Renata: Hello, and welcome to The Job Hunting Podcast. My name is Renata Bernarde. I am the host of the job hunting podcast. And today, I have interviewed my friend, Cassandra Goodman. Cassandra has had a very interesting and global career as an executive working worldwide for blue-chip companies like GE and Bupa. She now works for Thrive Global but is also developing her own business. And she has just finished writing an amazing book. I spent this interview with her, discussing the ideas in the book ‘Self-fidelity’ and how I believe it resonates with professionals that are job hunting and planning for their careers ahead of them. I would really recommend that you have a close look at her ideas and consider purchasing this book. She's giving us a special code so that when you purchase her book, the book will come to you with free shipping, I will put the links below where you can find the book for sale, the code so that when you purchase the book, you don't need to be shipping, but I also have a promotion for you, which is I have ten copies, signed copies to give away to those of you who want to enroll for the Reset Your Career program, which is an on-demand program, plus 31-days-of-action plan for those that are resetting their careers.
Renata: And I think it's the perfect time to acquire that on-demand short course and action plan. Now that we're going into this festive season, and if you don't want to lose momentum, you want to continue to work on your career at your own pace. You know, we've spoken about this before in previous podcasts recently about how you can schedule it no matter what time available you have during this holiday season. And the reset your career program really can help you keep pace, keep a routine, keep discipline and keep motivated. So if you want to purchase that program, the first ten people that will purchase that program and email me to say they listened to this podcast and they purchase the program. I will send you a copy, a signed copy from Cass. I will also give two copies away to those who give this podcast a five star iTunes review, which I love getting.
Renata: And it's so important for this podcast. So please give this podcast on iTunes a very warm review. If you've been listening all year, or you've just landed here, and you enjoy this episode and contact me by email again. In the episode show notes, there are full details of where to find me. If you prefer to DM me, I'm on every social media channel, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram does find me and say, I left you a review. Here are my details, and I will send you a book. The two first people that leave me a review or get a signed copy of Self-fidelity. Now, this book, as I said, is an exciting new development for Cassandra's career. And I believe it's one of the best books I have ever read. I was so impressed when she gave me an early copy to read, and I think you will be too.
Renata: There are so many books out there on leadership, self-development, professional development. This should be top of the list for 2021. And I'm not just saying this because I know the author. I wouldn't say this. If it wasn't a good book, I care about my followers and my clients way too much. And I can definitely say that this is a book that will get you out of your head and get those sorts of self-doubts and voices out of your head and keep you more in tune with what you actually want to achieve. And it's so important for you to know that, especially if you are in this time of your career, where the silver lining of being without a job is that you can invest in yourself, make sure that you purchase this book and read it carefully. It's one of those books where you can go back to it over and over again.
Renata: It doesn't need to be. You read in one, go in my view. I hope she agrees with me. You can see just when you get the book; you will see that the chapters will address separate issues. So when you're having trouble with one specific issue, you can just go to that chapter, and that will help you. Anyhow. It's a long one. So I'll stop here. Don't forget to follow, subscribe, and, most importantly, join the newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter. There's a link below again for you to subscribe to that. And I'll send you a weekly newsletter with the episodes and some articles for you to read. I curate them especially for you. Bye for now, be well.
Renata: Hi! I am so sorry. I've been sending zoom links to your other email account. Sorry, my bad.
Cassandra: No, no, that’s probably my bad. Because I probably sent you an email from that email account to the meeting invitation. And I was like, wait a minute.
Renata: The meeting invitation, I've updated with the zoom earlier this morning, but that went to that email as well anyway. You're looking good.
Cassandra: Oh, thank you. Is the light okay? It's a bit dark in here, but
Renata: No, the light’s lovely. You are in a co-working space. I gather your neighbors are back. You can't hide away in your neighbor’s house anymore. All I locked up.
Cassandra: They’re back, and the Wi-Fi at home is so patchy that it's just much better for me to be in here.
Renata: Yeah, your Wi-Fi is patchy? Such a nice neighborhood. What the hell
Cassandra: On NBN and everything. But I just, maybe it's just the traffic, everyone working from home in my area. But often, things just drop out. So, but here the Wi-Fi is really good. So I don't have any issues.
Renata: It's probably better not to be interrupted by family and kids and all of that. And this is work time, and me time, and fidelity time.
Cassandra: Yeah, exactly.
Renata: So I had a hell of a week. This is my, I dunno, 57 58th interview for the podcast. And only three times I've stuffed up the interview. This is the third. So the first time I was late to my own interview with Div Pilay, and she's a good friend, and I could tell by her face, she wasn't very happy with me, and then we warmed up and, you know, ended up being okay. Then the second time, it was my dear friend and mentor Geoff Morgan, the most high profile guest I've had. Sorry, you will be too, one day, but I kid you not. I was so nervous to interview him. So he is the second half of Talent2, and Morgan’s and banks. And, you know,
Cassandra: Oh, I'll have to listen to that episode. I’ve heard a few, but I haven't heard that one.
Renata: The day we booked the interview, which was months ahead through EAs and all of that. They were cutting cement outside my house. And it was kind of squeezed in between very heavy machinery, sort of. And I had to go outside and beg them. You know, when are you taking a break? Because I have this very important interview. And this is the third time because I, I want it to finish your book. But I struggle with reading on my iPad because I have terrible dry eyes. I have blepharitis, and my family, it's not just me, and nobody at home reads from screens. We all buy proper books, but I hate reading from my iPad with a passion.
Cassandra: I'm happy to drop a book around to you on the weekend.
Renata: Oh, I'll, I'll come and pick it up. This is how much I want the book for you. I will come to you, and I will pay you cash.
Cassandra: You don’t have to pay me, darling. It's a gift.
Renata: No darling, you know, I want to actually want to book order them for gifts. This is the best Christmas gift, I think.
Cassandra: Well, this is what my main client, the chief people officer at the company, called Westfund. He's basically buying a copy for his whole team, so I'm putting them in the mail to him next week, but I can happily drop a box around to you. You just tell me how many, and I can invoice you, and let's do an extra one in there, which is a gift for you. Of course.
Renata: Well, I need mine this weekend. Because I, you know, I just need to finish the book, but I had my car impounded. I did, I broke my shower hedge. So now there is like this it's I don't know how I managed to break my shower head. It's like this heavy sort of water just coming out of a tube, but like, just imagine like a jet, and it hurts my scalp. Like I've tried to wash my hair. It's either not enough pressure or too much pressure because the shower heads are broken. So it's just a, yeah, I've had.
Cassandra: You’ve had a week of high maintenance issues.
Renata: Yeah. And I spent so much money getting my car out of the place thingy. Plus, not only was it expensive to get it out. It had a ticket on it. So, in addition to paying, I still had to pay for the ticket. It was the most expensive medical appointment at Epworth Richmond I've ever had.
Cassandra: Oh my gosh.
Renata: So, if you ever go to Epworth Richmond people, it's clear way after four 30, if you leave at four 45, your car will be gone.
Cassandra: Wow. That's scary stuff. Having a car impounded. Did you think it was stolen at first?
Renata: yes. I'm a Brazilian, of course, I thought…No, I knew it was impounded straight away because you know, bridge road at 5:00 PM is busy, and I was like, okay, of course. And I always park inside Epworth Richmond, but it was full. I was running late. I was going to a birthday party with a friend, and the birthday party was me and my friend. So you don't want to be late. And I was like, okay, we're not going to the Commons. You know Ormond College. Yes. We're not going there, my friend. I'm so sorry. She's like, okay, I will cook for you. I'm like, no, it's your birthday. I still want to celebrate. So it was, yeah, a bit of a week. I forgot about her birthday present at home. You know one of those weeks?
Cassandra: Yeah. Yes. I do know those weeks. Well, hopefully, next week will be a better week.
Renata: Andre said, ‘Oh, I'm going to wake up at six. You can wake up with me and finish the book,’ and I'm like, ‘no, I really need to sleep.’ I just said, sleep in.
Cassandra: I'm really glad that you slept. And there'll be plenty of time to read the book in hard copy so we can figure out how to get you a copy of this weekend.
Renata: You know how much I love it. I was so impressed with your book. So
Cassandra: Well, I’ve got your endorsements in there. It's one of them.
Renata: Is it?
Cassandra: Yeah, of course. I hope it's ok?
Renata: No, no, no. I thought it was going to be on Facebook.
Cassandra: You’re in both.
Renata: Good. Great.
Cassandra: I summarised it down. Where is it? I didn't put some whole thing because in the end.
Renata: I wrote a very long one. I could write an essay about it.
Cassandra: Here. It says, ‘I actually started reading Self-fidelity with a sense of responsibility to my friend to provide her feedback and support a few hours later. I was sure this was my new favorite book in the world. This is a book I will buy by the dozen and give to as many people as I can.’ There you go.
Renata: That’s true. Oh, that's so nice. Thank you for the actual print version.
Cassandra: Yeah. I got some really generous endorsements, which is such a lovely, unexpected thing to happen.
Renata: Wow, you did so well. And it was so funny. The positive side of this week is I signed up a few new clients. Yay. So I will be busy all summer. And one of them is quite an introvert, and we're sort of thinking about, two of them actually. I said this twice, you know, usually when I'm asking people to network a bit more and touch base with their connections, I say to them, instead of just sitting down and having a coffee, just let's come up with a project. Maybe you want to interview them for an article, or you want to add them to an advisory board, an informal advisory board for a project, or maybe you want to write a book, actually, forget. You don't want to forget that you don't want to write a book. Everybody's writing a book. Don't say that you want to write a book I need to, because that's kind of part of me. I have something that I go through like, something I wrote down. I have to delete that. Otherwise, I just keep reading, or you want to write a book, and I want to delete that because I just think that too many people are writing books and we don't need books. We may need articles or podcast interviews, but you needed to write this book for us. Not for you to probably too. But yeah, this was a good,
Cassandra: I mean, it was, yes, it was something in me that had to come out that was very clear. It was like a baby. And I had a little bit of a scare. It must've been about 18 months ago. I found a lump in my breast, and I had this moment where my local doctor was quite concerned and sent me for an urgent full check ultrasound mammogram. And I had this moment the first thing I thought was I can't get cancer. I haven't finished one book.
Renata: I think we went out for drinks right after that. You were very, you know.
Cassandra: Yes, it was a real moment when I think this is really important to me. So it's so good to have it done and in the world, and it's all a bit surreal, you know?
Renata: So let's begin by talking about your career so we can find a path to where this idea for the book began. Tell me about your career and where you started professionally.
Cassandra: Yes. So my career is a bit of a windy road, let's say. So I actually started off in manufacturing. What happened was that I went to the University of Technology planning to enroll in a business degree. And I saw this little poster that said manufacturing, management degree scholarships available, 30 spots. And I thought ‘Scholarship.’ Manufacturing sounds interesting. And I actually managed to get into that selective degree. And it was the best thing because I covered all my basic business subjects, but I also got this manufacturing grounding, which was so practical and great, you know, I learned how to do welding and federal cutting. And I spent my summers with a 2000 tonne press and steel cap boots, you know, figuring out a system of maintenance, and it was really tangible input-output. I think I really learned a lot through starting my career in manufacturing. So, you know, it was a production assistant and an inventory manager for a while. And then, I found myself being pulled towards a kind of marketing analytics role. So I spent some time in a marketing role with GE, which was great because I got to facilitate GE three year strategic planning process as part of that role, which I learned a lot through that, about what good strategy looks like, how good strategy comes together, which was a key skill.
Cassandra: And then I found myself being pulled towards kind of customer-oriented improvement roles. And at the time at GE, they were launching six Sigma, which was its methodology for continuous improvement. And it was based on data. It was customer-driven. It was all about adding value and making a difference. And I was really drawn to these roles and ended up climbing the ranks from black belt to master black belt and then became quality leader, which is kind of the top of the tree. So to speak for lean six Sigma folks. And I had this great role leading lean six Sigma across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for one of the GE businesses and got to travel and live overseas for a period of three years. And yeah, that was all fabulous. So I had eight great years at GE, and then I left GE when I was still.
Renata: Were you there when Jack Welch was still CEO?
Renata: Wow. Okay.
Cassandra: Well, I think towards the end of his reign. So it was 2000 to 2008 I mainly, but I'm pretty sure that was a transition period. I'll have to check my facts, but I'm pretty sure it was that email with the primary leader during my time. But certainly, you know, Jack was really behind the lean six Sigma movement initially. And so there was his influence throughout my time.
Renata: And then you moved on from GE?
Cassandra: Yeah, then I moved on. So they smashed two businesses together as GE tends to do. And, at the time, there was a redundancy on the table for me, and I'd just been divorced. And it was, you know, a significant sum of money back then when redundancies weren't kept like they are today. And I said, you know what, it's been eight great years. I think I'll take the money and, you know, go on my way and spend a bit of time in different roles in different organizations. And really, my next long stint was with Bupa, where I ended up establishing the first customer experience, human-centered design team, and realized in a certain moment that I'd spent all this time focused on customer experience and continuous improvement, always with a customer focus. And I realized that really my passion was around the employee experiences that underpin great customer experience and the employee elements of great commercial outcomes. And so there was a moment where I saw this new role get credit at Bupa, which was global director of employee experience, which
Renata: Is Bupa superannuation or insurance?
Cassandra: It's a healthcare company. So it's healthcare private health insurance. So it's a global healthcare company, and they had 86,000 people. And so I found myself in this incredible role, which was a global director of employee experience, which encompass responsibility for their global wellbeing program with 86,000 people across the globe. And I learned so much at that time about how you design a strategy for great employee experience and great employee health outcomes that's adaptable across a diverse, globally distributed workforce. So that was a great experience. That was probably the pinnacle in terms of my leadership roles. Having spent that time in that role.
Renata: And you were in New York at the time?
Cassandra: So I spent quite a bit of time in New York when I was with GE because their headquarters were in New York. So I have spent time in New York in my professional life. But my time at Bupa was actually mainly between Melbourne and London because London headquartered organization and various parts of Europe, those that was one of, you know, the highlights of my corporate career, having worked with so many multinationals that I have had, you know, the wonderful experience of traveling and going to all sorts of incredible roles, both in my time at GE across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. And then with Bupa, it’s been really, I feel very lucky to have had the business travel that I have had.
Renata: I am older than you. And I don't know if you've reached this point in your career or your life, yet when you look back, and you think, was that really me? It’s been so long, you know, all that traveling that I did. And it seems like such a long time ago. I think being in Australia as well. Yeah. And I think Australia being so far away from where I used to, you know, fly a lot too in my previous lives.
Cassandra: It does feel very surreal. Yeah. I had a photo pop up in my Facebook feed that says six years ago, and you were in Dubai. And I was in Dubai, this amazing conference with this incredible hotel. And I took the photo of the sunrise out of my hotel window. And I was like, ‘Was that really me? Was I really there?’ It is very surreal now that I'm more grounded here in Melbourne with my young children and less traveling, of course, with all of us at the moment.
Renata: Well now COVID, I think this is the life, you know, even if people were planning to be FIFO as we call it, fly-in, fly-out no more,
Cassandra: No more lots of zooming and being creative in how we connect.
Renata: And how did you transition to settling down in Melbourne?
Cassandra: Well, I lived in Sydney. I grew up in Sydney and what happened was that I met my now-husband, and he was in Melbourne, and we dated with me in Sydney, and he was here in Melbourne. And then the honest story that my lease came up in my apartment in Pennington, I got the letter in the mail, and I was like, oh, you see, it's like a nice moving-in with him. I mean, being here in Melbourne, you know, must have been about 12 years ago now. And then, you know, we got married, and now we've got two beautiful kids. And so it was definitely a good move to have the conversation, Hey, my lease is up, and I move in with you. Yeah.
Renata: I have a very similar story. I invited myself to move in with Andrea and said, yes, I'd love that, but we have to get married. He's Catholic. My mother will have a hissy fit, and I'm like, okay, I don't mind. Let's get married. It lasted, you know, we've been together for 27 years now. Hmm. Yeah. So, okay. So here you are in Melbourne, still in a corporate career.
Cassandra: Well, I'm what they call, I suppose, having a portfolio career. So I work for Thrive global. That's headquartered out of New York and founded and led by Arianna Huffington and for Thrive. I am an executive coach and a facilitator. So I work with and for Thrive global, but I'm also growing my own company. And I've been doing this for two years now. You know, two years ago, I kind of made the decision that I want to work across multiple organizations and with leaders in multiple organizational systems. And so, yeah, it's been two years now, and I'm really enjoying this opportunity to work with lots of different people in lots of different places. And, I think certainly it would have been really difficult for me to have written the book that I've written, and then it's just been released.
Cassandra: I don't know if that would have been possible if I had been in a full-time senior executive role. I did start writing the book back when I was a full-time senior executive. I'd get up at 5:00 AM and write for an hour and then go to the gym, then come home and get the kids ready for school and go to work. And, you know, it was full-on. And I certainly started the book, you know, three years ago when I was still working full time, but to get actually finished and out the world and to be down doing the work that I want to do, bringing the concepts of the book to life, I am mainly working for myself.
Renata: Yes. And I want to move into the book and for you to explain what self-fidelity means, but before we move into that, can you tell us what you think your strengths are, your key strengths that carried through that successful career that you've had? I really am keen to sort of understand what you believe are your key strengths as an executive and now a business owner.
Cassandra: Yeah. So I think it's been interesting because it's probably needed the reflection of the book and a little bit of space between me and the corporate world to really appreciate my strengths. I certainly found that at least in my career, at the senior levels of organizations, there was this sense that perhaps my strengths weren't always strengths, but in fact, in the eyes of some leaders, they could be seen as liabilities. One of my key strengths is this caring nature. I care deeply. I care deeply about the work I do. I care deeply about the people I work with. And I suppose this deep care that I would say is actually part of our essential nature. I think we're all deeply caring, connected, and compassionate. You might say loving beings as humans. And I certainly felt the pressure in my corporate roles to suppress that.
Cassandra: So I would say that one of my strengths is caring and, you know, I had leaders give me that direct feedback early in my career saying, you know, Cassie, the problem with you is that you care too much. If you ever want to make it into an executive role, you've got to learn how to care less. You know, I had that feedback, and I think I'm really happy and proud to say that I was able to make it into those senior executives roles without having to lose my caring nature without having to, you know, drink a can of harden up every morning and lock my heart away. And so, yeah, that's one of my key strengths, and I think the other key strength is what would be described in positive psychology is zest. So I don't know if you've come across the EIA.
Renata: Oh, you told me about zest. Yes, I have done this VIA app. Zest is not my top strength. No.
Cassandra: Everyone's different. Right? And we all have some element of zest, but for me, it's my number one signature strength. And for me, zest, I experienced this is, kind of blend of vitality, a sense of agency that, you know, I can make an impact that I have the capacity to improve the world around me. It's a sense of agency vitality. And also courage because zest is part of the cluster of strengths, clustered under courage. And so, you know, people do tell me that I tend to kind of, let's say leap before I look, which is, I think a strength they can also, of course, be a liability in certain situations, but it served me well in my career.
Renata: Certainly did. And I think also when I met you. I felt the zest. You didn't have to explain zest to me. You know, it's something that, you know, people feel when they are with you and the caring nature that you have as well. But what struck me is that caring nature, because you're so intelligent, you're able to systematize it. You create ways of helping people by intellectualizing it and then applying it. And I think that's what you've done with self-fidelity, right? Are you?
Cassandra: Well, that’s a very kind thing to say, Renata, no one's ever said that to me,
Renata: Well, maybe because that's kind of what I do in a way as well, not about self-fidelity, but you know, my favorite page in the book is page 71. I'm not sure if that's the same page in the printed version, but that's where I found this is me. This is what I do. I help people deal with this bit. But I like people like you who see a problem, in this case, you know, of a caring nature of how people are struggling with work and life and not only care and sometimes suffer with them, but then decide to create some sort of mechanism to support them. I created a framework to support people, go through career advancement, job hunting because I see it clearly and I can see others don't.
Cassandra: Yes, I think, yes. So what I found in writing, writing the book, which I have here is that,
Renata: Oh my god, it's thick. Can you just put it on? It is a good book,
Cassandra: its 80,000 words. And at multiple times in writing, I checked with people, is it too long? Should I cut it? And then I was like, no, no, no, don’t cut it down. It's like, okay, so it's all, there all 80,000 words. And, I've been told by lots of different people that, whilst it might look big, it's an easy read, and I've even had clients first and say, I finished reading your book and I'm going back to the beginning to start all over again. So, whilst it's thick, I am confident that it's not a heavy read.
Renata: No, no, it’s not, no. But let's talk about Self-fidelity. Let's start with the definition because not many people understand we've had this discussion before. Are you sure you want to call this book self-fidelity? Yeah. And then I read it, and then I'm completely fine with what it is, but let's start with the definition.
Cassandra: And it was, it's taken me many years to figure out what, what is the essence of what I want to say in this book, and the book has kind of evolved and gone through many different iterations, like over 10 or 12 different titles covers, you know, it's been really a truly creative process. It's just kind of emerged. And there was a certain moment that must have been about six months ago, where actually I'd finally got the kids to school after the first lockdown. And I'd been running, running, running with home-schooling and all the craziness. And I had this day of peace when the kids were back at school, and I sat down, I thought, okay, I've been writing, writing, writing. Let me really just meditate. Let me really think about what is the essence of what I want to say? And I really came quite quickly within a few hours.
Cassandra: Okay. This is about being true to yourself. This is about being faithful to your essence, to your essential nature, your shared essential nature. I believe we have this shared essential nature, which is good and which is enduring through our whole lives. And I realized it was what I wanted to say is that we can practice, we can cultivate the capacity to be faithful to our true nature. And then I Googled, you know, true to oneself, faithful, self-faithful. And then I thought, well, faithful is fidelity, and I google self-fidelity. And I was like, well, no, one's using this term. I found one reference to it in a fairly obscure text, but it was clear that this was kind of space. And I thought, well, we're talking about, we've been talking about self-compassion for so long. Now we're talking about self-love; maybe it's, this is time to talk about self-fidelity being faithful to oneself.
Cassandra: And, and then I started thinking, well, it felt really powerful to me, this idea of the kind of cultivating or renewing faithfulness in ourselves, knowing that there’s a shared element of our nature, that we're all carrying, that we're all creative, we're all vulnerable, we're all worthy or playful. And I suddenly realized that as we cultivate this faithfulness to those elements within ourselves, knowing that they are shared in a way, we're reconnecting to others. We’re almost regenerating faith in each other, which I think is so desperately needed. When you look at how polarised the world is, I mean, you just look at what happened with the US election and how it's such a polarising time, whereas it's this us and them and this sense of otherness and, you know, the separation that tends to get more and more amplified over time. And so I thought this feels right to me, this idea that we can renew, refresh, reconnect with our own nature and restore our faith in ourselves. And almost as a by-product actually restore our faith in each other. That would be my ultimate wish for these concepts.
Renata: Yes. And it's such an evolution. I mean, I, you know, maybe this is going to be too much of an intellectual discussion for the podcast. We might have to go out for drinks again, but you know, if you think about what faith means to a lot of people and how people relate to the concept of faith and, it's all about the other, and service to others. And we have grown up in a structure of morality and education and religion and education where we don't really pay attention to what we want. And we then go into the workforce with that mentality as well. And then we reach our thirties. Most of my clients are in their forties or fifties. And then we go, what do we do now? You know, this is not what I wanted to do. And then they start now thinking about what they want to do for that tail end of their career.
Renata: And some really struggle with the lost time and struggle with envisioning a preferred future. What I like about the book is when you open it, and you see the content, even if you struggle with the sense of self and you think, what if I don't like myself, what if I don't even know myself, your chapters will address that question that is in people's head already, right. People will immediately think, I think they will, based on, you know, what my clients are like, but then you open the book, and I'm like, oh, okay. It will address all of the issues that I feel about myself. Right. I've done that structure really well.
Cassandra: Yeah. And it, you know, it literally took me three years to find this structure, and I borrowed and combined elements. So structures from the great teachers that I've learned from. So the structure of the book is in four main parts. And there's a foundation section to start off because there are a lot of concepts such as what does it mean to be fully present, this idea that there are the voices in our head and that we actually, the voices in our head do not represent the real us. That our true nature is a way of being that transcends all of those voices. And actually, our true nature is a state of being that those voices in our heads cloud and pull us away from. And so I say that, you know, trying to figure out who is the real me by listening to the voices in our heads is like a dog trying to chase its tail.
Cassandra: You know, we just go round and round in circles, we're getting more dizzy and confused, and it's, you know, it's a path just to, I would say, more, more suffering. So how do we start to tune in to this way of being this essential nature that sits behind all those voices in our head? And so I had, I really took care, and it took several rewrites of the book and feedback from very generous, early reviewers to just take people through it, you know, some of the early versions were perhaps a little denser upfront. So I really tried to take people step-by-step. Okay. What does it mean to be present? What does it mean to wake up? What does it mean to start to familiarise yourself with the voices in your head? How do you learn to turn down the volume of those voices?
Cassandra: So you can get on with the important work of showing up as the best version of you at work and at home. And then from there, I cover the core practices of letting be really letting, letting be these qualities within ourselves, accepting them no longer suppress them. You know, I talk about, you know, trying to suppress our true nature is like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. You know, there's only so long you can do that. And if we suppress these elements of our true nature, in my experience, they kind of emerge in the most, the least opportune times, and often in an exaggerated and unhelpful way. So it's really about letting these parts of ourselves. It's about letting go of all the things that get in the way. And, you know, I, I love what you say. When you look at the contents page, you get a sense of where you're going because there are all these sections on letting go of the limiting beliefs that I've come across and I've battled within my own life.
Cassandra: So letting go of all those limiting beliefs and then letting in what we need to be nourished. So let in the things that we need to uplift us to invest in our own vitality and our own wellbeing, and the language I use there are non-negotiables, amongst other things. So yeah. What emerged is beautiful four-part; I represent it as this kind of infinity symbol where you're waking up, you're letting be, you're letting go, and you're letting in as this continuous learning loop, which I think is a loop that we just keep working through for our entire lives that I really do believe is self-fidelity is a lifelong practice.
Renata: Yeah. Funny that you mentioned that loop because we started this conversation talking about my terrible week, and I was into that loop so much. And, so I was like getting my car from the pound and then just saying, okay, I'm going to see my friend Patricia, and we're going to have fun. And then something bad happened like, Oh, I forgot her birthday present. And then I would say, I know we're going to have dinner, and we're going to feel good. And then I broke my shower head, but I remember because I had you in my mind, it was last night. And I was going to interview today. I had that loop in my head, like, and now I need to get out of this. And then, but I think, you know, if you think about that, lifelong learning, not just that moment in time, like 24 hours, as I did, that's really what it's all about. Isn't it? It's really making that loop so that you grow and not feel trapped in it.
Cassandra: Yes. Think of it as an adaptive cycle. And so you can at any moment think, okay, what do I need to do right now? Do I need to let it be, do I need to wake up? Because often we're spending our day on autopilot, right? We're so caught up in the story in our heads, and we’re actually disconnected from the true reality. We're living in virtual reality in our heads. So maybe we just need to wake up. You know, I often find myself at the dinner table. I don't know why, but I tend to become triggered by my family at night. Let's say, for example; no one asked me how my day was. And I find myself in this alternative reality that no one actually loves me because they haven't asked me about my day, which is just a total lie.
Cassandra: But the voices in my head can be really convincing. And so maybe I just need to wake up and realize, okay, I've got this story in my head. No, one's asked me about my day, and the story I'm telling myself is that none of these beautiful humans loves me. I know that's not true. I'm going to wake up to the moment I'm in and share this beautiful meal with my family. It's an example of where you can just notice you've been pulled away from the reality, from the story in your head, and wake up to actually what's happening. So you can use it at the moment. In that example where you realize you've forgotten your friend's birthday present, you know, that's a great moment to let go, right? Because we know that actually, it's not what happens to us that causes suffering. It's what we tell ourselves about what happens to us. And so at that moment, if you can extend yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would extend your friend if she's got your birthday present. Because when we think about what we say to ourselves in moments like that, you know, it's a form of emotional abuse. The way we can talk to ourselves and say that to your friend that you forget about your present on a busy day.
Renata: Absolutely. And I think that translating that to job hunting, this is exactly the situation that job hunters find themselves in, on average, of course, you know, I'm generalizing here, but job-hunting and being under frictional unemployment, which is in between jobs, is a lonely process. And the voices in the head are a real problem. People think that they can't network because nobody has contacted them. So they probably don't like them, or they probably forgot about them. You know that you're telling yourself stories, and you're living in that surreal world. And what you mentioned before about living in this virtual world is when people are job hunting and applying for jobs left, right. And center trapped into that mode of, so for job hunters going to seek.com or LinkedIn jobs is equivalent to Instagram or Facebook scrolling. You just scroll scrolls, grow all day, mindlessly scrolling, and you can't stop scrolling. And then you apply for jobs without really thinking about your job application and how that's translating to the reader and to that employer who is going to invest in, and you just keep doing that over and over again, and you see no results,
Cassandra: Yes, and we’ve all been there, right? I think we've all had those moments in our career when there's this desperation that emerges within us. And, when we're in that mode of my lesson, as you say, in this mode of unhealthy striving, unhealthy proving, and unhealthy clinging. And in my experience, when I'm in that mode, it's the root of it is low self-worth. And the root of it for me, and this has been, you know, many, many years of work for me to start to cultivate this sense of self-worth that is not dependent on what I do and what I have, right. That, to me, is work. And whenever I've found myself in that, let's call it striving, proving, grasping mode. It's because somehow I’ve attached my self-worth to that outcome, to that job title, to that package, to that performance review to that next rung on the slippery pole, they call a ladder, you know, that, that I've somehow hitched my self-worth to those things outside of myself.
Cassandra: And so there comes real desperation. And, I really relate to that. I've been in that mode, and it's taken me many years to notice when I'm doing that. Because again, it's a story in my head, right? To notice that story in my head and to practice, bringing that anchor point of my worthiness back inside of myself. And unhitching it because I spent so many years of my career where it's like, your heart is hitched to the rollercoaster ride, that when the job prospects are looking good, or your current role is looking good and safe, you're getting praise from your boss. You've got top talent again. You know, for me, it was always about having to get top talent and winning these awards. And it really was like living life on a rollercoaster ride until I realized, Oh my gosh, like, I really have some work to do here on my, that my self-worth is not measured by any of these things, but it took me many years of work to get there.
Cassandra: And, I'll tell you, Renata, I'm on high alert right now because now I've got this book, right. And it's so easy to hitch my self-worth to who's going to say my book is good. How many likes can somebody be in the post? How many copies am I going to sell? And, you know, I know I'm in the danger zone again, once again. And I'm trying to be vigilant to say I'm at peace. I have written the book. That was my goal. I wrote this book for myself. I say that in the book, I wanted this book by my bedside table. And as of last night, it's there. I've achieved my goal. And if it resonates with others and that's just amazing, but that's not a measure of my worth, but it is daily vigilance for me right now, again.
Renata: Yes. But that, you know, every time we're learning something new, we become students. And then, when we become students, we become more vulnerable. Right. So, and that's the very fragile situation of writing a book for the first time, or be job hunting after many years after 20 years well employed,
Renata: All of a sudden, you know nothing, and it's so hard also to ask. I mean, you have no problem asking for help, but some people do, some people have a problem asking for help. So Andre has a friend at work who left, and they had coffee a few weeks ago. And Andre being my husband, feels like he's a coach. It's like that Netflix series sex education, where the son of the sex counselor thinks he's a sex counselor. Have you seen it?
Renata: He’s like, I’m going to have coffee with my friend because he left and I, you know, he may need some help. He goes out. And the guy's like Andre said, he's like he has an armor around him. Right. So he doesn't want to show any vulnerability. And I think that that is very common too, you know? Sometimes, people come to me, and they have a chat with me, and I talk to them for 30 minutes or an hour. And I give them as much help as I can because I want to serve. I want to serve people. I want to support people. But I also want to show them that every time they connect with me, I'm going; it’s the return on their investment. I, they are going to, and they feel like, no, that's okay. I've learned what I need. I don't need anything else. Off I go, and then three, four months later, they reconnect with me, and they say, can we catch up again? So those four months that they missed, you know, salaries as well. And I think it's interesting that people have that misunderstanding of needing to be vulnerable.
Cassandra: Yeah. Look, I think I resonate with everything you said, and we are conditioned to armor up, you know, you know that saying that we're all saying these days, it's okay to bring your whole self to work. Well, whenever I hear that, I think, well, wait a minute. What part of me was, I meant to check at the door before you said it was okay to bring my whole self to work because yeah, when we think about it, I think we've been conditioned to actually check our hearts at the door and that I see this so often in my coaching clients, that we are conditioned to protect ourselves, to begin to believe that we have to go it alone, that we can't inhabit our vulnerability, to be vulnerable is to be weak. And these are all again, you know, fake the fake news or the internal voices in our head, right?
Cassandra: This is this constant fake news feed that we've got to just become more aware of. And rather than seeing our thoughts as instructions on how to behave, we start to operate with a level of discernment. And that's what really waking up is that I've got this voice in my head that tells me that even in the example you've given Renata, that I'm with a friend that I've got to somehow put the armor on, put the mask on, keep people at arm’s length, make sure that no one knows that I'm struggling. These stories that we tell ourselves that we just start to notice that story. And we ask ourselves, who would I be without this story? Who would I be without this thought that right now I've got to make sure that I look like Superman? What, what might be possible for me? If I could just step into my vulnerability right now and actually inhabit my humanness because we are not robots. I think we've been conditioned to treat ourselves like robots by the way the world of work is, but it's a big fat lie, right? We're human. We've got hearts—our heartbreak.
Renata: It doesn't diminish our professionalism.
Cassandra: No, it enhances our professionalism because we all know that the best leaders that we've ever worked with are those that inhabit the vulnerability and therefore give us permission to do the same. And you know, the best leaders I've worked for are leaders that I've seen really be human with me, be real with me. And therefore, I have permission to be real with them. And you just need to look at the mental health statistics that 25% of us at any time are in struggle are in a real struggle. And if you're in a workplace where that struggle has to be kept on the low down, it's corrosive to our wellbeing. It's corrosive to our productivity, and it’s corrosive to our relationships. And I think a way of leading that that's done and dusted, you know, now's the time for human leaders.
Renata: So, this podcast has an interview with the CEO of Koko black, Nick Georges, who is an amazing person. We worked together at Monash University. He's a former senior exec with Nestle, Mondelez, and he managed the Monash innovation food innovation center for a few years. And now he's the CEO of Koko black. And at the beginning of COVID, he wrote an open letter to CEOs, very vulnerable about the struggles of managing on the COVID and locked down into a pandemic. I mean, Koko black survives on people feeling absolutely turned on by the scent and the beautiful stores that they have. You just want to eat chocolate every time you walk by a Koko black store. So, Melbourne being under lockdown for them was really heartbreaking. And he wrote this beautiful letter, and then I read it, and I interviewed him straight away. And I think that that is a perfect example of somebody who is a senior leader, who is completely fine and in touch with his vulnerability, managing that, those two things very well and not afraid. I mean, it, and I was just the more I think about it, the more, I think, how courageous it was to print that letter because many.
Renata: Employees would probably have perceived this, Oh, you know, he's a CEO that does he know, you know, and I have not seen any other CEO do what he did. But if you go to his post on LinkedIn where he posted the letter, the best thing about that post is to see his staff writing under it and saying, you know, how grateful they are to work for him.
Cassandra: Oh, I’ll go and read that ahead, but I think if we want to create, you know, courageous coaches where people have permission to show up and be seen, even when they're in the struggle, then the way the CEO shows up is everything. Isn't it. And that sets the tone. I think that that's a great example of a CEO who's willing to inhabit his vulnerability and therefore create a culture with others can do the same,
Renata: But for others in need to practice self-fidelity, how do we do it? How can one practice self-fidelity? Give us some tips for those who haven't read the book yet.
Cassandra: So there's lots and lots of ways to practice self-fidelity. And definitely, my thinking on it is that we must make the practice our own. And so I offer up lots and lots of very practical ways that we can cultivate in bed, refine our own self fidelity practice. One of the ways to start, I think, is to start to tune into the voices in our heads. I think that's the most powerful. And the foundation of the practice is this idea of waking up. As I describe it, it's really the threshold to the practice of self-fidelity. And so by just becoming more aware that you are not the thoughts in your head, that you're not the voices in your head, that the thoughts in your head are not instructions on how to behave, and that we have a choice that we have agency. So I think the best way to start is by noticing what is that script, that record that keeps playing in your head?
Cassandra: What are the things that you tell yourself? How do you speak to yourself? And to what extent are those thoughts and those instructions uplifting you, and to what extent are they dragging you down? Are they corrosive to your health, your wellbeing? To what extent do they pull you away from your true nature? And so that would probably be my number one tip is just, start to tune in. I think we all know who we are at our core when we're at our best. I think we can all have this sense of who I am when I'm being most myself. And when I work with my coaching clients on this question, who are you being when you're being most yourself? What is the state of being that you feel is the most positive and powerful for you to embody? And there's always commonality.
Cassandra: You know, it's a state of being calm, of being caring, of being open, of being connected, of feeling enlivened. And so I think once we start to notice these stories in our head and how they push us off track, how they can actually trigger these really unhelpful emotions, such as frustration, anxiety, loneliness, desperation is clinging this proving, this unhealthy striving, all of these modes of being that often get triggered by the stories in our head. We can notice, and we can practice through breathing through meditation, through lots of other techniques. How do I get myself back into that way of being? That’s going to be far more resourceful, and we can all practice that. And it's not a practice where you kind of someday wake up, and you've kind of crossed the finish line and forevermore. You're going to inhabit your most positive and powerful state, and no, it's an ongoing practice of remembrance and reconnection.
Cassandra: And, you know, I've been doing these practices for a long time and I still, of course, get triggered and caught by the stories in my head and in those moments because I've been doing it for a while. I have awareness, okay. My shoulders are up. My jaw is tense. I'm having all these thoughts. I'm in a triggered state. How do I use my breath just to come back to the moment, and how do I use this discernment to say, okay, let me just challenge the story in my head right now. Let me just turn down the volume and let me just ask myself, is that really true? So that's my tip.
Renata: And specifically for job hunters, you wanted to give a few tips for job hunters. I'm assuming you've job hunted during your career. Because it seemed like such a glamorous career, but people don't see the difficulties in between in getting the roles.
Cassandra: Yeah. I've been, my role has been made redundant three times in that career over, and you know, that,
Renata: So glad you mention that. I have some clients that have been made redundant twice, three times, and there you go, look at you. Yeah.
Cassandra: Within those three times, I've had to reinvent, pick myself up, dust myself off, and back in the arena. And each time, it's actually in retrospect, not always at the moment, but in retrospect, there's always been a really positive moment of recalibration and resetting really. And I think the things I would say is, if you're job hunting, if you're between jobs, definitely you use it as an opportunity to really get clear on what success means to you? I think it's so easy to get caught up in this, this kind of climbing of the ladder, you know, that I've got to get to the next rung and the next rung, and this is what success looks like. It looks like this job title with these keywords, with this salary package, with this bonus percentage, with this sort of brand, and this location with this job structure, you know, we get so rigid in our thinking about what does success mean?
Cassandra: I think the first thing I would suggest is just loosening the grip of all of that and just stepping right back from all of that and think, what does success really mean to me? What does a working life that can be well lived mean to me at this moment? And, you know, often from my coaching clients, when we zoom out from the next job and the next opportunity that has to tick certain boxes and we zoom out to maybe a two or three or five-year horizon, what often emerges is that there can be a bit more flexibility, that if I figure out really what lights me up when I'm at my best, I'm being really creative, but when I'm being at my best, I'm leading people, or I'm not leading people. And so if we zoom out to a three-year horizon, maybe my salary is going to take a little dip, but then as I re-center and reorient towards the things that I really love doing, then over the long-term my earnings, just lift up and up and up.
Cassandra: And I do believe there's a real ceiling on our earning capacity when we're stuck in these jobs that actually don't light us up. And so using space between jobs as a, as a time to ask those hard questions, what does success really mean for me and my family in the next three to five years at this stage in my life, how do I really reimagine success? How do I get back to the things I love doing? Because I, you know, we spend 90,000 hours working in our lifetime and the number one regret of the dying is that, you know, I didn't do what, what really lit me up was that I wasn't true to myself, that I followed in the footsteps of my parents or whatever. And I think using this chance to pivot redefined success, reconnect to what you are your essence, and starting to chart a course.
Cassandra: That's going to get you closer to that, even if it means if you can afford it, depending on your financial situation, a short-term hit on earnings to get a longer-term gain. And I spent so many years in those high-powered executive roles tied to a certain package, a certain salary number. And now that I'm out of that game and I'm growing my own business, and my career looks differently. It really, really kind of kicked me that I spent so many years with such a narrow scope of what jobs I would consider. And it was all based really on the package that I had to earn another five or 10 or 15 K or what I know in order to consider a move. And that just really credits such a narrow playing field for me.
Cassandra: And it was all just a figment of my imagination because actually, we can get by on a little bit less and that we can find different ways to save money or, you know, start a side hustle or other ways to make ends meet. And I think that's been my big learning, that the more we can focus on our higher-order aspirations for the sort of working life we want and the more flexibility and lightness we can have around the other stuff, the more opportunities emerge that really get us to a working life that can be truly well lived and a working life that really not only nourishes us but nourishes the people we love the most, right. Because we all know the huge costs of being in a role that's soul-destroying, and often the people that suffer the most are those people that love us the most that we come home to every night.
Renata: I know. It's very sad. You use the word reset. I don't know if you know this, but the mini-course that I do is called Reset Your Career.
Cassandra: Ah, yes. I think I've seen that. Okay.
Renata: Yeah. And it's a program where I, it's not my coaching course. It's a program to really just press reset. You've just been made redundant, or you have been job hunting for months and months, and you have just hit a wall and don't know what you do. Just do this mini-workshop on demand and a 31-day action plan to build yourself a productive and successful routine. So it's a course; it sets a milestone. And then it's 31 days of actions one day at a time so that you don't feel that overwhelm. Okay. Let's just activate everything in this course. You don't have to worry about it. You sit down, and you listen, and then you know that for 31 days, you're going to get one action a day to build yourself a routine. And I think it's really important to, like you said, re-evaluate your vision for the future and what you want out of life.
Renata: You may not have asked for that redundancy. Some people are now booking sessions with me to consider voluntary redundancies three sessions last week for the first time, right. It's such a great investment. Just sit down with me and let's brainstorm, just get it out of your head, and let sit down and imagine some different scenarios. If you accept voluntary redundancy, lots of companies are offering now at the end of the year. And one person decided for no, and one person decided for yes to apply for it. And the other one was still undecided when we finished the session, but at least we brainstormed everything, and they were going to talk to partners and friends, and what else, but it's so important. And there is a podcast that I'm going to put in the links below with Paul Burrows, who left BHP. And we became friends when he left. And I was like, when
Renata: Is Paul going to find a job? I used to leave my kids with him because I was, you know, a working mother with two little boys, probably the same as the boys, your boys now, and studying full time. And I would just leave the kids there with Paul. And I did that for a year and a half. I'm like Paul’s, not in a hurry to find a job, is he?
Cassandra: It's nice to take out time, it is a big decision, right?
Renata: The best decision he ended up having a second career that was completely different from his first career. He didn't ask for the redundancy. He didn't want it, but he reinvented himself. And he has this very great philosophy, personal philosophy about people living on a budget. And regardless of what budget you live on, you know, you can be miserable or happy. And I know you probably know this as well. You can be miserable on a $1 million salary.
Cassandra: Absolutely. And I would say that's probably more likely. I mean, what I've seen in my career is the executives that have tethered their self-worth to those big, big packages and those big, big bonuses. There's no escape that there, for many of these individuals, I got this real sense that over the years, they've attached so much of their self-worth to those numbers. Particularly when you get so senior that, you know, your salary is, you know, part of the publishing the annual report, for example. Everyone knows, or there's something that happens to the human psyche that, you know, I've got to maintain or, or lift this number year on year. And that can be so damaging to our health because we all know that there are countless studies that say, you know, money's not going to buy us happiness or health or loving relationships, but we find ourselves stuck.
Cassandra: And I think there's something that's really almost addictive and magnetic about these big packages. And I certainly, you know, the height of my corporate career, I was in a pretty nice package. And I certainly felt that pull off, you know, I've got to maintain or lift this on this number, which now many years later. And, now being at a different earnings level for the last few years, as I'm growing my own business, I can just see how arbitrary that number was and how meaningless it was. And, but yet there was so much for me at the time pinned on that meeting or exceeding that number. And I look back and think, my gosh, what were you thinking? Because I'm so much happier now. And, I'm not earning anywhere near as much for the moment, but my gosh, I wouldn't trade where I am for the world. Yeah.
Renata: Very well. I'm so happy we did this. I can’t wait for everybody else to listen to it as well. We'll be launching together with the book, the book launch, and the podcast. That'd be fantastic.
Cassandra: Yeah. Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about ‘Self-fidelity.’ It's, you know, been in my head for three years now. And so to be able to talk about it, it's just so wonderful.
Renata: Am I your first podcast?
Cassandra: You are my second podcast. So I'm just warming up.
Renata: I wanted to tell you before we go, ‘understand our power and what we are up against.’ That's the page for me, the log systems dynamics, tell us that in any system, the power of anyone individual is dwarfed by the strength of the system and the dynamics within that system. That's where I step in. I couldn't have worded it better, you know, but I love that page because there are a system and a structure to recruitment and selection, and the system is there, and it dwarfs the candidate and I am there to help them. So I printed that page, only that page, except that I can't find it because it's here. Well, yes, I will put it on my vision board. I'm going to. Maybe I just should type it over. And yeah, like it is that page is for me, like the man in the arena is there, and that page will be next to the man. Wow. How much I liked that page
Cassandra: It's an honor. And I think it took me many years to figure that out, but yeah, the power of these invisible forces at play, right? And often when we're applying for jobs, those forces are dehumanizing forces, so dehumanizing and to work with an awareness of those forces, it doesn't mean that we don't have the power within those systems, but, but I think we've just got to have our eyes wide open to the dynamics that play and using those dynamics as wherever we can, to our advantage. You know, I think about Tai Chi, you know, when you use this energy, and you may be redirect it, you use it to your advantage, but you do it with eyes wide open rather than, you know, there's kind of deer in the headlights. Why is it happening to me?
Renata: Adding weight to your side of the game, I think is important too, because the system or the structure is heavily weighted, there is, you know, support and expertise and resources, energy. And then there you are. If a book like yours can come in and give you a different perspective and give you additional energy, support, and experience knowledge, then it just keeps putting evening out the imbalance. That's what I like. And then, you know, sometimes I see people, I walked on the beach the other day, and there were so many people reading a book, which is a very big bestseller at the moment. I'm like, don't read that book. It's not a good book.
Cassandra: Well, I can give you copies of Self-fidelity. You just walk around the beach, just swap it out,
Renata: Selling it on Brighton beach
Cassandra: A little cart with an umbrella.
Renata: Swap books, give me that crappy one, and read this one. There is so much bad information and advice out there. And then I will dig in and sort of read, ‘who is this author? What has this author ever done?.’ And that person never had a job or has never been in the corporate sector and is giving advice about how to go to job interviews. And I'm like, who are you to talk to thousands of vulnerable people that don't have jobs, you in Silicon Valley, who is a start-up entrepreneur who has never applied for a corporate role. And I'm like, don't say that there was this one article that I reviewed on my live coaching. And I said, do not pay attention to this guy. He's saying if the person doesn't show you their mission statement, and the first day you are a couch, and you don't come back, and I'm like, no people have real jobs, and they need money. You don't walk out because someone didn't show you the mission, you know, like that sort of advice, black and white are really, and I think that whenever I can give my followers recommendations of good things to read good things to do, that's what I do. I'm really solid on what, you know, you should invest your time and money and energy into it because we don't have time for everything else. It's
Cassandra: No, no, nowhere near. I mean, it's just overwhelming the amount of content. And I think, you know, the voice in my head during the three years of writing this book at the time said, you know, you're not a psychologist, Cassie, are you sure you're qualified? And so I did make sure that I had psychologists. Luckily I have a fabulous network of people who are doctors and psychologists. When they were giving me the feedback, you know, this is really a great book, Cassie, that it really, that was a final thing I needed to hear from a duty of care perspective. So I take my duty of care very, very seriously. And I was so careful not to include anything in the book that I hadn't directly implied in my life and know is not based on research and science. And so, what I say about the practice of self-fidelity is that whatever I say, don't take any of it to be true, even though I know it's all very well-grounded in research, but try it, you know, put it in your own life and see, and adapt and see if it works for you and adapt it and evolve and make it your own.
Cassandra: I’ve been getting great feedback that the book is really practical and really helpful. So I look forward to hearing maybe from some of your listeners about how they've applied the practice of self-fidelity and the difference it's made in their working life.
Renata: We will put all the links in the show notes. And in my introduction, I'll make sure that I mentioned that as well. I'll make sure that people follow you on LinkedIn, Facebook and buy the book.
Cassandra: Fantastic. And I will cover shipping.
Renata: Oh, yes, yes. I will mention that. So you have a code for us.
Cassandra: It’s JOBHUNTING. You can put it in the show notes, but if you use that code, then shipping is on me.
Renata: Excellent. Thank you so much, Cass.
Cassandra: You're very welcome. Thank you.