Falling to earth


I’m just back from a few days skiing in Davos where the sun shone constantly. I took the opportunity to stay completely offline which I am sure was good for me. You may have noticed that a variety of spammers took on the task of adding content here in my absence, which I’ve now removed.

Skiing for me is a constant challenge to maintain the “inner game”. I did much better when I wasn’t attempting to compete with others and just focussed, without too much self-flagellation, on my own technique. I’m not very good at being taught skiing, especially as I am easily confused by being asked to focus on more than one thing at a time when falling down a mountain.

I was part of a group of eight people and throughly enjoyed how a bunch of diverse people collaborated to have a good time. No big master plan, no committee meetings to agree on objectives, just a good deal of inspired muddling through. Sure, a lot of the time people went off at tangents, and sometimes we nearly organised our way onto completely the wrong train from the airport… but somehow the team worked. With no-one in charge. There’s a moral there somewhere.

I returned to London which felt very cold compared to Switzerland and to a mountain of email. I am trying to catch up before heading off on another adventure on Saturday.

5 thoughts on “Falling to earth

  1. Michael Wagner

    Thanks for the report. I am of course envious. We have just had snow in Iowa – but no mountains.

    “but somehow the team worked. With no-one in charge.”

    These words caught my attention. The idea that leadership resides in one individual is conventional wisdom. But as your example points out, leadership can reside in the group as well.

    Any ideas on how, when and why this species of “group leadership” emerges? Bonus quetion: And why are we always a bit surprised when it does?

  2. Johnnie Moore

    Hi Michael: I think this kind of group leadership is pretty much inherent in our DNA, but is kind of overlooked in a lot of management literature.

    For why we’re suprised, partly it’s a built-in flaw in our thinking, which has the fancy name of fundamental attribution error – basically a tendency to overlook context in favour of crediting individuals.

  3. Mark Lloyd

    I am intrigued that you think you are not good at being taught skiing, as if there were people who are good at being taught skiing. I don’t actually think there are. Skiing is incredibly difficult to “teach” because there are so many variables. Our bodies, our minds, the equipment and the terrain not to mention the fragile notion that there is only one way to do it.

    I am not saying that we don’t all need “help” but the didactic approach rarely seems to work. It’s what makes it so challenging – well, that and the self-flagellation. Pleased to hear you had a good time!

  4. Michael Wagner

    Thanks for the feedback! I usually get invited to ski due to the entertainment value I bring when I wipe out. Just put you on my Bloglines feed – learning all the time how to stay in the great conversations.


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