Human

 Existentialism

I can be googledI’ve almost completed a post-graduate programme on the psychology of coaching – mentioned in a previous post. During a recent workshop, we covered the topic of existentialism. Prior to the course, I couldn’t even spell this. Here’s my take on what it means…

Too much invested to quit.  

PoodleFollowing a recent golf outing our team were in a mellow, Pinot Grigio induced state. Eventually the conversation moved onto the killer topic: “What was your worst ever date?” Now, while I don’t wish to boast, among some high-class competition the following story was awarded a distinction!

Happy Days: Without a shadow of doubt, the happiest event in the University Calendar is graduation day.


Anna QuindlenThe students line up with their parents and families to celebrate past achievements and look forward to the future.  Sometimes they ask a guest speaker to participate. The following is from Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen’s commencement address to Villanova University. Normally I don’t simply repeat what other people have said.  But, sometimes, the original is so good that it needs no embellishment. Happy to let Anna do all the heavy lifting this week. Here’s what she said…


Think BIG ideas!

Oh, how I continually fantasise about BIG ideas. For example, last week I had breakfast in the Shelbourne Hotel (recommend the smoked salmon bagel). In addition to the bill of fare, the conversation was fascinating. The guy sitting opposite was on fire.  His big idea: Irish social housing policy is fundamentally flawed and has been for many years. He wants to fix it.

Spotting Young Talent

Dennis Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers InternationalInternational Women’s Day was on March 8th and, once again,  PwC celebrated the event. To cross the quays and get to the gig, I had to battle through a line of protestors and policemen. To be honest, I was a bit surprised that International Women’s Day was such a turbulent affair. Turned out that the protestors were objecting to the European People’s Party congress being held next door. Whew! All the visitors were happy to be tucked away safely in PwC’s beautiful HQ. ‘Leaning In’ to a full-on baton charge normally puts me right off lunch.

 

Did you know that there’s an event labelled  National Employment Week? No, I didn’t either!  Until a couple of weeks ago when I received an invitation to a conference in the National Convention Centre. It’s the building with the glass nose jutting out along the north quays, the architectural legacy of the Celtic Tiger.

Do you HATE writing?

writingOne of the daily newspapers recently ran a competition for a short story that had to be completed in 6 words or less. No doubt the idea was inspired by Ernest Hemingway who penned the following: Fire Sale. Baby’s shoes. Never used. While few can aspire to Hemingway’s genius, we can set our sights a bit lower and still write really well.  So, here’s the question: Are you a good writer? In my opinion, writing is a hugely important part of the executive toolkit and you need to get good at this.  Take this quick test:

Expensive Underwear

superman_shortsAbout 3 weeks ago we attended a dinner party. The hosts are brilliant cooks – so that’s always something to look forward to.  There was sufficient lubrication – in the form of exotic cocktails – to get the party started. And the people attending know each other well enough to by-pass the small talk which typifies (‘dullifies’?) business networking events.

dogYes, yes. I’m hearing you perfectly!

A long, long  time ago  (that would be a great opening line to a song!) I spent 6 months studying in Carysford College, Blackrock. The Junior Executive Development Programme was run by 2 much admired management consultants Paul Dooley and Frank Coyne.  During one exercise we were tasked with the following: “What is the most important thing you can do for someone at any moment in time?”  We bounced off in our groups to debate. Given that it’s over 30 years ago I can’t remember the exact details, but we did come up with some BIG ideas. Example: you could tell someone you loved them. Taking it up a notch, you could tell someone that you admired them so much that you wished to emulate their life, and so on (you get the idea).

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