Louise’s Life Hacks – 9 July 2017

Conscious Leadership, Insight & Inspiration

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At the start of my working life the CEO of the company I worked for sent me home as I was wearing a trouser suit. He told me to wear something suitable “or don’t come back”. I worked in the City in London, my clients were investment banks and the boys’ club culture, with all of its norms and practices, ruled. The acceptable uniform? A navy/black skirt suit with shirt, stockings and heels – ideally accessorised with a Hermès scarf, a Montblanc pen and leather bound diary.

Today, the norms and practices have relaxed, however, the thinking is still showing up in business, politics and society the world over. And yes, there is progress, saying this, we clearly have a long way to go in all aspects of equality and mutual respect. In the broader context of humanity, Uber’s toxic culture and Trump’s tweets may seem like “luxury” issues. Saying this, these are the issues that ordinary people like you and me are able to do something about in our homes, our businesses, in our society and our political systems, today and moving forward.

I’m thinking…

About ignorance and bias, which led me to revisit Hans Rosling’s visually enchanting “bubble graph” talks where he brought data and stats to vivid life. Rosling who died in February this year was the Swedish physician, academic and statistician. His TED talk with his son Ola titled How not to be ignorant about the world is wonderfully thought provoking. The Rosling’s founded Gapminder in 2005, launching projects to deliver a fact-based worldview. Gapminder has a plethora of vibrant free teaching tools you can use to not only educate yourself and others but to jolt us into conscious awareness about our fiercely defended beliefs and truths.

I’m exploring…

How best to communicate with one another. William Ury, the American author, academic, anthropologist, and negotiation expert who co-founded the Harvard Program on Negotiation explores The Art of Negotiation at the University of Geneva. His TED talk on The Walk From No To Yes explores the concept of a “Third Way” forward and if you are involved in negotiations at any level, from your teenagers to your business stakeholders, these are well worth watching.

I’m talking…

To a number of organisations about building their leadership teams. When I started working on making my programmes geographically accessible through cutting-edge cloud-based platforms, I had no idea how popular tailoring them to specific teams, purposes or outcomes would be. All I knew when I enrolled in night school in January this year to learn how to do this was that the future is in blended (online-2-offline), peer-based learning. If you are interested in exploring, have a look my 8-week course on being a High-Impact Conscious Leader and give me a call to have a chat about what you want to achieve.

I’m loving…

Aerial or anti-gravity yoga. It’s a little like being 5 again – you’re basically suspended in a high-density nylon hammock, which I am told can support a baby elephant – so no need to worry (where’s that emoji?) and you practice aerial adaptations of traditional yoga poses. It promises greater flexibility, and because you are working against gravity much of the time, your core muscles work a little harder to maintain balance. The best bit is the stress relief you get from the very necessary heightened focus! If you’re curious, watch Lululemon’s short and sweet sneak peak.

The Big Q I’m asking…

“Is this a life well lived?” In the day-to-day, this conscious Q translates to “is this time well spent?”, which helps me to stay focused.

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