My P&G Story #5: When I drowned in data

My P&G Story #5: When I drowned in data

Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #5: When I drowned in data

In my first month at P&G, I was asked to do a business analysis. I had no idea what that meant but I enthusiastically took it on.

I locked myself in the quiet room, I opened all the data files (and in P&G there were a lot!) and I soon found myself drowning in information. Sales figures by month, by product by retailer for the past 3 years. Financials. Awareness for each campaign. My gaze jumped frantically from number to number in a temptation to deep dive into every angle and correlate every metric. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, stuck in the rabbit hole – out of control, falling fast through the dark.

 

Two weeks passed and I had all the data and graphs I could ever dream of, but absolutely no clue what I was going to present. I panicked. I was clearly rubbish at data analysis and now my manager would find out…

I finally came out of the quiet room and asked our commercial manager for help. She had a knack for simplifying things.

 

“So what’s the story you’re trying to tell?”

 

Story? I thought I was supposed to update senior management, not entertain kindergarteners.

She led me through a funnel of questions, each building on the previous one instead of my scatter-gun approach. “In one sentence, how is the business doing? What is driving that? Which particular retailers, products or time periods are involved?”… We had started to peel the onion.

 

In 15 minutes I made more progress on my business analysis than I had in a month. I realized I had been stuck in the trees and so I couldn’t see the whole forest.

 

Get unstuck by looking at the big picture. What’s the story you want to tell?

 

Where in your life do you get distracted by details? Coaching can help you see the bigger picture. Start your own story by booking your free consultation now.

 

My P&G Story #4:  Are you a ‘human being’ or a ‘human doing’?

My P&G Story #4: Are you a ‘human being’ or a ‘human doing’?

Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #4: Are you a ‘human being’ or a ‘human doing’?

I committed to doing nothing for the first month of my sabbatical. My objective was to disconnect from the structured and often uncreative corporate world. This meant no alarm clock, no calendar and no planning. Whilst at P&G, this had been my ultimate fantasy – to just chill out without any responsibilities or targets.

 

But when this fantasy finally materialized, it was pure hell. Every morning, I woke up in panic, frantically patting the side table in search of my phone. Had I missed my alarm? Hundreds of potential plans swirled around in my mind, from the friend I needed to call to the most efficient way to combine grocery shopping with a visit to my grandma’s house. School, university and work had all taught me to be a diligent planner and had rewarded me for completing tasks and achieving results.

 

Now that I have no plans, I might end up doing nothing. And if I’m doing nothing, then who am I?

 

I am nobody.

 

What emerged from this malaise was a surprise.

 

As I withdrew from ‘doing’, I began ‘being’. And by that I don’t mean ‘not doing’. I mean existing, being there in the moment, wearing exactly what I was wearing and feeling exactly as I was feeling. I mean having an identity built on character. But wasn’t ‘being’ something I did by default? In the background? It turned out it wasn’t. ‘Being’ was an active state, one I could choose to turn on or off. ‘Being’ was a complement, rather than an alternative to ‘doing’. 

Thanks to this discovery, today I have an extra gear in my gearbox. When I can’t solve a problem by ‘doing’, I switch gear to ‘being’… and vice versa. This helps me see things from different perspectives and opens up options I had never considered.

 

Get unstuck by switching from ‘doing’ to ‘being’.

 

Unsure how to ‘just be’? Coaching can help you reconnect with yourself and give you tools to switch between ‘doing’ and ‘being’. Be brave and book your free consultation now.

 

My P&G Story #3: How I got my first client

My P&G Story #3: How I got my first client

Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #3: How I got my first client

I never planned to work as a freelance coach. In September 2015, I left P&G and went on sabbatical with the plan of becoming a full time trainer in another big company when I return. But during this 3-month break something unexpected happened… and it changed the course of my career.

Whilst on sabbatical, I banned myself from talking and even thinking about my passion for training and developing people. The temptation oozed out of every coffee cup I shared with friends, every meal my grandma prepared, every street encounter with acquaintances:

 

“What are you going to do next? Have you got a job lined up?”

 

Everyone had an opinion, a comment about the fact that I didn’t have a job to go back to. It was as if they carried part of the responsibility for my choice. Some were jealous, some were excited for me and others couldn’t hide the terror in their eyes. It was really difficult at first – I felt like I owed them an explanation. After being asked the same question twenty times, I had developed a routine and this predictability took the edge off.

 

But the loudest voice of all wasn’t that of my biggest critics, it was my own. That voice would hover above me, waiting for a quiet moment to rain down its fears and orders:

“You should at least make a plan. Why don’t you read a book on training design? You forgot to contact that capability manager, you’re probably missing missing out on a job opportunity right now…”

It was a constant internal battle but with some discipline I eventually I switched off from work. I felt light as a feather. I could talk about leaving P&G without feeling guilty or worrying about the future.

 

And that’s when it happened – my first client found me.

I connected with a Canadian woman who had heard my story and wanted some advice. I listened to her dilemma and asked a few questions. At the end of the conversation, she said: “I would like to hire you as my coach. How much do you charge?”

What?! Where did this come from? I had decided to focus on training and to possibly explore coaching at a later stage. I wasn’t ready, I didn’t have a website and I had no clue what price to charge. I panicked and told her that I’m happy to have another chat with her (for free, of course). Perhaps sensing my self-doubt, she didn’t come back. The following week, during a similar conversation, a man from Bahrain asked me to be his coach. Opportunity was knocking on my door, again. This time I opened the door and let it in.

 

I wasn’t searching for my first client. I was simply ready to be found.

  

Get unstuck by preparing to be found. Pick an hour, a day or a month to clear your heart and mind from the hot topics in your life.

Need help to switch off? Coaching is a great way to de-clutter your mind and give yourself permission to let go. Take the first step now by booking your free consultation.

Photo credit: Gerlos