Leadership Motivation Peak Performance Personal Development,

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FIRE BURNING “what gets you out of bed in the morning?”

I have been doing what I do with teams and leaders since 1980 and what still gets me out of bed each morning today, is the same as what got me out of bed in 1980.

I love theory and ideas, and I love helping other people understand theory and ideas.

But ……

what brings joy to me each morning is being able to use theory and my skills to help solve real-life practical issues that make a positive difference (no matter how small) to the lives of others.

Because what use is theory and ideas and concepts unless they are used in the pursuit of sorting out the real world issues that we struggle with in our lives and organisations. And what is the job of a trainer/facilitator/speaker unless it is about helping others solve real issues.


  • What underlying issues caused you to seek a learning solution?
  • What 2-3 tangible outcomes do you want at the end of the learning intervention that will have made it worthwhile?

And that’s why I love my job. It makes me feel useful; it helps me serve. I serve others in ways that:

·     help find solutions to issues

·     enhance the sense of living a full life

·     help teams build better interpersonal chemistry

·     help encourage understanding across cultures that make the world more tolerant

·     enable people to find real meaning and authenticity

For example here are some projects that have occupied me in the last few months, and the meaningful takeaways for me. As you examine these four projects think about your recent projects and what was meaningful for you.


Helped a team who manage a factory enhance their relationships with each other so they can get clear on their own individual contribution to the team as well as understanding the different cultural backgrounds in the team and how that affects problems solving. Doing this has helped them redesign the way they work together and build a more effective chemistry with each other. The outcome of this deeper understanding is that they are more able to run the factory in an effective and productive way that makes for stronger meaning and sense of purpose for those working in the factory. 

Take away for me: It gave me a sense of meaning to know that those who run a factory had a better sense togetherness with each other and knew how to make work a more meaningful experience for the hundreds who worked in the factory.


I worked with a group of eighty five 18-30 year olds who were wanting to make a bigger impact on peace in their country by advising the government how to involve youth in the peace process. In order to do that they needed to understand their own internal dynamics, continue to build peace in their own lives and in their relationships with those from different ethnicities, examine and learn from best practices in their country on how to build peace. Once they were clear on these issues then they were then ready to design the mechanism for advising their government on peace building. And it was a delight to watch them dialogue with government representatives and present their plan for the peace.

Take away for me: It gave me a sense of meaning to make a contribution to building peace.


I was approached by a department head at a leading university who wanted their career counsellors to have more of a sense of confidence in what they were advising the students about participation in teams and preparation for work. Working with the team of university’s career counsellors I was able to help them understand how ideas from team dynamics and team profiling could help them advise their students on their best and most meaningful team contribution in the world of work.

Take away for me: The sense of meaning I took from this was not just from the enhanced confidence that the team counsellors had in understanding themselves but their practical plans on how to help their students prepare for the world of work.


We all are affected by environmental issues and there are many great organisations working with this important topic to help governments mitigate the negative effects of climate change. I was lucky enough to be asked by a global organisation involved in climate change to improve the interpersonal dynamics of one of their teams. How teams do their work is obviously impacted by the quality of their own relationships with each other. This is especially true when there are many cultures involved in that team. Working with the global CEO, the team leader and the team enabled the organisation to find ways of optimising their team dynamics and interpersonal relationships so that they could make a greater contribution to a climate healthy world.

Take away for me: I derived great sense of meaning for this knowing that my team facilitation skills enabled the organisation to do this important work with more success.

Your Challenge: List recent projects and apart from the money and prestige you gained reflect on how they were meaningful for you. What positive impact did you have on the people you worked with and beyond? 

Yes I work for an income, but what still gets me out of bed each morning – is the same as when I first started this work in 1980 – meaningful work where my skills can be of use to help to create teams and organisations that build a better, more equitable and more understanding world. 

And please, let me know in the comments. 

How do you keep your fire burning?


As the only person in the world with a grounded theory PhD in Synchronicity and Leadership, Dr Phil Merry is well placed to help leaders and teams understand the power of synchronicity to maximise the ability of organisations and individuals to #LeadtheFuture.

Dr Phil has been consulting, training and coaching in organisations for 39 years in 59 countries. 

[email protected] – mobile + (65) 9728 0419 –

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