YQ ­ Issue 04

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Written by our international business consultants, YQ magazine contains interviews with leaders, current affairs articles as well as tips and advice for senior executives. The fourth edition of YQ – titled “The Self Help Issue” – has just been published.

Transcript of YQ ­ Issue 04

  • YQ2011 Issue 04

  • 02

    This edition contains:

    Publisher: Matthew Sinclair Executive editor: Gurnek BainsEditor: Matt BrownAssistant editor: Sam GilpinConsultant editor: Jane LewisContributors: Clare Morse-Brown & Nicholas HastingsProduction executive: Nicola GrahamGraphic design: Simon Fincham

    Feedback: please send feedback including ideas for future articles to [email protected]: for a complimentary subscription to YQ, please register your details at www.ysc.com/yq

    How to fly your own planeDavid Presswell takes us up in the clouds with a full-throttled guide to investing in Me Inc.

    Self knowledge Do some leaders suffer from blind-spots? Damien Anciano dons his specs to offer a clear-eyed analysis.

    On the couchRainmaker Rajiv B. Lall on how a personal epiphany led to radical change at his Indian power-house.

    Building roadmaps Wheres your career headed? Matt Brown has some great advice for programming your inner satnav. Plus Clare Morse-Browns cerebral tips for brainiacs.




    SpotlightNews Extra! Thomson Reuters on its intelligent approach to nurturing talent.

    What to readInspiring books on overcoming adversity, leveraging your spike strengths and chomping on frogs. Plus an excellent beginners guide to meditation.... OMMMM

    What to watch Nick Hastings gets vv...vocal about Bertie and Lionel.

    Dr Kens blog Is there anybody out there? Kens not at all sure. But kidding around sooths his existential angst.






  • Welcome to YQ

    For this, the fourth issue of YQ, we have returned to our roots. At the heart of everything we do at YSC is a fundamental belief that everyone has untapped potential which can be realised and allowed to flourish. Hence our stated purpose to release the power of people. The theme of this issue is how you can help yourself.

    For decades the self-help industry has been a source of inspiration for millions. In our first feature, David Presswell steers us through the many competing theories of self-mastery and reveals how an obscure 19th century poet brought sustenance and hope to Nelson Mandela during his long period of imprisonment.

    Damien Anciano picks up the theme of struggle as he draws on his rich experience of coaching leaders in developed and developing countries to explore the differences between them. As he argues, one of the greatest luxuries enjoyed by older economies is the time and space to develop self-insight. Matt Brown puts flesh on that theory by showing how a successful personal development plan can give real va-va-voom to your career path. Meanwhile, Clare Morse-Brown takes a trip deep into the brain and emerges with some fascinating insights into how we can boost our memory and learning. Weve also expanded our reviews section to include some of our consultants favourite self-help books and we home in on the inspiring story of George VI in the Oscar-winning film The Kings Speech.

    by Gurnek Bains

    At YSC our mission is to release the power of people. We do this by combining industry leading psychological insight with a thorough understanding of our clients business needs. We work with clients across their entire talent lifecycles including: recruitment, induction, development, the identification of potential, internal selection, role change, measurement and departure. Our key client offerings include 1:1 and team assessment, executive coaching, organisational consulting and the measurement of change.

    About us...

    The power of personal transformation is brought home forcibly by the experiences of two clients. Turn to page 20 to read how a team led by Gail Sulkes at Thomson Reuters worked with our own Neil Jacobs to devise an innovative programme to drive its leaders self-awareness. We are also indebted to Dr Rajiv B Lall who bravely went on the couch to chart his personal and emotional journey as he set about building one of Indias most exciting financial services companies, IDFC.

    As Dr Lall suggests, Indias emergence as the worlds third largest economy is by no means a done deal. The situation is both uncertain and complex. For me, that is a prevailing theme globally: a continuing legacy of the financial crisis. Only those leaders able to adapt and grow in the face of so much change will be in a position to shape the future. We hope that this timely issue of YQ with its emphasis on becoming the best you can be will further that journey. As always, please let us have your thoughts and feedback.

    Gurnek Bains is the Chief Executive of YSC. T: +44 (0) 20 7520 5555 / [email protected]


  • 04

    by David Presswell

    In an increasingly atomised and godless society, the self-help industry has become a lifeline for millions. Here David Presswell considers the competing theories, revealing his own formula for investing in Me Inc.

    QuestionWould a pilot hearing about a fatal, mid-air accident prefer to think of it as a pilot error?

    Mechanical error!I answered, confidently, because that way the pilot is blameless.

    Wrong, answered my questioner. Pilot error, because that way the pilot knows theres a chance of preventing an accident if it ever happens to them.

    It was an early lesson for me in the significance of moving away from a victim mentality towards one of agency in ones own life. Since then, I have been a regular and grateful reader of many self-help books and, more recently, a coach seeking to help others help themselves. Self-help is now a major industry. Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1928 and has never been out of print since. It has been joined by thousands of other titles, each holding the promise of improving oneself in one way or another:

    Change Your Life in 7 Days, Families and How to Survive Them, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Get Rich, Be Thin, Be Happy.. the list stretches on. Central to most of these books is a core message: that we can become the person we aspire to be and create the life we want, simply by taking responsibility for our own lives by becoming the pilot of our own plane. The film Invictus relates how no less a figure than Nelson Mandela found inspiration whilst incarcerated on Robben Island in a short 19th century poems message of self-mastery:

    How to fly your own plane

    How to fly your own plane

  • It matters not how strait the gate,How charged with punishments the scroll.I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul.William Ernest Henley

    It is hard to underestimate how powerful such a realisation can be especially when the influence of traditional sources of guidance, such as family and religion, is lessening, and when the prevailing sense is that each of us is on an essentially solitary journey through life. I have been struck, time and again, by how much difference an individuals mindset can make to outcomes. Two young children accidently fall into a swimming pool and almost drown. One understandably develops a life-long terror of water; the other becomes a life-guard. It is the same event and yet a radically different

    experience. In other words, we might not always be able to control what happens to us, but we can control what we make it mean we can genuinely self-help.There is a wonderful quote from Bruce Springsteen that I often use with coachees who feel incapacitated by fear in one way or another. Asked if he ever got scared before playing concerts in front of audiences of more than 50,000 people, he answered: Never. When I get ready to go on stage, my heart starts pounding, my hands start shaking, my breath goes up into my throat, and I know that I am pumped and ready to play!In other words, Springsteen has redefined for himself the sensations most of us would describe as helpless terror to be those of excited readiness.

    Taking charge Techniques such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP) provide a number of sophisticated tools for intervening in this gap between perception and reality. A person with a phobia of flying may sit in the departure lounge listening to a voice in their


    Self-help is now a major industry. Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1928 and has never been out of print since

    head recounting all the terrible things that might go wrong. Someone traumatised by an accident may, whenever they recall it, see it vividly and immersively in colour. Yet once we realise that we can control these voices and pictures just as a TV producer might in an edit suite we find we can discernibly affect our own experience. Make the voice of doom the voice of Donald Duck and it no longer holds the same terror. Drain the terrifying image of its colour and push it into the far distance and it loses its emotional power over us.The reverse is also true. If we turn up the volume and colour on what we want, we discover it further motivates us to achieve it. Indeed, a core message of this school of self-help is that we should aim towards the positive, towards what we want in life rather than away from what we dont; towards success, health and wealth rather than away from failure, sickness and poverty.

  • The power of intent. Some best-selling books, such as Rhonda Byrnes The Secret, invest intent with magical powers to create our reality: What you think and what you feel and what actually manifests is ALWAYS a match no exceptionEVERYTHING in your life you have attracted accept that fact... You are the only one that creates your reality.This Law of Attraction (you become and attract what you think) has been applied to the acquisition of material objects and business success. Large organisations encourage their senior executives to imagine extraordinary breakthroughs and t