March 8, 2019

What If You Changed Your People?

I was scared.

I didn’t admit it until my poppy-blushed Yaris glided across the border of Cambridgeshire…
…and into the cream coloured limestone and collyweston slate roofs of Stamford, Lincolnshire

But scared is what I was.

I was scared that the magic that had been there between us all…
…well, it would have dissolved during the intervening months.

We had met, you see: 12 of us, I believe it was, when we started.
We had met in the August voluptuousness of Tuscany.
’The Watermill at Posaro’ it’s called: our place of paths-converging.

From points on the compass we had travelled into Pisa airport.
From Scandinavia and the USA; from the Netherlands and Herefordshire.
Oh! From all over it had seemed.
So many places and so varied lives gathered in that magic place.

We wanted to tell stories, you see.
Or to learn how to write them.
“Creative Writing” the course was called.
So we came to see if we could. Could Write. And do so creatively.
Although none of us believed that possible.

Then this enchanted place, this fill-your-lungs-with-nature’s-perfumes place, took hold of us.
It took our hands and guided our hearts across the paper.
We wrote as if breathlessly possessed.

And then we read to each other, hardly believing what we were reading.
Engineers and consultants and retired directors and translators and mentors and sculptors and…

Motley as we were, we rejoiced in each other’s discovery of ridiculous talent.
Waves and fields and depths of it: surprising and shocking and heartrending and hilarious.

As we read, we laughed until we cried.
Then we cried until there was only room left for laughter.

That magic, healing week at Posaro.
That hallowed bubble of unearthed intellect and emotion and spirit.

Meeting again, exactly 6 months later, the question haunted me.
”How could we possibly recapture that magic?
And why were we setting ourselves up for such bitter disappointment…
Meeting here, in Stamford Lincolnshire?”

So. I was gently scared.
Gently. But scared nonetheless.

An hour from arrival at The Bull and Swan you’d find me.
There, in Scotney Place, just off St Mary’s Passage.

You’d find me wrapped in arms and hugs and delight and “You Made It!”

Then, aided by unashamedly rich morsels and secret recipes…
You’d find me writing miraculously again.
Surprising me. Surprising them.
With the laughter and tears flowing over once more.

It’s not difficult to understand the difference that a beautiful setting has on our creativity.
And in business, that creativity is the difference between ‘Same Old, Same Old’…
… and creating something that others yearn to engage with.

So, it matters!

Which is why I find it essential NEVER to coach a business leader in their place of work.
Why would I surround them with the influences that created their current thinking?!

What I keep learning, again and again…
Is how our ability to think extraordinarily is deeply influenced by the PEOPLE we are with.

So, I wonder…
Who are you surrounding yourself with right now?

And, what would happen if you surrounded yourself with different people… from time to time?