The business world seems to have woken up in the last 48 hours. It's September, the schools have re-opened and people are sleepwalking back to work after a summer break. But just because we are physically back-at-work, it doesn't mean we are all mentally and emotionally there - the lights are on, but nobody is home in many cases.
It goes without saying that businesses are concerned about getting the most from their workforce but, it's important that employees are working smart, not just working hard. There's a very important distinction to be made between the number of hours employees work and the productivity of the workforce.
To be clear, building a team should not be confused with the idea of creating a climate of consensus. Successful teams can only be built with strong leadership that is relentlessly focused on ensuring that such teams are built to function as a seamless unit and deliver results. Endlessly seeking consensus can significantly undermine this process.
I teach mindfulness from time to time to groups of senior executives at one of the UK's leading financial services organisations. These are ambitious people with big jobs. They have only a few steps left on their career paths and the organisation wants to help them make those. That's where programmes like my Art of Mindful Leadership training come in.
I was recently at a gathering of entrepreneurs and we talked about our challenges, what we like and what we don't like about what we do. One thing struck me: no-one in the group actually enjoyed being the boss myself included. By that I don't mean that they don't value their independence, we all do, but we all see managing people as a necessary evil, a means to an end not the end itself...
Business can learn a lot from politics - and sport - in terms of managing public expectations. Companies are getting smarter at this game - down playing expectations in the business pages in advance of difficult results. But too often company leaders fail to control the narrative by overstating their ambition in the first place. Corporate Britain is littered with the bodies of business leaders who promised big and delivered small.
The shops are full of England whistles and flags; living rooms are adorned with wall charts and fans are decked out in wigs and face-paint: the 2014 World Cup is upon us. Whether you love or hate football; support or deride the England team; or are just plain ambivalent, there are plenty of lessons we can learn from Roy Hodgson and his coaches, regardless of the team's performance.
We wouldn't train for a marathon for 12 hours a day as we know it's not physically good for us, so why do we do this to our brains? With the majority of people spending more time at work than with their family and friends, it is important for a worker's mindset that the right balance is created between work and life.