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Volume 18 | April 2008 | So you think you are indespensable

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Part 1 - Welcome! [Back to Top]

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Welcome to this our eighteenth newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.

Many people create the myth in their head that they are indispensable at work. They always find time to help and listen to their staff whist their partners and families are left feeling lonely and neglected at home.

Sadly for many, the realization that they have the focus and balance wrong comes too late. Their partners have finally decided they need something very different and have found someone else who values them and spends time with them. 

The children have become adults and all those precious moments of growing up: the first step, the amazing goal, the school play etc are gone without you being a part of them. They can never be replaced. The impact on children can be massive. They believe it is a lack in them, they will start to behave in ways to catch your attention. They will have attention on any terms and all too often it is negative behaviour which catches parents attention. The relationship which is created between workaholic parents and their children is often that of polite strangers rather than a close and loving parent and child. 

The "indispensable" myth has a negative impact at work too. By constantly taking control of things in such a limiting way, potential growth and development of those less experienced is stifled.

There is a personal consequence too as if you try to do everything yourself the job becomes exhausting leading to stress and burn out. There is no time for strategic planning and anticipation.

Both articles in this month’s newsletter considers the implications of believing we are indispensable.

If you would like some help to deal with any of the issues raised in this newsletter please contact us directly.

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern. We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life. Understanding what drives you to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment are the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love. We can help you work towards achieving your “dream” life.

We provide support for those facing retirement or who have recently retired, ideal for those who want to embrace a new stage in their lives. Redundancy can be a very stressful time, let us help you make the most of the opportunity it offers.

Call today and take the first step to work- life passion on (0)1708 703 959.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let us know by contacting us on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone on (0)1708 703 959.

Make 2008 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who work with you. Call today to sign up for a free no obligation coaching session and take the first step to the future you deserve!

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel International: +44 1708 703 959
Email: gina@recoveringworkaholics.com

Part 2 - Recommended Read [Back to Top]

Your Life Only A Gazillion Times Better by Judymay Murphy

Your Life Only A Gazillion Times Better - A Practical Guide To Creating the Life

by Judymay Murphy and Cathy Breslin

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Your Life Only A Gazillion Times Better is not your mother's ten-step program filled with philosophical patter and long-winded explanations.

Contagiously enthusiastic and dedicated to techniques specifically related to taking action and making changes, this book challenges you to think in a new way and to believe in yourself.

With a hip approach to self-improvement, Cathy Breslin and Judy May Murphy tackle all of the basic elements that make up quality of life: self-discovery, goals, creativity, career, health, finances, and romance without bogging you down or creating the extra anxiety that comes from the finger-wagging gurus so popular today.

This book is the perfect read for the busy schedule, a great jump-start for those stuck in a rut, and wise friend's voice when we all need it most.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively by Gina Gardiner How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

Offers lots of practical strategies for managers to help get the very best of their staff as individuals and as a team.

Everything in the book has been tried and tested in a variety of organizations; it is a distillation of over 30 years experience of developing leadership at every level.

The book does not attempt to teach grandmothers or grandfathers to suck eggs, but offers tried and tested principles, strategies and ideas which have been proven to work.

Time, energy and money are all very precious resources and all three seem to be in short supply for most busy managers.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) Can help! Dip into it if you are facing specific issues or use the comprehensive approach to underpin ongoing and sustained individual and team development.

It has relevance for experienced managers who want to share good practice and for aspiring leaders who want to develop and deepen their leadership skills.

The book covers a wide range of issues including

  • Developing strategic vision
  • Creating your dream team
  • Creating a ‘Can Do’ culture
  • Effective delegation
  • Holding people to account
  • Developing a solutions approach
  • The power of anticipation
  • Giving positive feedback
  • Having those “hard conversations”
  • Managing stress for you and your team
  • Creating a good work life balance

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) will stand alone but you will find it useful to use it in conjunction with the companion book Kick Start Your Career.

Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book is designed for new initiates into the business world and graduates who are ambitious and want to create a successful career for themselves. It is a no nonsense, jargon free manual, full of practical ideas and strategies to support the development of leadership from day one.

These books can be ordered via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

Part 3 - Products and Special Offers! [Back to Top]

The three new CDs that we mentioned last month are now available to buy from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php. We have produced them especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members. They are available as CDs and are also available as downloadable MP3 files.

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Take time out of your busy and stressful day to relax.

True relaxation is known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, clear the mind and leave you feeling alert, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy and vigor.

"A Spanish Theme" uses a mixture of guided imagery and deep breathing exercises to take you on an intensely relaxing journey.

Stress is sited as the cause of over 500,000 days of absence a year in the UK alone. It represents a huge cost in both economic and personal terms. In order to deal with it we must first understand what it is and what causes it.

Where stress is detrimental people are often in situations where they feel they have little control. Sustained exposure to such negative situations can have serious implications for the health and well being of the individual and ultimately for the organization as a whole

Relaxation is a powerful tool to combat stress. Learning to take time out, to truly relax has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mental acuity and reduce stress.

Our Relaxation Tape with a Spanish theme is the first in a series of relaxation tapes created by Gina Gardiner associates.

Using visualization, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises take time out of your hectic day to unwind, de-stress and relax!

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Sleep is vital to our health and sense of wellbeing.  We need it as much as we need food and water and the air we breathe.  It is during sleep that the body rests and repairs itself.  Good quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to face the new day. 

Insomnia affects most people at some time during their lives.  For many it is a passing phase caused because of a stressful event in their lives.  For chronic sufferers it becomes a way of life.  Although it is not life-threatening it can and does threaten the quality of life for many sufferers leaving them frustrated, exhausted and feeling low.

"Beat Insomnia" uses deep trance techniques to help you retrain your sleep pattern without drugs.

Use "Beat Insomnia" to get a great nights sleep and make Insomnia a thing of the past.

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

We all feel less confident in certain situations. This CD is designed to help you feel confident in any situation. It uses tried and tested NLP techniques to help you develop the confidence you need to tackle new social situations or when gicing an important presentation or interview.

  • How often do you wish you felt more confident? 
  • Do you worry about social events or standing up to talk in front of work colleagues?
  • Would you like to live your life feeling that you are in control?
  • Do you have butterflies in your stomach that feel as if they are wearing hobnailed boots when you have to go to an interview or a meeting?
  • Is the voice in your head telling you - you cant do it?

Developing confidence is about much more than learning to do an activity better.

It is about changing how we feel about ourselves and dealing with our thoughts and beliefs.  It is about facing the things we fear and being curious about why we fear them.

Use "Creating the Confident You" to learn to push through the fear and create a world of limitless possibilities  one where you are in control of your own destiny.

We expect the following titles to be available later in the year.

  • Relaxation CD 2 - A Country Theme
  • Relaxation CD 3 - Sky

For any further information or advice about CDs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone 01708 703959

Part 4 - Feature Article[Back to Top]


We all need to feel of value. We all gain that sense of value in different ways. None of them are wrong in themselves but the meaning we give to situations can have a profound impact on how we operate with others and how we feel about ourselves. Understanding what motivates us and how different styles of behaviour can impact on others allows us to make a choice. We can choose to continue as we are or to take steps to change things.

Many people are motivated by their need to be of use. Their sense of who they are and sense of self worth is dependent on being needed. Indeed many people fear the time when they will no longer be needed by their children or their work. 

Many of my clients feel that they are totally indispensable to their staff and clients yet leave their partners and families feeling alone and ignored. There appears to be a very different sense of what is important at work and at home. It is the source of great distress and heart ache to partners and families. The clients focus far more time and energy on their colleagues and clients, partners feel hurt and rejected. 

As the client returns home they are met with the outpouring of frustration and hurt and a cycle of destructive behaviour becomes entrenched.

Clients who are in a long term relationship feel their partners are making demands which they cannot meet because their work is important; indeed it is what supports the family. Tension and difficulty are compounded by poor communication and harsh words.

Clients who are not in a long term relationship feel lonely and unsatisfied so turn to work to fill the gap. That is fine in the short term but when work finally ends the success is empty without anyone to share it with.

So where do you focus most of your time and energy?

How often do you find yourself making excuses to your family because you had to work late?

If you had to choose between working late or going home to your partner which one usually takes priority?

When did you get on with work late into the evening or at a weekend rather than meeting friends or taking time to find a relationship?

Just for a moment think about your life. Imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back over the years. Imagine how life will be if you carry on behaving exactly as you do now. 

  • What effect has it had on your relationships? 
  • Have you enjoyed a wonderful passionate and satisfying relationship with your partner? 
  • If you have children how has your behaviour of now impacted on them? 
  • What legacy are you leaving them? 
  • Do they feel loved and a sense of closeness to you? 
  • When your professional life finished what were you left with?
  • What was left when you stopped being the professional you?
  • Did your life feel fulfilled?
  • Could it have been better?

Now think about your ideal life 

  • What is really important to you? 
  • Who are your true priorities?
  • What needs to change for you to achieve the life you aspire to? 
  • What legacy do you want to leave?

If you take your partner or your children for granted you run the very real danger that you will loose them both. Take a long hard look at how you behave and what beliefs are underpinning those behaviours.

How ever indispensable we may think we are at work the reality is actually very different. 

If you were to be carried away tomorrow, if you were run over by a bus or whisked away on a magic carpet life would go on. Oh there would be a few awkward days where your colleagues had difficulty in understanding your filing system and your diary but even the best loved and respected are soon replaced. The ripples in the pond quickly disappear without trace when you throw in a stone. 

You are far more likely to leave a lasting legacy when you involve and train your team and you manage strategically, sharing your vision and developing leadership systematically so that your immediate presence is not actually needed.

If you suddenly became unavailable tomorrow how would your work team manage?

What information, skills, understanding, contacts would be missing?

How much of your time do you spend managing strategically?

What succession management do you have in place?

Is it time to change your focus? To think how you can be dispensable on a day to day basis but indispensable as a strategist and as a role model and mentor. Working hard and smart and creating a fantastic family life in the bargain. This is one time when you can have your cake and eat it too.

Work with a coach to take control of your life on some of these and make it outstanding!

If you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to explore how you could improve the relationship you have with yourself contact me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

Part 5 - Media Interest [Back to Top]

Listen in to Women’s Hour on Radio 4 on Thursday 28th of April if you get the chance as they are going to focus on the issue of workaholics and the impact it has on family life.

I will be attending Westminster at the end of the month to meet with Andrew Rosindale MP for Hornchurch and Romford. Britain’s workers work some of the longest hours in the Europe, if things are to improve there needs to be some organizational changes to redress the balance. We will be exploring how this might be done in the future.

We have been approached by another independent TV production company who are interested in making a programme which focuses on workaholics. There is so much media interest in this I think it is a matter of time before such a programme is produced. I’ll keep you posted.

If you are aware of anything interesting in the media relating to work life balance please let us know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

Also, if you see anything about our organization in any publication not mentioned by us we would be very much like to hear about it on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

Part 6 - organizations [Back to Top]
Why indispensable people are just too costly

The “no one else can do it as well as I can” and the “It’s quicker to do it yourself” Schools of Management can work very well in the short term but have significant consequences over time. Consequences for the individual who tries to manage the impossible and ends up with stress and ultimately burn out. Consequences for the organization, when there are no contingency plans for when the person has a heart attack, a break down or leaves the company.

Think about the people in your organization. Include yourself in this. How many of their roles could be covered easily if they were to suddenly disappear for a few weeks? Do you have a planned strategy which ensures that all tasks have at least two people who can comfortably undertake them if necessary.

How often does your organization spend money and time on recruiting people to posts and being disappointed with the outcome?

How much time, money and effort does your organization spend in recruiting middle and senior managers who then have to be taught your company culture and mission?

The two styles of management raise similar issues. When ever a manager does too much themselves, it has implications for the ongoing development of individuals and the team. Those managers have little time left for strategic planning and managing their teams effectively as they are too busy at an operational level.

Consider how inexperienced members of staff learn best. Think about when you first learned to ride a bike. To start with you probably needed stabilizer wheels and the help of an adult in steering and staying upright. Once you felt more confident the adult took their hands away – hovered near to give moral and practical advice if needed. For a while you needed the extra help of stabilizer wheels but ultimately you took control and responsibility for riding your bike. Confidence grew and you tackled greater challenges. 

Ask yourself how much time you invest in developing your team. Many people I work with are quick to tell me that they would delegate but their staff are not yet ready. The paradox is that they will never be ready until they are given the chance. Given a chance in the right learning circumstances so that they are supported to succeed rather than left to sink or swim. 

You need to consider very carefully what underpins your style of management. 

Lack of time, fear of letting go, becoming redundant as younger and more able people come along are common issues. Yet the real skill of being a leader and manager is in attracting and developing the very best people and maximizing their potential. 

Learning through experience works particularly well when this is underpinned by good quality training, ongoing monitoring and constructive feedback to ensure that people know how to make continuous improvements. Effective delegation also offers people the opportunity to grow and develop. It is a great tool for succession training, done well it leads to a growth of expertise and confidence. 

The best leaders can have confidence that their team will be as effective when they are out of the office as when they are there and that their legacy will continue when they leave – ideally to sun themselves on a beach in Hawaii.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you ensure you make the most of your staff please contact us through
or through

Part 7- Support For Partners Of Workaholics [Back to Top]

There is now a monthly Newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics. This can be accessed by going to www.recoveringworkaholics.com/partners.php.

Part 8- The SaVVy Club® [Back to Top]

Too busy working? When was the last time you had some fun? 

The SaVVy Club® is London's First Boutique Events Club. With the finest selection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and events featuring late previews and first nights for the theatre, opera and musicals, gourmet cuisine, connoisseur wine tastings, VIP exclusives and more, there is something to suit the most discerning taste.

Members tend to work in senior management and executive capacities. They have rewarding careers rather than jobs and want to live life to the full but don't necessarily have the time to organize it. 

Does that sound like you? If so, then The SaVVy Club® is the perfect solution for you as we organize exclusive, intimate events of the highest quality allowing you to quickly meet a whole variety of people who live and work in London whilst enjoying some exclusive nights out. All you have to do is turn up and have fun.

By joining our exclusive membership you will be able to indulge in some of our forthcoming events. These include a trip to the theatre to see one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Stuttgart Ballet, a day rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous at Royal Ascot and the opportunity to catch the last night’s performance of A Midsummer's Night Dream at the Shakespeare’s Globe.

Isn’t it about time you made an appointment for yourself, and not the diary?

For more information,
please visit www.savvyclub.co.uk or call 0870 005 6225.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or complete the feeedback form at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/enquiryform.php.

What do you think?

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner


For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

Gina Gardiner, recognized by "Investors In People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training programme for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

If you aren't a subscriber already, please sign up to receive the next issue of the free monthly Recovering Workaholics newsletter at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/freemonthlynewsletter.php.

You may copy or distribute this newsletter, provided that full credit is given and copyright information is included.
Copyright notice
Author : Gina Gardiner - www.ginagardiner.com

For any further information or advice about Recovering Workaholics contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).