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WORDS OF WISDOM FROM MARIANNE WILIAMSON

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Each year I take time out during this break to reflect on the year that was and to pen my Annual Gratitude Letter - in my 2015 letter I wrote how on New Year's Even 2014 I read Oprah Winfrey's book What I know for sure that had been loaned to me by a dear friend Tracy. The book truly set the tone for me for the coming year and little did I know at the time that I would round off 2015 with a bus trip to see Oprah live in Sydney on 12 December 2015 with 10 of my Leading Ladies clients and friends organised by the very same friend Tracy. 

What an exquisite way to top and tail the year!

The middle of 2015 was also a peak or highlight for me as I had the amazing experience of travelling with my great friend Mel to Sir Richard Branson's private island Necker. While there we were joined by none other than spiritual teacher of our time - Marianne Williamson.

My experience of and interactions with Marianne had a surprising and profound impact on me personally as well as on the way we now operate at UQ Power. In this week's episode of UQTV I will share some of the wonderful insights I gained from time with this amazing leader. I hope you find her wisdom to provide you with some tasty food for thought at this time of the year as well.

 


PS - If you want to get a glimpse of the power of this woman then check out this video of her speaking recently on women and religion at the Parliament of World's Religions in Salt Lake City Utah - I have some footage I took of her speaking on Necker however the Caribbean breeze and 100 flamingos in the background make for challenging audio, plus I wanted to experience her in person not through an iPhone ;-)

I look forward to being of service and sharing more with you all on the other side in 2016!

With respect
  
Heidi Alexandra JOY Pollard

Lessons from Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson

Alexandria Joy - Monday, November 02, 2015
At the start of the year I compiled a list of 50 leaders that I wanted to meet, interview and bring to you to share their insight, wisdom and energy.

Of course being an entrepreneur myself the #1 person on my list was none other than Sir Richard Branson. In early 2015 I was delighted to discover myself and my great friend Melissa Histon, Founder of The Sista Code, had been successful in being accepted to attend a Virgin Unite Leadership Gathering called "When bold minds and big thinkers come together" hosted by Business Chicks on Sir Richard's private island Necker. 

Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group, uniting people and ideas to create opportunities for a better world to shine a spotlight on unacceptable issues; to incubate disruptive collaborations and to empower entrepreneurs to change business by giving access to skills, support and capital.

Headed up by the super smart Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded souls together – to give us a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They're a tribe of explorers and a band of big thinkers and I couldn't think of a better group of people to travel to a leadership conference in the British Virgin Isles with!

From the moment I arrived on Necker until today I have felt a definite surge in energy, an expanded reality about what's possible and a new way to view workplace environments. In the spirit of service and sharing I bring you my learnings and insights from meeting and talking to none other than Sir Richard Branson. 



Who inspires you? Who would you like to most meet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Be bold, think big, serve the world

Love 

Heidi Alexandra Joy

UQTV - How to Become an Awesome Employee

Alexandria Joy - Monday, October 19, 2015

If you're on the hunt for a new position or you want to become an indispensable employee who shines, then you want to understand the key traits that managers and CEOs look for in star employees. 

Some of the key traits they might be looking for are these three H's:

  • Happy: No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Energy drainers can bring down their team with their drama, mood and poor attitude and it's no way to earn brownie points. Do a quick self assessment - do you find yourself smiling at work, relaxed and conversing with open body language or are you closed, frowning and frantic all the time?
  • Hungry: No I don't mean you are in the kitchen snacking all the time! As the old adage goes, time is money. Leaders want people who are driven and hungry, who chase the sale, make the deal and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Do you make the most of every second? Do you hustle in your job duties? 
  • Honest: As an employee, you will be entrusted with inside information that's going to move the company forward. A leader doesn't want to have to second guess if you are going to deliver the work they're paying for and that you're not playing hooky or entertaining the competition. In short don't lie on your resume. Don't lie in your interview. Don't lie after you're hired. Companies don't run well and culture get toxic and poisonous when they don't have honest, decent employees in them. 
So how do you go to the next level and get known as a batteries included, star employee? Follow these three tips in this week's episode of UQTV.

Mindful Leadership - Expert Interview with Charlotte Thaarup

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, July 05, 2015

As the world around us continues to change and increase in pace and complexity leaders can find themselves increasingly vulnerable to high pressure and stress. 

Which is why I'm delighted to bring this week's interviewee Charlotte Thaarup to the screens of UQTV. Charlotte is a clinical mindfulness consultant who facilitates mindfulness based workshops locally and abroad to help overwhelmed leaders and those on an inner journey to become more resourceful and calm.

I have the pleasure of co-facilitating many workshops with Charlotte as well as participating in one of her mindfulness retreats at the serene Zen Resort in Bali late last year. Charlotte not only practices what she preaches, she also is one of the most compassionate, non-judgemental leaders I have had the pleasure to work with. 

Earlier this year I compiled a list of 50 thought leaders I’d most like to interview through UQTV to inspire you to grow flourish and make the shift to lead in this new world of work. Charlotte is featured on that list as I believe she is a game changer for the new world of work. I hope you enjoy this third interview for our series of 50 Leaders I Most Want to Interview.

Tweet this: Mindful leadership is not a passing fad

For more information and resources on mindful leadership, mindfulness in the workplace and mindful eating visit Charlotte's website The Mindfulness Clinic.

Check out my list of 50 Leaders I Most Want to Interview here, I'm excited to say I hope to be marking the #1 leader off in about 1 weeks' time!

Remember if you want to change the world you have to #startwithU

Heidi Alexandra 

How to create a happy virus at work

Alexandria Joy - Monday, May 11, 2015
When it comes to the positivity or negativity of relationships at work, at home and at school, multiple studies have shown that mood is literally contagious. It’s not simply that happy people gravitate to each other and unhappy people congregate in the corner —the people adjacent to you can actually move your mood up or down.

This makes managing morale and protecting a positive company culture extremely important because one unhappy person can infect an entire team. On the flip side, a few satisfied, engaged, high-performance people placed strategically throughout an organization can spread happiness and produce even better results. As a leader or manager, investing in the architecture of your team or businesses social, communication and functional networks is critical to ensure optimum happiness and effectiveness.

Scott Crabtree understands this only too well. After spending 24 years climbing the ladder in the gaming and software industries, eventually leading a team at Intel, Scott observed that the happiest people were also the most productive. The difference was so striking to him that he retired and rebooted his career, founding Happy Brain Science to surface and share the scientific underpinnings of what makes people happy and how that makes them more effective at their jobs and in their lives.

"Happier people are more successful, more creative, energetic, resilient," says Crabtree. "They work better together. They absorb more information. They have more tools in their tool belt to help them handle whatever life throws them. They are healthier, they live longer—and they show up at work more often."

What science has proven and we also see played out time after time through our work at UQ Power is that happiness is not part of a person's genetic makeup, nor a product of circumstance. It’s a choice. We believe business is 100% a people game and that your experience of work begins with you.

Want to overcome adversity, change how you feel about going to work and create a happy virus in your workplace? Then watch this week's video to find out how.


Share the happiness, tweet this: At work today. Choose fun! #startwithU
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever started a happy virus? What one simple did you do to change your world? Share your story in the
comments below.
Remember to #startwithU

Big smile
Heidi Alexandra

Happiness Hacks to Help You Love Your Work

Alexandria Joy - Monday, April 27, 2015

Happiness is an elusive goal; everyone seems to want it, but by all the "shelf help" books out there my guess is that we are still searching for it. 

Sure it’s not easy to be happy most of the time and many of the solutions suggested in popular culture take a fair bit of effort and TIME, the one thing we all seem to be short of in modern society. 

For example a commonly cited one is to do more exercise. A study cited in the book: “The Happiness Advantage” also confirmed the importance of exercise on our happiness level. Basically, this study looks into three groups of depressed patients found that exercise had the biggest effect in reducing depression. 

Others suggest all you need to do is get more sleep. True we spend roughly one third of our lives sleeping, so you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep, in particular nanna naps. An interesting study in 2011 from BPS Research Digest showed how sleep affected our happiness, in particular that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitized to negative emotions and more responsive to positive ones. But who has time for a nanna nap and unless you work at Google is that acceptable behaviour in your workplace?

So what can you do if you're feeling a bit blue and you're time poor? Well you could ask Siri on your iPhone to tell you a knock knock joke (go on try it). Or you could just watch this 4 min video for my two happiness hacks that will have you faking it until you make it and get happy again in an instant:


What's your #1 tip for getting happy at work? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Don't worry, be happy.
Big smile
Heidi Alexandra 


Do You Have The Leadership BLT Factor

Alexandria Joy - Monday, March 02, 2015
The virtue of a man ought to be measured, not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his everyday conduct. Blaise Pascal

Business leaders and entrepreneurs with the BLT Factor have a distinct competitive edge over others. And as the quote above suggests, it's not that they are necessarily superior, nor achieve extraordinary things, but  that they instill great trust through the little things, and their every day actions and behaviours. 

You can have a compelling vision, focused strategy, excellent communication skills and a talented team, but if you don't have these three things that make up the BLT Factor yyou will always fall short of the results you want. 

What are the 3 key skills that make up the Leadership BLT Factor? Watch this four minute video to find out what they are and how you can apply them to your leadership toolkit:


Have you ever worked for a boss that lacked the BLT factor? How did this leave you feeling and what were the challenges it created in your workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Four Steps To Leading During A Downturn

Alexandria Joy - Monday, December 08, 2014

At UQ Power we imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled and as though they have had an opportunity to use their unique strengths. 

Sadly this is often not the case. During turbulent times and economic challenges, many organisations and their leaders hunker down and resort to container style management - restriction, rigid policies and procedures, cost cutting and endless accountability trails. 

I recently wrote an article about the ill effects of poor leadership that struck a nerve receiving around 55,000 views and 500 comments about how the quality of your manager is more important to your health than the quality of your doctor. In fact studies from Europe and the US are showing that when people say “my boss is killing me”, quite literally this could be the case. 

The challenge during these tough economic times, particularly here in Australia where businesses who are heavily reliant on the mining, manufacturing and industrial sector are feeling the pinch, is not to fall into this trap and instead continue to inspire and engage people to create a healthy, productive workforce.

So what is the opportunity inherent in the current crushing economic climate and mining downturn? One thing we are discovering through our work at UQ Power is more and more people committed to finding new ways to clarify what matters most, to respect people and their individuality and to experiment with new ways to do things. This change in focus creates what we call a four way win: improved performance at work, at home, in the community and for the self. 

Could the current downturn make it easier to experiment with new attitudes and serve as a catalyst for your own reinvention as a leader? Watch this week's episode of UQTV for four ways you can continue to lead during a downturn. 

 


Now it’s your turn. What opportunities or silver linings have you found during your toughest economic times? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER?

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, October 12, 2014

I truly believe there is a big difference between effectively managing and effectively leading. 

We've all had a manager that doesn't do a very good job of getting people excited about coming to work in fact, you wonder how they ended up managing people in the first place. Perhaps they were a great individual operator or a technical whiz and through a series of promotions, ended up managing people. Managing (or being a people manager) often has many tactical components. Setting goals, monitoring productivity, ensuring the right people are doing the right things. 

And then there is the leader. Here's few things I believe to be true when it comes to extraordinary leaders:

  • THEY HAVE PASSION - We all have desire within us to be, and do, something great, and when you find someone that is passionate, its easy to follow them.

  • ITS NOT ABOUT THE TITLE - A true leader stands out well before they have been called for leadership duty. Put them in any situation, and they will step up and lead without ever being asked, regardless of their title.

  • THEY ARE RESPECTED - Being respected and being popular are two totally different things. Being a leader is about making tough decisions and doing whats right. Leaders are role models to many and this comes with responsibilities. 
These are just a few of the qualities I've noticed in the leaders I admire. Beneath these are two critical foundations required to form rock solid relationships Watch this episode of UQTV to see how you can develop yourself in these two areas.



Now I’d love to hear from you. 
What characteristics or personal traits do you look for and admire in a leader? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Remember keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world and become a great leader worth following is to #startwithU.

Heidi Alexandra 
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THE POWER OF EYE CONTACT

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, September 14, 2014

Look inside your kitchen cabinet and odds are you have a collection of old friends gazing back at you — the Rice Bubbles cartoon characters, the Frosted Flakes tiger, the Honey Puffs bee, the Milo boy, the Sultana Bran sunshine face, you get the idea. The real reason they are there has more do with your subconscious craving for eye contact than the taste of the products.

A recent study published in the journal Environment and Behavior, researchers at Cornell University manipulated the gaze of the cartoon rabbit on Trix cereal boxes and found that adult subjects were more likely to choose Trix over competing brands if the rabbit was looking at them rather than away. The researchers also found that the eyes of characters on boxes of cereal marketed to kids were directed downward, to meet the upward gaze of children in grocery store aisles. (Yes check it out next time you walk through a supermarket - subliminal trickery).

“Making eye contact even with a character on a cereal box inspires powerful feelings of connection,” said one of the study's authors Professor Brian Wansink.

In other studies, researchers have also found that children and adults who avoid or are denied eye contact are more likely to suffer from depression and feelings of isolation as well as exhibit antisocial traits such as callousness. Rather than cause and effect, the hypothesis is that the relationship between less eye contact and psychological problems is circular and reinforcing. This is alarming in a society where people increasingly spend more time looking at their mobile devices than at one another.

In short eye contact makes us more socially aware and empathetic. It allows us to make sense of our relationships and social orientation. Moreover, research from as far back as the 1980s indicates that people who make eye contact are perceived as more likable and trustworthy. 

Still not convinced about how much your peepers mean to you sales, marketing and business relationships? Then check out this episode of UQTV where I will share two more reasons why eye contact adds impact.

Amazeballs right!

But wait - researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine last year also found that patients of doctors who made more eye contact had better health, adhered more to medical advice and were more likely to seek treatment for future problems. Not surprisingly, doctors who brought laptops into the examining room made less eye contact.

“Eye contact is a really good surrogate for where attention is and the level of accord building in a relationship,” said Enid Montague, a professor of engineering and medicine at Northwestern, who used video recordings of 100 patient visits to a primary care clinic for her analysis. “We found eye contact leads to significantly better patient outcomes.”

So eye contact with your doc can make you healthier too!

Tweet this: Eye contact increases your EQ

Tweet this: Patients of doctors who made eye contact are healthier

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your tips for building rapport and trust in relationships? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world is to #startwithu.

Thanks for watching

Heidi Alexandra 
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    Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
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