Claudia's Blog

Watch, Listen & Read - For Top Leaders Who Dare To Be Human & Real and Who Know That Leading Others Starts With Themselves

21 Ways How to Thrive in the Year-End-rush Instead of Only Surviving

In my last blog I wrote about the year-end-rush and the number one (rather counterintuitive ) tip of how to deal with it differently. What I wrote is still true - while talking to my clients though I realized that it supports even more to have a list of various hands-on ways or measures to pick from. Those that help in your individual situation. Which I guess is different from mine. And the one of the person next door. 

So - here we go - 21 ways. 

Let me know what works/worked best for you - just drop me a quick line at [email protected] - I always love to hear back from anyone reading my blog.

  1. Breathe – the cheapest and most effective form to calm your nervous system.
  2. Watch your self-talk – as your thoughts create your emotions. So be careful what you think.
  3. Know your needle movers – what tasks bring you closer to where you want to be?
  4. Prioritize – and start a WON’T do list.
  5. Recalibrate regularly and make space in the...
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I don't have time! (and an offer how to deal with the year end rush)

Hard to believe...we're only 8 weeks away from the end of the year! Probably a super busy time for you:

  • Projects to complete.
  • Budgets to spend.
  • Plans to be made for next year...let alone organizing Christmas and family visits. 

I know that most people will push learning/changing etc out to the beginning of the next year. And put their head down now and sprint through their extensive to-do lists, making sure everything's done, hardly ever looking up, arriving at Christmas exhausted, overdue for a break.

I used to do that A LOT.

It might look like there is no time for anything else - let alone CHANGE. 

I disagree. 

NOW is EXACTLY the time to hit the brakes, reflect and make some time to consciously decide who to be and what to do.

But HOW - you might say. The real world demands something else from me. That's an idealistic view and not possible. 

Again - that's what I thought for a long time. 

The truth: THERE IS NEVER A GOOD TIME TO CHANGE.

Because most of...

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What death taught me: Life goes on - if you agree to the progression or not

End of July, my furry companion of 13.5 years got sick and got so poorly that I had to let her go after 4 days. Having been with me almost 24/7 during all her life, she left a huge hole. 

Ten days later, I got a call from my mum informing me that my dad had passed. He still went out shopping in the morning, had lunch and did not wake up from his nap anymore. Despite having been in his 80's there were no signs of his death being imminent.

A few days later, I felt extremely exhausted and unwell and was down for days running a heavy fever and some other cold symptoms. I had (finally) caught Covid.

That all sounds like the start to a really bad movie, right?

And still, this is exactly what happened in my life during the last four weeks.

A real "test" of all the concepts and ideas I talk about, stand for and teach others. 

 The power of response & focus.

I had first reactions to both of my losses, of course. I was asking myself what I could have done better - did I...

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How to save hours and get better results as a leader

"The best way of saving lots of time is to drop the weekly reporting meetings and to move to daily & short standups. And then extend trust."

 

Something I said to one of the women I work with.

 

Let me take step back though.

 

One of the most important and rare resources of the leaders I work with is….time. And the biggest challenge: not having enough of it. And to be more relaxed. So here's a way of achieving both…while getting results. 

 

So - last week I spoke to one of my clients and we talked about the heat, how different people have different (daily) rhythms and preferences and how those could be accommodated. 

 

"So, if people come in early and leave early or the opposite…how do I then know that the work is really done?", she wondered. The not-so-uncommon desire to control what people doing. 

 

When I asked her how she normally checks that, she mentioned the typical weekly meeting where the direct reports...

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When it comes to self-care, boundaries are more important than bubble baths

A lot of people are talking about self-care at the moment. 

No wonder - the world has gone crazy in a lot of areas. Many things are getting more extreme - the middle ground seems to get smaller and smaller - and with prices rising and war around the corner many people worry a lot.

The antidote: self-care to not burn out and to make sure that you can be your best self. 

BUT - what IS self-care really?

A lot of advice goes in the direction of

  • Doing something for yourself - like a bubble bath or a hike in the mountains
  • Exercise to work through the stress
  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Take more time off

All good ideas.

Today I'd like to suggest something else. 

Something that goes deeper and has the potential to eliminate sources of stress.

Setting boundaries - a perfect way of self-care. 

That, of course, requires you to KNOW what you are available for and what not, how I tend to phrase it - I found that easier to answer than "what my boundaries are" - the result is the...

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Are you ready to take (radical) responsibility?

Last week a rather frustrated and utterly exhausted client was getting  exasperated about their "super difficult" situation: "I have to do all these things NOW as there is only a certain time window and on top of that I have to prepare a presentation - which came around the corner very short notice."

I cautiously asked: "What could you say no to?".

"Nothing," was the answer - "If I don't do it - nobody will. I can't possibly let anyone down."

Phew - no wonder did my client feel overwhelmed and even helpless. In other words - stuck - unable to change the situation nor the feeling.

Sounds familiar? The I-have-so-much-to-do-and-can't-do-anything-about-it-scenario?

With the same feelings coming along?  

Well, it was definitely VERY familiar to me years ago running my own business as a single mum.

Now the million-dollar question is; HOW the heck can you get out of that?

Well, the short answer is: TAKING RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY for your life.

The...

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Do You Really Know Where You're Going?

Do you really know where you're going? I did not for quite a long time.

I simply went through the motions.

And had no idea about what was really important to me. Except for the obvious: my family and my career.

The thing is: I had goals. And plans. Like I was taught to do.

 And often they did not work out. Which was really frustrating and deep inside I often felt like a failure.

It took me a long time until I figured out what was missing.

The underlying parts

Purpose.

Vision.

When I thought about those two levels my first impulse was…oh, no - not anything more to think about or to make my world more complicated.

I made an effort to make it simple...there are too many things in life too complicated already...so here we go.

PURPOSE

Lots of people talk about finding their purpose.

I prefer DEFINING mine.

I have not lost it, nor do I believe that some higher power hid that purpose, and it's my job to find it. What IS my job is to listen to my inner voice and truth that helps...

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Female Leadership Is Better. Not Only For (Most) Women.

Wow, what a statement! And is it even true?

Right – let’s clarify a few things upfront:

  1. I love and appreciate men. I enjoy working with them. I admire their wit, logic and clear-mindedness. And I don’t believe in a dividing line between men and women or masculine and feminine nor do I judge the one or the other as being “worse” or “better” (despite what the headline says ;-)).
  2. I believe in the social, economic and political equality of men and women. This is NOT what this article is about though. It’s not even about gender.

So what IS this article about?

In a way about my journey. As a leader AND woman.

How I arrived where I am now and the learning and epiphanies on the way.

How is this relevant for you?

  • If you’re a woman in business it is.
  • If you’re a woman in a leadership position even more.
  • And if – on top - you have kids, and you feel that you always have to be strong and you’re exhausted often, PLEASE...
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Monday thought #19: Why I don't worry - even in times which are anxiety-inducing

This week I had a phone call with my best friend in the US. We talked about the usual topics…kids, our own challenges and joys (like my new puppy) and finally about the currently biggest and most threatening topic: the war in Europe. 

At the end of the conversation she asked: "Are you worried?" (my definition of worry = a chain of negative thoughts about bad things that might happen in the future), and I answered: 

"No, I'm not."

Not because it's not threatening or my personal beliefs about if this will escalate or not. I feel for all the people suffering and I'm very sad that this can happen in this day and age. 

I'm not worried though because it does not help. 

Not me. 

Not anybody else in my life or among those who are directly affected. 

And it definitely does not change the situation. 

In fact, it makes my days worse if I do."

Am I indifferent to this awful situation? Or cold like a fish?

Neither. 

I used to worry a lot. 

...

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Monday thought #18: The Power of Daily Intention Setting

Claudia Hesse, The Better Workplace
Monday thought #18: The Power of Daily Intention Setting
15:52
 

Waking up in the morning and reaching for the phone is really easy. Even easier to quickly check the e-mails and being immediately sucked in by all the demand coming from right, left and center.

Or reading something that immediately could ruin my day.

Been there, done that.

I used to stumble into my days like that.

Of course I planned and (almost) always had my "to-do" lists and made an effort to work through them. Most days though it did not work out. Too many distractions, too many things to do anyway.

Leaving me exhausted and dissatisfied….mostly with myself.

The rare days where everything went smoothly were great but the exception.

So I asked myself the question: What if more days could be smoother, go in the direction I'd like them to go and feel great at the end of it?

The power of INTENTION SETTING

Some years ago then  - during one of the courses I attended - I heard about intention setting.

Yeah - great.... another tool (how many "productivity tools do you...

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