20 July, 2017

Winter Wonder

I haven’t felt the need to write for a little while and then suddenly it comes out in bursts. Below are 3 very short meanderings on experiences, books, ideas that have filtered into my life lately.
Restore
The temperature drops below 0 degrees I pull on some woolly socks ready to hibernate. This time, every year I feel dormant, time to rest, recover, pause. Autumn has released all its splendour and the trees are barren and cold. The icy chill in the air keeps me indoors and the grey sky makes me feel forlorn. I crave to be in my comfortable cave to restore. I notice the seasons. I notice how nature gracefully adapts with no resistance to the power of the seasons.
Winter for me is a time to rest, pause, restore, rebuild. Are you aware of how the seasons impact you?
I am just back from sunny Palm Cove, Queensland and fully ingested radiant abundant Vitamin D and have built up my stockpile to smile through the rest of winter.
Wonder
I watched the new Wonder Woman movie and wow wee – talk about Goddess power. Without spoiling the movie it highlighted the intricacies of courage and care, choosing our battles and the delicate balance of saving versus serving. It made me consider what type of Wonder Woman I could be. Wonder for me is hope and curiosity and awe of what is possible. My essence is hope I will naturally find the positives in most situations, this can drive my husband crazy, but it is my true me. I am curious in helping others reconnect with their wonder and awe. Australia is a fun, happy, larrikin country our culture is beach and BBQs. We entertain in our alfresco areas and we love great food, wine, sports and entertainment. When I contrast my time working in Australian organisations v American, German and Japanese organisations I think our employee value proposition is fun and lifestyle. So many people leave their countries to live in our dream country to sample what we take for granted. I think children naturally express wonder and awe, I think when we channel the playful child within us we can reconnect with our own wonder and awe. Try a bit of wonder and awe for a day – see what filters into your world.
Life is an Echo
I came across this on Instagram: Life is an echo. What you send out – comes back. What you sow – you reap. What you give – you get. What you see in others – exists in you. Do not judge – so you will not be judged. Radiate love and give love and love comes back to you.
One of Oprah’s famous lines is ‘you get what you are’.
When I saw the amazing Stephen Covey last century in the 90s one of his lines that most resonated with me is you can’t get to level 7 until you have worked through levels 1 to 6. He also explained talking at level 7 understanding to someone at a lower level leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
I have just finished reading Richard Barrett’s books on Psychological Evolvement, A New Psychology of Human Well-Being and Evolutionary Coaching and he eloquently explained the 7 Stages of Psychological Development (see table below). The Barrett’s 7 Stages are an extension of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and he too reinforces that us humans need to work through one level fully, before we can evolve and progress. People best resonate with people at the same psychological stage as themselves. As we evolve we will leave people behind and then attract others at our higher level of development.

Richard Barrett's 7 Stages of Psychological Evolvement
7. Serving - (Age:late 50s to early 70s) fulfilling your destiny by caring for the well-being of humanity or the planet
6. Integrating- (Age:late 40s to 60s) aligning with others who share the same values and purpose to create a better world
5. Self-Actualising -(Age: late 30s to early 50s) becoming more fully aware of who you are by leading a values- and purpose-driven life.
4. Individuating - (Age: late 20s to early 40s) letting go of the aspects of your parental and cultural conditioning that no longer serve you.
3. Differentiating - (Age: 8 to early 30s) distinguishing yourself from the crowd by honing your skills and talents.
2. Conforming - ( Age: 2 to 8) keeping safe and secure by staying loyal to your family, kin and culture.
1.Surviving - ( Age: birth to 2) staying alive and healthy in the best conditions possible

If life is an echo of who we are, I think Barrett’s 7 stages are an excellent lens for reflection and contemplation. I think the age range of stages of development may not always hold true. There are increasing examples of Millennials that have developed to stage 7 Serving, they seem to have accelerated through the stages of Surviving through to Integrating as they are having loving, prosperous and accepting starts to life. I know of 50 to 70 year olds who are still at Conforming stages frozen in their development.
The Australian Cultural Imprints at Work 2010 and Beyond study reinforces that Australian’s preferred style of leadership is cause based Leaders that pitch in and care about their followers.  In using Barrett’s 7 stages lens then our preferred leaders need to be at the Self-Actualising, Integrating or Serving stages of psychological development.
In my coaching and advising practices I am extremely mindful of helping people be the best versions of themselves. They can come to me at Surviving stages through to Serving stages. If they are at the first 3 levels – Surviving, Conforming and Differentiating there are a lot of ego issues that need to be developed. From Individuating stage up Leaders are more open and ready for deeper connections and bigger contributions.
As we evolve as Leaders I remember Ken Blanchard’s famous line ‘it has hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys’. If life is an echo of who you are then are you an Eagle or a Turkey? What is life echoing to you?
Sending you sunshine, fun and joy on a cloudy day.


14 February, 2017


 
Helping Portfolio
The year has started off well with an amazing Melbourne summer, just the right heat to feel the sun and just enough cool reprieve to function with fun.  I have been reflecting on how we can help the world be sustainable, well and peaceful…small issues.  I’ve come across some excellent examples of how we can be exceptional helpers.  Let me share with you my Helping Portfolio:

 
1. Social Enterprises

I spent a lot of the summer reading Daniel Flynn’s Chapter One book on co-creating thankyou a successful and dynamic social enterprise.  Thankyou has generated over $5 million of profits and all that money has been directed to helping the poor.  They are a true cause-based enterprise who are radically changing the fast moving consumer goods industry.  Their passion, creativity, ingenuity and naivety have enabled them to capture market share in established markets which are tough to break into.  They are a great example of Millennials getting on with fixing problems by radically transforming traditional business thinking and practices.  When I buy my thankyou hand wash and body wash I know I am helping the world through my conscious retail choices.  It is a very clever yet simple way of making a positive difference and helping the world each day.  Thankyou is an exceptional leading social enterprise that is helping all its stakeholders every day.

We have 12 charities that we support locally and globally and we donate to help the causes we are passionate about.  Our causes include cancer cures, wellness, environmental sustainability, supporting refugees, saving horses and helping the poor.  There is an area that we have not overtly supported yet and that is in our own backyard.  In this new era of intelligence where cognitive augmentation, artificial intelligence (AI) and nanotechnology is evolving rapidly, we have a grand opportunity to help Australians become more STEM savvy and embrace and lead collaboration between humans and robots.  We are working on setting aside a significant percentage of our profits and directing the funds to up-skill Australians in practical STEM competencies, particularly those that need job retraining or are disadvantaged – it’s still a work-in-progress.  The plan is to ourselves embrace the coming of the intelligence age.

My 11 year old daughter spent a term at school coding.  She was introduced to making applications, electronic circuits and software programs.  Her future will be filled with AI and I want her to be equipped and capable of embracing the intelligence age as we were capable of embracing the industrial revolution and the information age.

2. Everyone needs a ‘Donna’

I also caught up on one of my favorite shows Suits and found myself desiring a ‘Donna’ in my life.  For those of you who do not know about Donna she is a magical, intuitive, intelligent and sassy Executive Assistant that can do all.  She is proactive, friendly and firm and has an amazing knack of accessing people, information and intelligence through her extensive contacts and influencing techniques.  Donna is a magnificent helper and I really want to be more like her.  She uses all her intelligences – head, heart and gut (analytical, emotional and intuition) and she has amazing knowing and wisdom.

I know she is a fictional character but what if we could find the ‘Donna’ within us to effortlessly help others and ourselves.  In my coaching I mostly help other’s realize they are more than just their brains.  I help people tune into their heart and use their emotional intelligence and tune into their gut to switch on their intuition.   Marvin Oka and Grant Soosalu published mBraining research that validates our multiple intelligences.  The Heartmath Institute and Howard Gardner have many research studies of our amazing multiple intelligences.  When she was in year 2, my daughter’s teachers helped her work out that she had preferences toward kinesthetic and musical intelligences.  To be more helpful to ourselves and others, we need to tap into our own multiple intelligences. 

The knowing peace is a curious area for me, when I am in my element and working with leaders I tap into more knowledge and know-how than is just within me.  I tap into the collective intelligence or the collective unconscious.  I am not sure what the theoretical construct is – a combination of Jung, Pierre Levy and new age deliberate receiving.  The leaders and I co-create the knowledge in the space we have created and it is unplanned and spontaneous.  Imagine if we are all capable of this - how much more could we achieve and be?

3. Identify your type of help

When I was 16, one of my teachers asked me what I wanted to do and be in my life.  It was the first time anyone had asked me that question.  The gift my teacher, Mr Quin, gave me was the gift of choice.  He made me realise that I had a choice of what I wanted to do and be – it was so empowering.  The answer I blurted out was “I want to help people.” 

The definition of Help is to make it easier or possible for someone to do something by offering them ones services or resources.  Over the years I have been clumsy in helping others who actually never wanted help.  I have also realized you can’t help people who do not want to help themselves.  Being a witness and confidante can be all the help some people want with no advice or projection.  The magic happens when you attract people who want help and you can help each other – the exchange is beneficial for the giver and receiver.  What type of help do you offer and what type of help do you need?

As Simon Sinek states in his book Together is Better:

The value of our lives is not determined by what we do for ourselves.  The value of our lives is determined by what we do for others.  How should we ask people to judge our legacies... by the number of emails we answer or how many times we went to the gym? Or by the character of the children we raise and the people we led?  Or the impact we had in the lives of people around us…

I am still working on my Helpful Portfolio looking forward to giving and receiving in 2017.