When we look at the landscape of society and business today, we see rapidly increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and disruption. It is important that we as human beings and as companies allow a space for fear and uncertainty in our lives, as they provide amazing opportunities for growth as leaders. Our natural instinct is to avoid or resist these feelings, or trying fix them immediately. However, if you dare to embrace the experience and to ask yourself – “What is the potential in this right now?” – you will often unlock amazing opportunities.
My own personal journey of resilience and helping others started in a similar situation when I was about 30 years old. I had a very successful career in the corporate world, but was suddenly let go. I had learned a lot about banking and IT but knew deep down inside me that I was not living my purpose. To avoid the feeling of discomfort resulted by being unemployed I pushed myself to the max physically. Like a lot of people in the corporate world I never took the time to stop and reflect on my situation – “Am I in the right job? Am I where I want to be? Or should I direct my energy and attention to something else?”.
I was fortunate enough to take a year off from work and travelled around the world. During this time I began practicing yoga and meditation, and learned how to listen to my body and my intuition. Through this I realized that my true passion was working with people, helping them grow both personally and professionally.
A few years later I was very close to pursuing my dream of establishing my own company with the purpose of inspiring other people to unleash their full potential. I had negotiated with a large international training company about licensing their concept for Europe and the day before attending a yoga retreat in France, the deal felt through. I found myself being totally lost and with a lot of fear about what my next step would be. During the retreat I was asked to help in the garden – collecting leaves from the ground. The first day I went out and did what I had always done – I focused on achievement and tried to collect as many leaves as possible. The same day I realized, though, that I could never finish the project. In that moment I decided to stop my old achievement oriented pattern and instead put my focus on being fully present. In exactly that moment all the insights that I needed to start my new business came flowing through. I decided the name of my company, invited a friend of mine to co-own the business, and developed a Resilience Model, that I have successfully implemented over the past 7 years in a number of global organizations. Through that experience I learned that instead of trying to force things to happen, simply paying attention in a relaxed yet alert way often opens up a powerful flow of creative inspiration.
Today I am deeply committed to supporting business leaders and high performing individuals to become more Resilient – the capacity to perform skillfully under high pressure and stress – with awareness of the situation as an opportunity to break through rather than break down. In our company we tap into the latest scientific research and decades of personal experience. We take the time to understand our clients’ needs and meet people where they are. The Resilience Model we use in our work is based on a holistic approach including Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit. Within these four areas we have developed 12 Elements of Change.
Most leaders today are under a lot of pressure so it’s important to approach our developmental growth in a way that feels exciting and not overwhelming. We help leaders to identify 2-3 areas where they really feel called to unleash their potential, to get clear on the changes that will have the most impact, and to really focus on making the changes sustainable. Our philosophy is “1 change at a time”. It is about finding that 1 change that has the greatest positive impact on a person’s development, and to make that sustainable. If you manage that you will automatically increase your capacity and awareness to change other important areas in either your professional or personal life.
At 1 change we also emphasize the importance of Serving Others as a way to nourish and sustain ourselves. I was visiting my Buddhist Lama (17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje) in Northern India and told him that I felt like I wasn’t practicing enough meditation, as I was working too much. He said, “Don’t worry. Just focus on Bodhicitta which is really about doing good things for other people on a daily basis, without expecting anything in return”. I have tried to live by that principle every day since then, which is now an integrated part of the company philosophy and how we deal with our clients.
In today’s society, resilience and capacity building are some of the most important qualities to develop if you want to be able to learn, grow, and sustain increased awareness and competence as a leader. To support you in your efforts, we have outlined Twelve Inspirational Resilience Tips.
Ole Hoyer (CEO & Founder 1 change)