August 18th, 2010
Live simply, Give more, Expect less
I love the thought that wisdom and insight can be found anywhere and imparted by anyone and it regularly feeds my wellbeing as a result. I was recently reading what I had thought of as a ‘mindless’ magazine as a means to ‘empty’ my head. As I turned the page, it read;
Free your mind from worries
What wonderful words to inspire and elicit reflection. How short sighted I had been, believing this magazine had nothing to teach me. I now use these lines regularly in my wellbeing and leadership workshops all over the UK.
I first became interested in wellbeing as a founder and leader of an arts and regeneration charity called Artworks Creative Communities
based in Bradford http://www.artworksbradford.org.uk
Over a number of years my wellbeing was being severely knocked out of kilter and I could almost feel the breath of burn out. The opportunity to research wellbeing and leadership came with my Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme. The Fellowship gave me time to think, talk, visit, interview, ask questions, reflect, read and fathom out what wellbeing was about and why had it resonated with me so strongly.
‘Adversity is the disguise opportunity wears when it knocks on your door.’
I was listening to Ababil talk, an entrepreneur based in Leeds at a business networking event. It occurred to me that working with adversity was at the root of everything I have done in my working life and often the reason for the existence of many charities and social enterprises world wide.
I set up a new company called The Art of Possibility three years ago providing coaching, mentoring, facilitation and mediation services. The work is essentially about how we can put wellbeing at the heart of everything we do for ourselves, our staff and partners, our companies and organisations using a marriage of emotional intelligence and organisational theory. It strikes me that so much of what Tony Butler’s blog speaks of resonates with this theme also;
‘Above all we should consider doing less with less. Consolidating our role as trusted and open institutions which focus on peoples well-being and happiness’
So much of what we do in the cultural sector is about servicing the new baubles of so-called innovation and this often comes to the detriment of the people. This morning I was coaching a client who runs a business with 27 members of staff and a turnover of nearly £1million per annum. She is a highly successful business woman; a founder who has spent the last four days on her bed crying with stress and unable to function. Last week another client spoke of considering suicide she was so fearful of the pressure during this time of great uncertainty.
The knowledge of who we are and how we respond to what is required of us, is key to our leadership. How we manage our intelligences, our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy are all central to our effectiveness in whatever we do.
Of course, the examples I give here are at the extreme end of the spectrum, but I have a hunch that if we spoke about wellbeing in its broadest sense more in our roles as leaders instead of resilience, we may find there is a rich seam of learning and answers waiting for us.
Perhaps our humanity is where we should begin in our journey of realising a different way of working in the future.
PS…find happiness for daily life here (ed.)