My plans and dreams for this newsletter
Hello everyone and welcome!
I start this newsletter with two goals in mind:
To share what I’m learning as I create a world class support system for System Changers
To learn and connect with people through writing
Here’s a recap of what to expect:
Interviews with System Changers on their ambitious projects to change the world and their approach to personal growth. I’ll be covering; what’s in their toolkit, what’s holding them back, what gives them energy, and so much more.
Useful resources, tools and insights from my work as a coach.
Updates on live projects, campaigns and opportunities.
Reflections on my journey as I build this support system, and what I’m learning about changing systems in my work and life.
I can’t wait to get going! Before we dive in, here’s an outline of my plans and dreams for this newsletter.
The System Changers
I’ll be profiling a diverse mix of people. Each of them will have an inspiring vision for the future, and they’ll be working actively towards it. Crucially, they’ll be growth-oriented and just as interested in evolving themselves as the systems around them. People on my wish list include: Munroe Bergdorf, Dr Brené Brown, Marcus Rashford, Stacey Abrams… the list is long. My grandfather has been a huge inspiration to me and thinking about him and his work in aviation inspires me to profile historical people too.
I’d like this newsletter to spark new energy and ideas. As well as inspiring stories and resources, I’ll include inspiration from poetry, art, film, and music. I want to stir something in you, help you reflect a little deeper, and motivate you into action. My best lesson from my years in advertising came from the legendary, late Dan Wieden: “just move me, dude!” As a System Changer you need to inspire others; I hope this material helps you to build that muscle.
I want to use my experience in brand, people ops and service design to identify resources and tools that actually make a difference to your growth. Coaching System Changers 1:1 gives me lots of exposure to your needs and pain points. This newsletter will help you to find practical support to address these, and it’ll inspire me to source or create new ones where I see gaps.
A platform for people, projects and opportunities
I’ll be highlighting live System Changer projects, campaigns and opportunities to help raise awareness of brilliant work and connect people and initiatives. Are you working on something you’d like me to share with this community? Let me know!
Multiple need states
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a coach is that each of us is different when it comes to growth. Each person has different needs on different days, projects and in different seasons of life.
This newsletter will cater to multiple need states, representing the reality and richness of your experience as a System Changer, and your zig-zagging journey with growth. I want to help you; make decisions, process thoughts and feelings, dream big dreams, work out what’s important to you, get a different perspective, try new things and take action. I want it to be somewhere for you to come when you feel stuck, when things are too much, and when you can’t see the wood for the trees. It’ll help you to re-charge, power-up, get grounded, and deepen self awareness.
Research in the open
I’m treating this newsletter as a research project to help me build a world class support system. I’m working in the open to invite collaboration, share what I’m learning and get feedback as I go. I want to share the themes and patterns I’m spotting, and provide summaries and analysis.
I want this newsletter to be a high quality resource. That means good writing, reputable sources, and openness to feedback. I won’t always get it right so please engage with me on this. Let me know if you’ve spotted something that seems off; I’m here to learn!
It’s easy to put System Changers on a pedestal and forget the reality of this work and that we’re all fallible human beings. This resource will only be helpful if it’s real. I’ll be making space in this newsletter for failure, sadness, stress, and sacrifice, as well as the success and highlights.
Whether it’s the responsibilities of leadership, the challenges of sharing controversial ideas, or wanting to carry on whilst everyone around you gives up, being a System Changer can be quite isolating. System Changers often allude to the loneliness of their work in coaching and the interviews I’ve held so far. I’d like this newsletter to facilitate connection and collective action. I aim to help you find your tribe and your collaborators. I’m already plotting ways to bring this community together IRL.
I’ve sat in enough rooms debating new technologies and digital campaigns to know that it’s easy to get overexcited about change and innovation, and for this to take over and distract from first principles. Whilst this newsletter is largely about building agency to drive change, it will also make regular nods to the timeless, to old wisdom, and things that stay the same.
Grounded, powerful and fulfilled
There’s something missing/under-appreciated, in our culture around impact and work: balance. Impactful work should not cost us our health and happiness. Burnout is a dangerous badge of honour. We should seek to be conscious, fulfilled human beings because these things are important in their own right. And, when we treat ourselves as whole people, deserving of choice, health, joy and meaning on many fronts, we simply do more powerful work. It’s not easy, and there are important conversations to be had here about privilege, systemic disadvantage and disincentives, but I believe it’s possible to make an extraordinary impact whilst cultivating a rich and fulfilling life. This support system is for multifaceted humans driving change and exploring what you need to thrive.
When I first read Anaïs Nin’s poem above, I had a bodily reaction to it; a clenching of the gut and something that felt like heartache. I realised I was tired of the old stories keeping me small and ready for change. As I emerge from a few years of transition to a new career as a coach and a new way of life more broadly, this newsletter represents a big commitment to showing up and sharing more of my ideas and work with the world.
Facing all the fears associated with that, I remind myself that this tipping-point place of growth is what makes this work so exciting. It’s suffused with meaning, courage, vulnerability, creativity, adrenaline, faith and surrender. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
We’re in this together. Know that I’m committed to continuing my growth alongside you.
From climate change, to growing inequality, to racism, to polarisation, and the power of big tech, we face a great number of systemic challenges. If you care deeply about the world and you tackle these issues directly, it can be hard to be optimistic, especially when confronted with glaring examples of failure in leadership on a daily basis.
The antidotes are; inspiration, knowledge, support, community and opportunities to take action and grow.
What are you working on, and where do you need support with your growth? Hit reply and let me know.
I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s go!