PODCAST

Choosing Leadership with Sumit Gupta

Sumit Gupta

You are always choosing. Even when you think you have no choice. And if you are unable to make a decision, you are choosing to stay in a state of indecision. The only question is - are your choices taking you where you want to go? I am Sumit Gupta, and this is "Choosing Leadership" - a podcast for high performers with big dreams at work and life - who know deep inside that there is more. This is a podcast for people who know they are more powerful than the level they are currently playing. I have spent a long time feeling powerless, and that is why I see where you are powerful even when you cannot. I dare to say what most people would not. I dare to speak to the "tremendous power" which you already have rather than what you believe are your strengths and limitations. This podcast is called "choosing leadership" - because that is what leadership is - a choice. The choice to step into the unknown. The choice to see fear as a friend. The choice to take courageous action rather than waiting for readiness. Join Sumit in exploring this question when it comes to your leadership. In each moment of life, are you Deploying Yourself or not? In each moment of life, are you Choosing Leadership or not?

Humble Inquiries [06] - Teams 1 - What makes a team a team?
Today
Humble Inquiries [06] - Teams 1 - What makes a team a team?
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into the foundations of teams - which is the first of 2 episodes we are recording on teams. All work gets done in teams, so it is very important that we spend enough time ensuring we have a "team" before talking about performance.In each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesLeslie - "we need a team so that we can have all those different components working together towards that common goal or purpose."Sumit - "we need teams because we cannot do everything alone." Sumit - " if everybody in a company in an organization is moving in one direction as a team, Then that company will leave everybody behind irrespective of the market, irrespective of the product, irrespective of the economic situation." Sumit - "what makes a team is a set of conversations, not just a hierarchical relationship, are not just something on paper" Leslie - "Sometimes it's qualified as like the fluffy extra stuff. Instead of seeing it as the essential foundation to lead to success." Sumit - "Almost everybody I talked to has this reflection that they know that what they do is not all productive, that there is wastage there, that they are working on things which don't matter."Sumit - " if you can get the conversations, right. what I have seen is that you can produce more value. You can get more done, like not done as in time spent or tasks completed, but more done for the actual stakeholders for the team in less amount of time."Leslie - "When you're in any team, you need to know who you're serving, what does that look like?" Sumit - "a team exists, not in a vacuum. But to serve somebody either it could be an external customer of our company, but it could also be internal stakeholders"Leslie - "conflict or any sort of bump in the road, is inevitable. We're not all perfect. What keeps a team is that if something does happen where someone is not aligned, or they have done something to hurt the team or an individual that it's addressed and held accountable so that you can return to that state of alignment "Sumit - "when these foundational alignments are not in place, what happens is it results in gossip? It results in disengagement. People get disconnected.  People know what is wrong, but they don't speak about it. And people know where the team is faltering, but they don't bring it up."Leslie - "it reminded me of a quote and it's from Julio Olalla. And any problem in an organization or relationship is directly related to a conversation not being held or one being held poorly." Sumit - "Everybody should be committed. And somebody, if somebody is not committed, then the team leader needs to have those conversations to get that commitment." Leslie - "if you're resisting communication for fear or blame, or that you're going to ruffle some feathers, it's likely that not having that conversation is going to cause more harm than actually having the conversation." Sumit - "The commitment and the choice part is very important because you cannot force people to be a part of a team. " Sumit - "what happens when you create a team with all superstars, it creates entitlement. It creates competition because now everybody wants to one-up the other person."Sumit - "this is a huge blind spot. that we see responsibility as a burden, taking responsibility as taking the blame for what goes wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. responsibility is it's like a privilege. It's like a choice,"Leslie - "If you, as a team member are seeing something not going right with someone else in the team, it's not blame it is responsibility, but it's out of care of wanting the team. To succeed and do better. So sharing that is important and it is a caring act as opposed to one of blame" Sumit - "this foundation level is where everything else becomes easier. without the foundation, everything else becomes harder. " As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Humble Inquiries [05] - Mastering Overwhelm
1w ago
Humble Inquiries [05] - Mastering Overwhelm
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into overwhelm - the feeling of too much to do and too little time - which is a very timely one as we find ourselves in new ways of working. Co-hosted with Leslie Wireback on the Choosing Leadership podcastIn each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesSumit - "we see doing more as a badge of honour. we feel that if we are not doing more, if you're not doing more than our peers, then that's somehow a weakness or a sign of not being a good professional." Sumit - "overwhelm and having this sense of too much to do is basically an invitation to ask better questions"Leslie - "What do you care about? What are your priorities, really stepping back and looking at that whole big picture and making adjustments - not just once but regularly" Sumit - "What I've found is that I do not have time is always a lie. I think a better, more accurate representation, would be that this is not my priority. "Sumit - "I do not have time is never the whole truth. There is something deeper beyond that. " Leslie - "I fell in the trap of my work hours needed to be eight to four, eight to five something typical, whereas that doesn't necessarily work well or serve me well each and every day"Sumit - "the first element of really asking ourselves what is the cost of operating this way? And is that okay with me? And if that's okay with you, then yes, wonderful. Continue on that journey. But if you identify that something is missing and that is not okay. Then the question is staring in your face."Leslie - "saying no feels rude. And so then I don't want to say no, I care too much. And I want to help people and saying no is going to disappoint them. Whereas., if I don't say no, I may be disappointing myself or someone else because of I'm creating a conflict and an  inability to manage all that I have to do."Sumit - "No,  is the most powerful word. And also one which most people find it difficult to speak."Sumit - "A NO doesn't mean that you are rude doesn't mean that you are polite. Doesn't mean that you're hardworking doesn't mean that you're not hardworking. It doesn't mean anything unless you make it mean, meaning something. So a no is a simple word. No is a full sentence in itself. "Leslie - "it might take the leader being vulnerable and saying I can't get it all done. I need help. And that. Your team might finally say, thank you for admitting this, that as a team, they're all drowning too." Sumit - "It's only about managing your priorities and then your energy"Sumit - "To realize that everybody has 24 hours, no matter what they do, whether I am an employee as an individual contributor, whether I am a manager of whether I am a president of a country, everybody has 24 hours, not a second more, not a second less for me, realizing that is a very empowering and liberating feeling."Sumit - "is it that my time owns me? What is it that I own my time? I do. I get to choose what, and where I spend my time because everybody has 24 hours. The only question. How are you prioritizing? What are you saying? Yes. To what are you saying No to" Leslie - "as a leader, do you look at the gifts of the individuals on your team and kind of reshuffle responsibilities?" Leslie - "the stories you tell yourself on the assessment you're making of, I'm not good at my time management or I'm not good at saying no, all of that, questioning it and changing it to have a different perception"Sumit - " every courageous act is a vulnerable act as well." As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Leadership Journeys [17] - Lars Maat - "Everybody in my company has an unlimited study budget"
20-06-2022
Leadership Journeys [17] - Lars Maat - "Everybody in my company has an unlimited study budget"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Lars shares how he has built his company around the values of transparency and learning. He shared what he learned from working for others - and how that shaped his unique way of doing business. He encourages everyone to come up with suggestions and new ideas as long as people back them up with facts. He shares how openly talking about his values allows him to attract the right kind of employees and clients. He vulnerably opens up about his fears and challenges and yet how he feels in gratitude for the impact he is having on others’ lives through his work. You can find Lars at the below links the interview, Lars sharesWe combined the businesses in 2018. At that point, we had six people and here we are four years later we grew from 6 to 30.  The first thing that I wanted in the company is complete transparency. All of us staff at the moment know what they are earning, know what the colleagues are earning. They know how much we ask for our clients, how many hours that I was at work that, that represents and same applies to the clients. In our company, everybody has an opinion. Everybody can come up with improvements or with their reasoning. How they are thinking we basically have one rule and that is okay. You can say everything you want, but you need to back it up with arguments or facts. And whether it's senior staff or union or trainee or intern, as long as they came up with some good ideas, they can back them up with facts or arguments. We as management or we as a company, owners are willing to listen to that. Our core values are something that really separates us from a lot of other companies. So it helps us to generate not only clients but also the clients that are thinking the same way as we are which results in. the same applies for getting the right people on the job. My role has completely changed because I'm not working for clients anymore. I'm there for my staff and I need to help them as soon as they have some problems or as soon as our clients have one of the problems with the work that we are delivering. Some of the jobs that we are having at this moment, may be gone in, in one or two years or maybe even faster (due to artificial intelligence). We need to make sure that everybody knows what is going on and how do you keep up with that and how to cope with that, to just make sure that everybody keeps, it keeps a job and we still have our clients and have value for our clients.  Everybody in the company has an unlimited study budget, which basically means if you want to go to a seminar and events follow a course, read a book or anything you can just go. We will pay for that. This basically means that I've got some colleagues who spent like 30 euros a year on developing while their neighbour is spending like 5,000 euros a year for also developing. And I think that's really important because as long as everybody is developing their skills, they will get smarter and better, and it will result in better work for our clients. And it results for a better name for our company. Let's be honest, as soon as you, as a person stop developing then how do you go forward in life? One of the things that most people will not know is the fact that in the beginning, I was really scared to do these kinds of talks. And everybody was like how can you do that? But now when, once you've done it, a couple of times, you're not nervous anymore. The fact that we are able to make an impact on the lives of others. That is the thing that we are most grateful for.
Leadership Journeys [16] - Eddie Rice - "There's no straight line to success"
13-06-2022
Leadership Journeys [16] - Eddie Rice - "There's no straight line to success"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Eddie shares with us the difference between TedX like speeches and impromptu speaking, and how to prepare for both. He highlights the importance of storytelling and the power of practice when it comes to becoming good at public speaking, among other lessons he has learned from writing speeches for CEOs. He also talks about the importance of having a team in accomplishing anything worthwhile.You can find Eddie at the below links the interview, Eddie sharesThere's no straight line to success. I think if you ask anyone, it's very much a very squiggly line with lots of lefts and rights, turns and circles, and trying to find out where it is that you want to be.And too often, we don't see the amount of practice that goes into a really good keynote speech or really good TEDx talk. We only see the finished product.if I could tell anyone out there to get over your fear of public speaking, you have to seek out opportunities to practice your public speaking skills rather than waiting until an opportunity comes up.I think a lot of people think that impromptu speeches are really, truly off the top of someone's head and what's actually going on. Is that someone is reaching into past material that they've prepared and they're just recalling it and they're ready to go. So it's very similar to stand up comedians. It looks like it's all impromptu, but they've been rehearsing that material over and over again to get it down. And it's just a matter of recall when they're on the stage.You're trying to tell a story, not to boast, but to be instructive, to be a teacher. I get to really work with very smart, intelligent people that have great stories to tell. And I'm always learning something new with every speech that I get to write for somebody it's always a new industry. It's always a new area that I get to learn and grow in.I have a front-row seat to what these CEOs are telling their companies, and what these keynote speakers are telling their audiences. So I almost get it for free. It's given me a mini MBA almost in how business works, especially in the areas of leadership and community.I've really developed my conversation skills and ability to ask questions. And that's really, truly impacted me in terms of being able to talk with almost anyone that I come across.You need a team behind you in any endeavour to help you succeed in any goal, you do what you are really good at and then let everyone else help you out in the areas where you need the help. I like to change my environment. And that really helps me think in new ways when I can be around different people and do the work that needs to get done.You want to seek out people who have already done it and asked them how they accomplished it. So in any type of like large endeavour, you don't want to go it alone. Find the people that have already done it, find the coaches that are out there, try them out and see who resonates with you.
Leadership Journeys [15] - Gastón Käufer Barbé - "I am always paying attention and always learning."
06-06-2022
Leadership Journeys [15] - Gastón Käufer Barbé - "I am always paying attention and always learning."
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Gastón shares about growing up in a family of entrepreneurs in Argentina, and how that led him to start his own company - but in the Netherlands. He talks about not being afraid of making mistakes, and the importance of listening in his work. He also shares how he has learned to delegate as a leader which has led to lowering the burden he has faced as a founder and CEO on his shoulders.You can find Gastón at the below links the interview, Gaston says I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I always have this heritage, like listening to my father and my grandfather, all the things that they studied or the, that they decide to take the risk and do things. I inherited from them from a family perspective.Amongst the companies that I worked for before, one was Avon cosmetics. So my boss there, he was extremely straightforward. He was very kind in sharing his learnings.Don't be afraid of committing mistakes. Take decisions.Sometimes they don't go as expected. So you feel like you're like this sort of crashing a car constantly until you realize what you have to do. And you are able to turn the wheel and put the car in the right direction. I think you're doing the things that the market needs that you identify, what are your strengths, and then you're able to offer that. I'm a big fan of Argentina entrepreneurs starting businesses. I bow to them. The main difference is that the conditions to start a business in Argentina are extremely difficult.I'm extremely passionate about identifying gaps in the market and identifying in what way companies can provide a better service. I'm extremely passionate about that is it's about people and understanding people. It's something that I find extremely interesting differences in cultures, in countries.People are extremely intelligent, but they also like processes.Listening is absolutely key to not only really understanding what they want to say. And, but also to identify what are the fears that they have, what are they really looking for? Listening is where the real deal is happening. And as you said it's when done it's transparent, it's not like the visible, but it's a, especially as a leader, if you put your attention on the listening, then you can change you and the quality of a conversation.If you're really listening to what they have to say, you can really identify way more things in an extremely broad range of aspects that talk in the conversation but they are there and they need to be addressed. And that's the main difference as you were saying, like between a leader or someone that just is like addressing needs.I'm always paying attention and I'm always learning. So listening and learning from everyone, it's something that I always put in practice.With time, I've learned that we have grown the team. So I realize that. Delegating in a smart way is extremely key to growth.  It provides confidence to the rest of the team. It boosts their confidence. It makes them feel very responsible and accountable for what they are doing. The first challenge, I think almost everybody is facing is, that the speed of change has increased. And then there is a lot of uncertainty. Almost everybody has to continuously learn and adapt. I know the effect. Probably situations that we have never thought could happen or never thought that it would affect us suddenly you're experiencing it and you need to basically serve the way in the best possible way that you can. Start small, focus and really understand the inside out of that niche. Really understand what your target is looking for. Be extremely critical.
Leadership Journeys [14] - Marleen Evertsz - "You can trust your guts and follow it. And it will be okay. "
30-05-2022
Leadership Journeys [14] - Marleen Evertsz - "You can trust your guts and follow it. And it will be okay. "
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.Marleen did the interview from a houseboat over the canals of Amsterdam where she was for a management off-site. In the interview, she spoke about her love for mountain climbing, and how that has taught her persistence and patience. She also shares how growing up in Curacao - in the Caribbean - and then moving to Amsterdam at 19 - made her feel like a stranger in her own country - and how that has shaped her as a person and a leader. You can find Marleen at the below links the interview, we talk about"So when I was young, I really got used to getting to know new people, but also saying goodbye again, because every person who get to Curacao, stayed at between one and two years. So you would get very good friends and then they move out again to all kinds of regions of the world.""My father was an entrepreneur. He always stimulated me to be very independent. And yeah, I think for me, I don't necessarily need to be an entrepreneur. Now I enjoy it because I have a lot of freedom.""I didn't realize that, but gold is the best product to what we now call tokenize. Why? Because every gold bar is a unique gold bar. It has a number stamped into it. And because of that. It can change ownership at a distance.""I think we actually are in a situation where our resources are basically getting finished. So it (impact investing) is a no brainer that we need to do something about it. Energy prices are going through the roof, et cetera, but you also see if you look at the market, if it's, if you try to predict where it's going to be going and what is happening in the rules, then it's no brainer. Those are the startups that probably has the highest innovation levels and that they get the highest returns in the future.""I'm good with numbers. That's for sure. And I love to build scalable solutions that solve problems. ""I define freedom as I am in charge and in control. And doing what I feel is necessary to do""when something is developed enough, then I can hand it over to a  team and move over to the next step. So I do have quite a lot of time. I  don't feel busy. ""Physically it (mountain climbing) is very hard. At high altitude, your body doesn't react in a way that you are normally used to how it should react and that's tough. It's basically your body against nature and there's only a limit as to how you can influence that but the beauty of a  mountain and how quiet it is. And yeah, I think that the culmination of the two is that it's amazing. And that is something that triggers me.""I strongly believe sitting behind the television doesn't bring you anything.""It is. always important, even if you would have no clue how you're going to resolve something, that you keep on moving and that's the same with climbing. If you stop, if you get out of your motion.... So that's how I think my biggest learning from the mountain. ""And then next to that, it all sounds very beautiful, but sometimes climbing is days of waiting and boring and seeing feeling crap. And it's like also doing something with death. How do you structure your thoughts and what do you do with that? So it's this strange combination of persistency and also finding space. ""I think my previous CEO at Optiver Randall Meyer shaped a lot in my life because I never wanted to be there in the beginning. I was way too creative to work in the financial sector. But he always supported me and pushed me forwards and he knew that this was my loyalty I would stay. But because of that, I got so many chances in life.""I'm usually a very transparent person so I share what I feel and what I think. And what I've learned to do is to trust until the opposite is proven.""I don't do things as everybody expects to do it, or according to the rules and sometimes it's weird but for me, it works.""I learned that sometimes you just have to accept that you're different, but that you can also trust your guts and follow it and do it. And it will be okay. ""Do what you love and love what you do, but probably that sounds so simple, but it's so super important and nothing happens out of nothing."
Humble Inquiries [04] - Coaching is a Leadership Skill
23-05-2022
Humble Inquiries [04] - Coaching is a Leadership Skill
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into coaching as a leadership skill - and a very timely one for leaders as we find ourselves in new ways of working. Co-hosted with Leslie Wireback on the Choosing Leadership podcastIn each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesLeslie - "Coaching helps people create lasting change and long-term impact and really is about empowering the coachee to create their own path forward." Sumit - "A coach helps the coaches see where they want to go. What stands in their way. And once people see what stands in their way, they also know what to do about it,"Leslie - "one of my mentors always shared the beautiful analogy of,  the Lily pads on the surface of the water. Beautiful flowers come from that, but they have. Come up from the deep murky bottom of the water to come through and shine their light as a beautiful flower. So sometimes what's stopping an individual or getting in the way is it's down there deep in the murky, muddy mess, and a coach can help go through there and part the way for the growth to move forward and for others to see that." Sumit - "Coaching is showing people the mirror. And what happens when we see the mirror. is we get to see what we cannot see on our own." Leslie - "you don't need to spend years being trained as a coach. One of the keys is listening and asking questions and anyone can do that."Sumit - "there is no one style of leadership which fits every person, every situation, every organization and coaching, I think, might be the leadership style of the future."Leslie - "One of the most rewarding things in coaching is when you ask a question and the other person says, wow, that's a really great question. Or I've never thought about that right there. It's an opportunity for that person to change and look at something differently. " Sumit - "a fear-based management style can create compliance. It can create obedience. But it cannot create the kind of creativity and innovation that we require from our leaders today. And coaching can actually make that happen naturally. So as a style, coaching is not fear-based or not based on incentives, but getting somebody to connect very deeply with what is it that you care about and then how do you want to lead?"Leslie - "As the manager, you don't always have all the answers often. They think you do because you're in charge of the department, the function, whatever that may be, but you don't have to have all the answers and you don't have to have walked the journey before them. That's where shifting into a coaching conversation really creates so many more possibilities because you don't have to have the answer" Sumit - "What coaching does is basically allows or honours that there is more to being human than our brains and analytical minds and create space for all of those emotions to be expressed, honoured, acknowledged, and that immediately shifts the well being, because then that creates a space for listening."Leslie - "You don't know what you don't know. And sometimes you really just need to experience it." Sumit - "the kind of people I am coaching are high-level executives and leaders. What I've seen is the most use of coaching can be taken by high performers. People who are already performing or who are already ambitious, they can take their performance and the results they produce to a totally different level, a totally unheard-of level through the process of coaching." Leslie - " in those high performers, coaching is incredibly effective because they continually want to advance themselves. They always want to learn. They always want to do better."Sumit - "every business team and every business leader will have a coach in the future because it's quite natural that if something can help you move towards your future and you get more productive at the same time, and more happy and joyful. Why wouldn't you have that resource why wouldn't you avail of that?" As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Humble Inquiries [03] - Mental Health and Burnout
16-05-2022
Humble Inquiries [03] - Mental Health and Burnout
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into Mental Health and Burnout - a huge challenge for leaders and everyone else in the era of Covid-19, hybrid work, sudden changes, and all the uncertainty.In each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesLeslie - "The key theme is taking that moment to pause, whatever that may be, pause to find out what your emotion or your reaction is positive for you. Pause before you react."Sumit - "Everybody is different. Every family is different. Every society and every group is different. So there is also that something very localized, very personal. , To this challenge, we cannot really predict. We cannot really guess what is happening to somebody. "  Sumit - "what makes it, I think even worse or what compounds the problem is, we don't talk about all of this stuff. This is very human stuff. This is not alien stuff, This is very human stuff. And yet we don't talk about it."Leslie - "And because we don't talk about it. We don't even know how to talk about it. And the sensitivity around that creates even more hesitation." Sumit - " It takes a moment to shift ourselves to do, to bring up a smile on our faces."Leslie - "just as we learn and grow all throughout our lives and career, this is another step in the journey and another opportunity to change how we work moving forward, how our world is moving forward."Sumit - "there are a lot of things which we are on top of it, but at the same time to make it an assumption that I can be on top of everything can become a very heavy place to operate from. It can almost become self-defeating."Sumit - "letting go of control is actually not anxiety is actually curiosity." Leslie - "The individual may have depression or anxiety, but that doesn't shape everything. That's not who they are. They are not a depressed and anxious person. They are someone who has depression and anxiety." Sumit - " The external does not control the internal in a deterministic way. So we still do have a choice, to choose how to react to situations. And our well-being is not a function of what is happening outside. Nobody can take that away from us."Leslie - "Creating the space to talk about mental health and wellbeing. And allowing that to be accepted is a powerful piece of what each and every one of us brings to every day and every conversation." Sumit - "the neutral state of any human being is wellbeing is peace. That's a neutral state. It's not like jumping with joy, but it's also not being depressed or sad, the neutral state. We don't really have to do anything if we just let things go that we are trying to control. That's where (the neutral state) we will land automatically." As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Humble Inquiries [02] - Hiring & Retaining People
02-05-2022
Humble Inquiries [02] - Hiring & Retaining People
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into Hiring, engaging and retaining people - a huge challenge for leaders in the era of the great resignation and talent shortages.In each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesLeslie - "Everyone wants to be valued and to have a purpose in their work" Sumit - "Communication is not only about what is being said. Communication is also about what is not being said, which needs to be said, and what is being said, but  which you are not hearing." Sumit - "Good leadership improves the productivity of those people you already have. Hiring is a challenge because there is more demand for work. But another way to address it rather than just adding more people is to increase the productivity and wellbeing of those whom you already have and good leadership skills, good listening skills, especially coaching as a skill for managers become very important." Leslie - "You can't have the typical water cooler conversation that you may have had around the coffee pot in the morning. How do you create the space for that?"Sumit - "People are also demanding fairness, honesty and transparency, and equal pay for equal work."Leslie - "It really is about creating space. Before you created that space physically, you created a lunchroom, you created a little lounge, and you created some space built within your culture that fostered that. Now that space needs to be created virtually or in a hybrid format to be able to continue to cultivate those relationships and conversations." Sumit - "People do not just want a place to work or a place to get a salary. They want meaning, purpose and they want to work in a company where they feel loved and valued." Leslie - "The leader doesn't have to have those solutions. The leader needs to create the environment, to have the conversations, to be able to come up with those solutions." Sumit - "If we can help leaders get better at the conversations they are having that will also solve not just the productivity problem, but also the hiring problem. Coaching is just a way to have conversations more effectively." Sumit - "The point of feedback is not to show people where they are wrong. It's not to fix them. It's not to put them into boxes of underperforming, exceeding expectations, and so on. It's to help them get better so that the team gets better and so that the company gets better." Sumit - "This is also an opportunity to involve people and to listen to, and do and implement what they feel is the right thing to do rather than what you can plan or devise as a leader."Sumit - "Vacation should not be taken to distress or to avoid burnout. Everybody should be free to use their vacation days for travelling, practising their hobbies, any other passions, spending time with family. But if you use vacation for de-stressing. Then it means that something is wrong in the workplace itself. And that's where we can focus our attention." Leslie - "When your talented employees and the driven ones become silent, that's the really scary moment because something is wrong." As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Humble Inquiries [01] - Change, Pressure, and Uncertainty
18-04-2022
Humble Inquiries [01] - Change, Pressure, and Uncertainty
This is the Humble Inquiries series. In this episode, Leslie joins me as my co-host to humbly inquire into Change, Pressure, and Uncertainty - which is one of the most pressing challenges leaders are facing today. In each episode of Humble Inquiries, we are deliberately going to put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges - with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices - to help us better serve our coaching clients, and also to help the leader in you navigate the biggest challenges - at life and at work.Show NotesLeslie - "There's no script for how to manage this" Sumit - "Rather than falling back to the old patterns which might have worked pretty well for a different era, for the 21st century, we need a new way of doing business and leading people." Leslie - "You have to be humble to be able to do that with your team, with your whole organization, no matter what your role may be to open up and be a little vulnerable and create that space so that everyone else knows it's okay." Sumit - " the first step is to acknowledge what it is and what it is not." Leslie - "Grief happens with any change and ending really. There is no normal, that normal has ended and we all have experienced grief. Some of us are still in it, some of us are moving through it." Leslie - "You have to allow the space and acknowledge what's happening and still trying to work through it, not just wallowing in it, but giving space for it. And moving ahead. " Sumit - "Any emotion is not the problem.  The problem is that we block the emotion. We don't create a space to talk about it, to express it, whether it is with fear or anger or sadness." Sumit - "The key thing here is taking responsibility doesn't mean that you have to take a burden." Sumit - "These are very small steps, but they can make a huge difference over a period of time. " Leslie - "silence is okay. " As quoted by Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry, an humble inquiry is recognizing that insights most often come from conversations and relationships in which we have learned to listen to each other and have learned to respond appropriately, to make joint sense out of our shared context, rather than arguing with each other into submission.
Leadership Journeys [13] - John Featherby - "What I'm doing with my time is why I'm here!"
28-03-2022
Leadership Journeys [13] - John Featherby - "What I'm doing with my time is why I'm here!"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, John talks about how can we make work a place where people can seek and find dignity, uncover who they are and find joy in what they do, in addition to just making a living. He opens up about his faith, about our tricky relationship with money, and he shares that what he does today is the reason he is here. We also talk about the importance of having people to lean back on and of celebration in the context of leadership.You can find John at the below links the interview, we talk aboutHow do we kind of rescue the company in a way and provide a place where people can seek and find dignity and who they are and joy in what they do and as well as making a living?It's more that we lost our way and we forgot, what was important or we separated what we felt was important from what we actually did.I think the pandemic has accelerated this question around that people wants to do meaningful things with their time.The company of the future is going to be quite different, but for a number of different reasons, not just meaningful work, The family structure has changed. People who go to work have changed and digital, the digital landscape has changed. The regulatory landscape is changing. Almost everything has changed except for the structure of a company.A very rampant individualism has made people feel like I can force my will on the world. And the companies have felt the same, but I think are increasingly finding that it's not quite as forward. And you're not quite as in control as you thought.Our purpose is to restore joy, meaning and freedom to every workplace.It is starting to see money as a tool, as opposed to something that you have rather than it has you.How do we use money more wisely? How can we redirect its energy and power in a positive direction as opposed to just being captured by it all the time?I think trade has always been part of the human experience and it always will be, but I think we are perhaps moving beyond the sort of obsession with consumerism and material identification.The real problem is in people. It's in their hearts and souls and that spirit, why do I do this? What matters to me? How am I going to treat people? What level of courage do I have? How much sacrifice could I cope with?You might need some painkillers, but long term, if you really want to change, you're going to have to put in the effort.I have a faith myself I do lean on that and have my kind of rituals or prayer or whatever that helps me feel.The bigger that responsibility gets the lonelier. And with it comes more wealth and in the world's eyes, more power, but it can be extremely isolating.It is really important to, even with the small things, to take time out, to feast and celebrate and find gratitude and joy in what you're doing.I quite like challenging the stereotype of who I am, I come from a particular background and, sometimes that means in some situations, people make assumptions about how you're going to see the world. And I enjoy sometimes disrupting those and then being surprised at what my perspective on something might be or what I might say.How do we design education to support children becoming adults for jobs that are not only very different from the average professional of my age, but potentially not just companies that aren't there, but whole sectors that might show up?When big companies start talking about questions of purpose and meaning in work, these are such deep human questions that I think it is a mistake for them to imagine that they can control those in a kind of manufactured and corporate way.
Leadership Journeys [12] - Roei Samuel - "You should never get too high when you win and never get too low when you lose"
21-03-2022
Leadership Journeys [12] - Roei Samuel - "You should never get too high when you win and never get too low when you lose"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Roei opens up about his views on entrepreneurship, leadership, and his relationship with money. We also talk about how our early experiences shape us in subtle ways we do not realise, and the importance of vulnerability, transparency, and caring for people. We also discuss the responsibility of an early-stage startup leader to their team and investors - and how that is paramount.You can find Roei at the below links the interview, we talk aboutIt's easy to see entrepreneurialism to see, leadership and think, oh, that looks great and looks really attractive, but it doesn't all the time. And when it is not always a success, it can have real impacts.My experience growing up as a child, teenager was one of, whatever you get in your life, you're going to have to work for, there wasn't going to be any handouts.If you did have that experience growing up, I think you mature at a much quicker rate. So I think if you, at eight years old, 10 years old, whatever, it might be, start having to face those realities of, what the real world is. I think it definitely means that when you come into 18, 19 years old, you're already a few years aheadI've got a very strange relationship with money and it's not been a good one for a long time.That was a really great learning experience for me that, you back people because you want to be involved with the right people and want to support the right people.What I'm learning is you have really got to nurture all of your people to go on, not just the journey for the company, but their own. And you really got to help those people achieve what they want to do because ultimately unless you've got the right team to execute on things, that is just not going to work. People are everything.So making sure that you put an arm around everyone and give everyone their own personal plan. It's so important, but it's a difficult thing to do.Your job as a CEO in many ways is to protect your time to spend with your core team. So bringing in an EA has massively helped on that side and trying to limit the amount of time I spend on smaller tasks.I don't buy into this idea of if you're a founder of a business, you could do a four-day working week. I think your responsibility is to your team and to your investors.I'm very fortunate as well that my girlfriend understands the entrepreneurial journey. Her brother's an entrepreneur. She's seen it from a very early age where means to have that commitment. If you're with someone who doesn't understand, it can be very difficult.It's about transparency as well. Being transparent with your team of being authentic and saying, look, guys, I'm struggling with the idea of this. That I'm just going, to be honest with you guys. It's super important, but, and it's one of the most difficult things to strike the balance because you need to show and truthfully be very considerate, very open to what other people think about.But you also need to be decisive enough that people have faith in you as a leader. So it's getting that balance of saying, I want to listen to everyone and I want to take on board all of your ideas and manage that with, but don't worry, guys, this is the decision. This is what we're going to do.My mum grew up in communist Hungary and they escaped and she ended up in a refugee camp and, all, but then they were sent back and then when they got send back to hungry, people had taken over that house. So I also think it's one of the reasons I'm such a hard worker is, from where they've come from and it transcends through the way that they brought me up and everything else.I think that so much of life is luck. I'm very grateful that, with real support, we got the right thing at the right time and I'd be so grateful for so many opportunities.I'm still learning so much that I feel like my journey in a leadership position, my journey as a leader is so at the beginning that I still feel like every day I'm learning so much about what I mean.No matter what's going on in business, if you're flying and you've got a hundred employees and you're about to do a big fundraiser, you still got to do the dishes at home there. You still got to help out around the house. If you want to have a happy home life.I think success is doing everything you can to reach your potential. Whatever that means, that could be financial, it could be creative. It could be raising a family who are happy, many different people have different views on that. But I think that you need to go for it, whatever your view on success is.You just got to love the journey because you'll always be on the journey. The second you stop loving the job, you need to evaluate whether it's a journey you want to be on, or if there's something else that would make you happy.
Leadership Journeys [11] - Catherine Nakalembe - "With very little, you can do so much"
14-03-2022
Leadership Journeys [11] - Catherine Nakalembe - "With very little, you can do so much"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Catherine shares how she had very humble beginnings growing up just outside Kampala, Uganda, and how she learned so much from her parents - who were very resourceful despite having very little resources. She talked about her openness to learn and build new things, and also shares the value of speaking in a language your audience understands. We also discussed how acknowledging that “I do not know” is often what allows growth to happen. You can find Catherine at the below links the interview, we talk about"I really enjoyed badminton. I taught myself how to teach aerobics. I was a games prefect when I was in high school. And for some reason that I can't really pinpoint, it kept me together and I liked doing it also kept me and my sisters really close because we all played it.""I always loved math. I did do pretty well at math and I loved geography. And so those two things coming together allow me to be able to do this environmental science program. And that's how I took the path into. Environmental science.""I liked computers so much that I bought my first computer with what would have been my housing stipend. I made a deal with my mom that I'd like to use that money to buy a computer.""I didn't have access to books and stuff like that growing up. So like my view or perception of the world was, it was very limited. And so going to university and finding out all these other things you can study made me think that I need to do more of it.""Just like with discovering more and more stars and stuff like that, it's there's more after this is more, there's more.""It was in the city, but we lived in a mudhouse and I wanted to my primary school does not exist anymore. It was very small, it's a place called Katwe. There's a market there and it's a slum. And yeah, it was very simple. To watch television I'd have to go to the neighbours.""I walked to school from when I was three, at least six or seven kilometres from home where I went to like kindergarten. And yeah, so it was like that.""It is in my nature maybe want to build on things.  When I was five. I didn't think I was going to be a rocket scientist. I didn't even know what a rocket scientist or I didn't say I wanted to be a doctor or I didn't have that kind of mind frame, but what I had was what I had with me, I would make something.""So like with what I have, I tried to do something with and that, because of that, I discovered more and more which I think opened up more and more doors. I bought a computer, which was dead, had making that computer work, buying additional drives and stuff like that. So that taught me about IT.""It's just being open and being, having that, the mindset of, if a window opened, you can look in and then see how far you can look at.""You find that there are some people who can do something so quickly and it's better that they do it. And that makes it makes it a better fit and a better outcome.""I like to communicate as effectively as possible. Trying to sound like a very good scientist when I'm talking to a farmer is completely pointless.""I'm also really grateful for my husband, and my kids that give me I'm blown away by my kids. I'm learning so much through them, which is so exciting.""I try to be present when I'm doing a task. I can tell when I'm not like when I'm supposed to be watching my sons, but I get distracted. I can tell that I get angry really quickly when they ask me something, which as kids they should. Recognizing that helps me like switch off immediately.""The advice that I would give, have given to myself was to keep exploring, even with the limited things that that I had, I liked creating and creating with nothing. Kids learn things from touching and moulding from putting blocks together, it gives them they learn a lot of things and it doesn't have to be anything special. It doesn't have to be Legos. You could just be like regular blocks that they made with boxes and things like that.""With very little, you can do so much. No work is beneath you as long as you learn something from it, nothing is beneath anybody.""I listened to some of your podcasts. I've listened to, three or four episodes. And it's just incredible how people reflect on this place and what they do. And it's, there's just so much to learn and I learn a lot by listening."
Leadership Journeys [10] - Moky Makura - "You can present all the facts, but it's actually the stories that change people"
28-02-2022
Leadership Journeys [10] - Moky Makura - "You can present all the facts, but it's actually the stories that change people"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Moky talks about her trust in the universe, and how that allows her to take risks and venture into very different territories. We talk about how growing up in Nigeria gave her such a boost of confidence that she doesn’t see “failure” as anything except learning. She also highlighted how her parents never told her that she can not do this or that - and which allowed her to take big risks in her career.You can find Christian at the below links the interview, we talk about"Our theory of change is that in order to shift or change the narrative, you've got to introduce new different stories.""Where do you want to be buried? And when I think about that, I won't be buried in Nigeria or my ashes sprinkled in Nigeria that's home. So I think first and foremost, I am Nigerian and second be I am an African""I used to have a talk about my career, which is called jumping trees. And the reason why I use that analogy was that I never climbed the tree to get to the top of it. I went to the top of one. To the top of another, to the top of another. So I was jumping trees."I went from never being an actress to having been a lead on a what turned out to be a really groundbreaking, a major drama series in Africa. So I went straight from never having gone to drama school to being in a top drama that required a lot of being brave because I'd never acted before. You've just got to trust the universe that when you do these things, when you jump onto a tree or you jump from one thing to another, I just trust the universe, which requires a lot of confidence in both yourself and the universe.""There was this image that, because you're black, you weren't as good. And you were African, you were even not really not as good because I've always said there's a hierarchy. It's probably white men at the top, then black men, then white women and then black women. And then at the bottom of that is African women""my formative years were, spent in Nigeria and there was something about that continent that. Us all such a boost of confidence. I stepped out in the world as if I was in first class and the world had to fall behind me. I grew up believing I was a proud Nigerian and still am, and that makes a very big difference.""Failure is part and parcel of who I am, because I don't see it as failure. I just see it as, the experience. And I think that is a huge sort of difference in confidence booster because I never failed. I just learnt. ""Storytelling is powerful. It is the single thing that can inform, educate, influence. If you think about, for example, how you got your impression about America? It wasn't probably because you went there. It was because you watched the American movies, then you figured out that's, you know who they are.""It's not about, fighting the issue. It's about putting out stories that counter the issue because people's beliefs do not come from facts. It comes from perceptions and an ideology and all these other soft things. You can present the facts, but it's actually the stories that change people. ""I think we need to learn to embrace diversity because we are not very good at it. It's actually why there is so much polarization because people want us all to be the same. Nobody's allowing that truth that you live, let me live. For me, it's really not about, one, anything it's about, embracing the diversity of this globe."
Leadership Journeys [09] - Christian Guttmann - "It is important to put yourself into the shoes of those that you want to inspire"
21-02-2022
Leadership Journeys [09] - Christian Guttmann - "It is important to put yourself into the shoes of those that you want to inspire"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Christian and I spoke about our common love for technology and leadership, about computers and people, and about artificial and human intelligence. We talk about the importance of listening with empathy, understanding the cultural assumptions that lie behind all conversations, and the important role of curiosity when it comes to leadership.You can find Christian at the below links the interview, we talk aboutI think I realized early on my big ambition of seeing big AI projects turning into something requires you to work very closely together with lots and lots of other experts with great people. All sorts of qualities that they can bring to the table. And of course, each of these individuals have different backgrounds, different ambitions, different ways of communicating a different view on the world.If you understand where people come from, if you can connect to those individuals. That's a different quality that you need to bring in as a leader. Regardless of how big the company is, your responsibility at the end of the day is to really make sure you're viable as a business.If you're lucky, you also understand the assumptions, the underlying life assumptions of the other individual that you see that still today, clearly in the bigger setup where culture in which individuals or operating, plays a big role in how people make decisions and how they beIt's a good level of curiosity. I'm genuinely curious about another person, how they think what's the background, what's the interest, what's the ambition. How do they want to change the world? What do they see as being responsible for which role. In this big theater we call life, do they consider it being their role, right?If you manage to have followers,  it is important to have empathy, to put yourself into the shoes of those that you want to inspire, that you want to help and want to lead and want to manage and want to give a perspective. Focus on the purpose, focus on the meaning of doing this type of work. It's answering that question. "Why am I here?" The expectation for me is not only to know the latest algorithm but to actually also understand how do I attract the people that know the latest algorithm, how do I keep them all happy and meaningful?
Leadership Journeys [08] - Nina Rauch - "So many people appear confident, but there's always something going on."
14-02-2022
Leadership Journeys [08] - Nina Rauch - "So many people appear confident, but there's always something going on."
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Nina shares how losing her mother inspired her to start Pink Week. She opens up and talks about how bad things hurt her heart, and how knowing that has shaped her career. She also talks about the importance of working in a company where you feel comfortable expressing your voice, which I think is one of the main tasks of any leader in any organisation. You can find Nina at the below links the interview, we talk aboutI was really inspired by my mother. She passed away when I was young. Gosh, she had breast cancer for around three years.It was really important to me to just say, why don't we just bring that awareness level a few years earlier? Why do we have to wait until we reach an age where we are vulnerable to breast cancer? And why can't we like look at a preventative away?I really hate seeing bad things happen. It really hurts my heart. And I think that's very much why it ended up in the nonprofit sector, because I just feel like a real connection with giving back and facilitating other people.I think for-profits are the organizations that need to pave the way for a new kind of giving, engaging a completely new consumer set,  and a target audience that could be interested in giving back and perhaps becoming more dedicated to these nonprofits as they.I think all corporations should be B Corps, because I think it's really the best way to do business nowadays. I think that if you have a job that you're passionate about and that you're focused on, it really helps to calm the nubs and decrease some of that intense pressure because you're going in the right direction.I think when you come to a leadership role at a young age, then everybody struggles with this kind of imposter syndrome. And that's something that I definitely feel. I think, so many people appear confident, there's really always something going on behind closed doors. So I think everyone should be more open about how they're really feeling. And then live in a much more transparent environment.
Leadership Journeys [07] - Jason Rees - "You do not have to be the cleverest person in the room"
07-02-2022
Leadership Journeys [07] - Jason Rees - "You do not have to be the cleverest person in the room"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.In the interview, Jason shares how playing and coaching team sports like Rugby has shaped his leadership. He talks about how as a leader, you do not have to be the most clever person in the room with all the answers, and how he sees listening to different perspectives as a superpower. He told me his leadership is not about him, but about his teams. And I found that very powerful.You can find Jason at the below links the interview, we talk aboutI would say a lot of reasons I've shaped by that is I've played team sports. Like rugby is the sort of sport I played the most. The feedback is not "you've done this wrong." It's much more. "What did you observe? What went well, what didn't go well""I try to actually put the time in my diary to take a step back. There's a danger that we are operational all the time,  we're hitting our KPIs, our targets, whatever we measure our business by and what that means is, and again, especially in the current work. People get burnt out. I think people get burnt out by just getting the tasks done."Everyone wants to feel relevant. Everyone wants to feel, they understand why a big company or a small company quite frankly, is going in the direction is doing going. You don't have to be the cleverest person in the room. What you need to do is make sure that you have people with diverse backgrounds, diverse experiences who are all able to look at problems in different ways. And sometimes the problem can be solved in a totally different way. And I think that's that for me is the superpower. I don't care where people come from. I think it's just better that we've got diverse ideas. Leaders need to tap into what that person's passion is, and if we can get it aligned to our company goals the corporate goals, then you create high performing team.I think it's not about the quantity of communication. It's about the quality of communication. And then listening basically plays a huge part. Don't be held back by the fear of failure, just be excited by what you can do.
Leadership Journeys [06] - Bojana Duovski - "Success to me is being the person you want to be and, to look in the mirror and just be good with it."
24-01-2022
Leadership Journeys [06] - Bojana Duovski - "Success to me is being the person you want to be and, to look in the mirror and just be good with it."
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.What stood out during our interview with Bojana was how she dedicates time for her “Walk and talk”, which is, in her own words, “a gift of her presence that she voluntarily gives others”. She has done over 400 of these in the last few years, where she would walk and talk in the woods or in a park in Amsterdam with the other person.You can find Bojana at the below links the interview, we talk aboutI have an 11-year-old daughter and I’m actually aiming to be the example I have never had to her. That’s my biggest goal in life.”“I always question the status quo, because I love to explore boundaries and where possible to colour outside the lines. If a framework is there, I always go to the edges.”“I invest in others, because I missed that in life, I really think paying forward is the way to go. To give people something more as a human being and as a leader. ““I learned over time to see the power of asking for help. I was very much aware that people in my teams are smarter and better at certain things. I am there to guide them towards an end goal and the full potential of themselves.”“I don’t need a lot of influence from outside to feel okay with myself. ““Whatever you say or whatever you do, people are listening through the filter of their own needs. They always reflect with their own framework, so actually, they are not listening to you and as a leader it’s also important to take responsibility for the interpretation people make”.“With the war in my home-country it was my goal to earn money and there was no room for self-reflection in that period, so it didn’t matter which route I would take to get to my goal. From the very lowest position in advertising, I grew to managing director within 10 years. And actually when I reached this position, I was thinking: ‘What am I doing here?’”
Leadership Journeys [05] - Yarrow Kraner - "We can't be of service to the world without truly knowing ourselves"
17-01-2022
Leadership Journeys [05] - Yarrow Kraner - "We can't be of service to the world without truly knowing ourselves"
This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other's stories - of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.Yarrow opened up about his childhood and shares how he was bullied at school where he was the only white boy. He speaks about how this experience allowed him to build empathy later on and understand his own privilege as a white man. He shared how this led him to start an organisation looking to find the superhero in every person, and how it continues to shape his leadership.You can find Yarrow at the below links the interview, we talk about"I grew up in Montana in the U S which is a very small population in the middle of nowhere. Big skies, vast horizons. I think it sort of inspired me to dream""I got beat up every, every other day, anytime that they could catch me before I could get home. And so I started growing this chip on my shoulder. ""And to take the moment or to really sort of sit and ask the question of why this person is feeling like that in that moment, you know, I just recognize like, It's not really me, that they're angry at the sort of, you know, I'm a stand-in for a lot of injustices that have occurred and, you know, moving, moving kind of through life.""We're bringing a hundred or so right people together that can lead to collaborations that could impact the lives of a hundred million. But those are sort of seeds. The seeds that are planted.""How do we say the world? It's like, we have to start with ourselves inside.  We can be as great of service to the rest of the world without truly knowing ourselves and working on ourselves and in our work.""I have to sit with things for a while. The lessons that I've learned in the last couple of years is to be patient and I'm not a very patient person."