One step up the feeling-good ladder

You know what it feels like when you have a shitty day. And you so wish it would get better, but most often you’re waiting for something outside of you to shift. Don’t. Wherever you are on the feeling-shit to feeling-awesome ladder right now, YOU are the one in control of shifting it. And here’s the thing: don’t be unrealistic by wanting shit to become shine in a second – take one step at a time. That’s also why it can be annoying with a well-meaning friend on a much more positive radio channel wanting you to ‘think positive’. Just because they are able to reach that frequency right now doesn’t mean you can reach it – this is where the positive psychology movement can be misunderstood. Take the step that’s available to YOU right now – and it will make a difference. Here are the simple steps: 1) Reach for the best-feeling thought you can come up with right now. This will switch the radio channel you’re currently listening to one step up. 2) Notice the shift and relief as you allow a better-feeling-thought and let go of what you were feeling just a moment ago. 3) Do this … More One step up the feeling-good ladder »

Work comes first – always

How many of you leaders and business owners have kids? Small or leaving home or adults. The age doesn’t matter, it impacts us. It impacts our businesses. And so it should! As we dare coming to work as humans, as all who we are, it IS part of how well we perform and the level of results we get. Family life gets in the way – or IS it maybe the way? For pushing all our buttons, exposing out sore spots and as we dare to deal with it, we become better human beings, better leaders, better business owners. I’m NOT saying all you leaders without kids aren’t amazing. I’m just appreciating that those of us with kids have an extra challenge – and an extra practice field to learn from. With the recent holiday season, I thought it pertinent to share these thoughts as we all push back into the routines again. Because it hurts realising that our work always comes first. Because that’s what happens – even if we say the opposite. “I’ll just take this call”. “I just need to check a few emails”. “I’m just on a webinar (as you leave the dinner table)”. Do you … More Work comes first – always »

I love myself… you what??

It’s ironic how we think and tell each other that we should serve others before we tend to our own needs. That we’re selfish if we follow our own needs. Isn’t it ironic? Isn’t that other person wanting you to tend to their needs first the one who’s being selfish here? I love myself. I like how I apply myself, take responsibility for my happiness and energy. And that’s provoking to some people. Because often it feels safer hiding or pleasing others or blaming everyone else and wanting them to make us happy/motivated/fill-in-the-blanks. Other people’s light can inspire us. But our light comes from within. So, I want you to follow yourself. Only YOU know what makes you feel good. What makes you able to be the best version of you. And that’s not being selfish. That’s your job! Accept yourself and be OK with yourself first, the good, the bad and the ugly. Then you can start accepting others like they are, too. Be kind to yourself. Be true to yourself. Follow yourself. Don’t hurt others doing it, don’t bring them down to get you up, come from a place of kindness. Towards yourself and others. Healthy selfishness opens … More I love myself… you what?? »

Keep screwing…

How annoying is it when you try doing something and you can’t figure it out? When you keep attempting but it’s not happening? When you spend excruciating amounts of time on something that should be simple? I believe we all recall the frustrating seconds, minutes, days or years of feeling we’re wasting time – that there is a better way. It could be a system or process at work that’s driving you bananas – or it could be a new task or challenge that you can’t find a good way of solving. Now recall the bliss when you nail it. When you find a way. Suddenly it flows, it’s working, it’s easy. Aaaaah… Screwing eight screws into a fickle bolt with limited and obstructed access got me to a level of frustration this weekend that I haven’t experienced in years! The fact that I was so slow and even worse than that: that I couldn’t get a system or process going to pick up the speed, or to create a learning curve. It made me realise that we all have a different definition of “wasting time”. And that it sometimes is wonderful to “waste time”, “shoot the breeze”, “take your … More Keep screwing… »

Let’s promote making mistakes!

I’ve heard it many times, said YES to it many times in training rooms. But these last months I’ve finally DONE it. If you don’t make mistakes, you’re playing too small. Well, I have been playing too small and too safe all of my life then. This message really resonated when I shared it on the Business Rebels page earlier this year, so this is to make sure to share it with all of you. Have I had no failures? Well, lots of things I could have done differently as I look back. But I wouldn’t call them failures or mistakes. They made me who I am today. But because of a prior perfectionism and wanting to always get it right (… anyone resonating…??), I always worked very hard, was extremely diligent with doing what I promised, making sure to think through, plan and follow up dedicatedly to not leave ANY potential leaks in the boat. These are skills and a standard I’m very proud of. And my clients get great value and certainty from it too. “In some industries, you CAN’T make mistakes”, you may argue. Well, in every job you know exactly which parts you have to get … More Let’s promote making mistakes! »

Let the sunshine in?

From Hair the musical you may recall the chorus: let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in. How often do we focus on the squeaky wheel in the team instead? Spending most of our time fixing the issues created by them directly or inadvertently? Or focusing on the sales gaps instead of the opportunities to create even more value. It makes us tired, we risk losing our momentum and passion by the mundane, repetitive focus on mistakes and correction. What if we instead let the sunshine in? Focused on the strengths and the stars of the team? The new client opportunities? Going for the greatness leading into that chorus: life is around you and in you. Don’t run away or hide from the issues. Deal with all issues with decisiveness and minimum time and effort spent. To allow time and focus for the sunshine. Somewhere, inside something, there is a rush of greatness. The reason you love doing what you do. Bring the focus to what matters most – and create a place of drive and sunshine. Let’s be the hippie counterculture and create great results and great teams through letting the sunshine in.

Promoting round corners

A culture’s design says a lot about that culture’s mindset. One example from the Scandinavian design tradition you may not be aware of is the absence of corners in Piet Hein’s super elliptical table. The design without sharply defined corners enables everyone to seamlessly sit next to each other around the table, with a less pointed-out difference of “who’s at the end of the table”. Being neither round nor rectangular changes the dynamics. And while we’re on the subject of seating, have you noticed the difference when talking to people sitting opposite you compared to sitting shoulder by shoulder on a bench or while walking or driving – talking and heading in the same direction? Brene Brown in her book Dare to lead talks about the position at the table when you have conversations: preferring not to sit across from the other person, but instead sitting next to each other. You will notice how it changes the interaction – looking in the same direction, shoulder to shoulder, being united in whatever needs to happen – compared to being on opposite sides facing each other, like a tug-of-war. It may be my Danish blood, because when I’m with clients or prospects, … More Promoting round corners »

Gratitude one day or the other?

I haven’t been online yet today, but I’m sure there will be stacks of Mother’s Day posts and true gratitude for the flowers, the lunches, the dinners, the gifts. That’s all fine. But as those of you know who have followed me for some years, we don’t do Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in our home. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating these days, we have nothing against them like some people detest Halloween as a growing commercial tradition – I think it’s GREAT to create new traditions and savour the old ones. What is it then? Well, we believe the other 364 days count much more. What is a lovely bunch of flowers on this day compared to mutual respect and helping each other out running this thing called a family all year round? What is a breakfast with hundreds of other families out on this day to celebrate the (sacrifices of?) motherhood compared to a smile and a hug on a random Wednesday – seeing in each other’s eyes that it means a lot having each other around? I hope everyone has had a lovely day, been spoiled and had that beautiful feeling of love and gratitude come their … More Gratitude one day or the other? »

This way please

Imagine if life was that easy: always a sign in front of you telling you whether to go left or right. There was an event going on in our local bush this morning, and it made me realise how easy life would be if we had helpers who had put up signs beforehand, showing us how to stay on the right track. The “NO, wrong way” red sign and the GREEN ARROW showing you to turn right here. And pink strips placed with frequency to show you that you’re on the right track – and when you meet obstacles, they help you to know to just keep going. It’s all good. Wouldn’t it be easier if life was like that, too? No need to think. No need to weigh up the options and having to make a decision. Follow the yellow brick road… or the pink strips in this case. Yes, it would be easier. And that may feel good for a bit. But then again, when the path is trotted in front of you, it’s the path of others – and it may not be your path. I’ll accept the uncertainty of not always knowing. Of still putting in … More This way please »

Your name. Your identity.

Annlone or Annlone [said Danishly]. Your name is an important part of recognising yourself. I’ve had some fascinating conversations around names – how you and others say your name – with people I’ve met recently. Thank you to all of these people who showed curiosity and wanted to be able to say it, the Danish way. And hearing your stories made me want to do this blog because I can hear it’s resonating. If you’re based in another country, living away from where you grew up, you probably resonate with this. You were given a name, you heard your parents or the other big people call you that. And if you liked the name you had and those using it, it became a positive part of your identity. An important part of recognising yourself – differentiated from others. Living surrounded by lots of different languages, even international names like Peter, Michael, Sarah and so on will be pronounced differently in German, French, Danish, English. Some take the consequence and change their name when settling into a new culture – Joan becoming Yoan, Pierre becoming Pete. Good on you. I went through 3 versions – because just Ann is not me, … More Your name. Your identity. »