Personal Transformation, xMonks Drive Podcast

Unpacking the Notions of Self-ownership for Practical Application

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Jules Goddard starred in the xMonks Drive podcast’s this weeks’ episode. And it is one of our most dynamic and philosophical episodes ever. Each word is in its highest resonating frequency. There is something for each of us to find in this episode. 

The Mindset Transition: From Fixed to Growth

 Your mindset creates your perception. If you create a positive one, you will positively see the world. 

Insisting on the power of mindset, Jules said, “I like the notion it’s becoming very popular in business schools at the moment between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. 

And the fixed mindset will be one where we’re trapped in our identity. We’re unable to flex our identity to try different ways of being and feel. It is like being entrapped in some earlier definition of ourselves. 

Whereas a growth mindset is allowing us to be open to other options to keep exploring the person. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, said, in effect, life is a form of self-expression. We’re born as a certain kind of person with a certain kind of identity. And as we live, so we do we give expression to the true person within. 

Aristotle believed that that was profoundly mistaken. He thought, in a sense, we were a blank canvas. We could paint onto that canvas in a much more creative idea. In a person that we want to be or should be. Therefore he claimed that we act our way into the person we choose to become. And by pretending to be someone, we enact that idea of that person conscientiously enough. So it’s open to us how we act and execute the notion of ourselves.”


The Joy of Being Human

Live your life every moment. Yes, this is the message by Jules for us. 

Adding further he said, 

“Make a sincere attempt to find meaning in everything that you’re doing. Apart from finding meaning in everything that you do, there is no other meaning to life. And I was pleasantly surprised. Apart from finding meaning in everything that you’re doing currently, there is no other meaning in life. And especially the kind of things that we all are into. I’m just wondering, is there anything that matters? To all my accomplishments? Do they have any meaning? And does the car that I drive? Does it make any sense to me the credentials that I have? Does it make any sense at all? And that’s a reflective zone that we all are into these things?

Yes, of course, in some sense, we’re born with WILL. With a strength of will, we want life to mean something. In some philosophical sense, there’s no scribed meaning. We make meaning where we find it. That’s the joy of being human. 

We can attach different kinds of meaning to life and so on. And the importance of gratitude, and counting our blessings, and so on. But I guess most of us, certainly, in my case, I’ve underused the options, the privileges I’ve had in life. One of my regrets would be, I wish they’d been more courageous. I wish they’d tried out more things. I wished I’d give myself permission to be released on what others might think, and to be, if you like, more, more conscientious in the experiments that I ran, it’s very easy, isn’t it, to play safe.?

I think that is why Aristotle said courage is the most important virtue, as all other virtues flow from it.

Being Unstuck from the Existential Crisis

These are existential moments in people’s life where they start to ask much deeper questions of themselves.

The question here might be where am I stuck and try and unpick that sense of being stuck.

So it begins with asking yourself this question, Where am I stuck? What’s holding me back? 

It’s more intrinsic than extrinsic.

Because I think that if we were to clarify the impediment, what’s holding us back, the barrier, almost certainly only in our mind. If you like those questions, they will certainly enable us to come up with answers that are quite radical for ourselves in terms of our choices in the future. It may be,  for example, that our work is no longer satisfying. It may be that those we’re working with are no longer inspiring. It may be that our boss is a particularly difficult person to work with. And for it may be that the conversations we have at work are insufficiently inspiring. And of course, it may be that we’ve tried to resolve these issues over two or three years and a failure to do so. 

Confronting those questions, possibly in conversations, I think we’re much more likely to make the jump. And give ourselves the right to try something completely different. Some of the most interesting lives that I’ve experienced are those of my friends. There I come across lives that take different directions at different moments. It’s not a single line, certainly. For those in their early 20s, life is not seen as a single line. Nor will it take the form of a single line. There will be many beginnings. And many pauses. These lives of far greater variety I think will be far more fulfilling.

Not enough of the workplaces take part in these forms of conversation. Where that sense of being stuck or the sense of frustration, or a longing for something else is talked about. Those conversations need to take place in the workplace where we can address them. As you know, our fears and hopes, it’s always an emotion, that we find new intellectual thoughts. Everything begins and ends with emotion. And therefore find a space at the workplace, the natural place at work, where emotions can find expression.

Discovering the Uncommon Sense

Jules is writing his new book–Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense: Why Some Organisations Consistently Outperform Others.

Giving a brief about what he meant by the term uncommon sense, he explained,  “Learning is about discovering new things, discovering new forms of behaviour, discovering new, new truths. And I call these new truths Uncommon Sense. Sense because they’re true, Uncommon because we’re unique in knowing these truths. So that was the object of the exercise to write about competitive strategy as a kind of learning for strategy.”

About The Speaker: Jules Goddard

Jules Goddard is the author of Uncommon Sense and Common Nonsense (Profile Books, in press); recent publications include articles on futuristic models of management (Sloan Management Review), experimental marketing (Market Leader), the economic crisis (Business Strategy Review), mismanagement and core incompetence (Labnotes), cost strategy (Business Strategy Review), a new definition of accountability (Interconnections), as well as a monograph on employee engagement, social media and management innovation (CSC Leading Edge).

He has been a contributor to The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Psychology (Blackwell), The Complete Guide to Modern Management (Mercury), and Business: The Ultimate Resource (Bloomsbury). Over the last few years, he has worked with Professors Gary Hamel and Julian Birkinshaw to establish and promote The Management Lab (MLab) at London Business School, dedicated to partnering with chosen clients in the experimental pursuit of radically different ways of managing talent and organising work.

Jules specialised in designing, directing and teaching senior-level, enterprise-wide transformational programmes for many companies, including one third of the FTSE 100; his special areas of interest are business creativity, strategic innovation, and leadership skills.

He taught MBA and PhD students at London Business School, edited the London Business School Quarterly, worked part-time for J Walter Thompson as a member of their R&D group, edited The International Journal of Advertising, and set up The Planners Collaborative, a strategic consultancy.

He was the first doctoral student at London Business School (his thesis was on the mathematical modelling of brand choice behaviour) and then emigrated to France to set up a construction company in the Dordogne restoring houses and chateaux, and employing 55 craftsmen.

After Wharton, Jules Goddard worked in advertising for David Ogilvy in New York, as a copywriter and an account director.

As mentioned, this is a not to be missed episode. Click here to listen the xMonks Drive Podcast.  

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