Monday, January 25, 2010

Teams & Families

Reviewing the last few years of working with parents and leaders, it strikes me how very parallel the issues of these two groups of people are; parents want their kids to learn to be responsible and accountable, they want good communication and high achievements; and leaders want the same from their employees; families want honest communication and everyone to pull their weight – as do leadership teams! Parents have problems maintaining boundaries, understanding their offspring or meeting them where they’re at, and getting them to do what they want! Leaders seem to have the same issues! Families are often brought together by shared values and the need to collaborate over something (as they are split when these are missing!); leadership teams - ditto!

I find that when I witness parents and leaders who ‘make it all work’, those who are succeeding and reaching their goals, I notice they ensure that their children or employees feel that they each have a sense of real purpose (rather than just a job, a chore, or a commitment); a value in being the unique person they are with their unique strengths, in the unique position they’re in; the employees / children know that they have a special contribution to make without which the team (or family) would not be doing as well! Leaders and parents that flourish do so because they have employees and children with a strong sense of belonging & purpose, who therefore are more likely to feel motivated and inspired, loyal and happy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We know beauty because there is ugly
We know good because there is evil
Being and not being,
having and not having,
create each other.
Difficult and easy,
long and short,
high and low,
define each other,
just as before and after follow each other.

I love this quote ~ it reminds me to embrace the shadow, and that all is relative.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A 'Badge of Honor'?

A new year, and time to look at stress in a different light!
Far too many people 'wear' stress like a badge of honor; "Oh I'm SO stressed!" a man exclaims at the local coffee shop as I quietly sip my cappuccino. He continues, "but at least that means I'm working hard and being productive!"
He leaves hurriedly and I wonder whether he will get any more done today than me...... somehow I don't think so. Work we do and decisions we make in a stressed out state, frequently lead to more stress. Interestingly, it's when we are in a relaxed, calm state that we are most likely to be the most creative problem solvers and make the best decisions - because that's when our brain is fully 'switched on".
Time to recognize that the belief that 'only through hard work and stress will you be successful', is a myth! Not only is 'hard work and stress' not a prerequisite for achievement and success, it absolutely never guarantees it, (if it did, there would be a lot more successful, non-struggling people in the world.)
Time to recognize the value of relaxation and self-care, of having a life of ease and balance, of ensuring our brain is as fully switched on as possible - and that means activating the 'feel good factor"!
Try this for a week; start every day generating a 'feel good' state - whether it's through focusing on feeling appreciation for something in your life; reading something inspiring; listening to a piece of music you love; doing yoga or other physical activity; or whatever makes you feel like smiling! I'd love to hear about what differences you notice in your life.
Personally, I have found that as long as I take the feel-good factor with me as I go about my day, I am way more effective and successful than when old beliefs about 'hard work' surface and stress becomes the order of the day!
Please join me in expanding the 'feel-good factor' - increase its frequency in your day .................. It may become a movement!