Resilient individuals demonstrate durability and not only navigate through crises unscathed but often emerge from them even stronger. Coach Harald Gabriel explains the role of one's life story in enhancing personal resilience.
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Since 2017, Karsten Drath has been cycling around the world to collect donations for the Cosmikk Foundation under the motto "Coaching for a better world". This year, his 7th stage will take the entrepreneur, coach and podcast host through North America. Starting at the end of July, he wants to cover 3,500 kilometers in 35 days: from Saskatoon to Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. Local fundraising events will also be held in each of these cities. Drath is one of the founders of the digital coaching platform Cosmikk and co-founder of the non-profit Cosmikk Foundation. This foundation helps the leadership teams of nonprofit organizations gain access to high-quality, quality-assured coaching at no cost. For example, Drath and many of his colleagues have been active in the Ahr Valley for 1.5 years, where they support members of a local aid organization by providing free coaching and team development. The Cosmikk Foundation collects donations, selects the NGOs and finances the coaches, who in the future will receive a small allowance for their years of work. To make this possible, the foundation needs donations. Drath's fundraising tour by bicycle around the world takes him in fifteen stages over at least 35,000 km. He always travels alone, using only muscle power and without external support. He spends the night in a tent. So far, Drath has already covered 14,700 km through 13 countries and raised around 96,000 euros in donations. His route has taken him from Gibraltar to the North Cape and from Lisbon to Poland. He is currently crossing North America from West to East. Last year, his tour took him through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which he is now following up on. Drath is already looking forward to this year's tour: "I'm very excited about the change between solitude and the bustling big city. I'm sure I'll meet exciting people again along the way. I'm already looking forward to that!" This year will hopefully see many more donations for the Cosmikk Foundation, which Karsten Drath launched in 2022 together with his co-managing director Uwe Achterholt. Regular updates from the tour can be found here: around-the-world-by-bike.blog
I'm top prepared. I hope the interview goes well - but will I reach my interview partners?" The little question mark is justified. Often the "how" of communication cancels out the "what".
The Insecure Overachiever
Since the 1950s, McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s leading strategy consulting firm, has been known to employ the best graduates from the best universities, and to use performance incentives and a very formative high-performance culture to shape these young, hungry ‘high potentials’ according to their requirements. After these young consultants are pushed to the maximum by their international projects, most of them voluntarily leave the company on good terms after three years at the latest in order to take up leading positions in the industry and then to become potential customers of their former employer. Over the past few decades, this HR strategy and its accompanying high-performance culture were adopted in the field of professional services by the majority of international companies and are now also entering many more traditional industrial and service-based companies.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to a prestigious leadership symposium of a large car manufacturer. For the following two days, I was supposed to be one of the experts facilitating workshops for the 80 or so participating managers. The topic of my workshop was called “Resilience and Leadership” and I was very much looking forward to it. I had just completed the manuscript of my new book called “The Art of Self Leadership”. It was my 8th book on the topic and I really think of myself as an expert when it comes to dealing with adversity and hardships – at least in theory. As it was early February there had been a very cold period with snow and ice in the past days. However, this very morning sudden rain had turned the stairs in front of my house into an ice rink and despite the warning of my wife the blessings of gravity hit me by surprise and I fell hard on my back. The pain was remarkable but I quickly got back on my feet and since I was running late I somehow got my luggage and myself into the car and drove to the venue of the event without much further ado. At this moment, I was not thinking very much. There was only one voice in my head saying “You have to get there somehow and you must not be late”. I don’t recall exactly how I got out of the car since I could barely walk. When I arrived at the conference the organizers looked at me with deep concern in their faces indicating that I looked exactly as bad as I felt.
“We have 90 offices with 30,000 employees and more than €50 billion assets under management.” I interrupt the ambitious young real estate consultant’s presentation to ask: “Is this the first slide you will be showing in the major pitch you have been preparing?”
Why should anyone be coached by you?
Leaving our comfort zone often requires accepting a certain loss of control going alongside with the feeling of fear. This is nothing that executives particularly fancy – however it is key to success in today’s world.
There I was sitting. Already 25 minutes in the anteroom of the CEO, waiting. Not that I had been warned in advance that my conversation partner would be extremely busy. But of course I had shown up perfectly in time for the clearing conversation for one of his top managers from the first management level, responsible for 16.000 employees in more than 20 locations.
Originally I had suggested a meeting among the three of us. So, we could start coaching process with the same basis. But this suggestion was crushed by the CEO’s secretary weeks ago. He wanted to speak with me alone, the matter was critical.