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Calling All Successful Business People
Recovering Workaholics can help you create a life full of so much more than just work.
If you find work has taken over and you want more... look no further,
Recovering Workaholics can help you find true fulfilment.

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Volume 20 | June 2008 | If I’m Not My Job - Who Am I?

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Courses | Coaching | Partners of Workaholics


Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Recommended Read
Part 3 - Products / Special Offers
Part 4 - Feature Article - If I’m Not My Job - Who Am I?
Part 5 - Media Interest - BBC Radio Stoke and the Daily Mail
Part 6 - Organizations - Creating World Class Teams
Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics
Part 8 - The SaVVy Club - The Bane of Business Travellers

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Part 1 - Welcome!

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Welcome to this our twentieth newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.

There can be lots of reason why work takes over people’s lives. For many, work provides a positive sense of self worth. It can give the person a sense of certainly and being in control. It offers variety and interest and opportunities to be creative and to travel. Work can provide the chance to meet new people and to create lots of relationships without the threat of intimacy. It can have the added advantages of providing a platform for personal growth and learning and to contribute to others. It is a powerful cocktail of motivators. This is not a bad thing in itself but if work is the place you feel most valued and confident it can become an addiction.

Understanding who you are, when work is stripped away is important if you are to create a strong sense of your own self worth. If you wait until you are forced to face yourself: if made redundant or at retirement, when you no longer have work to distract you - means that you miss the opportunity for truly fulfilling relationships with yourself and others now and the transition from worker to person is likely to be a painful one.

This month’s article asks you who you are when you are not doing your job? Do you know? Are you willing to find out? 

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 have become 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

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Part 2 - Recommended Read

The Velveteen Principles - A Guide to Becoming Real by Toni Raiten-D’Antonio

The Velveteen Principles - A Guide to Becoming Real

by Toni Raiten-D’Antonio

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

The Velveteen Principles offers a new way of looking at old things. 

It offers warmth, honesty and friendship. It explores what real goals and values are and what constitutes reality in our lives and in ourselves.

The Velveteen Principles is a guide to becoming real – with ourselves, our hopes and desires. It shows that, just as it was for the Velveteen Rabbit in Margery Williams’ enduring fable, "Real" is a process that is sometimes painful, but in the end far more rewarding than we ever could have imagined.

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

This book 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 as well as 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.

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Part 3 - Products and Special Offers!

We have produced three CDs designed especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members.

They are available now to buy as CDs or as downloadable MP3 files from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

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 vigour.

"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 Without Drugs
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 giving 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 can't 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, 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

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Part 4 - Feature Article

If I’m Not My Job – Who Am I?

When you ask people about themselves they will very often answer by telling you what they do rather than who they are. Our sense of identity is coloured by what we do. We are all lots of versions of ourselves: I’m a father or mother, a sister or brother, a son or daughter, a friend or an enemy, a doctor, lawyer, business person, entrepreneur, a sales person or teacher…. There is an endless variety to the roles we undertake. 

Our sense of identity is really important to us. It colours the way in which we feel about ourselves and how we act with others. When our sense of identity – our sense of being of value becomes dependent on the work we do rather than the person we are, work can begin to take control and take up a disproportionate amount of our time, energy and emotion. 

Work can provide an incredibly strong sense of empowerment, of worth reinforced by the feedback given by others who say how valuable our contribution has been and how it has made a positive difference to them. Work can also be a diversion, creating a distraction from painful feelings of loneliness, rejection or a sense of worthlessness.

But who are you really? Who do you face in the bathroom mirror every morning as you get ready for the day? Where do you feel most secure or useful? When do you feel most valued and recognized? What makes you feel successful? Understanding this can help us manage our lives more effectively.

Ask yourself the questions:

“If I stopped work today and was stripped of my title, my status and the sense of worth it gives me what would be left?” 

“How do I feel about the me who is separate to my work?”

“Do I feel good about being me – the non worker?”

“What do I have of value in my life outside work?”

“What is the quality of my relationships outside work like?”

“Do I Love or even like myself, when I am just being me?”

“If work stopped tomorrow how would I spend my time?

If you don’t like any of the answers to the questions above it is probably time to take stock of your life and to make some changes. Having a well rounded sense of self worth and creating a life which exists out side your work life can add enormously to the quality of your life and to those around you. 

Paradoxically it can add value to your professional life too.

If you’d like some help auditing your life or creating the changes you want, we can help.

If you need help why not work with a coach to take control of your life 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

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Part 5 - Media Interest

BBC Radio Stoke

BBC Radio Stoke has asked us to speak on a programme which has a slot focusing on the effects of being a workaholic. 

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail will be running an article featuring Recovering Workaholics on their Health and Fitness Page on July 1st. One of our clients will be sharing her story and how she has taken charge of her life.

Radio 4 Woman's Hour

Some of you may have heard the feature on Woman's Hour on Thursday 25th April which focused on the difficulties that living with a workaholic creates. If you would like to hear that feature please visit the BBC web site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2008_17_thu.shtml

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.

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Part 6 - Organizations

Creating World Class Teams

Why is it so important?

The business world is facing more challenges than ever before as it manages the speed of change and competes with world markets at a time of economic down turn. Times of such challenge will see many organizations go to the wall. Those who succeed will look for the opportunities and make the most of their resources. How they deploy their people will make a very significant difference to their ability to succeed, as will their ability to work well together in world class teams.

A team is far more than a collection of individuals although many organizations settle for this model.

The strength of working in a great team is that you harness the very best of every person within it. But even that explanation fails to embrace the real magic and power that working in a world class team can create. The world of business has much to learn from the world class teams who create true human synergy within the World Eco Challenge. Perhaps it is when humans are faced with their most extreme physical challenges that we see them at their best and at their worst. Never the less the principles by which the winning teams operate are just as relevant in the board room and in the office as they are scaling the highest mountains or canoeing down alligator invested waters or shooting rapids.

If you want the very best out of your team you can apply the same principles and achieve your own powerful magic. 

Team Principles:

Within a great team people perform consistently better, harder and faster because of their relationship with one another. 

Remember that people work for people not for organizations.

Where there are strong connections between people and a sense of loyalty they can elevate their colleagues to achieve far more than they ever thought possible. The ability for team members to share not only their strengths but their fears and vulnerability can strengthen the team particularly when the team is determined to help everyone within the team succeed rather than be in competition with them. Magic happens when every member works hard to their own strengths and to helps to minimize the weaknesses of their team mates by helping them to grow and develop too.

There needs to be total commitment to succeed. It is this commitment which keeps people going when things get difficult. 

The team must have a clear sense of a shared purpose.

That commitment must be present at every stage: In defining what success will look like, in defining a clear sense of purpose, in the planning of how to achieve that success, preparing to make it succeed and in the perseverance on not giving up until the goal has been achieved

Attitude Is Everything

A team’s attitude will impact on their ability to succeed. The team which constantly seeks challenges which they relish and know they will find creative solutions rather than difficulties and problems which are getting in their way are far more likely to succeed consistently.

The old saying that pain is mandatory but suffering is optional is true. We can choose whether to suffer or not. We are judged not only by what we actually do but by our attitude in doing it. Do we play full out? Do we whinge and moan or get on with changing the things we don’t like? Can we laugh at ourselves when things go wrong rather than feeling the victim?

Does ego get in the way? If the needs of the team are paramount there is no room for ego. Each person’s success or failure becomes that of the team. Far from pointing the finger and blaming the other person it is about asking what can I do to strengthen them, to help, coach and mentor them be the best they can be?

The most successful teams create a very specific type of thinking. Everyone looks for win – win situations. Team members are unselfish and keen to share ideas and the credit, if they see a job needs doing they get on and do it. They understand that the role of the leader is given rather than taken. They will allow others to take the lead when it is appropriate and be happy to take up the mantle when required.

Mutual Respect is vital

The power of the effective team is based on loyalty and respect. To ensure that this so, each team member must behave in a way that engenders loyalty and respect from others. They are not dependent on status or title, loyalty and respect have to be earned. 

To create this culture it is important for everyone to listen. I mean REALLY LISTEN. To understand what the others are saying and to be prepared to assume the best of everyone. To be curious about why they are behaving in a particular way rather than making negative judgements about their actions.

Allowing people the space to manage the way in which they do things is important. By micro managing someone it is easy to give the implicit message “I have no confidence in you or your ability to get the job done!” When you expect others to succeed and give some room for them to achieve things in their way rather than your own you demonstrate confidence in them. It offers them an opportunity to grow. If you believe others believe in your ability it gives you confidence in yourself and shows you have their respect.

If you want something done in a very specific way – because the way it is done is important, then you need to communicate that explicitly at the time you delegate the job rather than as a constant dialogue during the project.

Team Behaviour Leads To Team Feelings

When teams work together and engage in “we” thinking they accomplish more than they would do if they worked separately.

Let’s consider that in the context of a racing team. Which of the following teams is more likely to succeed?

Team 1

Individuals each pack their equipment separately, taking an equal share of what is required for the whole event. 

Team 2

The team works together to look at the equipment list. They identify the strongest and weakest member of the team for each event and pack the equipment so that the strongest person in each event is carrying the greater weight. Their mandate is that we will finish the race together. We are as strong as the weakest member and we work as one to make everyone as strong as they can be.

In Team One they are not only in competition with the other teams but with one another. How often do your teams work against the interests of one another giving your organizations competitors the edge?

In Team Two they each take responsibility for the performance of every member of their team. The only competition comes from outside the team. How could this principle enhance your organizations profitability?

Create a Sense of Ownership

Human beings tend to resent things they feel have been imposed upon them. When a member of a team buys into the project and believes that they have a valuable contribution to achieving success they will give their all. 

When people truly own the issue they will do everything in their power to make things happen in order to succeed. The Starbuck principle is that you can each anyone to make coffee but their success has been built on making buying a cup of coffee a pleasant experience for every customer. It relies on every member of staff understanding that their contribution to the mission really counts, that the reputation of the organization is only as good as each person’s action.

Letting Go Of Ego

Robyn Benincasa has been a member of the winning team in The World Eco Challenge on several occasions, she refers to ego as the heaviest thing in the pack.

She believes that many people don’t ask for help because they believe it will make them look weak. Her principle is that asking for help is like offering the other person a gift and that if we are offered help we should accept it on principle. By doing so you create a bridge which can forge incredibly strong lasting relationships.

If you allow someone else to be your hero the relationship is deepened, even more so when you give due credit for that help. Most of us love to help others as it makes us feel good about ourselves yet we are loathe to give others the same opportunity to help us. Try giving others the gift of helping you and notice what a difference it can make.

Develop Living Leadership

Creating the opportunity for different leaders to emerge can strengthen your team. Utilise the strengths, talents and experience of these within the team. Develop a culture where the leader changes as appropriate to the task at hand so that the person who has the greatest strength in that particular section takes the lead at that time. When the process becomes seamless you will have a team which is truly flying.

The Managers Role

The manager’s role in all this is to put the team together, ensuring that it includes the right mix of people. It is to define the project and the criteria by which success will be judged. It is to ensure that the team has all the resources they need to be successful and that the team has the right people in it. 

People are our most valuable resource one which is often frittered away. By creating winning teams you will not only give everyone a more satisfying working experience but in doing so increase productivity and decrease staff absence and turn over. A truly win – win situation.

Successful leaders and managers have the ability to step back from the frenetic Day-to- day operation or their department so that they can see the bigger picture.

Military leaders of the past would seek out a vantage spot high over the field of battle. From that vantage point they plan their strategy. They could determine how best to deploy their troops, which areas had the potential for ambush and where they could find the best advantage.

The principles are very similar in the modern professional world of business.

Time for strategic thinking and seeing the bigger picture is vital if you are to stay ahead of your competitors.

Why is it so important?

Many people who are in positions of leadership find themselves too busy doing the day to day stuff to think strategically. They spend their time fire fighting and reacting to the needs of the day and as a result leave themselves and their team vulnerable to their competitors.

Failing to think strategically makes it difficult to identify the most effective and efficient ways of working. Decisions are more likely to be made on the hoof and resourcing those decisions are more costly as there is little opportunity to plan or source raw materials or equipment more cheaply. There is little time to plan training so staff feel pressured and perform at less than optimum levels.

Creating time for strategic thinking is a real challenge for some managers.

There are a number of strategies which do help.

1) Plan in time for strategic planning in your diary. Make an appointment with yourself and/or your Senior Management Team on a regular basis.

2) Delegate effectively – it not only creates time for strategic thinking but also develops the leadership and management skills of your team.

3) Working with an Executive Coach – time is created in the diary, there is a legitimate space for thinking. An Executive Coach provides challenges to help you clarify your thinking and ensures you are working at an appropriately strategic level.

4) Create or join a Master Mind Group where there is a high level of trust and challenge to your thinking.

5) Use the metaphor of the military campaigner and consider how your team is operating currently. Think about your long term goals. What is working to help you achieve them, what is working against you. Consider how the land lies, who your allies are and potential threats. Plan how you will win not only the current battle but also the war.

If you would like to work with an Executive Coach contact us at
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or through

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Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics

We publish a monthly newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics.

You can subscribe to this by going to

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Part 8 - The SaVVy Club®

The Bane of Business Travellers - LHR Syndrome

A well known but little talked about ailment is affecting many business travellers. It’s something often suffered in silence. But finally, there is a cure for Lonely Hotel Room Syndrome. 

Your friends are probably envious of your work induced wanderlust. "What are you moaning about?" they ask as you look crestfallen when yet another trip looms on the horizon. They don’t understand that the only sight seeing you get to do is through the grimy window of a train or taxi cab dashing from one meeting to the next.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a simple cure - go out and experience the wealth of culture around you. A pre-organized social event is perfect. No organizing to do, just turn up and enjoy. They are the ideal way to meet likeminded travellers. Just think of the networking opportunities.

Next time you’re heading to London for a volley of meetings, don’t spend your evenings alone with only the remote control for company. Get out there and enjoy what the City has to offer.

Kim Rix
Founder and CEO of The SaVVy Club®  
London’s first boutique social events club.

For more information, please visit
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 feedback 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 program 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).