Managing The Hell Out Of Life – Part 6

How I learnt about leadership

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

–John Quincy Adams

For me, leadership didn’t start when I entered the work-place nor when I entered school – it started at home.


Managing The Hell Out Of Life – Part 5

I saw leadership when my dad would do jobs and refuse to take money from the people he had helped because they had even less money then we did

I saw leadership when my mum would spend hours trudging around houses selling hampers and running a home catalogue so that we could have money for presents at Christmas

I saw leadership when my sisters stepped into to deal with some violent bullies at school who had hurt me without having to lift a hand

I saw leadership when our swimming coaches, all volunteers gave up 10 plus hours per week to stand on a poolside to help us become the best swimmers we could even at 6 am in the morning

I saw leadership when my mum marched into the school after a teacher had wrongly accused me of stealing from my friend and didn’t leave until I was moved classes

I saw leadership when my dad drove for 14 hours solid from France because I was ill, we didn’t have travel insurance and I needed a doctor

I saw true leadership when times were tough. It consisted of courage, resilience, and kindness.

Understanding what is of value

This is the view that I get up to every morning – along with ducks, chickens, dogs, rabbits and, of course, kids. This is why I no longer earn a 6 figure salary and jump with joy when I find Aldi selling a Jo Malone like product for £2.79.

Value can be experienced in many ways, the size of a salary is just one of them. And yes I know that bills still have to be paid and food put on the table but there are different ways of achieving this.

When I earned 6 figures, I employed an army of people to help me – I needed approx £4k per month just to keep the show on the road at home. I didn’t have a relationship with the people who kept the ‘show on the road’, I wrote them long ‘to-do’ lists every day. I didn’t really know my children as I saw so little of them. And I couldn’t work out why I felt so empty when I ‘had so much’.

But of course, it was like filling up on sugar – I was consuming empty calories. My work no longer inspired me, there was no real purpose to it other than to generate money and that was soulless and soul destroying.

The point to this post is that we have to have a purpose, something that makes our hearts sing. Sometimes that means a 6 figure salary and sometimes it doesn’t. That is not the measure of success having a purpose is.

Sharing our stories to help others

When I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, one of the things I decided very early on was, to be honest and open about it. I did that because I hid in the shadows for too long, ashamed of how I felt and that I couldn’t hold it all together because I believed other people could.

The reality was, for a significant number of people in my peer group, they weren’t holding it together at all. They just weren’t saying that’s all. Had I known that my path would have been easier to navigate, my expectations more realistic and I could have reached out for help earlier.

And that’s why I share because sharing helps others understand that we all have peaks and troughs and everyone has their battles – that’s just life and actually that’s ok.


Nik Davis
Nik Davis
NIK DAVIS is a business transformation expert and has spent 20 years in the corporate world. Her comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve complex problems. She is also a keen observer of life, a writer and eccentric. Nik has recently returned to the world of work after taking a career break to spend time with her family. Upon her return, she found that her perspective had changed, as had the world she was returning to. Nik decided to carve out a new place in that world and mould some of it to fit her too. Nik sees life from quirky angles, shaped by experiences and the vast amount of knowledge we now have access to. She likes to write about her experiences and observations. To ‘tell it how it is’ and to find a more authentic way to live, whether in our professional or personal lives. Nik often talks about finding ‘The Third Way’. It’s a philosophy about life, having a personal life as well as a career, making money and being socially generous, being logical and sensitive, living by the rules of a society but not being afraid to challenge them, inspiring others to feel good but not for your own ego, giving rather than taking. Nik wants to make a difference to this world by getting people to see things differently, to try new ways of working but most of all, to re-discover our true selves and therefore reach our true potential. Nik also has two other persona’s: nikdavis which is where Nik writes about her deeply personal experiences of life. Nik runs a facebook group alongside this website to create a safe place for people to discuss the topics that are raised in her blog. Nik’s second persona is Lilly Isabella and this is where she shares her passion of fashion and design.

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