14 Dec

Self-development is a key component to business success

Throwing stones at tigers, leveraging collective strength, resilience, turning disabilities into abilities,  and triumphing against dangerous pirates! These were just a few of the themes from TEDx Auckland 2017 that I was privileged enough to see this past week.

I left the talks feeling invigorated and motivated and gave myself a real talking to on the way home, about not attending more of these inspiring events.

The odd thing is that even if you really love your job as I do, we can very quickly find ourselves stuck in the mundane day-to-day hamster wheel of life and when you look up from the appointments, paperwork and “being busy”, 6 months have passed and you have given your self-development no attention. The saddest part is that you have missed out on these amazing opportunities.

Success is not just about focusing on the business goals, but a huge component of your business success or failure comes from how healthy the mindset of your team is, which includes yourself.

So how do you know if there is a healthy mindset in your organisation? It all comes down to how productive and proactive you and your team are. You can have the most highly motivated team members, but there comes a time in every organisation when people’s enthusiasm starts sliding. How can you combat this?

  1. Firstly, acknowledging that it is essential to encourage a balance between business development and personal development.
  2. Talk to your team members and understand the areas they would like to develop. This is not about job skills and competencies, but personal skills and competence. This includes you, by the way. Define the areas you would like to strengthen and explore.
  3. Set goals and deadlines and define what these “self-development” projects will look like. Will they be books, motivational talks, webinars, courses, workshops, mentorship programmes?
  4. Write these goals done for yourself and your team members and keep yourself accountable.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to action it!

We are absolutely spoilt for choice these days. Every where we look there are events taking place, which could add such great value to us personally and to our team. So, lift your head up from your “work”, think about your personal development goals and spend some time researching what’s best for you. You won’t be disappointed.

13 May

What I learned from attending a TEDx Event

I am a TED freak. You could go as far as calling me a TED groupie. I love the concept of sharing great ideas and being exposed to amazing people, great thinkers and industry pioneers. Recently I was lucky enough to attend the TEDx FlipSide conference in Auckland.

For two days I was immersed in new ideas, new concepts, interesting discussions and plenty of hearty debate. There were many lessons I would take away from this experience, but as a business coach there were two that stood out for me.

Jayne Bailey, the founder of Project Moroto spoke about the inconvenience of saying yes. That in order to change or move forward in our lives we need to say yes to the difficult things. We need to move out of our comfort zones and accept the fact that we need to give of ourselves in order to grow, develop and change. A concept she battled with prior to jumping in feet first, when developing her life saving and life changing charity.

For me this is the essence of what coaching is all about, and her talk was a perfect example of what happens when you do take the plunge out of your comfort zone and decide to disrupt your life by saying yes. To this day, she has not looked back or regretted her decision.

During the event breaks I heard a number of people say that they felt quite guilty that their lives seem so insignificant compared to some of the TEDx speakers. They started to question their purpose in life and how much value they were realistically adding to their personal and professional lives. These kinds of events can naturally make you question yourself, your path and your goals, but here’s the thing. Its not about having to go out into the world and start an orphanage, design a state of the art wheelchair like Samuel Gibson, join a presidential protection unit like Rory Steyn or even strip down to your birthday suit like Lizzie Marvelly in her campaign #MyBodyMyTerms.  If you believe this is your calling then be my guest and do it. Life is all about choices. But the lesson learnt for me from listening to these dynamic speakers is that its not about having to make big changes in our lives in order to be significant and add value. It’s really about noticing that the little changes we make actually make the biggest differences.

Right here and now we can start making subtle changes in our lives that will have a major impact on the people in our personal and professional lives.

Not judging, listening to others, being kind to our environment, accepting each other as unique, admitting that we are not perfect and being okay to talk about our challenges, testing the norm and being empathetic. These concepts don’t require us to shift countries or to spend thousands of dollars. These actions are free and can be implemented today. Just imagine the difference you can make.