Welcome to a departure from the usual in this blog post.  Today, I’m not sharing the usual playbook for effective leadership or communication strategies. Instead, I invite you to join me on my voyage of self-reflection—a journey into uncharted waters as I navigate my own career change.

Picture this: a thriving organisation, esteemed both locally and internationally, where I’ve spent over 16 years in a senior position leading the HR function. It’s been a journey marked by growth, success, and the satisfaction of contributing to a dynamic team.  The accolades are numerous, the legacy solid, and the emotional connections run deep. It has been an exhilarating ride at an organisation that has given me and many others the space of personal growth and career advancement.  I have been privileged to work in an environment where good HR practices were at the forefront of our business agenda.

But I’m not here to boast about our success. Amidst the accolades and accomplishments, a nagging question persists: is staying too long in one place a risk in itself?  As leaders, we often champion stability and continuity. Yet, long tenures come with their challenges. The comfort of stability, while valued and reassuring, can bring the fear of stagnation. The comfort of routine can dull the spark of innovation and can dampen the spirit of growth, leaving both oneself and the organisation at risk.  The fire and motivation can start dwindling over time, even as new projects emerge.

Beyond the concern for personal and professional stagnation stands a second, more profound truth: the call of something new, something different, something yet unexplored. For me, this calling was unmistakable, leading me to embark on this new chapter.

In my journey, I’ve learned the importance of stepping outside the comfort zone. It’s a message I share in my motivational talks and workshops. But embracing change isn’t easy—it took me time to muster the courage to step beyond the confines of the known. It took me a while to psychologically prepare myself for the switch. Here’s what brought me here:

  1. Thirst for knowledge – I’ve always been an avid reader, immersing myself in books and articles on communication and leadership. While my husband jokes about “messing up my mind,” for me, reading self-development books is a source of inspiration and creativity. If reading isn’t your thing, podcasts are a fantastic alternative. They have been a lifesaver for me in enduring the time spent in traffic. 
  2. The Power of Observation – Inspired by the great Sir Alex Ferguson, I’ve learned the art of observation.  When I was studying about the secrets behind the success of this legendary man – this specific trait stood out to me and I decided to apply it heavily myself.  So much learning lies in the power of observing – analysing what makes people tick, what drives effective communication, and what inspires others to follow.
  3. The Mindset Game – From positive psychology to NLP techniques, maintaining an optimistic perspective is so powerful. Harnessing the power of our minds to unlock potential and overcome obstacles and limiting beliefs has been transformative for me.

As I embark on this new journey, I acknowledge that I’m still in the infancy of this voyage and that challenges lie ahead. The allure of the new is accompanied by the lessons that await me. I am open to discovery and that means that it is perfectly ok to have some tumbles and falls along the way, as I experiment and explore.  I know that my unsatiable hunger for learning will fuel my drive.  My desire to succeed is big and yet the realisation and focus of doing what I truly love has become so much more important for me. By surrounding myself with the right people who can support me, I can steer a new path to success.

So, why am I sharing this introspective journey with you, fellow leaders and CEOs? Because in embracing change, in daring to venture beyond our comfort zones, lies the essence of leadership. It’s a journey of self-discovery, of reinvention, and of embracing the unknown with courage and conviction.  As I navigate the currents of change, I will trust the process and have faith that I will emerge stronger, wiser, and ever more resilient.

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