Episode #164 // We have two types of people who follow the No Bullsh!t Leadership podcast. The first, are leaders who love leadership and want to get better. The second, are people who are unwilling conscripts, as I call them.
They don't enjoy leadership and they're looking for some short-cuts that might alleviate the inherent misery they feel in having to lead others. Even if you're in the category of leaders who love leadership, I can guarantee that you have people working for you in...
Episode #163 // In this episode, Em and I cover three brilliant questions from past Leadership Beyond the Theory students! These questions are taken from the Deliver Value, Work at Level and Drive Accountability modules - three of our favourites.
Every week during the program, at the end of the weekly module, we run two live webinars. In these sessions, Em and I answer questions from the cohort so that each individual can put the learnings into their specific context.
One of the key...
Episode #162 // We get an unbelievable number of questions every month about how to manage up more effectively.
It’s important to make sure your boss doesn’t prevent you from performing at your best (or enjoying your work)!
So the dynamic you should be trying to create is to manage up to enhance performance, not just to feather your own nest. All too often, managing up becomes a Machiavellian game with a high body count, and the organization suffers tremendously as a result, in terms of...
Episode #161 // Today is the day, No Bullsh!t Leadership is officially published!
It’s been a long road (which you heard about in last week’s episode), and I couldn’t be more excited to get this piece of work out into the world and into the hands of leaders who have the courage to be better.
This episode is an [exclusive] replay of the official book launch event, where accomplished television presenter, keynote speaker and author, Riaz Meghji, dove into the nitty gritty with me in a...
Episode #160 // With the US publication of my book, No Bullsh!t Leadership on the horizon, we decided to dedicate this episode to tell the story of how the book journey unfolded, from start to finish.
There are some important takeaways from this tale, which I know you’ll be able to apply to your own career journeys. I talk in detail about the strategy, delivery, people, marketing, and PR aspects of the publishing process. I also expose some of the obstacles we had to overcome along the...
Episode #159 // With a hot labor market emerging in many countries at present, the threat of your people being headhunted by a competitor is increasing. What steps can you take to keep your people committed to your organization? Who should you be trying to retain, and why (because it’s NOT everyone!)?
Even when other companies are able to pay more for the same skills, there are things you can do to ensure you don’t lose your best people. But you may need to make some tough decisions pretty...
Episode #158 // Blaming others when something doesn’t go to plan is one of the most insidious (and unfortunately, most common) leadership behaviors.
Culturally, this is a cancer that has to be eradicated. When a leader tolerates the blame game as a part of the performance evaluation cycle, excuses become the norm, and organizational politics finds fertile ground.
In this episode, I look at how the blame game plays out in politics and business, and I revisit an old podcast episode that’s...
Episode #157 // Samantha Wills is an Australian designer, entrepreneur, and author, who achieved global prominence with her eponymous jewelry range. From humble beginnings, Samantha’s designs took the fashion industry by storm, with a host of global celebrities being photographed wearing her distinctive pieces.
Her new book, Of Gold and Dust, chronicles Samantha’s journey with her jewelry business, and gives us a no-holds-barred account of both the business and personal challenges she faced...
Episode #156 // I recently came across a new book called Return on Ambition: A Radical Approach to Your Achievement, Growth, and Well-Being. The book exposes a study on ambitious people, in which over half of those interviewed felt as though they’d sacrificed too much to get to where they were, and didn’t feel as though the rewards were commensurate with their effort and sacrifice.
This got me thinking about my own ambition, and how I felt about my career achievements and the energy it took...
Episode #155 // Earlier this month, the Tokyo Olympics provided a welcome distraction from some of the other pressing global issues that have dominated our attention for what seems like an eternity!
I couldn’t help but notice the stark leadership lessons that came from watching elite athletes striving to make their long-term vision a reality. These opportunities don’t come around often, so being on your game (on the day) is all-important. For these athletes and coaches, it’s a much less...
Episode #154 // As we start to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, and governments around the world loosen restrictions, business leaders are faced with the incredibly difficult task of working out how to get their businesses back to a relatively functional state.
The imposition of vaccination mandates has been big news in the US in the last few weeks, and major corporations are taking a variety of positions on this complex issue.
What are the right risk settings? What rules should be put...
Episode #153 // This Q&A episode deals with two excellent listener questions! The first, is about how to communicate the uncertainty of the current environment, while still making employees feel supported and secure. Sometimes, it can be tricky to find the balance between honesty and optimism.
In the second question, we explore how to manage your emotions when a new employee comes in, all shiny and keen, and casts a shadow over you. The contrast between their attitude and energy, and...
#152 // We get so many questions from listeners about career management and progression. I normally shuffle these to the back of the deck, purely because I always feel as though this isn’t my sweet spot - leadership is!
But, due to popular demand, I’ve decided to do an episode (with a little help from a friend). My special guest is Laurie Ruettimann, and this topic is absolutely her sweet spot! Laurie’s an ex-HR professional who became disillusioned with how organizations worked, and chose...
Episode #151 // I was being interviewed for a podcast in the US a few weeks ago, and the interviewer asked an excellent question: he said, “it’s all well and good when you talk about motivating professionals and senior leaders, but not everyone has jobs like that. How do you motivate people who have mundane, repetitive, and mind-numbing jobs?”
Although we tend to imagine occupations like cleaners, fruit pickers, and production line workers when we think about mundane jobs, we may have many...
Episode #150 // Our listener base incorporates leaders from a massive range of different circumstances and experiences…leaders in over 70 countries, in countless industries, leading at all levels, in organizations of all shapes and sizes.
That’s why not everyone gets the same things out of each episode - it’s obviously context dependent!
This episode attempts to bridge all of these worlds, by addressing the issue of organization size, and highlighting some of the differences you’ll face...
Episode #149 // Quite often, when we push back on a boss who wants us to take on more work, we’re told to “just do it”. Or sometimes, when we raise risks, issues, and problems with our boss, they gloss over or ignore them, and we’re told to “just do it”.
Given that the world’s leading athletic brand has the tagline, “Just Do It!”, I took to calling this type of leader the Nike Boss.
You don’t want to be that boss, and you certainly don’t want to work for that boss. This episode gives both...
Episode #148 // Everyone has different levels of mental capability, emotional capacity, resilience, drive, and ambition. To make things even harder, on any given day these can vary for an individual, depending on what’s going on in their world. What works today may not work next Friday.
Knowing what this means for each of your direct reports at any given point in time, is the baseline for understanding how far you can stretch them (without breaking them)!
In this episode, I explore why...
Episode #147 // In this episode we have another couple of great questions to work through! First we’ll deal with how to manage the fallout of peer envy. There’s no doubt that when you start to rise above the pack, the pack will try to pull you back to them (especially in Australia - say hello to Tall Poppy Syndrome).
I saw a lot of these situations in my corporate career, and watched some people deal with this better than others! I’ll be sharing with you what I think works best.
Episode #146 // Regardless of the size of business you’re in, one of your primary objectives is to prepare for the future. This means ensuring that you have the talent and capability in place so that, if something untoward happens to you or one of your key people, your business doesn’t skip a beat.
So how do you actually ensure you have stability and continuity in your talent, especially in a micro-business where your options can be limited?
Knowing your people, the market, and what...
Episode #145 // We spend a lot of time talking about the difficult elements of leadership, and how to overcome them. Mastery of the right habits, behaviors, and mindset is crucial if you want to have a successful and happy career.
But what about having fun at work? Let’s face it - we have very serious jobs, doing very serious work for our very serious stakeholders. But it doesn’t mean that every interaction has to be deathly serious! Knowing when and how to lighten the mood is a delicate...
Episode #144 // Since Covid, it has become a lot more difficult to attract and retain the right talent (which is a little counterintuitive, given how many people’s livelihoods were affected during the pandemic). But government stimulus measures in many countries have distorted labour markets.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to secure quality candidates, it’s important to understand how to secure the right capability at the front end. Let’s face it, you just want to hire the best person...
Episode 143 // Some companies have turned the concept of believing your own bullsh!t into an art form! It’s really easy to convince ourselves that we are achieving amazing things when, in actual fact, very little is changing.
The Emperor’s New Clothes, the classic fairytale from Hans Christian Andersen, is a wonderful metaphor for this. Leaders often pretend that they’re in control, that they have all the answers. They even convince themselves that they’re excellent leaders, whom people...
Episode #142 // When tech firm Basecamp released some new company policies, around a third of their people resigned (hey, it’s only a small business, but even so)! What’s all the fuss about?
These fairly innocuous changes made by co-founder and CEO, Jason Fried, drew clearer lines between social and work-related interactions, and set some boundaries that Basecamp deems appropriate.
So how much should we let our people integrate their social and political interests with the work they’re...
Episode #141 // Understanding risk, and being able to respond in a manner that’s both appropriate and proportional to the level of risk is a fundamental capability for leaders.
When we talk about judgement in leadership and decision making, a lot of it comes down to how well we can assess and respond to risk, given the uncertainty that faces us at any given point in time.
This episode brings the discipline of risk management to life, with a number of examples that take the mystery out of...
Episode 140 // In this week’s Q&A, we’re going to cover two questions about the subtle art of managing upwards and how to deal with a passive aggressive boss.
We do get an awful lot of questions about how to deal with those leaders above you, so much so that we’re actually planning out a mini-course about it!
In the meantime, the two questions we’ve chosen for this episode cover the main issues that we see. The first question from Genevieve is about how to influence upwards when you...