Mon, 13 September 2021
Simon Mainwaring is the bestselling author of We First and Lead With We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future, which comes out in November. He is the founder & CEO of We First, Inc. and he was a finalist for Global Australian of the Year in 2015.
Simon’s first book came about after the global economic meltdown when he heard a speech from Bill Gates from the World Economic Forum. Bill Gates talked about how the private sector needed to play a bigger role in social change and that really hit home with Simon. He wrote his first book, We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World, to help companies rethink their strategies and practice capitalism in a way that produces profit but also benefits the planet and communities around the world.
What is the future of work
Simon believes that as we go forward we will see even more blending between work and personal life so they are more seamless. Even though work-life balance has been a phrase used in the past, Simon believes there is no work-life balance, the balance has to be within yourself. You have to know what works for you and what gives you balance. Do you work better at night or in the morning? Do you work better in a coffee shop or in an office setting?
“I think, you know, that balance is something that we all need to strive for in a sort of the inner state level. And once you do that, I think, you can show up meaningfully, when you're just hanging out and being social, and also you can really contribute on the work front. So I think the focus of the balance has to be within you, rather than sort of this false separation between work and life.”
Simon has also learned from working in countries around the world. He says he has learned to work more lightly and not suspend his happiness until he reaches a certain level.
“I used to be so anxious, and you're striving to get ahead and you think you can't be happy or successful until you've done X, Y, and Z. And I think it's a much smarter strategy just to realize that you're gonna put that effort in, but not suspend your happiness until you get there to just travel more lightly, take things a little less seriously. And, you know, have a little bit more fun on the way because I can't even remember things that I was worried about three or four years ago.”
Trends Simon is paying attention to
“I think we're all going through really tough times-- anxiety, stress, pressure, family, professional, whatever. And I think one of the challenges of COVID is I don't think any of us had carved out the time or the pressure hasn't stopped for us to actually process what's happening. And so we're carrying it forward into our work lives.”
People are exhausted, burned out, anxious. One of the best ways that Simon has found to deal with this is to get out into nature. Go for a walk or a swim. Connect with something outside of a screen. Take time away from the news or do a full digital detox.
Another trend that he is paying attention to is a positive one. We have seen stakeholders showing up for change more than in the past. Suppliers, CEOs, employees, and customers are all calling for a different way of doing business in a way that makes the world a better place. Everyone has a place at the table, which is different from what it was before.
And the third trend he is watching is the connection between companies who make a great impact on the world around them and the profits they make. “These new market forces where, you know, the more a CEO or a company or its culture or its products, or its impact does good, the more people are buying its products, the more investors are putting money behind that company, the more they're getting listed on the stock exchange. And the nature of business itself is changing. And I'm actually very optimistic about that.”
Three ways in which leadership is changing
Why Simon is doing a digital detox and the impact it’s had on his life
Simon found that stepping away from news and social media, spending more time outside, spending more time with family, and focusing on his health made a positive impact on his mood and his outlook on life.
“I think the digital detox is all really about protecting yourself against the assault of all the negative things out there, reminding yourself what's really important and good for your health and well being. And then committing to a course of action that will allow you not just to feel okay today, but sustain it over the long term because we're 18 months into this now, and who knows how long this is going to go on for. So it's been what’s been working.”
Now more than ever we need to take a step back to define what it means to be a leader and what great leadership looks like. But this isn’t easy to do. In fact, many business leaders struggle with this. You cannot become and build what you don't define. In the PDF you will get a framework you can follow and also see how some of the world’s top CEOs define leadership. Click here to get the PDF.
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