How Mardi is Helping Business Leaders Thrive in a State of Wellness and Harmony
Mardi spent the last fifteen years working as a lead HSE and Legal Compliance Advisor and System Auditor as well as...
Mardi spent the last fifteen years working as a lead HSE and Legal Compliance Advisor and System Auditor as well as an integral member of senior executive teams with global organizations in the United States, Canada, the Asia Pacific and Australia.
Throughout that time, and journeying her own struggles to adapt as a woman working in male dominated industries, she learned that to experience success as part of a business landscape there must be a balance between harmony and performance – of both chasing success with determination and zealously adhering to your own ethics and values.
This insight became the foundation of the elite performance system she developed and now calls PerforM. Clearly Mardi’s my kind of human. So I had to know more about her and how she created her system. Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
My big dream was to be a thought leader in creating healthier and more balanced corporate environments. There is no doubt that the corporate world is changing and we as leaders, employees and technical professionals are struggling to operate within the old structure. Performance is dropping, almost 80% of people have been found to be unhappy in their jobs, people are either getting injured at work or executive teams are having to go over the top in implementing processes where their staff are no longer allowed to be creative in their roles. The dysfunction between masculine and feminine energies can also no longer be ignored. You see it on the news almost every other day, but fighting it and demanding change isn’t the answer –the key is to create a balance between the energies, letting both operate in harmony.
My inspiration to mentor people around how to achieve higher levels of performance, wellness and sanity within this waning corporate structure until the new structure is fully born came from my previous role as a Senior Health and Safety Executive as a woman working in male dominated industry. I saw the struggles of dysfunction day in, day out and over fifteen years working within it, I realised that I’d developed a unique way of helping people and teams not only increase their performance, but find more fulfillment, creativity and wellness while they were doing it. Now I help corporate professionals including lawyers and scientists, especially in the STEM industry, move from a place of high stress, high pressure and overwhelm in their corporate roles to a place of high performance with wellness and ease.
Did you always have this dream?
I would say my dream has always been part of me however, it has grown and become defined as I have evolved and experienced life. I come from a family with a long-line of medical and health professionals so it was no surprise that from a young age I was always interested and invested in people’s health and wellbeing.
As time went on and I heard more about people being injured and fatalities occurring in the workplace, I had this burning desire to step into a role that can be influential in stopping such events, questioning the imbalance and wanting to manage this issue in a new way. I didn’t believe that lives should be lost or we should in anyway compromise ourselves in an organizational setting. This led me into a career as a Health and Safety Professional knowing this role will allow me to make a difference, be proactive and impactful to people’s holistic wellbeing in the work environment, helping create healthy and balanced corporate environments, cultures, systems and processes to protect people’s lives and wellbeing at work.
This was a crucial time as it gave me a unique insight into how we can do it differently, how we can perform in harmony, look after our people and leaders and align with the needs of today’s society. This was the platform that confirmed and brought my big dream alive.
What was one of the first things you did to get you started?
I knew I needed a strong personal brand to communicate my level of expertise to the corporate world and to start building reputation as an expert and thought leader in the field, so my first strategy was to create a website to communicate my individual and organizational mentoring packages and to start speaking at events to get my message out there. It didn’t take long to realize just how many people were suffering with corporate overwhelm. These people are all highly qualified and experienced professionals in their fields but they were struggling with how to work with their expertise within the corporate environment. Things like how to navigate office politics, how to resolve issues with management teams, how to mitigate performance review problems and how to actually get the promotions they were working tirelessly to prove they were ready for.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
Oh self-doubt for sure! Whenever you have a big idea or a big dream there’s always an element of self-doubt. I could see the need was out there, but there’s not many mentors doing what I do, so there was a little voice in the back of my head that kept saying ‘You’re crazy Mardi, just stay with your comfortable corporate salary, it’s too risky’. But I took the risk anyway.
Starting a business without having a background in business management does have its twists and turns for sure. Unlike being an employee there’s so many other things to get your head around like marketing and financial management, and what I’d say in that area is hire experts to help you. If it’s not your area of expertise, outsource it, every time. Trying to save money by doing it yourself doesn’t work, it just wastes your time and makes your dreams take longer to materialize.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
I try hard not to have the mindset of “I wish I did it differently”. Hindsight as they say, is a beautiful thing. Like many others I use my own experiences to share with people so they move through their experience with more ease, with a better understanding and at a quicker pace.
One thing I would share is to find yourself a mentor(s) when you are igniting your dream, it can be lonely, you can lose sight and momentum. External support and guidance helps with accountability, perception and achievement, keeping you in balance.
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
Ha ha, my big dream is very big indeed! As a society we have a long road ahead of us in creating a corporate environment that honors both masculine and feminine energies. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m on the right path and it’s my life’s work to see it happen. I do feel like I have achieved a big dream in seeing the results my clients get after working with me. To see them go from stressed and hating their jobs to renewed and energized about the possibilities ahead; possibilities they didn’t dream they could make a reality, gets me every time. That’s the biggest reward for me.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
Stubborn determination. Dreams don’t come easy or everyone would be achieving them. It takes commitment and grit to keep believing and striving every day.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Be open-minded, fearless and authentic. Find those special few friends who will support you and your dream and whether you have a win or take a little step sideways, share the adventure with them.
Dreams arise within us for a reason. It is our imagination and our intuition bringing into consciousness our higher purpose. Believe that we can achieve, that our dreams present ideas to help ignite positive societal change and growth needed in this fast evolving world.
More about Mardi – mardikeyes.com
Mardi Keyes is an International Performance Consultant, Organisation Coach and Leadership Mentor. With her signature elite program perforM she’s made it her mission to help business leaders thrive in a state of wellness and harmony delivering exponential success in today’s rapidly changing corporate landscape.
Mardi’s favourite quote is:
There are so many quotes from inspirational people around the world that I adore, but here are two that I refer to when things get a little overwhelming in my life to propel me into a new perspective:
Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.
– Coco Chanel
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
– Baz Luhrmann.
Mardi’s big dream for the world is:
Purely to create a healthier, well-balanced corporate environment that honours both masculine and feminine energies so it provides an environment where people thrive in a positive state of wellness, creativity, high performance and ease. And masterfully, by creating this new balanced environment by default it addresses the current diversity, inclusion and equality issues in today’s current workplace.
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.