I'd hoped to get this out early this morning, but the day got away from me in favor of some quality time with my team, my book manuscript in progress, and a few of my favorite clients, so I'm going to consider late better than never.
I've been in a big push of a creation cycle for the last few months, working toward a beta of a book about goal setting for changemakers, Thinkydoers, and status quo challengers. I've also been developing a few new learning and development options to support our mission of helping more people than I'm able to with my limited number of services hours. It's been – hermity. And tiring. But rewarding to finally get the work I've been developing over the last many years out of my head and onto paper.
And I wanted to share a few highlights of my intakes and outbounds, on this SQUIRREL of a Friday afternoon.
I was delighted to see this podcast come across my feed this week, since we're in the part of the motorcycle racing off-season here in the US where I take a little bit of time away from the sport other than as a spectator and fan. The psychology (and cognition) of motorcycle racing and performance motorsport is a source of endless fascination for me (naturally), and this conversation between a former world Champion motorcycle racer and a psychologist who has worked with motorsports athletes in the past was remarkably familiar to my own experience in the sport. If you're not a racing fan, it still makes an interesting listen for insights about team dynamics, performance in high-stakes, high-consequence competitive environments, and resilience and ability to make mindset shifts when our circumstances change.
"[E]ven when you win the world championship, you'll never be satisfied, because an unsatisfied nature is quite key to being successful."
- James Toseland, two-time World Superbike Champion
Long Read: The Extended Mind, by Annie Murphy Paul
This book by Annie Murphy Paul has changed how I work, how I coach, and how I think. It comes up on a near-weekly basis in my executive coaching work, for the relevance of its insight that thinking does not only happen between our ears: insight is also derived from how we physically interact with the world and others; and, from externalizing our thinking to solve puzzles using spatial arrangement and our "extra-neural" inputs, not just "thinking harder."
One of the skills that we work with when helping people more fully occupy their potential as executive leaders is intentional fidelity: recognizing that our default fidelity of work may not be the only fidelity at which work may be created to achieve high-quality collaboration and/or shared understanding. Paul's book overlaps with that skill, by giving permission and encouragement to externalize thinking into whatever form works for you, from which point you can organize and arrange your thoughts into formats that are friendly for your audience. Get your best thinking out first, and then it can be refined for others.
An excerpt from The Extended Mind:
“Our culture insists that the brain is the sole locus of thinking, a cordoned-off space where cognition happens. This book argues otherwise: it holds that the mind constructs our thought processes from the resources available outside the brain. These resources include the feelings and movements of our bodies; the physical spaces in which we learn and work; and the other minds with which we interact—our classmates, colleagues, teachers, supervisors, friends."
Now it's your turn:
What's the most influential read or listen you've come across in the last few weeks, that you can't get out of your head?
A few highlights from my work-related outbound social & content, in case you missed them:
Self-awareness and workplace relationships: Are you aware of your own iceberg?
- A back-to-basics on What OKRs are (and how the way we work with them is different)
- Six signs your organization may benefit from Key Results
- A ten-minute video explainer of low-fidelity index measures and their utility in goal-setting to help fill gaps in progress measurement
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a restorative weekend!
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