So you want to be your own boss?

Dr Pauline CrawfordNowadays the buzz word in education and business is ‘entrepreneurship’ and the number of would-be entrepreneurs is rapidly changing both economically and socially.  Young adults exiting university after or prior to graduation are putting ‘being an entrepreneur’ at the top of the list.  As much as 20% of students at major universities like Yale in the U.S. or Cambridge in the U.K., for example, aspire to become successful ‘entrepreneurs.’  Men and women, old and young can potentially become an entrepreneur.  The problem is, however, that the characteristics of the successful entrepreneur are – by the very nature of entrepreneurship – largely unknown and difficult if not impossible to accurately pin down.

Over 40 years ago, my husband’s father presented, for the first time ever, the framework of a new discipline titled ‘entreprenology’ – and it was his wife who coined the word. He knew from his experience as a successful entrepreneur and as a respected and tenured professor in the College of Business at the University of Hawaii, that there was more to creating, sustaining, and managing a successful start-up than could taught through any traditional educational institution of higher learning.  Entrepreneurial enterprises in every sector had broken away from the rigours superimposed by traditional corporations and were creating a truly expansive ‘entrepreneurial mindset’…. 40+ years later the buzz continues.

Men and women in every age group are now considering being their own boss.  They see it as preferable to the restrictions and regulations that define corporate careers. They want the opportunities that open new choices for self-sustainability and perhaps untold riches.  Even the mature adult in their silver years (55+ as a working definition) are continuing on an entrepreneurial path into their 70s and beyond.  We will address this phenomenon specifically a little later.

Nowadays entrepreneurship is ‘taught’ in virtually every university and college where there is a business school or program.  Yet teaching ‘entrepreneurship’ effectively is the single most difficult hurdle to overcome and one that virtually every conventional school, college and university, cannot overcome. Why?  Because the skills that took Sir Richard Branson or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs to the pinnacle of success simply cannot be taught. Becoming an entrepreneur is not something that everyone can or even should aspire to. For every reason you can think of to become ‘your own boss,’ we can give you a reason that you should not.

The classic argument regarding entrepreneurs poses the question “Is the successful entrepreneur made or is he/she born?”  Can the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur be taught or are they innate?  The study of what causes one person to succeed and another fail has been, and continues to be, quite elusive.  One thing we do know, however, is that there is no test, the results of which will shed any light on the subject. In our experience, which now spans more than forty years, we have learned that the most critical skills – if the desire is to eventually know success – are those that cannot be taught in any traditional or conventional institution of higher learning.  You either possess these skills – natural, intrinsic or inherent – or you do not.

Bill Aulet, Senior Professor at MIT, head of the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship writes, “Teaching entrepreneurship is difficult because the subject itself is idiosyncratic, contextual and experiential. Unlike chemistry, math or computer programming, there are no definite answers in the start up world. By definition, entrepreneurs are doing the unknown and the untried, so there are no algorithms for success”

In recent review in the Wall Street Journal, Aulet continued along this line of reasoning saying, “Making matters worse, there is a limited amount of scholarship and data that exists on what makes start-ups succeed or fail. As a result, the intellectual and scholarly vacuum is often filled by anecdotes. We’ve all listened to a version of ‘It all started in the garage with $20.’ Entrepreneurs are prone to mythologizing the early days of their businesses, yet these stories mislead those who aspire to follow in their footsteps.”

Of course certain skills can be taught, as we have mentioned, and the entrepreneur needs some core skills in business in order to understand what the business is telling him or her.  One should also have a solid foundation of the product of service being marketed.  The rest, however, and the key or ‘the secret’ to success, if you will, can only be revealed by the simple act of DOING IT!  The most important things you will learn can only be learned through experience:

  • making mistakes,
  • analysing what happened,
  • learning why it happened,
  • asking for another’s perspective if need be, and
  • making the indicated course corrections.

In this way you will begin to develop the mind-set of the successful entrepreneur, or – as we refer to them –  the EMPLOYER.

What is evident, in so many university and college classrooms, is that what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur-employer can neither be learned by sitting at a desk in any traditional institution of higher learning, nor can it be taught by professors having no direct practical entrepreneurial experience of their own.  The key to success does NOT come from an inspirational or motivational speaker promoting mild hysteria with the line “If I can do it, so can you…just go and out and BE SUCCESSFUL.”  Professor Aulet himself confesses that he started teaching by exciting his students in that manner and although he was well received and highly rated by his students, he was unable to say that he was in any way responsible for educating successful entrepreneurs!

Many entrepreneurship programs make the mistake of teaching individuals to use their ‘entrepreneurial’ ability to be an employee …and indeed there is a place for employees within our corporate monoliths.  The true nature of an entrepreneur, however, is stretched when becoming an employer and helping create and encourage the employer mind-set is our mission.  We have spent more than forty years working to give birth to entreprenologists with the potential to rival the Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world … those who see an opportunity, have a creative idea and grow a business that employs others.  The rest … as they say … is history.

Having said that, it should be obvious that we can’t say that everyone who wants to be a successful entrepreneur will become the next manifestation of those mentioned above, but the possibility does exist.  There are always opportunities to be a successful.  Who can say with any certainty who will become the next successful entreprenologist to change the world with their product or service?  What we do know is that the possibilities increase day by day as the economic landscape of virtually every country in the world is changing the way business and life interlink.  So let’s embrace the nature of change as we explore the facts.

As business and life merge, technology sweeps us into new domains as social media connects us all. Changes occur through the shift from big business to the economic and social impact that multitudes of small and medium sized businesses create. Business is no longer separate to our life requirements.

For instance, 4.8 million people run SME’s (SME 99.2% – MSMEs 500 at 0.6%) and account for 99.9% of all businesses today. 75% of SMEs are one person businesses.  There are indeed very few major corporations yet all the attention of the City and Wall Street focus on them.  In the UK for SMEs accounted 59.1% of private sector employment and 48.8% of private sector turnover employees in the UK.  Entrepreneurship appears alive and well.

Further investigations provides more ‘food for thought’ about the nature of entrepreneurs, and we have found a significant group that my husband and I are particularly focused on, that of the mature ‘silver generation’ aged 55-75 – we are recorded as 33% of the SME market in the UK, around 1.6million aged over 55 years and many still growing strong profits in entrepreneurial businesses of over 15 years standing …the demographics of other countries, USA, Canada and EU countries tell a similar story.

Other factors affect entrepreneurship data.  For example more and more women enter the market as self-employed entrepreneurs running a small business, often from home to help support not just their pocket but their life style needs regarding families.  Nowadays technology and social media enable anyone to run a local or even global business from their kitchen table. The economic landscape has changed dramatically. An economic tsunami has arrived and an eager audience is flooding the education sector looking for ‘entrepreneurship’ programmes.  So what impact is entrepreneurship making on our world?  If, as we believe, it’s a major force for survival and growth, and for providing meaning for one’s life, then how do we provide appropriate educate for those who have the desire and the natural abilities to ‘be their own boss’?

This subject, as already mentioned, cannot be taught within tradition parameters – rote learning with single answer examination – by those having no practical entrepreneurial experience.  In point of fact, we don’t even have a widely accepted definition of what or who an ‘entrepreneur’ is.  Is every self-employed person or someone who sets up a barrow on the marketplace an entrepreneur? Is every micro enterprise entrepreneurial?  Given our research and experience the short answer is NO.  Further, we do not believe we should enrol students on a university entrepreneur program who have no idea what he or she even wants to do. We base this on the fact that any number of students who have earned their MBA have told us that they weren’t taught anything that they could use unless they wanted to be an employee in middle management in a large corporation.  In short – there was little of any value in their very expensive MBA program that they could apply in their start-up. In other words – their program was not real world applicable! How, then, do we find a way to help them unlock the skills that are un-teachable?   We introduce them to the Principles of Entreprenology – the art of entrepreneurship. We introduce them to the intuitive, creative nature of the person who not only creates a business, but creates employment for others as they expand their business reach across local, national and potentially global markets.

Sir Richard BransonPerhaps this is where we might find the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates or Sir Richard Branson or Steve Jobs … washing ashore in the SME tsunami that is currently beginning to roll across every economy. The lure of becoming a successful entrepreneur knows no age, no gender, no ethnicity, no physical limitations.  The entrepreneurs who ride the wave of the future are not restricted to any particular region because opportunity does not recognize boundaries.  The younger generation, the women who want to blend their business with family life, the mature ‘silver generation’ baby boomers who don’t want to retire…. each cohort respects the other as it moves appropriately forward without expecting praise or applause for doing the right things.

Changing time require new eyes according to Marcel Proust  “The real voyage of discovery consists not of finding new lands but of seeing the territory with new eyes”  

“Students are clamouring for instruction, but it’s hard. There are no algorithms for (entrepreneurial) success.”  Wall Street Journal Sept 2013

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WOMEN IN THE BOARD ROOM “Much ado about nothing” wrote William Shakespeare

WOMEN IN THE BOARD ROOM – You may have more in common with Sir Richard Branson than you realize.

The corporate “boredroom” of today and tomorrow has changed very little in contrast to that selfsame hallowed virile sanctuary of the past century. The corporate boardroom, like a good dinner party, should include an appropriate mix of men and women able to carry on an intelligent and meaningful discussion and/or conversation while maintaining the decorum of the occasion. Sadly, that is not what one would observe if one were a fly on the wall.

hsbc 007Masculine domination of FTSE 100 company boardrooms is a matter of record and any hope for meaningful and rapid change in that regard has to be infinitesimally small. If history is any teacher, were we able to increase the speed with which boardroom change has occurred in the past by even 15 percent, those of us who are 30 years of age and older will either be dead or retired long before anything of any significance occurs. The promised-land that so many women have been seeking is out there, but don’t look at the uppermost floor of the “Gherkin” and the other corporate towers that dot the London skyline and wish you were there. We are as intelligent, as strong and as capable as men but the fact of the matter is … men continue their stranglehold on corporate power like scared little boys trying to hold the tree fort until reinforcements arrive. It goes without saying that we meet and, more often than not, exceed the requirements incumbent upon any director or chairman of any board. Our question is this … do we really want to get involved in something that is tantamount to – borrowing shamelessly from noted social scientist Alvin Toffler – scrambling around for deck chairs on the Titanic?

Now getting down to the numbers: many argue that if we get a 30% to 40% female-to-male mix in the boardroom, we’ve created something more appealing to women than having a candlelit dinner with Hugh Jackman. Our questions are (1) where did those numbers come from, and (2) are they realistic? Answers: (1) they were pulled out of thin air (in Norway maybe?), and (2) no. Currently both Lord Davies and the EU in Brussels, among others, appear to find such percentages attractive. After much debate between Jim and I, we are not convinced, however, that numbers – particularly arbitrary numbers – are even a partial solution to our ‘women-being-better-represented-at-the-top-of-business’ issues given the radical change that would be needed to make these numbers a reality. And numbers are no solution at all if the goal is to actually change the internal structure of the boardroom and business in general.

Now for the good news!

new language of business (2)The solution, in our combined opinion, is for us to change the very nature, structure and language of the boardroom by creating, managing and growing the businesses, enterprises and agencies with the clear potential and the mandate to reshape the corporate landscape over the next 10 to 20 to 30 years to include WOMEN and their natural talent for entrepreneurship, leadership and business across all disciplines!

Oddly enough, women can and are currently in the process of creating the new FTSE 100 companies. They are the largest and fastest growing consumer group in the world today and women are entering the local, regional, national and global economic community at a rate that is eclipsing that of their male counterparts. If there is a new corporate giant out there going through the growing pains that General Motors had to go through at some stage of its development, the odds are that the person at the helm is a woman. If there is a new Amazon or Sainsbury’s or Microsoft on the horizon, you can almost bet that a woman gave birth to it.

What will, in the long term, achieve the new buoyancy we (men and women of all ages including the very old and very young) need if our economy is to kick start the kind of society that we all want? Maybe we can never agree fully on what we all want … but we probably have a fair idea regarding what we don’t want! What we don’t want is a depression, a recession, millions turned out of their homes, wages slashed, spending down, budgets cut or jobs eliminated. The workplace, our very lives, the world … they are almost unrecognizable right now. Could it be because the same old tired conversations we’ve gotten used to are rooted in the dying strains of last year’s crops?

If you follow current events you know that the ‘same-old same-old’ mantras are discussed day after day in the various media and we just don’t get it! Why do we continually cry out for more women in boardroom? Why do we need more women coming up through that pipe line? Let us pose some better questions for you. Why aren’t more women who are starting and running their own businesses being given a helping hand? Why do we fail to notice the leveraging power being created through the rapidly growing number of female consumers across the land and around the world? Are you aware that more than 90% of all purchasing decisions are made by women today? So why is it so hard for us, as women, to recognize not only our collective power but our value as well?

The time has come for us to grumble a little less and flaunt our ability to accomplish great things a little more. As Sir Richard Branson shows us small seeds grow huge corporations with a lot of courage and entreprenological application. G

This is especially true with millions of women worldwide who set up their own businesses. Maybe it is time we engage men in a realistic view of women’s potential and acknowledge “it’s ok to be female” in business, allowing women to stand toe to toe with them without any trepidation whatever. We know that women have a natural aptitude for entrepreneurship (that’s the new buzzword for business BTW) – the single fastest growing and most important business sector in the world today. The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is awash with female business owners. Maybe there will never – well not in our lifetime perhaps – be a glut of women running major corporations but remember – Microsoft, British Air, Sainsbury’s, General Motors, Nissan, Glaxo-Smith-Kline – they did NOT start out as the conglomerates they are today. Your boardroom is waiting for you to build it and, remember this too, you can hold your first board meetings in your kitchen if need be. That old saying “A woman’s place is in the home,” takes on a whole new meaning when you look at it like that! You’re in good company, believe me.

Read on …

Willy Walsh, CEO of British Air and Iberia, said recently that he had met Sir Richard Branson once and didn’t find anything that made him want to meet again.
British Airways PlcThat’s because Willy had no point of reference from which he could stand toe-to-toe with an entrepreneur … no … an Entreprenologist of Sir Richard’s magnitude … no common ground from which to hold an intelligent conversation. Willy was just the CEO of two major world airlines, not a man who had created a major competitor for a number of airlines around the world just like the ones that Willy captains. So who would you rather meet? Answer me this … why on earth would you want to sit in British Air’s boardroom if you could stand on common ground with Sir Richard Branson? Get it!
We live in hope of more courageous conversations around not just the boardrooms of the world but around the team table, the SME table, and even the kitchen table!

Let’s tackle future conversations with honesty and transparency attending to the human needs of our communities, our world, our consumers and our contributors …all at the same table … men and women alike.

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Who are WE? photo (3)

Pauline Crawford, creator of gender dynamics and magical conversations, and new husband & business partner, Professor James A Omps PhD, President of The International University of Entreprenology.  Meeting and marrying in our 60’s, with over 60 years of experience between us, we bring our two disciplines together to make sense of today discussions on life, love and success.

In our blogs, Jim is ‘the Devil’s Advocate’ as he poses skeptical questions about women in business and many nitty-gritty current debates – I challenge the view with ‘One Scary Woman’ viewpoint as I propose new ways to communicate and perform that breaks the mould.

We offer our consultancy expertise  through Corporate Heart Ltd to improve your business success.

“Women on Board” – who’s really blocking progress – men or women?

There is a huge gapping hole between past and future. Business still struggles to make sense of the changes required and the focus on “Women on Board” highlighted once more by Cameron through Lord Davies’ reporting on numbers of women rising to the top, yet again showing slow progress and many major organisations resisting the call.

Business is confused, and in many places, stagnant where women are concerned; while in some arenas, business thrusts ahead without substantial impact coming from women. Why still little change at the top, and at all levels? Why still no significant flood of females stepping into major numbers at the top and succession plans to the boardrooms of the UK?

I believe we are stuck because we still have the “same old ‘same old’ conversations” about the players and not the playing field. Specifically, I fear that that many women’s initiatives and achievements have alienated men and pushed them to a corner. My challenge to women is to keep on forging ahead with more positive success stories and prominent acts of female judgement and achievements; while remembering to include and educate men into meaningful (realistic and practical) conversations that create useful inclusive collaboration; and aiding the co-creation of a new blueprint for success and a language that feeds business performance (measured in service and profits) and society (measured in health and wellbeing).

While not wanting men or women to sacrifice any advantages gained over the last 6 decades, I truly do not see why women need lose touch with their emotional savvy, intellectual mastery and their loving female power in relationship energy. When this is mixed with a strong operational task focused male energy, the mix is more successful. “The future of business is emotion” says Patrick Dixon, Futurist. “We need masculine and feminine contributions to collaboration that ensure that the rise of women integrates with the best of men”.

I do not believe, as is often written, that women are the only salvation of the economic crisis – although I do know that women can bring huge value and highly intelligent commercial input to the economy with their ability to integrate emotional intelligence into monetary value, service and wealth. However I am concerned that this is not attained at any price that robs us of our female natural wisdom. If women can stand firm on all that is good for the heart and soul of business as well as minds and bodies, especially in an era where markets demands the best service. I believe this will fuel a passion for a more meaningful wide view of ‘wealth’ – that of authentic health and wellbeing, wide spread growth in family and community value, a ‘better life’ as well as a more sustainable economic environment for all.

However immediately we do need to see what is happening for MEN. They are not included in the conversation unless focused on women. What is happening for them? In a recent survey carried out by Corporate Heart earlier this year; some insights emerged;

RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS
Looking at the gap between what men think ‘most men’ agree on, and their own personal view, we uncover:

The “unspoken conversation” 83% see themselves as ‘relationship focused’ leaders rather than ‘tough guys’.

A desire for change 60% said they would like work to be different yet continue to work in the same old way.

Actions differ under pressure 50% on average, behave as “tough guys” yet hide their true emotions to get the job done!


These highlights and the comments and insights in the full report show us that men are shifting their views however not talking about it with other men. Possible shy of our PC world, men don’t know how that conversation should be structured. In working with groups of men now, we find a huge change in their mindsets occurs once the new blueprint is explored. It gives them a framework to see the whole picture as men and women integrate their talents at work together.

My intention is to support men and women – and in particular for women across the world to get talking WITH men (not against them) with a WISE mind set, a REALISTIC yet loving manner, an INCLUSIVE collaboration, AUTHENTIC female dialogue and PRACTICAL result. Vice versa, my current work is developing MEN so they can open up meaningful dialogue WITH women so that work-life is more successful for both sides.

Rather than playing the ‘male’ game of the last century and endangering our female species, I urge women to honour our collective gift of “soft power” and our diverse talents of service, collaboration, ingenuity, organisation, multi-tasking, innovation and entrepreneurial creativity.

My greatest fear is observing the growing changes over generations of women who are being moulded into hybrid models of ‘male behaviour’ unnaturally rather than using their natural masculine mindset appropriately alongside their feminine life perspective and female biological drivers. Women can be and are great business leaders and wealthy and yet still value their natural role as women who care, love and nurture our world, grow future generations, and be mindful of our environment and its future sustainability. Men are biologically primarily designed to be tough, warriors, competitors, providers; their natural testosterone drives that energy to go out, provide and hunt – and over the last century to build wealth in material form; they too seek to grow a world fit for their children and many want to nurture and grow into their family role in an equal role. However still many men don’t and aren’t necessarily as suited to stay home as women.

Can the two sides get together to forge a new conversation?

This is the conversation I desire to develop along with a new ‘gender dynamic’ blueprint where ‘building profit’ takes on a wider ‘wealth’ meaning aligned to emotional ‘life’ requirements. This is a conversation to forge a truly global collaboration that safeguards our threatened world; and to evolve a truly authentic socially responsible, sustainable future without losing the financial buoyancy we need to revive our economic stability.

The Jungle of Relationships

Preview Interview with Bond Magazine To be published October 2010

Pauline Crawford, behavioural consultant and innovative thinker, looks at relationships with new eyes, and wonders about the current confusion over ‘who’s in charge’ – women or men? After working with people at the top of business for over 20 years, she sees a new light in the jungle of relationships. Her passion is to engage leaders in an emerging conversation that helps both men and women co-create a successful future.

What influenced you in your early life?

Born a tom-boy, I was much happier climbing trees with my brothers while my sister attended dancing classes. I dreamed of adventures at sea and found it easy to solve puzzles. As a mathematician and artist, I loved simultaneous equations and innovating multiple possibilities! Conversation with friends and laughter was paramount in my upbringing. Yet I found being ‘feminine’ a daunting task.

I left University with a Sociology and Statistics degree, my formative work career in the 70s was in travel. I loved using my left and right brain and naturally applied myself to the practicalities of business alongside the emotional flow of relationships. I learned all about gender politics early on in my career and the balancing act that kept everyone happy to get the job done.

What changed your life as a woman in business?

After motherhood, I desired action. I applied my masculine logical brain to business and my female energy to help others to realise their natural potential.

In my early return to work, my ‘tipping point’ was studying Image – here physicality was the key. I studied people, their minds, their bodies and their perceptions. Through this I realized the key was in the body. I discovered and observed the link between straight bodies and masculine minds. My tom-boy straight boned skeleton was linked to my masculine brain, yet I was totally female in a biological sense.

My core nurturing female side was attributed to my biology. My masculine-mind (for mapping things together) came from my natural brain preferences for logic and spatial skills. I also discovered not all women were like me! The more gently curved woman was naturally more intuitive, more ‘feminine’.

Men also follow this pattern. The straight sharp featured male is more masculine by nature and brain preference, and the gentler shaped man is also gentler in style – one might say more ‘feminine’ in making relationships work.

How did you discover about relationships between men and women?

Being an innovative thinker, with Edward de Bono as a second cousin, and my mind-mapping brain, I logically designed a Gender Dynamics Map. The map has six perspectives, and uses biological patterns and learned behaviour as empirical evidence. The map helped me to solve my personal dilemma as to why my female body housed a masculine-mind – perfectly normal! The Gender Dynamics Map defines the main differential from our biology with secondary variables of mind-preferences from masculine to feminine in all genders. Working with this map, relationships became easier. Emerging conversations started to occur even in serious business environments.

Over the years I have become an expert in behaviour, emotions, personality and conversations. Gender dynamics is my special focus area and is hugely successful in the boardroom.

I have worked with many thousands of clients and their true gender dynamic helps them to successfully communicate and interact on a personal and professional level to create best outcomes, especially now as we live in a world where client relationships are the key to market success worldwide.

How does your work help women to succeed in today’s world?

I have worked with women in many amazing companies across the UK and Europe, from PLCs to major public sector organizations. I have researched cultures, developed people, worked with leaders to create best performance, and gained an insight and passion to eradicate negative behaviour. What I have noticed is that ‘people are people’ whatever the business sector and failure comes through the breakdown of relationships rather than the business operation itself.

I feel that business, worldwide, expects women to be more male oriented rather than understanding that their own female potential to use masculine energy combined with their natural relationship expertise is the key to success.

My research proves that my natural tom-boy persona was perfectly normal but the social expectation to be more feminine had a definite impact on my confidence level. It was hugely liberating to discover that I was a totally desirable female with a masculine brain – understanding this is the key to relationship success for women like me.

I have met business women from all walks of life who are ‘strangled’ by the male criteria that goes with business success. To be tough enough to get to the top, without losing your female attributes is challenging and often unrewarding.

How can we shift perspectives and become more aware?

For example; a female CEO client of mine had a classic situation to deal with…the male alpha expert Doctor and the sensitive male Professor. Attempts to create business conversations with them failed miserably. We worked together on this problem using the Gender Dynamics Map – SUCCESS! My client succeeded in meeting the different needs of these men by delivering her message in two entirely different ways; directly in bullet points to the alpha Doctor and softer tones to the Professor. Both parties were delighted to be understood, the deal was successful and beneficial for all.

This shift of perspective can solve many problems. I am totally convinced that for men and women to co-create successful relationships they need to understand the six male/female gender dynamic perspectives and which may even help to solve the global economic crisis The majority of consumers are women, like me, who want a different world, a world of inclusion, abundance, harmony – yes wealth – and success for all.

How do you work with leaders of today’s business world?

Corporate Heart has its own team of experts that bring together a mix of gender dynamic types to serve our clients. “We walk our talk”. The core of our philosophy is adding value both personally and professionally, not just to our clients but to our own lives. Our understanding of who we are as men and women is vital to success and happiness in the boardroom. We value the basic tenet of life “to be uniquely our natural best and value others as we do ourselves”.

Currently working one-to-one, with top teams, or leaders of huge corporate cultures, I know there is a thirst for change and wisdom to share. Yet I see major blockages in both men and women who don’t see beyond their jungle niche. I do believe that women can lead on the ‘gender’ agenda but this will only come together when we truly celebrate the female species in full. If the jungle is our habitat, it’s the inhabitants that need to recognize their worth! I want women to celebrate the value of their variations of femaleness, and to value men for their maleness. Our dilemma is to know how to make the jungle safe for all.

What will your legacy be?

My work energizes my life, entwined intricately into my very being because my personal philosophy for living is what I teach others. My other passion is to create a better healthier, more caring world for my grandchildren.

I believe if we understand the jungle of relationships, with mutual respect and genuine smiling, we can create any future we desire both individually and collectively. They say the longest journey is from our heads to our hearts, and that is where relationships begin and flourish. My vision is a world which honours and respects women and hears their voices on the world stage, with men being proud to stand beside us.

Pauline Crawford
CEO Corporate Heart
Pauline hosts emerging conversations for male and female leaders to share viewpoints, possibilities and visions for the jungle. She works internationally with this activity to help influential leaders evolve a new corporate blueprint for business and life that embraces men and women.

Expansion and contraction – the natural ebb and flow of life and business?

Expansion and contraction – the natural ebb and flow of life and business or are we forcing the issue?

Summer breathing as June passes the Summer Solstice, and here in the UK, we enjoy the wonderful heat and the expansive noise of England winning through in the World Cup, during a time of daily contraction of our financial power in a budget geared to collective restraint, I wondered about the power of our own natural reserves?

Swirling despair or growing pains?

Everyone I know is experiencing swirls of despair and exhilaration, no day is the predictable day we expected. The past is past. The future is ours to grow. And one person’s point of view can be positive or negative over the same situation depending on their nature, their life experience and their current status. Naturally we all perceive the world differently, we are all different, yet we are also the same; living breathing human beings. When we are facing tough challenges (as the world is right now) we polarize to our core point of view and find obstacles and limitations around us.

Why do some of us face each day with energy and vivacious capacity to smile regularly even when the chips are down? And others become despondent and cynical about possibilities and strains that don’t fit now, don’t adhere to our expectations born of past promises! We have a world that needs re-order at a fundamental level, expanding collaboration and contracting chaos. We have choices, many on a daily basis about survival, growth and the future for our children – and our children’s children. We are all connected and inter-connected. What we do right now affects everyone eventually in the whole world and for generations alive when we are gone. We are all connected – yet do we believe that really? Everyone is some mother’s child; we all are born of human stock.

Choices – yours or mine? Do we believe and own our own choices that connect into the collective responsibility – especially in our own families or communities or workplaces when there are so many disagreements, negative behaviour and possible abuse? Can we be open-minded in conversation and listen to everyone, holding their perspective with our own? This is especially relevant to bringing new conversations together between men and women, within women’s group and within men’s groups. Gender confusion still lies at the heart of broken relationships and abuse.

Do men and women face these current difficult times differently?

I believe we do – yet one gender is not better or more right than the other.We need an ‘and/and’ mind shift to create a world together not an ‘either/or’ world of separate parts. Men and women are both responsible and both need to be engaged in the foundations and a new start. There are many different approaches that build society and economic reform together – these approaches economically, politically, socially and spiritually differ in core roots of maleness and femaleness, the yin and yang of life and energy. The former male energy builds strong direction, provider drivers and tenacity of mindful, clever ‘brainy’ ideas – while the latter female fuel, underpins the life force of relationships and community coherence, brings emotional and mental intelligence in a pre-packed integrated package. Although some women are tougher, more masculine than others, some are gentler more cautious, less confident, all women want their lives to honour life and common sense prevail. Women have enormous untapped talents to bring a balance future to our world.

Together men and women are more powerful. Separately we fight for airspace, not listening to the other’s need.

We rival each other for position on a past plan headed for bankruptcy and social disorder – when we now have a choice to co-create a new future. Here is an example of a new way of thinking and being.

A new style together

I had the great pleasure to join a wonderful community in Geneva last weekend for ‘Friends of Humanity’, a foundation set up by Graziella Zanoletti CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of Elite Rentals. Graziella’s great success in the commercial world is now partnered by her great passion to give back to many good causes in less developed countries such as India, earthquake suffering in Nepal, South American rainforests and children in Tibet. 100 people gathered to hear the news on these projects and to come together, men, women, and their families adding back many £1000s by being part of this intention.

I met many extraordinary people especially my host Fabienne Feldman, helped to run this amazing event. We watched and joined in with likeminded people to gather together, hold magical conversations, listen to wonderful music and song, chatter about life and purpose and those projects on display; we eat fabulously well yet abundance for all and enjoyed the wonder of the day – it was an example of people coming together who didn’t know each other and who now form bonds across the world… from Boston to Goa, from London to LA… proving that communities can so easily come together in harmony for a common purpose across the world.

I explored with Graziella the nature of a new approach to “business, life and giving back” when we met last month for our first Magical Conversation at Fabienne’s home. Integrating commercial success, building personal and collective wealth, giving back, creating social cohesion and sustainable communities – bringing social enterprise into main stream business ethics – these are core to our conversations and those of many other female conversations I experience…and with many wise men too who feel tuned into this new multi-streamed way of being, business and life. How do we each measure up to these intentions in our own life?

Magical Conversations are about ‘life’ and business and society – about truth and trust, respect and relationships, humanity and prosperity – and becoming more keenly aware of what matters to others as well as our own. Everywhere I go, wise men and women are speaking with their hearts as much as their heads…and allowing their inner spirit to guide them more times than not. The nature of magical conversations is to embrace expansion and contraction in all we do and not get out of balance in our own lives and in our world. It is being aware of where and how one needs to expand effort and operate at a level of financial viability – consistently contracting efforts where obstacles appear, adhering to rules and regulations, “and and” being our mantra in expanding in relationships, respect and trust in our lives and in our businesses. It’s about exploring a common reason for giving back, feeding and educating those in the world less well off, both in developing countries – and more importantly, lovingly, at home in our own communities.

“It’s not so much about what you do, it’s about the loving you put into the doing that counts” Anon

How can we mend the world when we are not mended (healed from the inside out) first? This all starts at home with love… with loving yourself, your closest friends and family and community first.

Like breathing in and breathing out, expansion and contraction underpins our life force. Masculine and feminine energies do similarly ebb and flow; male dominance is necessary for strength and getting tasks done while the feminine energy flows, nurtures and heals the cracks so that communities can gain sustainable results. Together this alliance of men and women brings abundance in the true gifts of our natural life to be self sustaining for all members. Get to know your own natural gender nature and recognize different perspectives are valid too. It’s the ‘common purpose’ of conversations, built on trust, that includes all points of view, which will help our future come sooner.

Our ‘BIG SOCIETY’

We have a long way to go in the UK, our political leaders talk of a ‘big society’; many male CEOs talk of attracting women into the top positions, mixed boardrooms leading better; many communities, public and private make noises about community cohesion. I applaud their words, the rhetoric, the opinions…. however I don’t believe we invite all the right people to the conversations and listen well enough?

I don’t yet see enough evidence that the best, most aware, intelligent, experienced women are invited to really, truly, openly explore ‘what women want’. Maybe they don’t get noticed or don’t speak up enough. We’re in a world that doesn’t allow women to be women, to grow naturally, be business women and mothers, to grant that life’s natural family pressures are accounted for without marginalization financially or limitations in job prospects.

If we keep going round the same old arguments and propositions, guess what we get the old emerging again. We need to explore more, the new awaits us on the horizon of our awakening to possibilities without judgment and favour.

Magical Conversations count

We can’t create a ‘big society’ based on the old blueprint of business and life separation (the male plan that has traditionally separated ‘making money’ and ‘life’ into two camps)– there are more core principles of evolution to be explored (a female plan for business would combines ‘making money’ and dealing with ‘life’ issues).

My invitation to YOU I now implore my sisters, women of all types, generations, creeds and cultures to put aside the past and grow strong views on ‘what women (and men) really want’ and join our brothers, all kinds – tough guys and gentle giants – in the conversation of co-creation – and magical conversations.

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.

Economy at risk – do women have the missing boardroom ingredient?

In Corporate Boardrooms across the world, it matters that all voices are heard, valued and accounted for in the major and minor conversations that build sustainable success. Many factors influence these conversations in today’s tough economic climate and it is now recognised that men and women together make a positive difference to results. Yet each player brings different, and uniquely valuable, natural traits into this mix. However most women are not heard unless they use masculine styles of behaviour.

As men and women converse in the Boardroom (and elsewhere), it is critical to understand gender dynamics not just between males and females and their biological make-up, but between different natural styles of men and women from masculine to feminine, generation to generation, culture to culture, set against the backdrop of social and economic necessity and key platform issues (good and bad) of our world today – issues such developing technology, fast pace of business, overload and pressure, social unrest, poverty and mis-justice, desire for reform, family and life agendas…. and so much more.

Today I see that too much confusion is forming about women and their role and this has been caused by social stereotypes of women and the historic rise of feminist challenges that were necessary to make women’s voices heard, and a lack of open conversations about our own place in society and the economy at risk. Women are movers and shakers – financially, as consumers, as more than half of the world’s population, yet we are seriously unheard.

Even after the years of feminism (and I am not a feminist myself) I don’t believe that women really want the emasculation of men. We want to be heard and listen to and taken seriously and to play our part – on our terms in a world that we truly co-create with men. I do see that women do not want to be dictated to by the ‘past’, that created by an old world view of business, money and power.

Women love men, but do men value women and really listen to our needs? Do we clearly articulate what we have to offer from a future perspective without being defined by what has been to date?

Today’s contemporary leading business woman is ready for action in a wholly different way. An entrepreneuial mindset, a philanthrophic heart set and a wide scope for integration and collaboration, she has been blocked in the past yet now desires to bring a balanced viewpoint into an economy at risk. She wants to be a contributor in her own right… and heard by both men and women.

For a desirable cohesive balanced mix, where women become equal contributors to the Boardroom conversation, it is vital that female leaders understand how to operate from an informed level in both their professional acumen for boardroom efficiency but also in their personal awareness of gender attributes and natural traits that serve them well yet often get hidden away.

The most effective woman in the boardroom knows who she is as a leader and a woman; she has the confidence to value her contribution and her personal business style as a woman. She will however be faced with a range of communication styles and relationship obstacles from different types of men and different types of women, each with their own personalities, motivators, experiences and perspectives that vary from her own. Learning the elements of a mixed gender group is key. The right conversation, underpinned by a new ‘gender dynamics’ perspective, will increase her effectiveness. With this expert knowledge, a female leader will be heard and can then influence the outcomes desired by all parties, male and female. Men will appreciate her viewpoint and readily add this to their advantage. She can then more easily leverage her natural skills in the Boardroom with regards to key issues such as decision-making, conflict, risk taking and team collaboration.

This new perspective looks at the behavioural and language elements of Gender Dynamics for both men and women in the Boardroom mix; recognising personal and professional style from six different perspectives; and underpins key changes in language patterns that ensure everyone is heard. This is not the same argument as the past… quotas and playing a male game. This is about truly new ground, getting into an ‘and/and’ discussion about what both parties need and not making assumptions that the world designed by men over the last 200 years is actually the way it needs to continue.

It is fascinating to watch the ensuing pressure on our politicians to make a deal – get sorted quickly because the economy is the pressing issue and the ‘£’ our only measure. This does not take account of the human issues and the fact that maybe a too quick decision will leave us trying to solve last months issues with last years resources. Have we not learned that last month is obsolete?.. let alone last year! There is a theory ‘U’ that says it is best to take time out to resolve tough challenges, time out to reflect and open hearted, open minded conversations bringing new ideas together to bring the best solutions. Men are geared to ‘solution finding’ as a primary biological driver… this is why we need a more feminine viewpoint to counter balance this tendency (whether in men and women, this feminine energy looks beyond the task to whether the solution brings benefits to all not just the economy) Women do not separate key issues as men do … and a female ‘logic’ is needed to drive this home!

Together men and women make the best team, in today’s world this is still undervalued by all parties. More than half the UK population is female and yet we are under represented in politics and business. Now maybe proportional representation is about the gender divide as opposed to party boundaries?

We didn’t see women prominent in this election – and the media have slated us for that… Why did that happen? That is a dialogue needed among women which is continuing now in every conversation I hear. However in the business Boardroom, women have more opportunity and can make the changes happen if the men are willing. And some wise CEO’s are willing. Will men and women take up the challenges and create a new blueprint rather than more of the past?

Who will be brave? Are you? Watch this space, magical conversations start this month…