Helping Leaders Achieve Sustainability

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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?

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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

 

 

Winning

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It’s Tuesday today, and as always I am blogging. I do it for a number of reasons… Namely; because I love to share with my readership and secondly I need to do this consistently in order to achieve my objectives. For the purposes of this blog I will not get to the reasons but believe you me they exist and I use them to hold myself accountable.

Last weekend South Africa celebrated the Springboks win and the Netball team’s win (although this win was not known to many). There is a thing about winning in sport in that it unites people and oftentimes a nation. Oftentimes when we celebrate we do not ask the question: ”What did it take?”

In my view, there are 3 main ingredients to every win and I discuss these below:

  1. Clarity – This is about what is the goal and more importantly why are we pursuing it? You cannot achieve something you do not understand or are not sure why you do it. Being clear on why you do it will help lift you up when things are not going as well as you hoped.
  2. Passion – This is about giving it your very best and doing everything necessary to move forward. You cannot sustain it if you don’t feel it in your entire being or somehow the deed is external to you. Own it and more importantly enjoy it.
  3. Be Consistent – Every successful person talks about the need to be consistent in order to achieve the results. This means you must be there whether it’s raining or the sun is shining. You have to discipline yourself to do what you need to do especially when you don’t feel like it.

As we await the return of our teams we need to keep these principles in mind as we all need to be guided by them in pursuing our own dreams.

Today I am having a book launch in East London and quite excited about the event. However I know for sure that the launch is not an end in itself. It is however an important milestone in my chosen path and hence I will enjoy it. I am in my winning mode when I can receive and give whilst remaining content and humble in my winning.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Xx

Pam The Coach

Showing Up

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This week I am writing on a topic that is often not spoken about. Many people who have attended a meeting; addressed a gathering or even gone for a job interview; do not always talk about what it means.

If you lucky and have a conversation with them afterwards and ask the question “how did it go?” You would most probably get a response along the lines “I am not sure”; “I think it went ok; I am not sure”; or “Will see; I did my best”

Oftentimes people really do not know how did it go and/or they are too scared in case the outcome is not favorable. They are in essence preparing themselves and you for whatever eventuality.

As I go around speaking about the book I often have to answer the same question. “How did the launch go?” I often respond by saying “I think it went ok”. As I write this blog and as I prepare for my next launches I need to get to a more confident response. This will be the case if I show up for my audience and my potential clients.

Showing up is being truly alive to yourself and the impact you are making at any given time. You might not fully show up unless you know why and what the purpose is. The more the reason behind your actions and presence is linked to being authentically you and living your legacy then the better.

Cindy Yantis shares the following tips and I would like to pass them onto you:

  1. Awareness- be aware when you are starting to venture into a numbing activity. This means to be fully aware and conscious of why you are there and what you are seeking to achieve.
  2. Fully engage – by anchoring yourself in the room and fully recognizing your surroundings; the objects around and being fully alive to them, then the more impactful you are.
  3. Promise yourself to strive for excellence – this is in everything you do especially the mundane tasks. As they say the devil is in the detail and you are as good as your last assignment.

As I prepare for my next book launch in Pretoria on the 22 October I know for sure that I need to bring my A game. I need to be on top of what I say or what goes on as for me this is not just an event but it is a contribution to my legacy. And it is an expression of love to my clients and other people who will read my book and continue with the conversations in one form or the other.

Finally as I show up on the day I can only do it in the only way I know how I.e put my best foot forward.

See you in the arena

Pam The Coach

Coming of age

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Last week I celebrated my birthday. It was a momentous occasion as I hit the big 50 and I launched my book. The book is called ”Women and Leadership: Conversations that matter”.

Leading up to the launch, I had both feelings of excitement and of anxiety. A friend of mine called this “human”. I guess it is the case but I wished I could find a way to make the feelings of anxiety go away. I share this with you as oftentimes we do not talk about our insecurities and vulnerability and tend to put up a bold face. Brene Brown writes “…You either walk in your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness”. By sharing my story and fears I choose to “own up” and “walk in my story”. In that way I regain my personal power which I need if I am to succeed.

Birthing the book has also left me with a big sense of achievement. I choose to stop and celebrate this achievement, as oftentimes we women we don’t do so because we have set our “deserve level” to be very low. Women have not mastered the practice of celebrating their achievements and I suppose as a leadership coach I need to walk the talk.

Turning 50 has brought to bar two fundamental tensions that women face. I use these to share with the reader, that they exist for everybody. I guess the one thing with coming of age is to accept yourself and be content with what you offer. They say from now on wards the road becomes smoother (I hope so) as what you see is what you get. As someone who is always looking for new ways to show up in the world, it is going to be a tall order and I suppose it is worth a try.

In the next weeks I will be traveling the country introducing the book and also running workshops to share the insights from the book. I hope to meet you in the arena.

Lovingly

Pam The Coach

When Nature Calls

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I spent the weekend of the 20/21 July 2019 with a group of girls from Nombulelo and Ntsika Secondary Schools in Makhanda. These are Grade 10-12 learners who have been selected to be class reps.   We have been working with these girls in enhancing their leadership effectiveness and also imparting self-management skills.

The weekend was spent at the Camdeboo National Park which provides the visitor with insights into the unique landscape and ecosystem of the Karoo, as well as it’s scenic beauty. One of the biggest attractions in this area is ‘The Valley of Desolation’ whose viewpoints provide panoramic views of the landscape.  According to SanParks, “the viewpoints of the Valley itself provide a breath-taking view of piled dole-rite columns against the backdrop of the plains of the Great Karoo and a timeless sense of wonder at a landscape said to be the product of the erosive and volcanic forces of nature over a period of 200 million years”.

This trip was an invitation into nature, as people living in cities and towns we often forget how therapeutic and fulfilling a trip to the countryside brings. Let’s face it, we belong to nature and often times just by merely taking a walk outside or walking barefoot on your lawn you are able to lift some of the everyday burdens we often carry.   I personally find that by just being in nature I learnt to appreciate how fortunate I am to be living in a country where this is possible. I get to appreciate that there is life outside the boardroom and the day to day hustling that one gets to do.

More importantly, being in nature helps me get more in touch with my essence. Martha Beck calls this ‘’one’s essential self’’.  She describes the essential self as that part of us which is our genetic legacy, who you are or the person you are born to be. This includes your tastes and talents. Can you imagine what impact we will make in the world if we all operated from our authentic self or who we are really meant to be? This is against being a person who tries to please others at their own expense.  This is not meant to be a judgement on others on the contrary it is a reminder that all of us matter and bring natural talents that are valuable to the world.

As a I conclude I want to share how energized I am and how revived I am to be more and do more as I continue to apply my craft. I would like to encourage you …when you feel overwhelmed and finding that you are not coping, remember that a trip to nature will assist. We all have an open invitation to nature and the question is are we game and willing to take this invitation up. I promise you that never nature disappoints.

Xx

Pam The Coach

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