Episodes
Episode #207 // Transparency in leadership is a huge topic! Virtually every leadership pundit on the planet will tell you what an important quality transparency is for a leader to possess. And they’d be right! But it isn’t black and white… there’s an incredible amount of nuance and judgment in this subject.   This episode looks at transparency from the macro level (companies and countries), right down to the day-to-day complexities you face in determining the right level of transparency to...
Published 08/16/22
Episode #206 // The very first episode that we decided to lead out with on the No Bullsh!t Leadership podcast was Respect Before Popularity! We figured that, if we only ever released one episode, we wanted to expose leaders to this concept, above all others. And it turns out that it’s actually still our most popular episode.   So today, I want to revisit that very first episode, and give you an updated version that’s even more accessible… Let’s face it, my delivery in those early episodes was...
Published 08/09/22
Published 08/09/22
Episode #205 // Every piece of content we produce focuses on the link between leadership and performance. Value creation is the name of the game, so knowing what value is in your context is a prerequisite to delivering it.   But, despite our laser-like focus, many of our podcast listeners work in organizations that have a very different view on performance. And many of those organizations reward people for not making waves, rather than rewarding them for making a difference.   No culture is...
Published 08/02/22
Episode #204 // Adventurer and TV personality, Bear Grylls, (protagonist of the docuseries, Man Vs. Wild) said in an interview, “You have to come alive in the big moments... When it's NOT a big moment, you don't need to be front and centre, but when it's a big moment--BE THERE!”   That’s pretty powerful. Over the years, I’ve found it to be a defining characteristic of the best leaders I’ve seen. That’s when all the talk stops, and you get to see what people are really made of. Because you...
Published 07/26/22
Episode #203 // Episode #85 of the podcast addressed one of the most important (but often misunderstood) business fundamentals: “Strategy isn’t hard: don’t overcomplicate it”. It demystified some of the core elements of competitive strategy and, hopefully, it served to make strategy a little more accessible.   I’m now shifting the focus to look at disruptive innovation. How do you defend against something you often can’t predict or anticipate? How can you prepare for and respond to disruptive...
Published 07/19/22
Episode #202 // Despite the very vocal and public focus on Diversity & Inclusion in the last 10+ years, it still appears to be a huge struggle for most organizations. It seems that the inertia created by the entrenched structures, processes, and attitudes is way harder to overcome than anyone might have imagined.   When it comes to diversity, many countries, industries, and businesses have put rules in place to encourage speed of adoption, and to accelerate the rate of change… once again,...
Published 07/12/22
Episode #201 // I recently came across two articles on the role that purpose plays in your career. The first, by Marcus Buckingham, proposed the idea that finding a career with purpose is actually a lie. The second, by Tom Rath, argued that without purpose, there will be negative consequences for your long-term prosperity, happiness, and wellbeing.   Which of these is true? Are both true to some extent?   It feels as though purpose has become a panacea—“Follow your purpose”, we’re told. These...
Published 07/05/22
Episode #200 // When Em and I started the No Bullsh!t Leadership podcast in September 2018, we spent a lot of time thinking about how we would ensure that our message would stand out in the never-ending tsunami of leadership content. We wanted our content to be clear, no bullsh!t and practical. This might sound easy if you say it fast enough, but creating content about the complexities of navigating the workplace as a leader is incredibly difficult to do in 15-20 minutes without...
Published 06/28/22
Episode #199 // In the last 20 years, employee engagement has become the dominant method of understanding and measuring job satisfaction. There are a number of well-worn engagement surveys, which have global reach and lots of historical data that can be used for benchmarking and statistical analysis.   Many companies run an annual engagement survey, and pay close attention to the results, as if it were a key predictor of people performance. Some even reward their leaders based on improvements...
Published 06/21/22
Episode #198 // The great resignation is in full swing, and this is causing a shortage of people in the labor market…which in turn, is pushing up wages…which in turn, is increasing the cost of doing business.   From the other side, the squeeze is coming in the form of higher inflation…which leads to higher input costs…which leads to companies raising their prices…which leads to reduced demand for their products and services.   These market forces are making it harder for companies to remain...
Published 06/14/22
Episode #197 // I first outlined one of my most important leadership philosophies in Ep.14: Friendly, But Not Friends. Since then, a few things have changed…    We’ve listened to over 1,000 leaders, who’ve taken our flagship program, Leadership Beyond the Theory; societal standards have changed (yes, believe it or not, in only 3 or 4 years); Covid has come and (sort-of) gone; and I’ve been challenged by many leaders who’ve told me that they completely disagree with my Friendly, Not Friends...
Published 06/07/22
Episode #196 // It may surprise you to learn that organizations across the globe spend over US $370 billion annually on leadership development programs. This doesn’t include the millions of other leadership resources that we tap into each day: books, podcasts, networking groups, websites, blogs, social media posts… the content is literally everywhere you turn.   But despite this, none of it seems to move the needle. Leadership appears to be in as poor a state as it’s ever been, and people...
Published 05/31/22
Episode #195 // Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.  Communication is an incredibly important element of leadership. How you talk to your team… how you deliver a presentation when you’re in a room full of important people… how well you connect one-on-one with your direct reports… these are just a few situations that can have a huge bearing on your performance, and your personal credibility. Knowing how to convey complex information in a...
Published 05/24/22
Episode #194 // In last week’s Q&A episode with Em, I mentioned the revival of the entrepreneur in the context of the Great Resignation: there’s a growing trend for people exiting permanent jobs to start their own businesses. This episode dives below the surface to examine this phenomenon more deeply. Are entrepreneurs truly happier than wage-earning employees? If so, why? Are the longer hours, higher stress levels, and lower earnings compensated by the autonomy and purpose that come with...
Published 05/17/22
Episode #193 // A lot of businesses are finding it extremely challenging to operate in the volatility of a hot labor market. Despite the hundreds of podcasts, blogs, and articles that are published daily about The Great Resignation, there doesn’t seem to be an oversupply of solutions (other than the vague notion that you need to focus on your people and keep them happy in order to retain them).   In many cases, “keep them happy” equates to “pay them more”. This can have significant...
Published 05/10/22
Episode #192 // We frequently hear about cognitive biases, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of gender, race, and sexual orientation. But our inbuilt biases operate much more broadly than this, and they can have a disproportionate influence on the outcomes we experience if we don’t develop a keen awareness of them.   In this episode, I explore some of the biases that limit our self-awareness and affect our judgment, and even some that straight-up deceive us.    As you...
Published 05/03/22
Episode #191 // Many leaders inadvertently behave in a hypocritical way when they take a “do as I say, not as I do” approach. Sometimes, this is the result of a deep sense of entitlement in senior leaders, who are quite happy to set a standard for their people that they have no intention of observing themselves.    But many of us are simply oblivious to our own behaviors, and we aren’t in tune with what other people see. We genuinely think that we’re behaving in accordance with the standards...
Published 04/26/22
Episode #190 // After the recent untimely passing of Foo Fighters’ drummer, Taylor Hawkins, I came across an article in Rolling Stone magazine. It was Hawkins’ last live interview, and I was struck by a few incredible leadership lessons about fear of failure, strong leadership, and teamwork.   In today’s episode, I not only want to pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins (who was one of my favorite drummers), but also to take the learnings from the unexpected world of rock music to illustrate some...
Published 04/19/22
Episode #189 // The term 'Transformation' can mean a lot of different things. I’ve seen it used to describe everything from a new IT system, to a simple cost cutting exercise, right through to a complete change in strategic direction and organizational structure.   However it’s defined, and whatever you want to call it, the unfortunate truth is that your transformation is unlikely to succeed. A research report recently released by McKinsey suggests that most transformations fail to deliver...
Published 04/12/22
Episode 188 // People make mistakes all the time, and leaders are people! More often than not, when a leader makes an honest mistake, everyone just moves on and leaves it behind with no fanfare or post mortem.   But there are times when it’s appropriate for a leader to stand up and say, “Hey, I got this wrong, and I’m sorry”.   Do this too much, and you can appear weak, ineffective, and indecisive. Do it too little, and you can seem arrogant, disconnected, and out of touch! To complicate...
Published 04/05/22
Episode 187 // In a recent episode, we explored the continuing decline in mental health, and how it can affect a leader’s role. It’s a sensitive topic, and if this were the only disruptive trend we were experiencing, that would be enough to add to the tremendous load that leaders already carry.    But there are plenty of other issues to contend with: pandemic uncertainty… physical dislocation of people and teams… changes in societal standards and expectations…   This may explain, at least to...
Published 03/29/22
Episode #186 // After being inundated with questions about our upcoming cohort of Leadership Beyond the Theory, we thought it would be useful to produce an episode for you to assess your current leadership capability.   By working through the 7 imperatives of my No Bullsh!t Leadership framework, you’ll be able to quickly determine where your blind spots are. What areas could you further develop, if you’re serious about reaching your full potential as a leader?   This is an exercise in...
Published 03/22/22
Episode 185 // TW. Today’s episode is about mental health in the workplace, so if you are currently struggling with trauma or any other mental health-related issue, I will be discussing my perspective on this topic, hopefully to educate and enlighten leaders who are struggling with it. It may be triggering for some people. I am not a doctor or mental health expert, I’m just speaking from my own experiences. If you need someone to talk to, please Google your local mental health hotline and...
Published 03/15/22
Episode #184 // Have you ever faced a situation where you were being paid to do a job, but your heart simply wasn’t in it? Even as an individual contributor it’s not a good look… but as a leader it can be almost impossible to get away with.  In this Q&A, Em and I discuss the difficulties of maintaining your leadership mojo when you aren’t aligned to your organization’s direction—and, of course, we offer some practical tips for overcoming the problem. We also answer a great question on how...
Published 03/08/22