// Every month, I send a text born out of my experience and my reflections - like this one. Sometimes with learning and sometimes with unresolved dilemma, I share how it feels to be a corporate activist. If you'd like to receive the next ones directly in your mailbox, here is where to subscribe - it comes with a no-spam promise 😇 //
My dear fellow human,
It is very likely that you too, are starting to feel the effects of the Q4 madness.
Because despite all their (alleged) efforts, all companies enter this crazy period because the people in it work better against closer deadlines - that's because of instinct, lizard brain and so on, and instinct eats process at breakfast.
The year-end business targets need to be reached...
The next year needs to be planned...
The expenses are generally exhausted and/or cut...
The budget for next year needs to be built...
The year end processes get kicked-off, with 20+ feedbacks to fill...
The safety team comes with a last minute training...
And so on, and so forth...
To make things worse, if you are in the north hemisphere the days get shorter, it's dark when you drive to work, the weather is gray and it rains all day, and the office turns into this exchange platform for microbes.
Everybody gets stressed, sick, tired and grumpy.
Hard not to do the same. 😫
And yet if you are reading this, you want to continue being this new breed of leader, fun, cool and approachable, at any time - year end or not.
You want to continue inspiring others by your everyday actions, like working collaboratively or being an inclusive leader.
You want to deliver on your extra-curricular activities at work, the speaking event you promised to organise or the posters you committed to make for the coming market place.
This is the moment when you could feel torn between your regular job and your job as a corporate activist.
You might even think to skip a few of your commitments or worse - give up...
Hold on my friend!!
We need you to keep holding on and keep pushing the agenda for a better workplace, a better company and a better corporate world!
And because I want you to succeed. here is the trick I learned the hard way and I hope to save you time (and pain) by giving it away.
What is the one thing you can do to manage your energy level and your motivation?
What is the one secret to being a Master of resilience?
🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁 tadatada, tada! (yeah, that was meant to sound as a drum roll...)
The secret is: know your baseline.
Know your physical baseline - How often do you go to the gym? How do you generally sleep, eat, look? Which part of your body starts to feel wrong when you are stressed? What is the physical signal that you are approaching your limit?
Know your emotional baseline - We don't all have the same flow of jokes per hour as a KPI 😅 so get a picture of how you feel when times are good. What is your marker that your thoughts and feelings are in check?
Know your social baseline - How often do you fancy being with people when you are happy? Which people do you like to see when, to do what?
Know your mental baseline - what do you dedicate your time to in order to find meaning? Is it with your family, your kids? Is it with a charity? Is it helping the ageing widow at the corner of your street?
This baseline is unique to YOU my dear friend, so nobody else than you can know where you are, how you feel, what you think, what you do when you are happy.
But why is it the secret to resilience?
Because what you measure, you can manage.
That means that if you are clear with your baseline, you are also clear about how far you are from your baseline at any point in time.
You may feel slighting tired, or you might be exhausted.
You may be running short on patience, or being totally irritable.
You may be stressed, or you might be close to a burn-out.
Once you can observe it, you can qualify it, you can realise it and you can take action to manage it.
The alternative is that you ignore your symptoms, keep going on like a mindless, emotionless robot and sooner or later something will stop you if nothing changes (usually your body will go into shut down).
Take it from someone who has been there.
So please - know your baseline, and check regularly how you are doing - and if the difference feeling good and how you feel right now is too big, do something about it.
Particularly if it's going on for a while. Do something before it's too late.
That's the real resilience - it's everyday making sure that you take action to keep you close to who you normally are, to the YOU you want to be.
Resilience is the awareness that you need to take care of yourself on a certain dimension, and that you need to make a conscious effort to go back to your baseline when stress pushes you out of it.
If you've stopped going to the gym, go again. If your body hurts, book a chiro.
If you are feeling low on patience, quick on snappy answers, check your thoughts - talk to a coach or someone who can help, professional or not.
If you haven't talked to your friends in a while, prioritise an evening with them.
If you are feeling pointless, in a BS situation, search for meaning, find a way to contribute and give.
Measure how good or how bad you are doing. And take action.
Which often means finding people around you to receive help from or give help to.
If there is anything I can do to help, if my words resonated with you, if you'd like to talk - I'm here for you. Just answer this email and I'll be glad to have a conversation with you. Try me!
Be strong, be well, be you.
With love, always,