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!
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.
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:
Everything about Pinky McKay is out there and pink!
As a parenting and lactation expert Pinky is a sought after presenter and has appeared on TV shows such as the Today Show, The Project, Sunday Sunrise, Insight, A Current Affair and Today Tonight.
In a world where common sense isn’t so common, Pinky McKay provides real-world, no-nonsense, parenting support and approaches with a blend of humour, sharp wit and wisdom not found anywhere else. She specializes in gentle parenting styles that honour mothers’ natural instincts to respond to their babies and empower a positive response from infants and toddlers.
From humble beginnings running a private practice in Melbourne, Pinky has now become the founder and CEO of a range of products for breastfeeding mums with her #1 product Boobie Bikkies proving a hit with new mums around Australia.
In this episode of UQTV as part of our 50 Leaders I Most Want to Interview series I dive into the creation of Boobie Bikkies and how Pinky has grown from a one on one business to a pink phenomenon.
Pinky’s books, resources and her free newsletter ‘Gentle Beginnings’ are available through her website www.pinkymckay.com.
Like anything she's done in life - the way Lisa Messenger tackles books is counter-intuitive to the status quo.
From a girl who confesses she did "veggie English" at school, the Founder and Editor of the magazine Renegade Collective (launched in March 2013), has now released two new books within six months - both heading to best seller lists, both on very different topics and both featuring her signature UQ (Uniqueness Quotient) contrarian approach.
Late last year I had the opportunity to bring Lisa to Newcastle and interview her for a second time right after releasing one of those books Daring and Disruptive and following her trip to Sir Richard Branson's private Island Necker where she sketched the chapters and outline for her next book released this week Life and Love.
Just as she was in our first interview, Lisa was cool, casual and candid, open to sharing her ideas, insights and spill all the goss on what it was like spending time hanging out with Sir Richard in his lounge room in board shorts.
This interview From Necker to Newcastle is the first in a series of interviews I will be conducting in 2015 with the 50 renegade and inspiring leaders I most want to interview. You can check out my top 50 list here.
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
I would recommend UQ Power to anyone that is seeking support, guidance and growth in their business. Catherine Miller, Human Resources Manager, Allightsykes