The holidays are upon us and the New Year often triggers a time of reflection, planning, wishing or goal setting. We look back into history and gauge how far we’ve come, by comparing to plans, mitigated by the reality of life getting in the way. We commit to improving, changing, reframing and ‘being better’, as well as allowing our ambitions to recalibrate (often upwards) with lofty expectations for the future. If we’ve had a good year, we celebrate. If not, we feel a little guilty and vow to put in more effort.

Celebration is important, even when we fail. Failing forwards ensures that we continue to get out of our comfort zone, take risks and continue to grow. We need to celebrate the success of winning, as well as the learning from failure. Failing Forward is an opportunity to practice an intention, transforming knowledge to wisdom. The alternative is to simply exist through the forces of our circumstances, rather on our own free will.

This is also a time of giving. We give more now than at any other time of year, both in money, time and kindness. We are a generous nation that values our community, society and nation. We recognize the need to help others and we often do this in practical ways. As businesses we expect CSR to feature in our plans and strategies, and our employees expect and ask for our intentions in this regard. We can take the holidays to reflect on our responsibilities as citizens, but as most of you are executives or business owners, as key influencers for change in their business.

Corporate Responsibility (dropping the ‘S’) is a pillar of HOW we do business, if our purpose is our WHY and our product or service is WHAT we do. Ethical business needs to be the way we do business going forwards, if we want to sustain growth and create long term value over short term profit. We do our best to focus on our values and beliefs to set the mindset and culture of our businesses; not just once in a while when we revisit our mission statement, but at every significant decision that makes an impact on our way of doing business.

We focus on our IKIGAI to ensure that we make money or profit by playing to our strengths, loving what we do and making a difference to our clients, their business and the community at large. We do this by choosing who we work with, providing services we love and would buy ourselves, respecting our client relationships, giving a % of revenue to good causes and giving around 10% of our time pro bono to education or startup initiatives. This holistic approach, not the work-life balance of time, is what makes our team stick around. If you need help finding your IKIGAI, give us a call!

Our recent success has let to some serious contemplation on growth. We are increasing our international speakers for next year, with more frequent Masterclasses. We have recruited a senior coach from the USA who has some amazing value to add to our clients through her experience with top international corporates, we kickstarted our second Vistage board and aim to start our third in 2019, and we have some significant partnerships being announced in Q1-2019! We’re definitely getting into Flow next year!!! We hope you will continue to work with us and enjoy the shared journey!

On behalf of the UP and Xterra Teams, we’d like to wish you a peaceful, reflective and loving holiday period, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Set yourself UP for an amazing year ahead, and if we can do anything to help, let’s grab a coffee and explore!