Are you bored doing the dishes every day and consider it as stealing away your quality time?
If the answer is yes, look at it from the perspective of you as a mother tidying up the kitchen to provide a healthy and nutritious meal for your loving children — then the chore becomes a choice, mundane becomes meaningful, right?
The awareness and understanding of the life roles in perspective help you design and create a fulfilling and meaningful life. When life itself is broken down into the granular life roles level, it provides you a holistic view of who you are, what you seek in life and how to have a balanced life.
What are your top three life lessons that you cannot afford to forget?
Changing countries and starting afresh, becoming a mother and now being a grandmother, are, I would say the three most important life inflection points that has taught me abundant lessons. Cultural acclimatization requires sensitivity and flexibility towards the cultures of the people we are surrounded by. Cultural shock is one of the major occupational hazards and has immediate negative impact on productivity and can kill the innovative mindsets of even the most experienced executives.
What are the foundational rules of entrepreneurship that has made you successful?
- You must start your business even when your end point is not visible. There can never be a situation where everything will fall into place immediately, so it calls for courage to continue and keep going.
- You must seek and assemble a team who have similar values, work passions and bring them together for a shared vision. Working with a good team can cement your entrepreneurial success. For my enterprise, I work with a strong and skilled network of coaches and that has proved to be successful. The network I work with, we share a common vision and by having more talented people on my team I can reach more people and scale up swiftly.
- Make careful choices when it comes to funding, because what may seem an enticing option of having funding upfront can cripple you later. Judiciously and patiently you will need to choose what category of funding you will tap into.
- Also, when it comes to funding, I have had challenges and had to work double time to ensure payments were wrapped up. Having learnt from my mistake, I have realized that it is wise to make funding partnerships which do not pressurize you but rather provide you the flexibility to operate freely.
In order to have exponential growth for your business, what would you do differently?
Personally, I know I should delegate more and focus on expanding the business and network. But I enjoy the coaching delivery right now, so I am doing both. But for leaders looking for exponential growth, there are two things that will help catapult them –
Delegation to smart and skilled team members who can do a phenomenal job of what you can do, so that you have the leeway to focus on strategic priorities. As much as this may sound simple, the more you do this and enable team members to scale up and deliver, there will be opportunities to grow faster and smarter. When you focus on your business growth full time the multiplier effect is a natural outcome.
Digitization of offerings/services will unlock immense possibilities as the world is moving towards this most definitely. Again, this may seem simple, but it is very relevant.
If EQ eats IQ for breakfast, what aspects of EQ are blind spots for leaders?
As human beings our biases and blind-spots underlie our actions. For example, during this WFH period, do you trust an employee working remotely? If you do not, then distance is a bias for leaders. They have a bias not to trust employees who are separated physically and are known to check on them regularly. The fact remains that, leaders who are more tuned to EQ look out for their own blind spots and for their teams’ and work on them consciously. This will be a rewarding exercise for them as their decision-making abilities are more important now than ever before.
On the other hand, a leader with high IQ will be able to lead by knowledge but their decision-making abilities will be severely impacted owing to their lack of self-awareness and EQ.
Leadership success today largely hinges on the balance between self-awareness, strengths, and weaknesses in the EQ space.
In a world obsessed with association, how can leadership individuality stand out?
Do you know why you remember your life events (for e.g., marriage, graduation, death of a loved one) much better than other dates? It is because these events are embedded in a sea of emotions and that is the reason it is etched in your memory. What we are experiencing right with Covid as a crisis is also similar, there is anxiety, frustration, loss, suffering and therefore emotions are running high. We are flooded with data and information and people across the globe are watching leaders and their actions. So, what leaders do now will be remembered for a long time to come. Both the good and bad actions of theirs are going to be spoken about at length. And NOW is a fertile ground for leaders to demonstrate their leadership traits and stand out from others, and what better opportunity than the crisis we are facing now.
Individual leaders who do the following will be differentiated:
- Their ability to bring authenticity
- Their ability to connect with people
- Their ability to bring clarity to situations
- Their ability to hold difficult conversations
And all the above are in great demand right now, so leaders must don these roles and make a mark for themselves and I can assure you – their names will be rallied about by the people.
In fact, a friend told me recently that she was switching banks with whom she had a banking relationship for almost 20 years. When quizzed why, she named a bank and she said that she found their way of reaching out to customers was exceptional and that she wished to be associated with a bank that cares. The leaders who can be trusted even during tough situations will be the ones who stand out, for sure.
What can Australia teach the world when it comes to coaching?
I would rather broaden the scope to talk about what the world can learn from Australia, rather than narrow it down to coaching:
Australia is agile and they are learning very quickly on how to lead during change. Specially now, when they decided to move us into quarantine, they did it quickly and efficiently.
Australia is young, just about 200 years old and there is lot of intellect and we possess a nimble capacity to move with times. Coaching in Australia to a large extent reflects this.
The Bush Fire crisis is a great example of how Australia responded swiftly, and they communicated well with the citizens. They are great learners and now with this crisis as well Australia is learning from mistakes and acting well and enabling different things which applies to any leadership position.
Irrespective of your profession and position learn from others and your own mistakes. With all this tacit information do different things, no longer can old methods work for anyone.
In your opinion, how do coaches traverse the journey from Good to Great to World Class?
The emphasis on practice cannot be stressed enough. And I encourage coaches to coach as many individuals to strengthen their coaching muscle. However, that is only one side of the coin, the other side being supervision.
While practice is individual, supervision calls for collaborating with a network of coaches, trialling different coaching conversations under the guidance of a master coach. I have found these to be enormously helpful in every coach’s career. This assures personal growth to begin with and then imparts coaching techniques, nuances, learning from other coaches experiences and opens them up to a rich set of tools which they may be ignorant of.
Along with this, regularity is another dimension in the journey to being world class. These supervisory sessions need to be conducted periodically to ensure coaches skills are honed and their axes are sharpened.
This said, there is whole body of work on coaching out there and coaches will have to think of ongoing study to become world-class.
What can Brene Brown teach the world about the polarities and possibilities of Leadership?
What I have learnt from her and from the extensive research which she has done is that – We are looking for a type of a leader with a gamut of skillsets and what tops the chart in the list of skillset is: Courage, which is an acquired skill. World over we need more courageous leaders.
The polarity will be that leaders who are still caught up in the control by authority mode, will fail miserably. However, the possibilities that lie for leaders are abundant as they can rise to the occasion now and lead through the crisis. If not Covid, there will be several other climate issues which can bring upon them other types of challenges.
And leaders have many possibilities to bring into play their different traits to lead teams through various difficult situations.
Do we have leaders who can lead through turbulent times?
In your opinion what are three powerful ways through which leaders can increase their self-awareness?
- Periodic 360 degrees can help leaders be in tune with their true selves
- Monthly conversations with peers and teams can provide the much-needed outside in perspective
- Journaling can be a wonderful way of self-actualization and to understand your feelings and emotions
- And finally, nothing can beat the power of having a coach who can be your mirror
In your opinion, how can millennials embrace EQ better than their previous generations?
A paradigm shift has come to be, owing to the millennials adherence to ownership and staying in the present. They are aware, connected, curious and believe in outcomes and this has and will continue the change the way we give rise to a new breed of leaders.
Millennials connect with purpose and experience (visible elements of 5%) and invisible elements (95% of the invisible like the iceberg model, however the moment they are under a structure and have to perform and align, they find it stifling.
Kudos to the millennials, they are far more connected to their life purpose. They are environmentally aware and would be able to understand EQ much better. Everybody needs EQ assistance. But when compared to other generations they will catch on to it much better than others.
Make careful choices when it comes to funding, because what may seem an enticing option of having funding upfront can cripple you later. Judiciously and patiently you will need to choose what category of funding you will tap into.
How do you manage to never stop learning?
The fact is every individual needs an internal drive to learn and grow. It is something that comes from within and no external force can help much here.
Executive Coach & Emotional Intelligence Advanced Practitioner
Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator
Alison is a Brené Brown Dare to Lead ™ Facilitator, and a passionate igniter of braver leadership for a kinder, more connected world. Her passion is emotional intelligence, and as a Preferred Partner of the Six Seconds global emotional intelligence network, she has recently authored an exciting new EQ report, SEI LTC (Leading Through Change). Wrapped around this new EQ report are the Change Leadership Program (CLP) and Change Leadership Online (CLO), which brings Change Readiness and the EQ skills to better navigate change to all levels of an organization. Alison leads and works closely with an exciting mastermind community of neuro-coaches, all specialized in EQ, to deliver innovative, cutting-edge leadership programs around the world.