founder of naked leader


Naked Leader Week – 32 – 24 November 2003

I love feedback and November saw over 2,000 e-mails. And as with so much in life everyone has differing opinions on the, dare I say, smaller issues, however when it comes to purpose, and the bigger issues such as living in peace in the world, or on reinventing consultancy, most people agree. Of the 1,400 or so that mentioned weekly content, half like the new length, half want it longer. Many of you want more humour while just as many don’t want any “trivial” jokes at all. However, an incredible 911 (yes, I added them up!) talked about the bigger picture, purpose and possibilities…

After all, The Naked Leader is not about me, it is about you, and each other. Watch this space…

I have been very fortunate this year to speak in many different countries, often with my talk being translated. The whole area of translation gives my three great memories from 2003. In Rome, two minutes before speaking, the Chairman asked whether I would be speaking in English or Italian. I jokingly said Italian. Big mistake – massive. He hugged me and said how great it was for an Englishman to speak fluent Italian. I have never made such a joke again. (And no, other than the first line, my talk was in English).

Secondly, when I tell funny stories or jokes there are three issues – will the joke translate? will it “work” in this country? and what is the time delay before I get the second laugh? (those who understand English laugh first, then 15 seconds later the rest laugh). It is weird.

Finally, last month saw some classic mis-translations into Russian. I said “blades of grass” the translator heard “blades of glass.” “It all comes down to your choices” became “It is all down to your voices” and my personal favourite, somehow “True Decisions” became a woman called Trudy Scissions (Your destiny is shaped by Trudy Scissions!).

Thinking of “culture,” I am always asked about how to change it, control it or how to turn it into a competitive advantage. It got me thinking – to me culture simply means a collection of people, and that the culture in your organisation is the people in your organisation. Companies and cultures never change, only people change. So when people talk about the “culture in this organisation”, they are, in effect, talking about themselves.

With massive love and best wishes to you all




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