The question I had to ask was, â€œwhat is your next challenge, you Ann-Marie, not the company?â€ The raw response: â€œWorking less hours on the work that kills meâ€¦â€ the work, I would call â€œdo-doâ€ work. (Moms and dog owners you know what I mean) Sometimes the work you love shifts. You get older, you take on responsibilities and wellâ€¦it is just another euphemism for a â€œdistractionâ€ as those heavy duty obligations take over. So what do you love? And how can you get more of it and play in your work? That theme -Â return on value and doing what you love - became a clear thread in our conversation.
Oh yeah, did I mention conversation? Yes, really listening, coming up with our own words that matter to what we long forÂ and want to create. Some of the women, even wondered what is a â€œhobbyâ€, anyway?Â Clearly, doing what you love leaves no timeâ€¦except playtime that matter to you. Miscellaneous, time-passing â€œpast-timesâ€ didnâ€™t work for these women. Read on about the key themes we honored in our conversationâ€¦conveningâ€¦connecting:
Many of us stayed until well into the night, Michelle Girasole of The Sassy Ladies, Karen Of Pinnacle Peformance, Elizabeth of Pan Zhai Chinese Antiques and I shut New Commons down at 11:00 pmâ€¦wow! Lots of conversation about work, people, kids, companies and well, China! Iâ€™ll post more as soon as I get the notes, but from memory this is what I took home:
- Growing to the next stage is more than an evolution -Â it is listening to what matters: being an â€œinstinct listenerâ€ and acting on it.
- How to make â€œworkâ€ work was about discipline and trust in the process, and creating the conditions, and place, for ownership for all. It is more than a â€œpiece of the financesâ€ but an ethos of accountability in the work.
- Being a â€œsocialist-capitalistâ€ -Â it isnâ€™t an â€œeither/orâ€, but anÂ â€and-bothâ€. Who the heck made these definitions as opposing? Ann-Marie showed how her focus on adding value and listening to her social consciousness lead to a more robust bottom line. And guess what, this isnâ€™t â€œcorporate philanthropyâ€ or â€œresponsibilityâ€. Her practice was honest, to paraphrase, â€œWhat do I care about? Let me and my company act on itâ€¦Why? Because it mattersâ€¦and guess what? I am still going to analyze my revenue, project goals out for the year and say no to potential customers that may not meet the companyâ€™s social values.â€
- A suggestion to Ann-Marieâ€™s challenge of trying toÂ work more â€œlifeâ€ into her life as aÂ business owner: how about just aspiring for one minute or one hour to do nothing. That is right, nothing! Cool.
Okay, I am a bit tired at 12:45am, but did I capture the essence? Did I tell you the fun we had?? Whew, If you were at the cafe, what else did I miss? Comment, tell us what you learned from the cafe, what were your a-ha moments, and what else are you going to take away and how will you apply it to your leader-ful practice?
- Read â€œWrite it down, make it happenâ€ by Henriette Anne Klauser and well, believe in it â€œgod damn itâ€.
- Listen to the virtual book tour and pod cast with Wendy Hanson of The Sassy Ladies and at 4:00 pm on Thursday, June 5 withÂ Jeanna and Eva,Â co-authorsÂ of the â€œMastering the Law of Attractionâ€ in the Chicken Soup for the Soul â€œLife Lessonsâ€ series. Do check it out.
- Aperion Institutesâ€™s Bekhah reminded us of the up coming Sustainable Living Fest 2008 on Saturday June 7 and 8th. If you are in RI youâ€™ve got to go!! Check it out here
Of course, thereâ€™sÂ lots more, so please add to this and tell me what you thought of Soul at Work with Ann-Marie!
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