In these challenging times, I often remind myself (and my coaching clients) that experiencing high levels of stress and struggle does not automatically mean that we can’t feel and function well.

I love this model from Dr. Michelle McQuaid (MAPP) that shows that it is possible to live well, despite high levels of struggle.


Of course, being possible and being easy are two different things.

For most of us unfortunately, work adds to our already high levels of struggle, rather than off-setting it by providing connection, purpose, and a sense of meaningful contribution and progress.

However, I genuinely feel hopeful that more leaders are looking beyond ‘fun, fruit & fitness’ to engage in the deeper work of eradicating the pervasive dehumanisation that exists in so many organisations.

Having worked for 30 years for dozens of organisations, I have come to see this pervasive dehumanisation as a direct result of workplace environments that condition humans to betray their true nature as caring, connected and creative beings.

We must harness the very best of our creativity, compassion, connectedness and courage to ensure more congruence between the lofty employee well-being aspirations in our annual reports and the day-to-day reality of working life.

Unless we co-create a long-term whole-system strategy to take better care of ourselves and take much better of each other at work – we remain unable to truely take care of customers, communities and ecosystems.

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With 

In the week ahead I invite you to reflect on how you are personally contributing to the co-creation of workplaces that support people to live well despite struggle.

If you only ask a couple of question in your next one-on-one with a member of your team, perhaps it could be one of these questions:

What impact does working for our organisation have your overall well-being?

What can I do to reduce the amount of work-related negative stress and struggle in your life?

How might I support you to be the best version of yourself at work more often?


Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.

Simon Sinek