Fredrik Lyhagen
Ready to become who you could be? I’m an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant writing about Leading Self & Others from a lens of Integral, Jung and Zen.

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Photo copyright Oxford Leadership

This article will help you understand:

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What is the purpose of giving feedback?

The correct behaviour, to improve, to change you may answer. I would have, and my understanding of feedback has evolved over the years. An evolution of understanding feedback as a nicer word for correcting behaviour, to shifting the focus of the word towards desired outcome, to shifting the focus to the process of change.

Over the last years I’ve shifted yet again to a new understanding of what feedback is, or rather what the ultimate purpose of feedback is. …

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I first become a manager because my Danish colleague, the most senior, most talented, and next-in-line guy, in our sales team got too impatient waiting for his promotion. I was also looking for a way out of my current role but he was faster and found a role outside of the organisation.

Shortly after he had left, the next rung on the ladder become free and I was asked to step up.

By stepping into a management role my career quickly took off and I had the opportunity to build a team up from 8 to 65 people. This experience, in the coolest IT-company at the time, set me up for further career steps and allowed me to build a comfortable life. …

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Photo by Annie Spratt,

Even if you are only remotely interested in personal development and leadership, you could not have missed the empathy train.

Empathy is in every leadership conversation now and often touted as the magic key to great leadership, partially because of the rapid rise of Brenéity, the devotion to the teachings of Brené Brown.

All the talk about empathy is well-intended and it’s a good starting point for talking about evolving leadership but I experience two issues with how the term empathy generally is used.

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No, Buddhism is not a religion. Stay with me as I unpack this.

Let’s start with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh who says “Buddhism is not a religion, it’s a practice, similarly to yoga, which you can do irrespective of religious beliefs”.

This statement is a controversial, both to some Buddhist and to others, so let’s define religion and take a closer look at how Buddhism relates to the definition of religion.

Merriam-Webster defines religion as: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

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Remove the layers and let the core of who you are sparkle

You are not the title on your business card, the car you drive, the exotic vacations, nor the clothes you wear. But it’s so common to prop up our identify with social attributes, especially now with social media and people caring more about getting the perfect selfie from the beach vacation than actually enjoying the beach vacation.

Who are you without all our social attributes?

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Although the teachings are 2500 years old I find The Four Noble Truths relevant for contemporary life, possibly even more so now in the age of internet where we can feed every temptation and in many cases get instant gratification at a click of a few buttons.

The Four Noble Truths deal with what in Sanskrit is called duhka. There is not a very precise translation of this word to English but the most often used English word for duhka is suffering.

I don’t like this translation as it is focusing on the feeling that often is very dramatic — suffering — and the power of The Four Noble Truths is that it’s a way of relating to self and life long before it may turn into suffering. …

I’d lost count of how often that nagging question ambushed me. As I did every workday, I charged down the narrow road to the highway to work, my brain on fire. Not with ideas and energy, but with a morbid calculation that had become routine. So routine that I’d even gone through my old college physics books to refresh my memory on kinetic energy.

As I eyed the thick, ancient trees lining the road, that question which had gripped my mind so often came up yet again:

“What’s the optimal speed to hit one of those trees, so I don’t kill myself but hurt myself enough to get a three-month break from work?” …

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