LPI Video Podcast: Dealing with Overwhelm
By Elaine Teo and Paul Genovese, December 2020
2020 has thrown so much at us. How can we cope better with the overwhelm?
We know it’s been an incredibly difficult time. That’s why our founder Elaine Teo and partner Paul Genovese decided to create this free video podcast “LPI Takes On Overwhelm” as a gift to you, to accompany you through the holiday season and close of 2020 and set you up for success as you face the new year.
We look at:
– WHAT OVERWHELM REALLY IS – a sense of losing control
– THE MAJOR SOURCES OF OVERWHELM facing people right now, including COVID, jobs, finances, childcare, lockdown, isolation, health, politics, etc
– *THE GOOD NEWS*: You have more control over your overwhelm than you think!
– Understanding the NATURE OF YOUR MIND
– HOW YOUR MIND CAN SABOTAGE YOU
– How to start “HACKING YOUR OVERWHELM CIRCUIT” and break the cycle
Join us as we share practical tips, quick, easy exercises, our own experiences of overcoming overwhelm and the priceless lessons we’ve learnt along the way.
You’ll emerge with renewed clarity, confidence, & optimism to face your own overwhelm, better-prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities of this turbulent time for you, your family, friends, and fellow workers.
View our podcast here: https://vimeo.com/590324676
Harvard Business Review on Work From Anywhere
By Paul Genovese, November 2020
I’m smiling at a recent Harvard Business Review cover titled “Our Work-from-Anywhere Future.”
When I started at Texaco in Denver in 1995, I wanted to work international oil/gas exploration projects from there. After all, I was working Oklahoma while not physically being in Oklahoma, why not international? “Nope, you have to be in Houston to work international.” Okay, well what about Gulf of Mexico? “Nope, you have to be in New Orleans.” What about Canada? “Nope, Calgary.” Etc. Etc.
Naturally, I understood the value of team collocation, but I couldn’t see any practical obstacle to being a geoscientist living where-you-want and working on what-you-want, so I took the leap. Next year I celebrate my 20th year working from my home in the wilds of Montana, having worked here on client projects on 5 continents as well as launching a number of oil&gas/tech startups.
My latest career branch finds me as a partner with Elaine Teo at Living Potential International (her world-class coaching, training, and life-skills consultancy). Elaine founded LPI 15 years ago and has served her international client base…also while working remotely from home.
As for “Our Work-from-Anywhere Future?” Be the future you wish for!
Watch my video showing the amazing place I work at! [Soundtrack credits: Elaine Teo playing Chopin Nocturne in E Flat Major] I heard back from Harvard Business School Professor Prithwiraj Choudhury: “Thanks so much Paul. Is it ok to upload the video on YouTube (giving you all due credit) and share on my social network accounts? I feel this is one of the best testimonials of my article, deeply touched.”
Harvard Business Review: Does Higher Education Still Prepare People for Jobs?
By Elaine Teo, 24 March 2019
In the light of the recent scandal in the US about parents buying places in elite universities for their children, this article by the Harvard Business Review has never been more relevant. Why? Because the equation doesn’t add up. Why would parents behave like this? Because they believe that an elite university place gives their children the best chance of making a successful living. But what if that’s not the whole truth? The truth is: a great college degree from a brand name can only get you so far. If parents don’t realise that their children need FAR more than just a great “paper degree” to truly succeed in the workplace – critical life skills, such as people skills, confidence, positivity, emotional hygiene/literacy, the ability to focus attention, grit, self-care, balance, all things we teach at LPI – As a parent of 2 boys and a girl besides being a career coach for emerging leaders, I see this blind spot all too often. And it kills me. Because it adds to the crushing pressure many students face worldwide. To aim for grades and “all-roundedness”, in order to cross scholastic hurdles that don’t even guarantee success at work. It’s what drives me to do what we do at LPI – help parents and students bridge this damning work-skills gap. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Now Offering: Meditation Teaching of Distinction!
by Elaine Teo, 10 March 2019
Proud to be awarded distinction as one of the finest graduates of the British School of Meditation’s teacher training. I am now accredited to teach meditation internationally.
At LPI we excel at strategically weaving in meditation theory and practice into our training, facilitation, executive coaching and consultancy for corporates, schools and individuals, across a wide range of interrelated topics e.g.
– sharpening employee performance
– reducing stress
– building confidence
– improving teamwork
– playing to your strengths and others’
– gender equity
– inclusion and diversity
– intercultural competence
– resilience and grit
You see – the mind training that meditation offers is like salt.
A skillful dose of it can transform ANY ‘dish’ that involves the improvement of the quality of mind.
My years of daily meditation have made me a better, more effective mother, worker, teacher, writer, family member, friend, stranger. It’s profoundly improved my quality of life.
There is so much suffering, loss of performance and happiness in work and life. We’ve had enough.
So we’re rolling up our sleeves and helping people learn HOW to manage themselves and others better. We’re really good at it.
Email us at email@example.com to find out more! #mind #health
Mental Health: A Crucial Life Skill Best Started Early
by Elaine Teo, 16 Jan 2019
“You brought your kids to a mental health discussion? What were you thinking?!”
I wanted them to hear our council mayor talk so bravely about his own struggles.
I wanted them to see him take notes, listening to young people explaining their nonprofit bringing hip hop & improv to at-risk youths – giving them ways to express themselves safely when words don’t work.
I wanted them to see what a community looks like, getting together to address a problem that affects everyone.
I wanted them, aged 10 & 12, to gain a sense of the land ahead.
I’ve been a mum 12 years. I’ve watched kids we know suffer from increasing stress and pressure. Some terribly. This affects others around them.
We learnt that one constituency most seeking help and forced to waitlist are – children and young people. 💔
We learnt they turn to “self-medicating” with substances and acts that cause harm.
I wanted them to understand why their mum raises them resilient, emotionally healthy, and kind.
Why meditation and other mental-hygiene skills are so helpful in managing stress.
So they can use them in future when needed.
So they don’t feel weird talking about these topics with friends.
So they know how to be there for them.
And that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Brexit: A Crisis of Leadership Writ Large
by Elaine Teo, 13 Jan 2019
As we watch the crisis of leadership that is Brexit lurch toward a new nadir next week –
I see things clearly, and remember. But these memories bring me no joy – only sorrow. That what I foresaw 2.5 years ago has come to pass. Though few listened to me then. On 11 June 2016 I wrote: “Who is going to lead the UK forward if we leave? If, 12 days from the referendum, there still doesn’t seem to be clear leaders that have identified themselves as THE ones who take ownership and RESPONSIBILITY to steer the UK through treacherous, uncharted waters post-Brexit – Then I wonder what’s going to happen if the Leavers win, and we wake up the next day to the reality that *this has happened*, we *HAVE* voted to leave the EU, and… then… what happens? Who’s in charge? What’s the plan, people? And that worries me.” On 24 June – this came true. Stunned, I wrote: “Chaos. Carnage. Instability, daunting complexity, led by…whom truly capable? Who are the ones you entrust to deliver these benefits? Do they have a plan that will work? How do you know you can trust them to execute? At what true cost? To whom? And what…if it ends up not working? Fearmongering has won. This is [a] Pyrrhic victory, in which we all will lose.” —- Leaders must remain custodians. Else things fall apart.
The Stellar Set May Event: “Navigating the Political Landscape at Work”
By Elaine Teo, Aug 31 2018
Can’t wait for the Stellar Set’s “The Gender Pay Gap – Negotiating What You Are Worth” on 13 Sep. Featuring 3 experts and a diverse community of committed supportive professional women, it’s sure to deliver like their May event on “Navigating the Political Landscape at Work” did.
Those speakers used their experience and research to shed light on patterns that drive female vs male behaviours, eg prehistorically men hunted while women tended new life. This made men form task-oriented, variable, compartmentalising relationships whereas women tended to form deeper-trusting, longer-term, bond-oriented relationships, needing to seek out females safe enough to share the task of raising young.
They boiled politics down to successful relationships and influencing, sharing tools to map hierarchies at work to analyse the open/hidden relations of trust/distrust that crisscross a workplace. They shared how to stay authentic and administer vulnerability discerningly, marking a productive balance between being emotional and opaque.
There is an urgent need for status quo senior leaders to embrace diversity in their organisations through powerful affirmative acts, eg sponsoring female talents’ progress and speaking out against discrimination vs staying silent.
The Becoming of a Spearhead
by Elaine Teo, August 2018
for the Birthday Book 2018, “The Roads We Take”
What is a spearhead for?
We talk so much about “spearheading”.
What does it mean, to spearhead?
What does it mean, to be a spearhead?
Spears are ancient tools, weapons of hunting, and of war.
They were made of durable material, worthy of their task. Like flint. “Flinty.” Iron. “Iron fisted.” “A will of iron”. Steel. “Steely.”
Our language is rich with connotation.
So why “spearheading”?
And how does this connect to “The Roads We Take”?
Spearheads clear paths.
Through vulnerable flesh and blood. For better or worse. For survival. For conquest. Sometimes they’re necessary. Sometimes they cause great damage. But they work.
Wikipedia informs me (for what that’s worth) that spears are “the most commonly used weapon in history.” I wouldn’t contest that.
Like any tool, any technology that mankind has ever invented, their power is neutral. They are employed to serve their wielder’s will. That choice could be for good or for ill.
Likewise, the poet Robert Frost reminds us in his great poem, “The Road Not Taken”, we, too, all each have the simultaneous freedom-and-responsibility to choose:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The poem reminds us that our choices have consequences, by which we must abide, though they may stretch far into the yet-unfathomed future, subject to influence we cannot possibly know.
How, then, should we choose wisely?
And – how will the wisdom of our choices be gauged? By ourselves, and by history?
Sometimes, we just don’t know.
Sometimes, that’s just not good enough.
Sometimes, we have to choose anyway.
And then, to help us choose, we have to reach for something. Deep inside.
Something, that tells us “this is right.”
How do we know, what is right?
How did our forefathers know?
We’ve all watched the black-and-white clip of Lee Kuan Yew, uncertainty and anguish writ large on his face as he announced our nation’s tumultuous and unwanted birth as an independent life. With the immediate necessity thrust upon it as an infant entity, to summon the will and the way to ensure its own survival, against all odds.
To answer the question posed to a previous cohort of Birthday Book writers: What should we never forget? I say – we must never forget the pioneering spirit of our founding parents.
The women and men who silently and collectively found themselves becoming the spearheads for us.
It takes honing, to become a spearhead.
To make the sharpest, strongest, most enduring spearhead, even that is not enough.
It needs more. It needs the raw material to be subject to great heat, pressure, force.
It also needs the guiding hand of a master, skilled, experienced, with the highest standards, who knows what they are aiming for.
Then can the transformation, from latent potential to greatest utility, be effected.
But the raw material must be able to trust the process.
For the going is tough.
This is why it’s so easy to forget that pioneering spirit of our founding parents.
Because it’s just so easy, in general, nowadays.
Many of us have forgotten what daily hardship feels like.
, to reconstruct as a visceral experience within ourselves – soft and comfortable and prosperous as we are, full of achievements and accolades, global metropolis that we have forged ourselves to be, generation after generation over the years.
Anyone in the luxury of ease will struggle to remember, or even imagine, how hard life used to be.
But why is this important to remember, anyway?
Not just because we owe it to those who spearheaded the ways for us.
But because we need to remember that each and every one of us carries within us the very fact that we are alive. We are the raw material to become spearheads ourselves.
See – we each have our own roads to take.
Whether we want to see it or not. We all do.
Are we each able to face the process of transforming ourselves?
And here’s the rub about becoming spearheads ourselves –
We are both raw material, and guiding hand.
We have to choose, to subject ourselves, to the hard, rewarding, necessary work of self-transformation.
This process is not a one-off, either.
It is a lifelong process. Of self-invention and reinvention, of self-examination and evaluation, of self-determination and forgiveness, of self-challenge and celebration.
We all get to write our own stories. And choose our roads.
It’s high time we started to realise that.
What do you want to fight for?
What do you want to protect as sacred?
What do you need to survive?
What do you need to flourish?
I can offer you a clue.
Your answers to these questions will involve not only you.
It will include the people, the things, the places you love.
And when you ponder this question – “What do I love that much? To want, to need to be a spearhead for?”
You will discover another precious thing along that path, which is –
You’ll discover what’s right.
This brings us back to the first edition of the Birthday Book. I posit that Singapore’s “Next Big Thing” is this.
The collective awakening of our individual spirits, in living honour to the pioneers who spearheaded the ways forward for us to follow in their wake.
A true example of “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Just that in this case, the “imitation” is an imitation of spirit, not deed.
And like any true pioneer can tell you, as they make their own brave, uncertain, daring ways forward, following the clarion pull of their hearts’ deepest desires, their souls’ highest callings, a vision that must by definition include unselfish service of the good of others –
The pioneers will tell you that the true spirit of spearheading, that we would all do well to imitate, is originality.
For every pioneer, every spearhead, is by definition an original. Tracing a new path untrodden by anyone else.
That can be intimidating. And lonely.
Take courage, because this is what will happen when you follow your heart this way, and your vision of the road you must take comes gradually into sharper, brighter focus.
You will find others. Walking the same path as you. Or they will find you. Either way, your roads will converge.
You will not be alone for long. And you will get to taste one of the highest joys known to man. To have truly worthy companions for the journey. As you will be for them in turn.
That’s how a spearhead is made.
How it gains its power.
And how it fulfills its task.
** ** **
Elaine believes in showing up for life in a dizzying array – observer storyteller wordsmith, scientist philosopher musician, teacher life coach mum-of-3, strategist interculturalist entrepreneur, connector orchestrator problem-solver. All she bends to a single purpose: to help as many people as possible live to their full potential. To this end she is working with schools, parents, researchers, businesspeople and policymakers to bring life skills to students and the workforce internationally. She takes life itself as her lab and her inspiration, seeking out excellence, truth, universal goodness, and beauty. (She believes these converge.) She likes things that really work.