Warm, summer greetings to you – as we finish off July!
It’s summer where I live, and I’m looking forward to some downtime after a busy year, as I’m sure many of you are!
A Simple Mind Hack: Change Your Language. Engage Your Brain. Create the Future.
In this short clip from a recent virtual event I spoke at, I share how our brain can help or hinder us when it comes to navigating the future – AND you’ll get a quick tip on how to create the future easily! (Something you could practice this summer, so you’re set up for the fall!)
How to Lead and Work through the Pandemic
5 Leaders… 5 Questions
This series has been so successful, we haven’t stopped at 5 leaders – we are now at 7 leaders! Thanks for your feedback on this section – we will keep it in for the rest of the year.
Theresa Beenken – CEO, National Speakers Bureau
Over 8 years ago, a former colleague invited Theresa to come and see me speak to a small group. I’d facilitated sessions and spoken to groups of all sizes for over 20 years, yet I hadn’t become a keynote speaker on larger stages. Theresa took time out of her schedule, came down to the venue, and sat through 1.5 hours of my speaking and facilitating a session with a group. After the session, she said to me, yes, we will take you on. From that point on Theresa has been a guide and mentor to me. Her team at National Speakers Bureau, here in Canada, have been on my side since day one – and has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had. Of course, the speaking and event industry was devastated by the pandemic, thankfully, NSB and other speakers shifted to virtual deliveries, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did!
1.What is a daily ritual you have done to stay focused/grounded throughout the pandemic?
I started a journal to make quick bullet points on Roses, Buds and Thorns. Journaling helps you see the challenges you’ve overcome and the possibilities for the future, while also acknowledging what is. Roses are either a big highlight or small win. Thorns are the tough things that happened. Buds are something I’m looking forward to in the near future. Doesn’t happen every day but I try for at least once a week.
2. What one NEW skill, practice or quality have you developed since the beginning of the pandemic that you did not have before?
Virtual presentation skills; pre-pandemic most of our client meetings and events were in person, or meetings by phone and email. Suddenly Zoom was everywhere, along with new virtual platforms. So we had to learn a new language, new platforms, and the skills to help advise our clients, both speakers and event planners, on how to make the best of these new communication tools.
I’ve also been practicing breathing techniques because it’s something we don’t actually think about, but you can control your system and responses when you’re more conscious of how you’re breathing. I practice the box breathing technique to improve concentration and reduce stress: Inhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds, Exhale for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds and repeat.
3. What advice would you give yourself, if you had to go through this all over again?
There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Keep holding on, showing up, and being of service to others.
4. What surprised you the most about your capability to lead through this crisis?
What surprised me most was how much of society worldwide, and our team accepted this new reality of mask-wearing, social distancing, and remote working fairly quickly. And then how fast we embraced the advancements made to help us all stay connected. That surprised me in myself – how quickly I could let go of ways of doing things that seemed necessary pre-pandemic, adjust to what’s needed now & into the future, and then lead in that direction with curiosity and compassion.
5. What one word would your team use to describe your leadership style?
I think it would be Optimistic – I often talk about the ‘silver linings’ of any situation, and look for the good in people, and share a future of possibilities…all anchored in reality though.
6. What’s a book that you’ve read in your lifetime that you think is a ‘must’ for everyone to read?
I’m an avid reader with many clients who have books and am a former librarian, so there’s such a selection! Tough to choose, but I’ll share my new favourite that has broad appeal: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness. He’s ‘an entrepreneur, philosopher, and investor who has captivated the world with his principles for building wealth and creating long-term happiness.’ You can order a hard copy from any bookstore (local ideally!), online, or he’s made it available free on his site here.
7. As we come out of this pandemic, what do you see as the new future we need to create for our organizations – and the planet?
Now is an incredible time for learning! Upskilling and reskilling are top priorities for Learning & Development leaders within organizations, as we’ve seen the acceleration of new technologies and remote businesses which has changed the way we work. As we move into rebound and recovery, any assistance we can provide our teams in building their digital fluency, and strengthening resilience skills, will help create more confident, more supportive, and forward-looking workplaces. And I hope we’ll do this with the greater sense of kindness and understanding we’ve developed towards one another this past year.
What insights did you get from the video and/or interview?
Try one out this month!