• florian hoefling

#thIMPULSE - EDITION 08.2020 - Sete de Setembro

thoughts & impulses about change & progress.




The Power of Now

Bom dia my beloved reader,

First of all, as you noticed, the August Edition had a little holiday delay…

So here we go…

Circling ideas in my mind, the downward spiral of thoughts, everything fearful gets amplified and creates a mountain out of a molehill (aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen).

This pattern I observe within me, by listening and observing coachees and participants in trainings and seminars.

I can not get rid of these thoughts…help!!

Of course Corona did not help, not necessary due to Corona but due to the overall situation in my life and of course, the abundant availability of the resource “time” (Corona time is not the best for service providers:-).

The more I thought, engaged my mind, the more I suffered.

The theory sounds so easy: Wake up, make a conscious decision to only engage in thoughts that are relevant for the here and now, and that's it.

Sounds easy, but it is very hard (at least for me).

No thoughts or regrets about the past, no thoughts about how it should be in the future…only here and now…that’s the target, that’s the wish, that's damn hard…

But maybe even the wish is too ambitious, too conscious…

Maybe I start with just being conscious about the pattern when it unfolds and I take it from there.

Small steps at a time!

Happy change and progress!

Florian

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Why Today?

Sete de Setembro

My beloved giant - Brazil - awakes.

On the 7th of September 1822 Brazil declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.

After being a colony for quite some time, in 1815, Prince Regent John VI. created the United Kingdom of Portugal Brazil and the Algarves, which elevated Brazil to the ranks of a kingdom.

This was an important first steps, as now Brazil had a far greater administrative independence from Portugal.

The actual independence was ultimately won through tough diplomacy. In 1820 a political revolution erupted in Portugal, which forced the royal family to return from Brazil back to Portugal. However, the crown prince Pedro di Alcântara, Prince of Brazil, also known as Dom Pedro I., refused to return on 9th of January 1822, which became famous as Dia do Fico (I’ll Stay Day).

On the 7th of September then, in a famous scene at the shore of the Ipiranga River, Price Pedro declared the country’s independence, ending 322 years of colonialism of Portugal in Brazil (independence got official only on the 22 September 1822). So Dom Pedro I. became the first emperor of Brazil reigning from 1823 – 1831.

On November 15th 1889 Brazil became a republic but ever since kept the 7th of September as independence day. If you look at the Brazilian flag you can count 27 stars: The 27 stars (actually minus 7 initially) represent the night sky over Rio De Janeiro on November 15th 1889.

And that was the beginning of a giant taking off …

I am deeply bound to this country, its people and their attitude of life.

Since I first set foot on Brazilian soil in 2006, I knew…wow…amazing!! The most outstanding quality of Brazil and its people is the amazing joy and happiness they radiate…The easiness and lightness how most of them navigate through life, love and laughter is addictive. This is probably the reason why I am drawn to everything this country has to offer: beach, surf, sunshine, football, dance, carnival, capoeira, music, literature, liberalism, people, rain forest,…

So in order to honor this giant:

  • Get your Brazilian Jersey out and wear it with pride!!

  • Raise your Brazilian flag up high! The green for nature (YES, NATURE MR. B), the yellow for wealth, the blue in the center representing Brazilian’s center of its own universe.

  • Enjoy the show! Celebrate! Brazilians like to party!

  • Celebrate Brazil’s diversity! Brazilian families embraces diversity by their roots and heritage as most of them are a diverse melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. It is a day to celebrate Brazil’s diversity as a unique treasure.

  • Last but not least, be careful, keep your distance and pay attention to the person next to you, as we all should think of Brazil going through a missive challenge with Corona right now.

Parabéns Brasil, tudo de bom e um ótimo dia de comemoração, mas também de atenção.

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Business Tools for Free

THE “retreat”

Meditation, Silence and Stillness as a way forward.

When you have to reboot yourself, when you have to shut it all off…then it is time for a Vipassana meditation retreat (https://bit.ly/3gwA4Hv).

Vipassana is one of India’s oldest meditation technique. It was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. The word Vipassana means “seeing things as they really are” – a process of self-purification by self-observation. It is said that the Buddha used this technique under the Bodhi Tree.

It is not a ritual, it is not a religion, it is not a sect, it is not a cure…

It is an art of living to contribute positively to society. A technique of mental purification in today’s life of tension, rush and pressure, a method to eradicate suffering.

Basically the standard course is a 10 days silent meditation retreat, which is free of charge (donation based). These retreats exist all over the world and are structured the same everywhere.

A key aspect is “anicca”, the Phali word for “change” / “impermanence”, a concept which is stressed throughout the retreat and of course, symbolizes life.

So from my point of view a Vipassana retreat, a very powerful change tool to watch out for.

The results of the Buddha were quite successful and so can be yours when you are diligent with the technique and rigorous with its execution (I am still processing obviously).

Anicca! Anicca! Anicca!

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Business Idea for Free

The Photobook Concierge

Concierge Service handling your terabytes of photo stock.

My vision: Photominimalism to keep the essential memories!

Problem:

I have about 29 GB of photos and videos on my phone. I have a back up drive with additionally 450 GB of photos.

And how often do I actually look at 99.99% of the photos? NEVER.

Often friends and family ask: how was it in France? How was it in Slovenia? Do you have some pictures to show? Of course I have. So I take out my phone and flick through a couple hundred photos on a small screen so that they can get more or less an impression.

I am always telling myself: if I would have some more time, I would do some photo books. People can look at them easier, I have a nicer souvenir and the space on my computer, phone and external hard drives would considerably decrease.

Solution:

A concierge service. This concierge service sends out external hard drives where the customers can save all their photos on. They return the filled up hard drive to the service company. At the company they have a software which analyses the pictures and deletes all photos that are flue, not well centered…Out of the remaining ones, the software will structure the photos in chronological order and a staff member will look at the remaining photos to pick out the nicest photos. The software will create according to the wishes of the customer a personalized photobook and possibly additionally a SD Card with the photos in the cover of the book. By this it is assured that the photos are not lost and there is a nice photobook available.

Extensions are of course to use AI to memorize the photo patterns of the customer and by this knows which photos to select. Additionally a pre-selection could be send to the customer to approve or rank and by this the software could also learn tastes.

Next steps:

If the idea resonates with you and you would like to exchange further, e.g. scalability, commercial concept,…I am happy you contact me: fh@florianhoefling.com.

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A Though about Culture

Chinese Culture - 8 lessons I learnt from living and working in China

#5 - laoban (老板) – THE boss – period!

In Chinese culture; far more than in the West; the boss is the boss.

She/he has an extremely important position.

She/he is not only responsible for managing a company but also responsible for being the father, the caretaker and the decider of the family / company at all times.

When in doubt ask the boss – or – do not decide, the boss is responsible for that.

Of course Confucianism is at play: the family, the network. In this case however, most importantly, how the society is constructed: very hierarchical, very patriarchal.

In my time in China I found it fascinating how the bosses were approached by their employees. Already using the right name for the boss is important. Depending on the rank it can be: President Chang, Manager Chang, Old Chang…

Furthermore the objective of every employee in the company is how to impress the boss and most importantly, how to bring value to their boss in order him/her to decide in one’s favor. This can be through anything: a gift, a favor, nice words,…

When I was working in sales, my first questions to my sales guys was always:

  • How can we get access to the boss?

  • Who knows him/her, who knows it’s family, who knows a friend of his/her?

  • Who knows somebody who knows somebody, who knows somebody…who knows her/him?

And then when meeting with a boss, very important: please the boss, establish a relationship based on adding tremendous value for her/him (like everywhere).

Internally as well as externally: bosses are never interested in problems, they are always interested in solutions!!

Me as a boss in China I had the pleasure to decide but I also had the pain of deciding.

Conflict management in China means: either the boss takes care or the conflicts are buried under many layers of avoidance, ignorance and silence. Be prepared for both of them.

When working for a Chinese boss, understanding Chinese culture (all 8 lessons at least) gets vital for not arriving at a point of extreme frustration.

As direct confrontation is not common and appreciated in Chinese culture, conflicts especially also with the upper hierarchy, are avoided and have to be avoided like the plague. It is up to you to engage with your network around your boss to understand what the situation is looking like.

I can remember for me it was particularly difficult when my direct boss had a tendency to call my employees directly to get to information he wanted and did not involve me at all within this process, especially when conflictual topics with customers were at stake. Of course sometimes it can be very helpful, when langue and culture (especially with customer interactions) are extremely needed, but nevertheless be prepared to experience that.

Additionally be prepared that contradiction in public meetings and places are to be avoided as the “face” (see https://bit.ly/2ODoEWR) is vital for everybody and NOBODY contradicts the boss (even when he is obviously wrong).

Remember: Overall in China the boss is the father, the caretaker and the absolute power…

As a boss…make sure you care, respect and decide!!

What does it mean for you as a foreigner in China or when interacting with Chinese?

  • Be aware that typically only the boss decides

  • Be aware that getting access to a boss means you are on the right path to success

  • Be aware that not every employee can talk to the boss directly – it depends on the relationship

  • Be aware that a Chinese boss is also behaving just like all other Chinese: he will not decide in your favor if there is not a proper relationship established.

What are pragmatic recommendations for being the boss in China?

  • Take care of your people (like everywhere ); make sure you care and show that you care!

  • Decide and decide and decide: it is you who is giving the direction and it is you who should be able to solve a problem.

  • Do not care about etiquette too much, it’s all about caring!

  • Be sure you know 12 songs to sing at a karaoke bar. At team buildings do not mind to make a fool out of yourself, your employees will love it!

What are pragmatic recommendation for working for a Chinese boss?

  • Make him shine!!

  • Take care of him and get to know him and his needs very well.

  • Invite him for dinner or if he is inviting, drink with him.

  • Do not confront him with problems in public ONLY solutions…if criticism and contractions are needed – behind closed doors

  • Be prepared that a boss is not DECIDING although things might be clear to you. You might wonder why the hack is he/she not taking a decision? – often times in such cases, there are still things not clear to the boss or he DOES not want to decide. My recommendation: keep calm and wait…eventually things will work out – maybe also not as you expected.

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An Impulse on Leadership

The magic formula

If you are looking for the magic leadership pill…

I am a massive fan of Jerry Colonna and his work at Reboot (https://bit.ly/3dy07gK).

I love his podcast and I love his book…

I can’t recommend him highly enough…

He has designed something which I think is the most valuable leadership summary I have ever seen. It goes as follows:

Practical Skills Development + Radical Self-Inquiry + Shared Experience

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Enhanced leadership + Greater Resiliency

His focus on the lower side, clearly lies on resiliency as he explains:

“While I care about you being better leaders…I care more about you being able to survive…I want you to be happy…and that even if things don’t go as planned, you’ll still be ok.”

Jerry Colonna

On the upper side, his clear focus lies on Radical Self-Inquiry and Shared Experience. His Radical Self-Inquiry can be supported by a journaling practice (as you can use the questions at every end of thIMPULSE). Taking the time to really understand who you are, what you are about, where you come from, why you do what you do,... and on finding an environment and peers to exchange and be open and honest.

These items are incredibly useful for me and I assume for everybody else in order to progress as leader but also as human.

“I believe that better humans make better leaders. I further believe that the process of learning to lead well can help us become better humans. By growing to meet the demands of the call to leadership, we’re presented with the chance to finally, fully, grow up.”

Jerry Colonna

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A Thought on Change

Identity

…something you create and you hold on to…(a lot)

When I grew up my environment shaped me in a way that it taught me how to see, explain and judge the world. I consciously, but probably most of the times unconsciously, decided based on this conditioning. These were the underlying assumptions to create my identity as a man, father, friend, employee…

Especially growing up in a protected environment, an environment where the society left a strong mark on and were religious and social class influences were omnipresent, a profound identity got created. The imprints are deep and strong to assure me to know what to focus on and what is right and wrong.

This is the perfect recipe for success, as it is defined by today’s society standards. It is the perfect recipe for high moral values and strong intentions.

As however the world is not only the small micro-cosmos we grow up in, but is a lot more, eventually things get more complicated.

Of course we learn to be flexible, tolerant and liberal in order to accept the otherness, diversity and differences we encounter. We get trained to look outside the box, to embrace change and navigate uncertainty.

But do we really?

This is true and works perfectly fine when we are putting on our explorer mode or adventure mode, we are willingly and consciously deciding to leave our comfort zone. It works very well when you are in control and on top of things. You can pretend that you can navigate in a different set of environment.

Until the moment comes, when it does not work anymore...when s..t hits the fan...

All of a sudden we encounter…

  • Troublesome health

  • Relationship turmoil

  • A lost job 

  • A move to a different place (not on your terms)

  • COVID challenges

  • Climate change

With these encounters our stress levels rise, our cortisol spikes and we do not know what to do. The adventure mode is unthinkable and we are looking for known, accustomed helping hands. We fall immediately back to our conditioning, we hold on to our original identities and the conditioning that comes with it…but as our foundations are shaken it leads to further stress, depression and negativity as we are not capable of letting go and adapting to the new circumstances.

Why?

As we never learned to embrace adversity, challenge and struggle…

“The obstacle is the way” as Ryan Holiday beautifully wrote it.

Honestly speaking, I experience such feelings but I have not yet found a sound counter-measure.

Maybe it takes time, hard work and patience…Maybe I am already on the right way...Nevertheless I am struggling.

The only remedy coming my way is not an antibiotic (which my conditioning is wishing for) but a homeopathic globule:

  • Stay in the present…

  • Just let go…

  • Breath...

When the pain of shifting or even burying my identity creeps up, I breath and I tell myself, just let go, focus on the here and now…Things will work out…

I am less anxious…but I am still asking myself…will it work out?!...will I find a new identity?

And then again I breath in and out, slowly…and tell myself:

How is the NOW, Florian?

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Quote of the month

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Marcus Aurelius

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Journaling Question

To continue with the fera causing aspect – MONEY.

What was the belief system around money and work that you grew up with??

Take 20 minutes to free-write on everything that comes to your mind. No structure nor correct grammar nor a real thread.

Happy progress!!

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Gratitude

Thanks for reading until the end...I feel humbled and grateful!

You have feedback?

Please leave me feedback in the comments or send me an email: fh@florianhoefling.com .

Thanks!

Florian

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References*

Why today?

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/education/important-days-in-september-2020-full-information-on-the-special-dates.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Brazil)

https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/brazil/brazil-independence-day

https://nationaltoday.com/brazil-independence-day/

https://connectbrazil.com/brazilian-independence-day-15-things-to-know/

Business Tools for free

https://www.dhamma.org/de/index

An Impulse on Leadership

https://www.amazon.de/Jerry-Colonna/dp/0062749536/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&crid=1RPZ5GN3RAWXO&dchild=1&keywords=reboot+leadership+and+the+art+of+growing+up&qid=1599479617&sprefix=reboot+%2Caps%2C175&sr=8-1

A Thought on Change

https://www.amazon.de/Obstacle-Way-Ancient-Adversity-Advantage/dp/1781251495/ref=sr_1_6?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=ryan+holiday&qid=1599479661&sr=8-6

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thIMPULSE - thoughts & impulses about change & progress!

© 2019 Florian Höfling Coaching & Consulting