Reference Guide: Enablers

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For each pillar, there are enablers to making your strategic priorities happen and things that will act as detractors, blockages, or anchors to your progress. There are many different things that will enable your strategy; we consider a variety of topics.  

Remember to be mindful that each choice needs to act in concert to form an integrated whole-of-life strategy, each component having an impact on the other.

1. Leadership impact and visibility – How you show up

Your strategy is fundamentally about becoming a better leader of your whole life. 

Whether you are considering making a significant life adjustment, ending or cementing a new relationship, becoming a parent, planning a career pivot, transitioning into a new role, launching a new business proposition or making the most of your current position, how are you positioning yourself to be credible, influential and successful? 

Your visibility strategy may be reflected in your pillar priorities but is more likely to be a part of the enablers. 

How are you showing up to yourself – the story you tell yourself about yourself – and how are you showing up to others – your wider visibility? How you present yourself to yourself and others is fundamental to positioning yourself and your message.

A key gap between the will to lead and the ability to lead is finding and projecting your voice. A lack of visibility – and commonly, the drive to be visible – is a huge stumbling block for aspiring leaders. Visibility experts Julia May and Sarah Anderson from Visibility Co state, “Being visible in any context relies on you being able to effectively tell the story of who you are and what you can contribute and show what you have in common with potential audiences and communities. It’s about demonstrating the value you bring and being generous with the help you offer to build trust, connection, opportunities, and collaboration.” Visibility without purpose is vanity!

Stories connect our past to our future. We tell stories to transform ourselves, to learn about our experiences in order to transcend them, to use our stories to make a difference to our world, to broaden our perspective and help others, to enable us to move beyond a story that might have imprisoned us, to live more of our potential.

Research shows that our brains are hard-wired for stories over statistics. In research undertaken at Stanford University, students were asked to deliver a one-minute pitch, and their audience was asked to write down everything they remembered about each pitch. 5% cited statistics, while 63% recalled the stories.

This retention happens because the emotional content of a story triggers activity in the brain: a process called neural coupling helps the brain tune into a person’s own experience while listening to someone else’s story, and a well-told story stimulates more cortex activity than pure facts – making the information more memorable.

Consider how your visibility strategy will enable the priorities in the pillars.

Self Pillar: How can you change the way you manage your inner critic, your thinking style and the approach to believing that ‘you’re enough’ to enable the strategy you have chosen to happen?

Relationships Pillar: How will you be more intentional in the way that you ‘show up’ and are experienced by others to have greater influence and impact in aligning your relationships to your aspirations?

Work/Contributions Pillar: How will you become more visible to the wider world in order to enable your career and purpose-led priorities?

2. Physical capacity

Strategy is as much about what you will not do as what you will do. Unless you match your capacity to your intentions, you are likely to become overwhelmed and stall.

Self Pillar: Do you have the physical capacity to do everything involved in the three priorities you’ve chosen? What will it mean in terms of investment of time and energy? How will you create that capacity? How might it affect your choices?

Relationships pillar: What capacity do you need to build in order to invest in your chosen strategic relationships and be more present when it matters? How might it affect your choices in the other pillars?

Work/Contribution pillar: What capacity do you need to build your professional development or contribution? If you are going to put more emphasis on this pillar, what implications might it have on the rest of your strategy?

3. Financial planning

The choices that you have made are likely to have financial implications. 

  • Will you be able to fund the choices that you’ve made from your current income, savings or investments?  
  • Assess the financial requirements, cost and income impact of your intentions. Are these realistic and sustainable? What implications does this have for either your income or managing your expenses, or changing your cost model? Create a cashflow and budget.
  • What risk implications does this have for your strategy? Will you need to make some adjustments in the extent, speed or timing of your priorities?
  • What is your long-term savings and investment strategy to support your ambitions?
  • What changes might you need to make to your income stream(s) to support your strategy?
  • What support or advice do you need?
  • What balance of income-producing work versus voluntary contribution work can you sustain?

If financial planning is critical to the success of your strategy, you may have a financial enabling objective under each pillar. For example, you may identify a change in cost model in order to fund short-term renovations to enable the right environment for your relationships to thrive at home; in order to fund your best life, you may need to put a savings and investment strategy in place and to enable your career you may need to consider additional income streams or increased income. Remember, choices in one pillar will have implications in another pillar if there are funding requirements.

4. Emotionally

Consider how your mental state will impact the success you will have in making the change that you seek. Are you ready to take the actions associated with the conscious choices you want to make and the changes that they will entail? 

If you know that something is going to trigger you emotionally, you may want to seek help to support you through the journey. 

For example, if your self pillar strategic priority is to invest more time in yourself, in your learning and development, or in your well-being, how will you set clear boundaries and deal with any feelings of guilt or sense of failure of duty if you need to say ‘no’ to some competing expectations of others that may generate a less than constructive response from them? What mental resilience and preparation will you need to put in place to enable you to overcome these feelings and deal with these challenges?

What will you need to put in place to overcome the feeling of not being enough to face the challenges or the costs associated with the changes you are seeking?

5. Physically

You may have physical barriers to reaching your goals, such as a back injury, fitness level, health, or sheer exhaustion. Consider whether you are addressing these issues positively so that you are in a position to be successful.

6. Environment

Self Pillar: Don’t let the environment ‘punch you in the face’ and stop you in your tracks. Change, manage or avoid destructive environments. Consider what changes may need to be made within your environment to enable your success and not undermine it.

Relationships Pillar: What changes might you need to consider to your home or other environments to make it more conducive to supporting your relationship intentions and aspirations?

Work/Contribution Pillar: What changes might you need to consider to be conducive to achieving these priorities – from a better physical working environment or creating an environment with more constructive behaviours and culture?

7. Boundaries and Expectations Management

Self Pillar: What boundaries might you need to put in place to protect and prioritise your commitments? What might you need to say ‘no’ to, or say ‘yes’ to?

Relationships Pillar: What boundaries might you need to put in place to enable you to demonstrate vulnerability, compassion, and wholehearted love? What are you going to be clearer on with your key relationship stakeholders? What toxic or depleting relationships will you put a stop to or constrain?

Being clear is kind. It’s also essential to avoid disappointment. What expectations management and role definition might need to take place to enable that? How about communicating and openly discussing your relationship strategy to ensure alignment and ownership of all parties?

Work/Contribution Pillar: What boundaries/habits will you need to put in place to ensure that your work does not take over your life in order to create space for other priorities? 

What alignment do you need to do to ensure that your role and others’ roles are clear and well-supported?


8. Community of Support and Network

Self & Relationships Pillars: Who could act as a support, critical friend, mentor or guide on your journey? What support might you require from them? How will you ask for help?

Work/Contribution Pillar: What network or community do you need to be a part of? How will you build connections to enable your development and growth, to support your new venture or promotion, to open doors to new opportunities, to mentor or coach you, to educate you?

9. Disabling the detractors

What detractors might undermine your success? For every conscious choice that you make about a strategic priority, there are detractors that can undermine and block your progress. These can take the form of:

  • Short term gains over longer-term more strategic priorities. The urgent always drowns out the important. Focus on the rocks in your life and not the sand.
  • Limiting beliefs or assumptions such as that you don’t deserve success, you are not good enough, you don’t have enough time or energy, there are too many competing priorities.
  • Criticism and lack of belief or support from critical relations, partners, friends, work colleagues.
  • Self-defeating defensive thinking and behaviours – has your brain become wired in a certain way as protection from something that happened in the past, an unconscious commitment that might stop you from achieving your conscious commitments? 

The ability to change can be maddeningly elusive even when there is no lack of sincerity in the intention. There just seems to be something holding you back. It’s like having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake, causing you to burn fuel and spin your wheels, but you remain stuck. Keegan and Lahey refer to it as an Immunity to Change.


An immune system is an extraordinarily intelligent force that elegantly acts to protect us, to save our lives. However, in some instances, an immune system can threaten our continued good health. When it rejects new material that the body needs to heal or to thrive, the immune system can put us in danger. It does not understand that, ironically, in working to protect us, it is actually putting us at risk. 


The immunity to change actively and brilliantly prevents us from changing because of its devotion to preserving our existing way of making meaning. In order to overcome this force, it’s necessary to uncover the unconscious commitments and defence mechanisms that are fuelling it.  


Consider whether the changes you desire could be undermined by your immunity system and require more fundamental and adaptive change.  



Choose the enabler that is most critical for each pillar currently; you can always update your enablers as they evolve and as you progress.

Craft three statements of intent and a definition to explain what they mean to you. Insert your enabler statements under each Pillar in your Personal Strategy Map.