Helping Leaders Achieve Sustainability

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

We are going through a very difficult time and the Covid-19 pandemic has had many of us thinking and asking difficult questions. The questions range from seeking to understand why is this happening to when is it gonna end. As I write this I find myself wondering if these are the right questions or the only questions to ask. In the process of reflecting on the current situation I went back to Maya Angelou’s works (I find her teachings very instructive) and checked what would she say about the situation.
As always she did not disappoint she sent me back to the basics i.e my mission. The more I reflected on this I had to dig deep and say what is my mission and how do I surge closer to it whilst acknowledging that things have changed. The answer that comes out loud and clear – ”embrace change.”
Working further on this I worked on what to do in refining my life whilst embracing change. The result led me to the 3 things I need to do and I thought let me share these tips and I hope you might find them useful:
  1. Go back to basics – ask yourself a basic question – what is my contribution to society in these trying times? Once you find an answer write down 3 or 4 actions that you will take to contribute to a better world.
  2. Find ways to adapt – it does not help to complain or play victim. Ask yourself the next question – how can I pivot from the current to the new? Again once you find an answer write down 3 or 4 actions that you will take towards your new normal.
  3. Adopt a new lifestyle- speak to others or google new things or different things that you can do in these times or speak to friends and ask for ideas. Write down all the answers that you get and choose 3 or 4 that resonate with you. Remember for you to sustain these they must be congruent with who you are.
I hope this blog has contributed somewhat to your journey as you seek to cope and embrace the current change.
Till the next blog
Coach Pam
P.s. Have decided to bring back the Webinars. The next one is on Thursday the 30th of July. Send me your ideas on the focus areas/theme by going to http://www.zenandeleadership.com and click on Ask Pam. All ideas are welcome ❤️❤️

Freedom day it is!

Freedom Day image

Today we celebrate the anniversary of our freedom as a people.  This is the day, in 1994 the majority of South Africans cast their vote for the first time in their lifetime. Someone may ask… ”Why is this day a big deal as we have not addressed many of our country’s economic and social challenges?” That is definitely the case, however as a people we are no longer suffering from racial domination and all of us have a right to vote and choose who we are in a relationship with without breaking the law.

I have some people arguing that this Freedom Day is not the same and therefore cannot be celebrated. Well it is their right to feel that way but for many South Africans it is a day that we triumphed over a system that sought to make us less of in our own country.  In my books that needs to be celebrated. Where I think we have a big challenge is, the matter of Covid-19 where our movement is restricted for our own good and for the sake of our fellow citizens. Someone posted something on Facebook and said, “We isolate ourselves so that when we get back together… No one is missing” – (Unknown). On this day I would like to celebrate such a commitment to humanity and such a profound perspective on respecting the value of life and connection.  It is such a profound statement as I would really like to reconnect with my friends, colleagues, clients and other people in the not so distant future.

As I celebrate this day, I would like to share a few things on what this lock down has meant for me and the profound lessons I am learning.

  • I realise how much freedom and choices I have after all. The biggest choice I have made is to spend this time reflecting on who I am?  What defines me?  What is important to me and how resilient I am?
  • I realise how much have I taken my health and well-being for granted. I now know that my health is my wealth and if I don’t look after it then I can lose it.  (yeah just like that). I have come face to face with the reality of my own mortality.
  • I realise that I was born with gifts and I need to share these with the world. I have made a conscious decision that no matter what I refuse to die with “my own music still in me” So I need to work on sharing my gifts with the world and show up as the best I can be everyday:
  • I realise how fortunate I am that I still have to choose what I eat whilst others do not have that luxury. More importantly I see the need to “count my blessings” and live a life filled with gratitude.

Finally I realise that this lockdown has been a gift to me and I am grateful to my leaders for helping me get back to self and realise that in what appears to be adversity there is a lot of hidden opportunities and all I need to do is change my paradigm and look at all with a positive eye.  I am so grateful and I now realise that freedom means.  As I end this, I embrace the words of Reeve Evans when she says….” We live in a world of absolute freedom and the only constraints are the ones we put on ourselves”

 On that note I feel good saying “Happy Freedom Day” to all.  May your find yourselves during this time and know that the biggest freedom is to be liberated from your mind.

PamTheCoach

Finding yourself

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Many countries are on lockdown and most of us are finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory. Some people are engulfed in fear and others are starting to talk about what opportunities does a post Covid-19 world pose?

I don’t know about you; but I have found myself moving from fear; sadness; worry; self doubt; questioning self worth and sometimes excited about the future. The one good thing is that I have taken a conscious decision not to judge myself but merely chose to notice the feelings and embrace them.

I have also made a decision to start living in the NOW. Acknowledge and being in touch with what is going on around me and how am I responding to it. The one thing I am proud of is the choice I have made of going inside and ask myself who am I becoming in these difficult times.

If you have taken a similar decision I have found some tips to share with you. These tips are an adaptation of what Afam Uche wrote on the topic of finding yourself.

Here are the tips:

  • Change you perspective and habits – when you change your perspective on how you look at something, it is a first step in re-framing what you are dealing with. When you have done this you will definitely find new habits.
  • Outline your worth; value and authenticity – you can ask questions like what may I be needing right now? What might have brought these feelings and thoughts? Remind yourself that just because I am feeling this way this shouldn’t be my only truth so the question is – what other truth exists that I may be blinded to?
  • Ask Questions- when you feel like sliding off find time to unplug and reflect e.g. what direction do I have to shift into? What emotions do I have to honor and prioritize? How can I appreciate my worth?
  • Evaluate – in the process of evaluating you can: give yourself permission to be imperfect; being tender with your fear; set and maintain boundaries and reminding yourself on your worthiness.

More information: visit afumache.com

I would like to end this by leaving you with an extract from a Randy Crawford song.

“I’ve been to Georgia and California; oh; anywhere I could go;

Took the hand of a preacher man and we made love in the sun;

But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free;

I’ve been to paradise, but I have never been to me”

Enjoy the journey

Pamthecoach

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President Ramaphosa announced extraordinary measures to “flatten the curve” on the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no doubt that these measures will affect many South Africans negatively, however the government showed leadership and they need to be applauded for their drastic and yet balanced measures.

We all have an opportunity to use this time to our benefit. We can use this to form new habits, work on finding our true essence, finish projects that we have not had time to do, improve our skills or simply rest and rejuvenate.

I want to focus on one of the things that are possible to do in 21 days. Dr. Maxwell Maitz wrote a self help book in 1960 called “Psycho Cybernetics, a new way to get more living out of Life” and Wendy Wood from the University of Southern California brought this piece of work to life by quoting from the world of Dr. Maitz and said “He recommended that people practice self affirmations and positive behaviors for 21 days to make it habitual…..he thought it would take 21 days of practice for an old mental image of ourselves to dissolve and a new one to gel”

The notion of 21 days of practicing something has become some sort of adage. It is used in many contexts for example a 21 day fast, 21 day gratitude meditation, 21 day fitness challenge and so forth. What I would like to bring to the fore is that assuming Dr. Maitz was correct and given the fact that we have a 21 day lockdown, can we use it to change our habits or form new ones?

I invite you to find a habit that you will form or change in the 21 days lockdown period. This could be as simple as drinking 2 liters of water a day, reading for 30 minutes a day or something more serious like engaging in a 21 day yoga practice; 21 days no sugar challenge or writing that book that has been patiently waiting to be written….remember the world is waiting to hear your story.

I will be using the 21 days working both in and on my business. I will be working on putting together new offerings for my clients whilst also working on improving internal systems and processes. As a coach I also need to use the time to connect virtually and be of service to my clients and sisters.

Beginning from Wednesday the 1st of April I will be hosting a weekly webinar on a topic that would be beneficial to you during this time. These will be hour long from 14h00 to 15h00 every Wednesday till the 15th of April. Please send us an indication if you want to be included in the mailing list and you will receive the link or alternatively follow our social media platforms to get more information. If you register and somehow you miss the time, as it happens, we will be able send you a recording provided you were registered

In the meantime take care, be safe and identify that new habit.

Sending love and light

Pamthecoach

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At the beginning of each year, most people set New Year resolutions all with good intentions. As it happens it is already that time of the year where life returns to normal and the new year resolutions no longer apply. This is the time where suddenly you can find parking at the gym and the water bottles in meetings slowly reappear.

I often wonder why that is the case? What is it about the beginning of the year that has an effect of awakening our best ambitions and life goals are somewhat brought to the fore? I do not know what is it about us as a human species that makes us to be conscious of our longevity and survival that comes to being at the beginning of a new year. Let me attempt to answer this at least from my perspective and with the biggest disclaimer that I am not a prophet or someone who professes to know what drives human behavior. For what is worth let me offer my thoughts.

We are creatures of habit – As people and a species, we follow habit and do certain things because we have always done them that way and it becomes second nature. Coming up with new year resolutions is one of those things we do every year and it has become habitual behavior. Part of the journey is to break the cycle and do things based on intention as opposed to habit.

We are social beings – As social beings we tend to go with the flow and have a big need to belong. We, by virtue of being human do not like to do things on our own and would rather be counted as ‘one of’, we often have a need to do what others do. We need to respect this phenomenon as a big factor of who we are and our social conditioning often determines what we can or not do.

How to change this?

I would like to offer a few key suggestions that will help us to keep our resolutions and these are:

  1. Our resolutions must be congruent with our values – the more our resolutions are in line with our values the higher the chances of us keeping and achieving them. Our values determine who we are, hence it is important to ensure the alignment.
  2. We need to live on purpose – this requires us to dig deep and determine what our essence and mission in life is. Drawing up a personal mission statement goes a long way in assisting us with living on purpose.
  3. Write our resolutions down – there is power in having things written. It creates a connection between thinking and doing. The more resolutions are written down and read every single day there higher the chances for execution.

There could be more to keep us thinking and keeping true to our own commitments to ourselves, the three suggestions made above could help.

With love

Pam The Coach

 

Show some love

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February is known as the month of love. Valentine’s Day falls in this month and the shops are filled with various commodities or symbols of love.

I am often unsure on how to respond to the big hype around this month. Some years I am cynical and others I embrace it. To put it crudely I blow hot and cold. Sometimes I debate whether or not it is correct for me to be ambivalent or should I stand firm like the rest of world and celebrate.

This year I have chosen to make a big deal out of it… I have chosen to be open to receiving and giving love, whilst remembering that self-love is at the core of this. I have chosen to make a big deal out of it, because I think us women we need to be celebrated and be showered with affection because we deserve it.

The question is then how do I show love to my sisters during this time. I have decided to offer 10 copies of my book (Women and leadership – Conversations that matter) to 10 deserving women. To even show more love I have decided to sponsor the courier costs of the book. All in the spirit of generosity!!! I think it is a small token of appreciation to my sisters who have continued to hold the knife from the sharp end whilst nurturing their loved ones.

The first 10 women who recommend 10 other sisters to join the pamthecoach Facebook group; will each get an autographed copy. You see how this works?… I show love….You in turn show love to 10 other women by inviting them to join the group of like minded women. When we are done….110 Women would have benefited something in one way or the other.

In ending my blog this week I leave you with a quote…”I fell in love with you because of the million things you never knew you were doing” – Anonymous

Many women/sisters do a million things to keep nations; organizations; families and relationships together without even expecting anything in return; recognition or compensation as these things come naturally to them. Many women/sisters are the glue that hold society together and they selflessly play this role.

This Valentine’s Day I want to hon our and salute women/sisters and say we see you and we feel you and continue to illuminate the world. Continue to represent what is best about humanity. Finally continue to be the beacons of hope.

“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heart beat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Valentines Day!

With love…

Pam The Coach

Growth Mindset

Last week’s blog raised a fundamental question about what does 2020 really mean given the dire economic situation South Africa  finds itself in.  This was prompted by the categorization by many of the year being a year of ‘plenty”. The blog acknowledged that this could be a function or a mindset more than an objective assessment of South Africa’s economic outlook. The blog started defining the growth mindset and agreed that it is about the belief that you are in control of your own ability and destiny.  It is about adopting positivity notwithstanding any obstacles that might come your way. As they say…”Your attitude determines your altitude” so what your outlook and mindset is, contributes if not determines whether you reach your goals.  This in turn needs practices and adopting certain habits which would then propel you forward.

Afam Uche (Poet, author) identifies 10 growth mindset practices and these I discuss and elaborate below:

  1. Prioritize continued learning over knowing it already – there are a lot of people who sees studying and knowledge acquisition as a static process as opposed to a dynamic and lifelong process.  Putting the need to learn as paramount to our approach to life is imperative to being impactful and achieve your results;
  2. Use mistakes as an opportunity to grow instead of a self-criticism or points of shame – nobody can be successful without ever making a mistake.  Many successful people use these mistakes  learning areas and build from them.  It is human to feel discouraged by mistakes, setbacks and obstacles however the growth lies in not allowing these to paralyze you.  This involves befriending your inner critic and use it as a sounding board as opposed to being the determinant of your destiny;
  3. Reward your efforts and the process more than the outcome – people are often so attached to the outcome such that they miss the lessons and the richness of the process…..give yourself permission to stop and smell the roses and yes….reward and celebrate the journey.
  4. Acknowledge new ways of thinking and being in the world – there is no one way to reach your destination and often times people are often caught in the only way and often miss out on the potential for taking other less rocky paths.  The world is in constant change and we all need to take stock and adapt…..as they say the road to success is always under construction.
  5. Make room for something different to be possible – Ever heard of “its my way or the highway”.   If we open ourselves up and surrender we can always find quicker and often better ways of getting to the top.
  6. Add the phrase “not yet” to your vocabulary – this is about faith and resilience.   Its the ability to keep the end in mind and soldier on despite what might be happening in the here and now.   It includes being optimistic, patient and determined.
  7. Cultivate curiosity and beginner’s mind as often as possible – when we know it all or jump into conclusion because we have “seen the movie before” often robs us the ability to find out new things and be enriched with other possibility.   Let’s stay open and be curious as by doing so we are likely to see and find the booby traps.
  8. Celebrate your growth and celebrate the growth of others – when we pause and celebrate our achievements and growth then we are more motivated and inspired.   At the same time when we do this for others we practice “ubuntu” and encourage and motivate each other.
  9. Take stock of all the ways you have grown and changed – we are often on a rat race and not grounded.  By being permanently in this mode we miss key milestones and our own success points.  We need to pace ourselves so that we are able to pause when necessary and take stock of where we are.
  10. Embrace imperfection and honour all the ways you continue to try regardless – we are often trying and working hard and we miss our achievements because we are only concentrating on the big and perfect things.   A small victory remains a victory and it is intact a stepping stone to a bigger victory and we all need to embrace and celebrate this.

On the 1st and 8th of February we are running two 2 hour workshops/mastermind where we explore these issues further. This will be hosted on Zoom (online platform) and there are limited seats available. You can join from the comfort of your home and you do not have to travel. So if you want to get a seat at these workshops please indicate by sending your details to ziyanda@zenandeleadership.com or info@zenandeleadership.com. The seats are on a first come first served basis and they are all sponsored seats hence there is a restriction on numbers.

If you want to be part of the workshop/mastermind on the 1st and the 8th of February 2020 at SAST  at 14h00 – 16h00 then use the email addresses above to request your sponsored seat. You will be then be sent log in and access details. Hurry up as the seats are limited.

Lets us tackle 2020 with a growth mindset and let’s be proactive and put ourselves first.

Lovingly

Pam The Coach

 

Mind

New Year’s Day ushered in a new decade and under normal circumstances this should excite us to embrace a spirit of newness and possibility, why not?   It is a new decade and therefore it should mean better things and the opportunity to start afresh.

The blog is entitled “20 Plenty” which has been the term that many people on social media have used in referring to this year. Before writing this blog, one could not help but to ponder on what does this year really mean? Is it about mindset or outlook or is it just about sloganeering?

Having gone through the economic outlook for South Africa for 2020 I cannot help but to see a not so rosy picture. It does not matter whether you look at Moody’s Investors Service of seeing lower growth for the SA economy; or National Treasury’s own assessment of the business environment or the IMF’s assertion that the South African population is now growing faster than the economy. It is indeed not a positive outlook and yet people still choose to believe it will be a year of plenty.

This can only mean that this is a mindset thing as opposed to realism and objectivity. Dr Dweck (2015) defines this level of optimism and enthusiasm as being to be in a growth mindset. “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talents are just the starting point.   Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability.  Yes hard work, effort and persistence are important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny”

Looking at the outlook on social media it can be deduced that the people have decided to adopt a growth mindset. This is a good approach however an element of realism might need to be infused so that the best results are achieved.

Working with a coach assists with determining the level of realism whilst not dampening the spirits. The Zenande coaches see this as a necessary service to offer clients (existing and potential) in these trying times. We are arranging two workshops on the 1st and 8th of February 2020 to assist people to determine their vision whilst navigating this tricky path.   The details of the workshops will be released soon and people can choose either the 1st or the 8th of February in either Johannesburg or Pretoria.  Watch this space for further information.

In addition, Zenande has done work and increased its offerings so that people and organisations are better equipped and are able to weather the storms. Some of our programs deal with organisational and individual resilience; managing in a complex and changing environment; extending your resources in times of scarcity and so on.

We look forward to providing tailor made solutions for individuals and organisations whilst they are grappling with this potential grim environment. The reference to 20 plenty is an encouraging starting point however it cannot be the end of it. Individuals and organisations must be equipped with the right skill set to succeed especially in a volatile world.

In the meantime, let us celebrate the new decade and bask in the glory of our own “newness” as it is in understanding and believing in our own capability, tenacity and resilience that the world will become a better place.

Happy twenty plenty!

Pam The Coach

What do we teach girls today?

Zozi Tunzi

This question was asked to the current Miss Universe….Ms Zozi Tunzi as part of the contest. Do you remember what the answer was?…”leadership

Let me first congratulate Zozi and the entire South African nation for this achievement. Having done so I would like to turn to the answer she gave, which clearly impressed the judges and handed her the titled.

The response was not only befitting to the audience but is a conversation that is worth having globally.

I loved the answer as it resonated with my own values; beliefs and what I think must be done. I firmly believe that women and girls occupy a special place in society today and how they show up and see themselves is a necessary ingredient to a more sustainable growth and forward movement of society.

Women have historically not played a central and leadership role in all spheres of society. This is not through their own making or laziness but through a well established and embedded system of patriarchy. If society is going to be able to step up to the reality of a Volatile; Uncertain; Complex and Ambiguous(VUCA) world then we need to embrace the role of women in providing a plausible and relevant response.

For women to be able to step up to be co-creators of a new world order then they have to be empowered and given the space to lead. John Maxwell argues that “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. The numbers suggest that this is not happening and for society’s own sustenance we owe to ourselves.

Teaching leadership to women and girls has to be intentional. It needs to build on and not change their feminine and nurturing side.

Finally we need to do more abs create more spaces and avenues for teaching women on how to lead themselves; how to lead others and how to lead organizations and institutions.

The time is now!

Happy festive season!!!!

P.S. This is my last blog for this year. I now move into self care and relaxation mode

Xx

Pam the Coach

 

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”– Albert Einstein.

I personally have never the perfected the art of bicycle riding, however I get Einstein here when he creates the parallels. I get it because balance is the one thing that we need to propel us forward and yet in real life we struggle with creating the requisite balance.We tend to prioritize certain aspects of our lives over others. I know for me work often comes first.  Not withstanding the fact that I know that I must look after my health. This reminds me of Steve Jobs when he acknowledged that “I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death”. I know this, I acknowledge it and yet I do not always create the balance in my life.Coming back to Einstein and as the year is heading to a close, I find myself wondering what did I achieve in 2019 and what I would like to achieve in 2020? I am a firm believer that setting time aside to set goals and map out for myself the actions I need to take to achieve my goals then I move forward from balanced approach.I always start my planning process round about this time of the year with some deep reflections. The reflection process is aimed at ascertaining where am I in my life, what have I done well, and what do I still need to do in order to realize my dreams?… I must this is not an easy process but I find it to be inspirational and motivational. The more I am able to ascertain my progress then more liberated I feel. I have done this reflection and planning process consistently over the years that I have collected the necessary tools to do this in a non-judgmental and yet rigorous manner. I will be sharing these tools and practices at the workshop that I will be hosting in East London on the 7th of December 2019 in the Designing 2020 Success Workshop”.I find the act of finding balance as I determine my true north and navigating through life I feel much more in control and empowered. I know this because I give myself permission to self-reflect as I contemplate the next steps ahead. More importantly the next steps ahead are always clearly intended but not always achieved. I never stress about that as oftentimes there is a good reason for non-achievement.Setting the time to reflect and contemplate I find is the necessary ingredient that I need to run my own race. It helps me to be balanced and the same time to exercise self-compassion and self-love. Finally the act of finding balance is pivotal to my own success and hence I am more than willing to share the practice and the tools to others. I hope this blog sparks the conversation for the reader to start the practice or find a partner or mentor to help navigate their own success.

Pam The Coach

 

 

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