How many times have you heard that life is a roller coaster, the ups and the downs, highs and lows, yet, when are in the low, we just cannot imagine the high. Wouldn’t it be good to be able to have deep conversations with people that don’t judge you and who also speak their truth?
In my 40 years in business, I have had some great success and some painful challenges. I have learned that business:
- is not straight forward
- it is never linear
- we need to constantly learn
- constantly adapt
- deeply connect with others
Aside from the work we do to serve clients, we are running in the background a complex life of supporting many people and progressing our skills in a world that places many obstacles and many opportunities.
My experience of learning business was very hands-on. I didn’t learn it in school, university or take time out to do an MBA, I learned through the lessons I had to experience. I never felt I had time to study; ensuring I could pay my bills from 19 years of age. I learned to manage people, grow my brand and maintain the loving relations around, but it took time to find my groove.
I experienced loneliness in my social life, I experienced challenging investors, I experienced financial fear and I often felt I was not cut out for the success that I witnessed in others.
Fortunately, I was always driven by the impact and dreams I had for the business world to be a better place for us to thrive. My contribution to ‘better’ was to get people to connect lovingly with one another, to encourage real, deep and honest conversations. Honesty is a loving behaviour that we can all adopt, often we just need to find courage.
The greatest asset I had in business was my lack of fear around being me. This was not as a result of a high ego; this was driven by simplicity of facing the world for who I was, not the person I thought the world needed me to be. I was never taken in by the ‘wealth’ displayed online, I witnessed the fake way that many people used social media. I then often witnessed the crumbling impact of their truth and the lack of friends they had. It is so easy to hire a flash car for the day, rent a house for a week, buy a branded suit and then take it back, I was determined that I would find the people in life that had values far deeper than money and the display of money.
Business is a journey of lifelong learning, it cannot be learned in the classroom. I believe the progress we make is through the people we know and the realisation of who we are, which cannot be discovered if we create a fake illusion of ourselves.
Last week, I did a talk to 110 leaders of a company within the Finance sector. My brief was that they needed to build deeper connections between everyone to ensure their company could thrive. Using an interactive tool during my talks, I ask many deep questions, everyone is protected by the fact the tool enabled anonymous replies. In a choice of 6 desires they had to improve connection, they chose ‘deep conversations’ as the number one desire. Whoever we are, no matter what personality and character we have developed, we all need to be understood and supported.
Many people will say they are not lonely, and then you ask if they are lonely at work, and the results are consistently over 80% that say they are. Work should be like a family, a place where we need to connect deeply, we need to remember that our emotional needs are important wherever we are.
So, this week, perhaps think about how many people within your work circle, your networks, that you can lean on and be honest with, and perhaps be brave enough to share a challenge, allow yourself to feel vulnerable, ask for help. You might be very surprised by the amazing impact this has on your relationship with them and the results you will get from doing this. You never know, it might become a beautiful habit.