After Success, Enriching Life, and Being Liked

My old friend Uwe Weissflog came through town last week and we managed to see each other for the first time in perhaps seven years. The conversation covered a lot of ground in a few hours. Some things I want to remember…

Open Space: A recent open space with business people on “what comes after success” and “enriching life” beyond just business… Working in networks, some as small as 4 or 5 people, each one with a purpose, something to create together, and generating some revenue… An annual open space retreat for creating things together, exploration of unknown territories, insight, meditation, nature, art… The joy of making connections between people and ideas.

Global Economy and Culture: Noticing that Europe, the US and China are economically rigid, flexible, and merchantilistic in their structures, respectively, but in media and other dimensions the mix might be different. As the world moves toward flexible, the US economy might be best positioned, but the US mass monoculture media might be less well-equipped to handle a global adjustment to flexible forms. Europe seems better poised to benefit from personal and cultural diversity.

Coaching: Do people like you? How does it feel when nobody likes you? How does it feel to be a leader when nobody likes what you’re doing? Everybody wants to be liked, to be seen in a way that makes us feel fully alive, mutually understood and appreciated. This turns out to be a surprisingly effective opening for coaching conversations with leaders.