This is my last article in the series, reflecting on my biggest insights from what I rate as a 10/9 experience with my own mentor and his extraordinary community of leaders. The 3 insights of the first 3 days were: Acceleration, Audacity and Advocacy. The following 3 days insights were: 3 x Authenticity. And as I am writing my book where the only letter in my alphabet is A, the last 3A (or rather 4!) insights are: A to B, Astonishment AND Appreciation.
- From A to B
If you are a high performer, you are likely to have set many big stretching goals over the years. You planned your journeys from A to Z. You marched towards your goals with passion and enthusiasm.
In her brilliant session, my dear friend Georgie taught us many lessons on how to connect with powerful people. You see, Georgie is writing her book on Stratospheric CEOs. High performers who got to the top of their game by applying certain behaviours, principles and lessons of success.
The one lesson that resonated with me most, was the tiny steps approach. Walking from A to B. Not worrying about the A to Z, which may feel really overwhelming. Sometimes the more attached we get towards our big goals, the more creative opportunities we may miss along the way. The whole idea is to enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination. One step at a time. Slow down, so you can put one foot in front of the other…
My insight? Focus on the tiniest actions that can make the biggest impact. Move from A to B and then from B to C. And that’s how you will get to your Z much faster and happier!
And how else to finish off my series than on the high note of client astonishment? Astonishing your clients to help them achieve those big goals.
My dear friend Mandy led a session on coaching playfully, using some fun games during the session. This was such an alien concept to me. In my world of high achievers, serious finance and corporate professionals, it surely couldn’t work… Right?
Wrong! Mandy is an extraordinary coach to an identical audience of corporate players - investment bankers, lawyers, CEO and successful entrepreneurs. And her motto? “Coaching is too important to be taken seriously!”
And Mandy’s session was soooo much fun! I loved it. Using games to help her clients interrupt their thinking pattern. Getting them out of their heads. And into their hearts. Accessing the path to innovation through play. Enabling them to grow through sheer astonishment. And I was really astonished as to how using a cabbage (yes a cabbage!) in a coaching session can be so impactful and insightful. The result? I have been a lot more playful in my sessions ever since! And both my clients and I secretly enjoy it!
My insight? Playfulness is a mindset. It’s a place to come from, not to get to.
The session led by Erin was called And. I felt intrigued. I know what it means to live in an AND world. My son is Ambidextrous. He can use his both hands to perform most tasks, from writing to playing. He is able to move quickly between things that seem contradictory. He is also able to hold multiple emotions to be true at the same time. Anger and Appreciation. Love and Hate. They co-exist. And it’s his superpower.
And the ability to use the word AND in our narrative and drop the BUTs and the ORs is a superpower too. The ability to accept both sides of the same story. Dropping the BUTs which negate a previous statement. Dropping the ORs which imply a tradeoff. What if more alternatives are possible? Adopting a possibility or infinite mindset. Being a beginner AND an expert in everything we do. Being a teacher AND a student of our own life. Trusting ourselves AND asking for help when needed. Being compassionate AND straightforward.
I learnt the power of being attached to the vision & purpose AND un-attached to the outcome! Being a Master AND a disaster. Embracing failure, as an essential part of success. And if you are a high performer, you’ve probably experienced many extraordinary highs AND some absolutely epic lows. It’s what it means to be human.
My insight? AND is a powerful word. Use it consciously and often and experience its magic.
AND my last word is Appreciation! Appreciation to our wonderful mentor, Rich Litvin for creating such a fantastic community. Appreciation to the whole community itself for creating such an electrifying energy. And most of all, appreciation to Shelley, the leader of my small and special group of Amazing humans. She taught me how to truly slow down and I have been reaping the benefits since the event finished 4 weeks ago. Creating some magic in small steps from A to B. Or rather more accurately from A to A, in my A-world!
And I have realized it’s been exactly 12 months since I published my article entitled: “Love, Loss and Rollercoasters”. And I appreciate that despite the many rollercoasters of 2020, our eco-system is solid. My son is enjoying his new college and is thriving. My daughter is enjoying her friends, school and playing guitar. My parents are healthy and today celebrated their 51-year wedding anniversary. That’s the biggest privilege of all! And we are lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people.
With lots of love and appreciation to ALL.
ADA, 15 November 2020