Xerocon2018 brought us several sessions that asked us to think about the way we think. They were an excellent, and timely, reminder for me of what’s important in my life.
With a young family, I’ve found myself at one of those times in life when it’s valuable to pause a moment. To check that you understand your priorities. Because they change over time. And sometimes a significant event, or a minor event, a comment, a chance meeting, or a speaker at a conference can trigger reflection.
In the moment
The moment London bombings survivor Gill Hicks almost lost her life was, unsurprisingly, a significant trigger for her! Her story could have gone either way. 30 seconds from death’s door, Gill fought her way back.
It was a moment in time (followed by the long-haul of rehabilitation) that challenged Gill to “write a new script and start again”.
Gill is now an advocate for peace and a professional motivational speaker. She challenges all of us to consider how we think and how we spend our energy in every moment of our lives. Because 30 seconds matters!
It’s worth reading Gill’s keynote blog here: Gill Hicks tells Xerocon it’s not enough simply to survive
The rise and fall
I also had the opportunity to join co-founder of Slipstream Coaching Sharon McClafferty’s breakout session. (Unfortunately Sharon’s presentation isn’t online but if you ever have the chance to hear her tell her story, get along.)
Sharon’s very personal story about her father’s seemingly-impressive career, and its ultimate demise, again motivated me to check in with my priorities.
Sharon’s story is quite a tale of riches to rags. Her father’s bluff was incredible. His downfall spectacular. And avoidable.
It was clear to me why Sharon has devoted her adult life to helping professional services firms and their people reflect on the true meaning of success. Sharon is a passionate advocate for why it’s important to work sustainably and live a “rich, full life”.
Sharon has helped businesses implement a range of flexible work-practices. Nine-day fortnights, early-Friday knock-offs, four-day weeks, five-hour work days to name a few.
The results for the people involved in these changing work balances are overwhelmingly positive – as you would expect. With people being more productive while they’re at work, and living a happier, more purposeful life. And the results for businesses don’t stop at happy staff. They include growth, increased revenue and improved profitability – without the accompanying often-unhealthy stress and sacrifice.
So, after hearing from Gill and Sharon, I find myself reflecting on my own career. Looking for ways to redistribute my energies, to ensure my young family gets ‘the best of me’, and allowing for other interests to be pursued.
Whether it’s for family, self-care, pursuing a passion, or whatever your motivation might be, perhaps you too can look to make meaningful changes. You might be surprised how open your employer is. Or, if you are an employer, you might be surprised how beneficial it can be to accommodate your peoples’ needs.
Thankfully I work for an employer who welcomes such flexibility. My Xerocon experience was an opportune reminder of how thinking about what really matters can benefit employers, their people and our communities.
Are you ready to rethink? A Synectic adviser can help you or your business achieve your own version of prosperity.
Read more reflections from Xerocon: