Time for transformation – and magical conversations!

The month of May has brought transformation in my life as well as in the political climate in the UK.
This time of the year always has a transformational nature; with blossom arriving and grass freshened with the spring dews. The sun warms us up and helps us to feel happier. We watch this happening with all-consuming regularity and do not necessarily value the natural evolution right in front of our eyes.

May has brought new leadership in the UK – a coalition of two parties, two leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, a duo walking together from two different points of political view with one singular common purpose – to make the UK a strong, safe, robust and healthy place to live! Watching these two men come together in the Rose Garden at No 10 on May 11th, an astrological day of relationship harmony, was truly magical. They walked, talked and lead in what appears to be a trusting, open, sharing yet purposeful manner. Their personal natures subtly entwined, sharing a wonderful blend of masculine and feminine energy in their presentation, even though both are men.

Why do I observe and comment on this?

Not because of “the politics” – but because I observed, on that day and since, we are watching the natural possibility that two differing political ‘enemies’ can now work together as ‘allies’, and can actually create far more together than separately! Many of my female friends suggested that there should have been more females in the cabinet – and I reflected in my last blog that there was considerable lack of female opinion running up the election. Although I too desire a more balanced number of women in politics – I’m happy that this partnership is, at this moment in time, the best partnership. Cameron and Clegg are very different in terms of their gender dynamics and yet similar enough to be good collaborators in a world that needs them to be so. This is the right ‘male’ partnership to challenge the “old boys club”, the traditional ‘nay sayers’ who don’t believe significant transformation of our society is necessary. This partnership can give birth to a new balanced opportunity for survival and growth that embraces all types of men and women, from all generations and of all diverse natures. We now need to help them do this, planting a new ‘playing field’, one which harvests new types of crops that feed both male and female needs in totality.

Cameron and Clegg are two very different gender types from the male gender and can naturally bring balance. Cameron has a more ‘masculine’ male brain yet intelligently has learned to use a highly tuned relationship style of language that complements Clegg’s natural softer, more lyrical ‘feminine’ male brain, using more intuitive and emotional language. They both grasp the need to use strong male energy and direct serious actions while keeping focused on the possibility of a UK vision and a future sustainability yet unknown but desired by most. For me, the fact they are both men gives the duo leadership a solidarity that is needed to counter the many cynical alpha men who believe our current difficulties in the markets and across social disturbances are merely a blip and we will return to ‘normality’ once the crisis is over. We need a wholly new way forward and that does mean, I hope, that these men recognise the need to bring in more female players but it’s important that they do this for the right reasons and not just for a quota.

The magic continues for me. The Cameron-Clegg partnership shows that anything is possible and we don’t have to do the “same-old, same-old” which has brought us to catastrophic economic downturn, problematic social issues and environmental disasters. We can build new possibilities and bring together new collaborations without knowing exactly what will result from discussions; we can come together with a common purpose – that impacts all of us!

I believe that this opening up of explorations for innovative solutions for economic and social change is exactly the journey we are required to face up to as a human race. There is no return to the past. We need to shed a new light on how we engage everyone, all stakeholders in society and use our natural resources, and especially recognize how men and women, together, co-create a more sustainable model for our society, our economy and our world.

For me, it is key that we bring a new plan into place – a plan that allows for all men and women to get together to co-create a new future for this planet. A big plan starting with each of us…for me, Cameron and Clegg have opened up a political ‘magical conversation’ at the top level and opened the floodgates for me to explore the unexpected in my own work with my corporate clients about how they can step into the future via conversation.

“Exploring the future” comes to life for me in the many conversations I have had in my life – and I am delighted that in May, being that transformational birthday month for me, I launched my first official ‘Magical Conversation’ last Monday in Geneva.

I had been researching, talking, and discussing these ideas for 9 months since September 2009. I had brought my own transformational path together within my Corporate Heart consultancy and my personal passion to eradicate ‘bad behaviour’ in the workplace and evolve a healthy natural excellence, a work culture that is balanced, connected, purposeful and performance at its best.

So now, building on my twenty year study of people in business and watching the current challenges, I decided to bring ‘Magical Conversations’ to the forefront of my work. In a world of amazing synchronistic links, I found myself hosted by a wonderful woman, Fabienne Feldman, in her beautiful home in Geneva on May 31st and welcomed 10 highly inspiration business women together. Our goal in this first conversation was exciting – to explore the relationship of women, business and life – and discuss how we might transform the current imbalance of prominent women in a world so often designed by men for men, and share our stories that create our history as women, in the business world, in philanthropy and in social communities.

‘Magical Conversations’ are designed to bring small groups, up to 12 people together at a time, in a safe sacred circle of open chairs, to contribute openly and with perfect self expression, respecting everyone’s view and looking at innovative possibilities around current topics such as economic revival and social change. The intention is to ensure everyone enjoys contributing: everyone learns, shares and leaves more enriched than when they arrive: knowing what they will do differently; and why they will continue to explore and expand their own magical conversations wherever they go.

Last Monday’s magic worked, we were in a perfect place, and the atmosphere was loving and giving, 11 women intent on creating a new vision for our world. Our conversations inspired, challenged, probed and opened our eyes to the ‘feminine’ attributes that women bring to the party, the nature of ‘giving back’ that entrepreneurial women often seek, and the passion we all have for being part of the solution with men – we challenged each other as to how women can be heard more on a world stage for justice and true equity – and we explored the issues of sisterhood that we don’t always get right yet!

We agreed that, in order to transform our world, we each will take responsibility for our own actions; and, leading by example, share our stories in a format that can be heard by all. We pledged to return to hold more conversations and to attract more women – and men – to explore in the same way. The magical journey of transformation begins…

May has brought Spring – new growth, green shoots, bright light and great hope; June now sets the summer into full swing, turns up the heat and sets the magic alight, how often nature shows us the way and we only need to look and listen more to know the truth.

What will the Autumn bring? We can harvest the magic or the misery, let’s make an inspired choice.

The orchard by Gallaher

Little seeds we tend to sew
create a world of life unknown,
Around each corner around each bend,
The fruits of labour blossom begin..
What kind of seeds do we choose to sew?
Are we aware, do we know?
Observe the harvest as it will tell
A life of heaven …or a living hell?

“Magical Conversations” will be held in Geneva and London on regular basis, we welcome top business men and women to explore the key issues of today. Call + 44 208 998 7032 for more details.


The games people play…

Watching the country enter the election frenzy, I am reminded of the games people play and how, without awareness, we get trapped in repeated patterns with people around us. An email arrived about this as I pondered and I again reflected how when we’re aware of intention, we receive what we need directly!

The email was about Eric Berne’s work on Transactional Analysis (TA) and his work on the parent/child/adult laid out in his book ‘The Games People Play’ in 1964. The goal way back then, as “training” emerged for the first time, the new idea was to understand how people behaved especially when things went wrong and to learn ways to break dysfunctional patterns that damaged results. During the 70s, 80s,and up to now, many more aspects of human nature, behaviour, personality make-up, relationships and community cultures have been disected, examined, profiled, repatterned and worked through. From early Carl Jung days through Eric Berne and many more psychologists, academics, therapists, nlp practitioners, coaches and infamously management consultants (and not forgetting the innovative theory of positive psychology from Professor Martin Seligman as late as the 80s), we have evidence about how humans behave… yet the learning is still in its infancy. We regularly observe ‘bad behaviour’ occuring right in front of us daily, on TV, in Parliament, on the streets of Britain, in the Boardroom and across society.

Back to our election role models tearing each other apart on TV, in the Media and across the gambit of party political ‘bad behaviour’, for what reason do we allow this? I am not accusing anyone more than another. It appears to me that ‘bad behaviour’ is a norm in our cynical masculine world. And women are at fault too of taking on a more aggressive stance than their true gentle feminine nature can provide. And gentle guys don’t always stand up for their softer side when overtaken by alpa males. ‘Bad’ seen as OK behaviour is everywhere — we love to ‘roast’ celebrities, highlight the bad guys and never honour the good. Strange behaviour to me in a world that cries out for ‘kindness’ and ‘compassion’, ‘trust’ and ‘authenticity’ and social responsibility at work and at play.

So where is my thought process going?

This is not about ‘men are bad’ and women are good’ indeed bad behaviour has no gender or generation bias, we can find bad behaviour everywhere. It is about the definition of ‘bad behaviour’ and the consequences of it as the ripples spread. And it is for me, understanding that one person’s point of view and perspective can easily affect another negatively …however it is the way one delivers one’s point of view and the value attached to both the other people and the context of the situation that are key. If we turn up to every situaion, every conversation, every interaction with an intention to a) be present b) seek understanding and c) focus on outcomes that benefit each and the whole simultaneously …then we can rise above the most diverse challenges and opinions with honour and respect for those involved. How great would that be? How healthy the mind set and the result will be?

Maybe an election where politians came out with only their own positive message and actually appauled that which has been achieved so far. With the economic chaos we have and the downturn, ‘togetherness’ might be a more appealing campaign – and capture the ‘hearts’ of those disenchanted voters like myself.

I heard recently of a female CEO who encouraged her management team to focus on being ‘kind’ and was regarded with distain by her male colleagues, yet research suggest that ‘acts of random kindness’ produce outstanding response in customer service…let alone conscious acts of kindness as part of a service promise delivers high results every time! There is also clear evidence that this ‘kindness’ approach brings good health, community cohesion, trust and renewed energy …and could help us deal with what is becoming critical i.e. financial and social recovery.

I am very passionate about my world…your world…our world… I have a new grand daughter, now 6 weeks old, and she and her brother aged 2 and a half are the new generation looking forward to a future that we now have the responsibility to co-create a new way that builds on social and economic integration, maybe leverages social enterprise, values of philanthroprenuership and feminine/masculine joint partnership… is it a dream? A world that values human life above profit yet values the mixture of work and play that enegises both people’s personal fulfillment and their bank accounts.

I am not a fluffy female insisting on women on board for numbers, I truly believe that as our world evolves we all , men and women alike, add our natural talent to the pot, we all create our communities and we all have roles to play – not games. If we are to play games, then let’s play them from the heart and embue a new co-collaborative healthy competition, a ‘together’ ethos and/and a nature love for who we are ‘warts and all’.

I love working with my clients, people who want to improve, explore, change their ‘damaging’ patterns and want to learn to be more alive, more naturallly motivated and more successful – I help them play the game for love not fear. Maybe our politians will learn that one day, however I believe in that political arena, we may need to seriously change the playing field first before the players can learn a new game!!!

Who’s calling the shots?

Last night I attended a fabulous debate at The Stone Club, a meeting of minds …and it surely was. The debate was ‘does the media, the business world, the politians or the general public call the shots’.

A lively top and very media’ full audience listened and debated ..with Andrew Neil chairing with his usual hard hitting humour and Simon Lewis, No 10’s official spokesman, getting an ear bashing from Nick Ferrari, Breakfast Show Host. LBC 97.3, and the result – a draw between the MEDIA and the POLITIANS – and I reflected on the impact of women in this whole debate. If there were more women in Parliament and in Business, of the right sort of course, the authentic, heartfelt, loving and generous female type, would we see a more balanced viewpoint influencing the way we receive the news?

This week also saw the start of The Downing Street Project, with four workstreams launched in Committee Room 10, around 100 women clammered to get involved to set their sights high to bring about new ways for women to be great politians. Watch this space for more news as the next 90 days are targetted to make huge shifts in how women leverage their ‘soft power’ to make a HUGE difference.

Our first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thather surely “called the shots”..well at least for most of our role in NO 10. The Downing Street Project sets out to be sure of more women in Parliament, yet focused on a new type of politian, one which the general public can really feel holds their attention and their vote ..and their love.

What is this talk of love an ‘soft power’? This is the essence of what will make the new politians more human, still with their own views and manifestos for sure, but with a real understanding and value for honesty, integrity and courage. We observe this in President Obama in every speech and his ability to ‘call the shots’ and outsmart the media on many occasions getting round the White Press circle with ease. He calls for ‘mutual respect’ mutual understanding’ ‘collective thinking’ and ‘world peace’. Soft power calling the shots.

Who calls the shots in your life?

The economic climate seems to be calling the shots in many people’s lives. The climate calls the shots on sweltering hot days as now. The Boardroom calls the shots. People need to be able to call the shots in their own lives. Women and men alike more influencing the media, the business leaders and the politians we vote into place.

For a new way to see men and women, do read my the first chapters of JOURNEY TO PLANET BIZ, and help call the shots on how this story ends….