One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my HR clients is that they don’t feel heard. At Board meetings, they feel that whenever they speak, their colleagues turn into nodding dogs, agreeing that things need to change, but not actually taking any steps outside of the Boardroom to action or implement anything differently.
HR feel that they are banging their heads against a brick wall trying to get their Exec colleagues to pay attention to any of the People stuff, whilst everyone else remains so fixated on the money and the numbers.
A question I find myself asking often is ‘Have you explained your frustration?’ and the answer is usually no. The reasoning behind this is that they think it will be a waste of time, particularly given that their colleagues have made comments before about:
· You do the people stuff
· Tell us what you want us to do and we’ll just do it
Currently, without even realising it, many more of you will be Primitive Leaders, rather than Innovative Leaders, and it’s impacting you, your people, and your performance.
As your stress levels increase you move from the intellectual part of the brain, the part that always gets things right in life, innovates, and sees possibilities, to the primitive part of the brain, the part where your fight and flight sits, the part where you can operate from previous patterns of thoughts and behaviours, the part that sees you in panic mode, always on the lookout for the next imminent danger.
The primitive part of the brain is what kept the hunters safe when we all lived in caves. It wasn’t weighing up whether any of the wild animals had eaten and encouraging you to sit down in the middle of the field and have a picnic with your friends, it was keeping you on red alert, and keeping you safe.
And it’s this red alert, that many Exec teams have been living...
The Gender Gap and why #EmbracingEquity won’t fix it!
Today we’ll see our feeds filled with stock photos of women hugging each other and themselves, we’ll see organisations talking about all that they are doing to #EmbraceEquity in their organisations whilst they bring out the bunting and balloons and provide a round of applause to all of the women in their workplace.
Don't get me wrong, I love a celebration (as long as it's a quiet, not over-stimulating one), and I love celebrating the incredible women in my life and in the world. But I’m done with paying lip service whilst we still see very little actual change in practice. And, until there actually IS equity, for all, there's nothing to embrace!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a bush for the last few years, you’ll know that I talk about Burnout A LOT! And whilst I work with men and women, the number of women I work with, who all come to me with the same issues as clients, or just to...
Your voice matters.
In this post I’ll be talking to you about why our voices matter, what’s in our voice, what people hear when we talk and a learning experience following a podcast interview.
I have been on a self-development, self-discovery, self-learning and self-unlearning journey for years, decades even. Sometimes it can be exhausting and I have moments where I think it would be so much easier to live in complete ignorance and pretend that everything and life is ok.
When we start on this deep dive self-discovery path it is endless and constant and every time you think that you’ve got something nailed and everything will become easier for you, it’s like you’ve just peeled back another layer of the onion and there’s something new to come to terms with.
I find that the more I uncover and discover about myself and recognise I still have many repeating patterns of self-sabotage, something else comes up to bite me.
The True Cost of Burnout
Burnout, as we know, is chronic workplace stress, and it sucks! It takes a long time to take hold of you and a long time to recover from it. And still, the number of people reaching burnout continues to rise. And it’s probably no surprise that after the last few years, with global events our need to keep pushing, the increase in stress levels, and the need to prove ourselves worthy and good enough, have contributed to these growing numbers.
As we continue to move from one stressful event to another in our outside world, there doesn’t appear to be a time anytime soon that we’ll see burnout numbers decrease.
And I hate to be doom and gloom in your inbox, but if we’re going to reduce, or ideally prevent burnout, then something needs to change.
I keep seeing posts and articles about who is to ‘blame’ for burnout. Is it the employer or the employee? Surely if chronic workplace stress is what’s causing...
Are You A Superhero?
I am not a superhero, and yet in the few years before I burned out, many of my friends, family, and colleagues would describe me as one.
“You’re like a superhero, I don’t know how you do it all”
And on the back of my leaving card as I moved from my penultimate internal role to my final internal role, the Head of Comms and Marketing, Simon, added to the messages of praise for my high-performing, over-achiever ridiculously high standards with this image.
Whilst I have never considered myself to be a superhero, a wonder woman or a superwoman, I can’t deny that the views of others, who saw me as a superhero of sorts, drove me to keep performing at the level I was performing at.
The endless juggling.
Each promotion came in very quick succession to the next.
The non-stop project work and continuous improvements.
The increased performance stats and the targets were all met,...
How steep is the hill?
Last week really took it out of me.
#ThisIsBurnout was incredible, overwhelming in ways I hadn't imagined, emotional, tiring, and uplifting, all in one. My usual routine went out of the window, I'd added two additional things in that I should have said no to, and whilst I was expecting to be tired, I wasn't expecting to be as exhausted as I was. Plus, I'd been sat down for far too long each day, not something I normally do.
My partner Mick and I went on a long walk with Elysa, our rescue pooch, a beautiful Japanese Akita. Mick has done the route a couple of times with his brother in the past, it was a new one for me, and whilst it was lovely, it was a bloody killer.
The distance was less than four miles, not a length that would normally phase me, and not too much less than I walk with the dog on a daily basis, but with more inclines and a big hill back to the car at the end, my calves are still aching.
The hills on the walk made me think back to a...
In a world full of polarities where one side of the fence is telling you to do more, hustle harder and push yourself to the limit, the other side is telling you to do less, focus on less, and be surrounded by less if you really want to succeed.
If I’m honest, I’ve mostly lived on the hustle-harder side of the fence. A fierce overachieving, high-performing, recovering perfectionist who struggles with ‘slow and steady’, with one pace, fast. If you want sh!t doing, I’m your woman. I gave up on ‘to-do’ lists years ago, instead having a ‘get done’ list, where if it’s down it's done, and I’ve always stuck with that.
In my corporate career, I was the innovator, the rebel, the first one to try things differently, always striving for more, always working harder, always coming up with new ideas and new ways to do things, and it’s been pretty much the same in my own businesses since I left the corporate world in...
I’ve been getting a number of messages from women saying that the more senior they are becoming in their careers, the more they are starting to feel like an imposter.
I can relate to this.
When I got my seat at the table, that was when I really started to feel for the first time that I don’t belong. I started to doubt my abilities and whether I was good enough to be there.
Much like the Spiderman quote ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’.
It felt like that responsibility was too much to bear. It didn’t just feel like I had a responsibility for the role and in the organisation, it also felt like I had a responsibility for women, women my age (I was 30) and for young working mums (my sons were 10). I’d never had those feelings before, until I got that seat at the table.
If we don’t tackle this feeling, we reach burnout. That’s where I got to.
I didn’t have a big community of people...
As we know core-led women do 3 things:
They know who they are deeply at the core
They set and maintain boundaries
They take time for themselves
In doing these 3 things they are empowered individuals and they empower those around them. Core-led women role model empowerment for themselves and others. In doing this we can change the world and the world of work.
I am committed and passionate about creating a core-led woman revolution, where we will be ditching frameworks and coming out as our true core-led selves.
I sat down at the weekend to do my annual reflections and my goal setting for next year. I feel really excited about everything I want to achieve over the next 12 months. But I also noticed that my confidence levels have increased and I have a lot less feeling of fear and apprehension. So I thought, does that mean my goals aren’t big enough? But I know from my core that these goals feel right.
Back in 2014 when I was 33 I attended a women in...