Facing your Jonah
In two widely differing careers spanning 30 years, I have experienced spectacular success and crushing setbacks.
On the way to the top of international rugby, I played 27 times for England - including a World Cup in which I encountered the legendary All Black Jonah Lomu, and toured twice with the British Lions before my playing days were cut short by injury.
And then as a pilot I captained the world’s biggest passenger aircraft until being made redundant due to Covid when my A380 fleet was grounded.
The lessons I have learned along the way from the world's leading coaches are now being shared in a third career in which I'm helping others to build mental wellness and resilience.
Called Facing Your Jonah, the programme uses personal experiences to create a lattice of practical strategies, tactics and tools which participants can use to build the resilience they need to withstand the pressures of their environment, and ultimately to thrive in it.
Unprecedented changes to working practices and the onslaught of onerous lifestyle restrictions have depleted resilience, self-worth and wellbeing.
To address the challenge, this programme aims to help individuals and teams develop better mental, physical and emotional health.
The pillars of the programme are:
General Resilience for all employees, C-ARE for Me
Leadership Resilience for leaders, C-ARE for You
Team Resilience for your organisational culture, C-ARE for Us
RESILIENCE FROM TAKING C-ARE
The C-ARE belief system and coping strategies
C is Control
Control only the controllables
Learn to know the difference between circles of concern, influence and control.
Take cAre with your Attitude
Choose your response
Setbacks don’t define you
Get better not bitter
Seek caRe from your Relationships
Never tire of talking
Vulnerability is a strength
Courage to ask for help
Take proactive carE with your Environment
Step away from toxic cultures
Break dysfunctional ties
Nurturing or hindering
C-ARE for ME
Personal resilience allows you to:
Manage work/life balance and stress effectively and avoid burnout
Behave authentically – true to your strengths and values
Have the courage, determination and perseverance to pursue long-term goals
Maintain high-quality connections
Stay inspired and find meaning
Be flexible and mentally tough
With that in mind, the General Resilience Facing Your Jonah toolkit draws on powerful personal experiences to teach attendees how to:
Develop and maintain a better attitude
Improve relationships and connections
Fix only what can be fixed
Prioritise the important before it becomes urgent
C-ARE FOR YOU
Leadership has been tested in the extreme during the past few years, and teams that have been dislocated now need leaders who can rise above chaos.
Our Leadership Resilience session is designed to meet the specific requirements of managers, supervisors and Partners. Here we will share lessons learned in high performance environments including the A380 flight deck, elite sport and ocean yacht racing to place particular focus on:
Understanding the power of vulnerability
Developing positive habits to deal with compassion fatigue
Absorbing the burden of responsibility
Building trust and creating a safe environment for people to talk honestly
Practising clear and unambiguous communication – particularly when under pressure
Developing emotional intelligence
Fostering a sense of purpose and helping employees find meaning in their work
Managing change effectively and responsibly to ensure that it is seen as an opportunity rather than a roadblock
Staying optimistic and using positive messaging
Displaying and promoting good habits for physical and mental health
C-ARE for US
Long working hours, lockdown isolation and competing client demands and priorities create a high pressure environment in which individuals and teams are often placed under extreme pressure.
In the Team Resilience curriculum, we share stories and personal experiences gathered from the top of world sport and aviation, to show team members how to:
Trust each other, be ‘true’ and feel safe
Understand what ‘I’ve got your back’ really means
Re-unite and restore operational balance
Control the controllables
Build emotional intelligence
Develop a ‘better together’ culture