4min readSelf 30 December 2019
Raise your hand if you were told that hard work was valuable when you were growing up—me too!
While this well meaning mantra of "work hard and you'll be successful" was great for teaching discipline and commitment, it's time to understand that working hard won't get you what you want (and what will instead).
Don't believe me?
How many times have you sat in front of your computer for 12 hours, only to walk away with half finished projects or feeling like you were no further ahead when you stood up than when you began?
And how many times have you been at the movies, in the bathtub, or doing something non-work related that gave you a business altering insight that when you sat down to process it, somehow you churned out a week's worth of work in three hours?
This is the difference between working with or working against your energetic blueprint.
Hard work will only take you so far, and it creates more stress, conflict, and tension than necessary along the way that can actually set you back in your business. If you want to truly slay your goals in 2020, it's time to learn how to work with your energetic blueprint. Because success comes from aligned action—not hard work.
Identifying Your Primary Energetic Type
There are four primary energetic types: The Maven, The Dreamer, The Strategist, and The Professor. Like astrology, you have a primary archetype that will make up most of how you show up in the world, with sprinkles of other archetypes to keep things interesting. Knowing your primary energetic archetype alone will bring you further into alignment so that the actions you take in your business are meaningful and move the needle.
Here's a breakdown of each archetype to help you identify which one you most relate to.
This energetic archetype is who influencers dream of being when they grow up. This archetype is the star of the show in their business and rocks out their authentic expertise. Think Oprah Winfrey, Mel Robbins, Lori Grenier, and Shay Mitchell. Mavens know that their success comes from taking center stage, being willing to leap before they're ready, and sharing both their story and the causes they stand behind with their audience. Mavens are true leaders, and they're dedicated to the people they serve. Strong, honest, and willing to make the tough calls, Mavens are able to build empires that last generations when they're in alignment.
If you're a Maven, watch out for being too hard on yourself. You likely know that you're special (and the rest of the world can see it too), but just because you're a unicorn doesn't mean that you should be further along by now. Your archetype is your potential, and only you can write your destiny. So share your story, take your rightful place on stage, and build a team that can support you with all of the things. But remember, your team is there to support you. Because you have a tendency to be too hard on yourself, that can extend to your team. Remember, when you push your support system away, they can't help you when you fall—and everybody falls sometimes.
The Dreamers are the seers of the world. Think Brene Brown, Gabby Bernstein, Vera Wang, and Sara Blakely. They are connected to emotions, experiences, and the infinite well of possibilities more so than any other energetic archetype, which is what fuels their inspiration and creativity. Dreamers see the whole puzzle when the rest of the world sees fragmented pieces, half of which are turned upside down and scattered under the table. They connect the dots and find solutions where others may only spin their wheels in problems. Dreamers often have creative and artistic businesses, such as copywriters, fashion designers, photographers, or branding experts, but they also can be inventors, visionaries, and social media managers.
If you're a Dreamer, you need more structure than any other energetic archetype to stay in alignment. When you're out of alignment, you're waiting for inspiration to strike. But your gift isn't inspiration—it's tapping into the creative flow on demand. When you wait for inspiration, you surrender the most authentic piece of you to the unknown, creating more hardship than there needs to be. While structure can often make you feel suffocated, it's the key to your freedom.
The energetic archetype of The Strategist is crucial for human and business evolution. Without The Strategist, people would often be left in squalor and turmoil, because it's The Strategist who is able to see the solutions and opportunities in impossible problems. Think Melinda Gates, Mary Barra, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gina Rodriguez. Whether it's a humanitarian effort, building an empire, or solving a world crisis, Strategists are able to see the many possibilities, outcomes, and solutions that evade others. What separates Strategists from Dreamers is that Strategists are able to see step-by-step plans in clear and pragmatic ways, so they can enlist help, delegate tasks, and create forward movement.
If you're a Strategist, you are more likely to struggle with being seen (visibility issues, anyone?). You're also likely to get frustrated and stall your decisions if you can't see the whole solution from the get go. Don't let this halt your business. Remember, forward movement can bring other variables into focus that will help you find the right solution, which would be impossible to see otherwise. It's easy for you to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because many people come to rely on you for the answers to their problems. While this can be lucrative for you in business, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood when you're out of alignment.
The Professor archetype is equal parts student, teacher, and changemaker. They desire to make a difference in the world, and they spend an immense amount of time learning skills, methodologies, and information that they believe will help them be more effective in helping others. Think Emma Watson, Peggy Whitson, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, and Farnoosh Torabi. When Professors are in alignment, they're epically curious and bring that passion for learning to their clients. When Professors are excited to share, their audience is excited to receive. Professors are able to take information and assimilate it into their being more effectively than any of the other archetypes. This means that they go beyond the information phase and create a practice from the insights they learn.
If you're a Professor, it's important to remember that alignment isn't about feeling ready for you. Your curious nature will consistently make you feel unready to go out and teach others. There will always be another certification or degree to get. There will always be more studies to conduct. But if you spend your life preparing to serve, you don't actually get there and the people you would have helped are starved in the process. Put yourself out there and go for it. The world needs you.
Are You Misaligned or Learning?
Learning your primary energetic archetype is the first step in taking aligned action. But there's a huge elephant in the room that needs to be addressed—learning the difference between being out of alignment and experiencing a learning curve.
Your energetic archetype is there to help you understand how you show up best in the world and your business. If you want to accomplish your goals, your archetype is a great way to see potential potholes and avoid some of the problems that can happen before they pop up. Keep in mind, that being in alignment doesn't mean everything is going to be smooth sailing.
Think about it like this. You've got a puzzle laid out over the table. You've got most of it together, and you have this piece in your hand that you know belongs in this particular section. You try it one way, and it doesn't fit. You turn it—no go. You turn it again—blast! You try one more time (even though it doesn't look quite right), and BAM! Success!
This happens in your business all of the time because you're learning new skills, perspectives, and strategies. So you want to make sure that you have a process to check for your alignment according to your archetype. If you're showing up in your strengths and you're not resisting your weaknesses, then you're likely just learning. When you're in a learning phase, this is when you get outside help to guide you through the process.
This next year is all about building your business and crafting your success from alignment. The harder you work and the more you resist, the harder it will be to make (and keep!) money. Part of slaying your goals in 2020 is coming up with an alignment plan so that you can stay in your primary archetypal energy. That's where you'll work smarter, not harder. In that space, you'll be able to see where you need support and what you've already mastered.
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4 Min Read
In 2020, as the world turned on its axis, we all held on for dear life. Businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and entrepreneurs all braced for a new normal, not sure what it would mean, what would come next, or if we should be excited or terrified.
At the same time that everything is shifting, being put on hold, or expanding, companies have to evaluate current talent needs, empower their teams to work from home, discover new ways to care for clients from a distance, and navigate new levels of uncertainty in this unfamiliar environment. Through it all, civilians are being encouraged to lean into concepts like "resilience" and "courage" and "commitment," sometimes for the first time.
Let's contrast what the business community is going through this year with the common experience of the military. During basic training, officer candidate school, multiple deployments, combat, and reintegration, veterans become well-versed in resilience, courage, and commitment to survive and thrive in completing their mission. Today, veterans working in the civilian sector find the uncertainty, chaos, instability, and fear threading through companies eerily familiar.
These individuals do not leave their passion and sense of service behind when they separate or retire out of the military. Instead, typically veterans continue to find avenues to serve — in their teams, their companies, their communities.
More than ever before, today's employers who employ prior military should focus on why and how to retain them and leverage their talents, experience, and character traits to help lead the company — and the employees — to the other side of uncertainty.
What makes veterans valuable employees
Informed employers recognize that someone with a military background brings certain high-value assets into the civilian sector. Notably, veterans were taught, trained, and grounded in certain principles that make them uniquely valuable to their employers, particularly given the current business environment, including:
It's been said that the United States Armed Forces is the greatest leadership institution in the world. The practices, beliefs, values, and dedication of those who serve make them tested leaders even outside of the military. Given the opportunity to lead, a veteran will step forward and assume the role. Asked to respect and support leadership, they comply with that position as well. Leadership is in the veteran's blood and for a company that seeks employees with the confidence and commitment to lead if called upon, a veteran is the ideal choice.
The hope is that all employees are committed to their job and give 100% each day. For someone in the military, this is non-negotiable. The success of the mission, and the lives of everyone around them, depend on their commitment to stay the course and perform their job as trained. When the veteran employee takes on a project, it will be completed. When the veteran employee says there's an unsurmountable obstacle, it is so (not an excuse). When a veteran says they're "all in" on an initiative, they will see it through.
Strategy, planning, and improv
Every mission involves strategy, planning, and then improvisation from multiple individuals. On the battlefield, no plan works perfectly, and the service member's ability to flex, pivot, and adapt makes them valuable later, in the civilian sector. Imagine living in countries where you don't speak the language, working alongside troops who come from places you can't find on a map, and having to communicate what needs to get done to ensure everyone's safety. Veterans learned how to set goals, problem-solve challenges, and successfully get results.
With an all-volunteer military for decades now, every man and woman who wore our nation's uniform raised their hand to do so. They chose to serve their country, their fellow Americans, and their leaders. These individuals do not leave their passion and sense of service behind when they separate or retire out of the military. Instead, typically veterans continue to find avenues to serve — in their teams, their companies, their communities.
When companies seek out leaders who will commit to a bigger mission, can think strategically and creatively, and will serve others, they look to veterans.
Best practices in retention of veteran talent
Retention starts at hiring. The experience set out in the interview stage provides insight about how it will be to work and grow within the team at the company. For employers hiring veterans, this is a critical step.
Veterans often tell me that they "look to work for a company that has a set of values I can ascribe to." The topic of values can serve as an opportunity for companies seeking to retain military talent.
The veteran employee may have had a few — or several — jobs since leaving the military. Or this may be their first civilian work experience. In any case, setting expectations and being clear about goals is vital. Remember, veterans are trained to complete a mission and a goal. When an employer clarifies the mission and shows how the veteran employee's role supports and fulfills that mission, the employee can more confidently and successfully complete their work.
Additionally, regular check-ins are helpful with veteran employees. These employees may not be as comfortable asking for help or revealing their weaknesses. When the employer checks in regularly, and shows genuine interest in their happiness, sense of productivity, and overall job satisfaction, the veteran employee learns to be more comfortable asking for help when needed.
The military is a values-driven culture. Service members are instilled with values of loyalty, integrity, service, duty, and honor, to name a few. When they transition out of the military, veterans still seek a commitment to values in their employers. Veterans often tell me that they "look to work for a company that has a set of values I can ascribe to." The topic of values can serve as an opportunity for companies seeking to retain military talent. Make it clear what your values are, how you live and act on those values, and how the veteran's job will promote and support those values. Even work that is less glamorous can be attractive to a veteran if they understand the greater purpose and mission.
Today, veterans working in the civilian sector find the uncertainty, chaos, instability, and fear threading through companies eerily familiar.
Finally, leveraging the strengths and goals of any employee is critical, and particularly so with veterans. If you have an employee who is passionate about service, show them ways to give back — through mentoring, community engagement, volunteerism, etc. If your veteran continues to seek leadership roles, find opportunities for them to contribute at higher levels, even informally. When your veteran employee offers to reframe the team's mission to gain better alignment across the sector, give them some runway to experiment. You have a workforce that is trained and passionate about and skilled in adapting and overcoming. Let them do what they do best.