The way the world is right now with the COVID pandemic, people are learning to set more realistic expectations based on the current circumstance. Chaos happens when your reality is different from your expectations. Joining Jen Du Plessis on today’s podcast is Corinne Hancock, a certified leadership coach and the Founder of The Curiosity Project, a nonprofit organization that provides health and entrepreneurial opportunities in countries where people have limited access to resources. Corrine is all about thriving in chaos and shares her Chaos Model to help people become chaos-ready. Chaos is never going to go away. Learn how to embrace it and use it to your advantage.
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The Chaos Model With Corinne Hancock
My guest is Corinne Hancock, who is the former Director of Clinics and Training Programs for Project CURE, a global leader in bringing medical aid to low-income countries. She is a certified leadership coach who has worked on numerous contracts with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, helping to develop the next generation of African leaders and improve healthcare systems in some of the most underserved war-torn parts of our world.
She has worked in conjunction with several for-profit and non-governmental organizations to help them thrive in chaos. Corinne is the Founder of The Curiosity Project, a nonprofit organization that provides health and entrepreneurial opportunities in countries where people have limited access to resources. She regularly leads groups of both medical and non-medical professionals to remote villages where the teams provide medical and entrepreneurship training. She is a mother of two boys and a hobby farmer. She knows the pressure and exhaustion of keeping it all moving forward. She puts her chaos model to the test daily.
Corinne, thank you for joining us. I’m happy to have you.
I’m happy to be here too, Jen. This is great.
I want to ask you a couple of questions. First, I want to get started with how did you get into the work that you’re in? The decision to be so selfless, go out into the big bad world and you’ve got this aspect that you work with the Department of State and Department of Defense. How did this passion marry up with the business aspect of it as well?
It’s a question I get asked a lot especially from young people. How do I be you when I grow up? It’s a little different than it occurs but the short answer is, I’ve always said yes to the things that most people say no to. It started back all the way from my senior year in high school. The senior year, the senior trip, and all the seniors were going off to Mexico. I remember even at that young age thinking, “That sounds horrible. I have no desire to do that.” I signed up on my own and went on a mountain survival two-week Alpine course through Outward Bound.
I remember even thinking during that time, in a snow cave and going, “Why do I do this to myself? My friends are probably on the beach drinking beers and I’m having to make a snow cave to survive tonight.” That’s always been me. I’m always pushing the limits and trying to find maybe the deeper meaning, trying to take everything I can out of life and wanting to try extreme experiences not from the sports side, but from pushing myself into areas that I’ve always been uncomfortable in.
You didn’t want to say, “I was born a girl,” and go down the hall road. You went to college for whatever you went to college for, but how did you stumble into doing what you’re doing now since COVID and charging forward as soon as a catastrophe happens or something bad happens. You’re there.
I did it in college. When you start to look back, you see how it all lines up. In college, I studied human development and cultural anthropology. I was a cultural anthropologist fascinated about why humans do what they do. As I moved on, it was connected to development and especially people in crisis. I studied abroad in college similar to my Outward Bound story. My friends were going to Spain and France and I picked a program and studied abroad in Nepal, Russia and China.
I went on an interesting study abroad program and that set the tone for all of it because you get this hunger and this desire. I lived with host families and I ended up moving to the UK. I lived in London for many years and ended up marrying a Brit. I spent some time doing that. It was making connections and always seeing the gaps and looking for ways to make an impact. I’ve always wanted to help and make an impact. It’s having the desire to be in crazy parts of the world and have those experiences kept leading to more and more opportunities.
[bctt tweet=”Chaos happens when your reality is different from your expectations. ” username=””]
One of the things I’m going to talk about here is, because I know a lot of this is all thriving in chaos and we’re in chaos with COVID right now. Some people have more chaos than others and there are different types of chaos. One of the things that I loved about your one sheet was that the different definitions of chaos. I’m going to go through this. I know that you haven’t listed that these are the definitions, but this is what I received from it. Leaders who are looking for effective conflict resolution techniques, that is chaos. When you live in conflict and don’t know how to handle it as a leader and one of the big buzzwords this 2021 is leadership. It’s everywhere.
Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi are talking about it because I’m in one of their courses. Leaders are operating in challenging environments in what we’re doing with the COVID cocoon that we’re in, or someone said, the vid, “I’ve got the vid cocoon.” The need to navigate disruptive change, which is what we’ve experienced as well, and new ways to collaborate with others effectively. How do you get on the other side of that and break into the ceiling? Increasing your effectiveness with organizational change. This is all business-related but then there’s also an aspect of the human relation as well and the effectiveness of communication. I want to make sure that everyone understands what your definitions of chaos are.
Some people would say I’m chaotic because I’m an A-plus personality, but thank goodness, my dad’s personality comes in and that side of my personality becomes a string to my own helium balloon of chaos. We’re dealing with a lot of chaos with COVID right now. My question to you is, in the business environment, and sometimes this is chaos in our own heads too, because a lot of us are staying at home and saying, “Maybe I don’t want to go back to that job.” What chaos is going to ensue? Here we are in COVID, during the time that we’re talking about this, so I want to talk about this briefly and we’ll get on to your four C’s of chaos. What are you seeing as the most prominent chaos right now? You do work in health, you do work in entrepreneurship, and you work with the government.
It’s always chaos. When we talk about those ideas of chaos, to differentiate a little bit between crisis, a crisis is an event. It can come in all shapes and sizes, from forgetting your keys or your cell phone when you’re running out the door to COVID hitting your company or your frontline people. It’s all different shapes. That’s the crisis, the event. Chaos is the reaction we have to that event. I say that chaos happens when your reality is different from your expectations.
If you look at now you have something to control because people feel like chaos is always things that are outside of our control. A lot of it is but our reactions to it aren’t. I also say that it’s also maybe setting more realistic expectations based on the current circumstance. My work, especially before COVID, and when I was working overseas, I was always expecting it to be chaotic. I knew it was going to be. I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but I knew something was going to be different than what I was expecting.
The bus wasn’t going to show up on time, my supplies weren’t going to come in or a team member was going to get sick. Something was always going to change and it’s the same in the business world. What’s happened now with COVID is that it has all hit fast quickly. It’s magnified. I keep telling my clients right now that it’s nothing new. It’s magnified, but it magnifies the good and the bad. That’s what I love about chaos because it magnifies things that also are good. If you think about, over the year, of the things we have become creative, our A-players have stepped up in ways that we’re innovating, creative, and finding new ways to connect with our family.
We’re doing fun things that we’ve never done before but it also shines a spotlight right in the areas that we already knew were there in our processes, in those gaps and so much of what I talk about in chaos is one, identifying. First of all, let’s get more realistic about what it is because it’s always been here, but it’s your reality showing up different than what you were expecting, and how you respond to that and how you lead others through things that keep changing is critical.
You and I were talking before about how my entire day was reorganizing my office now. The backdrop is different. What’s different is my desk. I’m in a standing-sitting desk now. I’ve got a little bit of both going on effect.
Me too. I have that now too.
It’s my father’s drafting table that I used when I was in college as well. I feel my dad is with me all day. It’s a weird sensation. I’m laughing about it because I said to my husband, “Are you sure you want to do this today? Are you sure?” Because we’ve got screens, cords and everything. My mirror is causing trouble now that I’m higher. It’s a big mess. As he was putting it all together, you can imagine the words that were being used. He throws himself into this chaos. It is funny. He’s like, “It’s your computer. It’s only your computer.” I’m like, “You’ve always said that and you’ve always got this result.” He goes, “It can never be easy.” It always has to be this. It’s funny that you’re saying this because why does his expectation think it’s going to be plug, bing, and it works?
If he had already said that, he already knows it’s going to be hard so you learn how to prepare for chaos. That’s what I always tell people. You’re never going to be chaos proof, but you can be chaos ready. He may want to plan a little more extra time if he’s working with you and your computers to set those unrealistic expectations. That’s been a big part of this. Leaders are now needing to set realistic expectations. Some things are hard now. Most companies I’ve been working with lately are having the most record-breaking years that they’ve ever had.
Not everyone’s having that experience but either side of the equation still causes chaos. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It can be good too. My whole goal is always to help people use chaos to their advantage because one, it’s never going away. It’s always going to be here but embracing it, starting to use it for something, use it for a force of good because there’s so much opportunity within it. Also being real and helping people that it’s frustrating and hard. Your husband had a challenging time and you want to acknowledge that and have empathy as well but still move forward.
That moving forward is me walking out of the room. I avoided it. I was like, “I’m not going in there.” He’s Italian and French, so everything that happens is chaos for him. Everything is magnified. No question about it. I want to address a couple of things. It looks like we’re going to stay in COVID for a while. I was in Vegas for a whole week. It was good to get out but it was a ghost town. It was crazy. I was talking to one of the Uber drivers and he said, “One of the hotels isn’t up until June. The Palms is shut down. Rio is shut down.” We know Rio is going to be blown up anyway but it’s shut down. There’s nobody in five towers. The Palms is shut down. Nobody is working there. It’s not even then it’s slow. There’s not enough to go around. Even at the Bellagio, my hotel was at $88 for the night. There are some hotels that are $33 that are nice hotels. Go to Vegas and quarantine yourself in your room.
How can they survive? How can they keep going?
There’s no way. The buffets are shut down. They’ll probably never open again. What they’re saying is that the buffets are probably never ever going to open again. It looks like we’re going to be in COVID for a little longer. I’d like to address and I’m going to let you know what the second half of this is if you’re feeling angst and you’re still feeling this tension and stress still. Some tips on how to get over it. I don’t mean it badly. How do you deal with it because it’s here, it’s staying and it will be a year?
How do we deal with it, but at the same time the moment that we’re released, we’re born free and when we become bored and free, there’s going to be other chaos that we’re going to encounter because the world is different? Even though we can’t wear masks, there are going to be people that wear masks. Even though we can hug, there are going to be people that don’t want to hug. There’s going to be all kinds of things. How do we cope with that as well?
It’s how you prepare for the incoming chaos that is huge.
It’s the readiness. I’ve been saying, “It’s a COVID cocoon and when the cocoon opens up, we can either fly away and be beautiful butterflies and survive this, or we can be all shriveled up and die. We don’t want to say that, but we shrivel up. What are some tactics we can use while we’re in this and things that we want to be looking for like triggers or signs on the backside of this that we can learn to cope and deal with?
It’s huge. If we look back in the beginning of this of how we felt, how there were such extremes, people being like, “This is fake,” or “This will be over next week,” to “I’m never leaving my house again,” there was such dichotomy and it still is that way. Surviving it during this time, I like using the word thriving because in the context that I come from working in some of the most stressful and chaotic parts of the world, and you hear this of finding gratitude. All of those are great tactics. Keep finding the things that you love to do and that are good, that make you happy but it’s always for me, it’s about the mission.
It’s having a mission, having a goal, having something that you can focus on for right now that you can accomplish. Whether it’s something small like, “By the end of this weekend, I want to get my office cleaned out, organized, and feel good.” It’s creating small wins for yourself right now because we don’t know what it’s going to look like. It keeps changing all the time. We have many different things happening. I get an email, probably like many of you, every week. My kids are going back to school in April and I’m like, “Yeah,” right now. I don’t know if that’s true.
We have gotten conditioned to not believe anything, or we don’t want to set false expectations or hope. It’s pulling things down into things that we can control. What can you create that inspires you as a micro mission to accomplish? It is small things like reorganizing my CRM. Do I want to do that? Absolutely not, but it will be beneficial. What are things that you can create wins in, things that are going to benefit you in the future that you can take care of right now? If you break it down small enough, it becomes fun and doable. I’ve started to create, with my clients and with myself, some small task list ideas that are micro missions that feed into my big mission.
[bctt tweet=”You’re never going to be chaos proof, but you can be chaos ready.” username=””]
Our big mission is still who we are and what we’re here to do. That isn’t going away. I still want to be a great mom, lead my people, run my nonprofit and do a great job in my work, but some of those things cause huge anxiety. I don’t know if I can do that in the same way but we made gingerbread houses for the first time. Win. Set more realistic expectations and find the wins in the good stuff and small stuff. That helps right now in the anxiety because if you’re feeling anxious, I would say your mission is too big. Pull it into something that you can take care of this week.
Sometimes it’s even, what can I get done in the next hour? What am I trying to accomplish? What am I even trying to accomplish in this hour? What about this week? Pull it in. Nothing is forever. You’ll get back to this big, but right now, it’s focusing on the small stuff that feeds into the big stuff for the future is awesome. I play around in that realm and when we look at how we prepare for when we look at when we get set free, being excited about it for one, focusing on the things is two, what are the things that you’re looking forward to.
I can’t wait to go to a restaurant and order food normally where I don’t have to use my phone and try to figure out these apps. I can’t wait to go out to eat with friends. It’s these small things. The world will look different and setting realistic expectations and staying in what are we trying to accomplish? What is important? What do we want for the future? What do we want for ourselves? I know many people are starting to reevaluate their work-life balance because we’ve had an experience now. For me, I have never been home this much in my children’s entire lives.
I’ve spent my whole career traveling and when they were younger, I spent all of my time overseas. Two weeks in the field and two weeks home for almost five years when they were school age in elementary school. That’s a lot. It’s not like the field was in Boston that was in the middle of the Congo, so it was insane. I’ve never been home this much and it’s been incredible. What are some things that you’ve learned during this time that you want to keep doing in the future? There’s value in thinking about that. I don’t think I want to have the same insane travel schedule as I had before.
I know. It’s funny that you said that because I was at a mastermind in Vegas, and we were all talking about that because we’re all speakers, coaches, podcasters, and that type of thing. We’re saying, “Is that worth it?” It was funny because, toward the end, I was struggling with it. I haven’t mentioned to you that I was on a 45-day constant and my last place was Vegas. I came home on a Monday and Wednesday and they shut the world down.
They shut the entire United States down. I was happy because I’m not a spring chicken anymore and my legs were killing me. I have five different pairs of compression socks and I’m going, “Why am I having to carry all this other crap with me when I’m going out there?” I know that I’m sensitive to my health and what’s going on by sitting. I came in and all I do is sit anyway. For me, this 2020, I’m plant-based so I know I eat well, but it’s the movement.
I found that I was more sedentary sitting here hence the reason the office has been changed. It took us a year to get it pulled together or nine months to get it pulled together. It’s not the whole office, it’s only my standing desk. I could have easily brought it down but it needed some work and that stuff. We’re now saying, “Maybe I don’t want that schedule. This is as good for me. I’m still doing well. I’m having a great year like you are. It’s my best year.” It’s because we’re more focused.
We’re more focused and I feel that we’re more focused and it’s providing that clarity. We talk about clarity a lot and it’s provided that clarity. Mine is a lot around the clarity of mission of, what am I even trying to accomplish? What is the goal? What’s the end game? What am I doing all this for in the first place? Fine, you can set these goals and set your goals for how much money you want to earn or how many clients. You need measurable goals.
If you won’t even be in your business anymore, you want to try out, or you’re done being an entrepreneur, you’re going to go back to the workforce. It’s one way or the other.
Having that specificity that’s measurable and saying, “I know that I’ve accomplished this. It’s finding that way to figure that out. A lot of people are in, “What am I doing now? What is all this for?” We’re also not able to be busy in the noise of being busy. We’re having to laser focus and that’s been fun.
You and I are laughing about it. You have four C’s and I have five. My first one is clarity like yours. Let’s talk about these four steps to this chaos action plan. When you’re in this chaos or you feel like you’re in chaos, what are the steps? I know one is clarity and that is to get clear of your goal and your mission. Is there anything else?
You’re getting clear on your mission. First of all, the action plan is much because I’m a cultural anthropologist by trade. I love to study why people do what they do and especially in chaos or in a crisis. When something changes outside of your control, people have a default reaction. Either people are going to avoid it, so I call it the ABC. There are avoiders, blamers, and complainers. All of us have a default reaction. We all are going to do one of those things. It’s like when your husband was getting crazy about the computer. Avoid it.
Unfortunately, I hate to admit it about myself, but I’m a blamer. I go straight to blame because I feel like I’ve done everything that I was supposed to do. If something changed that is outside of my control, or my reality is different from my expectations, I blame someone else and I usually blame myself. I feel that I must have done something wrong. You see those people on the sidelines complaining. They’re usually hanging out, so everything I teach, and I talk about how we move ourselves and others out of the ABCs, out of the avoiding, blaming and complaining, and into action. It’s always about taking action.
That’s why I created the action plan and clarity is the first part of the action plan and clarity of mission, but when you’re in chaos, no one is going to be able to hear or care about the mission unless you define the threat first. Think about this. We’re all in self-preservation mode. Think about this from a biological point of view. People stay in self-preservation and it’s not because they’re jerks or they’re selfish. We all are. Our sphere is a little bit bigger so it seems we care about a whole bunch of other things, but we don’t. We still care about ourselves.
It’s a natural biological instinct to preserve, protect. You add something like a health pandemic and the economy, everyone is in self-preservation mode so you must define the threat first. It’s clarity of what’s that actual threat because there’s so much perceived versus real. Once I know what the real threat is, I can create clarity of mission because I don’t even know what I need to accomplish unless I know what’s at stake first.
It’s like, “What do I do?” versus having a great intention.
It’s always lasering in. Everything I do is taking the noise because where I’m working in most of the world and where my background is from, it’s not from a corporate background, it is from being in chaotic situations, where truly your health, safety, and personal security is at risk. You don’t have time to avoid blame and complain if things change outside your control. If you do that, probably something bad is going to happen. You must figure out how to take action immediately and the first thing I need to know is what’s at risk. What’s the threat? What’s at stake here? What’s truly going on here?
Have you seen The Social Dilemma yet?
How did that impact you? If you haven’t seen it, you have to listen to it or watch it. It’s on Netflix. Where do you think that plays a role in the threat that people have? Some people, if they see that, they could start conspiracy theory-ing everything and that would create chaos for them. One of the things that challenge me and why this comes up is getting clear on what the actual threat is when we don’t even know what The Social Dilemma is telling us.
It’s bringing it into your life. What’s the impact on you? Everything I’m always wanting to know is, “Sure, maybe that’s happening.” All those things, being a mother, seeing that, and feeling like my kids are older. I watched it and it made me feel I failed as a mother because I let my kids have their phones and they are older now. I decided to look at it and all everything I look at is, then what’s the impact? What is the impact on me? What’s the impact on work? It’s a key.
[bctt tweet=”Chaos is never going to go away. Embrace it and use it as a force for good.” username=””]
Everything is about the impact. What is the perceived threat versus the actual threat? What’s the real threat right now? For some people in this pandemic, they’ve lost most of their revenue, or they’ve had to lay off people, their business has drastically changed, but what’s the impact? What’s the impact on you? You say that your business revenue is down? Does that mean the impact right now is you need to sell everything because you can’t eat tomorrow, or what’s going on? The revenue is down in this moment, walk me through the impact, the realistic real of what’s happening, not what’s maybe going to happen or what could happen that’s valuable to look at and to prepare. If you look at the impact, if you hone in on the impact, and you follow that down the worst-case scenario road, that’s going to give you your more realist of potential threats and I’m going to start to plan for that.
I imagine that’s a series of questions too. It’s digging deeper and then what? Why? What’s the outcome there?
What are you worried about? What’s the worst that can happen? People are afraid to look at that and that’s what I’ve seen in my business over 2020, because as you see in this framework, it’s providing that clarity but first, the clarity of the threat. Identify the impact of that threat and from there, you create your mission, your clarity of what you are trying to accomplish. From there, you move into the curiosity phase. What do you even have to work with?
Your brain does this naturally. Once you’ve identified the threat and the impact it’s having, you already know what you’re trying to accomplish so you’ve already gone into, what do I have to work with? What are my resources? Who are you? Who am I being right now? Who am I? How am I showing up so I can accomplish this? Once we have that clarity and you identify realistically, let’s say it’s your business, and you’ve now looked at your books, your sales projections, and see, “I’ve got almost a six-month buffer. If we rearrange a few of these things, then it’s okay.”
You have to have courage. That’s the third part of it. It’s having the courage to take action. How do you want to know what you need to do that’s different as you know in the work that you do too? Talking about it is different. I’m always trying to move people out of avoiding blaming and complaining and into action. People are afraid to take action without clarity. Clarity equals security. The more clarity you can provide, the more secure people will feel and people who feel secure can move into action also for ourselves. How do you provide that for yourself?
I would say, for me, it’s an assessment. It’s something that I went through. I work with Darren Hardy, so I do Living Your Best Year Ever. We finished our things and we’re about ready to implement everything and part of that for me was an interesting thought process here. I haven’t had a chance to do it all year, but all year, it’s been move, exposure, expand and getting all this stuff out there that was sitting dormant.
I thank God every day that he shut me down so I had no choice but to do what I should have been doing for two years. It’s funny that getting ready for 2021 was a complete assessment of my fixed costs and my apps, which takes forever to do. That’s what you say as those little wins because I would sit and if we’re going to Netflix binge tonight, I’m going to have my phone in front of me and I’m going to go through my apps. It’s like, “I need this app and this is not an auto-renew.”
That’s part of it. Sometimes you’ve got to embrace the suck. Sometimes it’s having that clarity. It’s not fun, but it’s good. It’s setting that expectation that this is going to suck. I’ve got to clean this out. I’ve got to go through my subscriptions. We know we need to do these things. Do it but break it down and that’s such a smart way to do it. That’s why I always joke with this, “Embrace the suck.” Have a realistic expectation.
We’ve got to go through it and I got through it.
It’s not forever.
In fact, I’m going to show you. You won’t believe it. I like sharing stuff. This is a printout of all my content. Not my presentation but these are my ideas, my content, this, that, and the other. It’s front and back. I have to put this together in a systematic way. A true example of chaos. What am I going to talk about? I can talk about a thousand things but I’m like, “What am I going to talk about? I have to talk or I have nothing to talk about.” Yeah, I do. I’ve got to compartmentalize this. I’ve got to lay it out for the whole year instead of having that chaos on a weekly basis.
That anxiety and that feeling and even putting that all together.
This is my long slash by the end of the year.
Look at where it got you. Some people are in the place of, “All you’ve got to do is start today.” If you don’t have that much stuff yet, do all of it in small increments. You have to. The high achievers forget that part. You go, go and go. You can keep doing that but now, in that more systematic way of breaking it down and in the framework of the action plan, the final piece of it is the commitment because you have the clarity but the clarity of the threat first. What’s the impact it’s having? What is the mission? What are you trying to accomplish? You’re getting curious about what you have to work with. Look at what you’ve done there.
You’re like, “I have all of this content. I’m going to put it all together.” You’ve created what needs to happen right now and have the courage to take those action steps towards solving, creating, or whatever it is. The next step to the final part that wraps it around is when you start feeling overwhelmed, that disappointment or that frustration is the commitment. It’s remembering the mission, remembering why you even do what you do. Why are you here? What is this for? What makes you excited about what you’re doing? I remind people right now that gratitude is critical. That’s a natural part of our being as humans. They keep focused on that. That’s low-level stuff.
This next-level is recommitting to the mission. What are you here for? Is it worthy of your life? Take actions that make you excited. This is it right here. What are you waiting for? Finding that clarity of, “Here’s what’s the challenge, here’s what I’m trying to work on, here’s what I’ve got to work with and now I’ve got to go for it. It’s scary. It’s hard. Embrace the suck.” Remember why you’re doing it. What is it all for? There’s a mentor of mine who said, “My goal is to live my life on the verge of tears.” That stuck with me in two ways. The tears of inspiration, where you live on the verge of tears of being moved by that, being moved to an emotion of inspiration is incredible but also, it’s like living on the verge of tears of the freak out and how much that pushes us. I’ve thought about that because that’s playing the game.
It’s funny because the people that I’m coaching, my students, I’m saying, “While you have this opportunity, this is where you need to go in and embrace the suck because this is when you want to go to your database, this is when you want to take this branding.” That’s what I did in the twelve-week year. That twelve weeks was a lot of work. It wasn’t content because, at that time, I wasn’t worried about content, I was worried about some foundational pieces that need to be put into place. I want to make sure I have them right because I have something different in your email.
Sorry, it’s clarity, curiosity, courage and commitment.
Tell us about an example in the time that we have left here to talk about how you walk through that process with some of the work that you’re doing. It can be entrepreneurial or it can be something in Africa, whatever it is, wherever you’re working, where you were able to say, “This is how I applied it and what the outcome was.”
The best example is what I created during this pandemic. Like so many of us, having to re-shift our entire business no matter working from home, the technology, and learning new things so not only did I transition my whole business, but I have two kids at home. It’s trying to navigate the whole school thing and online school, hybrid school, sports, and all that changing on a daily basis, are they going to ever be successful adults? I don’t know. I hope so. No, I’m kidding. They will.
I see huge opportunities in chaos. I was like, “This is also a great time to start another company. Why not?” Talk about living my framework. What happened was my significant other and I started climbing all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peak summits during this time. It’s super fun and amazing. We wanted a new challenge. We spent a lot of time overseas. We were missing some of that adrenaline and we needed a new challenge. We identified a threat of, “We’re bored,” but not bored with work but bored with, “Let’s try something new.” We’re like, “We’re going to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits.” There are 58 of them so maybe that was a little unrealistic in our expectations.
[bctt tweet=”All of us have a default reaction. We either avoid, blame, or complain.” username=””]
That would be one a week with no rest.
We were like, “Let’s try to climb as many as we can.” What happened was when we started climbing them, we wanted to see if there was anything to commemorate them. What can we do to measure these? Are there t-shirts? There wasn’t anything so we decided to create our own challenge coin company. We created this custom challenge coin, creating all of the peaks, and how could we support other local businesses right now during this time.
How could we support others? He’s the veteran. We want to support veteran-owned businesses. It was having clarity. What do we want to do? What do we have to work with? Having the courage to start a company during a pandemic was crazy and that recommitment to the mission. Our mission is to inspire and motivate people to get outside and try to accomplish things that they think are impossible. It was amazing to use my own framework daily when things kept happening and going wrong.
Designs being backed up, supply chains being screwed up, all these things outside of my control, having to come in and say, “What’s the threat? What are we trying to accomplish right now? How do we keep moving forward?” It’s the same with my nonprofit. We work and do medical training overseas. In Africa, we weren’t able to do that during this time so I saw a huge opportunity when the hurricanes hit in Louisiana, which was devastating to them.
Most of my team is based in Houston that’s using the Curiosity portion. I said, “It’s a two-hour drive.” We created a disaster response team and we started going down to Louisiana and doing hurricane disaster response work. It was incredible. It’s different from what we do when we’re overseas, but the mission was still the same. How do we make an impact in the areas that there was a gap? It’s using and not being afraid to shift and change it. I didn’t know if it was going to work, or are we still going to keep that part of our company? I’m not sure. It’s a process.
I got COVID and that was super fun. Let me tell you. Not only did I get COVID, I got it in the way that they said. It was from my son who got together with some friends and we all went skiing as a family. We were in the car together for a few hours, but the craziest part is it came when I had my busiest week. I had five virtual presentations. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t even know. I was like, “Did I already say that? What am I talking about?” I got great feedback. I’m not sure so I got to go back and watch this stuff. Maybe our subconscious does better work than we think.
You’re around chaos all the time so people that are feeling they’re overcome by chaos, they’re going to want to reach out to you. What is the best way?
There are multiple ways. The best way to reach out is through my website CorinneHancock.com. It’s a great resource for you. Follow me on LinkedIn. I put a lot of content on there and a lot of things that we’re talking about. There are tons of resources there. I’m always on social media. We can connect that way too. I say to keep being curious about what’s going on around you. What’s perceived? What’s real? What are you trying to accomplish?
I love how you’re able to deploy quickly. Something down in the hurricane because you have the tools. It’s a re-application of the same thing that I love that you come back and say, “Let’s get these four items out of the way so we have clarity, and we can take action much faster.” It’s funny and I know you said that but everything I do in my coaching is to stop talking, take action and get results.
Yes, and I love it.
There’s a lot of talking.
It would be avoiding, blaming, and complaining.
That’s why clarity is my number one C. It’s the reason that the talking happens because people aren’t clear about what they want. A lot of times the clarity is what they feel society wants for them. People were doing that and saying, “One of my goals is to have whatever kind of car.” Do you want that car or does society pressure you to think that that means success? That’s not necessarily success.
That is huge and what a cool way to start to look at it because it does. It starts to put it into that perspective of, “What do I care about? Who am I? What is important to me?” We are now getting to redefine all of those things. That is exciting during that time to think about that as we move forward through this. What is valuable is to remember that idea of I love to stop talking and gain clarity and take that action because it’s all about moving forward. It truly is. Whether it’s at whatever pace without comparing. It’s taking your steps.
At your pace, whatever makes you happy.
You have to remember that we scare people. I can tell you that’s a big part of my framework and in the Curiosity part. It’s to look at how we’re occurring to others, especially as leaders because I can tell you right now, all of the things that we think are exciting, such great ideas, and all the cool things I’m creating, my team is like, “You are unrealistic. You are out of touch. You are disconnected. You are not sensitive to our feelings.” There’s a negative that comes along with this that you have to pay attention to that. Not everyone is experiencing the world the same as you. Not everyone thinks the same. I have to meet people where they’re at too and also pay attention. Most people will call me a chaos causer a lot because I cause a lot of chaos.
You bring the drama. You develop drama. I know that’s part of your personality and that’s a whole discussion about DISC, Colours, Myer’s, and all those things. Both of us are drivers. We could go through those four steps. It would take a month to go through those four steps or longer and that’s why they call you because they can’t get through those steps. You’re a perfect example. This show is not only from success to significance, it is everything from success to significance. You’re a perfect example of taking that success that you have and turning it into being impactful and significant for others, whether it’s veterans, countries, or the people in the countries or whether it’s entrepreneurs. I thank you for raising up, climbing to a new elevation and new altitude to deliver that, and be a leader in our community. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Thanks for doing that and bringing that awareness to people by allowing a platform where we can share these stories and connect on these and talk about the things that we’re always all thinking about. I appreciate what you create. Thank you.
Corinne, thank you so much for being with us. It is such a pleasure. I wish you the best in 2021 because it’s going to be great. I’m calling it the Soaring Twenties. This is only the beginning, even if it was the low end. This is the Soaring Twenties. It’s uphill from here. I’m excited about it.
It’s been such a crazy year but a great year for many too. I wish everyone the best in health and wellbeing. Keep taking care of each other and ourselves as we go through. Thank you, Jen.
Thank you so much. Everyone, thank you again. Please don’t forget, give us a great five-star rating, and please write a review. It’s important for us to see the reviews as well. I thank you for taking the time in your day to share with us. Hopefully, this has provided you with something that you can take some action on to move and propel your life forward. We’ll catch you next time.
- The Curiosity Project
- Living Your Best Year Ever
About Corinne Hancock
Corinne Hancock is the former Director of Clinics and Training Programs for Project C.U.R.E. A global leader in bringing medical aid to low-income countries. She brought together multi-generational, multi-cultural teams to train leaders, open clinics and deliver medical care in some of the most remote locations on the planet.
Corinne is a certified leadership coach and has worked on numerous contracts with the Department of State and Department of Defense, helping develop the next generation of African Leaders and improve health care systems in some of the most underserved, war-torn parts of our world. She is now considered a leader in disrupting the model of aid in Africa. She regularly travels to countries across the African continent working with everyone from heads of state to tribal elders; from US Ambassadors to remote village community members. She challenges them all to create a better way to bring sustainable success to the areas that need it the most. She has worked in conjunction with several for-profit and non-governmental organizations to help them Thrive in Chaos.
Corinne is the Founder of The Curiosity Project, a nonprofit organization that provides health and entrepreneurial opportunities in countries where people have limited access to resources. She regularly leads groups of both medical and non-medical professionals to remote villages where the teams provide medical and entrepreneurial training. She believes that curiosity can create solutions and solve big problems. She challenges perceptions about gender and race, inspiring others to do the same, no matter their situation.
Corinne is also a mother of two teenage boys and hobby farmer. She knows the pressure and exhaustion of keeping it all moving forward, she puts here Chaos Model to the test daily.
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