Selflessness – get out of your way

Written by Stuart Haden on February 6, 2019

In a recent posting I introduced the 4 characteristics (selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and richness) of a flow state described by Kotler and Wheal in  Stealing Fire. Here I am going to take each characteristic in turn and dive a bit deeper.

Actually when we are in flow large swathes of the prefrontal cortex shuts down (transient hypofrontality) and we loose track. We loose track of ourselves. Silencing our inner critic and keeping the ego at bay. Risk taking increases as the

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Introducing Yvon Chouinard – Let My People Go Surfing

Written by Stuart Haden on January 23, 2019

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (the founder/owner of outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia) is a classic read for anybody interested in organisations – their purpose, culture and values. The title alone is enough to challenge and support your philosophy of working lives. “We all needed to have flextime to surf the waves when they were good.”

There are some great tale of Yvon’s life and the values that he lives by – enjoyment, friendship, flexitime, personal image

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Time, money & energy

Written by Stuart Haden on January 9, 2019

Scary as it might sound we only really have 3 things – time, money and energy. There are plenty of opportunities to develop your awareness of the first two. Time management has been a tried and tested workshop for years. Money commands it’s own industry, careers, qualifications and crashes.

Energy on the other hand often creeps under the radar. Paying attention to energy needs to be as natural as checking your watch or your bank balance. Awareness is one thing but

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New learning needs new media

Written by Stuart Haden on December 19, 2018

The emerging role for any learning professional is in my view to embrace new media. Acting as a producer and journalist so that others can quickly access your message. When I run workshops I tend to arm myself with the power of conversation and a flipchart. But I know many people want to anchor the learning and have some clear takeaway’s. Which is why I write an e-book that does just that. I wrote the following for a power of change

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Servant Leadership – growing, seeing & listening

Written by Stuart Haden on December 5, 2018

I read Robert K Greenleaf’s book Servant Leadership years ago, and it’s now in its 25th edition. I totally bought into the concept of making sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. Perhaps more of a mindset (than a practical leadership tool) it encourages us to think whether we are being of service.

In his book he poses 3 questions…

Do those served grow as persons?
Why would anybody accept the leadership of another except that the other sees more

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The power of when

Written by Stuart Haden on November 21, 2018

The ‘power of what’ calls upon you to notice your energy levels in the moment. You are firing on all cylinders. But what is firing – body, heart or mind. What do you need more of, what do you need less of? Fuel in the tank.

Shifting gears slightly the concept of Hedonic Calendaring, (Kotler and Wheal) introduces the ‘power of when.’ Offering a way to hack optimal performance without coming undone. A method to integrate hard and fast processes with

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The use and misuse of optimal performance

Written by Stuart Haden on November 7, 2018

Even though more and more people are recognising the benefits of incorporating non-ordinary states into their lives and work this doesn’t mean it won’t have its problems. Historically any time this has shown up it’s lead to upheaval and misuse. Whilst the insights from psychology, neurobiology, pharmacology and technology give us better means to practice optimal performance there will always be those who use and abuse.

We have seen it in sport even though elite athletes submit ‘biological passports’ confirming their

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Putting altered states at the heart of business success

Written by Stuart Haden on October 24, 2018

Summit began in 2008 when five entrepreneurs came together to solve a problem. The problem was they didn’t know any successful entrepreneurs and they couldn’t turn to anyone for advice. So they came up with a novel idea – they cold called business leaders to invite them to go skiing.

This one off idea soon became the Summit Series, ‘non-conferences’ sometimes referred to as ‘TED crossed with Burning Man.’ They also wanted a permanent home, Summit cofounder Jeff Rosenthal described “We

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The science behind music & improved performance

Written by Stuart Haden on October 10, 2018

This quick hack to improve your performance can happen at a flip of a switch. When we listen to music our brainwaves move from the high-beta of normal waking consciousness down into a more meditative state. Alpha and theta, which are sometimes even trance inducing. 

When you plug into some of your favourite tunes levels of stress hormones (norepinephrine and cortisol) can drop. Meanwhile social bonding and reward chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin) can spike. A recent study by Apple

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Start making sense

Written by Stuart Haden on September 26, 2018

I order to perform at our very best we have to make sense of the world around us. Sense making and making sense.

To hone our senses it’s helpful to have an activity that allows just that. For me it’s running. Scanning and questioning the body, heart and mind. When and why is it going well? Where and how can I improve? What and who can help me?

Strange as it may seem knowing what does and doesn’t make sense allows us to do nothing

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