Claudia's Blog

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

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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Monday thought #17: "How to deal with "negative" or "bad" emotions, what most people do instead - and why my suggestion is only for the courageous ones"

Claudia Hesse, The Better Workplace
Monday thought #17: "How to deal with "negative" or "bad" emotions, what most people do instead - and why my suggestion is only for the courageous ones"
22:34
 

Are you ready to take charge?

Are you prepared to walk into some discomfort?

There is a reason I ask those questions - because if you're not - this podcast is not for you.

Admittedly we all cringe when being confronted with what most of us would call "negative" or "bad" emotions. 

Many of us rather pull our fingernails out than talk or even deal with that kind of stuff. 

I get it - it's uncomfortable, it might even create some fear ("how the heck do I deal with it anyway?"), but quite honestly - I've experienced that the whole topic is much easier to deal with than I thought years ago. 

And still, many people don't know the HOW and just want them to go away. 

Pushing them away comes with a price though. 

AND there are convincing reasons why all of us better talk about this topic. To be precise - in this podcast, you'll learn about 6 of them - pretty sure there are even more. 

So, here's what I'm talking about:

1. The 6 reasons WHY it's so...

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Monday thought #16: The ONE thing that everybody wants....

Claudia Hesse, The Better Workplace
Monday thought #16: The ONE thing that everybody wants....
14:56
 

….is….to feel good.

 Huh?

 "That is not rocket science, Claudia...I really expected something more spectacular!" - you might think.

You're right - it isn't. 

The thing is - good can mean many different things for different people.

AND - many don't. Feel good that is (reason enough to talk about it!)

At least not when they are honest with themselves and don't put the social media or "professional" mask on.

Because they're waiting for the next thing to happen to ALLOW themselves to feel good.

 The infamous.....

If/when I do/achieve/have ……I will feel great/happy/good/successful….(fill in the blanks).

Tricky though. Cause it might not happen.

IF it comes though... the money, the career, the lover…they can all trigger us feeling great. Nothing wrong with that.

BUT today I have a different suggestion.

Listen in to this week's podcast to my pondering of:

1. What "good" means for different people
2. Why the circumstances or other...

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Monday thought #15: My 3 Words for 2022

direction monday thoughts Jan 10, 2022
Claudia Hesse, The Better Workplace
Monday thought #15: My 3 Words for 2022
12:13
 

Those who know me a bit longer know that during the last years I've always chosen one or some words each year.

 

Words for what is important for me in life (and work) - and to focus on them throughout the year.

 

It does not replace setting (external) goals - it rather complements it. 

 

This year I chose 3 words.

 

Contrary to last year - where I only came to define them in February - this year they bubbled up fairly easily. I tried them on, rolled them over in my head and heart and waited for them to resonate.

 

They did. 

 

In this podcast series you'll hear

 

  • WHY defining a (or more) word(s) for the year make sense for everybody
  • What these words have to do with your external goals
  • What my words are (and why I chose them)

 

What I forgot to mention (despite announcing it during the podcast...) is how I make sure I won't forget these words throughout the year - so they don't meet the same fate as most NY's resolutions ;-)....as...

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I promise I won't send you daily mails - I might offer you great stuff from time to time though. Of course I'm biased ;-).

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