Categories
Personal development

CEO Sleepout

10 years ago Phil Crenigan encouraged me to raise money and awareness for the homeless.  The evening of the sleep out people from all walks of life speak up about the events that led them to become homeless and then the loneliness of homelessness.

Up until that point I would not make eye contact with homeless people, let alone hold a conversation,  that day changed me forever and since then I always say hello and pass the time of day, and often give food or coffee. My judgement has gone and been replaced with a deep understanding of others who are less fortunate.

Over the years of the sleepout I have listened to many stories of people getting themselves into financial difficulty. The stories are confronting, as they are everyday challenges that can impact anyone. it could be you or I.

Last year we had a number of women with Children who were living in cars, to escape domestic violence. The team at Vinnie’s do an amazing job and really make the difference, creating a safe environment for the family.

The work Vinnies do to help people get back on track is outstanding. People who have lost all their ID through walking out of a unsafe situation, this is incredibly complex as all the agencies need ID, Vinnies don’t just help solve this for an individual, but working in conjunction with the Post office and other organisations to remove the complexity and assist in the best way possible. https://auspost.com.au/receiving/manage-your-mail/po-boxes-and-private-bags/free-po-boxes-for-homeless

This is my 10th Year of fundraising and raising awareness for the homeless. Please support by donating:
https://lnkd.in/deJuPv6n

Categories
Personal development

A gap year in your 40’s

Over a decade ago we lost three friends in their 30s in the space of 6 months. That loss combined with mid-life crisis sent my husband Andy, dog Harvey the basset hound and the adventure of a lifetime.

We left our jobs and travelled Europe in a Rapido 7 meter luxury Motorhome. We had no idea as we pulled off our driveway where we were going or for how long, but what we did know was that there is more to life than what we were experiencing at that time.

We travelled to France and spent months in all the regions down the west coast, highlights being Normandy and Bordeaux, we travelled across the plains of Spain, San Sebastian, Salamanca  and  into Portugal, stayed in the Estrela mountains, and the ancient cities of Beja and Evora, spent months in the Algarve over winter before heading off to Italy.  The destination driven by the weather and living off the rent of the house meant budget camping on beaches which you can do in many places around southern Europe over Autumn and winter.

It took 3 months to truly unwind from the stresses of life, but when we did life was far more richer, as you  had time to smell the roses, explore, spend hours in the markets, learning languages, reading, speaking to people. Being present and totally living in the moment. What we experienced and learned about life was transformational.

We met the grey nomads, there were many from many countries, people that had travelled for decades following the fruit picking seasons. The Dutch travellers are the best, a couple we met south of Bordeaux in Mimizan on the coast, each winter they take their motor-home and a menagerie of animals including a budgie and live on the beach. There was a Dutch professor from Utah and his wife that escape the winter to San Vito Lo Capo in northern Sicily.. too many stories and so many magic moments.

From Aging to Saging

When  you have all the time in the world, you start reflecting on your life and what you want from life. It was these moments that prompted me to read Aging to Saging a non religious book written by a Rabbi https://www.amazon.com/Age-ing-Sage-ing-Revolutionary-Approach-Growing/dp/0446671770, the exercises made me think about my future years and what I wanted from life. Looking at life backwards I understood, that although I loved my travels I need a purpose in life.

I always loved being in business, the people, customers, strategy and learning something new about people and my self every day.  I missed it, I only have to look at my dad who started a business at 50 and is now 70 and has a great balance of work and life as he loves getting away in the motor-home as my husband and I left it for my parents when we moved to Australia.

As the months of travelling unfolded the mist cleared and a plan emerged. We no longer wanted to live in England the weather was depressing and we needed to experience something new.  Although living in a motor-home for a year was fun we missed the luxuries in life, the experiences made us appreciate what we had a whole lot more when we returned to living in a home.

We all want to help others, it is in our blood, so what became clear is I wanted to help others to enjoy success and live a balanced life.  Through my work as a business leader I had the opportunity to embrace both. When I returned to the UK, we had the opportunity to move to Australia with the company I ran before we travelled, Andy and I jumped at the opportunity to live in Sydney. My legacy is all about others realising the potential  of others and creating a good life/work balance.

Categories
Book Quotes Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development

You can learn from good and bad bosses.

You can learn from good and bad bosses. None of us are perfect, everyone deserves the best support, if there are behaviours you find offensive, call it out in private.  https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/03/04/taking-responsibility-to-how-we-get-treated/

You can help your boss and they in return will help you. Judgement is the worst human trait. https://angelalovegrove.com/2018/06/04/dont-speak-ill-of-others/

Stay always true to your values. You don’t have to compromise, you need to share what is important to you, so you can build rapport and trust. In return you need to take time to understand the pressure and behaviours that result in your boss’s behaviour. Always seek to understand before being understood, one of my favourite Dale Carnegie sayings. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/11/24/why-dale-carnegies-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people-is-my-all-time-favourite-book/

Personal growth occurs when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone. This is the opportunity to push yourself beyond where you have operated before.

With the open honest feedback about your bosses behaviour, you also get it back in return. This has been some of the most transformative coaching I have received in my career.

You can learn from good and bad bosses

Categories
Personal development

Bullying by customers

When a customer is abusive to staff members, as a leader taking immediate action is critical to support your team.

Bullying behaviour comes in many forms, my first experience of dealing with this situation was over a decade ago where a technical team delivering a complex software project were being ridiculed on calls from a significant customer.

The team morale was very low, and a new role for me. Once I understood the language and the behaviour of the customer, armed with the evidence of the behaviour I set up a meeting with the CIO of the customer.

I explained my concerns for the mental welfare of my team and asked if he would ensure these situations did not reoccur. The conversation was a lot less challenging than I first thought it would be and the CIO was receptive and concerned.

Less than a month later I was on a escalation call on a weekend and the staff of the customer were abusive to my team on the call, I promptly said to the abuser “Please refrain from speaking to my team in this manner, we are all working together in our own time to support you and your team”. The abuser persisted and I asked my team to leave the call. A few days later the CIO called to apologise and I said its my team you need to apologise to.

The abuse stopped, but the most important lesson is the team felt supported. The team said this toxic situation had been going on for years.

Since that time I have dealt with numerous situations related to poor behaviour by customers towards staff members. I now take a harder line, I ask for the customer staff member to be removed from dealing with the team, as unfortunately some of these behaviours are entrenched.

As a leader we have a duty of care for our teams wellbeing, so if there is any poor behaviour abusive, blackmailing, and threatening behaviour no matter who it is, you need to act swiftly to protect the wellbeing of the people you work with.

Categories
Personal development

Going Native

A term that was used to describe multi year software implementation teams who now represented their client more than the software company they worked for.

It can also mean going from contract to working for a company.

What I want to address here is the former, when an employee represents the customers interests over their own employer.

As a leader this behavior can be observed in any role which works with customers over a long period of time i.e. account manager, project manager. The challenge is how to spot, call it out and then do something about it.

When an employee spends more time with their customer than the team they work in, they lose connection to the team and business, they are at risk of representing their customers needs over what makes sense to the business.

Here are the signs:

  1. The behavior shows up when the employee is continually driving their customers agenda at a cost to your company. It may be the request does not make commercial sense, only suits them and no other customer.
  2. Poor boundaries and expectation setting with the customer, as they believe their customer is right and the business needs to change even when commercially it does not make sense.
  3. Not taking the position of the employees company, behaving like they work for their customer.
  4. Not attending company team events or team get togethers

As a leader its important to jump on early and here are some of the options you have:

  1. Call it out with the individual with specific examples. Approach with seek to understand: Why do you believe this? Is this the interest of our business? Why is it? What would you do if this business was run on your investments? How would you feel?
  2. Move projects or accounts, to another opportunity. Recognize their great work and set them the next challenge. Anyone is susceptible to “going native” if they work on a account or project to long. One better get them to take a holiday between finishing and starting on the new customer or project.
  3. Plan for a eighteen month to two year changeover, make it clear no one is on a project or account for more than 2 years. This sets a framework of expectation, so no one feels like it a reflection of their ability. It is not, its a reflection of human nature and the bonds we build with people who we work closely with over a period of time.

Never approach the individual with judgement as in my career I have experienced this situation many times, what you need is understanding and a plan! When the employee is reassigned you will see the energy and commitment to the company, its incredible how quickly you can get them back on track. Never see going native as a sign a weakness. Its a sign of someone who cares deeply about what they do.

How to manage someone who has gone native!

Categories
Personal development

Book Review: Clarity & Connection yung pueblo

This book was a gift from my good friend Liz. She knows I love a spiritual read, and this book is truly inspiring. We are all on a journey, navigating and learning as we go. The book captures the essence of human struggles and gives you a calming approach to the world.

Here are the inspiring moments:

Attachment is not: having desires, goals or personal preferences. Attachment is: the mental tension you feel when you do not get exactly what you crave; its refusing to accept change or let go of control. Yoga has been a great teacher of attachment, as I age my postures are more limited, at first I fought the change, now I surrender and every now again I surprise myself.

What is real happiness? Happiness is not fulfilling every pleasure or getting every outcome you desire. Happiness is being able to enjoy life with a peaceful mind that is not constantly craving more. It is inner peace that comes with embracing change. (being). Recently listened to Jonny Wilkinson “I am” his lessons on pursuing success at the price of happiness in the her and now. https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/i-am-with-jonny-wilkinson/id1610549437

Know your sources of rejuvenation: The amount of solitude you need to feel fresh again, the activities that strengthen your creativity, the people who light up your spirit. Not until I moved out of the city did I appreciate the need for solitude and being outdoors, the impact is huge and my wellbeing is the best its ever been.

How much of your inner turmoil is self-imposed? The answer is most! Caused by overthinking, not sharing vulnerabilities and holding onto beliefs that no longer serve.

your relationships improve drastically and the tension in your mind decreases significantly when you can accept people for who they are instead of fixating on how they should change in order to be more like you. I have written may blogs about my journey with judgement, the greatest lesson of life. Letting go of judgement liberates you and your ability to learn from others accelerates.

Four teachers that give free lessons: Change, Water, solitude and being. Finding a passion in surfing a decade ago, has been a liberating experience as you need to be present. I love the moment I get in the water, its almost as if the water is washing away all your tensions, what follows is a feeling of freedom and happiness. My approach to the day is transformed, no matter what challenges lay ahead I can approach with a clear head.

Thanks Liz for a great book. I could not put it down. So much wisdom in a young writer.

Categories
Personal development

Preparing for skip reviews

This is a fabulous opportunity for employees to meet your boss, and if you are a leader with managers an opportunity to meet your managers teams. If you have a boss who makes the time for these sessions, that is a bonus. I am fortunate to work for someone who does and the benefits are phenomenal.

I always get asked, what do I need to prepare? What can I say?

As an employee here is what to prepare:

1. Introduce your role if you manage a team or customers who you manage. Don’t assume he/she knows what you do or who you manage? Include any targets and achievement to target.

2. Aspirations for your career. What you are doing to prepare for the next role.

3. Top 3 things need fixing

4. Insights: what’s happening. Remember your 2 up boss may have no idea of the situations you get exposed to.

My recommendation is not to go with a presentation/deck, just well prepared speaking points. Your 2 up boss sits in so many presentations, they just want to meet you and have a conversation.

The other challenge with presenting is then you have to ensure the technology works, then you don’t get to see their facial expressions if over video. So important not to have any barriers that way you can interact and if they look puzzled, you can ask, did I explain that ok? or do you need more context or more information?

As an employee seize the opportunity and if you are a leader carrying out skip reviews, they are priceless for employee engagement, understanding the morale and culture of the teams at the next level of the organization.

Categories
Personal development

How to make it safe with your boss to give feedback

In my 40 year career I have had bosses that are uncomfortable giving me feedback when asked. The reasons are varied, but its important that you make it safe and support your leader to feel comfortable.

If you have acted defensively in the past, they will be reluctant to share feedback for fear that you will react in the same way.

Here are some tips to help you make it safe for your boss:

  1. Share what you are personally working on with your boss, so they can see you are keen to improve. Share progress on what’s working not working for you and how you are changing your approach.
  2. Share feedback from others on areas you need to focus on. Share who gave you the feedback and what you are doing to address.
  3. Once you have done the above, ask do you have any feedback for me, on areas I need to work on, or anything I have shared already.
  4. When they give you feedback, play back to them what you have heard. Then reflect and say thank you this information is priceless, I will work on this. Then share all the progress, so they can see you demonstrate the self awareness to work on improvements
  5. Use self deprecating humour to show that you don’t take yourself to seriously. May make your boss laugh.
  6. When something does not go to plan, share with your boss what happened and how you plan to turn the situation around. Bad news early

Sharing progress with your boss on your self development journey is vital to your future success and it really helps your boss feel comfortable sharing feedback and observations which are essential for growth

Categories
Book Quotes Personal development

12 Rules for life Antidote to chaos by Joran B Peterson

This book was a recommendation for all time reads. There are some absolute nougat’s, but I found parts tough going and there was one point where I was going to give up. I rarely give up reading books.

Here are the gems that resonated with me:

Rule 4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.

“No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent”

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today”

Its easy to forget where you came from and what you have achieved, I take it for granted except when I am mentoring. Mentoring takes me back in time and helps me realise the skills I have learned.

Rule 8 Tell the truth or at least don’t lie

“If you say no to your boss, or your spouse, or your mother, when it needs to be said, you transform yourself into someone who can say no when it needs to be said. If you say yes when no needs to be said, however, you transform yourself into someone who can only say yes, even when it is very clearly time to say no. You have to be willing to walk away when that is the right thing to do.”

This is easier to do as you age, because your values become stronger and act as a moral compass. You also feel like you have less to lose, so you are willing to stand up for what you believe in.

“If you betray yourself, if you say untrue things, if you act out a lie, you weaken your character.”

“Sometimes someone power hungry makes a new rule at your workplace. It’s unnecessary. Its counterproductive. It’s an irritant. It removes some of the pleasure and meaning from your work, but you tell yourself it’s all right, it’s not worth complaining about. Then it happens again. But by failing to react the first time, you have trained yourself to accept such things, and shown the power-hungry types that enjoy their little displays of power, that their mind games are ok. The second time it happens, you’re a little less courageous. Your opponent, thus far unopposed, is a little bit stronger. The institution, a little more corrupt. The process of bureaucratic stagnation and oppression is underway, and you’ve unwittingly contributed, by pretending that is was OK. Why not complain? Why not take a stand? If you do, other people, equally afraid to speak up, may come to your defence.”

The other impact this has if you don’t take action, is you are perceived as a spineless leader. When you do, people are lavish with praise for taking a stance. They also reflect on their own behaviours and how they need to change. You inspire others to fight the good fight.

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

“Its amazing what people will tell you if you listen. Sometimes if you listen to people they will even tell you what’s wrong with them.”

“Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feeling of the previous speaker accurately and to the speakers satisfaction.”

“She described him as the wisest living man, because he knew that what he knew was nothing.”

The more we know, the more we need to prove what we know. When we say nothing and listen, we learn more.

Thought provoking read and the words of the Stoics: all reading is expediting the learning process. So the gems I have taken away will help me on my journey of learning. We are never too old to learn

Categories
Personal development

Its easy to forget where you came from and what you have achieved. I take it for granted, except when I am mentoring. Mentoring takes me back in time and helps me realise the skills I have learned.

Angela Lovegrove