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


Business, relationships, sex and snow!

A new era of conversations is required – it’s not about men versus women or the survival of the fittest but “survival for all, abundantly” working together to create magic.

It’s been a hugely transformational 2011 that has led us all to this year, and the bad stories have not gone away in 2012! Where are we going? The New Year of the Dragon sky tells a story of fire and fun maybe?

Major financial issues attack us on every news report, EU confusion and mayhem, top men tumble and top women get isolated from the marzipan layer of females who just haven’t risen to the top yet, social unrest rides high in youth communities, vulnerable women and children grow greater in numbers, as do prison inmates; education is under the critical spotlight, students rebel or just stop going to university, the NHS crumbles more, the Government is challenged at home and abroad; hacking, benefits scandals and unemployment figures rise. BUSINESS is sticky. We’re still having the “same old same old conversations” and nothing gets better. I have friends who just don’t watch the news at all!

Then SNOW came this last weekend brought a kind of strange release from such matters and a crisis once more brought people together, everyone helping sliding cars to stay on the road and people get home even after hours in freezing conditions. Today the snow has gone from my street and the world looks pretty much the same.

Why is it we see the magic of human kindness only in crisis?

With many like minded enlightened circles of friends and mentors, I see the requirement for people is to collaborate, to share resources and to realize there is a different blueprint required. Collaborative living and working, full of conversations about collective consciousness and practical application come to the fore for me. A wonderful balance of the material and the esoteric, task and relationship, operation and service. We need both men and women to be responsible co-parents if we are to survive and thrive as a society and a sustainable economy. These thoughts impact the way I see ‘business and life’ merging and coming together as there is no longer a defined separation in that relationship. This merger has come mainly through the influx and growth of women wanting careers, business recognizing markets are changing, consumers being more feminine and men recognizing business is about RELATIONSHIPS and service; entrepreneurism is growing at a rate of knots, and philanthropy and social responsibility are key to our overall fulfillment and meaning of life. Our old paradigm economic foundations are now shaking in the very concrete pillars of our once stable male world and many struggle with leaping into a new paradigm of the unknown.

Is this a battle or a game? Maybe SEX does get in the way?

It sounds like I’m full of doom and gloom, however I am very positive and incredibly excited about this year – the crisis of collapse will shake us all together at last? Men and women will maybe own their true authentic nature, SEX will play a part and we will all have to do things different whether we like it or not. We’re all humans, we have needs and that surely our passion for life itself is the main force of renewal and hope?

It’s now time to take on board a serious paradigm shift for 2012

It’s now time to get serious about new ways of working, living, connecting, sharing, and survival for all. The old ethos was ‘the survival of the fittest’ and in that paradigm we shall no doubt continue to experience battling between the sexes both on a business and political stage but also in the streets of our towns and in our own backyards. If we shift our thinking to ‘survival for all, abundantly’ we grow hope and prosperity of mind, body and soul. However we need trust in all we do and each other. We need to open up trusted conversations, let our egos go to the wall and enter a circle of human value as key to renewal. I do believe indeed we have all the resources we need right here, right now and, with care, men and women can co-create a much healthier wiser world that will emerge through coming together in magical conversations.

I do believe the way we unpack the conundrum about women rising further in business, and maintaining their natural female attributes to co-create with men at the top…. is to get the men talking! I am convinced that women will never make the top in greater numbers unless men have a mind-shift change that allows them ownership of a new blueprint to do business in ways that will suit women.

Do read our latest research on MEN it shows that men really do want things to be different but don’t know how to hold the conversation. Call us now to learn more or go for our programmes for men.

MEN ONLY PROGRAMME for men who want to learn to be more aware of how they manage everyone – this would embrace gender aspects, communication barriers, relationship mastery, dialogue and professional presence among a range of topics, allowing men an opportunity to own the conversation in a closed male group, guided by our experts.

What is a magical conversation?

What is a magical conversation? I have been asked this many times and it’s hard to say exactly although you surely know when a conversation has been miserable!

That is one that makes your blood drain away or boil.

It’s a conversation that isn’t actually a conversation as it is one sided, even when more than one person is talking.

It can be full of tears and/or fears, angry words or can just be downright boring. Have you ever sat in those and wondered why you are there?

You play your part.

Miserable conversations take place the whole time, at work and at home, in shops, on the streets, on the tubes, in pubs, in bars, in restaurants, across families, across nations, across continents. You observe the silent conversations where not a word is said as you sip your beer.

You are responsible.

The worst is still to come – the conversation that starts wars – the controversial conversation, the blind conversations, the bigoted conversation. The vitriolic conversations that create divorce, achromous settlement conversations; the legal battles conversations; the conversations without resolve; the embittered conversation; and the unspoken bereavement conversations.

You are able to transform.

“Magical conversations” came into my life from an early age and really ran through my life. There were many of these conversations around the breakfast table when I was a kid. As I grew up and realized my awkward teens and then found adulthood, I had the miserable ones too of course! Yet I always was attracted to magical ones and to creating them too. I didn’t necessarily call them that then. I received a delightful comment from my daughter, Gemma, some two years when she said “you know Mum, you should call yourself the president of magical conversations, as you make them wherever you go” Thank you to her.

I listened and took the comment on board. I felt President was a tad grand although I do preside over such events now. I started to say to people that I was the “Ambassador of Magical Conversations” and it attract both interest and intrigue and indeed started people switched on to what they said, the intent they used and the effect they had on others.

It takes a tuned in person to know when they have switched someone else on … or off! When we step into that magical conversation of inspired trust, respectful observation, openness and honesty, welcoming contributions from diverse minds, encompassing all views and listening with two ears and speaking in turn, we create a sacred space that holds no barriers to magical outcomes. My dear friend and colleague Richard had evolved a passion to hold ‘third space meetings’ in 2009 and create that sacred space for all to share. This fulfilled my nature of magical conversations because the space provided the final ingredient, the fertile ground for voices to be heard. Those attending always went out with a smile and an air of joy.

The events we hold now are helping in many senior corporate circles and in our own lives and can work anywhere.

Magical Conversations are magical because we know not what we might create at the start; we merely hold the intention for a third space between us, we state the topic in principle, state the guidelines and allow the seeds of the conversation to germinate and grow into collaborative results. This style of conversation can be used anywhere any time for amazing results, in the boardroom they can turn businesses around, in families they can change children’s future lives.

Magical conversations have three core requests from all participating …

• To enter with full intention to listen, to contribute, to share, to care, to observe, to speak and to invite a wide diversity of contributions to whatever the central subject or topic is being regarded.
• To park any egos outside the door, to bar judgments and opinions, yet share from experience, giving evidence and stories to help where required, allowing conjecture if given permission by the collective, and always keeping the space safe for all to be there.
• To leave the conversation knowing you have given truly, and received richly, have helped everyone feel inspired and lifted, enlightened and expanded the conversation.

Any conversation can be magical, a quick conversation at the bus stop; a long business conversation in the boardroom; an intimate conversation of friends; a romantic duo out on a first date.

A magical conversation flows, it winds, it laughs, it cries, it surprises and it confirms the unconditional love and acceptance of difference between all parties. This is a true loving communication between human beings, as we all have been given the gift to communicate, whether by voice or sign language, in English or any national dialect, inter-generationally or in peer group parties.

Where talking happens, conversations thrive. Magical Conversations never die.

Visioning your future NOW!

Why wait for tomorrow to start your vision today?

Place in view, not just in your head. Don’t be shy of what you dream about passionately. Put it right, left and centre, know that what you don’t know now will turn up, set intentions through your visioning and watch it flow towards you.

“What rubbish” I hear you whisper in your head – surely my vision, my dream, and my passion is best kept inside incase others put me off and say it’s too daring, too outside of my ability… “It’s a secret because I dare not say what others might ridicule.” You pronounce the death knoll on your pioneering vision ‘in case the arrows in your back hurt you!!!

Well I am here to tell you – get out of your own way and watch it occur.

Pauline's Vision Board Autumn 2010

Here is my vision board from last autumn – and already, I am ready for a revised and extended vision i.e. to host my own chat TV show interviewing extraordinary women and men who bring diverse and extraordinarily transforming ideas to life, business, and entrepreneurship, and influence social change and create philanthropic operations that delve deep into unknown territory to save the world from pain.

I am meeting with all the amazing people because I seek amazing people, I have already a line-up of top women to interview about what is really needed to transform our recession hit boardroom and really give Lord Davies a radical shake up!! I am asking senior guys too to come onto the interview couch; and I plan more hosting of ‘Magical Conversations’ across corporate land.

I always set my intentions in my vision board and then in my conversations (I talk and connect a lot) and now have celebrities and entrepreneurial opportunities to interview; both men and women of all ages – I even have a fabulous group of 16/17year olds who’d like to be in conversation with the boardrooms of UK. Now that will be a magical conversation to watch!

So what is happening here?

I explain this work using vision boards and intentions today to a new and dear friend, Maryam, who is on a mission to spread transformation education through Persian TV – now this is her homeland, her passion is raw, is new, is seeded by Landmark Education and a Forum we both experienced last weekend. Yet she had planned to keep her vision a secret – NO I say to her, bring it to life! She is now.

So here are the steps;

1. Know your vision needs to come from your inner passion – don’t just think it, write it down, mind-map it, draw it….. Do chat to close friends, don’t get put down, but be reasonable as well as unreasonable.
2. Be clear about what your vision intends to be, do, achieve- both for you in your life and for others in the world
3. Know your part , your role, your desires and abilities within your dream of the vision
4. Create your vision board – pictures, words, textures – that give a picture of the essence of your vision in very practical terms…
5. Put a picture of you in the middle – it’s your vision, your dream, and will influence the way you lead your life
6. Talk about it from your passion and for the benefits and results it brings … “my passion is to bring inspiration and motivation to people; to transform the country (then the world)… and get my message to its destination through interviews and presence in TV/media”
7. With your vision board finished and mounted on the wall – photograph it and put on your screensaver as well …and then when you see, you will be inspired
8. Answer questions and speak with passion – so when anyone else sees your vision board and they offer help, say YES and THANKS as often as you can and follow through with a review even if the lead comes to nothing!

People love to help us and yet so often we don’t set a clear intention about our vision and with purpose- say with responsible passion, own it, share it, allow people to bring you possibilities (however remote) and always be grateful for every link in the chain of your purpose fulfilled.

My vision boards have always helped me spring into action, take a confident lead, transform my experience in life and in business and move me closer to my current dream; to be the host of a Magical Conversations Chat Show, inspiring viewers through extraordinary people to take action to achieve a joyful, happy and abundant society for us all.

And if you have any dreams unrealized, let me know and come to one of my vision board creation sessions. Contact me on And if you know anyone in Persian TV, contact me for Maryam!!

Compassion as a business necessity

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. -The Dalai Lama

I was really struck by this quote and started to muse on why people in business are still not valuing their natural ability be ‘compassionate’ for each other in the workplace. Is it because it is deemed too emotional in its purest form to add value in monetary terms and therefore can’t be added to the ledger?

Yet compassion for me is the most valuable measure of business when seen in good leadership, a trusting workforce culture, and healthy retention of clients and customers. It is a natural way forward to preserve good health and vitality of our employees – and is core energy for getting on with everyone. I am talking here of a true compassion, as the Dalai Lama talks of, which embraces daily love, supports fairness, trust, respect and care for every man and woman.

Yet I am often told, you can’t talk like this in business, you have to talk about hard tangible benefits. Tough times need tough measures.

I disagree. This is exactly the time to turn around your life and your business, right from top to bottom, with love and compassion. Own it, be it, see the results. CEOs and top Boards are now seeing the growth of a strong female economy, changing requirements of women and men to be on par, accepted on their natural merits, each doing what they do best – together with compassion and not judgment.

How do you cope with adversity and chaos in today’s tricky economic climate? People too often blame others when the key to unlock is within. In hard measurable terms, if we don’t unlock this key, then we suffer, relationships suffer and business success goes out of the window.

I believe in our natural endless capacity to love and feel compassion for each other and that as a human race we have the ability and the desire to seek new ways and create a buoyant, abundant, collaborative world were all count, all add their own unique value, everyone counts. I know in my deepest essence that I am part of a whole existence that covers not just this day, but all the past and future that is. I share the responsibility for our world and see the natural energy of co-creation with us.

Working with men and women in diverse arenas, generations and situations, I see men and women holding the two halves of a whole solution, yet not creating a new blueprint together. Is it that, stuck as we are in an old pattern that does not serve us any more, we stubbornly refuse to believe that there is another way – the men stay tough and resistant to change, focused on targets, survival, power and profit; the women too often opt out of their feminine softness and take on the mantle of business the tough way. Neither side needs to stay fixed and rooted in either. I am encouraged by the ground swell of women today wanting to be in business and the news that the ‘female economy’ is being noticed by men when it comes to wealth managers and the growing wealth of women across the world. However we still haven’t got to grips with the bigger conversation that can embrace all women, their needs, all men and their needs, and most importantly the needs of a fragile changing world. Economies are constrained by overspend and cutbacks and we are told that we’re in for a period of austerity in the tabloid press. Women can make a difference to the future by stretching the new playing field into the natural domain of female needs rather than playing hard ball in a man’s world.

I believe there is a new magic we can bring to our collective conversations which honours our core strengths as men and women and allows for new energy of female growth to come into business as a whole. If we only calculate success of women by their wealth capability, we may ignore the contributions of those women who excel in other non-profit ways. We can ensure a more balanced ownership of true wealth to emerge easily when we add compassion to business and seek equity and fairness within every conversation. I know this will increase the profitline of the whole business and ensure everyone has a healthy life. Healthy, wealthy and wise may be a simple combination worth remembering.

My contribution is to teach people to step in the space they need to deliver their best. I help them to value their inner wisdom, and to be able to join every conversation with compassion.

I host “Magical Conversations” with invited groups of senior men and women to explore how to step into that natural space and be themselves, truly happy, to add loving energy to human business. My own life purpose is to bring harmony, collaboration and serious intention to merge life and business together, and to establish a simpler, more effective way to connect to likeminded people for greater success. I set up these conversations up to set a new pace for life for me and for my clients; a pace to think with my heart and to embrace a new truth about how I/we can co-create a wonderful new business plan for living and work merged together.

As in many mergers, we need to be aware of people’s needs, of bringing together differing cultures together. In the merger of men and women we still haven’t fully understood the natural value of our differences and how beneficial we are to each other. We need to explore how to dissolve all the confusion which goes with old thinking rather than new feelings and demystify the ‘gender code’ about stereotypes, barriers, egos and pre-conceptions. Let’s begin again with the best of the past and an open consideration for the future, and build a new blueprint for business that embraces life and measures love on the bottom line!

Transformed with compassion, the merger of men and women will grow a new culture of energy, loving intentions for growth and profit …and, most important to me, a era of positive loving business behaviour!

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.

Finding our natural pace to think with our hearts

Holiday in Spain

Having just returned from 7 days of sunshine in Spain, relaxing and switching off, I recognize the power within that I have mis-used lately by pushing myself too hard. I was staying too much in my head and not ‘thinking’ about my heart.

I recognized that if I care to notice what is happening within my whole body, and not just my physical being, I would be rather scared to see how out of control I am in my inner world! For all of us, our minds, hearts and spirits mesh together within our body structure; we are indeed created perfectly yet we abuse our own source of power every day by staying in our heads too much…and so we can damage not just our own bodies but all those we impact day to day…and ultimately everyone in our world.

My passion is to enable people to see, feel, hear and understand their natural self – their natural talent, wisdom and courage – to be all that they are, everyday, the ‘star’ that they are born to be. Yet I have not walked my talk. A bit of self-indulgence would do me no harm and indeed a lot of good. My week in Spain allowed me to get out of my head and into my heart. Watching my grandchildren of 2½ and 4 months allowed me time to see that core perfection we are all born with, the growth in those young months and years, the simplicity of children’s laughter and the delight of tiny steps. My heart started feeling and my mind took a self-indulgent rest. I reviewed my own progress alongside theirs.

2010 progression

My year has progressed well. I honoured the childlike excitement at the many opportunities that have arisen this year, and my choice to do that which I am attracted to; to revamp my own core business Corporate Heart; get involved with Magical Conversations with senior level movers and shakers so transformation can be accelerated across the UK corporate world; and interview top women about their own challenges in the world of work; I had forgotten as a single woman, in her sixties, that however motivated and energetic I am, I am also not superwoman!

My ability to draw on my higher energies, override physical and mental exhaustion and deliver inspirational impact to my clients and influencing circles is simply not realistic without breaks. I realized what I already knew but had forgotten, i.e. that pressure needs to be counter with a sensible sustainability strategy for life and re-balancing of the work overload that we take on as women. We need to be self indulgent on occasions!

Balance in our lives

Our ability to self indulge is key to a balanced and fulfilled life and success…permeating ever pore of our existence. We are human beings – not human doings! We need to care for the ‘body’ we have been given and be grateful for the amazing combination of interlinked and meshed pieces, many millions of atoms set to our personal dial.

Women under pressure

To keep up with success, women often feel they need to work at pressures which are unrealistic to our maximum female ‘healthy’ potential output. Men do work too hard too but, over 2 centuries they have designed a plan for work that is not made for women, men do have more physical strength and a single minded, task-focused capability born into them. It’s actually a simple equation. 24/7 global business has been designed for men. Yet we need workers to work globally and locally, men and women, and have families, responsibilities for elderly relatives, social lives, community tasks and a life other than work! Women want to pay more attention to these aspects and see ‘life’ and work intricately meshed. Many men don’t. They have a reasonable thinking ability to separate ‘life’ from work even when they have caring responsible natures, they work in different ways,

Now here goes my logical head again… it’s a ‘no brainer’, as they say, to look after our assets. We’ve heard it so many times; invest in our people, our finest assets yet business has set a plan for women to fail, not because they are weak or incapable, but because business is still mainly task focused, achievement-orientated, measured, male-operated version of work! Business doesn’t value the huge natural value of women both in business, economically, and in life, economically. Women perform many caring ‘tasks’ that never get factored into the bottom line.

Of course, many women have entered the world of work and coped with the pressure and are fantastic business achievers. But not enough in pure numbers to be an influence to change the nature of business. Many have sacrificed their life in terms of families and happiness to do so. On the practical level, the facts speak for themselves – and companies are challenged to retain women at senior levels. Attracting and keeping women into higher levels of business is not a ‘nice to have’ –it’s a business case for our economic and social survival. At an emotional level, the world needs to address the balance of needs from both men and women. Do read Avivah Wittenberg-Cox’s new book “How Women mean Business” for the latest facts on who’s doing the best.

The UN vote for WOMEN

At last, and at a world level, we have the UN recognizing that around the world women are marginalized not only in underdeveloped countries but also in developed countries where we still don’t see women represented proportionally in business boardrooms or political fields. The UN will commence an agency for Women in January. I am delighted – althought I hope the reality is seriously active and able to radically shift the way we run the world together.

So how will this affect us all? I hope it’s another major step in the journey I am on to bring men and women to a deeper and more valuable understanding of our individual and collective human needs over purely wealth creation for the sake of stock piling fortunes into the hands of a few.

A man said to me “if the wealth of the world was in the hands of women, we would have no poverty” because women feed their babies, women care for life itself. Women bring a new understanding and rationale to business and life combined. We need to begin those magical conversations now to ensure that we don’t just do more of the old male ways. The new way is ‘and and’ male and female, masculine and feminine, the balance that we see in nature brought into our fiscal and social existence.

Self indulgence

So maybe this is time for the world to be self-indulgent as I was taking a sunshine holiday, to congratulate ourselves on the awareness now growing strongly that women matter. I believe this is a world issue not a woman issue. Women do not want to do this on their own, even though they could. Because women value life they know it is together that the world works best.

Be self indulgent in your own life and see the pace at which your ‘body’ works. This does not mean the same thing to each person; gender, age, disability and natural health conditions make a difference. Our natural pace is not the same …and when it comes to men and women, the pace is different by nature and inclination!

The last 60 years

Women facing the male world of business over the last 60 years have recognized limitations when motherhood and caring have been a choice; either chosen by them; created accidentally; or brutally forced on them. The male world of work does not yet truly provide for this vital nurturing role as part of the economic planning process. We are beset by rules and regulations, grievance and harassment cases, that strangle business. Women see life as part of everything and so as they set up business they make choices that work for them. I see the great strength of combining male and female natures into a new way of business.

So what?

What if – business was not first and foremost about making money – but about providing a relevant income for all that sustained the whole. This is much of the substance of social enterprise which many women favour as a model of business. If money was not our core driver but purely another output then our success criteria might shift too. There are many ways of creating a new business model and we don’t yet have it right – however at least if we get round the table and converse to find common ground so magic can happen.

Magical Conversations

In searching for the new ways, we can also draw on our experiences and those of others, wise men and women. We don’t need to abandon the old, even if we explore forward rather than past. We can also draw on nature and learn to be self indulgent, take time out to look at ourselves in new ways. Not to be someone we aren’t but actually to discover we have everything we need to know right here, right now – in our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our souls!

Take time out to think from your heart today!