What circus arts and business have in common

What circus arts and business have in common

Have you ever seen someone leaping off a 25 foot platform, swinging by their legs then somersaulting into the air? Or even better, have you tried it yourself?  Two weeks ago, I did (let the photo above be exhibit A).  It was terrifying, exhilarating and amazingly fun at the same time.  Let’s face it, that mix of feelings is more common in life than most of us think. Whether you’re giving a big presentation to executives at your firm, interviewing for a promotion or asking for VC funding for your growing startup, there’s a mix of fear and hope rushing through you.   “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.” – Unknown   So, similar to the circus performing trapeze artists, how can you harness the fear AND hope to drive business performance?  Here are 4 principles to keep in mind: 1. Focus on the outcome:  its easier to visualize yourself grabbing the bar and swinging into a perfect somersault when you are standing at the top of the trapeze platform. Sometimes,  its the vantage point that helps you more distinctly define the end goal. Clearly deciding and articulating the outcome you are looking for in any situation will help your mind focus on the real reason you are doing this crazy, fearful activity. It immediately reminds you of the positive result you are seeking and helps you break down the process into little steps that lead to success. By clearly visualizing the end result, a little bit of fear transforms into excitement. It may be just enough to propel...
Starting a Revolution of Awesome

Starting a Revolution of Awesome

In May, I stepped onto a stage in front of over 250 corporate professionals in Switzerland with one goal in mind: To inspire them to own their awesomeness and then act on it. I got personal on stage and shared the story of how I was 1 of 3 people to make it onto a lifeboat from a sinking ship last year. Oh, you haven’t heard that story yet?  Let’s change that right now:   There are days when self doubt, uncertainty and frustration fill our work space,  when its easy to forget the big picture of who we are and why it matters. These days lead to brilliance being muted, ideas lost and talent walking out the door. Lack of engagement & purpose is a plague invading our boardrooms. And, things have got to change.   It’s time to start a revolution to discover, own and sell our awesomeness at work. Its time the brilliant ideas are voiced and talent is showcased in order to drive growth and service. I’m committed to starting a Revolution of Awesome and I need your help. Here’s my invitation for you to take inspired action right now: 1. Please comment/like & share this  youtube video with 5 people if you care about them being seen and heard. There’s brilliance to be uncapped and no time to lose. 2. Forward this blog post to someone who is keeping their talent too hidden. If it can help/ignite them in some way, its worth it. 3. Spark a conversation about owning the inner salesperson with a colleague. Lets take this message to the masses so that it helps...
Jet-setting Daydreams

Jet-setting Daydreams

  There are generally two specific times I start daydreaming of taking my job to an exotic foreign destination. The first is in the dawn of a new year, when I can start looking at the year ahead and dreaming up all the wonderful audacious goals I want to set for myself. Typically, an exotic destination makes the list. The second is during a cold Canadian blizzard, when white out conditions prompt me to start day dreaming of warmer, exotic locations to escape to. When do you typically have jet setting daydreams? Perhaps its your birthday or knowing that there will be a shift in your department headcount this year. Whatever triggers you to start daydreaming, here is a series of tips that can help focus your day dreams into actionable plans. Start here.  Taking on a job opportunity abroad— what’s in it for you anyway? This article highlights the reasons to work abroad in the first place. How a career abroad can open you up to new perspectives, people and learnings that are bound to change your life forever.  (Click here to read the full text digital newsprint version; page 34 ) Convinced yet? Good. The next step is actually narrowing your focus to destinations that make sense for your career objectives and lifestyle. Grab a piece of paper and work through these five powerful questions to narrow your region of interest. Then embark on a laser focussed research bender to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to leap into making the daydreams a reality.     (Click here to read the full text digital newsprint edition;...
Newbie realities of working in NGOs, Africa: Dream Hunter Interview with Emily Bell

Newbie realities of working in NGOs, Africa: Dream Hunter Interview with Emily Bell

In this Dream Hunter Interview, we explore the realities of what it takes to build a career and life around a social mission. Emily Bell, British native with a global spirit,  takes us behind the curtain to describe the realities of daily life as a newbie in Africa and also demonstrates dedication via her own life experience for making an impact and serving others.   Tania: So Emily, what drew you to a career in the NGO field? Emily:   I first visited Africa, Kenya to be precise, when I was 18 on my ‘Gap Year’ – which is a British way of saying a year out between high school and university. It’s fairly common for school leavers in England to take a gap year and volunteer overseas. My three months as a teaching assistant in a Kenyan school obviously left quite an impression on me because although I went on to do a bachelors degree in English and French at the University of Manchester, I tried to do some volunteer work with Africa-focused charities every summer holidays. I knew when I finished my first degree that I wanted to work in the development/humanitarian field, and went straight on to study a Masters in Development Studies in London, which was useful in order to get a foot in the door. I started my career by doing two internships back to back. The first was in the HIV/AIDS department at the headquarters of the World Health Organisation in Geneva (where I met you Tania DeSa!) and the second was with the UK medical NGO, Merlin, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia....
Hacking for Happiness in a New City

Hacking for Happiness in a New City

Whether you have moved to a new part of the city or across the continent, getting settled into new surroundings can get you frazzled (yes, I just brought that word back from the 80s). Between unpacking boxes and learning where the nearest grocery store is, you may feel like your days are full and you haven’t met another living soul. Here are 5 simple ways to ease yourself into a new community and connect with your new environment. 1. Meet your neighbours Whether its greeting people in the stairwell,  exchanging hellos in the elevator or physically knocking on doors to introduce yourself, connecting with your co-habitants brings a bucket load of benefits. These people have the best local knowledge and live only a few meters away from you. They are fountains of neighbourhood knowledge- tell them you are a newbie. Learn how long they have lived in the community and their favourite spots. Ask them for less congested routes during rush hour, what parts of the neighbourhood to stay away from and their favourite hidden restaurants. People love to promote the community they belong to so start a conversation to give them a chance. There’s quantitative proof that seeing your neighbours improves your life.   2. Take a tour on public transport One of the best ways to get a lay of the new land is to see it! Everytime I move to a new city, I ask around for the best local route and jump on public transport to give myself a tour. Sometimes, I take a notebook to mark down locations of drug stores, restaurants, dry cleaners,...
Defining “home” in a global world

Defining “home” in a global world

If you’ve ever lived or travelled abroad, you are familiar with the question that comes up within 60 seconds of any conversation with a stranger: “Where are you from?” Such a classic question may garner a standard response from some people but as we live in an increasingly globally mobile world, the answers tend to translate into mesmerizing stories these days. For me, with my tanned skin, black curly hair and brown eyes- most people guess that I am from India and seem almost dissatisfied when I say I’m Canadian. I usually get follow up questions like ” ok, but where are you really from?” or ” where were you born?”.  Again, the answer is Canada. At this point, I usually smile and enjoy their confusion or launch into a short story on the difference between ancestry and being “from” a country.  Here’s the highlight reel: ” Yes, I realize that I look kind of Indian. That’s because both my parents are from Goa, a former Portuguese colony in India.  I was born and raised in Canada. Honestly, I have lived longer in China, Spain and Switzerland than I ever have in India so although I look Indian, I can probably tell you more about culture and life in Zurich or Toronto than I can Goa.”  It sounds like I’m trying to justify my Canadian existence and that I’ve blown away someone’s stereotypical 30 second analysis of me. But situations like this always get me thinking about the nature of where we come from and how we define ourselves. THEN I came across an incredible TEDtalk by Pico Iyer....