Back with a glow- reflections on Italy

As we head into the stunning Autumn season, I have a glow. I’m just back from Italy.  I had tour around some of Italy’s stunning food and wine regions. I went through Bologna, Siena, Parma, Montalcino and back to Bologna. I’m looking forward to this beautiful season, as the leaves turn there Autumnal colours. Autumn is also significant, as it signals that the last few months of the calendar year are upon us. How many of my 2015 goals have I achieved?  How are you getting on? Let me know in the comments box bleow. Enjoy the pics!


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Centred Leadership

This is a great video on  how remarkable women lead from Joanna Barsh. I found this clip and the whole body of work very inspiring. I believe leadership happens at all levels- this video is relevant to you wherever you are in your career.

I came across this video through the work of Sheryl Sandberg the founder of the lean in movement. I’ve talked lot about lean in,  in previous posts and, have run a lean in circle myself. I’m an advocate.

Once you have a look at this overview video, I highly recommend that you take the time to look at the whole series  – there are 7 videos:

If you’re not already joined up to a circle this might be a great time to join.


Remembering- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


What is ist?

This book is classic and sets out what the author, Stephen Covey, sees as the basis of successes. In the book he will walk you step by step through his 7 habits of effectiveness.

How is this different?

As I mentioned, this is a classic. and was first published in 1989. This is one of the books that has effectively stood the test time. I can honestly say that, because I have been listening to it on audiobook recently. I have picked up some real gems, ideas and strategies that I can use now, in my day day life. I love the section on prioritising based on values for example.

How can it help?

As we go into autumn and have more nights in, this book is perfect.

This is a book with a lot of depth and scope and I find the the holistic approach in tune with my modern life. This isn’t just about the c suit, but about your family life, your well-being and your sprit, alongside your job. The seven habits are:

1-Be Proactive

2 – Begin with the End in Mind

3 – Put First Things First

4 – Think Win-Win

5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

6 – Synergize

7-Sharpen the Saw

I would suggest reading this with a a friend would be helpful so you can discuss ideas and tips -its pretty meaty and this will help with working through all the info.

Get Walking – Get Productive

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75 days ago, I set a 60 day challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day to boost my happiness levels and wellbeing and in turn improve outcomes at work.  The photos above are from my daily walks. I fit them in wherever I can – which is really great.

How is this different

I wanted to test the theories in the the Ted talks and see for myself and report back, rather than just curate what others have said. I wanted to answer the question, does being healthier really make a big difference at work.

How can it help

Well as you know this challenge was originally 60 days and I extended it to 90 days because I was so pleased with the impact. So what have been the benefits at work:

  • Greater levels of focus – helps with doing complex taks
  • Deeper sleep – great for early start sand getting more done in the day
  • Great way to mange change – in a work environment which has lots of change walking keeps me in a constructive mood.

Plus there are loads of other benefits:

  • its free-enough said on that one
  • its social – at the weekend I go on walks with my partner – its a fun way to catch up
  • its thinking time – its great to get out and think through things in a fresh way, a lot like Nilofer’s talk I highlighted in the last post but one.

Let me know how your doing. Not long till the 90 days are up!

Got a meeting, take a walk

Nilofer’s talk is about our sedentarily lifestyle. She reminds us that on average people are sitting 9 hours a day – this can have a negative impact on our health.

Why is different

This video is different in there ways.  First Nilofer doesn’t dwell on the negative. Second, she  gets to the point in 3.5 minutes (refreshingly short!). Finally, she asks us to challenge the choice between taking care of our health or, taking care of our obligations.

How it can help

Nilofer provides us  with an elegant solution that combines well-being and work: Got a meeting, take a walk. The benefits she has experinced are:

  • Getting out of the box (the office)- leads to getting out of the box thinking
  • Walking and talk – is  doable, sustainable and viable
  • Walk the talk – fresh air drives fresh thinking among people at the walk and talk meeting


Hope your 90 day step challenge is going well. Next posts I’ll update you on my progress! Happy walking and talking!

Make a change in our body to have a more positive outcome


What is it
In the last post Sheryl called us to action, to ‘lean in’. Well, I think that it can be quite tough to one day, to decide to well, ‘lean in’. So in todays talk  I highlight the work of Amy Cuddy a researcher at Harvard. Amy I think, provides some helpful tips for our leadership journey by showing us, how we can generate confidence in ourselves.

How is it different
Amy talks about how non verbal communication can influence how we think. The talks shows the evidence behind our ability to generate our own confidence, improve our thinking and increase our optimism. Amy tells us that if we make a subtle change in our body , we can have more positive behavioural outcomes. Amy also talks from experience. This isn’t a purely academic talk. So watch out for the heartfelt personal story of  ‘impostor syndrome’ at the end.

How it can help
Amy provides the top tip to exude confidence for those all important events such as job interviews. Amy shows us how to stand in a high power pose  (check out the video), which essentially is open body language (in contrast to folding yourself up and making yourself small).  When you hold this pose for two minutes you become more assertive, confident and comfortable as opposed to stress reactive. So don’t hunch over your notes before a job interview.

Enjoy and get posing!

Productivity at work update -#90 days to cover the whole summer.




What is it

This week I have posted 5 photos from my #60 day 10,000 step challenge walks.


How is this different

Over the last couple of months we have been looking at the link between happiness and productivity at work. In my last but one post we looked at how walking 10,000 steps a day can boost our mood which, in turn boost productive at work. I decided to test it myself .


How ca it help

So whats the results so far I hear you say. Well, I have a lot more energy during the days – which means more productivity. I also find I have a higher frustration level, so way more relaxed. This is always helpful :). Im also thinking a lot more clearly. Im finding it so helpful, I’m extending the challenge to #90 days to cover the whole summer. 

How are you going? Do let me know!

Happy stepping!



Productivity at work- get social

What is this video about

Dr Emma Seppala  in a succinct and high impact video talks about the the benefits of social connection. Emma explains that after our basic needs have been met -such as food and shelter- connecting with others is our next biggest need. Its so important it is a major predictor of psychological and physical outcomes  such as recovery from disease and length of our life.

Why is this different

Given the data and research on what people value mosts, she challenges the idea that buying something, achieving something or getting recognition will drive our happiness levels. Social connection and the desire to be with others Emma tells us, is the truest source of fulfilment. Loneliness Emmas says is as worst  for us than obesity, smoking and diabetes.

How can this help

If happiness drives productivity at work and connection drives happiness- this link is helpful to understand. This video helps us think about the practical steps we can take to get happier in our day to day lives – connecting. Go on, make that call and arrange that lunch, it will pay dividends for your career in more ways than one I’m sure!

Enjoy getting social!

The secret of success – get enough sleep


What is this video about

This week I continue  the link between well-being and productivity in the workplace.  I’m highlighting an entertaining talk by Arianna Huffington about sleeping to the top: the secret of success is get enough shut eye.

How is this different

This video is also different as its one of the shortest Ted talks I have seen – its 4 minutes and 42 seconds long. Arianna also  ask us to challenge our perception of sleep deprivation as a sign of success.

How can it help

Underlining  this light hearted talk is a serious message. To have enough time to sleep and rest is important. If we have time for rest this is an indicator that we have time to connect with our inner greatness.

Enjoy this one – practicing will be fun!

P.S In relation to my # 60 Day 10,000 Step Challenge check out my twitter updates at ViEtAnimoTweets – I have pictures.


Getting happy – # 60 Day 10,000 Step Challenge

What is this video about

In this weeks video were looking at the wide raging  benefits of walking.

How is this different 

This week, we are doing something a bit different. Over the last couple of posts we looked at the advandatages of being happy at work. This week were going to explore how we can boost are own wellbeing. But lets not just absorb a new pice of info, lets actually do it – join me on the #60 Day 10,000 Step Challenge. 

How can it help

If your not convinced, below are some of the health and social benefits of walking:

  • improves mood and wellbeing
  • reduces stress
  • reduces risk of diabetes and other long term conditions
  • It can also be social!
  • Its totally free
  • It can fit around your schedule

Let me know how you get on over the next 60 days – I will feedback how I get on too. For more info check out the benefits your self via the British National Health Service Guide.

Enjoy the fresh air!