THE QUESTION EVERY WOMAN LEADER ASKS

Am I good enough

I had coffee with a friend the other day and we were talking about his job. He was about to go on a leadership retreat and his team had contributed 360° input to this. I asked him what he thought they’d say about him. His response was that they’d say that ‘I am a visionary leader who always produces work of an excellent standard, that I have incredible energy and great communication skills. And that I am basically amazing at my job.’ Continue reading

A TRIBUTE: COURAGEOUS TO THE CORE

maya angelouThis week we lost an inspiration.

In the death of Maya Angelou we lost so much.

We lost a woman who used her voice for speak for those without a voice. We lost a woman who was incredibly wise and yet spoke with simple clarity. We lost a woman who experienced pain and knew how to overcome it.

But more than all that we lost a woman who to the very core of her being epitomized courage.

Maya Angelou once said that Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.Continue reading

I DON’T KNOW WHO MY REAL FRIENDS ARE

real-friends

The words hung in the air. They hung there refusing to go away.

My friend, Lauren, had been through a tough time and had felt that some of her friends who should have been there for her hadn’t. It was difficult to know what to say to make life better.

What do you say to someone who is really hurting, who has been badly let down and feels isolated and alone? When someone utters the words ‘I don’t know who my real friends are’ they are letting you into a deep part of their soul.

Lauren’s words that day have refused to leave me. They almost haunt me. They haunt me because they make me wonder what being a ‘real friend’ means. Continue reading

BE GOOD, BE KIND, TRY YOUR BEST

Anita_Roddick_450

I love being a woman, I always have.  Ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved the fact that I’m female.  I was fortunate to be born into a family that celebrated women and believed that women could do anything.  This was just as well because early in my childhood my mum discovered that she was going to have to do just that – anything and everything.

My mum is one of my heroes.  She’s a straight talking East Londoner who calls a ‘spade a spade’.  She’s comfortable with having an opinion, finding the right words to express herself and is comfortable if you don’t agree with her.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised how amazingly freeing this ‘life lesson’ was. I’ve found that knowing that you have the right to an opinion is a powerful tool to yield in life. Continue reading

women-today

IS ‘HAVING IT ALL’ A LONG LOST DREAM?

There has been a lot of discussion in the Blogsphere recently about ‘having it all’ following an article in Atlantic magazine from Anne-Marie Slaughter about her job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department.  I’ve followed these discussions with great interest as I’ve secretly questioned the basic premise behind ‘having it all’ and whether it’s even a possibility.

For many ‘having it all’ means effortlessly juggling work, family, friends and a social life perfectly while feeling equally fulfilled in every role.  Maybe you can get close to ‘having it all’ if you’ve got a job where you get paid the earth for doing not much and can actually pay other people to clean your house, run your errands, do your shopping – AKA run your life for you.  But for the rest of us who get paid regular money for increasingly longer hours I think ‘having it all’ is, probably, fast becoming a long lost dream. Continue reading

hypocrite-1

“DON’T YOU DARE BE A HYPOCRITE…”

I was speaking to the leader of a church network recently and during our conversation he said: ‘I like you. You say you’re outward focused and you really are. Some people say they are outward focused but in reality they’re not!’

I’ve been musing on our conversation quite a bit since then. It’s obviously great that he likes me but that wasn’t what struck me. I was struck by his observation that many leaders were claiming to be something they are not. Continue reading

Dollars funnel.

RICH & FAMOUS FOR JESUS?

I meet loads of people who are passionate about finding their place in the world. In fact lots of people I know are trying to work out where they fit and how they can do ‘something’ with their life that actually matters.

Many of us aspire to live a life that has purpose and meaning. I’ve heard so many times the phrase ‘God wants to do BIG things with your life’ which sometimes and somehow gets translated into ‘I’m going to make Jesus famous’ or ‘I’m going to be a rich and famous for him.’ And, increasingly it actually seems that being famous for Jesus is a valid ambition…

I’ve never been sure about this kind of teaching. I’ve never actually felt like God wants to do BIG things with me. I’ve just ‘followed the road in front of me’ and tried to do the best I can.  Clearly, some times I do better at this than others. Continue reading

choice1

CHOICE IS A LUXURY (HAITI #3)

I’ve discovered that people who live in comfort sometimes say the dumbest things because their comfort robs them of their ability to care.

I absolutely hate the phrase ‘compassion fatigue’ and I always have. And today I hate it with more passion than I ever have. It seems to me that ‘compassion fatigue’ is a phrase which gets used by comfortable people who live in comfortable places with comfortable lives. Compassion fatigue is by definition a luxury. Continue reading

photo

THE ROAD BETWEEN US (HAITI #2)

At times the gulf between rich and poor seems as big as an ocean… and then at other times it’s just the width of a road.  I took the photo above this post and the 18 feet between me and those tents felt like an ocean…

Welcome to Haiti read the sign at the airport. Once through customs and immigration we joined a bustling mass of people. It’d be easy to think that they were normal travellers but after listening to their conversations it turned out that pretty much everyone on the plane was here to see how they could help the Haitian people rebuild their country.  Realising that there is such a desire to help was inspiring. Continue reading

Smaller

IS THERE A CEILING TO HOPE? (HAITI #1)

A phrase I’ve heard a lot the past few months is ‘the church is God’s hope for the world’ – the next few days are going to prove if that is actually true.

I’m sitting on the plane and musing about what the next few days might bring. I’m en-route to Haiti to find a church we can work as part of the Spring Harvest offering. Seems a simple enough thing to do but it’s only now I’m on the plane that I’ve started to think about what we’re going to see, experience and feel when we’re in Haiti. Continue reading