Is your law of attraction magnet dull?

Photo By Angela Mabray, CC License

Photo By Angela Mabray, CC License

We know that we ‘get what we focus on’. We know that the ‘better it gets, the better it gets’. We know that ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’.

The thing is, we know the theory, but we do PRACTICE it? Or is our law of attraction magnet a little dusty and dull?

Here’s how to tell our magnet needs a bit of amplification:

  • Feeling stuck, trapped, bored, frustrated, overwhelmed, flat, worried, doubtful, struggling, dread, desperate.
  • Intermittent, unreliable results that raise your suspicions or increase your doubts – ‘is this too good to be true? Is this a once off?
  • Work feels like work and the bed magnet is dialled up to overdrive each morning.

We are no good to anyone when we are grim and grey. Our dreams and skills and talents are wilting, our purpose deflated, and our hearts a little shrivelled. Leadership presence is prickly, and relationships sour and insipid.

Decidedly unattractive, and definitely not magnetic.

I have a whole page of notes on why and how we get ourselves all bent out of shape and decidedly unmagnetic.  I’ll save these for my book, and gift you the prescription cure instead.

Here’s Dr Zoë’s Law of Attraction Magnet Amplifier Cure-All Intervention Prescription:

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3 Questions Holding You Back


© Loren Kerns, CC License, flickr

Without fail, leaders I work with struggle with their confidence from time to time. Even the most influential C-suite well-titled leaders have the occasional quiver of self-doubt.

And it always looks like a version of one or more of these three questions:

1. Am I good enough?

2. Do I know enough?

3. Am I worth it?

Let’s take a look at these suckers and see what’s going on.

1. Am I good enough?

This is about Ability.

This has a number of different causes, and we won’t go there. Likely something in our upbringing or early work career set us up for self-doubt. This is for our therapist/energy worker/healer to sort out.

Helpful reframe: EVERYONE has a first day on the job. Even Obama.

2. Do I know enough?

This is questioning Credibility.

A Vice Chancellor I work with said to me, “I wish I’d read these books before I wrote the about-to-be-published book chapter.”

Yup. There will always be something more to learn. Get over it – what we know got us here, where we’re going next will need new stuff.
Helpful reframe: Leaders are learners, suck it up.

3. Am I worth it?

This is questioning Market Value.

This leads to fear of asking for the sale, the promotion, the payrise.

Helpful reframe: we get what we ask for. 100% true. We will attract clients/opportunities/jobs that reflect our own internal barometer of what we feel we are worth.

So let’s try this instead:

Flip the first two words in the questions.

  • I am good enough.
  • I do know enough.
  • I am worth it.

Try it on for size! Like a new pair of jeans – it takes a little while before they feel comfortable.

The Performance Formula

CC License - Tom Kelly, Aerials Sprint US Freestyle Champions,

CC License – Tom Kelly, Aerials Sprint US Freestyle Champions,

Alisa Camplin was the 2002 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist for aerial skiing. What’s remarkable about the story is that she did not know how to ski when she decided she wanted to win gold in that sport.

How did a non-skiing Australian (aka land of sun, desert, and beaches) woman become the Olympic Champion in a sport that needs mountains and snow?!

I listened to Alisa tell her story at an event a few months ago and a couple of things stayed with me:

One needs to be closer to the extreme end of obsessive compulsive to see through years of rigorous training and nutritional discipline to achieve an Olympic Gold medal. You’ve got to want it. A lot. Like, really, A LOT.

However, there are some aspects of her story that fit neatly into taking an champion attitude and strategy to our own personal and professional goals.

It boils down to this:

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Reinvent The Hero In Leadership

Heroes-RandyRobertsonWe’ve all grown up with stories of Heroes – from the comic book characters of Superman, Spiderman, and WonderWoman through to fairy tales of the dashing prince saving the damsel in distress, through to religious icons like Jesus and Mohammad. The Hero story pervades our psyche.

Joseph Campbell writes extensively about the common pattern of the hero story across human cultures. It’s part of who we are, how we think about life and its challenges, and what it means to have a life of purpose.

But the hero has gotten a bad rap of late in leadership thinking.

The idea that there is one person – usually male – who can save the day, make things better, and bring hope to the world is rife. US Presidential candidate races are run on this premise – it’s all about the individual.

We idolise and make much of the person ‘out in front’: the army general, the CEO, the politician.

Why has this now been seen as a problem?

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3 Mistakes In Choosing Your Quest Word For This Year

What’s your Quest for this year? I love the beginning of a year as it has that sense of freshness, of embarking on new adventures and discoveries.

Adventure is one of my core values. It’s taken me up mountains, down many miles of wild rivers, across hemispheres and cultures, and through the darkest rabbit holes of my own psyche.

I bring adventure in to all aspects of my life and work. It’s not always ‘extreme’ like running a marathon or going back country skiing, but it is intentional and deliberate. It’s how I keep enjoying the ride, as well as ensuring there is a ride to be had!

Each year I choose a new ‘quest’ theme word to help frame the nature of my adventures. Last year’s word was “Joie de Vivre” – I wanted to savour all the moments of a busy and brilliant year. It helped to remind me of how to approach my day, my projects, and my reflection time. It’s not so much what you do, but how you do it. And I wanted a change from ‘hard’, ‘struggle’, and ‘tense’ that is my Achilles’ heel in the stress management department. “Joie de Vivre” helped remind me to say yes to fun, and no to crap – crap attitudes, crap decisions, and crap in general.

Choosing a quest word is rife with pitfalls, and I urge you to choose wisely as it will saturate and steer your life experience this year.

The obvious pitfall to list first is not to have a Quest word at all. This is like drifting through the year without a keel. You get taken – and dumped – by the current of events. So let’s take a look at the other challenges.

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Inspiration: The ‘I Believe’ Manifesto

The Clan is gathering

* The Clan is gathering

Simon Sinek in his remarkable TED Talk of 2009 said, “The aim of business is not to do business with those who want what you have, but the aim of business is to do business with those who believe what you believe.” And few people invest energy to interrogate what they believe, at their core, the WHY they do what they do.

And so, if you’re to be a member of this clan, the Inner Compass clan of exceptional leaders, I believe you need to know what I believe, and see if it lights your socks on fire like this manifesto does mine.

I believe:

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Are successful women less likeable?

UN Women - flickr

UN Women – flickr

In her book, “Lean In” COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg cites research that says that like-ability is positively correlated to men and success, and negatively for women.

Really? What the…?

Why are successful men deemed confident and inspiring and successful women intimidating and bossy?

Could this be one of the factors inhibiting women from taking on leadership positions? After all, being liked, being approved of, is a basic human driver. If it is true, what can we do about changing this paradigm?

I’ve been talking with aspiring women leaders and am surprised at how many cite this as an answer to “what’s getting in your way?”:

“I’m not sure I’m really a leader.”

This speaks volumes to the issues – know and unknown – that are holding women back from taking on leadership roles – and if they do, being liked for doing so.

We know the external blocks:

  • There are fewer women role models in visible national and international leadership roles, though this is slowly changing.
  • Those brave pioneers, having no role models, often relied on their male counterparts as a source of ‘how to lead’. This has resulted in many women leaders ‘leading like a man’. An unfeminine leader is a bit of a ‘freak’, repellent, and though admired, not very likeable. Think Margaret Thatcher – so unfeminine as to be labelled the ‘Iron Lady’. You don’t really want to cuddle up to that!
  • There is subconscious bias – in both men and women – towards seeing men as more competent. Sandberg quotes research done by the Harvard Business School. The study assigned a group of students to read a case study of real-life entrepreneur Heidi Roizen, a successful venture capitalist. They gave another group of students the exact same case study but changed the name to ‘Howard’ instead of ‘Heidi’. Polling the students with their impressions of Heidi and howard, the students rated Howard as a more appealing colleague. Heidi was seen as ‘selfish’ and ‘not the type of person you’d want to hire or work for.’ Exact same story, subconscious gender bias devalued the female leader.
  • Competing life roles – of wife, mother, friend – make the working woman an unattractive figure: pulled from pillar to post, constantly self-sacrificing, and tired. Very tired. Why step up for a leadership role if there is more of this, only double the pressure and twice the fear of failure?

And there are those dark secret thoughts:

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Business is about ‘Survivorship’ – agree?


Do you feel like you are just surviving?

I saw Mark Bouris (of Celebrity Apprentice and Wizard Home loan fame) speak recently at a Business Chicks event. He was athletic, sharp, and charismatic according to one twitter post (read: handsome). What could a man who has rubbed shoulders with Kerry Packer – and done multi-million dollar deals with him – have to teach me about business and leadership? As it turns out – not what I expected.

Mark is a gritty Aussie, prone to swearing, and strong on his opinions. That’s fine – I like passionate viewpoints.

Here’s a little of what he had to say:

“Kerry Packer challenged me to prove I had the ticker [heart], the ‘fight’ to go all the way, even when the chips were down. To never give up. To persevere.”

Cue image of bulldog, whipped and bloodied, bone wrested from enemy and gnawed clean.

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Money mojo business success story – case study

Introducing Danielle Butler, owner and founder of Medical Uniforms NZ, movie script writer, consultant for cloud technology systems, wife and mother, and the only female baseball umpire in NZ (and possibly elsewhere!)

daniellebutler2Danielle and I met a Flying Solo conference a few years ago and she has since become a Private Coaching Client. She recently completed a V.I.P. Coaching Day. Below is an interview with the amazing, bodacious, fabulous lady.

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