Do you want a million dollars?
Sure, but what’s the catch?
The catch is you must work for 90-hours a week for 10-years, and pay for; petrol to get to work, clothes to wear at work, and taxes for the privilege of working.
This deal doesn’t sound so good now, does it?
Gross income is not really a measure of wealth, just as health is not a measure of wellness.
Health is the absence of disease, whereas wellness can be described as an abundance of energy and purpose. Likewise, income might be the absence of poverty, but not the abundance of choices.
Counterintuitive as it might be, research clearly shows that money beyond a certain threshold does not make you any happier. Let me illustrate; imagine you were lost alone in the woods, cold, wet, and hungry. You stumble across a cottage with an open door and the glow of a warm fire and the smell of stew and fresh bread. A friendly person welcomes you in, wraps you in a blanket, sits you by the fire, and feeds you. Your happiness...
Self-leadership (a.k.a Personal Mastery) is the answer to how do we develop ourselves to survive and thrive in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world. Developing self-leadership enables you to become the ‘Chief’, ‘Captain’, or CEO of your own life and career. Self-leadership is also foundational to the success of organizations.
Research by the McKinsey Global Institute has looked at the kind of jobs that will be lost, as well as those that will be created, as automation, AI, and robotics take hold. And it has inferred the type of high-level skills that will become increasingly important as a result.
The research identified 56 Deltas ( a mix of skills and attitudes) across 13 skill groups and four categories. Digital fluency is not a surprise, but did you realize how important self-leadership is to the future of work?
With the importance of self-leadership, we need to define and measure it.
In my 2012 book with Dr. Ana Kazan, ‘Self Leadership – How to Become a More Successful Efficient and Effective Leader from the Inside Out’, we asked are you the Driver or the Passenger of your Life?
Self-leadership, and whether you are the ‘driver’ of your life and career depends on accessing the self-confidence to exercise your autonomy (ownership) over your thinking, feeling, and actions. Passengers, by contrast, wait to be told what to do for fear of failure or because they lack the self-belief that they can.
I recently heard from one of my executive coaching clients that he would be promoted before he expected.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“I don’t feel ready”, was the reply.
This is interesting because, in my experience, how ready we are for a new challenge depends on our willingness to get comfortable with the unfamiliar and our belief in our ability to learn.
I have recently moved from...
I don’t usually get requests for articles or blog posts, but I have had so many messages asking how and why I moved from Singapore to Portugal during a pandemic, so here goes.
Digital Nomad is not a term I would apply to myself, but digitization has certainly enabled me to be geographically independent. Openness to experience is, I think, the personality trait that is essential to change countries or your circumstances. Thankfully I score high on this, and life experience has reinforced it.
Leaving home for university at 18, was my first big test. Then, at 25, I left my birth country of England, never to return. I lived in Australia (W.A and N.S.W) for 18-years before moving to Singapore.
Singapore, the gateway to Asia, was where I really put down roots. This island nation was where my children were born, and from where I established a Global business, but I never intended it to be my final stop. The questions became when and how to leave, and where to go next and why?
Americans celebrate their freedom on July 4th, whereas Indians celebrate their freedom from British Rule with an August 15th independence day. A quick web search of National Independence Day reveals a long list of countries that celebrate their freedom from some form of prior government or oppression.
The dictionary defines freedom as, The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved, but it is also:
The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants.
Reflect, for a moment, on your own freedom to act, speak or think as you want.
You were not free to choose the time and place of your birth. You were not free to choose your parents, their economic status, religious leanings, political affiliation, or educational background. You had little or no freedom in where you went go to school and the ideology of your teachers.
We all imagine we have free will, but so many of our choices and decisions are influenced by things we have no freedom over and are unaware...
It often starts with a phone call or a message. Suddenly the world is different, and you must reorient yourself, or be overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness.
Whatever the bad news, financial, relationship, reputation, or health, with the application of self-leadership we can apply strategies. Self-leadership strategies to intentionally influence our thinking, feeling, and actions. To once more become the ‘Captain of our Ship’, or the ‘Master of our Soul’.
Four weeks ago, I visited my family doctor, and as I’m just turning 60, I asked proactively for a full health screen. I did this because I knew it was the right thing to do, given my age and family history, not because I was experiencing any symptoms, quite the reverse in fact. My frame of mind was, therefore, “this is one more thing to check off the list”.
Then the phone call came, and my world changed.
“Andrew, this is Dr. Seah, your blood shows a Cancer...
Nathan, my coaching client, was asking how to deal with a monthly meeting that frustrated him.
“Have I told you about, Kenneth?” He asked and then went on to explain how Kenneth would throw verbal jabs like, “Your department loves to create procedures”.
I listened carefully about how Nathan had become triggered by Kenneth’s words and actions and explored why and how Nathan chose to be triggered.
As we peeled back the layers, it became clear that Nathan was frustrated by Kenneth’s tactical approach in a meeting that was supposed to be strategic.
“Do you think Kenneth is capable of being strategic, or is he just acting from his programming?” I asked.
Now to understand why I asked this question, and its impact, you need to appreciate my self-leadership approach to coaching. Neuroscience and Psychology have concluded that we do not have as much free will as we think we have. Many of our decisions and actions are...
When creating change, whether personally or within an organization, you will encounter resistance. People will tell you they are on board with the new vision but then engage in behaviors that sabotage objectives.
The first key to creating change is to acknowledge that every behavior has a ‘frame of mind’, constructed of values, beliefs, identity, and intentions. This frame of mind can be conscious or unconscious but will act like a gyroscope, always bringing your behaviors back towards a programmed destination.
Let’s take an example of creating change that most of us are familiar with – dieting to lose weight. We have a vision of ourselves fitter or thinner, and we set a goal to lose X number of kilos by Y date; but what do we do? We cheat, we make exceptions and before long we are eating as we have always done.
Why do we default? Because our eating behavior, like all our behaviors, is controlled by a frame of mind. What are some common frames...
At the time of writing this, the US Election has been called by the Media, for former Vice President, Joe Biden, with Senator, Kamala Harris as his Vice President. Regardless of your personal preference for the outcome, this is a historical moment.
Right now, Biden and Harris are making speeches about unity and healing and putting together a transition team. It won’t be easy. Rhetoric alone will not get the COVID-19 Pandemic under control or get buy-in from the 70-million Americans who didn’t vote for them.
What strategies can the new President use, and what can we learn that we can apply to our own leadership challenges?
I was born in 1961, the year President Kennedy (JFK) took office as the 35th President of the United States of America. Kennedy, a Democrat, took over from Eisenhower, a Republican, and inherited the containment doctrine of the 1940s and 1950s. This doctrine founded on the belief that Communism was a threat to the United States seemed archaic to...
Are you driving your career, or are you being a passenger?
In this post, I want to share some actions you can take to ensure you don’t have to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment when you are passed over for a job that should rightfully be yours.
Philip was furious, he had worked hard, stayed late, been loyal, exceeded his numbers, but missed out on the promotion he was expecting.
When he asked his boss the reason, he was told that the other directors felt he lacked, ‘Executive Presence’.
Philip hadn’t realized that he was missing the ‘Secret Ingredient’ to success in a modern organization, and it cost him. It cost him big-time.
“Executive Presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas (substance) under pressure.”
Executive Presence is about the right kind of ‘visibility’, whether the meeting is in person or on a global call. Having worked with many managers and leaders, to...