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"Leadership. Highly Skillful Leadership." by Brian Sharp


Today, I'm very pleased to bring to you Brian Sharp. A veteran, high level, and extraordinarily competent project manager in the video game industry, most recently with Bungie before becoming self-employed on his own projects. He was in the top 1% of well-paid project managers, but more importantly -- he was effective and empathetic, getting the best out of his people, helping them develop, and marching towards achievement after achievement while keeping his team healthy, happy, and engaged.

The following interview is in line with the launch of his GiveGetWin deal, Elite Management & Leadership Coaching for People In Creative Industries.

"Leadership. Highly Skillful Leadership." by Brian Sharp, as told to Sebastian Marshall

Buddhist philosophy has a lot in common with how I tend to think. I find professional work within organizations is one of the best forms of ethical practice.

It's one of the few environments where you're constantly juggling diametrically opposed goals (or at least, goals that can seem to be diametrically opposed).

Kaizen - The Japanese Concept of 'Good Change'

On Zenthusiasm

"Kaizen" is a simple concept from the Japanese language, literally meaning 'Good Change'. That's it, nothing more. It can be big or small, quick or extremely time consuming, all it needs to be is a change for the better.

Japanese business leaders have adopted this term, and modified the concept slightly to being one of smaller steps, incremental change, over time, which leads to a much brighter outcome. It is this second usage that I'll talk about today.

I'm sure most of us know that Japanese culture is very . .. driven. Their ideals are high, their personal and societal expectations are high, and their demands on themselves and of others is high - its part of the reason why suicide rates are so elevated in that country. But there is another side to Japan, one that takes into account the betterment of a corporation, or society, as a whole. We can take this concept, and apply it at the personal level very effectively.

We as individuals can be very driven too - driven by our own personal desires, societal norms, parental expectations, job demands, internal voices that say you aren't good enough yet. We often are our own worst critics. I know myself I love photography, but I've often suffered from the fact that my pictures aren't good enough by my own standards, and that makes photography a self-defeating hobby for me. Well, at least it used to be, before I discovered the concept of Mindfulness.

Applying the concept of Kaizen to my life, it basically boils down to this - what small changes can I make in my life, that given sufficient time, will produce big rewards or positive changes? Its like applying the concept of compound interest to your personal life. Small steps, small changes, day after day, tend to build on each other. So lets look at some changes that I hope to make in my life, and how I expect them to compound over time

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