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Aug 02
When was the last time you did your work simply for the joy of it?
​​If you're like me you are in your field because you love it. Yet once it becomes your livelihood it isn't only love that keeps you going. Suddenly you have client expectations, financial goals, deadlines to meet, etc. Last year I had a big name client for whom I wanted  to deliver an exceptional experience. I felt I had everything riding on this project including my own and other people's reputations. I indeed delivered a very transformative experience for them, but I put myself under so much pressure that it was all-consuming. At the end of it I felt burnt out and was doubting I'd ever wanted to do this again. 
 
Fast forward a few months later and I got invited by BPeace to travel to El Salvador and work with 2 of their "fast runners"—a group of pre-selected businesses that are benefitting from BPeace’s international development programs. In my case it was a family business and a manufacturing co-op. I accepted the invitation, and got my ticket to El Salvador.  
 
When I got there on the first day of the workshop I started my introduction by saying "let me tell you why I chose to spend my vacation with you...” I made this trip because I saw this project as completely connected to my personal mission: finding often-surprising solutions to leadership and relationship challenges.
 
I was doing it simply for the joy of doing something I love. It had nothing to do with keeping up reputations, expanding business, or even getting paid for anything. I didn’t put myself under any pressure for the project to go a particular way, I simply wanted to be of service in the way I know how.
 
While BPeace consultants do get some of their travel expenses covered, we’re not paid for our work. It is given away to companies that can make good use of it.
 
And indeed, I’m so glad I participated! The business owners were extremely committed to using our time together well, and I had a wonderful time working with them.
 
Now, coordinating this good work does require BPeace to have paid staff on the ground in El Salvador, all of whom treated me well and helped to make my visit to El Salvador extra special.  BPeace has a mission of helping entrepreneurs in conflict zones expand their businesses under the mantra that “more jobs equals more peace”.
 
So before I end, I’d like to make a request of you:
  • If you believe in sharing your work just for the love of it.
  • If you believe that more jobs equal more peace
My request is to take a moment now to consider how you can express those beliefs today. The quickest way is to donate money to the organization. It would make me feel very good that you were inspired to do that, and BPeace certainly needs your funds to continue to operate effectively. You can do that at www.bpeace.org​.
 
You may also wish to do what I did and volunteer your expertise to businesses operating in conflict zones. You can explore that here.
 
And even if you don’t donate money or volunteer, I urge you to do some work today just for the love of it. It feels good!

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Fernando Lopez is president of Bridgespace Consulting Inc., an executive coaching firm that specializes in helping clients create the space for powerful collaboration​.


Jul 27
Question: My manager is playing favourites. How do I get her to stop?

Question copied from the Globe and Mail

I have been having issues with my manager since before Christmas. I kept my feelings to myself until recently, when I found out that others were having similar issues. In a team of four, my manager and one other team member have become very close, to the point that it often seems as though there are only ever two people in our meetings. It was also evident recently, when the team member in question had a few days off and our manager failed to come into the office to say good morning and check-in.

 
I feel that my manager’s behaviour presents an impression that she only values one team member’s feedback and advice. It has become so bad that an eight-year veteran of the office resigned unexpectedly a few weeks ago. This is a particular concern, since I am on contract and would like to renew at the end of August, but I feel as though that will be severely hindered if my manager has any say.

 
​How do I raise this issue of team dynamics and make her aware of her behaviour without it being perceived as “petty” and ruffling any feathers?​

 
Bridgespace Response:

 

If you can change your perspective and muster a genuine feeling of admiration for the close relationship that they have been able to build with each other, I would start by praising them for it. You can do this in a team meeting and hold them as a potential model for the entire team. Ask them how they got to build such a great relationship. Ask how the amount of positivity that lives between the two of them could be extended to all 4 of you and make everyone more productive. 

 
Admittedly, this will require a huge amount of inner-work to get over the hurt that it has already caused and compassion for a boss who is clearly having negative unintended impact. But if you do it genuinely, I believe it would take the stigma away from the favouritism label, and allow you all to have more open conversations about your team dynamics in the future.
Jun 30
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