Boy, does this come at exactly the right time #TWSS. As my last post of the year, it’s apropos that turning yourself upside down is about gaining the perspective you need to see things in a necessary and different way.
I recently got a strong dose of this while visiting our dear friend Hendre Coetzee (pronounced “Goodseeya”), who is a master business coach, facilitator/trainer, and pretty much the original most interesting man in the world (sorry Dos Equis, your bearded mascot’s got nothing on this guy.)
Hendre was helping Bryan (my partner in life and business @purematter) and I build our strategic plan for 2017. You see, 2016 was a tough year for us. We made the decision to restructure our agency in June, away from how we’d been operating for 15 years as a traditional marketing agency, into an employee-free consultancy working solely with our now-contractor-former-employees. In short… we went virtual.
Turns out it’s pretty taxing to unravel 15 years of business. #dude After exercising some heady creativity of our own, six months later, we are happier, stabilizing, and looking to 2017 with a shred of optimism that wasn’t there earlier in the year.
Hendre’s life experience, amongst other things, as a theologian, and as a peace negotiator working directly for Nelson Mandela in South Africa helping to improve race relations between young adults during Apartheid, has taught him a thing or 80,000 about perspective. The man drops wisdom bombs like Angelina Jolie drops husbands.
Something he taught me that day, was the power of framing situations in a way that separates your identity from your current obligations. What I mean by that is, for example, me saying that “I am the purematter brand” instantly puts all the crushing pressure on me that the business holds. As Hendre explained, “it’s like standing on a chair and limiting yourself to that one perspective, because you can’t step off the chair if it IS a part of you.” Seeing the world from a limited perspective certainly can’t be the best vantage point to exercise your full creative potential for positive problem solving.
A better way to approach it is to reframe the situation by saying “I HAVE the purematter brand”. It’s an asset that I possess, and I understand my obligation to it, but it doesn’t own ME. I am my own self, but am only responsible – not beholden – to what I have. This sure felt lighter to me, and allowed me to “step off the chair”, move it to the side where I could choose how to interact with it, and have so much more freedom to see the world from multiple vantage points. My capacity to solve challenges in a more creative and informed way grew to infinite possibility… simply by reframing my perspective.
Hendre turned me upside down.
As you reflect on this year, how will you see things in a new way?
I recommend using the chair to change the way you do it. #TWSS
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Feature photo by Darius Anton via Unsplash