilst it is not so easy for me to get out of bed in the dark, wet and cold and head out on the bike, I LOVE the weekly adventures Sam and I are doing during the one month second lockdown in England.

Proactive Resilience is a recurring theme I am writing about in this pandemic winter. Be proactive, give yourself what you need to charge your batteries. …

About

Tom McCallum

Daily writing shared here, also hosting a weekly live show, http://whatcomesnext.live/

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