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Consultant Spotlight: Jessica Bell

Insight

15 October 2018

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1. What motivates you?

Facilitating conversation and connection. Helping people discover who they are and the potential they hold. Staying curious, learning and growing through all of life’s seasons.

2. How do you handle pressure?

I step away and win back perspective. I also draw on the support and strengths of family, friends and colleagues, stay fit, get enough sleep and most importantly, have fun.

3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?

I think the digital agenda is influencing so much. From the way we communicate, create and deliver to the ways we interact as internal teams, and externally with our consumers. Virtual platforms are allowing for smarter working, quicker responses and wider reach. However, amidst all these benefits, I do feel we need to fight hard to retain face to face, direct conversation. I’m particularly passionate about stripping back the layers and keeping simple conversation going. As Joseph Priestley says, “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” I also think that the pressures faced have never been more pressing on the global workforce, increasing the need to prioritize the resilience and mental health agendas. It’s key for sustainability.

4. What’s your defining career moment so far?

It’s a simple one for me. I’d say, the moment I befriended failure instead of resenting it. This has since helped me to embrace every ‘bump in the road’ as an opportunity to learn. This mentality is shaping me not just to become better at what I do, but to enjoy the journey even more.

5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?

Brene Brown’s books are constantly on or near my nightstand. “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong” are two favorites to mention. I love the way she makes some deep and difficult topics so accessible and practical. She’s started a global conversation about vulnerability. One I believe is helping people to flourish in their own skin.

6. What makes you proud?

I feel proud when I bring my best and authentic self forward, and love when I can help others do the same. There’s so much comparison out there and it can be so crippling. We need individual’s, not carbon copies. I also feel really proud when I have leaned into and overcome a fear, risking in order to discover.

7. What makes you angry?

Injustice and when people groups are marginalized.

8. Which leader do you most admire most and why?

My mom; she’s a real hero, having overcome more than anyone I know, all with resilience, hope and an unwavering smile on her face. Watching the way she lives her life has taught me to appreciate each day, embracing all of its ebbs and flows and never, ever giving up.

9. What are your best and worst characteristics?

I believe that my curiosity, care for and connection with people is my biggest strength. However, the shadow side of this is that I can sometimes give out a little too much without ‘topping up my fuel tank’.

10. What would you like to learn and why?

More languages. Starting with brushing up on my German, Afrikaans and learning sign. I believe language is a doorway to connection. I’d also love to learn to play the cello. Being a musician, I’ve always loved the tone of the cello, and the incredible dynamic it brings to almost any song or arrangement.

11. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?

I’d love to ‘step into the shoes’ of some of my favorite artists, seeing the world through their lens and creativity and learning to express it without fear or inhibition.

12. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?

  • Nelson Mandela: He championed reconciliation in my nation of birth and paved the way for so much forgiveness. He didn’t just communicate aspirational ideals, he lived them. Right until his last breath!

  • Brene Brown: She’s the real deal; willing to show up and be seen and helping others to do the same! I love her take on vulnerability. It’s refreshing, challenging and puts words to some of my deepest principles.

  • My family and closest friends. Wouldn’t trade them for the world and no dinner party would be the same without their wit, authenticity and collective brilliance!

13. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Sometimes the things we can’t change, end up changing us.” Always a good reminder to believe for the best, persevere through difficult times and to trust that sometimes our deepest pain, becomes our greatest platform.

14. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Nelson Mandela

15. What personal value would you never compromise?

Integrity – for me, this means being 100% myself and speaking the truth, even when it’s hard.

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