This week I was asked to speak to the Lower Sixth of Felsted School on the subject of Leadership and the examples of leadership that had influenced me during my career. I haven’t forgotten during my first six months in the Army, aged 24, being asked by my first Commanding Officer, Lt Col Nick Carter (now Chief of General Staff), ‘And what do you think Emma?’. I was the Press Officer of the Regiment and during this time we were based in Pristina. I would arrive at his office each morning, set out the press issues of the day, and his response would be the same, ‘And what do you think Emma?’ What a tremendous feeling it was, to have my opinion asked for.
This week I have been asked to speak to an audience of 25 businesswomen on the subject of workplace stress and well-being. This is a subject that fascinates me as apart from speaking frequently on the subject to various audiences, it is a subject that crops up so much in my coaching work and also in the workplace mediations that I am involved with.
People are now subject to a huge range of pressures both in the workplace and outside it. Following the recession, the need to deliver in full, on time and within budget has never been greater. Life is running by at an incredible speed driven mainly by the ongoing technological developments. Coping with and adapting to these pressures can be a huge challenge. Over the past year, I have frequently heard the following whilst I have been coaching, ‘I have now reached my 40’s and attained a position in my company that I never thought possible, but I have now realised that I’ve never had a social life, or indeed any friends outside of those people I work with. I cannot continue like this’.