How to work less and achieve more

February 14, 2023


8 Minutes

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Lena Thompson spent over 15 years working in the corporate world and had a thriving career. But on the inside, she was dying. She felt disconnected, empty, unfulfilled and drained out by mundane tasks. She realised that for a long time she was focusing on doing things that did not inspire or energise her. So she quit her job and started her own business to find out what she was good at.


She moved from one job to another without taking time off to think about what she wanted. Being her own boss, not being accountable to anyone, working from home in her pyjamas led Lena to feel burnt out. She realised that she was recreating a reality similar to the one she had left. That’s when she began her journey of trying to find what made her feel seen, recognised and fulfilled. 

At the Employer of the Future event in Berlin, she shared some of her discoveries with us. Here are some of them. 

Never compare yourself to others

When you compare yourself to others you start judging yourself. Most of the time, the comparison is related to success – so you end up thinking:

“I’m not as successful as all the others around me.”

This results in wanting approval and validation of others. But that is not the way it should be. If you find yourself in that situation, you need to change your way of thinking in a radical way.

How? Start to pay more attention to how you feel, prioritise your energy above everything else and trust yourself to make your own decisions.

Increase engagement and productivity within your team

Energy is at the core of everything. We cannot make decisions, we cannot be productive and we cannot show up if we don’t have energy. To put it in a simple way: without energy there is no life. Everyone has their own energetic strategy and DNA.

Decision making, relationships, communication, creativity and much more – this all sheds light in our energetic DNA. There is a system for it and it’s called Human Design. Many organisations such as WeWork, Unilever and Forbes have brought human design successfully to their teams. It helps you understand what lies below the surface of each and every person. Let’s look at the 5 different career types the human design theory brings to us.


5 Career Design Types

  • Manifestors → Innovators: Get things started
  • Generator → Builders: Generate energy to build momentum
  • Manifesting Generator → Fast builders: Energy and multitasking
  • Projector → Advisors: Guide and bring efficiency
  • Reflector → Evaluators: Observe and reflect

The 5 Career Design Types explained

Let us shortly explain what these career design types are about. After reading this, you might find out which type you are.

2 men and 1 woman at work place


Manifestors make roughly 7-9% of the population. They get things started. Whether it’s a conversation, client engagement or projects – they feel empowered. They transform their vision into reality. But at the same time, manifestors are people, and aren’t perfect. They start a lot of things and often don’t have the energy or willpower to finish any of them. They must be encouraged to inform others of their actions because it will be the others who will help them to finish all the things they started doing.


Generators are the majority of people and roughly about 70% of the population and have a sustainable supply of energy. They have an energetic reservoir within their bodies. Work fulfills them and they feel passionate about it. But if they need to do something they don’t feel inspired by, they feel drained out. Their productivity goes down and their frustration goes up. They are the types of people who need to be encouraged to focus on one thing. You cannot pull them into different projects because they only can focus on one. 

Manifesting Generators

A Manifesting Generator is the unique energy type in Human Design. They make up about 32% of the population and are hardwired to respond to the environment around them, and they are deeply creative souls. They are often drawn to spiritual pursuits, and their energy is intensely focused. As their name suggests, Manifesting Generators are designed to create and manifest your goals into reality. However, they can also get caught up in their own heads, and they can be quite indecisive. When it comes to making decisions, Manifesting Generators need to trust their gut instincts.


Projectors account for around 18-22% of the population. Projectors guide us. They have a unique gift of seeing and unlocking potential in other people. They are ‘doers’ much like the generators. But if they try to keep up with generators, they will burn out. Projectors must be encouraged to take breaks frequently throughout the day. They’re well energised when they’re rested and are much more productive than all the other types.


Only 1% of the world’s population are reflectors. They’re here to reflect to us who we are. They reflect the health of the organisation.

If you want to see whether your company culture is aligned with the values of your employees, put a reflector into your team. Reflectors must be in communities that feel inspiring and supportive with people they like and trust.

The changes that we experienced in the last few years have made us look at how we work in a completely different way.

A lot of traditional approaches will no longer work, simply because they’re not focused around individuals.

See what lies beneath the surface

If a company and leaders want to get the best out of their people, they need to understand what lies below the surface of each person.

Having access to this information will help your organisation to increase engagement, productivity and reduce conflict.

Investing in personal development of people is the key to organisational success. Self-awareness is key here.

Motivation of 2 poeple climbing the steps

Helping your team members become more aware of their weaknesses and strengths will help them take more responsibility for their own actions and behaviors.

Their compassion, integrity and confidence will increase and will lead to growth and career progression.

This is the formula for the new age of productivity. Understanding and optimising your energy, understanding how to leverage strength and helping your people make decisions.

Watch full session here.


Speaker bio

Lena is an international speaker, an award-winning entrepreneur, a professional coach and co-authored the book “You can have it all”. In 2018 Lena discovered the personal development path, which caused her to re-evaluate all aspects of her life, including leaving her successful career behind. Now she is helping organizations to build purpose-driven cultures that inspire their people to personal and professional success using the human design technique.

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