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What do we need to unlearn to lead well?
Episode 108th February 2024 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
00:00:00 00:41:12

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Have you heard about unlearning? It sounds like the opposite of what we are all about here at How To Take The Lead - learning, growth and development. But understanding what we need to unlearn as leaders is key to that growth and development.

In this episode we cover:

  • what we mean by the concept of unlearning
  • why unlearning a crucial part of our leadership journeys
  • how you know what you need to unlearn in order to improve
  • Seeking feedback and engaging others in your unlearning

As it's the last episode of this series you can also hear our highlights from series 4. Both of us particularly loved the conversation about self-leadership.

Resources and helpful links

About How to Take the Lead

How to Take the Lead is a show exploring all things leadership.

Every episode we explore a different part of life as a leader, questioning everything we've ever learnt and sharing a few of our own stories along the way.

If you want to learn how to do leadership your own way, join hosts Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade as they debunk myths, tackle stereotypes and generally put the leadership world to rights.

Get involved

If you enjoyed this episode why not subscribe to the podcast. We would love it if you left us a rating or review and feel free to share the link to this episode with anyone else you think would find it interesting.

If you want to watch this episode, subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss out.

And you can be a part of our Substack community, where you can get extra bonus goodies, network with a community of leaders and get direct access to us both.

We're also over on Instagram for more behind the scenes, news and views.

Plus if you want to work with us to challenge and change leadership in your organisation get in touch by dropping us an email howtotakethelead@gmail.com or DM us on the socials.

Transcripts

Lee Griffith:

And I've got a lovely Bear Island gin and tonic

Lee Griffith:

so so put really annoying ice cubes in yes sorry char editor

Lee Griffith:

apologies

Unknown:

yeah sorry

Lee Griffith:

to complain about

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: sorry Scott I'll maybe try not to drink it

Lee Griffith:

on the way through I have a big slurp now like and then not have

Lee Griffith:

any till the end when we do a little cheers they go That's

Lee Griffith:

That's my promise sorry Scott sorry.

Lee Griffith:

Welcome to how to take the lead the podcast where

Lee Griffith:

we challenge the myths and stereotypes of what it means to

Lee Griffith:

be a leader today and help you to succeed in post without

Lee Griffith:

compromise. I'm Lee Griffith

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: and I'm Carrie-Ann Wade and together we

Lee Griffith:

will be your guides question everything we've ever learned

Lee Griffith:

about leadership sharing our experiences along the way and

Lee Griffith:

inspiring you to make a real impact in your role visit how to

Lee Griffith:

take the lead.com For show notes past episodes and

Lee Griffith:

join our community

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: enjoy this episode. Welcome listeners to

Lee Griffith:

what is oh I love the jazz hands there for those who not watching

Lee Griffith:

on YouTube Lee was doing some very fabulous jazz hands in a

Lee Griffith:

very fabulous outfit I have to say well,

Lee Griffith:

so can we just have a moment first per said

Lee Griffith:

outfit because this you might recognize that I paid a bloody

Lee Griffith:

fortune for for Karianna wedding and asked to wear suits

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I do recognize and it looks gorgeous. And it's

Lee Griffith:

bringing back all the memories.

Lee Griffith:

I thought we were we got shortlisted for an awards

Lee Griffith:

recently.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: Just Just lay drop that in there.

Lee Griffith:

I know. And I thought perfect I'll get another

Lee Griffith:

way and my pound per weight ratio can be reduced by wearing

Lee Griffith:

its knees out thing and then that was too trendy and I

Lee Griffith:

couldn't wear this It wasn't to say like it's it's yeah, she

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: well, because Welcome to What is the last

Lee Griffith:

episode of this series. So we've gone celebrate every like Ender

Lee Griffith:

series kind of wrap party mode where we just get dressed up.

Lee Griffith:

Let's have a little drinky poo. We haven't done that in a long

Lee Griffith:

while on how to take the lead episode so I'm quite glad that

Lee Griffith:

we've bought this celebratory drinks back and mentioned in my

Lee Griffith:

wedding another little plug for my wedding which was the last

Lee Griffith:

series of take the lead we were talking about having the wedding

Lee Griffith:

I think or just having had the wedding and this one it was last

Lee Griffith:

year how has that happened? Getting ready for the first

Lee Griffith:

wedding anniversary soon.

Lee Griffith:

I've got a lovely burger Island gin and tonic. So

Lee Griffith:

so put really annoying ice cubes in yes sorry. Editor apologies

Lee Griffith:

Yeah, sorry to complain about sorry Scott.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I'll maybe try not to drink it on the way

Lee Griffith:

through I have a big slap now like and then not have any till

Lee Griffith:

the end when we do a little cheers. There you go. That's

Lee Griffith:

That's my promise. Sorry, Scott. Sorry. So yes, so our last

Lee Griffith:

episode of this series of how to take the lead or the Bear Island

Lee Griffith:

vibes going on with the dress and the gin which I'm loving and

Lee Griffith:

we coordinate No, we didn't. So that's just a weird little thing

Lee Griffith:

that has happened a bit. Okay, folding into one another. Yeah,

Lee Griffith:

we did promise that something we attended recently that we do do

Lee Griffith:

stuff separately as well. We don't always come as a pair but

Lee Griffith:

you know,

Lee Griffith:

with with the modern day chanson de choco

Lee Griffith:

brothers, you name your duo. Yes.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: And you Yeah, whatever. Do you have choice

Lee Griffith:

you'd like maybe share that on socials get in touch tell us

Lee Griffith:

which, which famous duo you'd most likeness to I'm always

Lee Griffith:

going front and deck but that's only for the photoshoot moments.

Lee Griffith:

So if you know you know, if you've been on the instinct,

Lee Griffith:

you'll know that but anyhow, we digress, we digress. That happy

Lee Griffith:

end of series five going on here. And and before I get into

Lee Griffith:

the main topic of conversation, obviously just reminding people

Lee Griffith:

that we are on all of the podcast platforms. So whichever

Lee Griffith:

is your favorite. You can listen to us there you can subscribe so

Lee Griffith:

we drop straight into your inbox when new episodes land. We are

Lee Griffith:

also on YouTube if you'd like to watch us along the way rather

Lee Griffith:

than just listen. And we are on substack so there will be an

Lee Griffith:

article with every episode as well as some in between musings,

Lee Griffith:

which will give you more exclusive content thoughts, all

Lee Griffith:

of that kind of jazz over on substack and on the socials. Do

Lee Griffith:

let us know which duo we most remind you of is going to be the

Lee Griffith:

Chuckle brothers isn't it? Over on our Instagram you can catch

Lee Griffith:

up with us there leave a comment DM so I think that's everything

Lee Griffith:

I need to share by way of starting have I forgotten

Lee Griffith:

anything they

Lee Griffith:

no no all this good. Fabulous.

Unknown:

I just feel you're very regal sat there. I feel like I

Unknown:

don't know I feel like you're Yeah, I'm loving it.

Unknown:

I'm loving this vibe. It's like a new kind of world Karianne

Unknown:

dynasty kind of

Lee Griffith:

vibe going on. But then yeah, my path and my path.

Unknown:

Sorry. Oh, slight end of term vibes here. So,

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: so we will get on with this last conversation

Unknown:

of series. And it's, I don't I don't want to say a weird one

Unknown:

because that's not really selling it to listeners. But

Unknown:

what we what we were planning to talk about is what so we're all

Unknown:

about the learning, we're all about the improving, but what we

Unknown:

wanted to talk about was what you might need to unlearn in

Unknown:

order to be a better leader. So that is the topic of

Unknown:

conversation for this final episode. And I think it's

Unknown:

potentially quite easy to get a bit set in our ways. As a

Unknown:

leader, we talk a lot about pushing outside of our comfort

Unknown:

zone, but most of us know where we feel like we operate,

Unknown:

possibly at our best, but definitely are our most

Unknown:

comfortable. And as listeners will know, we are all about

Unknown:

challenging that status quo. And we think it's really important

Unknown:

to consider what things we might need to unlearn in order to

Unknown:

better ourselves in that leadership space. So that's what

Unknown:

we're going to talk about this episode and Lee I'm gonna throw

Unknown:

it over to you like sort of pen at the ready poised to give us

Unknown:

some good content here.

Unknown:

What exactly do we over promise and

Lee Griffith:

under deliver Now come on, we're

Unknown:

going for it. We're going through what what

Unknown:

exactly do we mean by this phrase,

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: unlearn because I'm hearing it a bit more now in

Unknown:

the leadership space, but it does feel like a sort of term

Unknown:

that maybe people haven't been used to hearing so so what do we

Unknown:

mean by unlearning,

Lee Griffith:

judo? Just as an aside, you're right. I've heard

Lee Griffith:

this term a lot. And I've been reflecting on it a lot. But I

Lee Griffith:

used it for the first time about probably about nine to 10 months

Lee Griffith:

ago, and I hadn't really heard it. Well, I hadn't heard of it

Lee Griffith:

before. Because I did think I invented that word.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: Well say straight from the horse's mouth.

Lee Griffith:

And this is going to be good response to the question,

Lee Griffith:

because I was doing some like reflection,

Lee Griffith:

coaching practice. And I was like, God feels like I've always

Lee Griffith:

got to unlearn what it is that I was taught. And I genuinely

Lee Griffith:

thought that this was a brand new word that I had created. And

Lee Griffith:

I was, you know, going back to the thought leader,

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: just sit you like, well ahead of the time.

Lee Griffith:

And then it's like, literally everywhere. And now Now I don't

Lee Griffith:

know how I feel. So I was loving the word. Now I'm feeling like,

Lee Griffith:

oh, is it just one of those corporate BS? buzzwords, and I

Lee Griffith:

don't like it. And I'm feeling really torn, because like,

Lee Griffith:

there's a pride that I invented. I was about Yes, I was about to

Lee Griffith:

say it's this level of feeling torn, because you're a bit

Lee Griffith:

disappointed that you didn't invent, invent it. So obviously

Lee Griffith:

thinking about the bias that you might have in that, but for the

Lee Griffith:

sake of this episode, we've gone with unlearn. So what do we mean

Lee Griffith:

by the term unlearn? And when you first introduced that to the

Lee Griffith:

leadership worldly? What did you mean specifically by unlearning?

Lee Griffith:

Well, I think for me, it's always been about

Lee Griffith:

giving myself permission to let go of old thinking, or actions.

Lee Griffith:

In order to make space for new stuff. And kind of referencing

Lee Griffith:

the point use you said at the beginning about, we're all about

Lee Griffith:

the learning and taking on new things, you know, our brains,

Lee Griffith:

our emotions, every will like a computer hard drive will get

Lee Griffith:

full up, we've got to let some stuff go to let the new things

Lee Griffith:

come in. Otherwise, we've got overwrite or delete, or

Lee Griffith:

something's got to happen in order for us to develop I think,

Lee Griffith:

the

Unknown:

show you did an issue. You didn't invent this, because

Unknown:

I really loved that. I was like, Yes, Lee,

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I'm loving this whole analogy. Absolutely. For

Unknown:

me, it was about that evolution, say, you know, it might be about

Unknown:

your mindset, it might be about changing behaviors. And it

Unknown:

doesn't always mean stopping something, I don't think

Unknown:

although it absolutely might. But it is about that growth and

Unknown:

that evolution towards a new, hopefully better way of being.

Unknown:

And I was

Lee Griffith:

I was struggling a little bit with this with the

Lee Griffith:

notion of you know, you're you're letting go of old

Lee Griffith:

thinking, because I think when we say that we often think, oh,

Lee Griffith:

it's out of date and outdated. And we when we talk about

Lee Griffith:

leadership, challenges and change things you want to

Lee Griffith:

change. We talk about the old way of bleeding and we do mean

Lee Griffith:

that in the kind of outdated modes and I don't necessarily

Lee Griffith:

mean that when I say old here, because I don't really think

Lee Griffith:

that that is the case, but I think it's It's about making

Lee Griffith:

sure we don't get stuck, or we're being held back by things.

Lee Griffith:

And because that's the way we've been taught, we should do it. So

Lee Griffith:

there's a whole like neuroscience thing behind it,

Lee Griffith:

which is, if you keep doing the same things over time, you

Lee Griffith:

become resistant to change. And so working on undoing or

Lee Griffith:

unlearning helps you to create the little neural pathways,

Lee Griffith:

reset them. Yeah. And we get to grow and helps us be more

Lee Griffith:

innovative and all of that kind of stuff. So, and

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: it's a bit like that. It's the whole habit

Lee Griffith:

forming thing, isn't it with the neuroscience that actually if

Lee Griffith:

you want to give up a bad habit, you almost have to create a new

Lee Griffith:

one to take the place and redirect the pathway to stop you

Lee Griffith:

from having the gin and tonic with the ice cubes in or

Lee Griffith:

whatever, whatever it might be. And the more times you practice

Lee Griffith:

it, the more that becomes the kind of more updated way of

Lee Griffith:

doing things. So say yeah, brilliant. I love that. Thank

Lee Griffith:

you, Lee. So we

Lee Griffith:

like the Apple operating system where we just

Lee Griffith:

like variations just slightly improving every time. Yeah. And

Lee Griffith:

loving for we get dumped by our husbands and replaced by a

Lee Griffith:

younger model of like, when Apple bring out a new version. I

Lee Griffith:

don't know why I said that. No, I've had that happen. And can I

Lee Griffith:

just say,

Unknown:

No, this time round? Yeah.

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I love it. Say it's only taken how many series

Unknown:

for my title oversharer to come out. So moving this on before

Unknown:

this turns into a therapy session, rather than something

Unknown:

more useful for our listeners. I thought it might be helpful

Unknown:

though this may well become therapy. To be honest. I thought

Unknown:

it might be helpful, perhaps to give some examples from our own

Unknown:

experiences, about things. And this is to make it tangible. And

Unknown:

something that people can feel and see is real. What things

Unknown:

might we have had to unlearn in our careers. So I'm delving a

Unknown:

bit here and digging Lee, so feel free to share what you're

Unknown:

most comfortable sharing. But have there been specific things

Unknown:

that you can almost pinpoint gain? Yeah, I had to unlearn

Unknown:

that in my leadership journey so far. And I'm sure there might be

Unknown:

more to come in the future. But yeah,

Lee Griffith:

well, you Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. I

Lee Griffith:

think there's, there's almost been like three stages, I'd say

Lee Griffith:

to my unlearning, in my life, and so there's the kind of the

Lee Griffith:

corporate life where I had to unlearn all the things I'd

Lee Griffith:

learned about leadership, which is kind of what we try and do

Lee Griffith:

with this podcast in a way, which is stuff that was out of

Lee Griffith:

day, or attitudes and behaviors and stereotypes and all of that,

Lee Griffith:

which I you know, and I've talked about this before, on the

Lee Griffith:

podcast that I thought was how I had to behave. So you know,

Lee Griffith:

you've you've you get the wrong role models and all of that. So

Lee Griffith:

I had to do some unlearning. And then what what type of leader I

Lee Griffith:

wanted to be, I think, also, just from a professional point

Lee Griffith:

of view, you know, we know professions evolve and adapt.

Lee Griffith:

And back in the day, when we were both starting out in our

Lee Griffith:

communications careers, yeah, everyone wanted to spin doctor

Lee Griffith:

and wanted someone that had managed the media. And now,

Lee Griffith:

yeah, and you'd say, you've got to do unlearning, to think and

Lee Griffith:

talk like that to satisfy certain audiences. So so I've

Lee Griffith:

got that, then I've got my, I suppose my now business life.

Lee Griffith:

And I've had to do loads of unlearning, in that I had to

Lee Griffith:

unlearn how not to do a nine to five work in like, you know,

Lee Griffith:

what conditioning of I get up at nine work to five, I mean, you

Lee Griffith:

obviously leadership roles, you do a lot longer than that. But I

Lee Griffith:

had to unlearn and redefine what what that looked like for me.

Lee Griffith:

When I did my coach training, you get taught very specific

Lee Griffith:

models, you get assessed to deliver coaching in a very

Lee Griffith:

particular way. And then, actually, when you go out into

Lee Griffith:

the real world, as you start to implement that and you test it

Lee Griffith:

on real clients, you realize that what you get taught can be

Lee Griffith:

a bit too rigid and a bit too directive. And so you know, as I

Lee Griffith:

said, when I came up with the epiphany and invented the word

Lee Griffith:

unlearning, it was when I was doing some, some mentor coaching

Lee Griffith:

and my mentor, and we would we would like challenging what it

Lee Griffith:

meant to show up as a coach and I was like, God, I really have

Lee Griffith:

to unlearn what I got taught in my training about this

Lee Griffith:

particular issue. And so so there's been those really

Lee Griffith:

practical things. And then I think the third area of

Lee Griffith:

unlearning is the real deep mindset stuff. So limiting

Lee Griffith:

beliefs or views that I've had, that have perhaps held me back

Lee Griffith:

from growing as a person so questioning whether I'm good

Lee Griffith:

Enough questioning why should I be the one doing this? Because

Lee Griffith:

someone else is more expert, all of those types of things. I've

Lee Griffith:

had to unlearn some of those narratives that might be

Lee Griffith:

playing. I was No, no,

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: no, no, sorry, I was only because I was making

Lee Griffith:

notes, because so much of what you said, resonated with me,

Lee Griffith:

particularly around the corporate and the business

Lee Griffith:

element of unlearning, and gearing them concurrently. Yeah,

Lee Griffith:

I was gonna say that it's definitely been one for me that

Lee Griffith:

as you were talking, I was actually yeah, I can really

Lee Griffith:

resonate with that, because having to balance having a

Lee Griffith:

corporate leadership role, and then also running my own

Lee Griffith:

business and having a different leadership role in that space

Lee Griffith:

has felt quite challenging. And, and I guess, also the sector

Lee Griffith:

that I work in for my day job, you know, it's a bit about being

Lee Griffith:

a political and, you know, working in the public sector,

Lee Griffith:

which means I've had to sort of think very differently, in that

Lee Griffith:

space found how I show up for my business and putting myself out

Lee Griffith:

there a bit more. And I've sort of had to unlearn some of what

Lee Griffith:

I've naturally maybe thought I better keep some of that opinion

Lee Griffith:

to myself, because that's maybe not going to go down so well in

Lee Griffith:

the corporate space. So that definitely definitely resonated

Lee Griffith:

with me, alongside what you said about kind of questioning

Lee Griffith:

yourself and your validity of being in that space. They sort

Lee Griffith:

of that, you know, why would anybody want to listen to what

Lee Griffith:

I've got to say, kind of thing, there was definitely some

Lee Griffith:

unlearning there. And when, when I posed the question to myself

Lee Griffith:

and reflected on it, a really big part of it, for me, has been

Lee Griffith:

around my sort of people pleasing tendencies, and

Lee Griffith:

actually having to unlearn my desires to want to keep

Lee Griffith:

everybody happy and be liked by everyone, as I've progressed

Lee Griffith:

through my leadership career, because actually, it's not my

Lee Griffith:

job to necessarily be liked, as a leader, it's my job to lead.

Lee Griffith:

And sometimes I have to take decisions that other people are

Lee Griffith:

not going to be happy with. And I've got to unlearn my own

Lee Griffith:

personal desires around wanting everybody to think I'm a nice

Lee Griffith:

person. So. So yeah, there's definitely been stuff that I've

Lee Griffith:

had to unlearn along the way, as well. So thank you for sharing.

Lee Griffith:

I know sometimes we don't always get quite so direct with the

Lee Griffith:

personal questions, but I thought it would be helpful for

Lee Griffith:

listeners to hear a bit about our own experiences, to maybe

Lee Griffith:

help frame some of their own reflections around what they

Lee Griffith:

might want to consider learning

Lee Griffith:

it because it's a buzzword, perhaps still catching

Lee Griffith:

on in certain places. And people might think, well, unlearning,

Lee Griffith:

does that mean I've done something wrong? And yeah, it's

Lee Griffith:

not it's we're not coming at this from a from a point of

Lee Griffith:

doing anything wrong. It's about the evolution, isn't it? Yeah.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: And I think that's a lovely segue into what

Lee Griffith:

I wanted to touch on next, which is actually how do we know that

Lee Griffith:

we might need to unlearn something partly because maybe

Lee Griffith:

we are like, this is a buzzword that we've not really heard or

Lee Griffith:

talked about before for ourselves, but also because

Lee Griffith:

there might be that like, well, slight resistance to it, because

Lee Griffith:

you're assuming it's about I've done something badly, or I've

Lee Griffith:

done something wrong. So how do you think as leaders, we kind of

Lee Griffith:

get that sense that we need to start unlearning certain things?

Lee Griffith:

I think that, for me, a lot of stuff always goes

Lee Griffith:

back to what's the outcome that you're seeking? And the

Lee Griffith:

question, I've said this on other episodes, and similar

Lee Griffith:

question, which is, what do I need to do differently to make

Lee Griffith:

it happen, and in those insights will be the things you will need

Lee Griffith:

to change. And it might be thinking it might be behaviors,

Lee Griffith:

it might be actions, and that might involve some level of

Lee Griffith:

unlearning. And so I think in recognizing that you need to

Lee Griffith:

change in some way to make something happen will bring a

Lee Griffith:

level of insight and focus on the things that you might want

Lee Griffith:

to tackle in terms of unlearning. But it is a work in

Lee Griffith:

progress. And like any habit change, it will be gradual. And

Lee Griffith:

you might not realize that you haven't even done unlearning.

Lee Griffith:

Until a new habit is formed. You know, there might be things that

Lee Griffith:

you're doing now, that actually you you are subconsciously

Lee Griffith:

unlearning old ways and practices. But you just haven't

Lee Griffith:

couched it as that and then you'll suddenly realize, oh,

Lee Griffith:

yeah, actually, my whole mindset has shifted around this. And

Lee Griffith:

then finally, I think there's something around. There are

Lee Griffith:

other signals that you can be alert to so and it is quite

Lee Griffith:

similar to what we were talking about in the in the risk

Lee Griffith:

conversation and the disruptive leadership conversation. So

Lee Griffith:

being alerted to maybe assumptions that we're making

Lee Griffith:

and questioning why do we think like that, why do we act like

Lee Griffith:

that? Right? Viewing the mistakes that we might have

Lee Griffith:

made. So I know we've said it's not about doing something wrong.

Lee Griffith:

But sometimes it could be that I'm sorry, wrong, but just

Lee Griffith:

perhaps not got the outcome that you had hoped for and learning

Lee Griffith:

from that. And it might be from taking risks. And in doing so

Lee Griffith:

you've got to do something different along the way. And it

Lee Griffith:

could be seeking views and input from other people that aren't

Lee Griffith:

the normal people who are in your circle of influence, or

Lee Griffith:

your support network, who can perhaps the highlight to you

Lee Griffith:

where you might need to focus on on learning. And we'd see that

Lee Griffith:

particularly in diversity, and equity issues, and challenging

Lee Griffith:

your own biases around particular things, you need to

Lee Griffith:

go into different spaces to understand what you might need

Lee Griffith:

to unlearn in terms of what you think, yeah.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: Well, I couldn't have put it better

Lee Griffith:

myself lead, because the things that I'd had written down in my

Lee Griffith:

notes were around me, that's good. were written down in my

Lee Griffith:

notes around that insight, feedback. And fundamentally, are

Lee Griffith:

we achieving what we set out to achieve. So if you've set out

Lee Griffith:

with an intention to achieve something, and you're not

Lee Griffith:

achieving it, there might be something different that you

Lee Griffith:

have to do and some of that might be about unlearning a

Lee Griffith:

behavior or a certain way of thinking, in order to move you

Lee Griffith:

to that space to achieve it. So absolutely. And, and sometimes I

Lee Griffith:

think there's even a bit of your own gut feeling instinct in

Lee Griffith:

there that actually, this this way of operating as a leader,

Lee Griffith:

for some reason just doesn't sit as comfortably with me now and

Lee Griffith:

it's causing a level of discomfort, which means I might

Lee Griffith:

need to have a rethink about my approach in that space.

Lee Griffith:

And I you know, we've we've talked about this in

Lee Griffith:

previous episodes, but the unknown, I've referenced it

Lee Griffith:

earlier in this episode, but I can really clearly see my kind

Lee Griffith:

of past career that moment in time where what I thought was

Lee Griffith:

true in terms of the leader, I've shown it to be just stopped

Lee Griffith:

sitting right with me. And I had to take that moment to go right,

Lee Griffith:

how am I going to show up authentically? What do I need to

Lee Griffith:

do differently? And how do I start to challenge my thinking,

Lee Griffith:

my reactions, how do I challenge reactions of other people as I

Lee Griffith:

go through that process, and all of that was it was an unlearning

Lee Griffith:

and unraveling, it's like you know, when you if you do knit in

Lee Griffith:

your frog in your frog in the jumper, because it's never gonna

Lee Griffith:

fit or whatever.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: Some knitting terminology that I've just

Lee Griffith:

learnt there because I am not a knitter, but I'm like, wow, I

Lee Griffith:

maybe want to be Froggen. Who knew that was a thing in

Lee Griffith:

knitting?

Unknown:

So, yeah, so now we've got a vision of what Froggen

Unknown:

might actually be. Anyhow, not

Lee Griffith:

like the other word that animals do is not.

Unknown:

Right, Moving swiftly on.

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: We have gotten you can tell we're on end of

Unknown:

term happy vibes here.

Unknown:

We like woohoo. Last episode. It's party time. I'm

Unknown:

Chad two sips of a beer. Look what's happened such I said,

Lee Griffith:

I said in one of the earlier episodes that

Lee Griffith:

lightweight or used, I've turned into a lightweight Yeah,

Lee Griffith:

absolutely insane. Because

Unknown:

because of the

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: sound effect of the ice cubes, I'm keeping it

Unknown:

all under control, but only had the one big slap at the start

Unknown:

gonna be

Lee Griffith:

my unraveling. And Dan be off again. Yeah,

Unknown:

you're frog in episode. So we have focused a bit

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: on the individual and quite personal

Unknown:

sort of unlearning. And because this is the end of series

Unknown:

episode, and we start the series, most times with a kind

Unknown:

of general, few thoughts about the state of leadership today, I

Unknown:

thought it might be an opportunity to bring it back to

Unknown:

that wider kind of leadership piece by asking you, Lee, for

Unknown:

your thoughts about what you might think leaders need to

Unknown:

unlearn for 2024. And I know I'm, well I know, I'm

Unknown:

potentially creating one of the biggest li soapbox moments ever.

Unknown:

But I'm gonna go there. I'm gonna go there because we've

Unknown:

we've got views and opinions and we're happy to share them.

Unknown:

That's why we do the podcast. So in terms of that broader

Unknown:

leadership on learning for 2024 What are your thoughts Lee,

Lee Griffith:

I really had to try and contain myself. Before I

Lee Griffith:

could focus on and say, I've got a few few ideas. I'm going to

Lee Griffith:

try not to get on my soapbox, okay, because it's not going to

Lee Griffith:

serve my well being

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: great. Being boundaried and thinking about

Lee Griffith:

what you need as a leader in this tea. So I'm loving that

Lee Griffith:

good role modeling. And

Lee Griffith:

so I think for me, saying things to win popularity

Lee Griffith:

contests, and even that unlearning around And I need to

Lee Griffith:

stay polite, and I need to try and people, please, we I think

Lee Griffith:

we need leaders to be standing up and acting with integrity.

Lee Griffith:

All the more now. And so for me, I think that's that's a real

Lee Griffith:

thing around unlearning, what what does it mean to be a

Lee Griffith:

popular leader? And does that mean I have to do things that

Lee Griffith:

don't align with values, etc, etc. I think there's something

Lee Griffith:

for me about unlearning the concept of time. And this is a

Lee Griffith:

big thing for me this year, like how we view time, manage time,

Lee Griffith:

and I'm seeing more and more impatience in people who want

Lee Griffith:

everything now. And moving on to the next thing really quickly.

Lee Griffith:

And I questioned like, what for? Like, why, why is why are we

Lee Griffith:

creating this urgency about stuff, when it's gonna sit in

Lee Griffith:

your inbox for a week before you get to it, and all you're doing

Lee Griffith:

is creating stress for your teams. And so I think we need to

Lee Griffith:

unlearn this, this concept of how we manage ourselves and our

Lee Griffith:

people, and it links with that self leadership piece. And I

Lee Griffith:

also think it links with unlearning what it means to be

Lee Griffith:

in control, and feeling comfortable with letting go of

Lee Griffith:

control. And stepping into letting people be adult stop

Lee Griffith:

lists. Just stop treating people like we're the we're the parent

Lee Griffith:

and they're the child. And as leaders, we know best we don't.

Lee Griffith:

Boy, we don't. And we can see that with some of the people

Lee Griffith:

that's rising to the top and organizations, they do not know

Lee Griffith:

best. I'm getting on my soapbox, this

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: is what the listeners come here for Lee Come

Lee Griffith:

on.

Lee Griffith:

And then I think the other area, I mean, I'm

Lee Griffith:

really reining myself in here because I could I could

Lee Griffith:

literally just keep going and going and going. But I think

Lee Griffith:

there's something for me about unlearning what is normal in the

Lee Griffith:

workplace and in leadership, because I think normal has been

Lee Griffith:

thrown up in the air over the last couple of years. And yet,

Lee Griffith:

all I'm hearing is organizations and leaders who are trying to go

Lee Griffith:

back to a time that I don't think necessarily was the

Lee Griffith:

greatest. And we know that with the you know, how people think

Lee Griffith:

and feel about the workplace. We know that with issues of

Lee Griffith:

equality and diversity, we know that we have gender imbalance,

Lee Griffith:

we know that with, you know, so many indicators, why are we

Lee Griffith:

harping back to go back to this place that, you know, the grass

Lee Griffith:

was not greener, then like, let's get some reality. We need

Lee Griffith:

to unlearn what we think normal is.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I don't know where I go from here. There's so

Lee Griffith:

much in there, Lee, there's so much in there. And, and again,

Lee Griffith:

lots of similarities to things that came into my head when

Lee Griffith:

thinking about what leaders need to unlearn. And this, this

Lee Griffith:

parent child thing, and sort of the trust stuff, and then going

Lee Griffith:

back to what it was like before was definitely high on my

Lee Griffith:

agenda. Because I think we are really at a point in time,

Lee Griffith:

where, yeah, we've got potential just to be taken so many steps

Lee Griffith:

backwards, and not actually learning anything that you know,

Lee Griffith:

I'm talking about unlearning. But we're not actually learning

Lee Griffith:

from, you know, what could make an organization feel like a

Lee Griffith:

great place to work a great place to get a service or a

Lee Griffith:

product from because we seem to have started to become obsessed

Lee Griffith:

with, we want to go back to what it was like before COVID. And

Lee Griffith:

I'm just like, but But why do we need to do that? Because we've

Lee Griffith:

proved people can work and operate in a different way. So

Lee Griffith:

what like, what's the purpose in going back? And I think some of

Lee Griffith:

the argument around that is about that balance between what

Lee Griffith:

employees need and one and what the organization is here to

Lee Griffith:

deliver. So I think we need to unlearn that desire to want to

Lee Griffith:

pair and to tell and dictate and actually learn how to have open

Lee Griffith:

and transparent conversations about how you can compromise and

Lee Griffith:

get the best possible outcomes for as many people as you can.

Lee Griffith:

It's definitely something for me

Lee Griffith:

there and you think you know, politics they

Lee Griffith:

want to go but in America there is a real potential that we're

Lee Griffith:

going to have like the most awful person going back into the

Lee Griffith:

White House that's a real and present danger. That's a film as

Lee Griffith:

well. Isn't it? Feeling present age I don't know. Now

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: the nice reference if anybody from the

Lee Griffith:

last episode still got their bingo card out.

Lee Griffith:

You know, that's like, come on. Why reality check

Lee Griffith:

just just the other day. You Yorkshire cricket reinstated a

Lee Griffith:

chairman. Well, we've had to step down because even though

Lee Griffith:

we're racist, like come on just because they can get some

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: money. So this absolutely leads me on to

Lee Griffith:

something I think we need to unlearn. While some Not we, I

Lee Griffith:

think we probably know this, but let some leaders need to unlearn

Lee Griffith:

about what reputation management actually means, because I still

Lee Griffith:

think and it has come back up to the surface with all of the

Lee Griffith:

stuff around the post office situation and Fiji, etc, that

Lee Griffith:

actually, in this day and age, reputation does not mean, make

Lee Griffith:

sure the brand of our organization at any cost to

Lee Griffith:

anybody is, is protected, because actually, what we've

Lee Griffith:

seen in those old school examples of what happened many

Lee Griffith:

years ago, is the reputation of the brand has not been protected

Lee Griffith:

at all, and understanding what makes up your brand, which is

Lee Griffith:

the way you behave the way that you role model. You know, the

Lee Griffith:

standards that you set for people, that's actually your

Lee Griffith:

reputation feels like something we really need to just take

Lee Griffith:

stock of and just check in with people to go look, we don't want

Lee Griffith:

this old school, like reputation management vibe, as a leader, we

Lee Griffith:

want you to just basically be doing the right thing. And your

Lee Griffith:

good reputation will therefore follow. And on that point, I

Lee Griffith:

just would say there's something for me about, can we also, I

Lee Griffith:

don't even know if it's possible to unlearn this, because I don't

Lee Griffith:

know how to say the sentence. But can we also unlearn this

Lee Griffith:

kind of, I'm just gonna bury my head in the sand and not deal

Lee Griffith:

with anything until actually it becomes too much of a prominent

Lee Griffith:

issue. And I have to deal with it. So again, the post office

Lee Griffith:

one maybe even cricket one would be good examples of that as in

Lee Griffith:

like, you know, with this has been going on for a while. Yeah,

Lee Griffith:

it's Yeah, can we get away with it? We can, we've got away with

Lee Griffith:

it for 20 years, but now there's been ITV drama about it, we're

Lee Griffith:

going to take some action, or how many other things have been

Lee Griffith:

rumbling on for such a long time with total inaction?

Unknown:

You know,

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: is that what it's gonna take, like the media

Unknown:

actually managing people to take leadership decisions, because

Unknown:

they put something into the spotlight is not the way I think

Unknown:

people should be leading. And

Lee Griffith:

this links back to my first point around, you know,

Lee Griffith:

popularity contests and stop trying to do things that you

Lee Griffith:

think will win, you do a popularity contest, that, you

Lee Griffith:

know, that is something that's got to be unlearned. So it's

Lee Griffith:

kind of like a full circle. It

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: is it is a full circle. And we stopped the

Lee Griffith:

circle there, because I feel like we could go on forever with

Lee Griffith:

that. And it would take up and another thing and take up the

Lee Griffith:

whole episode. But I did want to just throw that in there.

Lee Griffith:

Because we usually start a series with a sort of laid out

Lee Griffith:

of what's happened in between. And I feel like we could end

Lee Griffith:

this series with like, what do we need to unlearn so that we

Lee Griffith:

can all be better leaders for 2024? Because we're still early

Lee Griffith:

ish, in the year. So we've got opportunity to make change and

Lee Griffith:

do things differently. So thank you for indulging me with that

Lee Griffith:

question. Lee and I yeah, I think you did really well, in

Lee Griffith:

not getting to full soapbox made for that one. So I ring

Lee Griffith:

was tell me that I'm too stressed to have a lie

Lee Griffith:

down. So you're done. Yeah,

Unknown:

that's, yeah.

Lee Griffith:

I've got one of these wearable technology,

Lee Griffith:

things that I won't mention the brand, but it will tell me if

Lee Griffith:

I'm kind of my stress levels will arise.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: And we need to keep them at a nice even level

Lee Griffith:

so that you can be the best leader you can be without having

Lee Griffith:

to manage the impacts of that stress. Lee, so thank you. And I

Lee Griffith:

hope I didn't get you too stressed. I hope your wearables

Lee Griffith:

not I'm about to implode. So I will I'm conscious of time, I'm

Lee Griffith:

conscious that we've got well, I've got a gym that needs to

Lee Griffith:

drink him of ice cubes mountain. And so I'm going to I am going

Lee Griffith:

to try to wrap us up in terms of this conversation. And we are

Lee Griffith:

all about the action here. So I wanted to know what advice and

Lee Griffith:

what action do you think that a leader listening to this could

Lee Griffith:

take around unlearning?

Lee Griffith:

I think it's about recognizing that it's a work in

Lee Griffith:

progress. Absolutely starts with your self awareness and an

Lee Griffith:

openness to change reframe challenge, whatever it is that

Lee Griffith:

you swore for, you knew. And I think that's that's your

Lee Griffith:

premise. That's the mindset stuff you need to do. What it is

Lee Griffith:

you choose to unlearn and when you choose to do it is a whole

Lee Griffith:

other kind of question like that. Let's, let's get the self

Lee Griffith:

awareness piece. So at first,

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: I love that and I think for me, part of that

Lee Griffith:

self awareness is just asking yourself the question, Am I

Lee Griffith:

achieving what I set out to achieve and using that as a

Lee Griffith:

measure have maybe then where you might want to focus some of

Lee Griffith:

your time and energy. And if I was going to give a plug to

Lee Griffith:

another episode in this series, if you haven't listened to it

Lee Griffith:

already, I think going back to the episode around self

Lee Griffith:

leadership might also help get you into the right headspace.

Lee Griffith:

Because part of that was around that self. There was there was

Lee Griffith:

lots of selves in the self leadership piece. But part of

Lee Griffith:

that was around that awareness and insight. So in terms of your

Lee Griffith:

own development, I would suggest that might also be another good

Lee Griffith:

lesson for you if you haven't heard that episode already. So

Unknown:

that's the end. That's the end fakes Well, of this

Unknown:

series, I'm

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: not saying that's the end, full stop. So

Unknown:

this is very polite view is back to your regal manner, you did

Unknown:

raise your hand in a very regal way to get your

Unknown:

beautiful dress friendly.

Lee Griffith:

What's What's your highlight of the series?

Unknown:

Oh, my highlight of the series.

Unknown:

Carrie-Ann Wade: But apart from all the laughs, which obviously

Unknown:

is which, which I love, because we are talking about really

Unknown:

serious topics, yeah, when we're talking about leadership, and we

Unknown:

are committed to wanting to support other people to make

Unknown:

some sort of change, no matter how small to challenge some of

Unknown:

that leadership BS. But what I do love, and what I've loved is

Unknown:

that we have managed to have some laughs along the way, which

Unknown:

I hope demonstrate some level of authenticity and what our

Unknown:

relationship is like with each other. So I'll thank you for the

Unknown:

laughs along the way. I'm not, it's not because I've just said

Unknown:

it. But actually, for me, personally, the self leadership

Unknown:

episode has really been one that I have reflected on a lot since

Unknown:

we recorded it, and thought about a lot in terms of actions

Unknown:

that I want to take over the coming months to help me with my

Unknown:

development, but also getting some balance and really thinking

Unknown:

about my next steps in terms of how I want to show up as a

Unknown:

leader. And a lot of that has been about the self care piece,

Unknown:

because I have spent some time neglecting the things that mean,

Unknown:

I'm possibly not bringing my best self always into the

Unknown:

leadership space. And it's easy to think because they're things

Unknown:

to do with home and health and getting a balance somewhere else

Unknown:

that actually you shouldn't neglect it to be totally focused

Unknown:

on the work and the business stuff. So for me, that probably

Unknown:

has been my highlight for a totally selfish reason. Because

Unknown:

it's helped me to reflect and rethink around, you know, my own

Unknown:

approach to things. So good question right back at you.

Unknown:

Well,

Lee Griffith:

I throw the question at you thoroughly

Lee Griffith:

unprepared. And then realized, as you were talking that you

Lee Griffith:

would do Yeah,

Unknown:

I would, of course, I would. I can barely remember

Lee Griffith:

what I was doing yesterday, far less what we've

Lee Griffith:

covered in this series. And but I actually agree with you, I

Lee Griffith:

think 2020 For the focus on self. leadership's a really

Lee Griffith:

important point I think is we've come out of not even come out of

Lee Griffith:

we are in really challenging times, still, in many ways. And

Lee Griffith:

I think the pandemic gave an opportunity for people to think

Lee Griffith:

about what they wanted in life and careers and work and

Lee Griffith:

everything. And then we've started to slip back into what

Lee Griffith:

is normal. And I think this year is the opportunity to really

Lee Griffith:

start to try and harmonize the, what I thought and hoped then

Lee Griffith:

and let's not lose track of that in the noise that's been created

Lee Griffith:

around us with with it all. And personally, again, just that

Lee Griffith:

focus on I can't show up and serve anyone to my best if I am

Lee Griffith:

not showing up and serving myself first. And and that isn't

Lee Griffith:

a selfish thing to think or feel or do.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: While cheers to that lay there could not

Lee Griffith:

possibly have been a better ending to the series. So I hope

Lee Griffith:

if that's the only thing that listeners takeaway, please do

Lee Griffith:

take that away and consider that as you make progress in your

Lee Griffith:

leadership, journeys, careers, whatever. I want to thank

Lee Griffith:

everybody who's listened to this series of how to take the lead.

Lee Griffith:

It's been a pleasure as always having these conversations and

Lee Griffith:

challenging some of my own thinking along the way. So the

Lee Griffith:

biggest Thank you has to go to you Lee for continuing with our

Lee Griffith:

how to take the lead collaboration. So thank you

Lee Griffith:

also, I like not to extend this conversation

Lee Griffith:

because I feel like you know, we've got

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: you did the good ending, and then we're

Lee Griffith:

like, pulling away from it. Boo, get off

Lee Griffith:

the whole self leadership piece. One really

Lee Griffith:

important step that we've taken this year with the podcast is to

Lee Griffith:

get external support. It's been an opportunity for us to free up

Lee Griffith:

and change how we use our time when it comes to the podcasts

Lee Griffith:

that we can focus on supporting people in a different way. So

Lee Griffith:

yeah, that's a good leadership, proactive action. So thank you

Lee Griffith:

to to our editor and people who've supported

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: Oh, absolutely, that is definitely an important

Lee Griffith:

thank you because it has made the world of difference to how

Lee Griffith:

we are spending our time and self leading. So huge thank you.

Lee Griffith:

So now we can do the chairs, give ourselves a pat on the

Lee Griffith:

back. And most importantly, say thank you to the listeners

Lee Griffith:

who've stuck with us and also to those who might be new. And I've

Lee Griffith:

only just found us we hope to bring more great content your

Lee Griffith:

way over the rest of the year in whatever shape or form that

Lee Griffith:

might take. So, thank you everyone. I hope you enjoyed the

Lee Griffith:

series, and we'll see you next time.

Lee Griffith:

Thanks for listening. Don't forget to hit

Lee Griffith:

follow to make sure you get the next episode. And if today's

Lee Griffith:

discussion resonated, please leave a review on Apple

Lee Griffith:

podcasts.

Lee Griffith:

Carrie-Ann Wade: We also have our substack community where you

Lee Griffith:

can get behind the scenes info, Ask Us Anything session and

Lee Griffith:

build your network with like minded leaders. Visit how to

Lee Griffith:

take the lead.substack.com To find out more.

Lee Griffith:

And if you want to work with us to challenge and

Lee Griffith:

change leadership in your organisation. Get in touch by

Lee Griffith:

dropping us an email how to take the lead@gmail.com or DM us on

Lee Griffith:

the socials. Until next week. Get out there and take the lead.