Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

TL;DR

  • New Year’s Resolutions (particularly ‘SMART’ goals) are fundamentally bad ways to effect long-term and sustainable positive changes in our life as they run counter to deep-rooted psychology built up over millions of years of evolution.
  • Instead, give yourself a broad, directional and resonant theme for the year as a framework to help support your decision-making and help you navigate towards where you really want to go.


That feeling when you’ve been working from home for too long…

For most of us, there was an undeniable novelty factor when, back in March, Covid-19 unexpectedly closed offices, leaving most of us working from home.

Monday morning meetings were replaced with Zoom calls, businesswear with PJs, we got to enjoy a constant supply of coffee and many of us swapped daily commutes for a bit of a lie-in. Sounds pretty good, right? Wrong. Whilst working from home obviously has its advantages, for many of us the novelty wore off fairly quickly, with many people experiencing higher levels of stress than normal and putting ourselves at risk of burnout.

It became…


TL;DR

  • It is a stressful time to be job hunting right now, but there are practical steps and investments of your time and energy you can take to help you to stand out.
  • Take time to look after yourself; job hunting takes time and you’ll do your best when you’re well-rested and are able to reduce your stress levels.
  • Take time to define your unique value proposition and personal ‘candidate-role fit’ and use this framework to find the right opportunities and tailor every application you make. Remember to optimise your digital presence.
  • Your network is a key asset; use it…


Operations assemble!

TL;DR

  • Being successful in Ops at a startup requires you to draw on a range of different skills and strengths.
  • Be prepared to spend time firefighting, but also make time to deduce the real problems and solve those.
  • Combine creativity and analytical ability to devise solutions that really work.
  • Become good at convincing people of why they should change and show them how to do it. Enforce compliance on key risk issues.
  • Be a productivity ninja and defeat the time drains of email and unfocused meetings.
  • Don’t do it alone! Draw on the combined strengths of your team to overcome…


Photo credit: msf.org

Unless you’ve just returned from a silent retreat in the desert, you’re probably aware by now that we are living in pretty unusual times. The COVID-19 pandemic has torn up the rulebook and overturned all of our assumptions about what is normal. Nevertheless, as Rahm Emanuel said, it is important never to let a crisis go to waste. What lessons then can business leaders draw from how society and governments are responding to the current health emergency and from the wider world of epidemiology? …


Or what cycling has taught me about life and the nature of success.

“It never gets easier, you just go faster” — Greg LeMond

It was hot. Punishingly hot. The sun beat down relentlessly into the bowl of the mountains and sweat beaded on my forehead and dripped down my face, stinging my eyes as I tried to blink back the rivulets of dissolved sun cream and salt. The sky was wide and clear and there was not a breath of wind to be felt to take the edge off the stifling furnace as I slowly ground my bike meter by meter up the asphalt incline, searching in vain for patches…


Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Part I: Life, Death and Time

If you knew the exact hour and minute you would die, what would you do? This conceit is the premise of the 2015 cult Franco-Belgian film The Brand New Testament when God’s daughter, as revenge against her controlling father, sends each member of the human race their individual ‘death date’, with surreal results. The truth is, most people don’t think about this very much, if at all. We may have periods where the fragility of life comes further…


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Or, what Disney’s Inside Out helped me understand about falling into and climbing out of depression

Spoiler warning: This article makes reference to the plot of the Pixar film ‘Inside Out’.

I’m a big fan of Pixar films. As a studio, they really seem to have found the secret sauce for producing great films: interesting stories, well rounded characters and really fantastic animation. More than all of these things though, the main reason I really like Pixar films is that, almost without exception (Cars 3, I’m looking at you), watching them creates a real and deep emotional response. Toy Story


Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

***

Warning: This is an honest account of some of my struggles with mental illness and includes references to things that readers may find upsetting, including attempted suicide.

***

When I was about 15, someone in my year at school (let’s call him John, not his real name) said something to me that, although I didn’t know it at the time, was perhaps one of the most insightful observations anyone has ever made about me.

“Chris, the problem with you is that you are addicted to praise”.

At the time I remember feeling pretty angry. The idea was absurd, offensive…

Chris Bond

Former lawyer turned scale-up ops leader | Finding my zen through yoga 🧘‍♂️ and cycling 🚴 | Recovering perfectionist and blogger about mental wellness.

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