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Leading Self and Others Through the Covid19 Emotional Pinball


There's a lot of talk about the stages of grief as a good descriptor of the current world. My personal experience is that a pinball machine is a better descriptor.

Imagine our lives right now made into a pinball machine. What would be your 100 pointers? I imagine caffeine and gin as the labels on the flippers at the bottom, sending us back up into the game (or whatever gets you through!). Maybe it's meditation and rest on a good day. Each day, sometimes hour can bring many emotions in quick succession, and if we tracked how we feel I am sure it would show us bouncing around like a crazy pinball zigging and zagging, hitting highs and lows with little rhyme or reason as to what is coming next. Some of those feelings are harder to deal with than others. I'll be in a slump, and then have a call or zoom with someone and bang! my head is back up and I feel like I can take on the world again, simply by having a positive energy exchange.

In this newsletter, for this time of people needing to support themselves just as much as supporting others, I wanted to pass on some brilliant resources that dear colleagues of mine have created during the last month to help us through the pinball machine that is the emotional rollercoaster of COVID19. One is an amazing book Brace for Impact, written by Dr Amy Silver and Alessandra Edwards, experts in psychology and high performance. It is a book for our mind and our body. The other is a 66 day 10-minute meditation from the wonderful Jaquie Scammell, which can be accessed at any time that suits you. More information and the links to both of these resources are available further down this newsletter.

Some things I am noticing and thinking about:

Have your highs and lows been right in your face? I remember lying on my couch after the devastating Victorian Black Saturday fires in 2009, listening to Paul Kelly sing 'How to Make Gravy' at the Sound Relief concert held at the MCG to raise funds for those who had suffered during the fires and balling my eyes out. It's a song that always gives me a tear, but it just helped me let it all out. Sometimes we just need to sit with just being sad, or angry, or lonely. and just feel it. And that's OK. And THEN its great to put on pumping music, be silly, sing out loud and dance in the garden - or whatever takes your fancy!

What are you learning about how you handle stress, joy, creativity in these times? Have you discovered something you love doing that you had forgotten about? Is your family re-connecting over monopoly or cooking? My extended family got together last night for my sister's birthday over Zoom. It was great to see my mum and dad with their dinner and glass of wine join the two other households and a call in from Indonesia to celebrate. What is helping you find joy in this weird, weird world we are living in currently? For me its been getting out every day in my neighbourhood (social distanced of course) for a quick walk and seeing leaves turn to beautiful autumnal colours.

So many people have said to me how they are enjoying connecting to their work colleagues on a different level - a more human level. Kids, dogs, cats, kids, goldfish, Aussie Post deliveries mid calll - all of these help us to see each other as humans first, our jobs a few lines down after that. I've been asking people to bring something that symbolises themselves to online team get-togethers, so that we can celebrate the new levels of deeper connection we are creating. Online quizzes/staff lounge rooms on Teams, morning online huddles, quirky videos - all things that are helping keep us connected and injecting some humour into an interesting time. We are also talking more about how we are feeling about this situation, rather than avoiding the topic. Willingness to share our vulnerabilities with each other creates deeper connection and trust. What sort of things are you doing to connect differently and seize the opportunities to try something new?

One of the most exciting things I have been hearing about is the huge amount of innovation and creativity people are bringing to their work. In the education sphere, we are being bowled over daily with the amazing out of the box thinking to keep education going for students in ways that are engaging and exciting. A principal shared videos of some of his teachers with me this week, showing their cultural heritage to their students through cooking a special dish or explaining their national costume to kick off a cultural theme week. Little innovations that are helping all our children stay engaged, connected and learning in a different way. How are your teams using this time to think differently about how they work? For many organisations, this is the perfect time to experiment, whether you are a lawyer, accountant, teacher, or any other profession. Personally, in my business and home life, there has been a bit of 'thrill' thinking about what's possible, and 'trying stuff out'. If it doesn't work, that's ok, I'll just try something else.

What else are you noticing?


'Brace for Impact' by Dr Amy Silver Psychologist and Alessandra Edwards, HIgh-Performance Mentor is a book written over the last month to help us come through the pandemic with strength. They have written this book because they want people to be as well as they possibly can be through all of this. It is a fabulous book. Please pass it on to whomever you think would benefit ( all of us!):
This is from Amy and Alessandra:

Despite the uncertainty and ravages pandemics bring, their patterns are known and predictable. So too are the immense impacts on our body and mind.

To survive and thrive, we must become masterful at managing ourselves despite the risks. With a focus on the double-sided coin of mind and body, Brace for Impact is your guidebook for surviving and thriving in the face of pandemics.

If you would like to download (for free) the book for you and yours, it is available on

'66 Day Meditation', just recently recorded by Jaquie Scammell is a great way to enter into the realm of meditation with ease. Only 10 minutes, into your inbox daily for you to use whenever suits, it is beautiful. Go to Jaquie's website here to sign up.
These three women have worked tirelessly in a short period of time to bring to people their wisdom and insights that can support us in this time. They are all beautiful souls who care deeply about others and this is in evidence in these resources. I thank them for their generosity, wisdom and compassion for us.

I hope all of you are travelling well. As always I would love to hear how you are going and am here for a chat whenever you need.


Workshops are still running here at Tracey Ezard central. While I am disappointed not to be travelling to NZ for conferences in June, I am still able to do workshops and online conferences, with a virtual studio set up in my office. Often I'm on with people zooming in from home, but this one from today is working with a school team in Alice Springs as we journey through the creation of their Vision and Values. They are back in schools and working as usual. A great session where every team spent time together listening deeply to stories from the every day, identifying the values that were evident within the stories. While you can't see everyone in this photo, the discussion and passion was worth bottling! Great people doing incredible work with our most vulnerable children.

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I was privileged to speak at VID19 Conference recently, a 19 day conference of speakers created by Julia Steel at the start of the COVID19 lockdown. It was an honour and a privilege to take part with over 120 speakers.

I spoke on Ferocious Warmth leadership. Many of you know that I am currently writing the book of the same name, and have been delivering leadership programs that help leaders get the balance of the head and the heart right.
If you are interested in seeing this session, the link to the recording is here.

My session on Ferocious Warmth Leadership was visually captured by Katherine Baulch and I love it! Thank you Katherine for your take on my presentation.

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