Change Leadership

How are you ‘showing up’?

show upI had an insightful conversation with a new client about ‘showing up’. It was a refreshing take on leadership development, not from the perspective of training leadership skills, but empowering individuals and teams to ‘show up’ in a way that is meaningful, relevant, inspired and engaged.

What is ‘showing up’?

How do you perceive your value in the workplace? How do others see you? What difference does your presence make? Showing up is about owning your space. It is about standing up for the value you are trying to achieve. It is easy to get distracted by meetings, office politics, reports, productivity and many other things – but how much do you allow these things to influence your purpose within your role?

What if I’m not ‘showing up’ the way I want to?

Congratulations. Awareness is the first step to ‘showing up’ the way you want to. It means you can see a gap – and where you can see a gap, you can close it. It’s helpful to go ‘back to basics’ here. Where is the possibility in your role? What are you delivering that has personal value to you? When you connect with what you are doing, when you believe in why you are doing it, it has a tendency to motivate and inspire you, as well as those around you. Passion is key here. Find your passion and ‘showing up’ powerfully becomes possible.

Why does this matter?

When we are personally invested in what we do, we find work more meaningful and rewarding which has impressive results on performance. It is the difference between doing a job you get paid for and doing something that provides learning, enjoyment and an extension of purpose.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give – Winston Churchill

So, what now?

Once you have made a choice to ‘show up’ more powerfully there are several things that you can focus on to build some momentum. The first is to gain clarity on your current reality. How engaged are you on a scale of 1 – 10? The second step is to decide where you would like to be. How engaged do you want to be on a scale of 1 – 10? Once you know the gap you are able to experiment with various ways to close it. Find what works best for you and prepare yourself for a little discomfort on the way. It really helps to develop a ‘possibility’ mindset here. Another great motivator is to surround yourself with people who are ‘showing up’ the way you would like to.

How we experience the workplace, and our lives, is a choice. Our attitudes, perceptions and assumptions all play a role in the quality of our lives. Remember – reality is just a construct of the meaning we associate to everything, to our predisposition toward potential and the way we choose to see the world.

Watch this Tedtalk by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who talks about show up, speak up, look up, never give up and lift others up as a way to positively effect change.

We are interested in your success stories! Please share your experiences with us, and if you found this article useful – share it with your networks.


The Uncertainty Effect – and how to overcome it

free your mindYou’re inspired… now what? As humans we crave certainty in just about everything we do. We will even stay in god awful situations because it is ‘the devil we know’. Find out how to turn inspiration into action that helps you move forward.

Possibility VS Uncertainty

There is a frightening duality at play in our thinking. It is a place where anything is possible, but at the same time, it is the place where we get stuck. The possibility force sees potential and is inspired toward a better future. In the other corner we have uncertainty, which hamstrings us. Since social media is teeming with inspirational quotes and messages, I would like to focus on its opponent – uncertainty, and its sticky consequences.

The Uncertainty effect

We avoid uncertainty. It’s the programming we are built with. Some people can tolerate more uncertainty than others (people who aren’t afraid of a little risk) but ultimately, as humans, we like to KNOW, to be able to predict an outcome. But that isn’t the end of the challenge. On top of this, we are wired to move away from threat (and uncertainty is a threat). This is a double-whammy. We are wired to stick to what we know and move away from anything that threatens our ability to know. Our default is to do nothing and it takes concerted effort to overcome this challenge.

 In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.- Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome to nowhere… how long will you be staying?

So, we want a better future, to make a difference and to leave a positive mark. But because we don’t know how to start, we do nothing. This is nowhere. Where possibility goes to die. We spend too much time in this place – dreaming about what we want without being able to turn this dream into reality. It is a place of demotivation, isolation and regret. This is where you are if you feel ‘stuck in a rut’. This is where you are when you catch yourself wishing things were different.

The Great Escape

Everyone is capable of escaping nowhere. All it takes is action. Stop thinking and DO something, anything! The first actions you take are not important because they get you where you want to be, they are important because they help you break the status-quo. They help you move forward. Take any decisive action and it breaks the ‘thinking’ stalemate. It is important to overcome the fear of uncertainty by doing something you wouldn’t normally do – the ‘what’ is not important. The ‘what’ will come later – once you have strengthened your commitment to leaving nowhere. STOP thinking and START doing.

By taking action, any action, we confirm to ourselves that we are in the driving seat. It confirms that we are prepared to face a little discomfort in order to achieve the things we want. It proves that we are able to influence our lives. Best of all, the more we do it, the easier it becomes.

What small action can you take, today, that will help you move forward?

 We are interested in your success stories! Please share your experiences with us, and if you found this article useful – share it with your networks.

Change Corporate Social Investment Strategy

Our Greatest Challenge: Hopelessness

newsThe news bombards us with violence, economic and environmental crisis and events that inspire fear. While empowering us with knowledge, it is also the cause of a wave of hopelessness that is prevalent across the globe. In this post I invite you to become aware of the impact that all this bad news has on our thinking and to join our movement of hope.


Bad News is Everywhere

Television, radio, cellphones, newspapers, computers. We have access to news 24/7 and 99.9% of it is scary. It makes us worry about our physical and financial security. It paints a picture of a future that we have no control over, that is bleak and hopeless. Even if current events don’t make us consciously afraid, subconsciously it effects our decisions, behaviour and choices.

The Subconscious effects

Human beings are designed to survive. In order to do this, we have to be aware of threats to our survival. Our brains are very efficient at scanning for threats, which we do as often as 5 times per second. This ‘scanning’ happens automatically. Threats don’t need to be processed by our conscious thinking unless there is an immediate threat to our safety. News sneaks ‘under the radar’ because it doesn’t threaten us in the moment. This means that it ‘plugs in’ to our subconscious, where it drives our behaviour without us even being aware of it.

The brains response to threat is to re-direct our mental energy to survival mode. This has a negative impact on our judgement, decision making skills, ability to tolerate risk, creativity. In short, we are no longer able to perceive a wide variety of solutions.

Join the Movement to inspire Hope

Awareness of how the brain responds to news is the first step to regaining some control over our thinking. It isn’t likely that we’ll stop reading or watching the news, so the best we can do is be aware of its effect on how we think.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor Frankl

The ability to experience hope in the face of hopelessness is a critical skill to overcome this challenge. We have no influence over what is going on in the world, but we have a choice about our perception and how we respond to it.

What positive behaviour, attitude or initiative can you adopt to help you achieve a positive impact? What can you do to support a better future for yourself and others? Paying attention to this type of project can go a long way to reducing subconscious fear.

Our message: Spread hope by doing something selfless and meaningful. Join us in our movement for a bright tomorrow.





Get un-stuck with coaching

get un-stuck

Thousands of people turn to coaching to help them improve performance, get un-stuck, set and reach great goals and ultimately experience life, and work, in a more positive and meaningful way. In this post I would like to shed some light on what coaching is all about. 

What’s the problem?

We’ve all experienced being ‘stuck’ at some point in our lives. It is a dark and frustrating place to be. Most people try to ‘push through’ these tough patches. The process is long, uncomfortable and demotivating.

Another common problem arises because of the many demands on us, on a daily basis. We are very good at being busy. The problem is that we are able to be busy on ‘autopilot’. We may be really productive, but we have lost our sense of connection or purpose.

” Telling someone to ‘snap out of it’ is about as effective as telling a blind person to ‘look harder’ “

Why is coaching a solution?

Whether you need to get un-stuck or want to re-connect, coaching gets powerful results.

Coaching helps you move forward in the direction you want to go, by focusing on the thing that is holding you back: your thinking. The process helps you focus on solutions and new ways of thinking.

Our coaching methods are aligned with scientific discoveries of the brain and it’s impact on behaviour and learning – neuroscience.

What excites US about neuroscience is that it confirms that no two brains are alike (your parents weren’t lying when they said you are special!), it’s relatively easy to ‘re-wire’ our brains (you are able to learn and change for as long as you live) and the way we think creates our reality (our perception dictates our reality). This means that everyone has the potential to make a difference.

” You can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking you used to create them ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Albert Einstein

What can I expect from coaching?

There is no denying that coaching stretches you. A great coach should keep you challenged – but not so challenged that you feel stressed. By the end of each session you should feel motivated to take action. After you have been coached for a few weeks, you will notice that your internal dialogue changes. Questions will replace ‘I’m such an idiot’ or ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘why am I so stupid’. Instead you will hear yourself ask ‘what can I learn from this?’ or ‘who could help me with this?’ or ‘what else could this be about?’.


How long will it take for me to think differently?

The answer here is dependent on so many things. Do you want to change some habits or do you want to change how you see the world? Remember what neuroscience taught us – no 2 brains are alike… this means that how quickly you adapt your thinking is a personal journey. Most people feel confident to move forward after a single session – but long lasting motivation and change can take a whole lot longer. We prefer coaching as part of a 3 month series. This has produced significant results for our clients.

Contact us if you would like to explore what coaching can do for you.

We coach with Skype, which means we can coach anyone, anywhere, any time.



Change: You want me to do what??!

If you could ask a caterpillar what it wants to do with its life, I imagine it would sound something like, “have more food” or “move to a place with no birds”. Nothing in its existence could possibly prepare it for the change that is to come. I imagine that if you could tell a caterpillar what was going to happen, it could either be a completely useless worm…. just waiting for its wings…. OR the incidence of caterpillar suicide rates might climb rapidly.

While most change in the human world doesn’t seem as dramatic as the caterpillars spectacular transformation, change is always, ALWAYS, marked by a period of transition. The old way and new way battle it out. The time frame of this transition depends on the magnitude of the change and can range from a day to a lifetime. Frustration, anger, fear, grief and helplessness are common ‘symptoms’ when learning to do something differently – because we aren’t sure ‘how’ anymore.

Think of these 3 types of change. Change that we initiate ourselves (like learning a new skill), change that is forced on us (like a break up) or change that is called for by our environment (like switching a software system at the office). While all these ‘types’ of change still produce discomfort (transition), which of them feel better to you? I’m guessing the one where you have the power to choose to do it or not. So, if choice makes a difference to how you experience change… how can you use this for the types of change that don’t ‘give’ you a choice?

Remember being dumped? Your partner probably didn’t ask you if it was OK for him/her to dump you… they just went right ahead and ripped your heart out. The change process from being in a relationship, to being single is a highly emotional one (that Bridget Jones and every single romcom can attest to). Maybe the future DOES hold a better partner, maybe the future IS better without your ex in it… and maybe it really is for the best… but we can’t see it that way in the beginning. It would be like asking that caterpillar to immediately sprout wings and fly off into the sunset. Impossible!

All you can really do is put your chin up and make it through a day at a time. Remind yourself that it is a nasty process and give yourself time to adapt… until the change becomes more normal. How we deal with transition IS a choice. You can choose to cry and withdraw (which is fine) – or you can choose to put on a brave face (which is also fine)… choose the best way for YOU.