Our Stories: Libby Gordon

Written by Nicola Cockroft.

Libby isn’t one to sit still. She bought a one-way ticket to the UK 15 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. An avid runner and cyclist, she also has a string of voluntary roles on the go, including helping run our Business Book Brunch, and has recently hosted a masterclass to impart some sage advice on coping with change.Libby Gordon

Why does she volunteer so much? “I’ve got time to give and I like giving it. I love meeting people and hearing their stories.” It’s something she’s always done, ever since she was a kid. Her parents were part of Forest & Bird and so she was often out litter picking or planting trees. She’s carried that on into her adult life with a long list of charities and community groups that she supports, both in her local area of Tooting and beyond.

When she started to miss her connection with New Zealand a few years ago she joined her first NZBWN Business Book Brunch, which she now volunteers to help run for the network. “They’re a great learning opportunity. I love that it’s not just about listening to someone else, but getting involved in the discussion and helping myself and others think about how to apply the things we learn.”

“I enjoy talking to people who are interested in more than just what’s in front of them.” She thinks it takes a certain type of person to uproot their lives – leaving behind their family, friends and everything they know that’s familiar. Although not every Kiwi that has done that will have the same outlook, she says there’s a common desire to get up and do something different and she’s interested in speaking to others who share that type of attitude.

She believes there is always a better way to do something or ways to improve, which is perhaps why she’s ended up in a career in change management. Demonstrating this in her recent masterclass, Libby shared some timely tips on managing change. Here are her top three:

#Tip 1: Focus on what you can control. A lot of things may be out of our control and that can feel daunting. Libby suggests we focus on what we can control to feel more at peace. For example, we can’t control the restrictions that the government puts in place right now, but we can decide how much of the news we watch.

#Tip 2: Reflect on how you react. Whether you want it to happen or not, change is emotional. It could be happening to us or someone else, but Libby says we should expect it to be emotional and surprising. Talking about it can help you feel better prepared for how you to manage your emotions. She also notes that “Sometimes you have to end something to start something new”. For example, you could be excited about starting a new job, but still feel sad about leaving your old one behind.

#Tip 3: We all have tools to deal with change, we just need to look into our past to find them. Libby recommends reflecting on times in your past that you’ve been through change to think about what helped you and what strategies you could apply in future. Moving to the other side of the world is a great example of a huge change that many of us have been through.

Get in touch with Libby on LinkedIn or join her at the next Business Book Brunch - keep an eye out for more information.