Ready for a new decade?

We have a few weeks left of this month. A few months left of this year – wait, what? It’s not just a year coming to an end, it’s a decade! Which means we’re about to enter a brand new decade. That’s exciting – or scary if you’re not sure how to go about it. What do you want to make happen in the 20s? WHO do you want to be? What do you ABSOLUTELY want to leave behind and close the door on in this decade? Let’s use the next few months wisely. To get clear on the answers to these questions for you, your teams and your business. Let’s make this new decade matter. Make YOU matter. Let’s create the best decade ever. P.S.: I saw the Aretha Franklin movie Amazing Grace yesterday with a friend from our choir and absolutely loved it. She is so effortless when she sings. So true to herself. She keeps it so simple and yet moves so many people. The lyrics from one of the songs hit me (and stuck with me because I know myself well enough to grab my phone to capture it): “If I could I surely would”. And … More Ready for a new decade? »

The Good News Channel

I don’t watch the news. Not because I don’t care. But because I want to focus my energy and mind on things I can impact. Good thoughts foster good action and worried thoughts more worry and despair. I always said that one day I was going to start a ‘Happy News Channel’. Where journalists would go out in the world to capture the good stories, bring them back and edit them into news clips that would bring hope, inspiration and action. A former Reuters journalist I talked with on the plane years ago understood my urge but concluded that some students had tried it once… It doesn’t sell as many tickets, it doesn’t get viewers. I get it: our brains are wired to look for danger and you get more reactions from people around you if you bring a big drama compared to sharing a story around what a smooth, easy day you had because everything worked out exactly as you wanted it to. It’s encouraging that so many of us are passionate about creating a better world, but when we frame it ‘war against waste’ or ‘war against…’ we bring more attention to the unwanted state – and make … More The Good News Channel »

Dead wood?

As I ran down the bush on a recent windy day, I noticed this eerie sound and stopped to figure out where it was coming from. It was a special group of trees, standing very close, moving in the wind. I realised it was the dead branches making this creaking noise as they hit against each other whenever a forceful gust of wind passed by. It reminded me of the thin pick-up-sticks from the Mikado game – when they fall on each other as your fist lets go at the start of the game. Only in this case, the dead branches were still on the trees. Trees naturally shed dead branches. Gum trees are known as “widow-makers” because they do it randomly and unexpected. Yet here was a kind of tree holding on to these dead sticks. When the wind hurls, fresh and vibrant branches don’t make a sound, they move with the wind, sway and circle with flexibility and ease. Whereas the dead branches creak, they are not able to move with the same flexibility. Which leads me to the point of getting rid of dead wood. Where in your life, business or own mindset is it time to … More Dead wood? »

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 »