This year will be remembered as one of radical change to our personal and professional lives. In Australia, we dealt with catastrophic bush fires, closely followed by strict lockdowns due to Covid-19, state and international border closures, employment loss, and an economic downturn. Most of our clients were unaffected by workforce reductions however, everyone grappled with increased anxiety, interrupted sleep patterns and mental fog. The mental and emotional toll was evident in almost every coaching conversation. It's to be expected; our fine-tuned routines were interrupted, launching our brains into overdrive mode for months on end. Plus, many of us have family and friends overseas, where tragic news abound.

Yes, we are ready to pause, rest and reset. Which is why we're all looking forward to the Christmas Holiday break. It will be different, no doubt about it. There will be less social contact and even no family gatherings in some places. What can we do to enjoy the wonderment of Christmas, let alone get excited about the New Year? Let's hope these suggestions help develop a different mindset. 

Time to reset. We're just a few days away from Christmas, presenting us with an ideal opportunity to pause, rest and reset (or as STEMM folk might say, recalibrate). Even if you can't travel overseas, as is the case for us in Australia, you can still enjoy discovering new places in your region. If another lockdown sneaks upon us, consider using the time to make those phone calls you were too busy to make during the year, order that book you've been wanting to read or catch up on good tips for wellbeing and health

Practise gratitude. We can still make the most of this special time of year by intentionally searching for the positives in our lives, which we can be grateful for. Having a gratitude journal next to your bed is a wonderful reminder to think about who and what you're grateful for every night before going to sleep. If you prefer technology instead of writing, there are excellent apps as well. The main thing is to take time to think about each item, savour the feelings evoked by the memory, and record it. Researchers found that during the pandemic period, there was a vivid progression from shock to acceptance—and a growing appreciation for the good things we get from other beings, including our pets, and from nature and society. 

Build and maintain hope. Hope is the belief one holds during difficult circumstances that things will get better. It requires words and thoughts to contemplate possible future events. By its very nature, hope nurtures our optimism and encourages us to work towards goals of overcoming. Researchers found that it provides a haven from pessimism and fear, it galvanises our courage and mobilises our energy and vitality, and it enhances our mood and our creative thinking. In executive coaching, we often follow Snyder's Hope Theory to help our clients produce pathways to achieve desired goals and motivate them to use those pathways by helping them recall similar, previous achievements, as well as by identifying any new resources needed.

What will you do during the Holidays to reset or recalibrate? Who and what are you grateful for that helped you endure difficult circumstances in 2020? What specific goals can you set for 2021 that will help you build and maintain hope? 

Wishing you all a restful, hopeful and safe Festive Season,

Ruby & Associates

PS. Read on for some helpful (free) resources 
We wish to say a heartfelt Thank You to our clients for trusting us with their learning & development needs. It is a privilege and an honour to be of help, and we look forward to accompanying you on your journey in the New Year.

To our business partners, industry affiliations, research colleagues and suppliers we also wish to express deep gratitude for your valuable contribution to our mission and goals.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas Holiday and continued success in 2021!

To show our appreciation, we are pleased to share these resources to help navigate these difficult times...keep building hope. 



As you would have read in the main body of the newsletter, hope can be built. We can anchor our thinking about a bright future by setting a realistic goal. Let's imagine leadership teams who consider cutting-edge solutions to the most pressing business challenges. As Professor Peter Hawkins might say, let's imagine high-value leadership teams within any type of organisation. We'd first need to ensure there is true diversity, especially diversity of thought.

STEMM leaders bring diverse thinking to the leadership table. They are persistent because failure is part of the scientific process. In coaching psychology parlance we might say that STEMM folk have plenty of agency. The question then becomes, what's stopping them from reaching top leadership roles outside of their areas of expertise (and even within, hurdles can be soul-destroying). In other words, what are the pathways for STEMM leaders to reach their full potential and flourish?

Answers and potential solutions to these obstacles ie, pathways, are discussed in Scientists in Every Boardroom. 
When published in late 2019, Scientists in Every Boardroom highlighted the global challenges faced by humanity as a result of ineffective leadership, listing climate change as the most significant and urgent. Two months later, a global pandemic ensued, exposing existing gaps in government, business and societal systems around the world. And as we enter another bush-fire season in Australia, we are bracing ourselves for the physical and mental health impact of an increasingly over-heated continent. 

The good news is...we can solve these complex challenges. History shows that we have the tools to keep discovering new solutions, as explained in the Introduction and in Chapter 1. We are also witnessing a global reawaking, albeit slowly, about the critical role scientific, rational thinking must play in leadership circles. STEMM leaders must be part of crucial decision-making to ensure scientific data is front and centre, to provide context, and to demystify and validate the information. The National Cabinet of Australia provides a good case study. Despite inevitable mistakes, their evidence-based decision-making process is credited for Australia's forward-thinking approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Another example of our ability to solve complex problems is the concerted international efforts to find safe and efficacious medical treatment against Covid-19. There are thousands of STEMM professionals around the world dedicated to innovating, testing for safety & efficacy, manufacturing, testing for quality, distributing, dispensing and administering vaccines. Just like with other viruses, it will take a multifaceted approach and, time. Again, history shows that we can get there, as long as we stay hopeful.

If you'd like to see more positive outcomes to wicked (some might describe as existential) problems, consider adding this book to your summer (or winter) reading list. It might be a good antidote against doom and gloom news as it builds your hope in humankind. Could also make a great Christman gift for business leaders who might appreciate a different perspective to talent management. And for those of you working in STEMM, please do get a copy. You'll come away feeling well equipped to forge ahead and hopeful about your career, and about our future! 
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Our Mission

We are dedicated to developing C-Suite and Boardroom leaders with the right capabilities to navigate today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) landscape to generate positive outcomes that benefit all stakeholders. Since better outcomes are produced by cognitively diverse leadership teams and boards, we are also on a mission to equip leaders from STEMM fields (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) to transition to the C-Suite and the Boardroom effectively and sustainably.

ProVeritas Group acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual, and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 
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