This week we celebrate World Health Day with the wonderfully knowledgeable Andy Thomas CEO and Founder of BetterYou. We talk about needing to be well, to lead well. Our dramatically changing modern western diet and lifestyles have led to us losing a growing number of key nutrients which are essential to maintaining a balanced, healthier and fitter body. Andy talks about how a chance meeting led to him finding his true purpose; the challenges he encountered, the people and organisations that helped him, and that he is forever learning, how to help people lead healthier lives.
We chat about his passion, learning and commitment to developing new products, and the innovation required to meet the growing needs of customers’ nutritional requirements. This was a real education for us, learning how important crucial certain minerals and vitamins are, and how they are ingested can have a real impact on their effectiveness.
Andy’s Leadership Essentials are:
1. Try and make decisions you’re proud of, that you can substantiate; start by looking at yourself2. Be humble - Be the leader, yet have the confidence to move forward, back your own judgement3. Treat your people as fellow travellers; listen to what they think, its more fun, and they throw things in - you’d probably never thought of
You can learn more about BetterYou products by visiting betteryou.com
In this weeks episode Rachael & John chat to Tom Manning founder of The Pathway Academy about how to create high performing, emotionally intelligent teams. They talk about how laying a clear career pathway for employees to follow, is the most effective approach to attracting like minded employees.
What does it look like to be at a certain level in your organisation? Do you know what behaviours are required of you, what is the expected skill level; and how does this differ from what is required at the next level, and the level above that?
If you have the answers to all these questions, it makes it easier for you to be accountable; you know what is expected of you, producing a performance win/win.
The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself - and it heavily influences all your other relationships.Be clear with people. We are often very unclear!Without consequences there is no accountability (and anger isn't an effective consequence).Tom's 7 step model for creating the pathway:
Being aware - Developing emotional awareness and understanding.Being Clear - Being Clear about what is expected and what good looks like.Being Accountable - Creating consistently accountable teams without anger.Being Human - Giving people room to make mistakes while they learn - and to then develop a more authentic relationship with themselves.Being Active - Being active in the development of our people - developing human character as well as competence / experience.Being in the right place - Helping people to live their own purpose and be in the right role for them.High Standards - The setting and upholding of high standards.You can contact Tom here: https://thepathwayacademy.co.uk/the-pathway/
In this weeks episode Rachael & John are joined by author of ‘Recruiting in the Age of Googlization’ - Ira Wolfe. His company Success Performance Solutions, helps organisations hire smarter and faster, where people are valued for their attitude and not just their skills.
Ira talks to us about his fascination with the speed of change, the challenge of living in perpetual uncertainty and how technology disrupts how we work. Describing himself as a millennial in a baby boomer body, his passion for the future of work is at the very core of this insightful, thought leading conversation. He shares his positive switch on VUCA from Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambitious to Vision, Understanding, Courage/Confidence and Adaptability.
We talk about transformation and what is required for business leaders develop a transformational mindset. Ira shares his thoughts on how a transformational mindset is essential to adapting and leaders can achieve this by becoming more courageous and confident in their actions. While also developing their abilities with a sharp focus on his top five focuses for any leader, these being:
GritResilienceMental Flexibility - Dealing with Flexibility, and paradoxGrowth MindsetUnlearningIn his area of expertise we lift the lid on recruitment today and what’s required in future.
1. Growing our ability to adapt: this should be perpetual, and used every day2. Greater level of authenticity and transparency: be more comfortable with yourself by asking the relevant questions3. Learn how to be more hopeful: have the courage to be more hopeful to truly feel optimistic, and share that hope with those you lead.
Eduard Spranger - Types of Men https://amzn.to/3s1QNZI
Website & Book https://www.successperformancesolutions.com
In this weeks podcast Rachael & John pull together their recent guests leadership essentials by taking a look at the Drama unfolding both sides of the water between Harry & Meghan and The Firm.
1. Never underestimate the power of a group and how much it can influence, however small in number
2. Test your assumptions and be constantly aware of the potential for employee burnout; particularly as people often feel the need to “rescue the organisation.”
3. Care in Leadership is about managing the difference between your intentions and their impact. We can often have the right intentions because we know what we intended, but that doesn’t stop them from having bad impact.
In the Coaching Approach they visit their fictional organisation and catch up with them during their latest team coaching session. The numbers aren’t looking good, Jackson is feeling frustrated and pointing the finger at Kim. She is looking tired and exhausted, - Janet is concerned about her and is worried that she might be in danger of burnout? John jumps to her defence.
Their Facilitator suggests they re-frame the situation by each giving their views on Harry & Meghan and The Firm as to where everyone is sitting on the Drama Triangle. On reflection everyone can start to see which seat they’ve been sitting on, and are surprised to find that they keep moving from Persecutor to Rescuer, and all feeling like they’re the Victim.
In celebration of International Women’s Day (8th March) Rachael & John are joined by Katherine Whitton the outgoing CMO of Specsavers to talk about inspirational women in leadership.
This conversation is a little trip down memory lane for Rachael as she worked for Katherine back in 2008, when Katherine was Head of Global and UK Marketing Communications at British Airways. Rachael reflects on how Katherine was an inspirational leader who helped shape the course of Rachael’s own leadership journey years down the line.
Some of the topics we discuss are:The importance of care in leadership.The traits that make a leader worthy of followingThe importance of followship in leadershipHow to inspire confidence in women - Katherine shares her 3 C’s to inspire women in the workplace. How inspirational men like Jack Ma founder of Alibaba are changing how women are viewed in the workplaceWhat is it that made the line ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers so iconic’ and how it has made its way into popular culture.?The idea of stewardship in leadership and leaving a role better than you found it. Inspirational leaders Katherine has worked for including the Doug and Mary the founders of Specsavers, leaders at Barclaycard and other leading brands.
Katherine’s Leadership Essentials (01:10:50)
Any leader should ask themselves: “Why should someone follow me?” If you are lucky enough to lead: What is it, I have that makes them want to follow me?Wonderment - How do you build a compelling narrative around - possibilities and vision. You have the responsibility, if you lead others, to inspire them to come on the journey with you.Empowering people to bring their best selves to work; let individuals be their best selves and let them do it their way. It’s true that this creates friction; it’s the leaders responsibility to make sure that friction creates something sensational.Related Content:
#22 In our podcast series: Inspirational Female Leader Jan Iceton Chair of Smart Works talks to us about her incredible career in SAAS and Tech https://bit.ly/2JFkEpW
Rachael & John are joined by Burnout Specialist & fellow Coach Dr. Pam Wells. So many people suffer from “burnout” this debilitating and worrying state; we ask why so many driven and successful people seem especially susceptible to it?
We ask is all about control? “Control is a myth, we don’t have control over anything, not even our next breath?” And “Who am I when I’m not at work?”
What is burnout? Pam describes burnout as the feeling when you’re not coping, you’re trying harder and harder, yet feeling less successful. When people say: “I’Il just do this one last thing” - we need to ask could this be a warning sign? With boundaries so blurred we also look forward to what might be coming along, and how people can avoid it.
We talk about the importance of sleep, the unconscious patterns of work that we drop into, and the culture of our teams. We discuss that idea that we might have to “Be comfortable with unknowing” that because unknowing is definitely not comfortable.
By framing the situation in the Drama Triangle we consider how much time we might be spending rescuing our organisation, and how people can jump onto the Winners Triangle. Brene Brown gets a mention as we talk about - Switching from Victim to Vulnerability - “When I’m owning my fragility I’m stepping into my own power - is burnout a case of persecuting myself for being vulnerable?
Pam’s Leadership Essentials: (01:10:50)
Clarity - Around knowing what I know, what I don’t know, what’s expected of me, what 3 things should I do today?
Collaboration - we are all in it, you can achieve so much more, when you involve others
Compassion - I like to think that people are doing the best they can. “Everybody is doing the best they can with what they know. If they know better, they’ll do better.” Pam is very happy to answer any questions, and can be contacted via us at: email@example.com
Other related content:
#7 What to do when you are taking work stress home?
In this weeks episode Rachael & John are joined by fellow Coach and future orientated Josie Mc Lean. They discuss just how we can all get involved in promoting the climate change initiative at an organisational level.
It’s no secret that leaders are turning their attention and expanding their horizons towards a more sustainable future. For some this a paradigm shift, for others it’s a natural progression that can no longer be ignored.
They discuss how coaches can be involved, spring-boarding off the Climate Coaching Alliance Org 24 hour world-wide event on 4th March 2021 which works on the Eco-Phase Cycle, which is based on Dr Peter Hawkins’ model from eco-curious to eco-active. To meet people where they are at - be it Curious, Informed, Aware, Engaged or Active.
To embark on a more sustainable leadership approach Josie recommends:
Pick your fights, there are some battles you cannot winFind friends to work with; you’ll be stronger togetherDon’t ever underestimate how much can be achieved with a small group of people, when you start taking action on what you really want to achieveJosie’s Leadership Essentials: (1:01:50)
This is not an “add-on” we can no longer ignore human behaviour towards the planet. This is now part of the business environment we are in.Embrace the uncertainty - stay with your vision and get comfortable in moving towards safer uncertaintyKeep asking: "Just how adaptable can we be?” Not to adapt once, but to adapt over and over.
In this weeks episode Rachael & John tackle a key leadership challenge of dealing with unconscious bias within the team. Drawing on the leadership experience of their past three podcast guests: Kevin Urrutia, Philip Grant and Céline Williams they combine their leadership essentials which offer a strategy towards improving decision making, problem solving and team unity.
Our ability to make intuitive, quick fire decisions is an essential part of navigating our everyday lives; yet the downside is that our brains often mis-read the clues leading to unconscious bias which frequently prevents team members from being truly open to the ideas and perspectives of others. It occurs when we make spontaneous judgments about people or situations based on our past experiences, culture, background or exposure to social and main stream media.
Constantly Curious - What could be different if we maintained a state of mind that was constantly questioning? What if we allow our employees to work how they want to work, and what interests them? What opportunities might we discover? (Kevin Urrutia) Considered - What about the impact of our behaviour on others? Everything starts from learning about yourself, and testing everything to destruction. What impact will your decisions have on the wider system? Taking some time to make and consider the impact of your decisions (Philip Grant)Critical Thinking - At times Teamwork should feel uncomfortable. If we decide to avoid conflict and challenge we settle for artificial harmony. As a Leader this presents a fantastic opportunity to create a safe space by having the courage to Role Model speaking with free-choice. (Céline Williams)
In the Coaching Approach (0:20:00) we catch up with the Senior Leadership Team whose teams are feeling siloed and whose leaders are not really communicating or behaving as a galvanised team. The issue of “trust within the team” is still of concern.
The common pro-nouns are “I” and “My,” where there is little focus on interests, or what is really important to the organisation as a whole, and not enough sharing of relevant information.
Team Coaching leads the team to think about their inter-dependancies and an effective way for them to solve their problems; they begin by sharing their individual stories, in an attempt to agree to a set of interests for the group.
In this weeks episode Rachael & John chat with Philip Grant. His work has taken him from British Eventing and International Polo to Secondary, & Further Education. We loved listening to his stories including meeting royalty and leading a team of 50,000 in the Middle East for Sheikh Mohammed.
We ask when does your career really start? Philip shares his story of learning to ride a horse when he was 14, something that shaped his entire life and leadership journey. We learn about the people who influenced him, what his fundamental view of leadership is, and why it’s important to test everything to destruction.
Understanding who you are and knowing what frightens you can be invaluable helping you through your whole life. He talks about how he approaches communication, the processes he use in building relationships, and what kind of environment a leader should create in order to help their team to do what they do best.
This is authentic leadership at its very best, leaving you with colourful images, memorable stories and a motivating legacy of what is possible.
Philip’s Leadership Essentials (1:09:00):
1. Take a long hard look in the mirror and get to know yourself. Spend time evaluating your values, understand your own unconscious biases. They’ll be useful keeping you in check and on balance
2. Share how you respond to things, be transparent and don’t be frightened about sharing your cognitive processes. Modelling those processes can be so helpful for others
3. Don’t believe your own hype - the greatest challenge is to be the same person in and out of “the leadership chair” Authentic Leadership at its core.
In this weeks episode Rachael & John chat with Kevin Urrutia. Based in New York, he is a true entrepreneur, always looking to learn and grow.
Kevin shares his story, from how he started as a Developer in Silicon Valley to now building five different businesses from scratch at just 31 years of age. Today Kevin’s main focus is on his latest creation Voy Media which is #1 for Facebook ads, helping brands scale at record speed with paid social.
John & Rachael talk to Kevin about where his entrepreneurial spirits comes from, how he continues to nurture it and his tips for budding entrepreneurs. As a leader of a successful SME today, with his team based all over the world we talk about how he makes this work to the benefit of clients, business and team members. And how he’s tackling the issue communication in a team made up of both extroverts and introverts while working remotely.
For those of you curious about what is possible, entrepreneurship and building a business based on passion and people this conversation with Kevin has a thought provoking message for you.
Kevin’s Leadership Essentials (42:14):
Committing to weekly meetings, especially needed when your work is over different time zonesPre-meeting notes keep us on track and people know what we all want to talk about. Using Asana to keep records for us works really wellEnsuring our team is aligned and that people agree and know what we all want for the company.Links from the show:
We are joined by Céline Williams Executive & Team Coach, founder of Revisionary based in Toronto, Canada. We chat about Team Coaching, and remote working with some great tips for working in a hybrid future. What are leaders concentrating on in these challenging times? Who are the members in your 1st team?
Constantly talking to people about holding a few thoughts in our minds at the same time - we are living in the “Grey”Transparency - let’s share all the information and make better decisionsOpposition - If we think of opposition is here to think critically they should be the most valuable part of they system because that’s how we get better. Yet we’ve created a system where the opposition is just “plain wrong”Team Coaching provides so much more context and provides helpful perspectives in moving people along individually and collectively as a teamFeedback - People have to be ready to receive itRemote working - awareness of other peoples individual remote environmentsRole of re-motional intelligence - what can I can control in a remote world when our assumptions are a thousand foldSetting better expectations of people, using ground rules and shared understanding of one anotherAsking better questions that are leading people away from your own assumptions is so usefulThe vortex of introspection; whilst it’s key to see what is happening to us, its where your growth edge is - you should make time to step out of this patternOn-line meetings have become an information dump, we are missing nuance, and need to be far more strategicCéline's Leadership Essentials: (1:32)
1. Being more committed to my own growth than to my comfort; this is where we really see change2. Critical thinking should be uncomfortable; if you’re constantly hearing what you want to hear, then that - is confirmation bias. What your hearing should not be reinforcing what you already think3. Introspection is vital for leaders - they must understand their own patterns of behaviour. Importantly do not get stuck in introspection.
In this weeks episode we take a deeper look at why we often confuse safety with certainty. Following on from last weeks conversation with Matt Lock we look at how we can help a team feel safer amid uncertain futures.
Using Matt’s Leadership Essentials we discuss a leaders choices illustrated by a couple of business scenarios. The first two; humility and courage are underpinned by the third which is all about adopting a curious mindset.
Matt’s Leadership Essentials:
Humility - open enough to know as a leader I’m probably part of the problemCourage - to step into being vulnerable and that there are no clear answersCuriosity - very true or fixed things, lets ask lots of questions and get different perspectives
In The Coaching Approach we return to our fictional organisation where we explore the concept of certainty from the perspectives of our characters George, John & Janet, and we also meet Jackson and Kim who are in a bind over forecasting the next 2 years when the future looks far from certain.
In today’s episode we are joined by Leadership Coach & Developer Matt Lock, whose career spans education, sport and business in the UK and New Zealand. We talk to Matt about an article he wrote in the Learning Scientist Magazine on Towards Safer Uncertainty. It’s a topic that has never been more relevant than in the world we find ourselves in today (as the UK enters a third national lockdown).
Matt explains that we tend to confuse safety with certainty. Believing that to be safe we need to be certain. Yet by realising we can be safe and uncertain, we can move into the domain of growth, exploration and learning. A fascinating territory for leaders to thrive in, and one that leads to more useful and appropriate ways forward. Matt argues that moving towards safer uncertainty is essential for next tier leaders - the leaders our businesses, organisations, and planet needs now.
Why the default position of 'It depends’ is a powerful place to start conversations.
To live a meaningful life we must Grow Up. Wake Up. Clean Up. Both as individuals and as organisations.
That when, as individuals and cultures, we recognise vulnerability as courage, we will make greater progress.
Accepting that things are always going to change, and that doing so leads to creativity and possibility.
How leaders can move Towards Safer Uncertainty using a framework for practice:
Staying curiously awakeConsciously creating safetyEmbracing uncertaintyLearning from lifeConnecting to the wider systemLearn about Matt’s three Leadership Essentials and why they are so important to leadership success.
HumilityCourageCuriosityLinks from the show: Matt’s Blog on Towards Safer Uncertainty. http://mattlock.co/article29.htmlMatt Lock Associates: http://mattlock.co/Matt: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattlockconsultancy/Can we work with complexication? Complicated and Complexed. Can we be curious enough to get into “complexication” even if it doesn’t give us convenient answers? Transformational Presence: https://alanseale.org/
In the final "Building Better Leaders" podcast of the year, Rachael and John and joined by Jan Iceton who shares her leadership journey and experiences.
Now Chair of Smart Works Greater Manchester, Jan has had a varied leadership career in positions in everything from FTSE50 global corporations to tech start-ups, working for corporate boards and for investors, and running her own consultancy business.
She talks about building teams that need to move quickly from A>B. With strong sales performance her Transformational Leadership style is suited to qualifying leads and delivering complexed, large value business outsourced process (BOP) contracts on-time.
Jan’s Leadership Essentials:
Create an inspiring vision of the futureMotivate & Inspire people to engage with that visionManage the delivery of the vision
Smart Works (Great Manchester) a national charity with 8 centres around the UK. They provide a unique service to unemployed, disadvantaged women by personally styling them in a high quality interview outfit followed by 121 coaching to prepare them to succeed at their upcoming interview, during lockdown all services were successfully and quickly adapted to be fully online. In the year ending March 2020, Smart Works Greater Manchester supported 420 women and 85% went on the "get the clothes, get the confidence, get the job".
Please show your support by joining their campaign to #givethegiftofchristmas and donate a small amount using the link below to help an unemployed woman gain the confidence and the skills she needs to succeed.
In this week’s episode John & Rachael discuss the phenomenal event that is the Vendéeglobe 2020; what leaders can learn from the longest, loneliest, most demanding race in the world, and how it’s inspired John to take on a physical challenge of his own - to run 5km every day for 70 days. They discuss the concept of finding inspiration in isolation. Of what it’s like to lead yourself and others in times when one might feel lonely or having your autonomy taken away in lockdown. How we all need to find new ways to challenge ourselves to increase our feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness (Self-determination theory) to sustain positive well-being. John’s Leadership Essentials: Resist the temptation to make statements, ask questions insteadWork with other people, go find and choose people who are different to you to keep growingWhen you’re wrong, just admit it. You’ve had your perspective altered - learn from it
As part of John's Vendéesaxton, inspired by the Vendéglobe we’ve also got a competition for you our podcast listeners to win two free coaching sessions, including a personalised values & anti- values assessment with a qualified executive coach, for five lucky winners to help you get 2021 off to the best start. Enter here
You can follow John’s 70 day journey on Instagram here Check out John’s sport inspired Leadership Essentials here
In this weeks episode Rachael & John interview Drew Povey; his love for leadership, infectious energy and effective communication style encourages learning in all of us.
Drew’s Leadership Essentials
1. Leaders have got to be learners2. Leaders have to take responsibility3. Leaders cannot care enough
Leadership language in a remote world
Books & Articles
Educating DrewThe Leadership FactorForbes: 3 ways leaders should make critical decisions - 3 A’sForbes: 3 ways to lead through the coronavirus crisis - 3 C’s
Drew talks to Tim Lovejoy – Educating Lovejoy Drew talks on - The Curved Mindset
Throughout the podcast Drew shares what he’s learned from other people, here’s a selection from the show that might interest you:
Steve Oakes VESPA MindsetPaul McGhee: SUMO Principles for kidsAndy Cope: The Art of being a brilliant teenager
Extended Reading and References for the curious:
Seth GodinEdgar ScheinSimon Sinek: Start with ‘Why”Jim Collins: Core PurposePatrick Lencioni: 5 Dysfunctions of a Team & The MotiveDaniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast & Thinking Slow Daniel Pink: WhenRobert Greenleaf: Servant leadershipCarol Dweck: Growth Mindset
In this weeks episode our Coaches tackle the thorny subject of Undiscussables; they take a curious look at why conversations that really need to happen, don't, and how leaders should go about it?
Our Leadership Essentials
Respect the fear that accompanies this exercise, always use a facilitatorReflect and take notice of your initial response to each undiscussable as you them read aloud - Listen for what is said, and not saidChallenge ideas and assumptions, not people. Be aware of untested attributions, especially of people’s motives. Discuss with your Coach about employing them in a facilitation role taking one undiscussable at a time.
The Facilitator Approach
If you are interested in learning about how a facilitator would approach this; you can listen to an example in our fictional organisation where an undiscussable issue is causing our CEO a real headache. Looking at this issue with questions posed by the Facilitator and the steps he takes our team through, show how it is possible to make everyone feel comfortable about solving the problem.
What do you do when your world falls apart? You make a decision to believe in yourself. Fascinating and inspiring interview with:
Kurt Ewald Lindley (@coachdeveloper) is founder of bemorelnd helping support lasting change and squeeze more from what's already there. He is also Captain of #LearningScientistMag a platform for a community of invested individuals talking all things people development.
Kurt's Leadership Essentials:
Don't be a dick! - Do good, be good, and good will happenManifest the future you desire to be a beacon of yourselfSolve, share and find your tribe
Kurt tells his story where after a devastating life event, he regards life as a choice, and how we respond to it. It's not all about winning, and beating others; there's always a loser and that could be you. People keep looking for the right answer and sometimes there isn't one, so why keep looking?
In this weeks episode Rachael and John discuss why goal setting is generally poor, outcomes disappointing leaving people feeling flat.
Research shows that goal focussed people live more accomplished, motivated and successful lives - the trick seems to have something to do with how they are set, and the type of conversations we have.
Our Leadership Essentials:
Understanding what goals must achieve: Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback and ComplexityGet familiar with the different types of goals (Process, Outcome, Performance & Mastery) and when to use themBeware of the dark-side of goal setting.
More Detail, Templates, & Tips
The Coaching Approach:
George discovers that his goal setting approach has delivered far reaching unintended consequences for his leadership team and its having a detrimental effect in his personal life too.
In this weeks show John catches up with the king of networking Keith Madeley MBE. Keith shares his leadership essentials and his story; from working on the railways, to the promotion of "The Cones" a series of children's books created and authored by his wife Chris.
Keith's Leadership EssentialsInvolving others; working as a teamReally listen to people, concentrate hard on them and not on youNetworking; get out there and go meet people - and don't give up!!
Keith has a genuine passion for people and persistence, he is happy for you to look him up on LInkedIN.