Emerging Into The New Normal With Tenderness

Jun 08, 2021
As we get more and more vaccinated here in Switzerland, I can see the Spring shoots of the new normal emerging - the possibility of a new life beyond Covid lockdowns.
 
I thought that it would bring new inspiration.  But instead my energy took an unexpected crash.  It surprised me.  I don’t know where you are at but in case that is also happening to you, here is the new awareness I got when I dug deeper into it all.
 
1.  It Takes Energy
 
I realised that I keep forgetting how much energy it takes to just keep going at the moment. 
 
I am pretty good at managing my energy.  But I am realising that it is a fine balance because the uncertainty of it all - and the constant navigating outside of our comfort zone - is so draining.  And so all it took was me taking on a couple of projects that turned out to be quite draining.  And a more intense reaction than expected to the vaccine. 
 
Normally I have enough...
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Take Your Place In The New

May 17, 2021

We are at a pivotal moment in terms of human history, where we are being called to evolve the operating system on the planet. This for many is triggering a career pivotal moment of their own. When you are asking deeper questions about your life, your work and what you want to do with it all.

If that resonates... know that it is ultimately a call for you to take your place in this new world that is emerging. To be part of this massive transition we are going through. That it asks you to get clear on how you will contribute. Rather than being a well meaning by-stander.

Business as usual is dying. There is no point hanging on to a sinking raft. It is time to change ship. To create businesses that work for people and planet - and catalyse a new level of prosperity for all.

That will take each of us evolving the way we work. Stepping into self leadership and taking the initiative. The shift needs not just the few, but the many. We are all a piece of this particular jigsaw.

Up until now...

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Positive Impact Is Not Purpose

May 11, 2021

It is always assumed that having a positive impact means that you are doing your purpose. So find that external thing you can contribute to and that matters to you and you will be living your purpose. 

That is what I thought too.

And then 10 years ago I started working with leaders in humanitarian organisations, social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and changemakers. They were definitely doing good. And so I thought that they would also be energised, inspired and feel on purpose. 

Some did, but a lot didn't. Many were burning out or had burnt out. I lost count of the number of founders who had to walk away - for a while at least - from their ventures even though they believed in the cause, because somehow it felt off. And even though some were making a powerful positive impact they felt disconnected from what they were doing. And somehow it all felt meaningless.

Initially I was at a loss. Because this idea that your purpose is having a...

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The Changemaker's Burn Out Traps

Apr 27, 2021

I have been hearing recently from many changemakers that they are skirting burn out.  Now there is definitely a Covid factor here. But that is only part of the story.

10 years of working with changemakers - be it in the corporate or the positive impact world - have taught me they all have one thing in common. Their dance with burn out.  This applied across the board - even when they believed in the change they were bringing in. Sometimes their passion actually made things worse.

The usual antidote is learning resilience tools to manage stress. And yes that helps. Let’s be honest changemaking is not a walk in the park and is stressful. But that will only get you so far.

Beyond tactics, breaking this burn out pattern takes a mindset shift. The crux of it is that there are three blind spots. They in turn set up three burn out traps changemakers easily fall into.

1. The Sacrifice Trap: From Duty To Inspiration

In this trap we are driven more by the...

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What If Covid Was A Pivotal Moment?

Mar 30, 2021
We have just passed here in Switzerland the anniversary of the first lockdown.  I think that back then we all hoped that it would be a short lived thing and that we could go ‘back to normal’ by the Summer.
 
Beyond the exhaustion of it all... one year on, for many Covid seems instead to have triggered a pivotal moment.  One of those points in time that gets us to stop and think.  And ask deeper questions about why we are here and what we are doing with our lives. 
 
I am experiencing more and more leaders asking questions about how to shift their careers or their businesses - to explore how to integrate more balance, purpose and meaning into what they do.  Which are tell tale signs of a pivotal moment.
 
The question is if Covid is a pivotal moment for us all, then are we navigating it in the right way?  Both personally and at a humanity level so that we can reap its benefits.  This is not a class we want to fail and...
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Taking The Chance On Meaning

Mar 23, 2021
One of my favourite movies is 'The Life of Walter Mitty'.  It is the story of this unassuming guy, who works as a negative assets manager at Life Magazine.  His real life is completely dull.  But inside his head he lives these unbelievable adventures.  He just doesn't do anything about them.  And he lives his life stuck in his cubicle at work.
 
So many of us dream of more meaningful lives.  We might even know what we would love to do. But we don't break through the fear of following our true path.
 
Sometimes you embrace the adventure, sometimes you resist it. 
 
For Walter Mitty, he did go for the adventure. One day he was given an opportunity and he went for it. He was terrified but he was on his way.
 
And that's where I was at.  In the adventure.  Or to be more precise stuck on a sand dune in the middle of the Altiplano with altitude sickness and darkness quickly setting in.
 
Resisting The Path
 
The...
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The Inner Game Of Purpose

Mar 16, 2021

Often we frame purpose as doing good in the world. But what if there was more to it - what if purpose was not just about doing good?

When I started working with humanitarian sector leaders on creating fulfilling work, I found something unexpected.

Up until then, I had mainly worked with corporate leaders. I found that they often lacked meaning and purpose in what they did. But when it came to for impact leaders, I believed they would be experts in meaning. They were doing good. Their work was having a clear positive impact. So I thought they would feel on purpose and be completely fulfilled in what they did. 

But that wasn’t the case. In fact they complained about the same things as my corporate leaders did - which surprised me. Specifically they felt successful on the outside but that something was missing on the inside. 

At first I didn’t understand why. After all their work was externally meaningful. So why...

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Are You Lacking Energy At This Time?

Dec 08, 2020
As we close this intense year, I am hearing from a lot of people at the moment that they are feeling tired and down.
 
It is more than the usual end of year need to recharge. I guess the best name for it is 'Covid fatigue'.
 
I was talking to a friend about it recently and she was sharing how she felt she was working all the time. That so many of the 'enjoyment' parts of life had been taken away by the Covid changes.
 
And so many of us I am sure are looking forward to recharging over the holidays. Having some nice times to close the year and get our energy back. And that's great - we all need it. But the reality is it might not be enough... yes it will help us recuperate after a stressful year and is essential. But that is only part of the story.
 
Covid 19 has brought massive change to our lives and our world.  Understatement of the year (!)  And that you know.  The key question though is have you been tracking the change curve?  And do you...
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Reaching The Heights Of Meaningful Work

Dec 01, 2020

Often we think that to reach the height of a meaningful career you need to become really good at something that you are recognised for and that has a positive impact. So did I for a long time. In 2014, I got another perspective.  That there was something beyond that.

I had arrived in Switzerland in 2010 and started a new business from scratch. I had no network. I was told I was crazy and that the market was saturated in terms of coaches and consultants.

Within 18 months I was working with big multinationals and humanitarian organisations doing what I loved - focusing on energy management, meaningful work, emotional intelligence and leading change. And my business was doing well.

2014 was a turning point though in an unexpected way. By that time I was working with high potential leaders and actively supporting internal change agents in large organisations to bring meaningful change. I was leading transformation journeys and 5 day retreats so we could go deep.

At the end of that...

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The 3 Stages Of A Meaningful Career

Nov 23, 2020

One of the things we don't talk a lot about is what it really takes to build a meaningful career over time.  

When I first decided I wanted to do work that had meaning, I was totally focused on finding that perfect meaningful role or setting up the perfect meaningful business.  I couldn’t see much beyond that.  It was black or white, there were no shades of grey. 

It was like this box that I was going to find and tick.  And then that would be it. Everything would be alright.  I would arrive in some kind of paradise and automatically be ecstatically happy all of the time.   

I went on to realise there was a lot more to it than that ...  

Initially, I put too much pressure on myself to find the perfect thing straight away.  The one thing that would fulfil me completely immediately and totally.  Instead of letting it be an ongoing work in progress.  I was probably too ambitious initially in the jobs I applied to when...

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