#89 - My secret program to save the world (and you)

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The world has changed and especially the world of work and business. Most techniques and habits we use today, were invented and perfected in slower times. The problem is… well… times are fast as hell now! But what does that mean exactly?

How fast times differ from slow times

There are a couple of key differences between our way of working now in fast times and the way we used to work before. I will summarize them in a couple of paragraphs to make it clear to you.

1-     More opportunities and threats

Our world is now more interconnected than ever before. With the fast pace of change, from left, right and centre we get opportunities and threats thrown at us. If we wanted to, we could work 24/7, trying to seize each opportunity and tackle every threat.

2-     Tasks are less delimited

With the digitalization and interconnection of the world, tasks now are not well-defined. It seems like there is always something that can be done in abetter or more creative way, whereas before, when you were done making a product, it was done. This means that the perfectionist inside of us tells us to keep going until the task at hand is finished. But of course, that task will never be perfectly finished if it isn’t delimited in a proper way.

3-     More requests through more channels

Now that everyone has access to the internet, requests can come in endlessly, by WhatsApp, by email, LinkedIn, SMS and not only through meetings. Especially since we have been working with the hybrid model.

4-     More work time & 24/7 connection

It used to be that people worked from nine to five. When you got home, you were finished and you could spend time with friends and family. Now, and especially since COVID, people struggle to set boundaries between their work life and their private life. People work more from home and often their structure disappears.

5-     Interconnected jobs

In slower times, jobs used to be simpler. You had a team to manage or you had one boss, to which you delivered your tasks and that was it. Now, all the jobs are interconnected between departments. You are co-dependent on your colleagues’ work and everything has to be communicated to multiple persons, which can cause delay, miscommunication, a looot of extra work and later on, frustration.


So even with all the automation available, even with AI’s like ChatGPT helping us out, we seem to be working harder than ever before. Why?

Why are we working harder than before… without meaningful impact?

Problems arise when you use "slow times" habits and techniques in these new, fast-changing times. You see, when we were growing up, all that was taught to us in school was this:

“When you deliver every request, control everything, finish the required work and don’t make mistakes, you are worthy.”

"If you pause while work isn't finished, if you don't do everything we ask, if you make mistakes, you suck! You're worthless." And that's reinforced at home with the disappointment of your parents.

And subconsciously, many of us have linked our core identity to these beliefs. People feel as failures if they cannot deliver what is expected of them. But when you look at the previous paragraphs, you can clearly see that doing everything that is expected, seizing every opportunity and tackling every threat simply isn’t possible anymore. But people still are conditioned to keep running until the work is done, so they do exactly that.

But what do they sacrifice in the process? What do you sacrifice in the process?

Burnouts have increased by 100% between 2020 and 2021. 44% of workers are in psychological distress. 19% of sick leaves are caused by psychological causes. People are less present with their friends and family, not only physically, but also mentally. People numb themselves with alcohol, social media or streaming platforms. People are losing their sense of purpose. People become less creative and motivated. So how do you stop this endless train of work and seize back the control over the life you want?

By applying the techniques, habits and conditionings of fast times

I used to be the CEO of an educational publishing company. When I got there, I was facing a lot of internal issues and declining profits. At first, I was overwhelmed by all the work and sacrificed a lot of important things to me, wanting to quit multiple times and almost burning out. But I was done with that, so I decided to implement new techniques to replace old redundant ones. Instead of looking for competitive advantage, I focused on increasing customer experience. Instead of being profit driven, I developed values and an amazing purpose. Instead of centralizing decisions to benefit from economies of scale, we increased empowerment to increase the speed in the organization.

At first, people were hesitant to adopt this new way of working, that’s why it is essential that a new organizational culture is created. And culture is the sum of habits within an organization.

I had to reprogram myself for the fast times & become more human again

Another thing I did, was to focus on the things that truly mattered. The things that were aligned with my values and the values of the organization. That means saying no to things, even if my conditioning told me that that was wrong. In order to focus and to go against my conditioning, to learn new skills, to say no, I had to have energy. That means managing your energy.

To manage your energy, you need to stop and pause from time to time but also to increase your awareness. If you're not aware that you're about to say yes (yet again), that you're stressed, that your old conditioning kicks in, you can't change it. Awareness gives you choice. The choice of continuing what you were about to do, or the choice to change it.

Managing energy can be different for everyone. For me, it’s doing my 10000 daily steps outside. But how do you even know when you need to stop? This is a muscle you have to practice. You can feel it in your body and in your mind. Your muscles start to tighten, you tend to overthink things and you’re simply not that productive or creative anymore.

With the new habits of focusing, being intentional, managing your energy, being aware and slowing down more often, I started to drastically increase my impact while working less than before. Then, my management team started to change, the whole organizational culture started to shift and we reached double digit growth, with zero burnouts and an absenteeism half of the national average.

When you reprogram yourself and start adopting these habits, you'll work less while accelerating your impact, you'll be more present for you and your loved ones and your organization will grow faster.

My program to change the world

Helping people adopt these new techniques for fast times is exactly what my passion is. I want to help you and your organization to have more impact, meaning and balance, while working less. Change can be difficult, but if you read this post and you know this is something you want to do, start to change yourself, because the best way to change other people, is to change yourself. If you want to change your organization, be part of the magic 25%.

Research shows that once 25% of a group adopt a new skill, technique or habit, the rest will follow. 25% is the tipping point. So are you in? Will you tip the balance in your organization? Will you lead in a more sustainable way?

And once 25% of organizations work this way, we reach another tipping point, one that will have a positive impact on our planet. Because those habits elevate the consciousness level of leaders and people. That's when you start acting in a more impactful and sustainable way which is exactly what our planet needs.

That's what I teach in "Leading authentically in digital times" at Solvay Brussels School. Do you want to join this course and help reach the tipping point?

This course is not for everyone, if you truly are ready to transform yourself and reach a positive energy balance in your life, then click the link in the show notes for more info!

I hope you have enjoyed this episode and that you will be part of the magic 25%! If your organization uses the new techniques, eventually 25% of the organizations will do as well and we’ll be on our way to a better planet!

Related links

Go to https://www.qileader.com/offers/transform-yourself if you're actually ready to transform and help us tip the balance towards a more meaningful world

Go to https://www.qileader.com/ for more resources

Go to https://www.qileader.com/events to start a 5-day challenge to slow down your life for more impact

More info

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