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Jehovah's Witnesses, Rebekah Vardy and me

I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. It was hard, but it also shaped my business mindset.


I want to share a personal story with you, one that's shaped the way I approach my business.

Growing up, I was a Jehovah's Witness. I haven't been part of the organisation since I was 15, but a recent documentary by Rebekah Vardy on Channel 4 called 'Jehovah's Witnesses and me' made me reflect on how my childhood experiences have affected the way I think and behave, particularly in business.

Nick Haines from The Five Institute calls these moments 'pokes from the past', and he encourages us to change the narrative, and re-tell the story in a way that serves us.

And so, in recent weeks, that's exactly what I've done.

The impact of being brought up as a JW can be significant, many of them highlighted in Rebekah Vardy's programme.

It's a controlling organisation with rigid beliefs and expectations of behaviours. It doesn't tolerate critical discussion in any shape or form.

This can lead to guilt, fear, social isolation, family and relationship strain, issues around authority and decision-making, and emotional suppression. Of course, not everyone leaving the JW's will feel the same way, but some of these characteristics definitely resonate with me!

For instance, perhaps the insular nature of the JW community with its limited social interactions has affected my ability to network, establish professional relationships, and engage in social activities within a working environment? I find business networking tricky and feel uncomfortable with small talk. Plus, I'm not a fan of writing. It's as if putting my thoughts out there for all to read opens me up for criticism or even ridicule.

Also, the expectations to meet impeccably high standards is intense, leading to being overly self-critical. I recognise I'm a perfectionist and sometimes too quick to point out when the smaller details aren't quite right!

But, it's not all bad.

In the spirit of celebrating my past and recognising how far I've come, it's important I reframe these experiences and how they've positively shaped me, my business and the value I bring to my clients.

I thrive on getting to know my clients well, getting under the skin of the challenges they face and working closely on the projects that make a real difference. I'm at my best when I'm an ally, not just another contractor in the mix.

JWs teach the value of hard work and dedication, and that's translated into a strong work ethic for me. I'm rigorous in understanding the connections and linkages between strategy and action, and I can spot a typo from a mile away!

My tried-and-tested Purpose | Way | Impact™ methodology lets me see – and helps my clients see – where and how everything joins up.

We live in a connected world – the economy, the environment, climate change and social justice are all linked. If businesses want to step up and stand out for the good they do then they too need to see the thread linking their purpose, the importance of alignment between internal culture and external brand, and the positive social and environmental impact they make.

That’s the way to make sustainability sustainable.

I find it fascinating that the people most interested in my offer are those who value that comprehensive approach – maybe they see it as a bit of a safety net knowing that someone is covering all the bases with them? They’re attracted to my thoroughness and take comfort in the knowledge I’ll uncover the logical thread and get things done.

Can I help you?

  1. CHOOSE. Decide what you’ll be known for. Unite your team around a shared purpose. Establish a solid anchor for you brand.
  2. ALIGN. Harness your organisational strengths and stories. Engage your employees and affirm their contribution.
  3. ACT. Deliver on your purpose promise. Instill practices that support change. Measure your progress.

I have capacity to take on two new clients from August.

Are you ready?

Let’s chat.

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