Hi, I’m Ian McClean. I’m the founder of Flow Group and GreenLine Conversations. And this podcast has grown out of the chaos that’s been thrust upon us. During the podcast, I’m going to try and share with you the best of 25 years of helping corporate organizations deal and cope with change. So, as you’re out there, busy making sense of it all, trying to cope, and maybe, in some cases, trying to rebuild your organizations, I’m hoping that some of this can be of some assistance. We’ll keep it deliberately short because I know you’re busy. Let’s dive in.

2 year anniversary; 50 Episodes later….Reflections of an accidental podcaster.

It’s almost 2 years to the day since I began this podcast, and 50 episodes later, I wanted to pause and momentarily Zoom Out and reflect.

It was Friday the 13th (the clue was in the date?!) when I sat in the Cheltenham racecourse car park on a 1hr call with my international Flow partners from 4 continents, sharing perspectives of what was unfolding as our world was disappearing from underneath our feet. Engulfed by chaos and uncertainty about the rapid spread of a virus no-one understood I remember the last question of the call. How long before things return to normal, and how long do we have to wait this out? The most pessimistic view suggested September. By September, I mean September 2020. Shows what we knew. The paradox of life is that we understand it far better looking back, but we can only ever live it looking forward. Unless you’re Benjamin Button.

I moved into precautionary self-isolation on return to Dublin and wondered over what to do. There was no paid client work to do, so I wondered how could I add value. So I started a podcast about the thing I knew most, where there was the most need. The irony is I had intended starting a podcast for over 3 years – but never ever found the time for being always too busy.

Asking about the title, a colleague was doubtful “What will you do when the Chaos is over?”

The question, of course, missed the point. There is, was, and will always be Chaos.

Our very existence and Life itself was born out of Chaos. Sometimes chaos comes with a small “c”; other times with a large “C”.

The question is not if there will BE Chaos. The question is How to BE in Chaos?

For that we need to reset our expectations of what our default position is; and revise our original mental “factory settings” about how life is and the leadership that follows to support that.

Of the many insights, there are 2 major leadership lessons I’ve taken personally from the discipline of producing this podcast over the last 2 years.

The first is that Good can come from Bad. The naked truth is that if it hadn’t been for the limitations inflicted by the pandemic, I would never have begun the podcast. I would still be languishing in the Raging Bull “could been a contenda” corner.

The second is that it is amazing how the discipline of small, consistent effort done with purpose and good heart can amount to something significant and substantial over time.

So what next? Well, as Beckett plainly put it, “You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

Now that we are apparently lurching from one life-afflicting Chaos into another (Ukraine invasion), we need to lead differently and more vigilantly than ever.

If you have been, thank you for supporting the podcast.

Meantime… Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay Connected.