Tag Archives: RockMe!

The Triggers

It was a grey October Sunday and I had just returned from a trip to Munich. Driving with the car had been a choice. It was not a good choice. The weekend in Munich had inspired me but driving there and back drained a lot of energy out of me. I realized that having a car made me a victim of possession. If I did not have a car I would force myself to take the train and I would be safer, arrive more relaxed and use my time better.

Yes, I know that we will have self-driving cars one day but by then our roads will be so full that we will stand most of the time anyway. My value as a citizen says that using public transportation, using a train in this case is a better option than driving a car. It is more sustainable and better for the environment. There was another reason though why I wanted to sell my car. I needed money to pay for a course. And this was probably the more urgent trigger. The reason that really made me go online and find a way to sell a used Audi with over 220k kilometers.

I know, don’t ask.

The Sale

Anyway, I found two websites and filled their forms and shortly after received a phone call of a potential buyer. We set up an appointment. The other potential buyer called me as well and I also set up an appointment with him. Both were supposed to look at the car, make an offer and then present me with a nice contract saying they will pay me 5k CHF.

When the first buyer came, I was surprised how fast he looked at the car, how little questions he asked and I was a little suspicious of him because he immediately wanted to pay me money. This seemed strange to me. Clearly, I have no clue about car selling as I should have known that you can sell a car on the spot if you bring enough cash. I did not trust the man’s competence, looks and I did not want his money in cash. He quoted the value at 4’300 CHF.

I told him that I wanted to have the second offer first before I could make a decision. He asked me to let him know as soon as I could and he told me that his uncle would call me. Seems his uncle was better at buying but he made me relax a bit and made me promise that I would call him if I received a higher offer. I said that I would only sell under certain conditions including a contract, advance payment into my company account and that my price was higher. I cancelled the second viewing and thought I could be saving time by just giving the second quote.

The Bargain

A few hours later, I called “the uncle” again and told him that the other buyer would be 5’200 CHF. Then the uncle offered 5’300 CHF and I agreed verbally. All normally business transactions work like this. At least this is how it used to be done pre-Internet. But I had gone online already and read about every scam that you can find in car sales and I was so worried that I could not think straight anymore.

The Sale

I was close to tears when I finally closed the transaction two weeks later. In the meantime I had stalked the buyer on LinkedIn, called a common contact about him, asked him to come to my house again with a copy of his passport, drafted a contract and made him sign it. When I picked up my tires from the garage I was so nervous that one of their staff members had to drive the car out for me. And for weeks after the sale I had been expecting someone telling me that I did something wrong. I was expecting that the money would be pulled back out of my account, the insurance company would call me to tell me that my insurance was abused.

And then?

Nothing happened.

Everything went well.

The Morale

The only one who suffered in this (apart from my man) was me and probably the buyer. Let’s call him Sam. Sam probably did not fully enjoy his client experience with me, because he could feel and I even told him that I did not trust him several times. I could have trusted him though if I had listened to my heart instead of my monkey brain.

We have processes and laws for reasons. We do not live in the Wild West. There are ways to get things done around here in Switzerland. Poor Sam, even had to show me his Swiss pass.

I should not claim that I know everything just because I have access to Twitter. I know quite a lot about contracts and while I was freaking out about a car sale, I negotiated a contract with a client in English, according to international law and without a big fuss for several months because I fully trusted the person behind the deal.

As I am not an expert in cars, I need to trust a car expert’s judgement. I cannot solely rely on hearsay and rumors. Do you notice that nowadays everyone mistrusts their doctor? Are we not taking this all a bit too far?

And just because I have a degree I am not entitled to treat others as if they are stupid just because they do not wear a suit to work. The guy who bought my car has a degree in business, is also a web designer, runs a company that sounds amazing and the only reason why he buys cars for his uncle is probably similar to my reason for selling the car. Sometimes we just need money, or the experience or we need to help our family members out.

I want to be careful not to judge someone based on looks. Our interactions were professional and even kind and because I told him that I was paranoid we built trust over the sale. I really wish Sam would come and see me as a client so I could show him that I have a kind heart. If you read this Sam please come in for a free coffee.

Do you still struggle to get up in the morning at your regular hour and have you noticed more kilos on your scale or are you already back in full swing? It’s another year and as usual, we are full of energy and hope. We think that this is our year of transformation, our year of success, our year when we finally meet Mr. Right. Correct?

New Year Resolutions do not equal Success

“Success” is different for everybody. How you define your success depends on what you struggle with the most. Success might not be to have an academic degree or an MBA. It might be to have a permanent relationship, where you are able to live a person for more than two years. Or maybe it is not wealth but an income which allows you to travel for four weeks a year. Maybe you define success as being able to maintain your family life to a high standard while having a career. Or maybe you define success as managing fifty employees. Maybe you think that if you manage all the projects that are on your plate you are successful.

Whatever success is for you in 2018: Write it down! Or paint it! Or take a photograph of it.

Break “success” down into three goals for next year

Stop being vague about what you would like to have in your life.

This is my wish for you for 2018. That you learn to write down, paint or visualize what “success” is for you.

For your professional life, it will be helpful if you write down your goals in a way that keeps you accountable. You could also check in with yourself on a weekly basis to see if you are still on track.

Stick to three goals and follow through with them before you set yourself new goals. You might need to learn stuff along the way. That’s why I also recommend you set yourself learning targets according to our global competency model.

Do you want to create habits through daily routines? Break down your goals into small junks you can do every day such as reading for 25 minutes or walking 5’000 steps?

If you want to create a successful life in business you need discipline and perseverance. In my experience, this only comes with routine. Talent is important but having routines and creating habits is key when you want to create sustainable success. Once a habit is formed it will cost you less energy to do it. You know this from sports. The inner couch potato is very strong. Once you have interrupted your gym or your running routine it is very hard to motivate yourself again to get up at 6 AM to run at 0 degrees Celcius.

It’s the same with active meditation, regular relaxation practices or even daily writing. If you follow a strict routine you will stick with those habits longer. You could now read numerous books on these topics and overwhelm yourself with resolutions and then feel frustrated and depressed in a few weeks when you did not achieve everything you wanted to achieve.

Based on my long experience working with clients, I would like to suggest that you get started with small steps of action. For example, if you would like to build a professional network start with meeting one person for lunch a week. Once this is easy for you, you can increase your target to one lunch and one coffee meeting. Or you can really challenge yourself and say you have to meet a stranger for lunch once a week.

Please do me a favor and don’t overwhelm yourself with New Year’s resolutions. Start with creating one habit and move on from there.

Baby steps, honey…baby steps”

If you are already on RockMe!, you have the option to track your success every week and tick off your weekly tasks.

If you would like to join RockMe! now please reply to this email so we can set your three main career goals for 2018 together. It will require you to pay for one regular coaching session at CHF 350 + VAT. 

If you are not a client yet, you will need to pay a fee of CHF 390 + VAT for the initial coaching session with me.  Included in this fee are also regular reviews and follow-ups online. You can purchase the full RockMe! program at CHF 2600 + VAT. Included in this price are 10 hours of 1:1 coaching with me exclusively and monthly RockMe! Inspirations. If you pay the initial fee first and then decide to buy the full program we will credit you with the amount paid already.

Please fill out the form here to become one of my private clients. Nothing goes without effort these days and you simplify my life by giving me your details upfront.

I will give a 20% discount to everyone who books and holds a 1:1 2018 goal setting session before Friday, 12 JANUARY 2018 5 PM. 

By then your New Year’s energy is probably already at 50% and you are ready to celebrate at least this one achievement for the year.

Am I too cynical?

*Cheers*

Angie Weinberger

PS: Speaking of baby steps…are you relocating this January or February?
I know that my brother from another mother will move so I just put this here for him: Baby Steps in Relocation – 7 small tips to keep sane in international relocation.


 

Presence means to be in the here and now

These days, many of us do not seem to be present even if we are in the room. You take your phone out as soon as you sit on the train. You skim through your email. Another attachment fail. You forgot to save the legal document before you attached it. Your colleague across the ocean is confused. After three emails you clear the confusion. You apologize. You know you must come across stressed. Even though you know that you have worked at higher stress levels in your life, you know that there is a nagging voice inside you that screams “I need a holiday.” You wonder how this happened as it seems your last holiday was only four weeks back. Could the issue be deeper you ask yourself? Is something wrong with me? Do I need therapy?

Then you become aware of all the bullshit that you need to handle every day in your job. It is not the job itself. You love your work. It is not the team. You have shared your vision, mission, brand, and values with your team. They follow you eagerly because they see a brighter future with you.

Presence, politics, puberty and pain

Your team buys into your cause and wants you to succeed but the politics in the management team have become unbearable. The blame-storm that follows every client issue and the loss of ground with your big clients have made you look bad. You are concerned about losing your job, not performing well and not delivering what you promised to deliver. Your wife looks at you for support with the children. Your daughter has behaved difficult lately. She needs your guidance. You want to support but you feel drained in every corner of your life.

You had started a hobby about a year ago because a friend advised you to do “something for yourself”. In the beginning, you were so thrilled about the new friends you made there but now it just feels like another obligation, another point on your task list of never-ending topics. You snap when friends ask you if you want to go out for a beer and your mother’s voice is in your head. “You said you would come for a visit with the children on Sunday.” And there is this mortgage on the house that needs refinancing.

In short: You feel the weight of responsibility of being the provider. You feel that weight on your shoulders and your back. You identify with it through the pain.

Pain means stress is written all over your body

Many of us have stress written all over their body. Even though you will find a lot of methods of reducing stress when you look online many of us have issues to focus nowadays. There are too many distractions that pull us in different directions every minute. We also have too many “shoulds”. We should go to the gym more often, we should recycle the bottles, we should save money. Our mind spends a lot of time thinking about the “shoulds”.

Gain control again and increase your presence

1) Take one hour out of your busy schedule and consult a therapist

Sometimes we feel like we have tried everything possible to please everyone else but lost ourselves in the process. It helps in such situations to consult a therapist. Sometimes you might not really need therapy but in most cases, you will. I am a fan of prevention and I know that we can improve our physical symptoms if we seek support early enough. Unfortunately, in my experience, many managers look for external support when it is too late as they are stuck in an idea of playing the superhero. Alternatively, they are sent to a business coach. A serious coach should send you to a therapist or doctor as soon as you cannot confirm anymore that you feel psychologically and physically healthy. And some of you might seek a doctor before they seek a therapist because you do not believe that your psyche could play tricks on you. It’s up to you! Do something about it before your family loses you for good.

2) Go for light exercise such as a daily walk outside

If you feel stressed but still in control, it can help to prescribe yourself a daily dose of light exercise such as a 20-minute walk. I have written about getting healthy earlier in this post about my favorite productivity hacks. Be sure that you don’t distract yourself with your phone when you go for a walk. Build the walk into a routine such as your commute to work or your coffee runs in the morning. Getting exposure to real light and fresh air is helpful in most countries. If you do not live in Switzerland, it might need adjustment according to outside weather conditions. For example, if you live in Islamabad, you might need to take your walk early in the morning. In Iceland, during the middle of the day.

3) Clean up your workspace daily and mono-task

It sounds simple but is a commonly known ZEN practice. You can get rid of the constant distractions by developing a regular routine of cleaning up and only working on one topic at the time. Your stream of information needs to be directed to the right channel. One example: If you think “I should file my documents” do it the same day. Spend five minutes every evening before you rush home to clean up your desk. Throw away everything that you don’t need. Before you start your workday write down your top three priorities for the day.

4) Learn to Relax through Active Meditation

For a global leader, one of the hardest things to do is to relax. Often you will need a reason, an instruction or a drug. Or you might need excessive physical activity before you can relax. Even if you relax during a massage, for example, your mind still wanders and you have a lot of ideas or you mentally work on your next task list. Since it is so hard for global leaders to clear their head I advise them to combine relaxation with an activity they truly enjoy. It could be learning to play the piano, building LEGO spaceships, renovating old furniture or fly fishing. You could also find an activity that you enjoy doing with a partner, buddy or good friend. It is important that this activity happens regularly (at least once a week), that you can maintain it while traveling and that you religiously stick to it. We qualify these type of activities under „body learning“ so you can use them in your weekly targets or in your body learning target. If you wish a regular practice of relaxation methods and active meditation please join our Global People Happy Hour every Friday from 6 to 7 PM.

Kind regards
Angie Weinberger

Sleep helps!

You should also get enough sleep if you wish to increase your executive presence. Here is a guide on how sleep improves your creativity.

 

 

 

Practice Seven Steps of Presence

You can also practice “Seven Steps of Presence” with our template from the Global Career Workbook. Download it and start this for 10 minutes a day before important meetings.

 

 

 

Did you just have another day where you cleaned up your desk, wondered what you had achieved today and got home to a stack of dishes, a pile of clothes and a crying son? Did you spend last night driving your daughter to SCUBA class, squeezed in a conference call and forgot that it was your mother’s birthday? Did you then at 11 pm sit down thinking “Why am I not moving on with my life?”

Often we think we are too busy to do that right thing, the Ph.D. we wanted to start, the Master we wanted to finish, the weight loss program and healthy nutrition we wanted to implement. We keep ourselves too busy to meet a new partner.

We play safe and the older we get the less risk we are willing to take.

Often we spend our time doing the wrong stuff. Sometimes there are good reasons to hang onto a job, a client or even a marriage. Sometimes hanging in there is part of the deal (“…for better or worse…”) but there is also a fine line between going through rough patches and self-destruction.

I once had a reputation for being able to ignore many issues until the day they are actually relevant. Well, I would consider that the art of living. Maybe my life story has led me to believe that I should focus on doing what needs to be done before it is too late.

However, I also sometimes get stuck in a story that I have been telling myself for the longest time. Or I get a slight panic when I notice that once again the costs of running my business eat up my earnings. On such days, I tend to feel overwhelmed with all the tasks and the stress of managing a business and a life. And what do I do, when I find my life overwhelming? I press the pause button.

Get out of your rat race by pressing the pause button.

You might not know how to do this but I will teach you. For those of you who have started with RockMe! you probably understand that following a weekly routine is helping you in the process of being more satisfied with your achievements and more in tune with your purpose.

Define what your purpose is or reconnect with your purpose.

I know, that this sounds difficult. For some of you, it sounds too difficult to even get started. Maybe you thought you had defined your purpose clearly but now you have doubts. Is that really the reason why you are in the world? Is this the area of work and life where you can influence the world the most for the better or are you just in this for the status, the money and the company car? Is your reason for this international move the next career step in Caracas or is it the housing allowance and the package your company pulled together?

Separate making a living from your self-worth.

When I speak to some of you I understand that work plays a very important role in your life but so does your spouse, your children, parents, siblings, and friends. You are more than a breadwinner and after having been in the corporate world for such a long time and having made it to here, don’t you think you deserve to focus more on your important relationships?

Stop being a corporate zombie.

You do not have to be a corporate zombie either. The company pays you to deliver 42 hours of work (in Switzerland). If there is an expectation that you work extra hours you should be financially compensated. I see a limit though of the value of money. When basic needs are met, the rest is a luxury and no pair of shoes, no holiday, no luxury car will replace your health. Think about it and let me know if you need my help.

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

PS: For those of you, who wish to join our #RockMeRetreat18 please subscribe here.

Last week I asked you to buy post-its and start to plan Week 48 to Week 52. Did you write down 15 priorities for the countdown to the holidays? Did you split a whiteboard into five weeks? Did you do really do this?

I bet you didn’t do this even if you thought it was a great idea.

Why is that?

I have a contract with the NSA and installed a small camera in your i-phone and can watch you all day long.

I know how we all function and you and I have a lot in common. Sometimes we are making ourselves too busy to do what helps us to be less busy and more organized.

Last week I gave you the example of the laptop that I had not cleaned up in years so I could hardly work on it anymore. This week I have a new example: The lights in my bathroom. They need fixing. I think they have been broken for about two years. You might wonder, why I have not been able to call a handyperson or go to COOP Bau&Hobby and get this done.

Well, there is a simple explanation: I tried once or twice to find the lights and then I was discouraged and gave up. Next, I tried to delegate the responsibility for the task to my partner, which did not trigger any action either (just a few discussions).

And about two weeks ago, I finally emailed the rental agency. And you know what? A handyperson called me and will come by shortly. Well, I’m telling you this little example because we often do this in our professional lives as well. We accept a mediocre solution or we try to put a plaster on a process instead of analyzing the root cause of the issue.

We hire more consultants to help us administer a workflow tool that does not deliver the data we need instead of training the data entry specialist in the Philippines or in India so that the data is entered correctly. We implement three levels of controls instead of helping the first handler of the data to deliver a zero error quality report.

Have we lost all of our ideals of Total Quality Management from the good old nineties? What about Kanban and visualizing process flows? What about getting it right for the first time and being highly effective?

What I have noticed is, that I can live with certain flaws in my personal space. I can accept a less than perfect light in the bathroom but I cannot accept it in my work. One of the reasons why my apartment almost looks the same as five years ago is that my energy goes more into my profession. You could say that this is fundamentally wrong or you could say that maybe one needs to balance both areas.

My main message for today is that inaction and delegating responsibility won’t get the job done. If you wish to push your fifteen priority projects until the year-end you need to visualize them and then tick them off or decide which ones you can push to 2018.

Ok, have you started finally?

Then, I would like to encourage you to chose now another color of a post-it note, e.g. green and write down five projects you wish to complete at home. Then take another color such as yellow and write down five contacts you wish to connect with before the year-end.  Finally, take another color such as orange and note down five requests of your partner or children that you would like to fulfill until the year-end.

Once again, I invite you to send me a photo of your project wall, ideally with your name on it. If I receive ten or more by 1 December, I promise to share mine with all of you. ☺

Kind regards
Angie Weinberger

PS: Sign up for our mailing list, if you wish to receive information about the RockMe! Retreat 2018