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Newsletter: December 2010

Christmas tree

As our final newsletter for the year, we'd like to thank all our subscribers for their support and also welcome those new subscribers who have joined us in the past month.

This newsletter is not typical of the others although it is consistent in its aim of alerting you to bigger issues that might guide your thinking - usually at work - this time outside work.

The festive season is almost upon us and in wishing you a safe and happy break, we hope this newsletter gives you food for thought in the weeks ahead.

Time approaching for renewal and reflection.

Are you, like me, longing for the Christmas break, when you can switch off work and into different gear; indulging in the good things of life amid gatherings of family, friends and neighbours?

From the start of December life always assumes a faster pace. Earlier too: fruit mince pies in baker's shops, decorations on every corner and shop, even the Salvation Army singing Christmas carols - all in November.

It's tempting to be cynical. But there are many stories of hardship out there I suspect, quietly hidden behind the self-satsified reports about how we avoided the recession that's still engulfing other countries.

This year we have become particularly conscious of one particular form of hardship - homelessness. A friend of ours was forced to leave her flat after 12 years because the owner sold it. She was able to stay on until changeover, giving her 6 months to find alternative accommodation. Without success.

She's a BabyBoomer, minus a job, and now dependent, for the moment, on relatives and friends for her accommodation. She is also amazingly resilient and positive; although she does admit to the occasional nightmare where she is a Bag Lady living on the streets. Given her support network and her personality that's an unlikely scenario.

How did this happen? She suggests unwise decisions in the past, perhaps where she trusted in the rental market as an alternative to assuming a huge mortgage. That used to be a safe option.

Today the cost of renting in Melbourne tests the financial capabilities of most people. Properties are now rented for obscene amounts per week or else they are almost unlivable - dirty and unheated.

Her situation beggars belief and she's not alone. Some quick research into the situation reveals 58,600 men, women and children presented at specialist homeless services in Victoria in 2008-2009 The Age. A recent radio interview claimed that increasingly, whole families are becoming homeless. I wonder what they'll do this Christmas. We wonder too how many more older people are struggling. Not every Baby Boomer has unlimited resources.

As a final point, can we suggest you read this post on homelessforums.org from Melbourne last year. It made us stop and think: Click here

I don't know what the message is for leadership in all this: the issue is larger than any one person. Certainly its an alert to be a little compassionate; at least it's an alert to the need for reflection, especially at this time of the year.

Now for you

Reflection: I always discuss this with coaching clients, managers and workplace leaders who are trying to find a balance in their lives. One strategy is to keep a journal, not a diary, a notebook where you can record thoughts, plans, successes - ideas that worked, that you'll use again.

Holidays are a good time to start a journal. So, you might be interested in this journal software, DavidRM The Journal. It's very flexible and easy to play with.

Inspiration: Here's a TED.org video clip worth viewing, a presentation by Zainab Salbi entitled Women, wartime and the dream of peace telling powerful behind the scene stories of women who keep everyday life going during conflicts, and calls for women to have a place at the negotiating table once fighting is over. She's a compelling speaker with moving and inspiring stories.

She uses the words of Rumi, a 13th century Sufi poet to close:'Out beyond the worlds of right doings and wrong doings, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' no longer makes any sense.'

I think those thoughts apply to a great many situations in society at this moment. Scope for reflection.


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The purpose of this Newsletter

Positive Change Consulting shows people how to build great leadership, manage change, improve teamwork for business productivity – and restore balance to your life.

In this newsletter we aim to alert you to the latest research into leadership, report people-related workplace news, suggest ways for encouraging staff involvement to improve your business and alert you to the things we are doing and the services we can offer you.

Disclaimer: any links provided are for your information only. They do not consititute an endorsement by us. So, please ensure that you fully investigate any materials/offers/information presented before entering into any contracts or agreements to ensure that they meet your individual needs. Positive Change Consulting cannot accept responsibility for your choices.

Positive Change Consulting

ABN 96 095 506 924

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy Director & Principal Consultant

Tony Austin
Director & Administration Manager

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