International Women's Day
On this International Women's Day, let us celebrate the strength, courage, and determination of women around the world.
I feel the need to honor the incredible contributions of women around the world. From fighting for gender equality to advocating for human rights, women are playing an essential role in shaping our societies and making the world a better place. As a global community, we have made great progress towards gender equality, but we must not rest until every woman has the same opportunities and rights as their male counterparts. Women have the power to transform communities, nations, and the world, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are given every chance to do so.
As I speak to Global Leaders every day, it is my responsibility to spread messages about diversity, equity and inclusion, every day of the year, well beyond the days of international celebrations.
As leaders, as humans, it is our duty to empower and support the women in our lives, whether it be our colleagues, friends, or family members. We must strive to create an environment that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion for all individuals, regardless of their gender. As a matter of fact :
“International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.» United Nations
On this day, let’s take take a moment to reflect on the many challenges that women continue to face around the world, from discrimination and violence to unequal pay and limited access to education and healthcare. Let’s also celebrate the progress that has been made, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of women who have come before us.
Let us honor the women who have paved the way and take inspiration from their strength and resilience.
Happy International Women's Day!
Elixirium wishes you
excellent health, personal fulfillment and a year rich in self development.
YES! I did it!!
I was a procrastination master on that topic, but it is finally out!
“What are you talking about???” Well, my official website is ready! By finally I mean that I’ve postponed that topic for moooonths!
I launched my L&D business, Elixirium, in June 2021. Every coaches, trainers I knew back then had an official website … What about me? Sure, I’ll do it. I tried once to make my own website using available tools online. I work for about … 2 hours! Needless to say that my determination was not on top!
Well : a complete disaster … let’s keep it on the dusty TO-DO list …
Why such reluctance to get into it?
Well, let me share this with you:
I can inspire confidence whenever I talk, I can be a decision maker, I can take ownership easily, I can have had many shiny job titles throughout my career, I can have so much great feedbacks since I started this business … I still feel from time to time a lack of self-confidence, an inner feeling that I am a fraud. I can find many ways to sabotage myself, and the impostor syndrome can be a pain in the … wherever you want actually.
Well, I decided one day that It was about time, that this procrastination period was a great opportunity to mature my services, my thoughts and my will to go on! No need to beat myself, because eventually I did it!
Oh, when I write I DID IT, I mean I found a great partner to make it come true. Thank you Linkeo for your patience, I know what I did to you.
By the way, here is my buddy, I named her Elix.
Even if you are not a boxing fan, I am not myself, you all know the concept of Sparring Partner, this person essential to the training of each boxer.
Why am I telling you about this? What's your guess?
This is to address a problem that is both simple and so underestimated...
Whatever our area of expertise, our seniority, hierarchical position, social status, charisma... we are all confronted with moments of doubt, questioning, fear, stress, anger, psychological insecurity, loneliness, the desire to get out of our comfort zone, the desire to progress!
How to approach this? How to overcome these situations? How by extension, by overcoming this, become a better version of ourselves?
Well, it's simpler than it seems: surround yourself with a sparring partner, this person who will be by your side, who will allow you to express your emotions, express your desires, your ideas, imagine different approaches, organize your thoughts, explore, let your creativity express itself, create clarity and thus release the best version of yourself.
Like the sparring partner for the boxer, the Coach is your essential partner for your progress, and this in a healthy environment to express yourself freely, in all serenity and without fear of judgment. To finally be you. Finally.
Warning: the following is a hopelessly common situation...
There is this very important project, with an approaching deadline and the expected deliverables … not delivered! The client shows his impatience and wants to see our progress..
OK, I'm setting up a meeting to get out of this mess!
How did it go ?
- Number of participants: 10
- Number of active participants: 4 (!!!)
- General atmosphere: strong noisy tension
- Sentences heard:
- Oh really? I was expected to do that? Not from what I remember …
- I knew it would never be done on time
- I can’t be everywhere, my teams are overwhelmed
- I was expecting information from you first
- No big deal, just tell the client that there will be at least a 6 weeks delay, it's not the end of the world!
- Anyway, you can't understand, it's technical. I'm the expert.
- This idea is nonsense
- Conclusions of this very productive meeting:
- No ownership
- No alignment on objectives
- No decision has been made…
Even if I darkened the situation a little, does it remind you of some real-life situations?
In the end, after this kind of meeting we are filled with emotion, questioning, doubt...
“I was not up to it”
“Am I taken seriously?”
“I don't have the skills to carry out this project”
“Everything is on me”
“They're all dumb"
“and now, what do I do?”
“I'm going to end up getting fired”
Not to mention the ugly nights, and that lump in the stomach the next morning on the way to the office.
It is necessary to be able to talk about all this, to be able to externalize our emotions and above all to exchange, to identify all the possible areas for improvement.
What it's like to be an Excecutive Coach...
Being an Executive Coach & Leadership Trainer means I do know what being a Leader is, what being challenged is, how heavy responsibilities can be, and the list goes on and on …
In fact, my clients choose me because they need an expert, someone who’s been (more or less) in their shoes, someone they can rely on, someone they feel connected and safe. Well, that being said, I could stay in this comfort zone for a long time.BIG MISTAKE !
My leadership skills need to improve continuously! I need to learn continuously as Leaders do not come from one single “mold”. We constantly need to adapt, to understand how and why people think, communicate & behave so differently.
And good leaders need to be fully aware and opened to new generations, to other’s perspectives, to new context … That is why I am always so excited when a new Leadership book is published! I just received Adam Quiney’s book “Who do you think you are?”. This book “provides insight into how our fear works, what our blindspots are, and why our strategies to stay safe and get what we need tend to have the opposite effect. Most importantly, it teaches how to lead, yourself and others, in the face of all this.” New insights, new perspectives!
Fake it until you make it
You want to hear a magical statement? How about this one: “Fake it until you make it”.
I’m hearing it so often, like it’s THE solution! How convenient…
You guessed my feeling about it now, no?
Let’s think about some situations where faking seems to be an option.
- You are a new collaborator in a Tech company and you feel lost by the organization, the tools
- You have been named owner of this huge project and you don’t even know how to handle it
- You are in a technical training session filled with experts who seem much more qualified than you
- You are in a Board meeting where some topics sounds so unfamiliar
Just to name a few obviously
If you are tempted to use the famous “Fake it until you make it”, it might me because you don’t feel comfortable in those situations AND you do not express it.
The most important thing is not that you do not feel comfortable, but that you do not feel like you can express it. You do not feel safe enough to raise your hand and ask questions, ask for more clarity or just say “I don’t know”, “I need help”.
Faking could be an option for, let’s say, short term strategy just for you to get time enough to gather information, consolidate questions, or just to avoid to freak out for a moment… but are you going to Make it? Just by pretending?
These situations are actually quite common:
- Within toxic environment, with a huge lack of psychological safety
- When failing seems not an option / When failure petrifies you
- When asking for help could seem like a weakness
- When you are dealing with your Impostor syndrome
How about a breath of fresh air with that motto: “Keep calm & Ask Questions”
Of course, it DOES imply psychological safety, a vulnerable environment, a healthy company where you want to belong, a self-awareness journey...
You need to be yourself, to feel free to say I DON’T KNOW, I FAILED, I HAVE THIS QUESTION, HELP, I HAVE THIS IDEA
Whatever the root causes are, we as coaches / mentors provide tools and YOU are the solution.
Measuring the Unseen, Invisible Forces: Motivational Drive, Psychological Safety, and Cognitive Diversity
Leadership involves a vast array of strategies, with three often undervalued forces – motivational drive, psychological safety, and cognitive diversity – playing a crucial role in team performance. The key to high-performing, innovative, and sustainable teams lies in our ability to measure, visualize, and optimize these forces.
Motivational drive is the collective energy that propels a team towards its goals. Leaders who can align team motivations can fully utilize this invisible force. It's not enough to just harness it, we must also measure and visualize it, using insights to create incentives and career growth opportunities that boost motivation.
Coined by Harvard's Amy Edmondson, psychological safety is an environment where team members feel safe to take risks, express thoughts, and learn from mistakes without fear. Creating and maintaining such an environment is crucial, but equally important is measuring and visualizing this force to identify areas of improvement.
Cognitive diversity embodies the mix of perspectives, problem-solving approaches, and thinking styles within a team. It's a powerful tool for innovation and adaptability. By measuring individual preferences, leaders can quantify cognitive diversity, using the data to create balanced teams and foster an inclusive culture that values diverse perspectives.
Simplifying the process of decoding these forces is ICQ Global's Growth Zone and GlobalDISC tools – making the complex simpler and more powerful.
These unseen forces cast a significant shadow on team performance. By measuring, visualising, and optimising them, leaders can unlock their team's full potential and set the stage for sustained success.
Life is a journey
In reflecting upon my professional journey, a particular quote continues to inspire and guide me.
"Life is a journey, not a destination; enjoy the ride."
Leadership is a journey, a constant voyage of discovery. It's less about ticking boxes and reaching endpoints and more about appreciating the evolving landscape of experiences – the lessons learned, growth achieved, relationships built, and the opportunities seized.
Throughout my career, this outlook has instilled resilience, nurtured mindfulness, and fostered a readiness to navigate change. It's the journey that holds the true reward, not just the destination.
As we set sail on another workweek, let's strive to be more present in our professional journeys. Let's enjoy the ride, fostering environments that encourage growth and innovation, celebrating every milestone along the way.
Remember, it's the voyage that matters, not the anchorage. Here's to continuing the journey, embracing the ride, and making the pathway to success more enriching and fulfilling.
Embrace Failure, Cultivate Success
Fellow professionals, I want to share with you why I believe failure is not the end, but rather a new beginning. Remember, the road to success is often paved with learning experiences, and failures can become some of the most potent stepping stones.
Resilience: Each setback is an opportunity to build our resilience, a core leadership quality. It's about remaining focused and optimistic, even in the face of challenges. Think about the salesperson who faces rejection only to return more determined to close the next deal.
Innovation & Creativity: When our first attempts don't succeed, we're pushed to think outside the box. Just look at the product development team whose first prototype fails. Instead of giving up, they go back to the drawing board, innovating, refining, and ultimately succeeding.
Growth Mindset: Failure is a mirror, showing us where our skills and knowledge need enhancement. It fosters a growth mindset, like the manager who misses quarterly targets but takes this as a sign to seek further training and education.
Improved Decision Making: Failure is a treasure trove of data, providing insights to refine our decision-making and problem-solving skills. Take the marketing team that learns from an underperforming campaign to create a more successful future strategy.
Empathy: Our experiences of failure equip us to understand and share the feelings of others facing similar challenges. A team leader who has experienced failure can offer empathetic support and constructive feedback to their team members when they stumble.
Risk Management: Failure underscores the importance of assessing and managing risks. Like the project manager whose project overshoots the budget, leading them to more diligent risk management in future projects.
Failure is not a step back but a leap forward. So, let's embrace our failures, learn from them, and use them as springboards to our success. df1f
What failure has led to your greatest success? Drop your stories in the comments. Let's inspire each other.