Through a random sequence of events this evening I will be having dinner at the House of Lords. Not because I’ve snuck in a peerage whilst no one was looking (next year maybe) but because a group of people need to have a conversation and one of them has a brother who is a Lord… (I’ve polished my shoes)
One of the guests at this dinner will be Professor Lynda Gratton and given she is an eminent individual I thought I would do a little light googling and at least understand a little about her thinking. Luckily for me, last year she participated in a TEDx conference at London Business School and the video of her session is linked below. Having watched it I have been recycling the content in my head and it’s sparked two streams of thought – the second of which comes tomorrow!
In the first section of her session she talks about the notion of considering what kind of world we can construct and goes on to offer the opportunity to stop and think about the kind of life you want to construct. She then lays out two options – the first ‘walk into your future blindfolded’ with no choices or the second to be more thoughtful and have what she terms a ‘crafted future’.
The two options reminded me of a conversation with my then boss a few years ago when she asked me what my career goal was. I ummmmm’d and arrrrrr’d for a few moments to which she replied (in her inimitable fashion) “As I thought this is all happening to you by accident”. She went on to ask me some more questions and challenged me to really think about where I wanted to go and she ended with the following metaphor, “you may want to end up in Edinburgh, you may want Glasgow, you may want Manchester – but at least stop driving around the M25 waiting for a junction to attract you – get on the M1”
If you stop and think about all the decisions you make in your day to day life – which clothes to wear, which parking space to use, what to have for lunch, what to say or not say in a meeting, how to feedback to a given individual etc etc these probably absorb some of your brain space and in some cases may absorb all of it!
Then think about bigger decisions like where and when to take a holiday, where you live, what car to buy etc etc these are probably longer considered but still only partially absorbing.
Then think about the huge decisions – relationships, family, work. How much time do you actually spend thinking about them? If you’re anything like me the answer to that one may horrify you a little bit.
Walking into your future blindfolded? Anyone?