Full Potential Labs, Sydney
Yes, travel changes lives, and sometimes not necessarily for the better. A young Claire Hatton, living in Singapore then, lost her husband Chris to the Bali bomb attack in 2002. From then on, Claire has lived with the adage that “nothing is to be taken for granted”. The tragedy set her off on an adventure where she took up photography, travelled the world and eventually ended up in Sydney, where she now runs Full Potential Labs, a ‘next gen’ learning and development business, with partner Greta Thomas. The dynamic duo is also behind the successful podcast series, Don’t Stop Us Now, featuring stories of successful women leaders.
In this episode:
Self-discovery and reinvention "What I learned was that I'm way stronger than I ever thought I was. I'm surrounded by loving friends and family…I wouldn't have been able to pick up I don't think, if I hadn't had that amazing support. His death actually brought our family even closer together, which is a really wonderful thing. Things don't last forever, and you have to acknowledge that. But I would never have not gone, I'd never regret that. We were living in Singapore at the time and I never regret that because Chris certainly, he died at the age of 30 and boy, did he live a full life. He was a real adventurer, so I don't regret any of it."
Thoughts on Google dominating the travel industry "When you talk about Google reaching its full potential and travel in 2020, I remember back in 2011, I was having conversations with OTAs and airlines about Google's travel products. These travel companies have had a long time to do something about it, innovate, find new ways to be relevant to the customer, to acquire customers. So, yes, I think Google is beginning to reach its full potential, but I also think travel companies need to take some responsibility to innovate more. But at the same time I want to hasten to add, I do believe that Google's powers do need to be watched and kept in check by policymakers, because they are becoming bigger and bigger every day and weaving into our lives in ways that we could never have imagined."
About Full Potential Labs "Managing our mind is absolutely critical for us to reach our full potential and to be successful, as successful as we want to be. Many times, our brain trips us up, and so the more that you can understand how your brain works, the better. Understanding the fact that this part of the brain that's conscious, and then there's the non-conscious brain, and the non-conscious brain is what we're operating on 85% of our days. We do quite a lot of work both for mixed groups, but also for women's leadership programmes. One of the things particularly for women, is that we can actually have a very overactive narrative in our mind… we call it the evil DJ. So this evil DJ, it often has soundtracks. I know for me, my soundtrack is often 'I'm not good enough', or 'I'm not doing enough', and that can sort of take over. And that can then start to bring my confidence down."
How can people change that soundtrack? "Well, the first thing that you have to do is you have to become aware of it. What we teach is ways to check in with yourself, particularly when you are going through stressful times where perhaps your evil DJ might take over. So that's the first thing, you have to find ways to check in with yourself, whether that's putting (in) a calendar invite or wearing a band or having your watch remind you. You have to basically check in to see, 'Is my evil DJ in charge?' If you feel that your evil DJ is in charge, you'll find things like your evil DJ will be very black and white – I'm not doing a good job, it's very black and white, or I'm gonna get fired, or I can't do this – very black and white phrases. Once you've recognised that, then the most important thing is coming back and looking at the evidence (and) understanding what the evidence is, for you feeling this way…because your brain is run on emotions, so (when) you come back to the facts, then you can start to actually build a new narrative for yourself."
Reasons for starting the ‘Don’t Stop Us Now’ podcast series with business partner, Greta Thomas "I think the reason that we set this podcast up was because we believe that the world desperately needs more women to get involved in shaping our future, particularly in the era that we're in right now, which is one of rapid change and disruption. There really are too few female leader role models, and we're all about changing that. So, why in the 21st century? Well, the fact is that there still are not enough women in leadership positions. When you look around the world, only 24% of all seats in Parliaments around the world are held by women. Of 195 countries, women lead only 13 of them. That's completely echoed in the corporate world. In fortune 500 companies in the US only 4.8% of CEOs are women. Now get this, this is mind blowing. In Australia, there are more CEOs in the ASX 200 called Andrew, than there are women CEOs. How crazy is that?"
What does ‘Don’t Stop Us Now’ wish to achieve? "The first is that we're trying to showcase and celebrate stories of really inspiring and innovative women who have gone around the world, who are making great things happen. What we want to do is to bring their stories to life so that other women can see that everyone struggles, and everyone has doubts and fears and tough times, but they find ways to get through. So I guess we want to inspire and give women courage. That's one thing. Then the second thing is that we really want to equip our listeners to think bigger and importantly, to take action to pursue their goals. So we're all about action and every fifth episode, we've got a how to, which is all about sort of unpicking a common career or leadership issue, like how to have a difficult conversation or how to manage your inner critic as an example, to help people really get practical."
Note: This interview was recorded in the early part of the year, right after the bushfires in Australia and before the COVID-19 outbreak, which closed borders to travel. Claire says the hardest part has been the distance from her family, who lives in the UK. She also says it has made her “revere and respect” travel even more for what it does to create jobs and build bridges. It has also made her think of travelling in a different way – “maybe I will go for longer but fewer trips”, she says.
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