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October 20, 2020 - No Comments!

3 Insights in 3 Days – 3/9

I am reflecting on the first 3 days of my intense 9-day personal development experience with my own mentor. As always, there have been many, many insights. However, I am distilling them into the top 3 that resonated most with me. And as I am writing my book where the only letter in my alphabet is A, I am focusing on the most powerful 3A insights for me - Acceleration, Audacity and Advocacy.

1.           Acceleration

The event is called the 4PC Accelerator. Its mission is to accelerate the growth of the extraordinary group of coaches attending it. And our mentor is using the scientific definition of Acceleration, including all the 3 phases when velocity changes: a) speeding up; b) slowing down and c) changing direction. 

My insight? I can speed up. And I can change direction. I find it impossible to slow down.

I can speed up. At 14, I qualified into the national championship of athletics at 100m. I got into the finals and came 5th. Since then, speeding up has been my second nature. As a trader for a prestigious bank, I made quick decisions and moved fast on the corporate ladder to the Head of Trading. As a coach, I learned fast and got more qualifications and accreditations in 2 years than most of my peers in 10 years. And teaching my clients to go fast feels easy.

I can change direction. Whilst an university student in my final year in Bucharest, I left to study for another degree in the UK with $100 in my pocket. I went on to qualify as an accountant and then changed direction into investment banking. After a successful career in the City, I changed direction again and followed my heart to learn as much as I could about positive psychology, neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence. My main motivation was to help and support my son and in the process, I moved fast into helping others – both individuals, teams and organizations.

The insight? The next big thing to accelerate my growth to the next level is to learn to slow down. Leaning into my edge to make space. Learning to say No to even bigger things. And it feels edgy and audacious. But I can’t help my clients to accelerate to their full potential, unless I do it first. 

2.           Audacity

I love to be audacious. And I teach my clients to be audacious too. It’s one of the chapters in my book. And one of the sessions in our A-list leadership programme which I happened to run this week, whilst on the 4PC Accelerator.

In preparation for the session, I asked my A-list leaders to reach out to 3 team members or friends and ask them 3 questions: a) Name an event when you recall me being audacious (extra courageous); b) what audacious action and or behaviour did I specifically demonstrate? and c) how did my being audacious make you feel?  And I also decided to pose the 3 questions to my group of 4PC coaches and see what emerged.

Both groups discovered how they performed audacious acts they were not even aware of. And the impact those acts had on their friends and team members, ranging from making them feel proud and inspired to feeling grateful and empowered.

It never stops to amaze me what comes back from these little acts of courage. What other people see in us that we don’t see as courageous. That what someone views as ordinary, another views as extra-ordinary. 

The insight? The paradox of life is that what sometimes feels easy on the inside looks audacious on the outside. And that we wouldn’t know the impact we have on someone else’s life until we ask.

3.           Advocacy

Our mentor taught us how Advocate marketing works, based on a simple principle of 5 types of clients:

1s – those who’ll always hate you no matter what and you should not spend time worrying about.

2s – those who are not that into you, but not as vocal in their opposition as the 1s.

3s – the undecided. They may like you, but not enough to buy your products yet.

4s – they like you and may need some convincing. Once convinced, they may help move the 3s too.

5s – your loyal advocates. Your cheer leaders.

The insight? Use the 80/20 principle when targeting your clients. Spend 80% of your attention on your 5s. And 20% of your attention on your 4s.

And I realized that my 5s are my AAA leaders – those willing to become Audacious, Adaptable and Authentic, by leading with their sharp minds, as well as their kind hearts and strong guts.

And my biggest insight? That I have surrounded myself with a team of pioneer advocates – Tatiana, Carmen and Kora. They are my cheer leaders and I am their biggest advocate.

And I have also realized that I have been a big advocate of my own mentor for years. I have recommended his book to any new coach I met who I believed was serious about coaching. It’s a gift that Mandy, another wonderful advocate of Rich, gave me 4 years ago.

I have enrolled into all of my mentor’s new programmes during the last 2 years – his Deep Dive, his first Project Kairos and his first 4PC Accelerator. It’s the fast pioneer in me! And I got one of my team pioneers, Tatiana to join me too! We have grown exponentially in the process. And helped our clients to grow exponentially too. We now have to remember to slow down!

How will you accelerate your growth? Speeding up, slowing down or changing direction?

August 25, 2020 - No Comments!

A-LIST Community Celebration

Who is a leader?  Someone whose “actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”   On Saturday 20 June 2020, our ADAPTAA team embarked on a journey of co-creating a community of 222 A-mazing leaders by 2022.  A movement to grow together with an A-mazing group of human beings with open minds, big hearts and an infinite mindset.  

And on Saturday 22 August 2020, our founding group of A-mazing leaders completed their first journey of co-creation, sharing, giving and inspiring each other during a 10 week journey and beyond. A journey of playing with the letter A!  And which has inspired me to write my book about the journey of transformation from Type A leaders (ambitious, aggressive achievers) to AAA leaders (audacious, adaptable, authentic). 

And here is what each of our AAA leaders had to say. I am using their future self names for fun and a weak attempt at confidentiality! They all discovered their future selves  in Tatiana’s session called Aspiration, which has won the Award for most impactful and most memorable of all our 9 x A sessions!

Johnnie – “The question is how do we get the world we all work in, into a better place.  We obviously have to start with ourselves. And even during those sessions when I was late or half asleep, the insights were bloody A-mazing!!  My dream is to take this programme all over the world, to people who need it most. Life is tough, but so are we!”

Bundle of Energy – “There is no “one size fits all” definition of what a leader or leadership is. You just have to define it yourself and believe in it. And as a leader you need to have the capacity to self-assess and have a self-imposed system of red and yellow cards by looking in the mirror!  We constantly evolve and change throughout the years of our career and our lives.  Find your joy!  If you are willing to achieve your potential, it would take your own breath away!”

Fighter – “If you have a feeling of not belonging, or that you won't fit for one reason or another, it's probably best just to take the plunge and do it anyway.  To grow, you need to do things that feel uncomfortable. As a result, your comfort zone gets wider and wider and you start getting comfortable again, which is when is time to get uncomfortable to keep expanding and growing. Change your thoughts and change your world.“

Let it be – “I let curiosity led me. I had this gut feeling that I was going to miss out on something bigger and better, which meant that I just felt compelled to give this a go, even though I felt very uncomfortable about it initially. My advice? Do it and don’t quit! This programme has surpassed any of the corporate leadership programmes I’ve ever been on in terms of depth of knowledge and openness of discussion.”

Go for it – “It’s not easy to deal with the discomfort of trying to detach from a lot of security combined with unfulfillment. The metaphor I had was jumping out of a plane for the first time with a parachute and having the feeling of reaching behind my back to check that my parachute was still there. And that anxiety when pulling to find that nothing was there. Maybe I'll just fall to the ground. But when I fell, I realised the journey was not quite as bad as it seemed. Especially when you are the exception!  I certainly have a more heightened sense of fulfilment having embarked upon the journey.”

Queen – “I joined the programme to align my mind with my soul. I discovered that I was looking for, was already in me. Accepting that I am enough, even with my limits. And accepting others with their limits, without trying to change them.  Knowing that any change is not without struggle and that my biggest power is my ability to shape things and make things happen, even when they are uncomfortable. I just need to stop saying I wish and start saying I will!”

Powerful Smile - “This is something that we constantly need to work on – deciding on our next stages of life and career. And constantly reviewing what we want to detach from.  It’s not something that we do once and we are done!  And here lies the challenge of constantly stretching outside of our comfort zone to grow!  Have big dreams, you’ll grow into them!”

Sage – “This was a really difficult concept for me to grasp - where does my self-worth come from? I learned that our self-worth is inherent. We are all inherently worthy and we are all inherently lovable. We are all inherently precious and we are already full.  Be the voice, not the echo!”

Mage – “I learned to balance the three-legged chair that represent the Drive, Soothing and Threat self-compassion systems. To look for harmony and not just for high adrenaline action. To look out of the window and see that there will always be some sun, clouds or rain. And that the openness of the windows will not be affected by what goes by.  It remains completely untouched. Like the soul and the spirit. That’s the part of us that is always happy. Life is not a race, it’s a gift. Enjoy it, don’t rush through!”

Approachable – “As I step out into the unknown, I see a better side of myself that I hope I can put to use in my forward-looking organisation. I want to make a difference to people around me. And enjoy learning from people that I will be meeting in the next phase of my journey. Don’t look back, you’re not going that way!”

Living in the Present – “Before I joined this programme, I have to confess that although authenticity was an important value for me, I had many doubts it was really appreciated by others. Especially when you are surrounded by inauthentic people who perceive you as naïve. However, having now completed this programme, I am even more convinced that authenticity is a great quality that aligns us with our mind and heart and so I will now continue to value and show up authentically even more. Fear is just a feeling and you can get over it!”

Yoga Lady – “I'm just constantly amazed at where I was and where I arrived. The difference that it made, and the words that I've learned, such as authenticity and vulnerability. They were not words in my vocabulary and I certainly didn't recognise them as valuable terms. They have now become integral to my life. I have never focused on creating the impossible and now I feel it’s within my reach and almost quite tangible. I’ll just have to remember to celebrate the little things!”

Master Curator – “The ultimate thing that makes me the happiest is the freedom to be able to do what I want. Enjoying the flexibility and the beauty in the journey, learning and being inspired by A-mazing people. My wildest dream is to have my business listed on the Stock Exchange.  And even if I have to change along the way, I've learned a lot and I continue to grow. No regrets, I know I’m capable of A-mazing things!”

Brave Kora – “My biggest insight has been the power of practicing true listening. Giving someone the attention and the time they truly deserve. And seeing relationships and partnerships flourish as a result. It has been empowering to believe in ourselves and grow in confidence. My biggest dream is to share what I’ve learnt with others who could benefit immensely from it. I am here to inspire!”

Revolutionary Lucy – “It's easier to detach when you're younger. It gets harder when you get older, because you just accumulate more things - more relationships, more feelings, more experiences, more desires……. An institutional entity is a group of individuals, who collectively have to come together to find solutions and make corporate life sustainable, at a time when it’s becoming unsustainable. When we all need to unplug!”

And our Kind Mind has simply left us with the deepest message – “In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, calm is a superpower”. 

Our Wise Healer Carmen stated audaciously – ““Our manifesto is to create a new work-life corporate lifestyle balance and make it more enjoyable and sustainable. It's going to be our 222 Leadership Movement. There's plenty of knowledge, smarts and hearts in this room to come up with an A-mazing and sustainable solution. And remembering that our tribe attracts our vibe!”

And our own Wisdom Queen Tatiana concluded – “Leaders stand into their edges audaciously, creating the present from their future selves. The commonality of our experience is what actually connects us. Start to show up as your future self.  Act as if you have already achieved your wildest dream. And remember that mistakes are proof that you are trying!”

And the message that I got in a bottle from this A-mazing community?  “Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly!”

We are standing for co-creating a future that does not yet exist. A future we may not yet be prepared for, but for which we are ready!  And today we have completed our first small journey on a long path of co-creating an A-mazing community of A leaders, with audacity, excitement and joy!

You can read books or watch videos about leadership, but you'll only truly learn to be a leader from doing it —and more importantly, from sharing your mistakes and celebrations along the way. 

And if you read so far, you are A-mazing!

If you would like to find out more about our next A-list programme and our A-mazing leaders community, you are welcome to reach us on: office@adaptaa.co.uk

July 22, 2020 - No Comments!

Meet our future selves

Today at our 5th A-list session for our A-mazing leaders, entitled Aspiration, our Wisdom Queen, Tatiana, led us on a powerful visualization journey. We were transported to meet our future selves who told us what is the most important thing to pay attention to, in the next 20 years. Seeing and feeling the energy, the space and the place of where and who we subconsciously aspire to be in 20 years’ time. And learn to be NOW, who we aspire to be in 20 years' time.

It was truly A-mazing to really "SEE" us as us.

Most of our future selves, turned up to be our present selves, maybe just hidden away. It was fascinating and empowering to see that some of our A-mazing leaders are already living happily in their futures, whilst others are looking forward to the next 20 years’ journeys and what they will become. 

I wanted to capture the energy and the emotional journey that some so powerfully experienced. And some journeys were a lot more emotional than others. Travelling 20 years in 20 minutes. Discovering the nick names of our future selves given to us by the communities we will be living in. 

And writing our own stories:  Johnny being happy and content already, the Fighter celebrating all the massive achievements accomplished already, Boule d'Energie knowing she has all the energy to do what it takes, the Queen knowing she has the power to make it all happen, Living in the Present realizing the power of being present to what is and not worrying so much about the future, Sunny being a shiny positive force already, Saviour being on a mission to find and spread balance, Powerful Smile committing to not lose that smile as she gets older, Approachable committing to play this game with his wife and find a joint name for their life together, Yoga Lady finding the serenity and calmness she has been looking for, Wise Healer welcoming guests in her mountain retreat, Beautiful Soul writing her book that will touch other souls, Brave Kora seeing herself aging beautifully and never stop believing that the journey will be a great one 😉 and of course Wisdom Queen who will enchant all of us with her magic wisdom!

Tatiana taught us that our Thoughts are energy…as proven by recent science experiments.  So when we work on creating an image aligned with our values, aligning our thoughts with that image and feeling those thoughts and emotions in our body, we manifest the actions which are aligned to getting to that dream…and as if by magic, the Universe returns and reflects that energy back to us. The energy of Action and Re-action. 

Our present is very much influenced by our past. And in an equal measure, our present is also very much influenced by our ability to imagine the future. Imagining the future that we want to create and go about creating it already. 

Begin to look at yourself through the lens of your future self.  Asking myself “What would Beautiful Soul do?” She will write a book that will touch the souls of many more people. “What would Powerful Smile do?” She will keep her smile on, even when life gets difficult.  How would your future self see an opportunity in an adversity? And the truth is, she or he is already in you. Like Michelangelo said: “It is not carving the figure from the stone, it is freeing a figure from the stone.”

I recently came across a quote that really resonated with me and which fitted Tatiana’s session's theme today: "I don't have to change, I only have to remember who I really am!" Thank you for reminding us, our Wisdom Queen!

ADA, 18 July 2020

July 15, 2020 - No Comments!

Audacity – Dare to care and not care

During July 2020, here at Adaptaa, we have been exploring what it means to feel Confident. And what it means to feel Audacious, which is one step beyond confidence. It means taking risks, it means Dare TO Care, and knowing when to Dare AND Care and when to Dare and NOT care.  

Caring is a fundamental human skill, but if you don’t care enough about yourself, you cannot care about others. That’s the paradox of life. 

Confidence is NOT “They will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”

Humans are wired for social approval. We all like approval from others.  It’s OK to want approval, it’s called being human.  What’s NOT OK is NEEDING approval.  When you care so much about what other people think of you, what you're really saying is that “what you think of me, is more important than what I think of me”.

When you tell yourself that because others don't like you, it means there's something wrong with you, you give that person a lot more power than they deserve.  You need to learn that another person's opinion is just that - their opinion and that's all it is.  You must never give anybody that kind of power and control over you, because they will always have it. This is what I try to teach my kids, which is not an easy task, in the era of social approval and social acceptance measured by the number of likes on social media. 

There's a big difference between wanting approval and needing approval. When you need approval, it means you become powerless and ineffective when you don't get it.  You make other people's opinions more important thank yours.

As a coach to high achieving leaders, what I have noticed is that people who get the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it.  They care most about staying congruent with their own values. And the ones who get the least external approval, are the ones who are always going after it. 

So if you want approval, you need to understand the paradox of life – when you stop needing the approval of others,  when you stop concerning yourself with what others think of you and start living in accordance with your own values and advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams,  you will meet success.

And what that means is that success is not something that you can get in life. Success is an inner process. Success is something that you bring to everything you do in your life. It isn't something you get out of what you do or what others think of you. And when you get that, and you learn how to make sense of your inner signals, then success will begin to chase you.  Simple and not easy. 

One of my favourite quotes is: “Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.”

Some call synchronicity.  When you are aligned with your deepest values and have the audacity to live your life in full accordance with those values, some unexplainable coincidences happen and success will come into your life in amounts that you never dreamt of before. 

I am finishing off with the title of one my favourite Brene Brown’s books – live “Daring greatly! Have the courage to be vulnerable and transform the way you live, love, parent and lead.”

ADA, 14 July 2020

July 6, 2020 - No Comments!

A-list Community Audacity

During our last A-mazing leaders’ session, we talked about Audacity. The willingness to take risks to fulfil your dreams and your potential. 

And I did an audacious thing and leaned into my edge by showing up "unprepared" and not using my usual perfect slides.  Ready to listen and follow the energy in the room.  For those who don’t know me, preparation and planning are my superpowers, so not using them felt edgy.  And sharing my edginess with the group created some magic. 

Inessa, one of our audacious leaders, reminded me of Churchill ‘s quote "If you want me to speak for 2 hours, I'm ready now, if you want me to speak for 2 min, give me 2 weeks to prepare!"  I was ready for the challenge.  And ready to challenge our leaders to speak up and share audaciously, by stating I was going to be silent for 5 min. After what felt like an eternity to me, a wonderful collection of stories emerged as a result....Stories of courage, of vulnerability and necessity. Of dreams to make the world a better place. Starting with us.

We agreed to put courage over comfort and play big and "dream without limits".  Everyone virtually chose one of the 4 questions from my jar with magical questions:

  1. What would you do with your life if you had all the money you needed?
  2. What would you do if you had all the skills and knowledge you needed?
  3. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  4. What would you do if you had all the time you needed?

You see, we sometimes blame the lack of resources for our lack of resourcefulness. Or our unwillingness to take risks. You need to find the resourcefulness inside yourself to deal with the fear of or perceived lack of the resources you think you need (money, time, skills/knowledge and failure)!  If you have the resourcefulness, you will find the resources. 

Taking risks is not about being fearless or having no fear. It’s about acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway. It’s about knowing what you know and what you don’t know.  It’s about being open to people, open to ideas, and the chances you take to make your vision and dreams a reality.   

My biggest insight from the session? All of us found it easier to be courageous in our youth, as audacious Kora reminded us! When we had much less to lose. We had no fear of losing the money, the status or the recognition we didn’t yet have! Anything that you are not willing to lose, it has power over you.  The only real freedom is freedom from fear.

What is your fear? And what would you do if you could own that fear? As Tatiana told us “Fear is a gift. It’s telling us when we need to act or which way we need to go”.  

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.  Let yourself be seen and be audacious. As Carmen told us, “let yourself go and flow with the river of life”.

ADA, 4 July 2020

June 24, 2020 - No Comments!

A-LIST Community Manifesto

On Saturday 20 June 2020, our ADAPTAA team embarked on a journey of co-creating a community of A-mazing leaders.  A-mazing human beings with open minds, big hearts, and an infinite mindset. A mindset of learning and sharing.  A mindset of curiosity, commitment, and courage.

Meet our A-list team who will be taking the A-list community on that journey:

Alina CFO - Chief Founding Officer - she will make things happen for you.

Tatiana CEO - Chief Expression Officer - she will speak her truth, even when you don't want to hear it.

CArmen CHO - Chief Happiness Officer - she will make you happy, by connecting you with your heart.

KorA CMO - Chief Media Officer - promoting our A-list community to create a massive ROI (Ripple of Impact).

Leaderships starts from within. As a leader, the first person you need to lead is you. And as a leader, the person you should try to change first is also you.

Inspired by Sigmund Freud and our own deep work with Rich Litvin, the master coach of community creation, we created the A-list Community. Rich told us that Freud’s Wednesday Night Club was a group of fellow psychoanalysts that gathered together every week. At the end of his life, the members credited Freud’s group with the best professional development they’d ever received. We will credit Rich, for our inspiration.

Our inaugural A-list programme which started on Saturday 20 June 2020 gathered together a diverse group of highly Accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs who will be shaping the leadership of tomorrow through their Actions today. People we called A-list leaders. People sharing, giving and taking and inspiring each other during a 9 week journey and beyond. Exploring all the A-list themes of: Acknowledgement, Acceptance, Attention, Authenticity, Awareness, Audacity, Attachment, Aspiration and Action.

Our vision is to co-create a 222 Leadership Movement, bringing together 222 of these A-mazing human beings by 2022.  Leaders hand picked by us and our A-list community of co-creators.

Our purpose is to start leading differently, deeply connected with our mind, listening to our heart and trusting our gut.  We want to role model this to everyone we come in contact with and maximize our ROI - Ripple of Impact. Just like the pebble drops into the water and creates ripples, our actions will be reaching far.  Our biggest competitor will only ever be our own fear of change.

As executive coaches, we are measured by our ability to see something that everyone else is seeing and notice something different. And our ultimate success is spending time with our clients and making positive changes to their future.

Stephen Curry, the highly acclaimed professional basketball player has been credited with saying: “Amateurs compete. Professionals create”.

We are standing for co-creating a future that does not yet exist. A future we may not yet be prepared for, but for which we are ready! And today we have thrown the first pebble into the water and started this journey with 20 A-mazing leaders, with courage, excitement and joy!

What are you ready for, yet not feeling prepared for?

ADA, 20 June 2020