• What does wellbeing in the workplace mean to you? There’s a lot of talk about mental health, and mental wellbeing, yet when it comes to understanding the full breadth and depth of our wellness this nowhere near the full story. Are your people happy, healthy and comfortable?

    In this episode Rachael & John are in conversation with Claire Burns Health and Wellbeing Consultant - Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Founder of Wurkplace Wellbeing; uncovering the range and scope of employee help, that better leaders should be seeking within their organisations.

    They uncover the four pillars of well-being and discover how each one can be affected by the other. Looking after your employees makes obvious sense, it should be the human thing to do; vital for the individual, their family and friends and the good of your organisation. Yet it is not so obvious to match peoples outward behaviour with their thinking, and understanding what’s most important to them.

    Three Things for Leaders to be on the lookout for:-

    People have different starting points - The critical importance of showing affirmation and validation of someones situationVulnerability to stress - Appreciating the different triggers, and our individual capacity that fill up our “stress tank"Hidden behaviours - Asking why perfectionism is a real problem alert?Claire’s Leadership Essentials:

    1. Curiosity
    2. Empathy
    3. Role Modelling

    The four pillars of wellbeing: social, financial, mental health, and physical health.

    You can contact Claire on LinkedIn, and access her website here at https://www.wurkplace-wellbeing.co.uk

  • In this podcast Rach & John talk to Former Counter Terrorism Covert Operations Leader and HUMINT specialist turned Entrepreneur and Solo Ocean Rower – Mike Bates.

    Born and raised in Doncaster, Mike carved out a career that most boys would dream of. Spending years undercover as a human intelligence specialist, covert counter-terrorism operations leader and commando in the Royal Marines. Mike was the real-life James Bond. But all those years spent undercover, Mike didn't know who he really was. Until he undertook the biggest challenge of his life - becoming the fastest British person to complete the ‘The World’s Toughest Row' solo in a little over 46 days.

    Rooted in his personal experiences of fighting terrorists, tackling mother nature at her most powerful and attaining his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mike shares his unique experiences to provide a powerful and credible perspective on resilience, leadership, humility and overcoming adversity.

    Leadership Essentials

    Courage – to challenge the status quo, to do things differently, to admit you are wrong. Clarity - of mission. The mission needs to be absolutely clear. Clarity of communication with no doubt in any communication what you are trying to do and say. Clarity about the achievement and praising staff. Clarity in the culture of the organisation you are trying to create. Credibility – this is different from experience. It's integrity, care and empathy. The ability of a leader to inspire others to follow you.Get in touch with Mike:
    Links to Mike Bates on: LinkedIn, Instagram
    Or email Mike at: [email protected]

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  • Everyone keeps talking about where they want to work, how they'd prefer to work, yet employers often have a different view; the media have dubbed it "The Great Return," so for those of you with Zoom fatigue, or perhaps people who are reluctant to be in the workplace John & Rachael thought it was worth talking about.

    With more questions and answers they look at the dilemma from both employer and employees points of view:

    How much do we trust our people to do the work?Is productivity now a problem?Should we keep our offices anymore?What about people's health and their ability to be social when working remotely?Should we cater for everyone's needs?What do our clients think we should be doing? Do they even care?What sort of leadership style is being dictated by hybrid working?How long can you put up with back to back virtual meetings?When do I actually get any work done? Ledership Essentials:

    What kind of approach does the work require?What kind of leadership style do different people in your organisation need?What is the role of individuals in meetings, do people really know why they are there?

  • In the second podcast on 2023 we chat with David Harper, Career Coach. David is an ex CIO for a major UK insurance company with extensive experience of leading people in a £4bn business. In 2015 David was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, initiating his own career move into coaching.

    David’s true purpose is helping people achieve. We talk to him about how he enjoys helping younger people start their careers, the sort of questions he asks them, and how the value of truly listening to people is in very short supply.

    We discuss the sort of questions that employers should be asking themselves when it comes to employing people in their late forties and early fifties and beyond. The value of employing people based on outcomes and results, rather than just paying someone a salary based on a number of hours.

    David’s Leadership Essentials

    Remembering it’s always about people and to speak and listen to your team at an emotional levelLeadership is about walking about, being available without agendaGetting into the work; visit and listen to the people who actually use your products and services David can be contacted at https://harper360.com

  • In the first episode of 2023 John & Rachael are joined by Business Coach and entrepreneurJonathan Mills.

    Jonathan started this career as a footballer for Cambridge Untied but at age 18 fell into a franchise business model that would pave the way for him to own and lead not one but four businesses.

    Jonathan shares his habits on effective time management, task privatisation and journalling to increase self awareness. He shares his thoughts on the importance of trust in leadership and how any leaders first job is to set clear expectations and hold their team members to account.

    This is a fantastic conversation for anyone in a leadership role who finds themselves time poor, over worked and not being able to prioritise their own development.

    If you loved this conversation and would like to get in touch with Jonathan you can find him on Instagram @Jonathan_ascend360 the Ascend360 website is https://www.ascend360.co.uk/ if business coaching groups are of interest. And his football coaching franchises are with https://www.premier-education.com/

    Jonathan's Leadership Essentials: (58 minutes)

    1. Self awareness - knowing your strengths and weakness and surrounding yourself with people who are better than you

    2. Integrity is key

    3. Seeing the bigger picture and being able to see opportunities disguised as challenges
    4. Ultimately doing your best and knowing that, that is enough. Letting go and surrendering to what the outcome will be. This is especially important if you are a perfectionist.

  • In this weeks episode John & Rachael are joined by Executive Coach, Sue Baker. Sue has been working as a coach working with leaders at board level in large corporations since the 1990's.

    Sue talks about how coaching has changed over the last couple of decades and how organisation and leaders requirements of coaching are changing as the challenges they face are change. Most importantly we talk about what is next in coaching. What new trends we are seeing in coaching? And what are some of the issues that senior leaders come to coaching looking to work on?

    This is a fantastic conversation for anyone thinking about getting an executive coach or wondering what very senior leaders in organisations do in coaching sessions.

    Sue shares her personal story of what she's learned in her coaching journey and how she's leaned more about herself as she's gained more experience as a female coach working with incredibly senior leaders in large corporates.

    If you loved this conversation and would like to get in touch with Sue you can find her on LinkedIn or email her on: [email protected]

    Sue's Leadership Essentials: (57:18)

    1. Humility. Is an underrated leadership quality. Its time for the people with humility who ask for help can be the most powerful leaders

    2. The ability connect. This is a mindset and a learned skill. When it's authentic it's really powerful to be in a great leaders sunshine. Being able to connect on a human level.

    3. The courage to say we got this wrong.

  • In this episode Rach & John visit the subject of Difficult Conversations, a topic which they cover in depth on their Building Better Leaders Programme.
    “Good intentions don’t always result in good impact.” Often with the best of intentions things can go wrong, and the impact you intend is never the one you had in mind.
    They tackle the subject from a “miscommunication” angle and take a look at three different areas of a conversation?
    We learn from our ability to catch ourselves and become more self-aware of what we are contributing in any conversation, so understanding the anatomy of conversation can help us when we consider:
    Who did what, Who said what, Who was right and wrong?How we tackle our feelings, and those of the other person?What does our behaviour in the heat of the moment say about us as a person?They discuss, various areas of a conversation and how we can better prepare and plan for a successful outcome.
    The books referenced in the podcast which inspired their approach are:
    “Difficult Conversations.” Patton, Stone & Heen. “Atlas of the Heart.” - Brene Brown
    For more information on the Building Better Leaders Programme

  • In this weeks episode Rachael & John are joined by Lee Warren to understand how using the Alexander Technique can help us communicate and perform better when under stress?
    The way that you think affects the way you perform, and vice-versa; the way you perform affects the way you think
    Remembering that stress is very uncreative, Lee take a little step back and asks us to think about focussing on our awareness.
    He asks: Do you sometimes make the mistake of focussing on yourself when presenting, when you should be focussing on what the audience are expecting from the presentation?
    Instead of thinking how am I doing? Turn your awareness to focussing on the audiences thinking:
    -What’s in this for me?-What am I going to get out of this?-How will this help me?-Will I make any money?-Is this a good use of my time?
    What does the audience expect to hear?What des the audience need to hear?
    Lee also shares some really valuable tips on how we can network more effectively.

    You can contact Lee at: leewarrenspeaker.com

  • In this weeks podcast Rachael & John cover four different leadership styles.

    How do you like to be led? Is it always the same for every aspect of your role?

    When you're leading you team do you always use the same approach?

    They differentiate between Directing, Coaching, Supporting and Delegating leadership styles explaining when and where you can effectively use each and how you might adapt your approach.

  • On the podcast this week, in Leadership 101 a bitesized approach to:what leadership is and what it isn'thow leadership differs from managementwhere best to use a directive or non-directive styleIn the Coaching approach we ask which leader(s) have influenced you, what kind of leader are you? and what other leadership possibilities might be open to you?

    Our bite-sized sessions are brought to you using content from our Inter-Active Building Better Leaders Webinar programme.

  • In this weeks podcast we speak to Andrew Robshaw who after a life changing Parkinson’s diagnosis decided to pursue a question that had plagued him most of his working life.
    What is the true meaning of value? And how can businesses better measure value in real time by looking beyond traditional accounting and economic processes we currently use.
    Some of the questions we cover:What is value really?What is money?Is it the best measure of value?What paradigm shifts are required to make everyone in the world wealthier?What should Leaders be concentrating on in 2022?
    Thankonomics is the exploration of "Value" in terms of appreciation, and how we can look beyond economics and the law of diminishing marginal returns. To instead looking at how appreciation of products and services changes over time and the customers state of "need."
    Andrew's Leadership Essentials
    1. Appreciation
    2. Passion
    3. Remember your people are here to help you solve your problem, support them, rather than give orders.

    Andrew also shares his personal story on getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and the life changing treatment he has received to enable him to write this book and continue to live and work.

    Andrew's Book Thankonomics

  • We celebrate this episode by summarising the past year, sharing a little of our personal histories and reviewing the year spent with our wonderful guests.

    We chat about our school age experiences and what shaped us as youngsters, and how & when our careers started. What did we see and hear at work, reflecting on the great leaders, and the not so great leaders? We discuss what led us to work together, and what was so alluring about coaching?

    We each approach our guests Leadership Essentials in a different way; discussing what we have learnt about ourselves in the process.

    A big thank you goes to all our Guests in 2021.

    Kurt Lindley Drew Povey Jan Iceton Matt Lock Céline Williams Kevin Urrutia Philip Grant Dr. Josie McLean Dr. Pam Wells Katherine Whitton Tom Manning Andy Thomas Adrian Hawley Melanie Weller Simon Town Clare Pooley Jonathan Hemus Michael Lawrence Graham Keen Peter Pritchard Brian Bachand Colin Hunter Andy Copsey Gert Jan Hofstede

  • In this weeks episode we meet Gert Jan Hofstede Professor at Wageningen University and co-author of “Cultures & Organisations - Software of the Mind.” He is a speaker and trainer about cross-cultural issues, evolution of culture, organisational behaviour, trust and transparency, specialising in agent-based models of socio-technical systems.
    In understanding Cultures across the world, he make sense of understanding cultures in organisations and looks at how culture specifically influences leaders and leadership. We discuss peoples inert traits, and what tends to happen when people feel wronged.
    By taking a look back over time we delve into how the dangers to people have changed from an outward perspective to a more inward threat. We ask Gert Jan why he describes “Culture as ripples on the ocean of shared human nature,” where he defines human nature as: “Status, power, and logic in reference groups.”
    We all discuss how we’ve been affected by our experiences of leadership good and bad, and ask whether any individual is strong enough to coerce everyone? What traits must political leaders display, and how does this differ across the world?
    Gert brings the whole cultural discussion to life with a short story loaded with lots of useful questions and examples describing the six issues of social life.
    Gert Jan’s Leadership Essentials:
    1. Maintaining a stable good mood, but be vigilant (technically: non-neurotic)2. Awareness that modesty counts when it comes to knowing that your followers make you3. Being Culture-aware (know that one size does not fit all)
    Links for Gert Jan Hofstede: http://www.gertjanhofstede.com/

  • In this weeks episode Rachael & John are joined by Andy Copsey Ex-Chief Operating Officer for Handelsbanken UK. Andy shares his early experiences of Leadership and how he contrasts the changes when moving to Handelsbanken in 2001.
    He explains how they adopted a Devolved Leadership model from Jan Wallander and how its appeal intoxicated Andy, as he grew the start-up bank in the UK.
    Andy speaks very eloquently about the differences with established competitor banks, as he led a decentralised operation where his P&L, and his team decision making capabilities made them very accountable to their actions. A bank that employed people on their values and trustworthiness without a traditional bonus structure was an unusual business; yet it became very successful, and whilst quite unforeseen, managed to withstand the 2008 Banking crisis in a way that astounded people and organisations with a more purist approach and outlook.
    Andy shares his thoughts on a number of leadership principles; the importance of a true equality, diversity & inclusive approach. He remarks on how broad and deep people’s range of skills and abilities are in the sector, making them fantastic all-rounders.
    We ask Andy what’s next now that he moves onto the next chapter of his career, he says he will always work, so what exactly does someone do after a 38-year career, once they’ve been given 60 hours a week back; Andy shares his 6 things to do in 60 hours.
    Andy’s Leadership Essentials: (1:15:00)

    1. The start of any meaningful relationship: One of mutual trust and respect

    2. Understanding peoples core values & principles: Recruit and develop people with these in mind. So that they may give the best of themselves

    3. Leading from behind: Give your people space & time to create their own futures and ways of working. Your role as a leader is to help create an environment that helps them achieve their long-term career potential.

    Links: www.andycopsey.co.ukhttps://mapcharity.org/ https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pat-s-party1-landsend-john-o-groats https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/home-workers-are-less-inclined-to-retire- early-tt77wz5sh https://www.amazon.co.uk/Decentralisation-why-how-make-work-Wallander/dp/ 9171509100

  • In this weeks podcast John & Rachael are joined by CEO of Potential Squared, Colin Hunter. Colin is also the author of the new book: 'Be More Wrong.'
    In this episode we discuss with Colin how experiencing failure or not living up to his family ambitions allowed him to dance to his own tune, in his own life and rhythm. Colin discusses how he makes it his life work to help people use these 'screw ups' to turn things around in life and in business. It’s a wonderful conversation to take a new look at leadership, how you lead a team by embracing micro failures.
    We talk about strengths, building resilience, how to have difficult conversations, asking yourself if it’s worth having a difficult conversations or if you just want to get something off your chest? Colin gives his tips on role playing difficult conversations and the real value this drives for leaders.
    We talk about Andrew Websters design thinking, and how we can leave ego and expertise at the door, coming up with insights and ideas and test them using small experiments. Tips include how do you warm your team up daily? And how playground games like rock paper scissors can work really well in the workplace?
    Leadership Essentials:
    1. Squirrel - to keep your radar open for new ideas or approaches
    2. Mentoring - if you are not mentoring two or other people as a leader you’re not doing the right thing
    3. Use an advisory board - have a few people you recruit for difference that can spot when you are screwing up, but can also help you be more wrong, more frequently. Noses in fingers out or noses in fingers in. It’s best to have mix of both!

    Website: https://www.potential2.com/en-gb/

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Be-More-Wrong-Failure-Outstanding/dp/177458039Xhttps://ozanvarol.com/books/Think like a rocket scientist https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coaching-Habit-Less-Change-Forever-ebook/dp/B01BUIBBZI

  • In this weeks episode John & Rachael are joined by fellow coach Brian Bachand, founder of evolution, evolution.
    We discover what stands behind his mantra: “When you stand in your truth, embrace what is in your heart, then you are free to evolve.” A former Roman Catholic Priest, Brian talks openly about what he learnt from working in the Vatican, how he uses that knowledge in his coaching to help new CEO’s develop their leadership style.
    We ask him about the types of challenges professional leaders and new CEO’s face, and how he helps them navigate the boardroom, and the similarities that can be drawn from the playground.
    Some of the sound bites and useful insights for first time CEO’s and those wanting to progress into senior leadership roles include:
    - What to do when you have that inner feeling that “there’s something else."- How to recognise that you are “Going Netflix.” Where you keep replaying scenarios over and over and unhelpful thoughts auto play into other parts of life - The art of asking the question “What do you desire?” Again and again.
    Brian’s Leadership Essentials:
    1. Practice ‘inner work’ everyday. Whatever form that is will help you create the clarity you need to develop the world you desire to have
    2. Relationships, that help people feel joyfulness and challenge will help people succeed at a different level.
    3. Follow the joy. When the joy is missing its more a reflection on yourself than what’s happening around you.
    Brian kindly shares how he maintains his own leadership essentials on a daily basis - we get in the scope on his daily rituals and practices.

  • In this weeks episode John & Rachael are joined by Group CEO of Pets at Home, Peter Pritchard. It has been an extraordinary last 18 months for so many of us, typified by more people than ever becoming pet owners, so we had so many questions for Peter.
    As a first time CEO listen to how Peter approached the challenge of wanting to be an exceptional good leader, helped by experienced CEO’s who were so generous with their time.
    We talk to Peter about leading pets at home through the global pandemic and how he and his senior leadership approached this challenge in a unique way that results in them thriving through a crisis.
    Drawing on Peter’s considerable experience in retail, which he prefers to call “satisfying the customer” find out about what his leadership team considered to be their priorities, and how they devolved responsibility through the organisation.
    He has some interesting things to say about how they supported their people through the Covid crisis, which provides a wonderful insight into pets at home's organisational and cultural ethos.
    He shares his very personal story of “coming out,” and how everyone can have that moment “to be themselves,” and the huge respect people get for their courage, and how he finds that people can associate with others, by being genuine and normal.
    Peter’s Leadership Essentials: (01:08:40)
    1. Bring the real you to work. It helps you form great relationships with people because they can see your imperfections, because they trust you.
    2. Be supportive and realistic. It’s important as a leader that you can use your judgement: when to back people, when to allow people to fail safely, helping them learn important lessons.
    3. Be really kind. Allow people to have their crisis, support them by investing in their emotional back account.

  • In this weeks podcast John & Rachael are joined by the wonderfully engaging and effervescent business psychologist, a former CFO and corporate finance adviser Graham Keen.
    Author of Positive Leaders, Positive Change, Graham has studied with the father of positive psychology Dr. Martin Seligman, and through The Positive Profitability Company Graham offers game changing psychological insights into maximising profitability and wellbeing.
    If you’ve ever found yourself trapped by a combination of a lack of resources, impossible deadlines and an unreasonable shareholder / or Boss then this podcast will set you on your way to approaching business life and leadership differently.
    We discuss a variety of subjects whilst keeping our eye on the psychology elements that drive them:
    Shocking levels of disengaged employeesBenefits of positivity -PIPOGo for “being kind,” being a hardass is easy Positivity requires courage and toughness How Graham works with organisations The power of the unconscious mind Creativity through relaxation techniques
    He introduces us to CREAMS where we discuss, creativity, resilience, emotional and analytical intelligence, motivations, and self-esteem.
    Leadership Essentials:
    1. Don’t fall into the trap of following your favourite leaders habits, because you are not them! By creating Positive Emotional Affect you create the right conditions that allow people to follow you! You cannot demand it! If you can get your people to give you discretionary effort, you are onto a winner!
    2. Positivity trumps everything else. The maximum impact of effectiveness on one individual or a company cannot be better achieved with anything else other than positivity
    3. Think about your Organisational Ethos - a combination of leadership values and behaviours, organisational culture, and the engagement climate; work on these things and keep them at the forefront of your mind, ensuring the fairness of distribution of rewards
    Graham has kindly offered to send anyone who emails him a copy of his book. You can contact Graham through LinkedIn, or [email protected]

  • In this weeks episode we chat with Michael Lawrence - Club Captain and Loose Forward 14 years at Huddersfield Giants Rugby League and a Jamaican International looking forward to the upcoming RL World Cup.
    Recently invited to the Rugby League Inclusion Board we begin by discussing inclusion and making rugby league more diversely appealing. We chat about Michael’s experiences growing up into a sport where role models were thin on the ground, and how he’s driven to changing it for youngster coming into the game.
    In this fascinating interview we draw parallels with leadership in sport and business, how it differs on and off the field; what the importance of “Next Job,” means to Michael in his playing strategy.
    Winning and consistent performances in professional sport are the difference between keeping your place in the side, resigning your contract and putting food on the table; Michael shares his work ethic and motivations, the crucial importance of multiple goal setting, how it differs from player to player and how do you cope with ‘pressure?’
    We discuss what lies ahead for Micheal, and look deeper into how his leadership experiences can help others in the future.
    We discuss Black Lives Matter; Michael shares his thoughts on some of the interviews he conducted back in 2020, his reflections about the confusion and lack of understanding leading to people acting defensively.
    Michael’s Leadership Essentials:
    Integrity: Doing what I say, follow through otherwise you loose respect and your teamHonesty: Good or bad news, being brave enough to confront the situation Empathy: Getting to know people and their situation, understanding what are people’s Why’s always helps relationshipsLinks:
    Rugby League I & D Board: https://www.rugby-league.com/governance/inclusion-&-diversity/inclusion-and-diversity-board

  • In this episode of the podcast John and Rachael talk to Jonathan Hemus - founder and managing director of crisis management consultancy Insignia. He is also the award winning author of ‘Crisis Proof’ - ‘How to prepare for the worst day of your business life’ written for executives who have responsibility for crisis management thrust upon them.
    We discuss a proactive approach to Crisis Management and the many benefits it can bring to an organisation - even if it never ends up facing a crisis. Jonathan shares examples of historical exceptional and poor handling or crisis, making this conversation super insightful for leaders and executives who are considering the need for crisis management interventions.

    Jonathan talks through a summary of his twenty-five years’ of crisis management experience so business leaders can successfully prepare for and handle their worst business nightmares. We discuss the relevant skills required when communicating during a crisis to journalists, stakeholders, and team members; skills which are also transferable into having difficult conversations in daily leadership life.
    Tips for leaders leading through a crisis:
    The importance of responding quicklyStaying open to information from all levels of the organisation for crisis preventionCommunication in a crisis is everything - it needs to come from a place of values Getting all of the relevant information - seeing others perspectives Rehearsing in advance, so people know what to doLooking after your team in a crisis, but also yourself as well.
    Jonathan’s Leadership Essentials:
    1. Be true to your values - both yours and the organisations. Those that suffer most in a crisis act contrary to their values
    2. Be courageous in making decisions - if you don’t make good early decisions the crisis will manage you, rather than you managing the crisis
    3. Look after yourself and look after your people

    Links from the show:

    Website & Book: https://jonathanhemus.com/
    Crisis Management Training: https://insigniacrisis.com/