July 5, 2019

Try This for Your Next Business Meeting

I was transported.
Flown out of my familiar office, my technology, my props which tell me that I’m competent.

“I’ll leave you here.” the plane panted, as it disgorged us at Pisa airport.
And from there, greeted and herded and shuttled to that region called ‘Tuscany’.

Nodding and greeting the strangers squashed around me.
Strangers, who might be stranger than I could imagine.

Yet, here we were, bundled together, trapped in this transport.
With no escape but to accept each other’s idiosyncrasies for a few foreign days.

Then arriving at The Watermill, set amongst lazy hills of centuries and toiling of lives.
Their magic and their histories entrancing and hypnotising all of us.

“It’s a business course.” I told myself.
”To help me with my writing and blogging and my next ‘best-selling’ book. And stuff.”

But I’d miscalculated. Misunderstood.

Here, the dancing, singing stream, the ageless villas, the intoxicating scent of morning bougainvillea.
Here, with the blossoming of laughing lunches, breathless conversations, of singing; of unexpected friendships.

Here, I would realise how mechanical my working life had become.
How all of our lives – particularly in business – so easily become devoid of Soul.
Become set on data and knowledge and skills and competencies.

We lose the wonder of creating and creation.

I wrote as if possessed during that week.
Sentences like this, from a morning at a local market place:

”… Then, seeking escape in reds and shiny roundness, I light upon the spotted skins of plump plum tomatoes.
I know they’ll belch with aroma in my mouth, when I next capture and pierce them at dinner.
My chest aches with this. This piazza.
And its ache is threatening my throat.”

Who writes like that?!
With our tedious reports, out ten-best-ways-how-to articles, our babbling newsletters and our noisy emails.

And this is why I insist on leaders getting out of their own offices.
Why I take them to places where their heart can sing, and their mind soar.

Those we serve.
Those whom we call ‘Clients’.
They deserve to work with someone who can help them make wishes and aspirations and dreams come true.

How can that be, if our minds are trapped in our PCs and mobiles?
If our senses are sterilised by seeing that person as our next project?

I believe our working hours give us the power to show others what is possible.
Whether we’re leading them, or advising them.

We can release that power by enriching our own lives with daring and risk and adventure and beauty.
Regularly, without waiting for holidays to give us permission.

We can be the change that others so badly need in their lives. In their businesses.
And we can do that by plunging into places and experiences which change us.