Leadership toolbox: how to build self-awareness

A cartoon of a person walking a dog. The person's thought-bubble is full of music, other people, cars, work etc, while the dog's thought bubble shows only the scene they are walking in.
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Self-awareness is a key life and leadership skill. At its most basic level, self-awareness is about developing your knowledge and understanding of yourself, and being able to access that knowledge and understanding in real-time to help you better navigate your life.

Its benefits include:

Read more

Leadership Toolbox: getting to grips with empathy

Photo of two women talking while sitting on beanbags
Reading Time: 5 minutes

In my first Leadership Toolbox post, I talked about the importance of self-care for leaders. Self-care involves turning our attention inward, to manage our own wellbeing.

In this post, I’ll be talking about the tool of empathy, which helps us turn our attention outward, to understand and connect with those around us. In a future post, I’ll share tips for how to increase your levels of empathy, and how to apply empathy “in the wild”, to grow your relationships and increase your effectiveness as a communicator and leader.

Read more

Leadership Toolbox: what we need to know for living with complexity

Abstract art - lines of blue, green and white light criss-crossing a dark background
Reading Time: 13 minutes

There’s a lot going on in the world right now. We are seeing a massive global response to the COVID-19 virus, the likes of which we don’t often see. Things are changing daily, if not hourly, as a result of both the spread of the coronavirus and national and local responses to the evolving situation.

In some ways, what is happening with coronavirus is a perfect example of the kind of complex world in which we now live, where the goalposts are constantly shifting, threats seem to be escalating on an hourly basis, and no one really knows what will happen next. This complexity can make it feel like we’re fighting battles every day, leaving us feeling exhausted and pushing us away from creativity and connection.

So, how do we make sense of the world around us, and navigate complexity while keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy, and ready to do good work? In this article, I share some knowledge and resources that have helped me at different times – and I’m sure something here will help you too!

Read more

Leadership Toolbox: how to create a self-care plan

Gold text on black background: "She believed she could, so she did (but first, she took a nap)"
Reading Time: 7 minutes

As leaders, we need a comprehensive toolbox to succeed in our roles. I’ll be publishing a series of posts on leadership tools in coming months, so keep an eye out! I am starting this series with self-care because I believe it is the single most important tool for our toolbox.

It may feel like an entirely “selfish” practice because we are turning our energy towards ourselves, rather than directly serving those we lead. But there’s a reason that airline safety videos tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. A good self-care practice supports our wellbeing, allowing us to live a more awesome life, doing all the great things we dream of, and enjoying ourselves for many years to come.

Read more

Success – what matters more, talent or hard work?

Two sparklers held in a hand against a dark background
Reading Time: 6 minutes

We live in a culture that worships talent as the path to success. Have you heard people describe someone at the top of their game as a “freak”, a “genius”, or a “natural”? Or heard their performance described as “effortless” or “magical”? We come unstuck when we believe that natural talent is the key to success; so why are we biased towards this idea, and what can we do about it?

Read more