I have enormous hope for the future of business
I have enormous hope for the future of business.
Because in conversations, in coaching sessions, at conferences I’m attending, I’m hearing a collective buzz. So many people I meet are craving work that’s much richer, more enjoyable, and more uplifting.
I bet “work” isn’t meant to be a dirty four-letter word in your vocabulary.
Maybe you prefer the definition from mystic Khalil Gibran: “Work is love, made visible.”
I’ve always wanted my work to be a vehicle for expressing my creativity, wisdom, and especially my sense of play.
My first jobs were being a cashier and sandwich maker in my family’s delicatessen, babysitting during high school, and researching the real estate market for a big developer during college. Somehow, I infused my personality, my passion, and yes, that element of play into all of those jobs.
And then, I got my first “real” job after college, working in a bank.
I created that job myself. I spoke with the CEO, a friend of my hair dresser. I suggested that with a marketing degree, I could help introduce his small new bank to the Phoenix area.
Despite custom-crafting the job, I felt like the proverbial “cog in a wheel.” I was required to fill out a time card, but I kept thinking, “What does the number of hours I work have to do with anything?”
Like everyone else in our 25-person company, I had to attend snooz-a-rama company-wide meetings every single week, where the CEO repeated what he’d shared in memos. I wondered “Why am I wasting my time this way?”
I endured weekly status updates with my manager, so I innocently asked her, “We talk every day. So why do we have weekly status updates, too?” She scowled and barked, “That’s how I’ve always done things with my employees.” I bit my lip. It didn’t feel safe to suggest shifting the status quo.
None of us wants to do busy work.
None of us wants to have information rehashed at us.
None of us wants to sit in boring meetings.
I could make a crazy long list of the elements people wish were not part of work, starting with politics, bureaucracy, re-work, unclear priorities, and favoritism.
But I’d rather talk about a more fulfilling future for work.
The more I listen, the more I sense a growing wave of people with a deep desire to do work that…
- Makes a positive impact in the world, a truly meaningful impact
- Aligns with your values
- Is approached like a spiritual practice – mindfully, consciously
- Includes collaboration with co-workers who bring out the best in you
- Allows you to fully express yourself
This sentiment was echoed powerfully to me this last. I attended the Wisdom 2.0 Community Intensive: Coaching & Business Culture event in Silicon Valley. The benefit of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is being surrounded by incredibly innovative, progressive companies and people.
We heard from senior leaders at companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google about how they view coaching, and how they craft their company cultures. We also heard from coaches about what the ways they’re supporting their clients, and the tools and approaches they’re using.
Something is shifting in business when executive coaches reveal that they’re clients are curious about shamanic practices.
Something is shifting in business when coaches can talk about both how they use tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as well as the Enneagram and even the chakra system.
And something is shifting in business when clients ask, “Do you think I should get some crystals for my office?” then I’ll really know that business has opened up beyond the linear, safe, masculine ways. I welcome inquisitive about extemporaneous, unknown, unfamiliar, feminine ways.
Does that mean that all of these “new agey,” spiritual tools belong in business?
But we’ve got to stop business from over-glorifying the education of the head, the brain, the intellect. We’re long overdue for a lot more emphasis on building experiential emotional and body intelligence at work.
And if it takes a crystal to help someone feel more in touch with the inner wisdom that will guide good decisions, by all means, let him use it.
We will all be navigating exponentially higher levels of uncertainty in the future.
What impact will driverless cars, 3D printers, nanotechnology, data networks, and telemedicine have on your life?
No one knows for sure.
The only thing we know is that the pace of change is relentless.
The future is like a gigantic dark cavern. And if you’re wise, you don’t go running a straight line into that lightless space. If you’re wise, you move slowly, tiptoeing, watching your step. You use your hands to feel your way along. You notice the temperature, the air quality, the scent that lingers, all in order to get a “sense” of the place.
The “place” at work might be a revolutionary new product, a totally new segment of customers, a quantum leap in technology, a game-changing competitive situation…or anything of that ilk.
Here’s one future prediction for you: You’re more likely to be successful if you work in an organization (or collective of some sort) that supports you to develop bold new skills for being effective in a pioneering world.
The ability to navigate our unknown future requires much more embodied, intuitive, sensory-based skills. To survive in the future, you’ve got to learn to listen to the subtle messages from your body, in addition to your mind.
Good decisions don’t come just from the mind. They’re informed by our emotions and sensations, as I know from two authors whose work underpins my doctoral dissertation, Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux. To find your way, you’ve got to be adept at grasping a bunch of data, and then making sense of it in a rapid way, getting a “feel” for your next move.
Another future prediction for you: I foresee that the people who will thrive in the future are those whose bodies, minds, and spirits are aligned.
How does that translate into practical advice to help you skillfully navigate the future?
- Notice how you feel, physically, and be mindful of how you use your body to express what matters to you
- Be aware of how you think about the future you want to see and create
- Allow yourself to be lifted up by your positive spirit – even in the face of inevitable setbacks and disappointments
These, and other ideas, are what I’m sharing in the Empowered Embodiment Revolution, a virtual summit hosted by my friend, Darlene Downing. I’m joining her and 22 other women leaders to talk about making friends with your body.
Learn how to be sensational at work
Your body is your source of confidence, intuition, and flexibility in the world. You need the triumvirate of body, mind, and spirit to thrive in the future. That’s why I’m talking about “How to Be Sensational at Work” in a free interview that airs online ONLY on Sunday, November 9, 2014. You can sign up to watch it by clicking here:
In this 45-minute interview, you’ll learn:
- Why your body really matters at work
- How to listen to your body to get answers for your career
- How to access your body’s source of calm, clarity, and confidence in your livelihood
The workplace tends to be a very heady, place. Lots of thinking, but not much attention to how we actually feel while we’re at work. Even if your employer has a fantastic gym and encourages you to eat well, they’re not very likely to encourage you to listen to your heart or trust your gut.
I believe these are vital skills in a changing work environment, one that’s beginning to acknowledge mindfulness, compassion, and vulnerability. But most of us have been trained not to feel our feelings, or our bodies, at work.
I believe this embodied intelligence is essential for creating a bright future, with overall well-being. And I’m committed to sharing it with you, through the Empowered Embodiment Revolution.
Remember, sign up to watch my interview, and 21 other women’s, by clicking here:
Date: Sunday, November 9
Time: Available to view from 6 am Eastern on the 9th to 6 am Eastern on the 10th
Watch: Click here