Learnings for lawyers from the sensational summer of sport 2021.
Every now and again create an opportunity to be quizzed by children.
Last week I was asked to address 3 classes of year 6 (age 10) children at a local primary school as part of an initiative designed to help children of multiple ethnicities feel at home in Wales - that it’s ok to feel at home at Wales and also feel Indian, Bangladeshi or whatever other beauty we bring.
I thought I was going to help the children. The truth is, they helped me more.
A morning filled with the joy and hope that shines out from children.
Children, unafraid to ask questions (we played 20 questions to get them engaged and thinking). And they asked everything from my marital status to salary to celebrity crush to religion, favourite food to favourite character in Cobra Kai, and whether I’d put anyone in prison to which famous people I’d met. Cristiano Ronald - check. But when I said David Beckham, they said:
“WHO’S THAT MISS?
The comedy. The freedom. The fearlessness.
Unafraid to challenge me. Unafraid to dig and understand my opinions. Unafraid to debate in a way only 10 year olds do. No offence. Just open discussion.
More of that please?
That same week I attended a Leaders in Sport call on D&I and how we keep up the momentum. To my surprise I was in the breakout room with Daniel Pennyfeather and the guest speaker, Anne Doepner of the Minnesota Vikings who both graciously let me speak freely.
We are addressing the question:
What do we feel is the biggest challenge for maintaining and continuing to develop an inclusive culture post-pandemic?
TIME is the number 1 challenge to inclusivity and well-being
We have less and less time to stop, be aware, be mindful of their impact, mindful of the need around us that allows us to foment inclusive environments. As we return to the office but continue to fail to deal with the human aspects of that, and continue to push for more outputs in less time and more and more and more that means less and less time to think.
Less wall art. More time...
To be human.
To ask questions and enquire,
To listen and not take offence,
To recognise that we do not live in a certain or perfect environment. It’s changing quickly and glitchy. And as humans we are superbly adaptable.
Leaders are managing in fast changing environments and we all need to exercise a little more agility to understand things are not certain or perfect, and a little less readiness to take offence, judge and criticise at every glitch. More readiness to seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.
Progress not perfection.
Give your leaders a break. Give each other a break - offer the understanding and mercy you’d like to receive.
And bring back the freedom for open debate that enables all to learn and grow - even if we don't agree.
We don’t learn anything by taking offence and shutting down discussion and conversation. This is what happened earlier this year when the European Super League topic came up again for an airing. This time it was no more than a “storm in a teacup”. In previous years the topic at least received a 360 airing with debate and learning as to the why's and why nots. This time, we were all deprived of any perspective other than "no".
Isn't it ok to disagree or hold different opinions anymore?
When it comes to matters of diversity and inclusivity many are afraid to speak up, not knowing which words to use or what is appropriate to say - isn’t it for the greater good to speak up than to allow fear to keep you silent?
No-one should be afraid to speak up (unless the intent is to cause harm to another). But so many are.
And that holds us back. Holds us back from healthy, inclusive environments. It jars the momentum of 2020/21 and the many tragedies that fuelled the shifts.
And inclusivity isn't a matter of social justice or doing what's right/fair. It's also critical to sustainable, long-lasting high performance.
Where inclusivity is impeded, so is well-being. If you’re looking for under-performance and missing out on positive possibilities, then you’re on the right path.
All that to say, to continue the momentum to harness and release the power of improved inclusivity and well-being first restructure to enable people to get back in charge of TIME. Time to shift conditioned behaviours that hold you, them (and everyone else) back.
Are you in charge of time or is it in charge of you?
When you’re in charge of time, you’re free to choose without biases or conditioned behaviour bulldozing your responses, actions and reactions.
When you’re in charge of your time you’re free to make time work for realising your aspirations.
When you’re in charge of your time, you’re able to be and make the change you want to see.
In our shared world, do you want to be part of an organisation structured to help each other up with an abundance mindset or one that pushes others down with a scarcity obsession?
It’s my mission to set up people for success - no matter where or how we meet. If you meet me, that’s where my head will be at - what can I do to set you up for a better version of success.
Everything we do at Fuel+Move is about making that happen and we're not afraid to reimagine performance and how it's achieved, in order to do that.
At Fuel+Move we focus on mindsets, behaviours and personal processes to enable individuals to shine confidently in their perfectly unique and authentic way that delivers meaningful value to clients, employers, teams and equally important, the individual lawyers.
We call it performance optimisation. Performance powered by well-being.
Setting up lawyers for a better version of success