Here’s How to Set Goals That Last and Last

The intention to set new goals often outlasts their pursuit. 

This is the depressing truth as you start the new year all shiny, happy and ready to take on the world.

But hey, don’t let that reality stop you from dreaming big.  Because the uplifting truth is that the more courageous, the more consequential your goals, the more open to possibility you will be.

Goals of Consequence share a common attribute, courage: it takes courage not to dismiss Goals of Consequence out of hand as too hard, as too out there.

Compare this usual goal:

“My goal is to write an article for my local newspaper in the next 3 months”,

to this Goal of Consequence:

“My goal is to write a global best-selling book that is translated into 11 different languages within 12 months.”

And this one from the corporate arena:

“My goal as CEO is to increase the share price by 15 percent over the next 5 years”

versus

“My goal as CEO is to reinvent global transportation over the next 5 years.”

Boom, right!

I write extensively about setting Goals of Consequence and creating an operating system for your life and business in my book Fierce Reinvention: A Guide to Harnessing Your Superpowers for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Success. It is available on Amazon and other leading online bookstores.

How to Find Peace and Save Yourself a Ton Trying To Escape Your Life

Sometimes life just sucks. You are totally bored with the everyday drudge of commute, work, commute. Your boss doesn’t get you. You don’t get the company. The same route to the office, day in, day out. And the weather. I could go on.

Life would be so much better if you could just escape for a few weeks: go some place warm; go some place where you can find peace; go some place where you can shut out everything that is causing you anxiety and stress.

But here’s the thing: you take your anxiety wherever you go. There is no escaping it.

You will be in a constant state of anxiety: when you try to get away from the things causing you stress; when you hold tight to the things that make you happy.

It is far more practical to relax with the things that are stressing you out; to relax with your life as it is, right now.

The immediate benefit of relaxing into your reality will be an overarching sense of ease in your life.

The path to peacefulness is counterintuitive. Instead of running from your current life, run toward and into everything.

You will discover that peace is not found at some exotic location.

Peace is right here, with you. And as a bonus: you can return to it anytime you like.

Here’s How Viewing Reality Differently Can Reduce Your Pain and Suffering

Reality sucks. It causes you so much pain. Why would you ever want to experience more of it?

But here’s the thing:

If you could view reality differently, you could potentially reduce the pain and suffering you are in.

Think on this…

The entire point of being human,
The sole reason for your heightened awareness,
Is so that you can discover the truth about yourself,
The truth about others,
And the truth about reality.

For one reason:

So that you can stop suffering and help others stop suffering too.

Stick with me here as I illustrate what I mean:

You are having a relatively good day in the office
When a colleague makes some snide comment.

You feel terribly hurt and become intensely angry inside.

At first you try not to react,
But your anger boils over,
And you snap back at her.

She expresses absolute surprise at your response.

“That’s not what I meant at all?
I was complimenting you for a job well done.”

And then it hits you.
She isn’t lying.
You misheard.
You misinterpreted her intent.

Not only do you feel like a fool,
But you are also amazed at how your misinterpretation
Gave rise to such a huge emotional complex.

This is the point of understanding what is real:

It is not only the secret to non-suffering,
But is also the secret to joy.

Hey Technologist, Revel In Your Culture of Killing It, But Realize That Inside You Are Dying

I want to highlight an article in the NY Times about the Big Sur, California-based Esalen Institute reopening. Why this is so interesting is because its new mission is “to help technologists who discover that ‘inside they’re hurting”.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders, particularly from the technology industry are starting to get one of my key messages: “Technology without meaning is like work without fulfilment: purposeless noise.”

As Ben Tauber, the new Executive Director at Esalen, puts it:

There’s a dawning consciousness emerging in Silicon Valley as people recognise that their conventional success isn’t necessarily making the world a better place. The CEOs, inside they’re hurting. They can’t sleep at night.

Another nearby centre, 1440 Multiversity, which lies nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, has a similar message in its goal: to recognise that the blazing success of the internet catalysed powerful connections, yet did not help people connect to themselves.

1440 was founded by Scott Kriens, Chairman and former CEO of Juniper Networks, with the rationale that there is “great power in immersion learning – setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time and energy to focus on our more important, but often more elusive, priorities.”

One of the key questions technologists are starting to ask themselves is whether they are doing the right thing for humanity. It’s all very well building a highly addictive, behaviour changing piece of technology, but if it doesn’t progress humanity in some way then what is the point?

Before heading up Esalen, Ben Tauber had created a real-time celebrity geo-stalking service called JustSpotted and then joined Google as an acqui-hire. He then decided his work was causing harm. “I realized I was addicting people to their phones. It’s a crisis that everyone’s in the culture of killing it, and inside they’re dying.”

As former Google chef Bodhi Kalayjian, who now bakes bread at Esalen says, “Everybody’s got a soul. It’s about finding it.”

The article also quotes Gopi Kallayil, Google’s chief evangelist of brand marketing. He has been wondering about the impact of his work and said that many of the people who came to him had floundered this year.

Ultimately, it’s about finding meaning in your work and ensuring that what you invest your precious time into is something that you can feel proud of.

5 Steps to Successfully Hacking Your Body/Energy Algorithm in Real Time

Tim Chang is a Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist and truth seeker who has spent years experimenting with optimising his performance. He suggests a do it yourself body/energy hack that will give you visibility to how your body and energy levels react to various inputs and, based on this real time feedback, you can then personalize what you consume and increase your performance levels.

Here are Tim’s 5 steps:
1) wear a continuous blood glucose monitor like the FreeStyle Libre for several days.

2) observe how your levels rise and fall based on specific foods you eat, as well as how much and when you eat them — you may be surprised by how your body reacts specifically to different types of foods vs others!

3) do a bit of A/B testing with different regimens, and see how your blood sugar levels respond to: no/low sugar; no/low carb; intermittent fasting [“IF”] (daily IF 16/8 split vs. weekly or monthly 1-3 day IF).

4) explore some of the cutting edge supplements out there like Ketone Esters, and experiment with synthesizing the effects of fasting and ketogenic diets — Tim got to try an early sample of HVMN’s ketone esters, and was amazed to see how his ketone levels jumped in real-time, as well as the sustained energy boost afterwards… it made him ponder the future of consumer ketone esters as a 5-hour Energy & Red Bull-killer, and perhaps as a gateway towards the benefits of intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets.

5) most importantly, NEVER blindly follow or accept anyone’s prescribed regimen or methodology* — hack for yourself, on yourself, and see what works or doesn’t for you 🙂

(* Tim has definitely learned to back off of his own previously espoused formulas and regimens, after finding that stacking paleo + minimal carb + IF + heavy-meat/high-protein body-building diets for years led to formation of kidney stone crystals, and potential onset of gout!)

 

What is an Elder in Residence Program and Why Does Your Business Need One?

In a previous post (Here’s How Older Generations Can Reinvent as Elders and Continue Their Impact) I talk about the importantance of older generations reinventing themselves as elders. I refer to two fantastic examples of individuals joining high tech Silicon Valley companies when they are in their early 50’s. Both have had a profound effect on their respective businesses: Fred Kofman at LinkedIn and Chip Conley at airbnb.

These are relatively ad hoc arrangements and testament to the foresight of the CEOs of those companies for pioneering this path. And then it struck me: what if this was formalised and crystallised into a program that other companies can follow, add to and learn from?

And so I began thinking: when I was at NICTA I had a problem – 600 very, very smart scientists on staff and a remit to create an entrepreneurial culture and commercialise their research. How was I going to help these academically-driven people reinvent as entrepreneurs? And I needed to do so on rocket boosters as we had enormous pressure to produce results.

One of the most successful things I did was to set up an Entrepreneur in Residence Program. I recruited a number of serial entrepreneurs to join us for a year. In this time they firstly acted as mentors to our scientists and secondly identified a project they could work closely with to fast track a spin out. If they were successful in spinning out a new venture they would take the CEO role and lead it through its growth.

The result of this EiR Program was a definite boost to the organization’s entrepreneurial culture and a slew of venture-backed spin outs in record time.

My aim is to take this learning and apply it to creating an Elder in Residence Program. I see the benefits to a company, particularly one that is growing rapidly and dealing with how to scale leadership, being:

1. A close trusted confidante for the CEO – part adviser, part mentor, part CEO coach;

2. A leadership program that will boost compassion, resilience, wisdom and, ultimately, increase diversity, engagement and organizational transformation.

CEOs often have excellent advisers and investors in their milieu, but I see this to be a role more embedded inside the business – working closely with the CEO one on one as well as building up the leadership team for the purposes of scaling – as they transition say from 150 to 300 staff it is imperative that they are ready for this growth inflection point and the rule of 3 and 10 (at 3 and at 10 things change in any organization and as it scales simply add zeroes onto 3 and 10 and the principle continues to be applicable).

How to Get Better Outcomes With Less Effort

Isn’t it about time you got better outcomes with less effort?

CEO Coaching is your go to method: it’s about leadership development; it’s about being inspired, but ultimately it’s about impact. Your return on investment is a boost to your productivity and your overall well being; which is why at EXOscalr we refer to it as fuel for the soul, rocket fuel for your business.

CEO Coaching helps you find clarity: in your vision, in your role; and this translates across your business with people becoming less confused, more engaging and their overwhelming sense of fear dissipating.

Here’s How Older Generations Can Reinvent as Elders and Continue Their Impact

We live in complicated times. The generally accepted thesis is that businesses need to transform to survive and this transformation needs to be particularly digital in nature. And so the theory continues: we need to hire younger and younger people, who have more digital intelligence.

But here’s the thing: being digitally savvy does not equate to being emotionally intelligent; it does not make up for sound judgement – the kind of wisdom, knowledge and network that comes from decades of experience. No matter how much AI or autonomous systems get implemented into business, the human element remains a vital part and this is where we can turn to an untapped resource – people who may be being passed over for roles because of their age and perceived lack of value to organisations.

Companies are finding it harder and harder to secure the human resources they need. Yet there is a pandemic of global population ageing. A person turns 65 in China every 3 seconds. In the last five years the number of people over 60 in China has increased by 22% and reached 230 million.

China is not alone. The world population is ageing and with it comes a real shortage of human resources, unless we radically rethink our approach. We need to see older generations less as a burden and more as an asset. They represent a massive business opportunity, an untapped resource.

We need to shift our thinking and turn eldership into a more evolved form of leadership.

Hazel McCallion is an inspiration: she retired as Mayor of Canada’s 6th largest city at the age of 93. A  year later she was appointed Chief Elder Officer with Revera. This month she gave an engaging talk at the Ageing Well Revolution Conference in Adelaide, Australia – at the age of 96.

We need to move beyond ageism and embrace the wealth of wisdom that comes from this all important demographic. Diversity has a time dimension to it too. Elders will be the magical element that crystallises true organisational transformation.

But the role of Chief Elder Officer is not an automatic rite of passage for people of a certain age. It does require a shift in thinking and positioning.

Here are three things people can do to ensure they embrace the role of elder:

1. You need to develop a beginner’s mind of infinite possibility. You need to step down from control and power and take on the role of wise counsel – use your beginners mind and ask questions rather than giving advice.
2. You need to ask yourself: what can I learn from this situation, what can these people teach me?
3. You need to ask people: what can I do to ensure you are giving of your best? Be less of an adviser and more of a curator: help your people to find what is most important for them and their business to work on; prioritise beyond the accoutrements of ‘success’ and the constructs of busyness to determine what produces the most impact; and curate their gems, helping them nurture these into core strengths.

Here are two further inspirational examples from Silicon Valley. Firstly, 57 year old Fred Kofman is an example of an elder being invited to work with the CEO of a company to both transform it and the world. In 2013 LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner asked him to join the team and help bring wisdom and compassion to the business and the business world.

The business coach and author of Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Value dived into the company as VP for Leadership and Organisational Development. He proceeded to crystallise a culture of conscious business within this high tech business. In May, 2018 he will publish his new book, The Meaning Revolution: The Power of Transcendent Leadership.

As the company’s Philosopher, Fred listened like a wise elder while also reframing leadership for Jeff and the team.

And secondly, Chip Conley is another wonderful example of a valued elder. He joined Airbnb at the age of 52 after their CEO, Brian Chesky, asked him to be his mentor. But this was the former hoteliers first foray into the tech industry and he simultaneously felt like an intern. He needed to find a way to be both mentor and intern and talks about his experience in the Harvard Business Review:

I quickly learned that I needed to strategically forget part of my historical work identity. The company didn’t need two CEOs, or me pontificating wisdom from the elder’s pulpit. More than anything, I listened and watched intently, with as little judgment or ego as possible. I imagined myself as a cultural anthropologist, intrigued and fascinated by this new habitat. Part of my job was to just observe.

My best tactic was to reconceive my bewilderment as curiosity, and give free rein to it. I asked a lot of “why” and “what if” questions, forsaking the “what” and “how” questions on which most senior leaders focus.

Boomers and Millennials have a lot to offer, and learn from, each other. Enter the “Modern Elder,” who serves and learns, as both mentor and intern, and relishes being both student and sage. The opportunity for intergenerational learning is especially important to Boomers, as we are likely to live 10 years longer than our parents, yet power in a digital society has moved 10 years younger. This means Boomers could experience 20 additional years of irrelevance and obsolescence. That the number of 65-and-older workers last year was 125% higher than in 2000 presages a national human resource tragedy.

Wisdom is about pattern recognition. And the older you are, the more patterns you’ve seen. There’s an old saying I love: “When an elder dies, it’s like a library has burned down.” In the digital era, libraries — and elders — aren’t quite as popular as they used to be. But wisdom never grows old.

Chip wrote Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. His latest book expands on his views on the Modern Elder: Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder. It will be published in September, 2018.

UPDATE: Forbes has published a piece in which they explore Chip’s experience at airbnb and his thoughts around the Modern Elder. They also reveal his plans to create a Gap Year for Elders:

Conley also plans to launch a retreat center, called the “Modern Elder Gap Year Academy,” to help talented people rethink their skills in mid-career. The program, which will accommodate up to 25 guests at a time, will open in November 2018 at a beachfront complex Conley is building on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. It will offer training in modern elder skills, as well as supplemental instruction in personal technology, small business development, languages, mindfulness, yoga and other subjects.

Conley hopes the experience will be a bit like joining “a secret society and making connections, since you are learning these things in a beautiful setting with 24 other people who are going through a similar life experience.”