From the CEO October 2018

Is there such a thing as being passionate and balanced?

"Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion."
Simon Sinek

Community engagement professionals are an incredibly generous and passionate group. Recently I’ve been reflecting on ‘how do you recharge and restore yourselves after giving so much of yourselves away?’

As community engagement professionals you are more often than not ‘silent’ leaders and change agents – passionately taking on a range of engagement challenges. Some complex - some more straightforward, some short term – some long term, some where you have lots of rope (empower) and some where the rope is short (inform). And you give a piece of yourself to each of them.

So, after supporting communities, stakeholders and decision makers navigate their way through what is often difficult decision making – how do you stay balanced?

How do you reconcile being passionate with your own well-being? Is there such a thing as being passionate and balanced?

So why is this on my mind?

We are fast approaching our annual conference “Shake It Up” on the Gold Coast. The IAP2A conference is a great opportunity to reconnect, recharge and restore. I hope it is an opportunity to fill your tank for another year of engagement, of giving and shaping and healing and aligning and communicating.

To reconnect with your tribe, to share the good learnings and the bad, and to come away buzzing.

It is an opportunity to recharge and hopefully restore some balance.

A personal journey to finding my tribe

I’m not a community engagement professional – but I share your values, and I want to make a difference. At last year’s conference we did an exercise – it was great icebreaker and got us all thinking about values-based decision-making – but sadly I didn’t find my tribe.

I want to share a story with you. I have a cousin. She is amazing! She is intelligent, kind and a busy working mother with a lot on her plate – very little of which she can influence. Her rope is short. She has been dealt a bad hand in life. It is as bad as it gets. And I spend time thinking about how can I help her? So I listen. I try to understand and be supportive. I want to create a safe place for her.

Then it occurred to me - you are my tribe. I have learnt so much from you in my first year in the role – and it continues to shape how I approach things.

In New Zealand (where I have spent 30 years of my life), there is a proverb (or whakatauki):

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

So, my people - I’m looking forward to reconnecting, to sharing learnings and to recharging with you on the Gold Coast. Perhaps I too will also find this elusive balance!

With only two weeks left till till 'Shake It Up!' the 2018 Conference, now is the time to register, before tickets sell out. Register here:

This month, you can nourish yourself with these articles, providing plenty of opportunity for reflection and food for thought:

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