Small things, big difference

A guest blog from Helena Clayton, Director of Executive & Leadership Development, The Fresh Air Learning Company Ltd

We know that part of what makes us resilient is being able to draw on resources when we need them. Sometimes that means reaching out to others and asking for help. At other times it means going inside and resourcing ourselves.

Running on empty…

Working with a CEO, he had realised that while he was doing a great job of leading his organisation, he was feeling empty inside and it was getting harder and harder to put on a bright and brave face. In our coaching sessions, he said he he’d lost his spark and felt bored with who he was. He wondered how long he could keep up the pretence and felt it might soon impact his work.

In talking this through, he realised that it had been ages since he had done anything for himself, in particular things he used to love doing. He was spending lots of time at work and then there would be evening networking events. Then he’d spend the weekend with his kids at their various commitments as part of family life. He enjoyed all of that.

But there was nothing that he did that was for him alone. No wonder he felt dried up. And, as we talked, he identified his love of art and photography as something he’d loved, lost touch with, and greatly missed.

Matching the inside and outside…

A week later, I get a call.

Hey, Helena, guess where I am? I’m sitting in the car in Bristol and I have a gap between meetings. I’ve got my iPad out and I could do some work. But there’s an art exhibition round the corner…and I’m going to it instead!

Two weeks later and he’d also been to see Ansel Adams in Greenwich – also in between meetings.

When we met, he laughed and said he had his mojo back and was feeling so much more positive about life. Now his inside matched his outside. He felt much more able to tackle the challenges of work and he’d noticed he was doing more stuff with his kids. ‘Amazing,’ he said, ‘how such a small thing has made such a big difference’.

Try this now…

What do you love doing that you’ve lost touch with? What one small thing could you do to reconnect you with yourself? A small thing can make a huge difference.

Take a risk and do it now.

Helena Clayton
Director of Executive & Leadership Development Programmes
The Fresh Air Learning Company Ltd