In search of new insights and meaning

The observational research obsession that forms such an important part of my day-to-day life has been raised to a new level. I believe that entrepreneurs can learn so much from parallel universes. What do I mean by this? Highly practical insights on personal and organisational progression can be derived from places such as military, religion, sport and performing arts:


Explore the workings of elite regiments such as the SAS. What can business and entrepreneurs learn? – mental resilience, courage and toughness, teamwork for starters – the Iranian embassy siege tells business a lot about “who dares wins”. Success is often down to state of mind – well if you want to observe and learn what mind toughness looks like then this is the place to go and look.


How can religion steer the way business is done from an ethical perspective and sustainability? Personal values and spirituality can have a massive impact on the relationships we build – great ethical brands stand the test of time. The wisdom of the Rule of St Benedict can help to build strong communities and the Eastern spirituality of Buddhism and associated mediation practices release creativity and produce calm and centred behaviour. Relaxed and creative minds deliver new ideas and ground breaking products and services.


Natural talent is one thing but a rigorous training regime is paramount if we want the winning outcome. Balancing mental conditioning with training is an essential element. Formula One is not just about the quality of the driver it’s the team effort. Visualisation and believe you can (BYC) mentality are important elements of executing a winning plan.

Performing arts

A successful pitch often means we have to deliver a great performance. Stage fright is a fear which many accomplished actors have to face. Many entrepreneurs would rather face death than present to an audience, yet communication is a vital ingredient to getting on. How does the entrepreneur cope with the stressful situations associated with performing in front of customers and what techniques can be learnt to overcome that anxiety? – there are some massively beneficial tools we can use from this arena – storytelling, for example supports leadership development and selling can be massively aided by telling stories to emotionally engage customers.

I would be keen to hear any other thoughts on how we can learn from connecting unconnected spheres! Biographies of people provide a great starting point.


2 Responses to In search of new insights and meaning

  1. Louise Yates says:

    I couldn’t agree more John with the this post. I have almost finished reading Finding Sanctuary by Abbot Christopher Jamison and whilst I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as religious, the insights I have gained from this book which I can apply to my own life, whether within work or outside have been tremendous.

    However I do believe the key is to be non-judgemental if you are going to truly open up your mind to parallel universes and learn from them. It is all to easy to say, ‘that doesn’t apply/work for me because I’m not sporty/not religious/not arty’ etc. And even when one is reading, the natural instinct is often to cross reference opinion with your own. But since developing as a coach I have learned to suspend judgement and it is only now I am seeing another benfit, this time for my own personal growth.

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