The first – and unexpected – step to getting work you love

It’s mid-January and you’ve been back at work for a few weeks. Nothing’s changed – and not in a good way. You might be feeling bored, frustrated, purposelessness, even angry. You’re thinking: “There’s got to be a better career for me.”

Rita Ora’s lyrics: “…Just take me anywhere, take me anywhere, anywhere away with you…” are tempting, but escaping isn’t really feasible.

The good news is that you can have a new and fulfilling career. Others have, so this is possible! (Read their stories.)


At this stage, it’s normal for most people to feel stuck and not know where to start – I hear this from many of my clients.

The first step to getting work you love is to be clearer about who you are. Only then can you start to think about what new career would be right for you.

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Tired of being comfortable? Try this.

Every now and then I listen to cheesy tongue-in-cheek 80s music. What follows are loads of exuberant arm movements. I love it. Puts a smile on my face. Takes me back to care-free days of my youth. It’s easy. And it’s comfortable.

Ah, comfortable.

It’s human to stay in whatever makes us feel comfortable, whatever keeps us safe. We learn to live with the niggles that often surround the comfortable.

We could be talking about little niggles like the toothpaste tube being squeezed from the wrong end. We could also be talking about more significant niggles like not being fulfilled at work and telling ourselves that “the money’s ok, plus I’d not get anything better”.

So, we stay in our comfortable.

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Lead better with resonant leadership 2

Uncharacteristically, this blogs starts with some (necessary) admin.

Firstly, this blog is part two – part one is Lead better with resonant leadership – and I recommend reading that blog before this one.

Secondly, normally my blogs are a combination of my thoughts, stuff I see, read or hear – but this blog unashamedly champions specific content from an amazing book on leadership.

So read on – it’s likely you’ll take something from this that’ll help develop your leadership.

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Lead better with resonant leadership

A few years back I had a slave-driver of a boss. Regardless of how hard we worked, what we did or didn’t do, it was never good enough. She openly didn’t care about pushing her team into overwhelm. People were constantly exhausted. Self-confidence, positivity and hope for the future was being sucked from us. There were tears nearly every day. And resignations. Then recruiting new lambs for the slaughter. These were not happy days. And no, I didn’t stay long.

More recently, another boss bullied and steamrolled the team. It had to be his way or the highway. He always new best. His style was very hierarchical, looking down to us. He talked about our colleagues behind their backs – making us wonder what he was saying about us behind ours. It didn’t feel safe working on his team. We didn’t trust him. We certainly were too scared to be open with him. This impacted the team’s performance, reducing the potential for improvements, creativity and innovation.

You experienced leadership styles like this?

These are two examples of what’s called dissonant leadership. Let me explain.


Looking in the dictionary, and dissonance is defined as: “an inharmonious or harsh sound; discord; a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion; an unresolved, discordant chord or interval…”

So, dissonant leaders are often out of touch with the feelings of the people in the room, upsetting them, putting them off-balance and pushing them to perform badly. Sometimes they even drive people to frustration, even rage. Toxic or negative communication is often present, which can trigger a fight-or-flight reaction. Dissonance dispirits people, burns them out, drains them – think of the “Dementors” in the Harry Potter books.

You don’t want to have a dissonant leadership style now, do you?

Thought not.

No, rather have a resonant leadership style.

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Want to improve performance? You need to feel

Feeeeeeelllings. Emotions. Being all touchy-feely. Being sensitive. Being volatile. Having feelings… and dealing with feelings can be a little woo-woo, a bit Californian hippy shit, can’t it?

It’s commonplace in business for the expression of feelings to be deemed unprofessional. Even in agencies, having feelings is often discouraged (hmmm… possibly excluding the Christmas party).

But, the reality is that expressing feelings makes commercial sense (even in agencies).

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