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Unprecedented with Rachael Bull

Published 2nd June 2021

At Unprecedented, we had the opportunity to speak to Rachael Bull, Corporate Wellbeing Partner of The Reset Project, who told us about how the pandemic has affected her and her business.  

A background into you and your business?

Having spent my career in publishing, communications and employee engagement, in 2019 I set up The Reset Project and am now focused purely on helping organisations improve their leaders’ and teams’ wellbeing and resilience.

The Reset Project is all about helping people make simple but powerful lifestyle behaviour changes for their own benefit, as well as for the benefit of their families, the wider community and the organisations they work for.

Through coaching, mentoring and training I help people go from feeling run down and stressed, to feeling their best so that they can bring their best to work and their personal lives. The organisations they work for see the benefits in the short term as they become more productive, they’re better at decision making, they’re more creative and they build better relationships. However, there’s also a long term change in the form of reduced health care costs, lower absence rates and less presenteeism. It’s a win-win.

Prevention is better than cure, and given that chronic diseases are 80% determined by lifestyle and environment and only 20% by genetics, there’s a lot we can do to help keep people healthy. That’s what The Reset Project is all about. Group, and 1:1, coaching programmes, virtual and face-to-face workshops, clinics, yoga, stress management support and much more.

Define leadership and what being a leader means to you.

Good leaders are servants. ‘They eat last,’ as Simon Sinek says. They want to bring out the best in their people. They know that’s what will help them as individuals - and help the business succeed.

They also recognise that they’re in a position of power - and behave accordingly. It’s well known that ambitious talent mirrors the behaviours of their leaders with the expectation that it will help get them up the ladder. So for me, it’s crucial that leaders look after themselves so that everyone else does too. Too often in companies, I see wellbeing as a tick-box exercise for employees, and for leaders it’s often a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. This has to change.

Leaders often think they’re too busy and they have more important things to do than look after themselves. All that’s telling employees is that leaders don’t think there’s value in it - and then leaders are scratching their heads about employees not taking advantage of the wellbeing initiatives on offer.

Leaders are also storytellers - they know and value the importance of connecting with people on an emotional level in order to get them behind a common purpose.

Finally, leaders are authentic - a word that’s used too much these days but is so important. Again, it goes back to connecting in a genuine way. Covid has been a leveller - we’ve seen into each other's lives more than ever before. That authenticity, of seeing a leader trying to run a meeting when their kid keeps interrupting, is hugely important. It helps create a sense of togetherness and unity, and people can see that everyone is in the same boat. Hopefully, that won’t change in the future and go back to the old ways.

What are the “non-negotiable” behaviours that you expect you and those around you to live by?

Respect for each other is a given, but we don’t tend to respect ourselves enough.

Everyone at every level should be prioritising their own health and wellbeing more - I can see the benefits of looking after myself now (stress management and creating strong ‘rest’ ethics is crucial) both for myself professionally and my business. I think there’s a deeply ingrained idea that ‘rest is work’s opposite’, but it’s not.

What impact has covid had on your business?

I’m lucky that it’s opened up lots of opportunities for me. First, with yoga as I went online at the start of lockdown and have been able to support many more organisations nationally. And likewise with the wider wellbeing work - running virtual 1:1 and group coaching programmes and workshops on wellbeing, resilience and stress management.

Looking ahead to 2021 what are your predictions for the economy? For your sector?

There’s no doubt that Covid has shone a beaming light on wellbeing and there’s a lot of talk about there being a mental health pandemic. For many organisations, it’s hard to know how to manage that. The truth is, there’s no one solution - each organisation will need a different wellbeing strategy that aligns with their wider strategy, their culture and their people.

As Gallup says, ‘"If leaders have learnt anything in 2020, it is that employee wellbeing is an essential factor in business success… If your people aren't healthy - physically and mentally - you won't succeed."

The Pandemic has caused many of us to reassess what is important in our lives. In what ways have you recalibrated your own priorities and goals.

Success to me looks very different to what it did a year ago. I’ve gone from working as an Editor in Chief for a storytelling agency to a full-time business owner and Corporate Wellbeing Partner. My focus is now 100% on helping organisations and leaders to boost their wellbeing and reap the benefits. Exciting times ahead!

If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to learn more about Rachael, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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