Upgrade your operating system

April Newsletter

Upgrading your operating system

Dear friends of Living Teams

Another month flies by.

Are you hanging on?

Or are you the pilot?

There has never been a more important time for reflection.

With that in mind, this month we talk about ‘upgrading our operating system’ and becoming more ‘pilot’ than ‘hanger on’.

We also talk about energy – your energy and how important it is to refuel to be at your best.

We have a great podcast for you to listen to – a fascinating conversation between two superpowers – Brene Brown and Scott Sonenshein “Why we’ll never be the same again – and why it’s time to talk about it”

What they talk about is at the heart of the work we do here at Living Team HQ (Heart Quarters)


Thank you for being part of our community.

Tony, Andy and Pip

The “Living Teams” Team

Operating System

Upgrade your operating system

By Tony Barton

How old is your operating system?

It’s a good question isn’t it?

And when did you last upgrade?

OK so you want me to be more specific about what I mean by “operating system” and “upgrade”

OK so let me try this on you…how about your operating system is the way you show up in life, the way you think, what you believe, the way you act, the way you deal with stuff…not a very technical explanation but I think you know what I mean.

And here’s the thing.

The way you show up as an adult is largely determined by what you learned as a child, and more specifically, what you learned about how to be loved and feel safe as a child.

For instance, when I was a child I learned that grown-ups (particularly but not exclusively, my mum and dad) would love me more if I was a ‘good boy’ – that meant things like…

  1. Being well behaved at all times
  2. Being polite
  3. Not upsetting people by being too…well, too anything
  4. Not standing out from the crowd
  5. Not arguing and having strong opinions

Essentially I learned to comply and please others in order to ‘fit in and be liked’

I see a few heads nodding – not just me then huh?

And that was the operating system I took into adulthood with me.

Nothing wrong with being nice and polite and wanting to please others…but if that is my dominant modus operandi in the world then my tendency will always be in REACTIVE mode with my impact largely determined by others. It’s a play not to lose strategy.

What if I could upgrade my operating system?

What if I was able to acknowledge this reactive tendency and was able to step into my much more CREATIVE self and operate from what is true for me inside; my authentic beliefs, my true values, my heartfelt desires?

What if I was able to upgrade my learned REACTIVE TENDENCY to comply and step into a more CREATIVE COMPETENCY that allowed me to courageously express myself in ways that significantly enhance my impact and effectiveness as a leader?

And that’s been my leadership journey for the last 20 years – it’s not easy unlearning and upgrading but it has made a huge difference to how I show up these days and to be honest, it feels a hell of a lot better to risk playing to win rather than always playing not to lose.

Complying and pleasing others may not have been the operating system you learned a child, maybe your way of feeling safe and loved was different – have a think – what did you tend to do as a child and how might those tendencies still influence your behaviours and beliefs as an adult?

Interesting isn’t it?

If it is and your curious to learn more about yourself then you should find out more about “The Leadership Circle 360 profile”

At Living Teams, we use this amazingly powerful tool to coach leaders to help them upgrade their operating systems.

If you think it’s about time you upgraded – get in touch – but only if you really want to, not just to please us!




The importance of reenergising

By Pippa Handford

After a 17 year absence, I have just returned from a wonderful week in the French Alps. We finally were able to take the family skiing holiday that had been booked and planned pre-pandemic.

WOW!  I had totally forgotten just how magnificent those mountain views were.

I had also forgotten how amazingly clear the air is up there – purity and freshness on another level.

And, I had forgotten about the peace and stillness you can feel when on a mountain.

I spent most of the week feeling hypnotised by the beauty of the mountains. I never stopped appreciating those views!  Acknowledging that the same view could look so different so quickly with weather changes and even when in heavy snow and poor light, the mountains still had me captivated.

Despite the challenges with my skiing ability (far too many to mention!), I returned feeling refreshed and energised which was surprising after such a physically demanding week.

My week in the mountains made me reflect on just how much the environment around us can impact our well-being.  For me, being in nature is a real source of energy and refreshment.  It can be something as simple as walking my dog where I live in rural Warwickshire, watching the waves crash on the coast or simply sitting in the garden listening to the morning birdsong.

As we continue to lead ever demanding, busy lives, I’m starting to look at my need to connect with nature, it feels as important as what I eat and drink.  Especially as it provides such a source of energy – it’s an essential fuel for me, both mentally and physically.

What environments energise you?

Where do you get your fuel from?

Share your favourite views with us – we’d love to see them!

Leaders bring weather

Leaders bring the weather

By Andy Denne

There are 3 factors to consider.

Integrity. Momentum. Warmth.

Integrity.  Recall the classic “iceberg” model?  What is under the surface?  All your invisible thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, needs.

Integrity is about how you as a leader understand your sense of purpose, how it aligns with your values, how through living it you serve the needs of those around you, how your thoughts and feelings are aligned with your purpose, and you illustrate this to everyone with transparency and consistency and reliability. (That was a LONG sentence! – here it is as a bottom line core message…)

You make the invisible visible.

Integrity demands you must be a living example of walking the talk.  If you value active listening because you know that active listening is a skill that creates connection, and helps teams think better together; well integrity means you constantly role model active listening.

If you understand that leadership includes being comfortable with not knowing the answers in advance – then integrity means being courageous enough to be able to say “I don’t know what is the right thing to do next, and I do know that together we will find the best path forward”.

Integrity – your ability to walk your own talk.  You must have it. Make the invisible visible.

Momentum. Insist that the people around you are active creators of momentum.  It is a “must have” behaviour set. How do you get things moving?  To get things done, to achieve results – you must have momentum. How do you keep things moving – without creating burn out? What are the skills, mindsets and attitudes that help people create momentum?

High performing individuals and teams are students of momentum.  Being able to “read the signs” and have a range of potent ways to “get out of stuck and into action”.

Momentum.  Being able to move your projects forward – before you know it is safe to do so.

Momentum is a real art form of entrepreneurial behaviours. Being decisive, having strategic focus, aligned with purpose and vision.

Momentum matters.

Warmth. You must have the capacity to radiate warmth.  Humour.  Caring connection.

Warmth means you radiate passion, energy and love. Connection, trust, safety, encouragement to stretch.

Warmth allows the seeds in the soil to germinate.  The seeds of extraordinary creative potential lie inside every individual who works with and for you.

Warmth. The kindness, the encouragement and friendship you bring with you into your relationships directly helps these seeds to germinate, grow and flourish.

You create conditions for a growth mindset by blending the relevant levels of challenge and support.

Warmth and encouragement and belief.

Leaders bring the weather. They set the cultural tone for the organisation.  How you combine Integrity, Momentum and Warmth directly contributes to the weather you bring through your leadership.

What weather are you bringing today?



Jackson Browne

Living Teams Rock Moments 

Running on empty by Jackson Browne.

Eileen Caddy Quote

Thanks for joining us around the campfire again.

We hope we have provided some food for thought.

We’d love to hear about the kind of weather you bring and don’t forget to share the things that refuel and reenergise you.

Take care and we’ll see you next month.

Tony, Andy and Pippa

The “Living Teams” Team