Looking back…. over my shoulder?

This time of year we tend to look back. Appreciating the year that passed, the people we spent time with, the achievements we created. Looking back is wonderful, and it’s also a really important part of our personal journey, looking at who we were yesterday (yesteryear, yester decade) compared to who we are today. Cherish looking back and then give some thought to looking ahead. With the words of the futurist we had guest speaking recently: let’s plan the future based on the future! Unfortunately, most often we as leaders and business owners – and in our private lives – plan and predict the future based on the past. And even if that shows what we were capable of, it risks holding us tied to the choices of the past. With a new decade in sight: what about taking a fresh view on yourself and your capabilities? Of your team, your business, your life? Planning who and where you want to be in the future – and creating the strategy and focus based on THAT instead of the past?! Looking back is valuable. Let’s now look ahead – and still use our own shoulder (not what everyone else is doing) … More Looking back…. over my shoulder? »

Over-committing myself…. who me??!!

On the radio today, I got the opportunity to have a conversation with a good colleague around over-committing ourselves and what to do about it. Do you recognise it? Especially this time of year. So many of us stressing out about all the events we have committed to. Here’s the truth: it’s never about how much is in the calendar. It’s how we tackle it. We all have 24 hrs in a day, and this time of year gives us the opportunity to become even better at tackling busyness. Tip #1: you have committed, accept that it is what it is Tip #2: plan for respectful and smooth arrivals and departures Tip #3: be present Let’s unpack each one of them. First of all, when you have committed – that’s it. Stop running stories in your head or out loud about how you have over-committed or how busy it is or how full-on this weekend will be. Advance coaching: stop it! You say yes or no upfront, and when you have committed, no need to waste brain and air-time creating dramas around it. Secondly, if you have been slightly over-optimistic with how much you can fit in a day, be … More Over-committing myself…. who me??!! »

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? »

På med hørebrillen!!

Growing up, we had a Danish saying that you would throw at someone who didn’t get what you were trying to say: ‘på med hørebrillen’ – meaning put on your hearing glasses, step it up, tune into what I’m telling you. Technically, it is a pair of glasses with built-in microphones that help hearing-impaired pick up more of a conversation. I thought of the saying this week, as I realised how differently we are all equipped to listen to each other’s messages and pick up what is intended. Or (as it happens most often) not listening for the intent but cross-wiring the message unintendedly based on our own filters and triggers. In most everyday conversations – privately and work-related – the delivery of a message is not picked up by the receiver, either because we are not tuned in to the same channel – or because too many external factors take our attention away from focusing on the intended message. And it made me smile realising how a trifecta has developed my superior hearing over the years – not literally if tested – but applied: 1) growing up speaking a minority language, 2) being brought up by loving parents encouraging … More På med hørebrillen!! »

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? »

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! »

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 »