Join Us!

From Courageous Success Growth

Join us for a unique opportunity to make a difference to people and the world of work.

We are recruiting experienced Developers & Facilitators

Courageous Success is a British company working internationally to transform the way the world develops people. Based at our UK Discovery Centre in the East Midlands countryside, our UK developers and facilitators work to transform people to be the best of themselves at work and facilitate teams to bring more realness and courage into their team cultures and behaviours, all to build business success. We have been identified as one of the top 7% high growth potential companies in the UK. The full time roles involve travelling across the country as well as flexible work arrangements from home and teamwork at The Discovery Centre. We are looking for special, unique, empathetic, ambitious and intuitive people who are experienced in coaching, business and learning and development who’d love to grab the chance to be part of a revolution to shake up the world’s approach to developing people at work.

You will have,

  • Experience of facilitating teams of people at all levels across business sectors.
  • A strong coaching approach to individuals and teams with the confidence to challenge.
  • A coaching qualification and be a skilled listener with a thorough understanding of business and the corporate world.
  • A strong moral compass with a genuine sense of purpose, wanting to make a positive difference to those that you meet.
  • Good attention to detail, tenacious and resilient with a strong work ethic and great intuition.
  • Strong IT skills (Microsoft suite). Good self-awareness & self-management skills.
  • A genuine, good and caring personality & a natural enjoyment of proactive independence and team work.
  • A strong belief in people with the ability to help them see the best in themselves.
  • A passion about people and a natural ability to connect with others at all levels.
  • A full driving licence and happy to travel away from home regularly.
  • An ability to unlearn what you have learnt from traditional L&D approaches, models, structures and theories.

You will gain,

  • A new role in a great working environment as part of an ambitious and really human team.
  • Quick responsibility and the tools to make a life changing difference to people and the world of work.
  • A competitive salary based upon experience.
  • 25 days’ annual holiday + bank holidays.
  • Potential opportunities for international travel.

    Please apply with your C.V. to Nikki Heyworth, Director of Development
    nikkiheyworth@courageoussuccess.com by Friday 16th March ‘18

Have You Got Your Emotional Support Peacock?!!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

‘Emotional support peacock’ turned away from United Airlines flight.  An eye catching headline this week!

A passenger was turned away from boarding a United Airlines flight with her “emotional support peacock” (called Dexter) over health and safety concerns this week.  It appears that ’emotional support animals’ have become a thing, United Airlines told the BBC that the number of support pet requests has risen by 75% in the past year.  Following this surge airlines have had to tighten the rules as the increase in animals poses a safety risk, and have now banned a number of animals including hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles and “non-household birds.” !!

There’s nothing wrong with loving our animals, but the idea of using an emotional crutch is interesting. Do we use them, and do we really need to?
We are all softies at heart, we know from our own research that 88% of us agree “I have times when I doubt myself”, our favourite (and more usual) external confidence strategy is recognition with 56% using it as a primary confidence builder, followed by control & planning (25%) and support from others (19%).

But over 90% of us don’t look within ourselves for the answers.

A study of 500 employees and 500 senior decision makers, previously reported in HR Magazine, found that 59% of workers would prefer a job at a company that provided them with regular recognition rather than one with a higher salary. Almost two-thirds (72%) of workers reported that motivation and morale would improve if managers thanked them more and noticed their good work.
Forbes has also reported that there is a $64 billion market for employee recognition.

 

Talk about relying on others to feel good!

 

 

 

Should we be replacing these recognition programmes with positive belief programmes? Helping employees find internal confidence strategies rather than relying on external strategies, crutches & peacocks.
Building confidence and self-belief from within means it’s in our control, it increases resilience, and is a strategy that can last.  We choose to manage ourselves that way.
Take control of your wellbeing!
The challenge is that for most of us, we have forgotten that the choice exists.  We don’t consciously manage our emotional reactions, we let our emotions impact negatively on others, and underneath it all, doubt ourselves.   We constantly give our power away, lack emotional strength and are not consciously aware of ourselves – and need to rely on our emotional peacock.
At Courageous Success we know that the best person that you can be is yourself, and if you choose to think more constructively and positively about situations, you will build inner strength, belief and resilience.
Our clients tell us that knowing who they really are – their true iAM Values – and using our mind tactics tools – impacts on their ability to manage their emotional response by 84%.Do you feel confident? Do you show and feel strength? Do you fully engage?
Keep your power by not letting what’s happening outside of you, wobble you.
Leave the past behind, don’t waste time and energy on what might have been, but look forward positively and take action.Imagine if we all brought this version of us to work every day?

Don’t rely on a peacock for your emotional support, positively support yourself:

  • Write down what makes you good at your job and keep them front of mind, using the positive energy to fuel your confidence.
  • At the end of each day, list three things that went really well because of you.
  • Don’t rely on knowledge and data totally to do your job, trust yourself too.
  • Recognise your strengths and play to them.
  • Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Believe in and see the best in others, and yourself.
Use your heart as your crutch, your kind actions, to support your self-esteem and know that the very best person you can be is yourself.

 

 

 

It’s Not All About You!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Developing, growing and ‘improving’ ourselves is important but it’s not all about you!

What is also important is what you think of other people, especially in your relationships at work. Thinking positively about others and building relationships and trust is important, it makes us feel connected and ourselves. Research shows there is also a clear link between putting you aside, building positive relationships with trust and business performance.

Paul J Zak has spent years researching this link and has found, (as reported in HBR): ’’Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.’’

His research has also found that when we start to trust someone, oxytocin is released in the brain. So called a ‘sociable’ chemical, it increases empathy, a useful trait when trying to work with others. It has an impact on motivation, energy and positive culture.

Instead of asking ourselves ‘how can I improve?’
Maybe we should ask ourselves: ‘how can I see the best in others, show people I like them and build trust?’

From our own research we know that 80% of our clients have a personal value around kindness, so building trust amongst co-workers should be easy? Experiments around the world have shown that humans are naturally inclined to trust others, but don’t always.

What stops us?

Our habitual ways of experiencing and processing information can really get in the way:
Malcom Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’, talks about how we ‘thin slice’ and make judgements and decisions on small amounts of data and experience. We filter the world based on our point of view – does it fit with my beliefs and values or not?  If the answer is not – we can dismiss it – making us judgemental of others stopping us being truly open.

Then there is how we communicate, now more often than not, by email. Without all of the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication, we can interpret the tone of emails differently to how they were intended and according to Psychology Today, we tend towards the negative.


”If the message is ambiguous, many people will automatically read the most negative emotions and intentions into it.”  

 

 

We also make inferences about people and their intentions when our emails don’t get a response.
Stress can inhibit that sociable chemical oxytocin, this explains why often when we are stressed we can avoid interaction with others.

So – how can we be more open to others and build trust?
  • Practise being open, remove your gates and guards, and let people in.
  • Be less defensive about your own ideas and opinions; ask others how to make them even better.
  • Share information about yourself. A google study found that managers who “express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being” outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.
  • Embrace difference.  Remember that we are all unique and others are not like you so stop expecting them to be!
  • Be curious, what can I learn from this situation or others’ ideas?
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things, maybe one per week e.g. listen to a different style of music, read a different source of news, broaden your experience.
  • Manage your emotional response and take accountability for your mood – don’t give your power away.

Be yourself.
The minute you are the heart-based, real you, you’ll automatically be less self-conscious and will naturally maximise your focus on others.

 

How’s Your Bulls**t Detector?

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Authentic leadership is often talked about as the holy grail and gold standard of being a successful leader or manager– but do we know what being an authentic leader is?

Googling the term ‘what is authentic leadership’ brings back 22 million results with lots of articles and debate from all over the world. This week the topic has been spotted featured as follows:

  • The Australian Financial Review reporting from their Bosses’ Summit that ‘Leadership has to be authentic, big bosses say’.
  • The author Monica Ali in a BBC article shared “the cult of authenticity is flourishing”, and explored what does it mean to be “authentic”?
  • Professor Rosie Campbell in her BBC radio programme described authenticity as the ”yardstick by which we now measure many things in our society.’’

Professor Campbell’s programme examined authenticity within politics and shared how Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn are seen as being authentic with Theresa May and Hilary Clinton being less so. Interesting!
Of course people in the public eye are subject to far more scrutiny than us ordinary folk, but how do we gauge if someone is being authentic or not?  Is it a rational response to someone or more of a sub-conscious emotional reaction?  I think we all get a feeling of whether someone is being authentic or not – we all have great in-built bulls**t detectors!
There are many definitions of what authenticity in management and leadership is. According to research featured in the Harvard Business Review, authentic leaders are ‘genuine and honest, admit errors and stay true to what they believe in.’

Do we need to be told what authenticity is?  It is as simple as knowing who we are at heart- our iAM Values – the real us – and then being that person wherever we are? Bringing who we are outside of work, into work.

The benefits of authenticity at work, reported by HBR, is significantly higher job satisfaction and engagement, greater happiness at work, stronger sense of community, more inspiration and lower job stress.   So it works.  We gravitate to, and tend to like people who are authentic.  We all want to work for and be with people we like.

Here are some tips for bringing the real you into work:

  • Be the same person at work as at home, you’ll feel and come across as more real and natural.
  • Don’t conform, we often think of work as having to be professional and formal. None of us have ‘professional’ written on our hearts!  Be informal and normal.
  • Bring friendship and care into your relationships at work.  Listen, with openness and approachability.
  • Be encouraging and build self-belief in others – always see the best.
  • If you need to have a difficult conversation, think about how you’d approach this out of work, with either friends or your kids, and then do the same with your team.
  • Admit mistakes and ask for help , and encourage this in others. Create a normal and real environment, where help can be given and mistakes made without it being seen as failure.
  • When you need to achieve something, think about how you might ask your best friend – and take that approach.

 

Enjoy it!
Love the connections and time together.

Small, wide-eyed animals at work!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

”…there is a small, wide-eyed animal within each of us that doesn’t understand why we keep kicking it.”
William Sieghart talking about his new book: The Poetry Pharmacy

If the animal inside you represents the joy of being you, your confident self, your wide-eyed innocence & excitement about the world, and you are regularly kicking it, what is the impact?

If you keep kicking, will the wide-eyed animal shrink, wither, be scared, vulnerable, disengage and hide from the world – become broken? Does this small animal represent your self-belief?

 

Are you in touch with the animal inside you?

Do you know how it’s feeling?

Do you nurture it, feed it and really look after it?

 

 

 

We have a courageous counter that we use with clients to measure how much you need us.  One of the questions looks at your relationship with yourself, how much do you know yourself, are you in-tune with yourself and do you have useful internal conversations? If you were to score how positive your relationship is with yourself, would your score be high or low?

There isn’t one human being that we’ve met that doesn’t give their inner animal a regular kick. 

Courageous Success global leadership research shows that 88% of leaders agree that: I have times when I doubt myself, 79% agree that they’d use words like worrier, doubter, overthinking and lacking confidence when describing themselves.  But over 90% of us don’t look within ourselves for the answers. 

Do we let our life journey keep our inner animal down?  Do we start conforming at an early age: to what’s required at school, higher education and work – becoming what we think we should be? During this journey, does our childlike enthusiasm and joy dim over time without us even realising? When did your inner animal feel the most alive? How does it feel now?  Want it back – healthy and alive?

You can reignite your inner wide-eyed animal.  Think about how you’d feel if: 

  • I invited you to pass the parcel, would you feel the anticipation of excitement?
  • What about that interview for your first dream job, imagine you could be there right now and it was tomorrow.
  • You had that first kiss with the love of your life.
  • The moment you first stepped off a plane into the warm summer sunshine.
  • You opened the envelope to see that great grade or they said yes.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s great about being me?
  • Do I love me for who I am?

Start to have those inner conversations, the ones you want to have with your kids, your nieces and nephews, your friends and work colleagues.

What’s this got to do with work? Well, you are the worker. You are not a transactional, logical, robotic machine, you are that excited child waiting for the parcel to be passed to you.

You are not a number or a colour or a profile, you are you, and if you nurture your inner, small, wide-eyed animal, you and all those around you will experience the best of you.  

Is Joy and Respect the Fuel for Your Working Life?

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

”Putting joy and respect at the centre of my work is the fuel that makes me happy. Financial success is the by-product.” Mary Portas UK retail expert.

In a recent newspaper magazine the UK retail expert talks about her new business philosophy and one that she states as ”a simple philosophy, and one that I wish I had discovered years ago.”   Having worked with Save The Children in revamping some of their shops into ‘Mary’s Living and Giving’ shops and raising £11m for the charity, Portas was inspired by the volunteers that worked for free in the shops: ”they had a sense of duty,..they would turn up every day, same time, and do their thing. It was gorgeous”.  This inspiration led her to completely re-brand her retail agency, ‘Portas’, to be more aligned with the culture of these shops, changing a company in ”the tough world of marketing and communications” with as she put it ”the traditional masculine business approach of profit, competition, you’re fired’, to a company based on a philosophy of giving, with a culture based on trust, respect, kindness and emotion, and she says, with great results.  

How?  By bringing heart into her business.

Another example: the CEO of the US company Vaynermedia, is so committed to creating a positive culture for his workforce that he has created the role of Chief Heart Officer – what a fantastic title!   Seen as the CEO’s 2nd in command, Claude Silver describes her job as ‘serving others and mentoring a workforce of 750’.  Talking to Forbes this month she says of her relationship with the workforce “I work for them they don’t work for me. I am here to be of service.”  
Employing a Chief Heart Officer is a major statement by a company of how they view their workforce – but we can all contribute to a great culture ourselves, every day, and generate one including joy, respect and compassion, all by bringing our hearts to work.

Here are some tips on bringing this to the workplace every day:

  • Question any old & formal processes, are they needed for real compliance or a legacy from the 1970’s that de humanise culture?
  • Remember that where you work is actually a group of human beings that service others in some way – all wanting do to their best.   
  • Most of us conform to what we find at work.  Be innovative and look at things as you would if it were your own company or life, and make positive changes.
  • Be yourself, not who you think you should be.  Work to drop any mask you wear at work, any self-consciousness and be the real you, humanising the workplace.
  • Have courage to speak up positively and make a difference via the decision makers.
  • As a leader or manager – connect regularly with your team, and show your human side; admit mistakes and show vulnerability.
  • Smile, enjoy what you are doing, and do it in a way that reflects the very best of what you are good at, and truly reflects you at heart.

Are Power Games Killing Your Relationships?

Business Growth Inspiration

This week my normal pattern of train commute has changed – I’ve been lucky enough to have early starts at my desk and take late morning trains – lovely! 

With later trains I’ve been joined by holiday travellers. Sat amongst this mix, what has shocked me is the dominance and power that one side of a couple can exude, and I’ve seen again and again, an underlying steaming anger.  What’s going on?
What is it about relationships that means we want to have power within them, and what stops us standing up for ourselves when others try to have power over us?

We see this in leadership personas all the time – dominance and submission. 
Not every business fosters this environment but many do. 
And it’s toxic. 
It destroys confidence, courageousness and engagement.  

 

There are many types of power and many potentially outdated theories around it.  An interesting one however is French and Raven (1959), and later Raven (1974), stating that there are six bases of social power:

 

Reward Power:  the ability to give rewards when others comply with your wishes.  This may not work from one setting to the next.  For example, an employee might laugh at a boss’s joke, but the boss’s neighbour might not.

Coercive Power:  the opposite of Reward Power.  It’s the ability to deliver punishments.  While coercion can be effective in the short-term, it creates resentment and individuals will try to end the relationship.

Referent Power:  where role models come into play.  Referent Power is when somebody wants to be like you.  They identify with you.  You are their reference model.  They find you attractive in some way and they model your behaviour or thinking. 

Legitimate Power:  power that comes from a position or role.  It’s positional authority.  For example, you “should” or “ought” to listen to your parents, or your boss.  The unique aspect of legitimate power is that it’s not about rational arguments — the power comes from the position or role. 

Expert Power: “knowledge is power”, where expertise or knowledge is the source. This is where credentials, awards, and know-how play a role.  You end up deferring to greater knowledge for the area of expertise, such as a doctor or mechanic.  It’s limited to the area of expertise. 

Informational Power: the most transitory type of power.  Once you give your information away, you lose the power, e.g. you share the secret, the power is gone.  It’s different from other forms of power because it’s grounded in what you know about the content of a specific situation. 

What types of power do you experience? 

  • How good is your self-awareness? 
  • Is there a fragile base to your need or habit of power? 
  • Are you damaging connections or people by using power? 
  • Do you depend on knowledge for power – and if so, what happens when you don’t have the answers?
  • Are you consciously looking at the impact of power within your workplace?  

At Courageous Success we talk about not giving your power away – we all have the ability to control our emotional response.  

So, what power games are you playing? 

I Don’t Fit! Get Me Out of Here!

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Fewer than 30% of organisations are able to find the right executive leaders, not only that, newly appointed executives take too long to adapt.
(McKinsey, recently shared in Harvard Business Review)

In the US, an astonishing 75% of employees report that their direct line manager is the worst part of their job (if you knew how much time in our 1:1 programmes is spent managing the boss, you’d be just as shocked!).  Another stat?  According to Leadership IQ, 46% of all new hires fail within 18 months.

 

This recruitment behaviour is costing business a fortune and all of us a huge amount of unnecessary work and hassle!

 

 

HBR’s article shares that despite the recruitment process accurately assessing a leaders’ skills and capabilities, the process forgets about cultural fit, and yet an essential element of effective leadership is the congruence between leaders’ values and those of the organisation, including the new leaders’ team.

Who is this person?  What do they feel in their heart?  What drives them fundamentally?

The starting point for understanding cultural fit is to understand your current team and business culture.   A humanised one is best.   People love to work with open, comfortable, authentic people – those who feel they can be themselves – their values – wherever they are.

Think about your home and who you live, your family, group of friends or roommates. Now picture your neighbours’ or friends’ homes.  The feel is different?  Yet the people there fit.  If I came to your home I’d experience a uniqueness.  I’d get a feel for the place.

Imagine if someone new entered and tried to join
– what kind of values would be a good fit?

 

Does the person need to be organised, structured, logical, or fun and carefree and happy with flow?  These questions are vital, and yet rarely asked at work.

 

In many blogs, I have quoted studies that show the positive impact of authenticity in the workplace – the greater employees’ feelings of authenticity, the greater their job satisfaction, engagement and performance.  When recruiting, how much is fit as important as ability and that proven track record?  During the recruitment process how much are you able to look beyond logic and behaviour and ask questions that show the person at heart, identify their values and therefore who they really are?  How much are you listening for the values of others at work?

Values bring realness.  They bring authenticity and trust.  They create connection and kinship.

How are you using realness through values to get a better fit?

It’s OK to be Normal!

Business From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

It was an ironic twist for Theresa May, the week after the ’17 UK general election, the Museum of Failures opened in Sweden and received global press attention.

Exhibiting such things as the Bic pen for women and coffee flavoured Coca Cola (yuk!), the museum has the strap line ”Learning is the only way to turn failure into success’’, showcasing failure and celebrating it as a key ingredient to innovation.  Speaking to the BBC the museum’s founder, Samuel West, said that many major brands were just not willing to contribute, showing just how difficult it can be to admit failure.  Has this now become a cultural norm?  From Facebook and Instagram showing only the ‘best’ of people’s lives, the airbrushing of imperfections in photos, to schools and colleges removing winners and losers from sporting events – all creating a new ‘perfect’ normal, where mistakes are seen as weaknesses to be hidden and never spoken about.

However there is change on the horizon, Samuel West, the founder, also talked about his teenage daughter taking the Museum of Failure stickers to school, where they were becoming popular and being adopted as badges to be worn with pride.  His daughters’ friends’ identifying that failure is normal, honest and human.

According to a Harvard Business Review study: ‘’When leaders are true to themselves and admit mistakes or failures it gives others permission to do the same, changing the norms of the workplace.’’  The benefits are reported as: significantly higher job satisfaction and engagement, greater happiness at work, stronger sense of community, more inspiration and lower job stress. The more people share of themselves with others, the better the workplace experience.  Spending less time and energy on self-monitoring freed up more time and energy for the task at hand.

In practice this means; not following the crowd, not being self-conscious and bringing the real you into work – being the same you in work as out of work.

Showing that you are human,

normal and vulnerable – like we all are. 

 

As Julie Hilton, our Head of iAM Global, said the same week: ”it’s time to let rip!”
Ways to humanise and normalise your workplace.
  • When was the last time that you openly admitted to a mistake?  Do your co-workers or team feel able to freely admit mistakes and ask for help?  Make the change so this honesty becomes normal.
  • Do you always try and present the perfect you?  Get over yourself – it’s a façade. Being authentic is accepting the real you – warts and all.  
  • Be honest about your weaknesses and view them as opportunities to look outside of yourself.  Find the strengths in others.
  • Stop seeking approval – be honest and say what you really think. Stop trying – just be.
  • Are you often judgemental about others? This can stop you valuing those around you.  Turn off your critical voice, really listen and be open to others.
  • Be led by your heart and not your mind, trust those hunches and go with your intuition. 
What will you put into the museum of failure?

Grow Your Mental Toughness

From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration

Research is revealing that your mental toughness — or “grit” — plays a more important role than anything else for achieving your goals in health, business, and life.

Research studies by Angela Duckworth (Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania) find that intelligence accounts for only 30% of your achievement — and that’s at the extreme upper end.  What makes a bigger impact than talent or intelligence is mental toughness.
How mentally tough are you? 
Most of us would say not very.  Why?  In our experience, we don’t control our thoughts and minds.  Not only that, we believe that we can’t. 
And so, our heads win and the negative beliefs that we hold about ourselves rule. We think that this is only us, that others are mentally tougher. 

Every one of us has the capability

for greater mental toughness. 

We just need to work on it.

 

 

The first step to building your mental toughness is easy, you have to know that you can. So many of us martyr and its often easier to do so.  Lacking grit becomes a habit. 
Mental toughness is mental resilience.  It’s adult, grown up.  It’s something we all have the power to exercise and build.  When you can control your mind to block out worry, anxiety, fear and self-doubt, you clear your consciousness to reveal a full capacity to focus and step into positivity.  In Barbara Fredrickson’s “broaden and build” theory, she shares that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind, which in turn allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life. So,  it’s a virtuous cycle, mental toughness allows positive emotions, which in turn builds mental toughness.A simple exercise to grow your mental toughness immediately…

  • Imagine you have a set of walls in your mind.  The walls are high, you can’t see over them and they fit any situation snuggly, nothing can leak back once you place a wall.
  • Now think about something you’d rather not think about.  It may be a person you are not keen on or a task or project on your list that is too overwhelming or you don’t want to do.  Perhaps it’s a situation that has triggered you and wound you up.
  • Now place a wall in front of it so that it is compartmentalised to one side in your mind.  
  • Leave it there, mentally know it’s behind the wall and you can carry on. 
  • The “I’m not going to think about that now” allows us to do exactly that.  You are now free to move forward irrespective of that situation, task or person.
Sounds simple?  Great do it.
In my experience only 5-10% of us are actually doing this.  The rest let their mood get affected and lose focus and concentration, reducing their grit and mental toughness.
A word from a happy customer
”You are absolutely brilliant – keep up the good work and continue helping others to have life changing moments!!”