Whom will you call “kiddo”? A surprising source of inspiration and commitment during tough times

If you live in the Czech Republic – congratulations! You and I have now managed to survive the fifth week of the hardest lockdown we’ve ever known. Maybe you live in a different part of the world and have been dealing with this situation even longer. Perhaps you’re  dealing with childcare issues, closed schools and services, or restrictions in movement and social contact to the essential minimum.

What helps you to keep going?

I’m firmly rooted in gratefulness. In our family, we have health, love, and more than our basic needs covered. But just like most people, I have bigger ambitions in life than what the pandemic is allowing. I bet that you, too, are craving social life, professional fulfillment and a healthy level of change.

But we humans are incredibly adaptable. We find ways to compensate for our restricted lifestyles, even if we don’t love it. We push through. We make it work.

A few days ago, I decided to experiment by giving myself an “easy” day. Because I didn’t have any pressing, urgent needs from my clients, I rescheduled my meetings and postponed to-dos. Not surprisingly, I found that I had more patience and was able to get my son to do his homework without a conflict. We enjoyed a long family conversation, and I even had fun cooking our meals. It was the best day of the week!

The best day of the week was the day when I let go of my professional ambitions.

Hang on – WHAT???

That doesn’t sound like me. I LOVE what I do. I get bored without a good dose of pressure and an intellectual challenge.

This might be dangerous. This situation and the level of challenge I’m experiencing seems to overrule passion. What else might this restricted lifestyle and its consequences veto? What else might get left behind? What else are others leaving behind?

Here in the Czech Republic, there was a 100% increase in women’s unemployment in January 2021 as compared to the same month of the previous year. There was also a 30% increase in men’s unemployment. Statistics from North America show that every fourth woman is considering leaving or downshifting her career.

We’re changing. Or being changed. Even so, I know my passion and need for intellectual stimulation will never quit. So, I ask myself, just like you may be doing: What can I do to sustain a level of energy and motivation going forward?

For me, the answer lies in focusing on my legacy.

A personal legacy is more than just a bucket list. It’s a statement of commitment to making a dent in this world. A personal legacy helps you to be intentional in every interaction and in every decision. It allows you to consider your actions and whether they lead you to your ultimate goals. And it carries you over tough times.

Legacy can be created though a conscious intellectual exercise. It takes some honest, deep work to define your legacy and your plan for how to get there. I know a great tool that guides you through the process. If you are interested, reach out.

Legacy, however, can also be the result of you living according to your values, no matter what life throws at you – no deliberation needed.

My brother-in-law, Bob, passed away on October 2nd.

Bob worked his whole life. He raised four children, the younger two as a single parent in their teenage years before he met the love of his – my amazing sister-in-law.

Aurelie and Bob Campbell

Every time I saw Bob, he greeted me with “Hello, kiddo!” and gave me the biggest bear hug. Because of our family history, Bob knew he didn’t have to hug me. He didn’t have to accept me. He didn’t have to generously open his door and his heart. He didn’t have to include me in his pack.

But he did it anyway, without thinking, even before he knew me. He chose to accept me and take a chance on me.

That’s Bob’s legacy.

Right now, that’s what we need in this world more than ever. Take a chance on someone today. Make an effort to accommodate. Include people who seem different. We all need to open the metaphoric doors for others when the physical doors are staying closed.

It’s because of Bob’s legacy that I will continue challenging myself.

Thanks, Bob, for calling me “Kiddo”! It’s going a long way. This is what your legacy inspired.What’s carrying you through these difficult days and weeks? What’s your legacy?

I’d love to know.

Published with the permission of the Campbell family in the loving memory of Robert “Bob” Campbell

The Magic of the Number 3: Stating something three times may be a sign that you have to dig deeper

You’ve set goals for your organization, your business, your team, and, of course, yourself. Maybe you chose an aspiring revenue goal this year. Or perhaps you took on an extra program or set out to earn an MBA. You’re determined to succeed, and can’t afford the thought of failure. Think Big is your motto.

Could there be a problem with such thinking?

Continue reading → The Magic of the Number 3: Stating something three times may be a sign that you have to dig deeper

Leap into 2021 with Confidence: 6 rituals business leaders can borrow from professional dancers

Welcome to January 2021. By now, you may be done laughing at silly New Year’s celebration videos. You may have wished your friends and colleagues “Happy New Year” and told them how you spent the season. The holiday spirit is now fizzling out, and reality is kicking in: 2021 is here. Are you ready to take on the New Year in your business with confidence?

If so, how do you proceed with a clear, realistic vision? How do you mindfully create the best possible outcomes for you and others when the world’s stage has changed so much?

Continue reading → Leap into 2021 with Confidence: 6 rituals business leaders can borrow from professional dancers

The Power of a Frictionless Mind. Why We Need A New Skill as We Re-Emerge from Home Offices

Sometimes, our minds linger on events we can’t make sense of.  

Maybe a colleague’s behavior was surprising. Perhaps your leader made a decision that didn’t seem right. Or maybe you received feedback you couldn’t relate to, and it felt more like an attack on your person.

How do you not get stuck when you have a bad taste in your mouth? How do you push forward and pursue the best result for everyone despite what happened?

Continue reading → The Power of a Frictionless Mind. Why We Need A New Skill as We Re-Emerge from Home Offices

About arrows: How to be happy even during the worst hit of the pandemic

There is one question I frequently hear in conversations these days: How long will this pandemic last?

While no one can see the future, we seem to enjoy playing with different scenarios. It’s the human mind and its restlessness, coupled with our ability to interpret anything in a million ways, that provides for variety in our online conversations.

Have you heard any of these?

·      Nothing will be the same again.
 
·      It will be here to stay with us for a long time; we have to get used to living with the risk.
 
·      Let’s hold off until next year when the vaccine is here. Then we can go back to our lives.

As I found myself oscillating among these and other options, I wondered where the scenarios we create come from?

Continue reading → About arrows: How to be happy even during the worst hit of the pandemic

4 types of situation when it’s right to interrupt and how to do so effectively

Have you ever left a meeting without getting the chance to say a word?

Maybe you were about to speak up, and just when you took a breath, a domineering colleague jumped in first. And maybe this happens to you repeatedly, shaking your confidence a little more each time.

It’s as if someone, somewhere, has pressed the mute button on you.

Continue reading → 4 types of situation when it’s right to interrupt and how to do so effectively

Liptov

Don’t Cloud My Now! How to be ambitious without compromising on life.

During my twenties, people called me ambitious, and in the post-communist environment in my little country Slovakia, where I grew up in, it felt like a swearword. The word ambition felt loaded with the expectations that I will drop my ethical and moral values, dedicate 24/7 to climbing the hierarchical ladder like a power-hungry vampire, and die alone in a big, cold villa with only my dog noticing that I am missing.

Continue reading → Don’t Cloud My Now! How to be ambitious without compromising on life.

10 actions to smooth your transition from employee to entrepreneur: Things I learned while leaving corporate and launching my own consulting business

As I write these lines, it is precisely 100 days ago that I officially worked my first day without the backing of a multinational corporation. My choice to start a business, especially during an emerging global crisis when I could have chosen a stable corporate role, has raised eyebrows.

Before you ask, let me share that I am doing well professionally, intellectually, and from the perspective of balance. Yes, every day brings a new challenge. Yet at the same time, every meeting opens the door for new opportunities and potential clients. It is an exciting time!

Despite fears around world events and a change of employment, becoming an independent consultant and coach was the right move for me.

Maybe it could be your path, too?

Although fear is a natural part of any major change, there are things you can do to make the transition feel more natural, and your fear … less fearsome!

Continue reading → 10 actions to smooth your transition from employee to entrepreneur: Things I learned while leaving corporate and launching my own consulting business

From Social Distancing to Social Awkwardness: How to get back into socializing without embarrassment

Here in Czechia, Europe, we don’t doubt masks. We do what’s needed to protect the vulnerable.

But in the past few days, a particular relaxed manner has been in the air. It goes with the optimism brought about by good numbers and the resulting, lifted restrictions.

As we ease into this new state of living, we must carefully re-enter our social lives. Each family weighs its own options depending on the risk factors they’re dealing with.

It’s exciting! The thought of seeing our friends again, taking our little ones to the playground, and spending a leisurely Saturday afternoon at a coffee house leaves us humming with anticipation.

Still, caution is in order.

Continue reading → From Social Distancing to Social Awkwardness: How to get back into socializing without embarrassment

wave of fear

The Fear Project

I am so excited The Fear Project is LIVE!

Last week, I spoke with German Valencia, Non-Executive Director, Mentor with global, multi-sector human resources, information technology, and transformation experience and one of the most authentic and energetic leaders I met.

He shared his strategy on how to tackle fear with me, and now also with you:

1. Identify the root cause by increasing self-awareness
2. Get out of comfort zone, experiment, learn on experience
3. Start with small steps towards your desired behavior until it becomes a new natural behavior

You can learn more of German’s thoughts and practical tips in our 9-minute-long chat.

Now is the right time for The Fear Project. It’s time to activate our collective ability to manage fears in constructive ways. Our future depends on it.

 

What works for you when it comes to managing your fears?