Episode 22

22: Fiona English on Meaning at Work

This is the 2nd episode of the Leadership Series. Fiona English and I speak about meaning and purpose at work. Meaning is: coherence (sense-making); purpose (core goals and direction); significance (importance). It all starts with leadership, and leadership starts with self-awareness. Coaching can help leaders become more self-aware. 21st century leadership centres around inspiration, understanding and connection. Chane is happening at an ever-increasing rate. In order to change, we must first transform ourselves; it starts within. Be brave when it comes to change; don’t outsource it. Leadership means making those tough decisions. We spoke about leading versus managing, and how not everyone is a good leader – there should be options for those who are better technically compared to leading people so that everyone plays to their strengths and can be their best self at work. As individuals we each have control over our decisions. When we work to our strengths it holds more meaning and we feel good which generally leads to success. Clear definition of values helps you understand what’s important – as an individual or an organisation. To create a meaningful life, we need to remove some of the emphasis on work and create better harmony with other aspects of our life. Authenticity means it’s ok to be yourself at work – it can be both exposing and liberating to lean into who we are!

Fiona is a keynote speaker, coach and business consultant who combines her extensive experience in global investment markets with a deep interest in human potential. Alongside working with clients, she researches, speaks and writes about Positive Psychology, the science behind what makes individuals and communities flourish. Her research focus is spirituality, meaning in life and authenticity and their potential to influence wellbeing in our lives. In 2019, she launched 'Exploring Spirituality', a series of projects aimed at creating open dialogue and conversations about spirituality in the 21st Century. Believing we can all use our skills to make the world a better place, she mentors social entrepreneurs helping them to create sustainable businesses and is a board director of a Dublin-based charity.

In 2015, she was one of 50 women globally chosen to participate in the W50 Program in UCLA aimed at building the next generation of global women leaders.