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The big end of year bonus!
Episode 11Bonus Episode29th December 2022 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
00:00:00 00:40:18

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Well, we’ve got two series of the podcast under our belts now and we couldn’t finish 2022 without a bonus episode. It’s a bit of a review of the year, what we have learned about leadership, what we’ve loved and loathed and also a look ahead to our leadership hopes for 2023.

  • 04:23  – is it important for leaders to make time to reflect and reset?
  • 10:53 – how do I take steps to have the impact I desire as a leader?
  • 18:43 – overwhelm and being kind to yourself
  • 26:02 – has 2022 been a good year for leaders?
  • 30:46 – leadership wishes for 2023
  • 32:08 – what should leaders firmly leave behind in 2022?
  • 38:07 – final thoughts

In our final thoughts for 2022 we share a huge thank you to all our listeners and everyone who has supported us this year. We launched the podcast in June and we are so grateful to everyone who has been part of our How To Take The Lead community, there will be more from us in 2023 so stay tuned.

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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, using #HowToTakeTheLead

To find out more visit www.howtotakethelead.com  

Enjoy this series and let us know what you would like us to cover in future episodes on Instagram @howtotakethelead or Twitter @How2TakeTheLead

Transcripts

Lee:

Mics drop

Carrie-Ann:

That's why I was really quiet.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm like, don't ruin it.

Carrie-Ann:

That was a brilliant ending.

Lee:

Well, you didn't think we were just gonna sleek off into

Lee:

the sunset and leave you stranded, did you at the end of series two?

Lee:

No.

Lee:

As usual, we are popping up for a little bonus, little cheeky mid Christmas,

Lee:

pre-new year bonus to kind of do, are, are, are We like the Jules Holland

Lee:

of the podcast world carrie Ann.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, apart from, we haven't recorded this one in like April.

Carrie-Ann:

We genuinely have been quite close to Christmas.

Lee:

Yes, we are in, I think my watch is telling

Lee:

me,

Lee:

oh, it's minus four now, so

Carrie-Ann:

Stop.

Carrie-Ann:

I've just been,

Carrie-Ann:

before we

Carrie-Ann:

came on, I was just saying it's practically Dickensian around

Carrie-Ann:

here and I've got no hot water, so, um, yeah, I'm, I'm feeling,

Carrie-Ann:

feeling wintery

Carrie-Ann:

vibes for sure.

Lee:

And I apologize because you are the first person I've spoken to today.

Lee:

So, um, I've got that morning croaky voice thing and I have tried to do,

Lee:

you know, in my very professional way,

Lee:

vocal warmup exercises before we came on air.

Carrie-Ann:

I love it.

Carrie-Ann:

I've now got visions of you doing them, so I want, I want to see them at some point.

Carrie-Ann:

, I feel like I've missed out.

Lee:

I'm, I'm, I'm partly saying that I jest, but there was a video

Lee:

that came up on my Insta feed

Lee:

when I was doing

Lee:

the Doom scroll this

Lee:

morning.

Lee:

And, um,

Lee:

it was telling you how to warm up your voice before you did a podcast.

Lee:

And I was like, oh, how apt.

Lee:

I really do feel like I need that today.

Carrie-Ann:

thought you were gonna say, you warmed your voice up by

Carrie-Ann:

having

Carrie-Ann:

to holler at the dog for doing something it wasn't supposed to in the garden.

Lee:

Oh no, the dog is eating snow.

Lee:

That's his favorite thing at the minute.

Lee:

It's like

Lee:

holding

Lee:

it like it's a snow cone and just chewing on a, on a snowball.

Carrie-Ann:

sweet.

Carrie-Ann:

I love, I love it.

Lee:

Anyway, we thought we would pop on one last time for 2022 and do a bit

Lee:

of a

Lee:

roundup of the year, but also a bit of a look ahead to 2023 and try to

Lee:

make it a little bit practical, um, so

Lee:

that you can

Lee:

use it as a chance.

Lee:

To reflect and get ready for the new year as well.

Lee:

So we're freshly back.

Lee:

It's been a week, but I, I still feel fairly refreshed from it.

Lee:

We, Carrie Ann and I had a mini retreat last week

Lee:

where we

Lee:

had one day working on our own businesses, but using each other as a bit of sense,

Lee:

checking a bit of accountability, a.

Lee:

A bit of a cheerleader when we weren't like perhaps being

Lee:

generous enough to ourselves.

Lee:

Um, and

Lee:

then one day

Lee:

where we focused on how to take the lead and all

Lee:

the great things that

Lee:

we've, you know, we've celebrated where we've come from and we've got

Lee:

some pretty darn exciting things that we want to do in 2023, of which I'm

Lee:

sure we'll talk about a bit later.

Lee:

It's been super helpful, I think, certainly for me to take that time out.

Lee:

And we normally have a check-in anyway, don't we?

Lee:

Every quarter.

Lee:

I mean, we meet up monthly to do a bit of a co-working and how to

Lee:

take the lead working session.

Lee:

And then every quarter we do a bit of a check-in on how we are progressing

Lee:

with the plans that we set each year.

Lee:

Cause this little mini retreat, I say, is an annual occurrence.

Lee:

It's the second annual

Carrie-Ann:

Well, we're, we're calling it a tradition now.

Carrie-Ann:

It's definitely a tradition

Lee:

So, um, we, you know, we make sure that we take that time to reflect

Lee:

on where we're going, but also, Get real, I suppose, with where we want

Lee:

to go and how we're going to do that.

Lee:

And I don't think the concept of that type of planning is just limited to

Lee:

people who run their own businesses.

Lee:

I think anyone in a leadership position needs that time to

Lee:

reflect, to explore, to plan,

Lee:

and even to have a lot, a bit

Lee:

of a play.

Lee:

You know, you need to have that creative time as a leader so that you can really.

Lee:

push yourself, stay fresh.

Lee:

Make sure you're staying intentional to the things that matter to you.

Lee:

And also to make sure

Lee:

you're not blindly carrying

Lee:

down a path where the results aren't what you you seek.

Lee:

So that's kind of my view on why it's important and why we do it.

Lee:

I dunno whether you've got any other thoughts on it.

Lee:

Carry.

Carrie-Ann:

No, I absolutely agree.

Carrie-Ann:

It isn't just for business owners.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's definitely something leaders should be doing, and we've

Carrie-Ann:

probably touched on it in other episodes about that importance of taking the

Carrie-Ann:

time out to reflect and also to.

Carrie-Ann:

To consider kind of your intentions going forward.

Carrie-Ann:

So I definitely think it's important

Carrie-Ann:

for,

Carrie-Ann:

for leaders to build that in.

Carrie-Ann:

And in my day job

Carrie-Ann:

with my

Carrie-Ann:

deputy, actually we book in every six weeks, we call it a strategic

Carrie-Ann:

planning day, and we go offsite and we meet together and we use that time

Carrie-Ann:

to focus on, uh, sometimes it's team development, sometimes it's kind of

Carrie-Ann:

strategic goals for the future, but just taking ourselves out of the day-to-day.

Lee:

Hmm.

Carrie-Ann:

To have that time to focus and it's, it's really useful

Carrie-Ann:

time for us for sure, and I think as

Carrie-Ann:

well.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, there's something for me about, it doesn't have to be with other people,

Carrie-Ann:

and it doesn't have to be a whole day or a two days like we've done.

Carrie-Ann:

It could be a couple of hours, but actually just making, making that time

Carrie-Ann:

and blocking it out maybe to, to just be focused on developmental things,

Carrie-Ann:

the future, reflecting on what's been working for you is really important.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's something through, um, the Thrive program that I talk about with

Carrie-Ann:

communications leaders as well around.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, you do a 12 week program and we do a whole session on intention setting.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, but actually maybe you should think about how you build that into every

Carrie-Ann:

three months, every two months, whatever

Carrie-Ann:

that

Carrie-Ann:

looks like for you.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, don't just do it as a one-off.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's really important to keep doing that check-in, to make

Carrie-Ann:

sure you're on the right track.

Carrie-Ann:

But also, do you know, do you need to flex?

Carrie-Ann:

Do you need to adapt as a leader and do something differently?

Lee:

I think that's really important

Lee:

because if you think back to, I mean, even just when I think back to my corporate

Lee:

days, you would, every year it would become this big arduous process where you

Lee:

would do your operational plan for the year or your strategic plan for the year.

Lee:

And it sometimes felt like you were putting your finger in the air and and

Lee:

guessing where you were gonna get to cuz it wasn't necessarily based in reality.

Lee:

Or you do your big term strategies and it'd be for the next five years.

Lee:

And then obviously covid struck and it's shown that you can't really

Lee:

do that long-term planning in the way that you perhaps used to,

Lee:

because you need to be more nimble.

Lee:

And that's why I love the, the thought of, you know, whether it's six weeks,

Lee:

whether it's every quarter, but just taking that time out and doing, yes, you

Lee:

can have an eye to the, the longer term future, but unless you make those shorter

Lee:

steps, you're never gonna get there.

Lee:

So it's better to focus on what you need to do in the here and now with

Lee:

a to the mid-term rather than always look into the unachievable long term.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I agree with you and there for me in that there is that

Carrie-Ann:

thing about what are the short-term steps you need to take to get there,

Carrie-Ann:

but also just that opportunity to go, are they the right ones?

Carrie-Ann:

Because as you said, like Covid showed us that didn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Things can change dramatically very quickly and actually if you

Carrie-Ann:

are just rigidly sticking to,

Carrie-Ann:

right, well, we've got our

Carrie-Ann:

five year strategy and once a year we're going to review our progress against it.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

That doesn't feel, to me agile and it doesn't feel like, as a leader, you

Carrie-Ann:

are responding to the needs of the people around you at that moment in

Carrie-Ann:

time, which might be very different from day one when you set the strategy.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

You need to be more, more speedboat, less like Ocean Liner.

Carrie-Ann:

Love

Carrie-Ann:

it.

Carrie-Ann:

Where did that

Carrie-Ann:

little reference come from?

Lee:

dunno.

Lee:

I dunno.

Carrie-Ann:

boats on the brain,

Lee:

Yeah, So on our retreat we did a bit of an exercise, um, and I thought

Lee:

it might be helpful just to talk through some of the questions that we

Lee:

asked ourselves so that if listeners want to note those down as prompts and

Lee:

they can do as their own reflections.

Lee:

So we started with our skin, I suppose, starting with what's our why?

Lee:

Why we do what we do.

Lee:

And we obviously did it from a business perspective, why we run our

Lee:

businesses, but I think that's a really important check point as a leader.

Lee:

You know, why?

Lee:

Why am I doing, why am I a leader?

Lee:

Why am I working in this organization?

Lee:

What's my purpose?

Lee:

What's driving me is a really, is the obvious first point, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it's that bit about purpose I think is really

Carrie-Ann:

important and I think checking in with yourself about your why actually at

Carrie-Ann:

certain points might be quite helpful because it's okay for that to change.

Carrie-Ann:

I think.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me it's like you, you know, you might have some fundamental things

Carrie-Ann:

that you really believe in, in terms of kind of what you strive for as a leader

Carrie-Ann:

and they might not change, and they're probably very based on your value set.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually it's okay to think.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, now the thing that I is really something I want to have impact

Carrie-Ann:

and influence is something a bit different to what it was a year ago.

Carrie-Ann:

Because as we've just been saying things around you change.

Carrie-Ann:

So doing that, check-in on your why and your purpose for me feels

Carrie-Ann:

like a really important thing to do quite regularly as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

Just so that actually then, the actions that you're taking and the

Carrie-Ann:

way that you are interacting with other people is aligned to what it is

Carrie-Ann:

that you are all about as a leader.

Lee:

So we started with our why, and then we went on to, well,

Lee:

what's the impact we want to make?

Lee:

Because it is, we are in, in all different guises of the way we run our business or

Lee:

we lead, we are there to serve others.

Lee:

It's not necessarily, obviously there's things that we do that we

Lee:

want to achieve for ourselves and for our families and, and all of that.

Lee:

But the impact we want to make, I think is always a really important thing around

Lee:

how are you gonna serve other people?

Lee:

So that was our second.

Lee:

I suppose anchor for, for the rest of the conversations.

Lee:

Cause we wanted to make sure that everything that we discussed, everything

Lee:

that we do in our businesses as we do in a collaborative way, um, feeds that

Lee:

purpose and impact that we want to have.

Lee:

And then we did an exercise where we looked at what we would need to do

Lee:

more of in order to close the gap.

Lee:

So to make that impact really happen and often you can overlook cuz it can feel

Lee:

a bit grand ose, this impact I want.

Lee:

And you don't necessarily look in the here and now of what might

Lee:

need to change to make that happen.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I think the bit that I, that was really helpful, I think

Carrie-Ann:

for me around that impact point was also that challenge and that, um, kind

Carrie-Ann:

of identification of evidence that you are or aren't having that impact.

Carrie-Ann:

So actually, you know, it's all well and good for me in my business to want to have

Carrie-Ann:

an impact around creating communications leaders for the future, but actually, have

Carrie-Ann:

I got any evidence that the things I'm delivering in my business and the way that

Carrie-Ann:

I'm leading that, is having that impact.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, that was an important part of that conversation, both in terms of

Carrie-Ann:

what steps do I need to take to have that impact and, and what is the impact

Carrie-Ann:

that I am actually having and, and does that align with what I want to do?

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that's also quite important to, to think about where

Carrie-Ann:

are you getting that feedback?

Carrie-Ann:

Where are you getting that evidence that demonstrates the impact you are or

Carrie-Ann:

possibly aren't having, which will help you to identify what those next steps.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And we, if I remember us, I suppose we challenged each other, didn't we?

Lee:

In, in our conversations, uh, on the retreat where we had limiting beliefs

Lee:

or things that we would say didn't go so well, or things that we thought

Lee:

were a barrier and we would challenge the other person to go, well, where's

Lee:

your evidence to say that's true?

Lee:

And actually nine times out of 10, we didn't really actually have the evidence.

Lee:

It was just some internal self talk.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And having, having said at the start, you can make this time

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader to, to do this by yourself, which you absolutely can.

Carrie-Ann:

There are bits of this you can test out of your trusted network for

Carrie-Ann:

sure, because you are, you are right.

Carrie-Ann:

Some

Carrie-Ann:

of that

Carrie-Ann:

limiting self-belief that you might have or the story that you tell yourself might

Carrie-Ann:

be very

Carrie-Ann:

different from what's happening in reality and, and based, you know, on your, on

Carrie-Ann:

the things that your own experiences and the things that might be holding back.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually externally, people might not be seeing that at all and be going,

Carrie-Ann:

yes, you are having a really positive impact because remember when X happened.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, so I think if there are bits of it that you can feel comfortable testing out

Carrie-Ann:

with

Carrie-Ann:

other people as a leader, with your trusted network and peers,

Carrie-Ann:

then then definitely do that.

Carrie-Ann:

Or with your coach.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, I, I found it helpful Lee cuz I felt like.

Carrie-Ann:

Coached

Carrie-Ann:

me

Carrie-Ann:

through quite

Carrie-Ann:

a lot and I prob

Carrie-Ann:

you're probably gonna send me an invoice for the mini retreat for

Carrie-Ann:

how much coaching you had to do

Carrie-Ann:

with me.

Carrie-Ann:

But,

Carrie-Ann:

but that was also quite helpful to, to kind of have those questions

Carrie-Ann:

posed to you to make you really think by someone else who might

Carrie-Ann:

give you a bit

Carrie-Ann:

of that challenge rather than you just asking yourself and then go,

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, I'm just not very good at that.

Carrie-Ann:

Or I, you know, I don't think I have had an impact because, and then actually

Carrie-Ann:

that further conversation helps you to see that, that the external story

Carrie-Ann:

and perception is quite different.

Lee:

And then we, we moved on to a bit of what we want to

Lee:

achieve by the end the year.

Lee:

So for us, we looked

Lee:

at what,

Lee:

what we wanted, um, our businesses to be doing by the end of the

Lee:

year for, for anyone listening in leadership position, it could be,

Lee:

what do I want my team to be doing?

Lee:

Or what do I want my organization to be doing by the end of the year?

Lee:

What

Lee:

do I

Lee:

want to have achieved by

Lee:

the end of the year?

Lee:

Um,

Lee:

and it wasn't just the.

Lee:

What I want to,

Lee:

but we also put that

Lee:

I would love to, so some of that really ambitious stuff started to come out.

Lee:

Then the,

Lee:

the big

Lee:

thinking that, oh, if only I could, and actually I found

Lee:

when I started to note some

Lee:

of that down,

Lee:

I was like, right now actually I've, I've put this down on paper.

Lee:

How am I gonna make that happen?

Lee:

I can't just say this.

Lee:

So it became more real writing it.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah,

Carrie-Ann:

I, I agree with you on that one.

Carrie-Ann:

Definitely it, that setting your intentions in your

Carrie-Ann:

head, is one thing, but

Carrie-Ann:

actually having the

Carrie-Ann:

ability to kind of work through.

Carrie-Ann:

How, how could I actually

Carrie-Ann:

do

Carrie-Ann:

this?

Carrie-Ann:

Makes it feel

Carrie-Ann:

more real

Carrie-Ann:

and more achievable.

Carrie-Ann:

And even the scary bits when you have had a big, lofty kind of goal

Carrie-Ann:

or a massive light bulb moment, which you weren't expecting to have.

Carrie-Ann:

Just, it just feels exciting to get it down on paper and start working out

Carrie-Ann:

how, how do I get from here to there.

Carrie-Ann:

I think as well some of that creativity is, um, hugely important cuz you sometimes

Carrie-Ann:

don't have the opportunity to be so creative and to, to say things out loud

Carrie-Ann:

that might feel a bit silly in your head.

Carrie-Ann:

Like, I'd

Carrie-Ann:

really like to.

Carrie-Ann:

Do this and then you sort of go, I would actually, yeah, I would.

Carrie-Ann:

And now I've said it out loud.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna write it down.

Carrie-Ann:

Now I've written it down, I'm gonna write some actions and it just starts

Carrie-Ann:

to become more than an aspiration, which I think is really nice.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And I think for me, that's the difference between the, I want to.

Lee:

, which can be maybe some of the transactional stuff that your business

Lee:

might do, some of the routine stuff that

Lee:

you might deliver in your

Lee:

organization or in your team, that that feels like a continuation of the norm,

Lee:

whereas the I'd love to is the, this is where I'm gonna get the fire in my

Lee:

belly.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

It's the passion bit, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And the excitement of exploring something that perhaps you

Carrie-Ann:

haven't quite understood was.

Carrie-Ann:

There before something that you want to achieve.

Carrie-Ann:

So yeah, I think it does take it from the operational, just how do we

Carrie-Ann:

get from A to B in our strategy to actually what is it that I'm gonna

Carrie-Ann:

be really passionate and excited

Carrie-Ann:

about delivering that will

Carrie-Ann:

have an impact Because it all goes back to the questions that we answered

Carrie-Ann:

and asked ourselves previously.

Lee:

and then obviously as the ever practical planner that I am, I

Lee:

then got us to whittle it all down into three intentions for the year.

Lee:

So not smart goals or anything like that, but more, although you took

Lee:

it to a smart goal immediately.

Lee:

Uh, whereas

Carrie-Ann:

Which is very weird for me because normally I'm the big idea.

Carrie-Ann:

I've got this amazing idea and then no idea how to make it happen.

Carrie-Ann:

And um, I, yeah, I think you might have rubbed off on me a little bit,

Carrie-Ann:

Lee, if I'm honest, or this, or this collaborating and co-working is

Carrie-Ann:

finally having

Carrie-Ann:

an impact.

Lee:

So we broke, we broke

Lee:

it all down to what are three

Lee:

intentions?

Lee:

So everything that we were going to.

Lee:

Plan for for the year needs to easily sit under one of those intentions, and that

Lee:

becomes almost your red line then of does it fit under one of these intentions?

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

No, no.

Lee:

Then park it.

Lee:

Don't overwhelm yourself with other stuff that doesn't truly

Lee:

align with where you want to go.

Lee:

Now we've chosen three.

Lee:

You could go for more five.

Lee:

I personally think

Lee:

that's, that's

Lee:

been a bit too, um, detailed and probably unrealistic, but if you believe that

Lee:

that's what you can achieve, then absolutely you can have as many intentions

Lee:

as you want, but you do need to put

Lee:

it through a

Lee:

lens of testing yourself.

Lee:

And so breaking it down into those quarterly goals where

Lee:

you do get a bit more smarter.

Lee:

. Then suddenly you realize, so that I've got three intentions, but I've actually

Lee:

got something like 15 goals spread

Lee:

out

Lee:

over the year that sit under those intentions.

Lee:

If I had five intentions, I mean, hell, I'd need to

Carrie-Ann:

Your Trello board would be melting.

Carrie-Ann:

can we stop?

Carrie-Ann:

Stop putting things on me.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I think the point about overwhelm is a really important one though.

Carrie-Ann:

And thinking back to a week ago where you did have to coach me off a ledge where my

Carrie-Ann:

overwhelm got to me at, um, at one point in the conversation, Lee, that, that,

Carrie-Ann:

uh, comment you made about being generous to yourself and kind to yourself I think

Carrie-Ann:

is really

Carrie-Ann:

important.

Carrie-Ann:

So, yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Why would you go into this almost setting yourself up for the overwhelm.

Carrie-Ann:

There will obviously be times in your leadership career and journey where

Carrie-Ann:

you will be overwhelmed and things will all feel too much and feel challenging.

Carrie-Ann:

But by doing an exercise like we've done, I think, you know, that does

Carrie-Ann:

really help you to break it down and try as much as possible to avoid

Carrie-Ann:

that overwhelm when you

Carrie-Ann:

are thinking about where you want to be in in a year's time and what you want to.

Lee:

So what

Lee:

were

Lee:

your, I suppose, going through that whole exercise, and we've touched on a few

Lee:

things that that occurred to us as we were

Lee:

doing

Lee:

it, but was there any big things that it threw up for you Carry on?

Carrie-Ann:

I think the impact piece, it definitely came up for me.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, you know, we talked about, uh, we did this for how to take the

Carrie-Ann:

lead as well

Carrie-Ann:

as our, you know, our own selves personally.

Carrie-Ann:

And it's just about how can I continue to have a positive

Carrie-Ann:

impact

Carrie-Ann:

for people.

Carrie-Ann:

And part of that has to be about.

Carrie-Ann:

asking and understanding what people need to help them.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, so for me, that definitely came up for my own business,

Carrie-Ann:

for my team and my day job.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, and, uh, for how to take the lead for sure.

Carrie-Ann:

There was something for me as well around taking my own advice and to

Carrie-Ann:

continue working on my boundaries.

Carrie-Ann:

So trying to

Carrie-Ann:

juggle.

Carrie-Ann:

The

Carrie-Ann:

role I do

Carrie-Ann:

every day in,

Carrie-Ann:

in the N h s and my own business and being part of the how to take

Carrie-Ann:

the lead collaboration and then everything else that life throws at

Carrie-Ann:

you can sometimes feel a bit much.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, so there was lots of conversation and lots of.

Carrie-Ann:

Thoughts provoked for me that have continued since we had that, that

Carrie-Ann:

mini retreat around how can I get better at managing my own boundaries?

Carrie-Ann:

And you've

Carrie-Ann:

already been my accountability buddy once this week, or on exactly

Carrie-Ann:

that, which has been really helpful.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, so that definitely feels like it's

Carrie-Ann:

something that's important

Carrie-Ann:

for me.

Carrie-Ann:

But through doing the mini retreat exercise, I've realized

Carrie-Ann:

that from a career and a and a work point of view, you know, my

Carrie-Ann:

n.

Carrie-Ann:

Directorship, my business focused on supporting communicators and then how

Carrie-Ann:

to take the lead focused on leadership.

Carrie-Ann:

They actually

Carrie-Ann:

all really

Carrie-Ann:

nicely align, and it's probably been a while since I felt that with other

Carrie-Ann:

things that, you know, I've been spending my time and energy doing.

Carrie-Ann:

So going forward into the next year, it feels like for me, those three things

Carrie-Ann:

are really well aligned, which makes me feel like I'm gonna start the year, you

Carrie-Ann:

know, in a really positive frame of mind.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I would say the only other thing that I've been reflecting on

Carrie-Ann:

since Retreat and also since an episode that we recorded for the podcast, is

Carrie-Ann:

around that psychological safety thing.

Carrie-Ann:

And there's just been something that's been kind of niggling

Carrie-Ann:

me about.

Carrie-Ann:

How well am I supporting my own team in my day job to feel psychologically safe?

Carrie-Ann:

And I think some of the things that I've reflected on is the fact that we all

Carrie-Ann:

work virtually the majority of the time.

Carrie-Ann:

Does that make it more difficult to create that sense of psychological safety?

Carrie-Ann:

What are the impacts of my own behaviors on creating that

Carrie-Ann:

psychologically safe space as a team, but also that balance between.

Carrie-Ann:

people's wellbeing and the psychological safety of the team and the team

Carrie-Ann:

performance and how you start to create alongside that psychological

Carrie-Ann:

safety and being really focused on people's, uh, personal wellbeing,

Carrie-Ann:

that sense of accountability.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's been a lot going through my head in the last weekly, I have to say,

Carrie-Ann:

but all in a good way, taking me to where I need to be, I hope as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

So how about.

Lee:

Well,

Lee:

I think the,

Lee:

I

Lee:

suppose the enlightening and reassuring moment was that understanding that I

Lee:

have got that complete alignment, like you talk about between the things that

Lee:

I'm really passionate about and the businesses that I've developed and.

Lee:

Yeah, some of this has grown and evolved over the last two years, but

Lee:

I feel I'm in a place now where I'm totally focused on doing, serving

Lee:

the people that I want to serve, and

Lee:

working on the

Lee:

things that really, I think in my ze genius, but also.

Lee:

Bring that joy to me and I really enjoy

Lee:

getting involved

Lee:

and seeing people grow and develop in, in that area.

Lee:

So I'm, yeah, like you just liking the synergy and alignment between everything.

Lee:

Uh, I absolutely underestimated how much I'd achieved in the years that,

Carrie-Ann:

you did

Lee:

going,

Lee:

going back

Lee:

to that point about having someone else that can be a bit of a check and

Lee:

challenge for you was, was really helpful.

Lee:

and I realized, I suppose that for me, I, you know, I, I love to plan.

Lee:

But

Lee:

for all the planning I do, I do need to be a bit more ruthless

Lee:

around what I need to do.

Lee:

Um, and I've recently finished reading, atomic Habits by James

Lee:

Clear in there is a quote that he, well, well, it's just a sentence.

Lee:

I've taken it as a quote cuz it really sung to me.

Lee:

And it was, it's easy to be in motion and convince yourself that

Lee:

you're still making progress.

Lee:

I thought that's so true.

Lee:

You can get so caught up in planning and doing the detail and then you,

Lee:

but you are actually not going any further forward cuz you're not

Lee:

either not doing the things that

Lee:

are

Lee:

gonna move the dial in the right direction

Lee:

or you

Lee:

are so caught in planning mode, you're not, you're not actually doing

Lee:

the act execution of, of the plan.

Lee:

And so that was a bit of a moment that I need to be more ruthless with.

Carrie-Ann:

That feels quite profound.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually I hear that a lot

Carrie-Ann:

in, in

Carrie-Ann:

conversations about leadership,

Carrie-Ann:

about, you know,

Carrie-Ann:

progressing teams forward.

Carrie-Ann:

Are

Carrie-Ann:

we doing the

Carrie-Ann:

things that actually.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, create the outcomes we're trying to create, or are we just going

Carrie-Ann:

through the motions of doing stuff that we've always done that actually

Carrie-Ann:

as you say, is not moving us forward.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think really good learning point as a leader actually.

Carrie-Ann:

And if you can be clear on your purpose,

Carrie-Ann:

clear on your

Carrie-Ann:

intentions, um, that should really help you with g with checking back and going,

Carrie-Ann:

actually, if I'm spending two thirds of

Carrie-Ann:

a day a week doing

Carrie-Ann:

X, how is that progressing me towards my goal?

Carrie-Ann:

And if it isn't, why am I doing it?

Carrie-Ann:

And there will always be, won't there.

Carrie-Ann:

The things that you sort of have to do, particularly if you work in a,

Carrie-Ann:

an organization where potentially there's a bit of bureaucracy or you

Carrie-Ann:

know, really strong theme around governance, that there'll always

Carrie-Ann:

be the meetings that

Carrie-Ann:

you have to go to, even if, because.

Carrie-Ann:

Part of having that role or that title for example.

Carrie-Ann:

But I do think there is always an opportunity

Carrie-Ann:

and ruthless,

Carrie-Ann:

I like ruthless in a positive way, cuz it sounds like it should have

Carrie-Ann:

negative connotations, but actually being a bit more ruthless about

Carrie-Ann:

where you are putting your time and energy to actually achieve things

Carrie-Ann:

feels like a really good thing to do.

Lee:

So looking more broadly to the leadership world, what have

Lee:

your reflections in 2022 been?

Lee:

Has it been a good year for leaders?

Carrie-Ann:

I'm taking a deep breath here so

Carrie-Ann:

I could

Carrie-Ann:

go with, it's been a mixed bag.

Lee:

Oh my

Lee:

God.

Lee:

That is literally the word that I.

Carrie-Ann:

it's disco.

Carrie-Ann:

I've written it down as Well's been a mixed bag on the leadership front in 2022.

Carrie-Ann:

So, my, I'll try and keep this brief and concise, but where my head

Carrie-Ann:

is at with

Carrie-Ann:

leadership in 2022 is politically.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolute bleep show.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Okay.

Carrie-Ann:

She's going straight in absolute shit show, which I think probably can just be

Carrie-Ann:

summed up all of that cuz there's been so

Carrie-Ann:

much in there.

Carrie-Ann:

And I don't want us to do an episode on, on political leadership

Carrie-Ann:

again cuz we verveer into that quite a lot in other episodes.

Carrie-Ann:

But, uh, you know, I think it can be summed up by Matt Hancock.

Carrie-Ann:

Thinking it was a good idea to go and I'm a celebrity and that's

Carrie-Ann:

all I'm gonna say about it.

Carrie-Ann:

I've been very disappointed

Carrie-Ann:

by the

Carrie-Ann:

lack of integrity that many leaders in the public eye have demonstrated for sure.

Carrie-Ann:

But on the positive side, my personal experience has been, I've seen lots

Carrie-Ann:

of really great examples of good leadership in local communities, in

Carrie-Ann:

small businesses with entrepreneurs.

Carrie-Ann:

But also what I've been really pleased about is that I've also seen

Carrie-Ann:

a younger generation of leaders really starting to do it their own way.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that's maybe in a kind of pushback to what we're

Carrie-Ann:

seeing on that bigger stage.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I'm gonna stop there because Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna let you have your say Lee

Lee:

Well, to be honest, I think you've literally picked every word.

Lee:

I think we'd be good on a show of like Mr.

Lee:

And Mrs.

Lee:

Or something where you gotta

Carrie-Ann:

We're better than we would be with our own partners,

Carrie-Ann:

probably

Lee:

Probably

Lee:

because that,

Lee:

I mean, you've summarized where, where my views were.

Lee:

I do think that there's been some poor leadership demonstrated, but in a very

Lee:

old school, traditional, you know,

Lee:

even if you look at, yes, we've talked about the

Lee:

political, but p and o, Elon Musk, Twitter, or the big companies,

Lee:

old-fashioned views, all of that kind of stuff still out there, which is

Lee:

really disappointing and I have been, Upset and angered by the recurrent

Lee:

issues with people's outdated views, with outdated attitudes, with

Lee:

stereotypes, racism, sexism, all of that.

Lee:

I just think it's still far too loud and prevalent out there, and there's

Lee:

been some really big examples this year of stuff coming to the fore, and I, I

Lee:

suppose there's just been We, or words that organizations have said where they've

Lee:

said they've supported x cause and then they haven't, they haven't necessarily

Lee:

demonstrated that when it's come down to

Lee:

it or their

Lee:

own personal practices in their organization don't, um, match the

Lee:

aspirations that they set out to.

Lee:

So

Lee:

that I've, I've, you

Lee:

know, I still think that's a fight

Lee:

we all need

Lee:

to continue to fight as we, we looked to next year.

Lee:

But, but again, I've.

Lee:

I feel

Lee:

positive, I feel more

Lee:

aware.

Lee:

And maybe it's one of those things about once you've brought awareness

Lee:

to something, you see it everywhere, isn't it, ? Um, but I've definitely

Lee:

seen more people taking a stand, showing that there's another way.

Lee:

So I have, I have got hope that that will grow and continue.

Lee:

But you know, there, there's a few things that worry me that the

Lee:

narrative, particularly around women in leadership worries me.

Lee:

The, the fact that the recent evidence around women leaders don't seem as

Lee:

trusted in organizations that that.

Lee:

is not a great place to be at the end of 2022 for all the stuff that's, that we've

Lee:

been trying to fight for and go for the fact that there's been a legal change

Lee:

recently or, or the announcements around

Lee:

flexible working in

Lee:

organizations, which is a really positive move forward.

Lee:

But then you've got male stale leaders of organizations still bashing on

Lee:

about needing a nine to five model, not wanting flexible working, not

Lee:

wanting hybrid working, all of that.

Lee:

So a mixed bag.

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

So not to go all miss World on you, but what, what would your

Carrie-Ann:

What you gonna ask me to do?

Lee:

no.

Lee:

What

Lee:

would your wish for 2023 be from a leadership perspective?

Carrie-Ann:

My wish for 2023 is for, um, I'm not gonna say world

Carrie-Ann:

peace or they wouldn't that be

Carrie-Ann:

lovely, um,

Carrie-Ann:

leaders to act with more integrity and to take the time to truly try

Carrie-Ann:

to understand what other people they are leading need from them.

Carrie-Ann:

That's, that's my wish for leaders in.

Carrie-Ann:

I wish the listeners could see Lee's, uh, reaction to this.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, that is my wish for 2022 and personally for me, 2023.

Carrie-Ann:

2023 got him a year behind myself.

Carrie-Ann:

2023.

Carrie-Ann:

That's my wish.

Carrie-Ann:

And personally for me, it's to keep being focused on my boundary setting

Carrie-Ann:

and to role model, good boundary setting to others as a leader.

Lee:

Okay.

Lee:

So like you've read my mind, I, I was, I had my head in my

Lee:

hands when she started talking.

Lee:

Not because I didn't like,

Carrie-Ann:

Because she was like, oh my God, what's she saying?

Lee:

But

Lee:

for me, my wish is around leaders to be stepping up and thinking

Lee:

about the impact they're making.

Lee:

Really understanding

Lee:

their

Lee:

purpose and that connection with their staff, their

Lee:

customers, their stakeholders.

Lee:

, but doing that on a really human level, that's kind

Lee:

of

Lee:

where I want to get to next year and people

Lee:

having more of those

Lee:

conversations.

Lee:

Uh, so on the flip side, what do you hope gets firmly left in 2022?

Carrie-Ann:

Do you wanna go first in case I get the reaction again?

Carrie-Ann:

Like just saying everything.

Carrie-Ann:

I was gonna say mixed bag.

Carrie-Ann:

Asking people how they wanna be

Lee:

Okay, I'll

Lee:

go first.

Lee:

Uh, so this is, this might seem really random,

Lee:

but I'm

Lee:

totally over motivational quotes.

Lee:

I'm really over.

Carrie-Ann:

That is quite random.

Carrie-Ann:

Cause that is not what I was expecting you to say.

Lee:

I'm really over like motivational quotes.

Lee:

I'm over gurus who keep getting put up in a pedestal.

Lee:

I'm like bored of the Simon Sineks the world and the Mel Robbins and all of that.

Lee:

Everyone just keeps putting them up on this pedestal and

Lee:

I'm just a bit tired of it all.

Lee:

I'm tired of toxic positivity and I really.

Lee:

You know, the cliques that I see in the online and in real life world can just do

Lee:

one for me.

Lee:

So there's just something like, I just feel, I feel overwhelmed by all

Lee:

of that, and this year just feels, is

Lee:

felt a lot

Lee:

with every, and it, every time I see it now, it just gets me in a place

Lee:

of, oh, where's the practicality

Lee:

in it?

Carrie-Ann:

Toxic positivity.

Carrie-Ann:

That's something I'd like us to talk about in the future.

Carrie-Ann:

But anyhow, um, I would like to leave behind.

Carrie-Ann:

ego-driven leaders who are only in it for themselves.

Carrie-Ann:

And you mentioned, um, you know, we all have our own personal goals.

Carrie-Ann:

We all have our lives outside of being a leader, um, and things that

Carrie-Ann:

we want to achieve and people that we care for and, and want to look after.

Carrie-Ann:

So there's always gonna be an element in whatever you do of, of

Carrie-Ann:

wanting to do something for you.

Carrie-Ann:

But leaders who are clearly only in it, just further

Carrie-Ann:

their own ego.

Carrie-Ann:

They can do one for me

Carrie-Ann:

in 2023.

Lee:

Yes.

Lee:

I'm, I'm completely with you on the ego thing, but I think that's almost

Lee:

also where I'm with, with some of these guru people because I do think that

Lee:

it's, it's become very ego driven now, and I'm not sure the value add that,

Lee:

that

Lee:

they're giving to people.

Lee:

So what's next for you carrie Ann with Cat's Pajamas for 2023.

Carrie-Ann:

what's next for Kat's Pajamas for 2023?

Carrie-Ann:

Well, I am on a mission to create communications leaders

Carrie-Ann:

of the future for sure.

Carrie-Ann:

So there are going to be more thrive programs, uh, one

Carrie-Ann:

starting at the end of January.

Carrie-Ann:

So if there are any comms professionals listening, um, to this podcast when it

Carrie-Ann:

goes out, who, want in on that, visit the.

Carrie-Ann:

Get the dets, all of that kind of stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'm really excited about that.

Carrie-Ann:

That will be the fourth Thrive program and I want to run a couple

Carrie-Ann:

of those next year definitely.

Carrie-Ann:

There might be a bit of podcast action happening.

Carrie-Ann:

There might be

Carrie-Ann:

Lee's got more of the, uh, intel on that, but I'm just, yeah, just ploting

Carrie-Ann:

the seed cuz like you, I'm like, if you say it out loud, , you have to do it.

Carrie-Ann:

So that's quite exciting.

Carrie-Ann:

Um,

Carrie-Ann:

so yeah, more

Carrie-Ann:

of just building on what I've done this year in the business, um, supporting

Carrie-Ann:

communications professionals to really grow and thrive, and thinking

Carrie-Ann:

about

Carrie-Ann:

how I can use my skills and experience.

Carrie-Ann:

And I loved you talking about your zone of genius earlier Lee, to

Carrie-Ann:

have an impact for other people who work in communications.

Carrie-Ann:

What's gonna happen in 2023 with Sunday skies?

Lee:

Wow.

Lee:

Um, so for me, a bit like you just really doubling down on, on what I

Lee:

want to focus on, so, For me, that's how leaders can make an impact.

Lee:

And I've, I've spo, I suppose I've zoned in on three particular areas.

Lee:

So how do leaders connect through their vision and strategy?

Lee:

How do they communicate confidently?

Lee:

and then how do they personally set themselves up for success?

Lee:

So next year I'm gonna be doing

Lee:

a lot

Lee:

more around those three topics in particular, I've got some training planned

Lee:

early next year around helping people determine what their leadership brand is.

Lee:

I've got some freebies around comms planning and getting organized

Lee:

with both things I absolutely love.

Lee:

So I've got some nice new shiny magpie things to come.

Lee:

And yes, I, I've also been perhaps toying with a little podcast idea as

Lee:

well, not, but that doesn't mean that

Lee:

there is,

Lee:

will be no how to take the lead.

Lee:

So we absolutely have got big plans next year for how to take the lead.

Lee:

Definitely more series will be coming in.

Carrie-Ann:

Definitely

Carrie-Ann:

more series and without letting any cats out of bags, uh,

Carrie-Ann:

I think we're going beyond

Lee:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I'm just gonna leave it at that.

Carrie-Ann:

Is that intriguing enough to keep people hooked?

Lee:

Well,

Lee:

I think, I think Revel, as you say, not not giving too much away, but

Lee:

we've been really digging into looking at some related projects so that

Lee:

listeners can get even more involved and get our advice and guidance to

Lee:

help them in their leadership journeys.

Lee:

So we've got a few pots on the boil.

Lee:

Is that the phrase, What

Lee:

is it?

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, it's, but you just, I love the way that you start everything

Carrie-Ann:

as if it is not gonna be right.

Carrie-Ann:

It's like just the way the tone of your voice changes makes me laugh.

Carrie-Ann:

But we have got a few pots on the boil,

Lee:

Okay.

Lee:

But as ever, we would love for you to let us know what you'd like to see, both

Lee:

in terms of what you'd like us to cover in future series of the podcast, but

Lee:

also more broadly, how can we help you?

Lee:

How do you want

Lee:

to get involved

Lee:

with the how to take the lead thing, . So as ever, just, just.

Lee:

Hit us up, either personally on social or through our how to take the Lead accounts.

Lee:

We'd love to hear from you.

Lee:

Final thoughts as we wrap up this mega bonus episode.

Carrie-Ann:

Mega bonus episode.

Carrie-Ann:

Honestly, what a year 2022 has been and from, uh, how

Carrie-Ann:

to take the lead perspective.

Carrie-Ann:

Just a massive thank you to you, Lee, for believing in what we're

Carrie-Ann:

doing for, uh, putting up with me and some of the weirdness that

Carrie-Ann:

I bring to this collaboration.

Lee:

right back at you!

Lee:

Yeah.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, and I'm really looking forward to collaborating

Carrie-Ann:

further with you next year.

Carrie-Ann:

There are some properly exciting things to come, so, um, yeah, I hope people

Carrie-Ann:

stay tuned and continue to engage with us and just a massive thank you to

Carrie-Ann:

everyone who's listened and helped us to make this podcast an actual, real thing

Carrie-Ann:

that is having an impact for people.

Lee:

I echo super grateful for all the support this series and in series one.

Lee:

I can't believe we've done two series in this year.

Lee:

Everyone who's listened, everyone who's shared their reflections who've helped

Lee:

to promote the podcast, we really, really appreciate your input and support.

Lee:

And then I think it's like, my final thought

Lee:

for the

Lee:

recording is as leaders.

Lee:

I think we just need to remind ourselves to double down on the things that matter.

Lee:

Tune out the noise, tune out the bluster.

Lee:

Remember our purpose.

Lee:

Stay true to our values because that's what

Lee:

we,

Lee:

our staff, our communities, deserve.

Lee:

Deserve.

Lee:

Mics drop

Carrie-Ann:

That's why I was really quiet.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm like, don't ruin it.

Carrie-Ann:

That was a brilliant ending.

Lee:

So until 2023, farewell.