About the book
Are you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed?
Do you feel like you have no time for yourself?
Are you wondering how to regain your energy and find joy?
Being a leader today is hard. We are pulled in so many directions, with big responsibilities and many livelihoods reliant on us.
It may be surprising to learn that our first responsibility is to care for ourselves. To make choices that are right for us, instead of what is right for others.
With blurred boundaries between work and life, it can be difficult to find time for this. We’ve glorified being busy to become over-scheduled and over-committed and feel guilty about taking time for ourselves.
Fully Connected is for leaders who want to take back ownership of their lives and reclaim their health and energy. On their terms.
When you figure out what lights you up and how to say no to what doesn’t bring you joy, you become a better leader as you energise your co-workers, communicate with conviction and create a culture of belonging.
In these pages Mel Kettle shares practical, simple and actionable ideas for you to increase your self-awareness, understand what motivates you and prioritise self-care so you can become a fully connected leader.
About the author
Mel is a trusted mentor to executives and leaders and a highly sought-after speaker and trainer. Her clients include leaders, teams and organisations that want to achieve real connection and sustained engagement.
At the heart of everything Mel does is a commitment to self-leadership. She has an over-arching belief that we need to lead ourselves first before we can lead others. This view came after she survived the debilitating effects of work-related loneliness, stress and burnout in her late 20s, and was reinforced when she had a life-threatening melanoma in her early-40s.
Mel also brings the unique educational combination of a Master of Business (Marketing) and a Master of Public Health, making her a valuable asset to clients including IRESS, Toll, Queensland Country Bank, ANZ, the Local Government Association of Qld, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, IHC New Zealand, Arup and numerous universities and government agencies.
Mel's sub-speciality is helping women and organisations better understand the impact of menopause in the workplace. She is the founder of the award-winning menopause blog, Just as Juicy (www.justasjuicy.com). She has been a frequent podcast and radio guest talking about her experience and how organisations can better support menopausal women at work.
In January 2022 Mel was recognised by leadersHum as one of the Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership for 2022, one of only seven Australians on the list.
Mel is the host of podcast This Connected Life and the author of two books: The Social Association, published in 2018; and Fully Connected, due out in June 2022.
In her spare time, Mel loves to cook, go to the beach, dance around the house and read crime thrillers.
Big idea #1 - Connect
The first section of the book is about connecting with yourself, but you need more than that to thrive.
If you're struggling, talk to a trusted friend, a colleague, or a doctor to help make some plans to change and regain control. To connect with yourself you need to get back control so that you feel like you have some level of agency about what is happening to you and around you.
To know when something isn't right, you need to be connected with yourself first to know what those signs of physical, emotional, and mental stress might be.
Ultimately if we don't start with leading and connecting with ourselves, it's going to be very hard to lead others.
Connecting with yourself is a leadership capability. It allows you to bring more energy to others rather than being an energy vampire to your team.
Big idea #2 - Prioritise
Another big section of the book is about becoming more self-aware, self-motivated and prioritising self-care, which are the three elements of prioritising yourself.
Becoming self-aware is being present with your feelings, your fears, your wants, your needs, your values, your strengths, and your weaknesses. It's thinking about what it is that makes you tick and knowing when those things are out of whack and when to do something about them.
Self-motivation isn't just forcing yourself to do all the things you should do (it’s not all about the green smoothies and 5am runs on the beach). It is about creating your own luck, and when you create your luck, you're taking responsibility for what you spend your time and energy on.
Self-care is more than just an occasional spa day (although these are also good), it’s about looking after ourselves every single day and looking after all aspects of our health every day. Rather than waiting till there's a problem or waiting for that one big holiday to rest.
All of this will look different to everyone and you need to find ways to build your habits around that. Mel gives plenty of examples of different people and their ways of finding their version of self-awareness, self-motivation and self-care.
She also provides four very helpful foundation principles
Big idea #3 - If not now, when?
It feels kind of twee, but we do only get one go at this life.
If we're not building our habits, our resilience, our health, and generally being better connected to ourselves and with others we are going to find things much harder and much more stressful than they need to be.
For leaders, this is essential and is the new expectation. We need to step up. To do that, you need to have a solid relationship with yourself in order to best role model and lead others.
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Here are some great episodes to start with.