As we say farewell to April I’ve been reflecting on the thoughts, ideas, discussions and adventures I’ve had throughout the month. The long Easter holiday created a welcome pause early on in the month and I hope you were able to benefit from some down time, rest and chocolate. For me, it’s been a month of taking stock, doing new things, planning ahead for the next 6 months, thinking about the branding and marketing of Knowing Self Knowing Others, and envisioning what scaling-up might look like.
The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
Tracy talked about how the behaviours of others impact on our stress levels, how people leave people not organisations and conversely how people are attracted to people: if you have a good reputation you’ll attract the best people. It’s very sad to see organisations loosing skilled people due to blissful ignorance of their impact through a lack of self awareness. Tracy also talked about the skills of social leaders, that feedback is a gift to be valued, and how leaders who demonstrated humility, engagement and awareness rose to the fore during COVID. She concluded with the powerful message that leaders are jacks of all trades and masters of none and need to be vulnerable in order open themselves up to the strengths of others. Listen to the episode here.
In conversation with Liam, we talked about how risk on the battlefield comes from everywhere which is a good analogy for self awareness, and asked whether ignorance really is bliss. We also talked about leadership being the art, skills and behaviours of motivating others, that leaders should not only be found at all levels but should be cultivated at all levels, and that the best leaders push authority and information down through the organisation. We agreed that if an organisation is doing well, it’s probably down to leadership, and if an organisations isn’t doing very well, it’s probably down to….leadership! We considered the problem with sugar coating feedback to senior colleagues and the fear of reprisal, and Liam shared this brilliant quote by Robert Breault,
“Know thyself, or at least keep renewing the acquaintance”
On the Other Side of the Mic
I was delighted to join the brilliant Dr. Gerrit Pelzer and Martin Aldergård on Second Crack – The Leadership Podcast this month. We delved into the ideas about self aware leadership and I drew from my research, experience of the world of work and what I’d learnt from discussions with my podcast guests. Take a listen to our discussion here
April Book Review
In April I released my review of ‘I Have The Watch’ by Jon Rennie and ‘Dare to Lead’ by Brené Brown. I Have The Watch is written from experience and you can really sense that from the examples shared and the language used through the book. The focus of the book is leading people, with a particular emphasis on people that have been in the world of work for a long time and people that have been together in teams for a long time. It feels like a book that would be most useful to people taking on big managerial roles for the first time. You can buy all 3 of Jon’s books here. To hear more from Jon, listen to the discussion I had with him on The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast or head to the Deep Leadership Podcast, hosted by Jon
‘Dare to Lead‘ is both amazing and exhausting. I read it on holiday whilst lying on a sun lounger next to a pool and I still felt like I needed a lie down. Page after page there’s a new insight, a new definition, and a new model to get your head around. It’s gigantic! The book is set out in 4 parts: rumbling with vulnerability’ (a cards-on-the-table, open and honest discussion which might raise difficult topics where you need to hang in there to problem solve); values; trust; and part 4 – putting it all into practice. On the face of it, this is a book, but actually, I think it’s more of a movement. And I’m happy to be moved by it. Go to the Dare to Lead Hub for supporting material.
Remember that all of my book reviews are available as audio-visuals on my YouTube channel
The Watercooler Event
Had a brilliant day connecting with an array of professionals passionate about wellbeing in the workplace at the Watercooler Event in the ExCeL London at the end of the month. I spoke to lots of people about their services, spent some time on the Zen Bus, appreciated the seated massage, took away lots of information and I’m looking forward to connecting further with a number of people. More photos on #Instagram. Please pop over and tag yourself!
Daring to Write
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most exciting thing to happen this month was my coaching session with the amazing Steph Caswell of Creating Happy Writers, author of Dare to Write and host of the Creating Happy Writers Podcast.
You’ll have already worked out from my posts that I’ve been thinking about writing a book for a very long time, 2016 to be exact! When I started my doctorate, I knew I wanted to produce something useful at the end of it. The first part of that was my blog, then came the podcast and now – the book! Steph is a Book Coach who’s helping me choreograph and plan my writing journey because, if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, do it with friends!
I’ll keep you up to date on how it’s all going and I’ll probably call on you a few times over the next few months to help me out with the look, feel and name. But until then, its pens poised, pencils sharpened, thesaurus on the side, Trello as a shortcut and Steph on speed-dial. Head down and here we go!!!
Forward View to May…
May is peppered with bank holidays in the UK, meaning that 3 out of the 5 weeks of the month are 4-day working weeks for me. More time to get down to writing my book! It’s also my husband’s birthday and I’ll be taking a trip home to westernmost Wales to visit my lovely Mum and Dad (train strikesallowing!). My discussion with Niamh Hannan on The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast will be live on 8 May and my discussion with Perry Timms will be live on 28 May.
Have a great month and look forward to having you on my learning journey!