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Josefine Campbell

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How we manage our mental energy and how the mental economy is managed in companies and societies are often overlooked. As an executive coach, I have a question for you to reflect upon and some techniques that can boost you and your organisation. Join me for an experience designed to inspire and ignite through inspirational speeches and good food!

You are invited:

The Executive Boost Event hosted together by Top Chef, Henrik Jyrk and me.

Where: at Henrik Jyrk’s restaurant – Ibu on Vesterbrogade 56
When: October 8th at 16.00 – 17.30
RSVP: Purchase your Executive Boost Event tickets here. Bring a colleague or business partner. The event is in English.

The Executive Boost Event programme

  • 16.00 – Welcome
  • Clear or Hooked? Inspirational speech by Executive Coach, Josefine Campbell, on managing personal and professional energy
  • Food boost. How you can use food to boost energy and recharge your batteries by Top Chef Henrik Jyrk.
  • Serving energy-boosting food
  • Networking
  • 17.30 – End of programme. You are welcome to stay and can book a table for dinner.

In this video, Henrik and I share a bit about what we are planning for you.

You might know Henrik as the TV chef from Go’ Morgen Danmark or from his previous restaurant, KUL, that received a Michelin star. This event takes place at his present restaurant, Ibu that specialises in Asian fusion, located on Vesterbrogade 56 in Copenhagen.

IBU Copenhagen
Ibu Copenhagen

Also, I mentioned earlier that I had a question for you…

The question is, am I hooked or am I clear?

Am I hooked or am I clear? This is an intelligent question to ask oneself from time to time, especially when under pressure, lacking sleep or when your nutrition or diet is poor. Whenever you experience fatigue or stress, the more sophisticated parts of the brain become vulnerable and can get hijacked by the primitive, yet powerful reptilian brain. When the reptilian brain takes over it ignites the oversimplified responses of fight, flight or freeze. This can be disguised in emotions and thoughts that we automatically identify with.

The cost? Bad decisions, which can lead to bad results or bad relationships. The most powerful leaders and top athletes, it happens to us all. Sometimes we are too low on mental bandwidth or energy, and our brain gets hooked. Once it is hooked, that counter-productive internal dialogue can take over. How to counter this? You can read more on this topic from my article on agility.

“It doesn’t happen to me”, some might say. But, what about your people? And, what is the cost for you on that account?

Harvard Published author, Susan David writes,

Leaders stumble not because they have undesirable thoughts and feelings—that’s inevitable—but because they get hooked by them, like fish caught on a line. This happens in one of two ways. They buy into the thoughts, treating them like facts (It was the same in my last job…I’ve been a failure my whole career), and avoid situations that evoke them (I’m not going to take on that new challenge). Or, usually at the behest of their supporters, they challenge the existence of the thoughts and try to rationalize them away (I shouldn’t have thoughts like this…I know I’m not a total failure), and perhaps force themselves into similar situations, even when those go against their core values and goals (Take on that new assignment—you’ve got to get over this). In either case, they are paying too much attention to their internal chatter and allowing it to sap important cognitive resources that could be put to better use.

David, S. & Congleton, C. (2013) Managing Yourself – Emotional Agility. Harvard Business Review. Available from: https://hbr.org/2013/11/emotional-agility

Learn more at the Executive Boost Event. I hope to see you there.

Tickets can be purchased here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me at hello@josefinecampbell.com.

Read the Danish version of the article here.

There is no innovation without agility. I am not talking about agile methods, but agility as a mindset. When I started working with innovation back in 2008, innovation was nice to have. Today, most leaders confront a situation where innovation is need to have and many have experienced the difficulties actually turning innovation ideas and projects into business value and tangible results.

Learning to access more agility is the answer to several of the challenges that leaders confront in the face of everyday change, innovation, new technology and stress. You can try to work more agile, but if you do not increase your individual agility, it is difficult for your organisation to actually become agile.

You may be familiar with the leader who ended an otherwise successful project to minimise risks. This was simply because there were too many unknown factors which were too difficult to predict and too potentially challenging of an outcome to control. Perhaps, you have made a similar decision.

In a stable environment, this is definitely the right thing to do. This is the type of environment where you can anticipate customer behaviour 18 months or more ahead, where you are not in danger of being disrupted, where you are not threatened by stress or new technology, and where success is created by doing the same thing as usual. Yet, in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment, being agile is needed and necessary.

This is for those of you who are not actively using LinkedIn for career development. Learn how being active in a few simple ways can benefit your career.

Many people with a corporate career forget to update their profile or do not actively use LinkedIn. As of June 2018, LinkedIn had over 500 million users. 61 million of these users were considered senior level influencers and 40 million were in decision-making positions. In other words, LinkedIn might be the most valuable tool for your career development today. As executive coaches working with career development, Lena Beck Rørvig and I have met many successful people who have ignored LinkedIn as a channel for career development. External recruiters are not the only ones using LinkedIn, your company might also have an account. LinkedIn is becoming a useful way to discover career opportunities within your existing organisation.

Think you don’t have the time? Engaging in a professional network doesn’t need to take a lot of your time. If you are not already a member or posting regularly, I have three simple ways of using LinkedIn for career development.

Three simple ways to use LinkedIn for career development

In the video below, Lena and I discuss how to maintain or improve your market value by using LinkedIn for career development in three easy ways:

  1. Update regularly
  2. Show your worth
  3. Be digitally conscious

In the clip above, Lena Beck Rørvig and I give advice on how to use Linkedin for career development emphasising its importance for people with a corporate career.

Update Regularly

Allocate a little time to follow posts on LinkedIn daily or weekly. In addition, post something meaningful on an ongoing basis. I recommend taking a moment to show an interest in your network by liking the posts of others you appreciate. Your company might also value if you share new job postings or news about your company’s success. It is essential to maintain your professional presence by updating regularly.

Show your worth

It is natural to worry about what others will think of your social media activity. However, you do not have to be too concerned about it as long as you maintain a professional online appearance. We tend to think far more about ourselves than others do, and it is rare that a post or comment will define you! Focus on posting what is relevant to your professional interests. This could mean something related to your job or a company you are following. For example, if you are into finance, you could share an article you value on investments. Ultimately, a personal post is much more engaging than a non-personal post. If you want people to comment and feel a connection to you through your posts, don’t be afraid to share a bit of yourself and your point of view.

Be digitally conscious

Being digitally conscious means several things. One is being mindful of what you post, especially on topics like politics and religion. Depending on the nature, politics and religion can often be offensive and divisive. The goal for using LinkedIn for career development is as a means for opening doors and connecting within your professional network. While you can only decide if a post will be this, it never hurts to be digitally conscious of the intentions behind a post.

Another aspect of being digitally conscious is not getting hooked on social media. A lot of people are addicted to the happiness hormone, serotonin. You might experience a release of serotonin in your brain when you get “likes” or receive approval. Having a healthy offline-online balance is essential for being productive, focused and happy. This balance is not always easy in company culture which lacks the environment for discussing this topic. You, therefore, have to be responsible for keeping yourself in balance. Everyone has different preferences. Some people may enjoy checking-in every day while others may need more digital breaks. You can read more about this in my new book, En dag med 12 godemobilvaner (will be available in Danish i 2019 – sign up for my newsletter to get the news when it is out).

Quickly boost your professional presence through those three simple ways for using LinkedIn for career development. Remember: update regularly, show your worth and be digitally conscious. I hope you are able to make some time to be active on LinkedIn today!

Career development beyond LinkedIn

Curious about developing your career outside of LinkedIn? I have some tips on how to improve your agility and leadership. Maybe you are you considering taking maternity leave and not sure how to balance it with your career? Get some inspiration from my career woman’s guide to taking maternity leave.  If you are looking for something more personalised,  executive coaching might offer the career guidance you need.

Stay connected

To stay up-to-date with new articles and videos, sign up for my mailing list. There are advantages to being on the list. Among other things, you will receive invitations to events in the Leaders Saloon where you will receive new inspiration in reflection with other leaders. You can learn more about me here.

This article is about developing your agility and leadership.

Navigating uncertainty with coolness, keeping a calm mind, being fearless and dealing with any discomfort you experience – this is what it feels like to be agile. Lars van Hauen is Chief Innovation Officer of E.On. Denmark, a European energy company with 43,000 employees. As an innovation leader and officer, I consider Lars to be more agile and innovative than 95% of other leaders I know. With tips from Lars, I will share what it means to be agile and how to develop your agility and leadership.

Agility and leadership advice from the agile and innovation leader, Lars

Currently, I am preparing for a speaking tour this autumn in agility and leadership for Lederne, The Danish Management Association. I will use Lars as an example of an agile leader to illustrate some points on agility and leadership. On several occasions, I have noticed how unbiased Lars is. When I asked Lars for advice on he keeps an open mind, he told me, “Go to a rock concert! Or make sure you frequently get a new experience, expose yourselves to new impulses. I truly believe in this”.

Lars is right! Exposure to new things and new people enhances your emotional agility. Emotional agility is the ability to not react immediately to emotions, but instead to just observe them. This means taking time to understand the possible causes of emotions and using intention to decide how to manage them. Emotional agility is key to having an open mind. Spending time in unfamiliar situations, with new people, and in new places, will help you become more tolerant and accepting of your own discomfort. This increases the confidence in your ability to navigate ambiguous situations, which is something that is essential for innovative leaders. Fusing emotional agility and leadership will turn you into a better listener, strengthen your interpersonal skills as well as develop your empathy. Essentially, these traits will create a more flexible mind.

Thoughts for growth and the science behind this advice

In the Harvard Business Review, psychologist Todd D. Kashdan writes about the mental benefits of vacationing somewhere new. In a study conducted with 485 adults in the United States, Kashdan explains how exposure to foreign travel links to a greater ability to direct attention and energy. This is important because it helps people function efficiently in diverse situations and enables the appropriate use of verbal and nonverbal emotional signals. Visiting more countries (breadth) or experiencing immersion into local culture (depth) enhances these effects. These positive benefits also remained after the study subjects returned home.

So, when Lars and I recommend going to a rock concert or trying something you have never done before, you too will obtain some of the benefits described in this study. This will in turn enhance your own agility and leadership development.

Decrease bias and increase empathy

There are even more benefits to going somewhere new. When you move to a new city or travel somewhere foreign, your bias decreases and empathy increases. In the study mentioned before, those who had travelled abroad showed a greater ability to delay their judgment. They could look beyond the surface qualities of age, sex, race, or ethnicity. As a result, they became more capable of recognising whether another person’s actions mirrored deep-seated personality qualities or if it was situational factors influencing their behaviour. Researchers in China found similar results in a survey of 197 adults before and after travelling. The study reported that those who had travelled to multiple countries developed a greater tolerance and trust of strangers. This had a positive influence on their attitudes toward strangers as well as colleagues and friends back at home. Additionally, they became more appreciative of people with new knowledge, philosophies, and skills.

Learn more ways to decrease bias to help you make better decisions; It will transform the way you think about your own leadership.

Travel, rock concerts or something alike – agility and leadership growth

In other words, try new things! It doesn’t need to involve traveling somewhere foreign or going far away. Attending the upcoming Roskilde festival to listen to new bands you have never heard of might be a way to get a new perspective of the world. This is where Lars plans to be next. If you don’t want to venture too far out of your comfort zone, there are many other ways to explore and experience the world. I encourage you to visit somewhere new or listen to opinions outside of your own closest circles. You could also taste a new type of food or challenge your body with some physical activity. Curiosity for new adventures and a willingness to listen to perspectives which differ from your own will improve your agility and leadership. Stepping away from the familiar can actually expand your view.

Discover how you can strengthen your leadership.

Stay connected

To stay up to date with new articles and videos, sign up for my mailing list. There are many advantages to being on the list. You will receive invitations to events in the Leaders Saloon where you get new inspiration in reflection with other leaders, HR specialists and leadership developments professionals. You can also learn more about me here.

As I write this, my newborn baby is wrapped around my body sleeping peacefully in a sling. He is happy as long as he is close to his mother. This is one of my practical ways to be able to follow my professional passion, balance a demanding career and also be a mum. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but over the years many women have asked me how to be on maternity leave while having a career and professional responsibilities.

Becoming a parent is one of life’s biggest events. For new parents who are deeply engaged in their professional life or career, it creates a lot of difficult questions and dilemmas. If you are becoming a mum or a dad, you have to test many things with a lot of trial-and-error in the process. I would like to share some insights and inspiration for those who are curious about how being on parental leave while professional responsibilities. This can also be thought of as a career woman’s guide to taking maternity leave.

Mixing maternity leave and having a career involves us all.

There is no easy one-size-fits-all answer, we have to share our stories. Not just for the sake of young women, but for the sake of families, companies, and society.  We need to inspire each other and learn how other working mum’s and working dad’s have tackled this dilemma. There has to be room for several models in order for it to work for everybody. Some career women prefer to be off-the-radar for a long time, others do not. Neither are right or wrong, it just depends on the personal preferences. No matter what, I believe the babies should come first and the parents second. But, one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other. There are win-win models to be discovered. Such as, being able to happily write this post, while my baby sleeps close to me.

There is no one-size-fits-all, we must explore and test new models.

One thing is certain: what has worked for one woman, may not work for another. It might not be ideal for to be off-the-radar for 9 months or more. Although it is ideal, not all jobs, managers or companies will make it possible to maintain your responsibilities or position while on leave for a year. Additionally, while some women might find maternity leave as heaven, others might not enjoy being out of touch with their professional passions.

When I was younger, I was concerned about combining my uncompromisingly high standards for parenting with my professional life. I never thought a baby could replace my ambitions. However, with age and time, I have realised doing both of what I love have contributed to making me a better mother and a better role model too.

I often have conversations with other women on the topic. Former Danish Minister Astrid Krag, who was a minister while having a baby, brought her husband with her on the road. This allowed her to nurse her child, be with her family and attend her duties as a minister. Her husband is an artist and very supportive, so this model fit well. However, this might not work for everyone and not all husbands are able or happy to take months out of their career to follow their wife. This stresses the importance of the need to explore other possibilities and models too. So, if you are going to be a parent, I encourage you to be curious and explore what model(s) might be the right fit for you.

The maternity leave stories of managing director and mother of three, Loui Törnqvist

Loui Törnqvist is the Managing Director of at Music Sales / Edition Wilhelm Hansen. She became a mother for the first time when she was 27 years old, just a short time after being appointed as a managing director of company she still manages today. She has three children and each time she dealt with her responsibilities in a new way. Even though she was the same person, none of her maternity leaves were similar.

In this video, Loui shares her story openly and honestly. I believe it is quite a good story on how to be on maternity leave while having a career. Watch our 13- minute conversation and listen to what Loui has to share below.

Stay connected

To stay updated with new articles and videos, sign up for my mailing list. Among other things, there are advantages to being on the list. You will receive invitations to events in the Leaders Saloon where you get new inspiration in reflection with other leaders, HR specialists and leadership developments professionals.

Decisions guided by bias affect your decisions

Many managers’ decisions are guided by bias. There are approximately 200 different types of bias. A bias is actually a mistaken decision. It is an automatic and unconscious mechanism that gets in your way of making clear decisions. We all have a different levels of bias and they are context-dependent. When dribbling a ball on a basketball court, it may be a kind of bias that affects your decision about where to move. For managers in sales meetings, you may have a bia that affects your choices and how you develop a  strategy. Your decisions are often consciously or unconsciously guided by bias, which can have positive and negative affects on your leadership and those around you. Read more to learn 7 ways you can make better decisions and minimise bias.

Good management in high-performance environments

We are constantly updating software on our smartphones. Imagine your brain as a computer that can be upgraded. As you grow your awareness, you get a stronger operating system that can handle heavier programs and more graphics. A software update is the metaphor we use to explain conscious management. Conscious management is a way of good management, especially in high performance environments.

This post is for all the affected families and unborn children whose brains and nervous systems are affected by the stress levels of the mother. Our society is hopeless when it comes to pregnant women in work. This is especially true in high performance environments, especially in the case of top of Danish businesses and among major consultants. How does one deal with a pregnancy when having a career?

Contact Josefine for a non-binding call on stress coaching at +45 26361199 or Hello@josefinecampbell.com or read more
about stress coaching here

Stress and pregnancy?

Stress has become a working condition in high performance environments. It is something that happens and something which must be handled; we cannot completely avoid stress. But, how to deal with pregnancy when having a career? Should you as a woman avoid high performance jobs if you want to become pregnant one day?

It should be forbidden to put too much pressure on a pregnant women. When a woman is pregnant the development of the foetus’s nervous system and brain will be affected by the stress level of the mother. As a coach, I meet many skilled people who push themselves and their bodies into an unhealthy and stressful position.

Better performance with meditation 

I spoke with meditation teacher, writer and martial arts master Henning Daverne about stress, meditation and good leadership. The most interesting thing about meditation is that it leads to better performance and stronger results for leaders which positively penetrates into their companies. Watch the video and learn more about meditation for leaders.

Stress at work is related to too much adrenaline

Did you know that there is a risk that you and your co-workers have a high level of stress? The stress hormone is called adrenaline – and affects your behavior, your decisions and what you are capable of as a business. Too much adrenaline is not good and can have a negative effect. In the video, I talk about adrenaline and how it relates to stress.