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 »

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 »

Doing What Others Can’t or Won’t Do

Have you heard the saying: you don’t earn a lot if you do what everybody could or would do. You can earn a lot if you do what NOT a lot of others could or would do. This applies in business and in all other types of work. So, if you would like to be more valuable in your field, how can you stand out doing what others could or would not do? I’m always in awe of people being great at what they do and loving doing it. Whether that’s the ear-nose-throat specialist, the teacher or the arborist. A while ago I was fascinated by watching the tree surgeon cutting back dead branches on the neighbour’s 15-20m high gum tree. This arborist was swinging from branch to branch way up high. Most people get sweaty palms just watching it. It takes skill, and not a lot of others would or could do it.  He was climbing up to the very top, swinging like a monkey from branch to branch, fully trusting the rope securing him, his own knowledge and awareness of which branches to trust and which not, always knowing what to do next. People sometimes get jealous when … More Doing What Others Can’t or Won’t Do »