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.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/un-celebrates-a-watershed-day-for-women-2017929.html

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!

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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…

The games people play…

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

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

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

So where is my thought process going?

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a world of constant disruption, do you feel lucky?

I know I have been lucky all my life even when times have been challenging (both personally and professionally) – and to be honest I believe the key to having ‘luck’ is believing in yourself and trusting that wherever you are, you are lucky to be alive. Sometimes in today’s world where ‘constant disruption’ is the most consistent aspect of our lives, many people feel unlucky. I feel enormously lucky to be a mature capable business woman in a world that needs ‘wise women’ at the top… and where men in business and in life…and in politics… are looking for a solution to a problem that has passed its sell-by-date!

At the Post Bureaucratic Network Conference Monday 21st February, the talk was about how we all deal with ‘constant disruption’ as the core nature of our problems and how we needed to build solutions based on transparency, technology and decentralization from the keynote speaker, David Cameron. Maybe so, I pondered on who deals with ‘constant disruption’ best and so the lucky ones in this moment in time.

Women are naturally brilliant at managing ‘constant disruption’ and all of those issues quoted above. Women only have to enter the realm of motherhood/parenthood to know that – to be running several roles at once, to have dependents in your life from elderly parents to sick or disabled family members, and hold a business role or run their own affairs – to know about how to manage ‘constant disruption’! And this is not to say men can’t do this some of the time; however it’s not so natural biologically for men who function best when focused on one task at a time. Men are essential to operational excellence and great when managing risk or certainty, and reducing collateral damage from the recessional fall out, however men generally don’t take the major dependency roles in the ‘home service arena’.

Once again it occurs to me that although men and women are designed to run this world together, this simple fact does not appear to speed up the changes we need. We want more women at the top but aren’t prepared to change the baseline rules and the language and behaviour that many male boardrooms exhibit. This is not about men at fault but about understanding that as well as the needs of the market we need to value the needs of women alongside men who have been in charge over 200 years, it is their natural default position. We moan about the numbers of women and quote ‘quotas’ from Norway and soon Spain and France. We keep on about the ‘glass ceiling’; yet we don’t think about a new script. Women and men together can change the plan – but this needs to be a conversation together. We could change the numbers and the quality of women in business easily if we redraw the script and build a new stage for the corporate world. The play might perform better and gain more applause from the audience. In many women-run business the evidence is already of more success and more longevity.

We need to go back to the drawing board if we are serious about changing main stream business at the top and right through. With a few simple changes in perspective, we can create, together, a desirable sustainable future where I hope we appreciate how lucky we all are to be the resources we naturally are.

Do we believe this yet? NO. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation … and I would be happily out of a role! We would already have the ‘right’ numbers of women at the top and in politics. We would have adapted the blueprint of business to encompass such things as multi-roles, dependency, maternity, parenthood, sickness and so much more that women are usually the prime owners.

I believe that we still have not entered the real conversation at the heart of our ‘troubles’ in a way that men listento women and women hear men. The core question is how do men and women truly share this world, what responsibilities come naturally and which are necessities we co-own? What needs are central to men and differently central to women – and what does business require to serve all for sustainable growth and healthy living for all in our society.
Is that a ‘pie in the sky’ idealistic view? Maybe, but I don’t apologize for this. I have too many magical conversations across so many sectors now that I know change is afoot and luck is on its way – if we look to notice it!

I believe we can co-create a great world where business and life co-exist and profit both social needs and material requirements. We can observe that when people value their own personal well-being and have healthy relationships, they work better, their brains function faster and when working well together as a community, they produce more innovative and successful results.

”Love and meaning” are freely available on this menu and so we are lucky as (if we choose) we can alter the course of our world, and each choose to utilize our natural value to its full – or to die. Sounds drastic but I see too many people in major businesses who are tired of the corporate stories, unsure of what their next step is, feel doomed to years of misery, men and women jaded with the lack of luck – or so they believe. Yet it is sitting right there inside them.

Was I born lucky? YES I chose a family who laughed, lived, loved and last a long time together. My mother is a lively 92, a wise and intelligent woman; my father (the wisest man I knew) died at 91 – I have a large family, brothers and sister, nephews and nieces, and my own two fabulous children. I am also very lucky to be blessed with an enjoyable motherhood period (past now), a long ex marriage, and now grand motherhood where my wisdom can give to and learn from a new generation who see the world afresh! Between my many roles (several in business and several in life), I observe my luck and am grateful daily for my path which is often challenged by ‘constant disruption’. I aim to do more, give back more, laugh more! I have an instinctive courage to keep going even when told I am being too optimistic!

As Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry said “do you feel lucky?” well I do – how about you? What choices will you notice, what luck will you take, it’s all around you – just take a look.

Leaving a legacy – set your intention now!

I met amazing Philanthropreneurs this week – a mixture of Philanthroper and Entrepreneur – and was lucky to be on a panel discussing this new concept, originated in the US, now being embraced by many motivated entrepreneurs who wish to ‘give back’ in the way they know best. The event was for the charity Education Africaand they have a wonderful entrepreneurial spirit in how they are developing their teaching style with children in Africa to grow strong minds as well as healthy bodies.

I was inspired to be part of the evening panel ‘ Philanthropreneur – The next generation defined’ and to learn more about this style of being, in deed a way of innovating and taking risk around new business ideas, creating wealth and yet ‘giving back’ in an energetic business way that enables the receiver and the giver to become enriched emotionally, spiritually, physically and materially. I felt as if I had come home and it felt good to me to develop my business with this new style, giving back as we grow.

Philanthropreneurs have a plentiful ‘possibility’ mindsets, very open hearts, a great sense of timing and innovation, aligned to a high world vision with a well balanced self less ego, and of course a pioneering eye line to the future…nothing is impossible ! If we are to leave a legacy that lasts for many generations after we have moved on, this feels to be the right way, to start now.

A couple of summers ago I wrote my ‘obituary’ – sounds odd maybe, however it is a valuable way to put yourself into the far future and create your legacy statement now (it can always grow and change however once written you’ll be amazed at what happens as soon as it is on paper!!)

Having decided that I will live to 101 (at least) I then stretched my imagination into that year, closed my eyes and looked what I would love to exist for my children and my grandchildren and my world, for friends I know and those I have yet to touch and for all I may never meet but are part of my global family.

I envisaged a new harmonic in the air, an abundant sense of love in the world, where life and work were balanced, where women and men had healthy choices over their careers and family lives, where children were educated with an authentic love and emotional energy that grew strong caring imaginative intelligent adults, who respect the environment and enjoy the natural beauty of the world. A world where major powers are empowering their people rather than fighting to right wrongs; where poverty was irradicated; a world where men and women live in harmony recognising the limitations of our natural planet resources and using them wisely. There will be a new community energy across the land, magical conversations daily, wisdom and joy alive in both work and play, and who knows what other exciting unknowns!!

In my legacy, I had eliminated ‘bad behaviour’ in the workplace, and gone on to set up The SMILE FOUNDATION as a core part of education across the world providing core curriculum classes in Sound, Movement, Imagination, Laughter and Energy to underpin the range of skills based teaching to inform a new generation of healthy adults. I had also written several books gender, relationships, happiness and fun; had various TV series, married again and enjoyed a happy healthy family life myself!

I just read my ‘orbituary’ now two years on and I am amazed how much has already started to set my plans in place… the power of good intentions is strong and we don’t need to do more than that and act on it. So what has happened; I have meet the most amazing like minded people, found an environment, The Monastery, where magical conversations are starting to happen about ‘Corporate Spirit’ and ways to bring a Spirit and Purpose to all organizations to make this world a better place to be… and now the law of attraction has brought opportunities to me to meet the influential senior players, men and women, who can transform from the Boardroom to create ‘wellness’ in trusted cultures across the UK. There are possibilties abounding for TV programmes, my book is started and interest found, and I am thoroughly enjoying my journey. Smiling all the way!!!

Set you intention, write your legacy way into the future, make a contract with yourself today and join the conversation with us NOW.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time”.
American President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)