15 Powerful Habits To Embrace

15 Powerful Habits To Embrace

Simon Alexander Ong | Life Coach & Business Strategist

1. Read every single day. The diet you feed your mind is just as important as what you feed your body.

2. Take care of your wellbeing. Both your mental and physical health.

3. Plan your day the night before.

4. Focus on progress over perfection.

5. Stop comparing yourself to others all the time (I call this “comparisonitis”) and focus more on being better than who you were yesterday.

6. Focus on possibilities over problems.

7. Surround yourself with extraordinarily inspiring people.

8. Reflect on how to grow and contribute more.

9. Be accountable to someone for your visions.

10. Get more sleep and renewal periods during the day. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up!

11. Embrace positivity and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

12. Worry less about what you can’t control and focus more on the present, and what is in your control right now.

13. Embrace an experimental mindset such that you are overthinking less and taking action more often on those ideas that pop up in your mind.

14. Do more of what makes you feel most alive.

15. Listen to understand instead of just listening to respond.

What else would you add to the above based on your personal experiences? 
Contact Information & Social Media links:

Website: https://www.simonalexanderong.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simonalexandero
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonalexanderong
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simonalexanderong
YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/simonong

Authentic Leadership leads to better work-family dynamic!

Authentic Leadership leads to better work-family dynamic!

James Kelley – Ph.D.

All right, so today’s topic is something that I was curious about, and so I did a little digging in the academic world. The topic focuses on the intersection of work-family and the impact of an authentic leader in and on the employee. The article is from 2017 in “Leadership Quarterly,”  by Dr. Susan Braun, and Dr. Karolina Nieberle titled, “Authentic Leadership Extends Beyond Work: A multi-level model of work-family conflict and enrichment.” 

Here is the big, burning question(s) in the article:

Does the impact of an authentic leader have a significant effect on a follower’s family life? Can an authentic leader help enhance, enrich their home life and at the same time, minimize the potential conflict that they have at home? The framework of the article is based on a concept work-home resource model from two smarter people than I, Dr. ten Brummelhuis and Dr, Bakker. 

The work-home resource model is predicated on the idea that a toxic work environment depletes your ability to personally cope leading to individuals taking negative stress home and impacting those relationships. This is termed ‘work-family conflict.’ 

On the other side of ‘work-family conflict,’ the authors propose that if the environment is healthy, giving, and creates space for individuals to have meaningful relationships in the workplace, they will have a ‘work-family enrichment experience.’ Essentially, great vibes at work will mean great vibes at home. 

Now as someone who grew up in a house whose mom was always in a ‘work-family conflict’ mode, I can tell you that it had a direct impact on me as a child. I spent 20 years dreading the real world, dreading the fact that I had to work nine to five, dreading that I would have a boss and just thinking that work in general sucked. So, this article speaks to me. 

Here’s what they found in this article. Maybe this isn’t that surprising to you, but they went out and researched ten teams of at least two individuals per team, so two followers, and then ten leaders. They acknowledged this is not a huge sample, but went out to get a larger sample, and just struggled to get the survey’s returned.

Here is what they found.

As they researched these teams, they found that when a follower perceives an authentic leader as being more authentic, espousing the values of authenticity in the workplace, the follower minimizes their work-life conflict. It reduces it. So, there’s this negative relationship. Thus, the more authentic, the less work-family conflict that there is. This indicates that the way we interact at work minimizes us bringing home our negative sh*t. 

The other thing that they looked at was this idea of, “if someone is perceived as an off-the-charts authentic leader, how does that impact the follower’s home life as well?” 

They found that the stronger the perceptions of the authentic leader by the follower, the more the follower felt lifted up, the more they felt engaged in the workplace, and thus the more that the follower took their work environment home with them. We know that engagement in the workplace is awful right now. It’s roughly 33% in the U.S. based on the Gallup Organization and approximately around 19% globally, so it’s pretty lousy all-in-all. 

So, here’s the important thing, as an organization, if we can create leadership development programs that allow your leaders to lead more authentically, create a more enriched environment, your employees will go home to their families and espouse those values as well. If we can get ‘followers’ to have a happier home, they’re going to come to work more prepared, more ready, and more productive.

To read more of my blogs, go to www.drjameskelley.com

Until next time,

Dr. James Kelley



Don’t teach them but help them learn!

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are a dynamic and talented generation. They are taking over the workforce, but have workplaces changed enough to accommodate their needs?

Advances in technology mean that Millennials needs vastly differ from previous generations. They require a distinct managerial style and culture in order to thrive. They want to be part of an exciting and creative work culture in an evolving environment where fresh ideas are supported and encouraged.

With Millennials placing a greater emphasis on their personal needs and values, companies need to address that offering purely a financial reward is not as important as a good work-life balance. This generation also has particular expectations when it comes to career development and learning. Despite sometimes being labelled as easily bored and impatient, they are extremely ambitious, forward-thinking and innovative. One of their key expectations is to keep on learning. They are known to spend a high proportion of their time gaining new experiences and absorbing new information.

Millennials expect more engagement with their managers and have a strong desire for feedback and praise. As a result, they value and embrace the opportunity to work with coaches and mentors. Research shows that while they respond well to mentoring by older or more experienced employees, most would like to see their boss as more of a coach, who supports them in their personal development. They generally prefer to learn by doing, than by being told what to do.

This generation feels that rigid corporate structures, hierarchies and traditional outdated management styles fail to excite them. They constantly express that managers do not understand them which can leave them frustrated, anxious and disconnected in the workplace. If they are not happy and feel that the organisation’s values are not aligned to their own, they will look to leave.

Millennials are forward-thinking, innovative, have a ‘can-do’ attitude, are highly ambitious and as a result they ultimately want to make an impact. They will thrive in an environment where they can be challenged and are encouraged to learn and grow. They are motivated by feedback and praise. It has always been noted that different generations require different styles of management. However, for a millennial audience a coaching management style seems to be far more effective.

Below are a few tips on how to effectively manage Millennials:

  • Provide very regular one-to-one feedback. Early and often is the key. Consider brainstorming and additional session in between projects rather than waiting until the end phase.
  • Look to give them regular praise, either individually or in a team environment. This meets their need to always be learning and growing and also motivates them by giving them a sense of progress.
  • Take notice of their efforts and provide encouragement. You can do this by sharing your own failures, struggles and victories. This shows them that the path to success is not always smooth and can make you appear more approachable.
  • Have a flexible approach, set targets and deadlines but allow them to have the flexibility they desire. Whether they want to work from a coffee shop or home.
  • Be a good listener, foster open communication and ask about their interests and hobbies outside of work. This encourages a good rapport and builds trust.
  • Encourage reverse-mentoring. Some organisations have used this as an effective tool where senior management and a younger employee have been paired so that they can both learn from each another to complement their different styles of working.
  • Explain the companies vision. Make them feel as part of the bigger picture. They feel motivated if they know their work matters and that they are a part of something larger.

In summary, coaching support can help bridge the gap between generations at work and also fulfill the desire for the ongoing personal development that Millennial’s desire. Coaching can go a long way to reduce the anxiety, frustration and the impatience that Millennial’s encounter. It is not just Millennials that can benefit from coaching, but managers can also develop their leadership and mentoring skills so that they can attract, develop and retain Millennials in their workplace.

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/neelam-kaul-62a55b28
Web: www.stressedinthecity.com

It’s all fun and games until you wake up with burnout.

It’s all fun and games until you wake up with burnout.

You know those times when you’re so excited to start a new job? Or a new routine?  Or a new goal? 

How exhilarated you feel?  

It’s as if you are staring into a barrel of opportunity.  You could even say you feel giddy. 

It feels AMAZING. I’m not going to lie, I personally love that feeling. 

Those mornings when you wake up and you bounce out of bed ready and raring for the day. The focus you have, the clarity that urges you closer to your desired goal. 

This all stems from the adrenaline that is coursing through your veins. This adrenaline comes from excitement and possibilities. 

Fun fact; adrenaline isn’t always a bad thing. There are distinct benefits to having adrenaline. For instance, increased energy, increased mental clarity, increased focus, increased productivity. 

It actually sounds pretty fantastic. What goes wrong? 

You know that excitement you felt at the start of your goal, project, target, year or whatever it may be that got your adrenaline pumping? 

Yeah, that feeling. That feeling is the first sign of burnout. 

Seriously, the first sign of burnout is excitement. Who knew? 

Now, let me put this into context. 

A lot of people get excited about new goals, new jobs or simply a new routine. However, after a while, their bodies start to slow down. Maybe there is a little inner voice saying “I know we’ve achieved a lot over the past few weeks and months, but it’s time for a break”. 

Some people will listen to that voice. Take an adequate amount of rest. 

Then there are the people who choose to ignore that voice. They’ve seen the success they have achieved from working that long and that hard. It becomes an addiction. They can’t possibly see any other way to live. 

They force those longs hours. The 12-16 hour days stop being pleasurable. They become a necessity to ensure they are achieving their goals. The idea of cutting back starts that inner voice of “what if”. 

They keep searching for that adrenaline that made them feel invincible. 

However, alas, it’s rarely found and if they do find it, it doesn’t last long. 

One of the most common statements I hear is “but I thrive off stress” or “stress is what keeps me going”.  This is essentially not a lie. However, what a lot of people don’t recognise is that that stress is only useful for the short term.  Over a prolonged period in time, it turns into burnout. 

Burnout can sneak up on you. It doesn’t follow a strict pattern. 

Some people can remain in that moment of excitement or stress without suffering straight away. 

For others, they develop signs and symptoms within a few weeks.

However, at the end of the day, many people end up heading down the slippery slope to burnout. 

What do you need to look out for? 

Here is a small list for you keep an eye out for: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues (IBS, allergies, intolerances) 
  • Aches and pains 
  • Lack of focus and concentration 
  • Decreased immunity
  • Demotivation 
  • Anxiety (YES, you read that right! Anxiety) 
  • Anger
  • Frustration 
  • Apathy

Notice that the signs and symptoms of burnout are the exact opposite of how it started? 

That adrenaline has made its mark on your output, is now reversing the positive effects. What started off being your fuel has ended up running your “gas tank” empty. 

 Now, let’s take that metaphor a little further. 

When you first start working towards your goal your gas tank is full. 

Over time your gas tank goes down. However, when our cars run low on gas we go and fill it up.

Why do we treat our bodies differently? 

For a lot of people, they push their bodies to the extreme until they wake up with burnout. 

They can’t move, they’re so fatigued that the simple thought of getting out of bed is too much. 

This is something I have consistently been seeing since working in my field.  

People are being signed off from work. 

People are being forced to change their lifestyle. 

Companies are losing amazing employees. 

The medical system is being inundated with people who are suffering from burnout. 

The issue here is it does not have to be like that. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 

You can still be striving forward, being productive and achieving goals without succumbing to burnout. 

Companies and individuals need to start looking at the way they work. Making small lifestyle choices now to prevent burnout is much more efficient than overcoming burnout. 

Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-maycock-901a6430

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/katie.maycock

Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable – stretching your internal barriers to achieve success

Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable – stretching your internal barriers to achieve success

“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

Dale Carnegie

I recently spoke to a client who was uncomfortable about asking for a monetary value for the work they do. They find money to be an awkward topic, an area of their lives which causes some stress and tension. By talking them through the approach they could take, how to position the messaging and what the resulting outcome would be if the other party said no, we started to prepare them to take action. Once we discussed the options, potential outcomes, how they’d feel in various conditions, they were ready to take the plunge.

The point between fear and doing something is small yet the fear we feel, the nerves, the debilitation, the worry and the rejection stops us from taking the plunge. “Feel the fear and do it anyway” said Susan Jeffers. When we have stretched, when we have overcome what we fear, a new us is created, who we are has stretched and we become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

Henry Ford

I remember in the early days of my corporate life, I spoke very little in meetings, then when someone else said what I was thinking or wanted to say, I felt gutted, I felt like it was not fair. In such situations, logical thinking would say that the power and the choice was with me, I could choose whether or not to speak.

After some time, I overcome this challenge, I started to speak, I started to lead and facilitate meetings, now I have a lot to say, perhaps I over talk, yes there needs to be a balance. My point here is that, until we take the plunge, until we get comfortable to then achieve something, we will not overcome our own internal and external barriers. Why don’t we get out of our own way and proactively do something about it…

Here are some things you can do to prepare you for those things which you know you want to overcome, those conversations you want to have or those steps you need to take:

  1. Clarity: be clear about what you want. The greater the clarity you have, the more you can prepare yourself.
  2. Why: Simon Sinek talks about what’s your “why”. Understand and know the reasons and motivations to do this, why do you want to overcome, why do you want to take this step. Another element of the why is to ask yourself why you are afraid, what is causing you to stop yourself to achieve your dreams – this can be anything, once we know and understand, we can be true to ourselves and our fears.
  3. Structure: plan and structure what you want to say or do. For example, it is a difficult conversation, how would you want it to flow? If it is to speak up in meetings, know how you will do this?
  4. Practice: practice what you will say and do. What tone will you use when speaking, how will you position your body language? Ask a friend or someone you trust to help you prepare, you can do role-plays where the scenarios go in different directions – this is where a coach can be really effective and useful.
  5. Visualize: we mustn’t under estimate the value of visualization, research has shown that the brain believes something is actually happening when we visualise. Use this technique to imagine, feel and experience how you want the event to go.
  6. Enjoy the experience: once you have overcome this barrier and taken the steps, once you have delivered what you wanted to, reflect on it and commend your efforts and commitment. No matter what the results, you went out of your comfort zone and overcame a fear.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

Monica is the CEO and Founder of Our Stillness and Firefly Today. She is a change agent having worked across many projects and industries.

Open Versus Bespoke / In-house Management and Leadership Programmes

Open Versus Bespoke / In-house Management and Leadership Programmes

What is the difference between open accredited/unaccredited management and leadership programmes versus closed bespoke in-house accredited/unaccredited management and leadership programmes?

It’s an absolute minefield…what is the correct option for myself or for my managers when it comes to management and leadership development?

So let’s take each option in turn…


The benefits of an open-accredited programme means that you will be mixing with other like-minded delegates from different organisations and other sectors which is critical if you want to understand how other managers and leaders manage and lead their teams in their respective sectors.

Another advantage is that you can develop your managers on an ongoing basis and send them individually on programmes.

The power of networking should never be underestimated where the cross pollination of knowledge is fundamental if you want to understand how the world of leadership and management works across the wider economic/business environment.

Having the opportunity to work with like-minded people from other organisations is brilliant to observe because when there is just you from your company – you can really be yourself…the authenticity in you should never be underestimated…!


This is where the programme is tailored according to your exact needs regarding programme content/length/delivery strategy linked into performance change through developing positive management/leadership behaviours which then drive enhanced performance thus delivering a positive return on investment or return on expectation on the programme.

If you need consistency across the whole of the management and leadership populace in the company then these programmes will achieve that.

The networking aspects of these programmes is amazing if delegates are coming from different company sites and if it is delivered as a residential.

The benefits of accreditation are that they apply rigor to the learning process as delegates have to use the knowledge, skills and tools which we give them on the programme back in the workplace before they can complete their assignments post course.

The downside is that not everyone has the time to complete the assignments because of busy work/personal lives…

Pin It on Pinterest