50 episodes

Doing work that matters always has a hard part. A point when our aspirations for achievement get challenged, and we either find a way or lose our way. The Messy Middle is a podcast designed for leaders who need to deliver results in a demanding context. Subscribe below and receive insights and ideas about how to amplify your impact within your life, organisation and community.

The Messy Middle Andrew Horsfield

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

Doing work that matters always has a hard part. A point when our aspirations for achievement get challenged, and we either find a way or lose our way. The Messy Middle is a podcast designed for leaders who need to deliver results in a demanding context. Subscribe below and receive insights and ideas about how to amplify your impact within your life, organisation and community.

    E50 - Malissa Clarke - Never Not Working

    E50 - Malissa Clarke - Never Not Working

    Are you feeling constantly under pressure and overwhelmed? Are you taking work home with you or finding it hard to switch off? If so, this conversation with Malissa Clarke is really going to resonate with you.

    Malissa is an Associate Professor of industrial and organisational psychology at the University of Georgia, and she’s written a brilliant book called, Never Not Working – Why the Always On Culture is Bad for Business and How to Fix It. A deeply insightful book that has gained attention and accolades from people like Adam Grant and Daniel Pink because of the beautiful way it explores why a large percentage of us are overworking – and how we can face and fix our own tendencies to be tethered to work.

    We covered a lot of important issues in this conversation like: why we overcommit to work, common tendencies we should be aware of (and it’s not just how many hours you are working), why hustle cultures are harmful - and the things we can all do to achieve excellence as well as endurance.

    Malissa provides a practical voice to a common problem most of us face. How we can manage the competing demands of modern life. It’s time to listen and learn as we speak with Associate Professor, author, and proud working mum, Malissa Clarke.

    • 41 min
    E49 - Cody Royle -

    E49 - Cody Royle -

    If you are a leader in charge of a team, a coach striving to be successful, or a parent committed to raising reasonable kids, this conversation with Cody Royle will resonate with you.

    Cody is an author, speaker and coach who spends the majority of his time coaching Head Coaches working at the elite level of sport. And while you may think this kind of work would mean a testosterone fuelled discussion about motivation, peak performance and success, you’d be mistaken, as Cody takes a more considered, and counter-intuitive approach, to his work.

    In this conversation we discuss the cognitive demands leaders have to deal with and how you can navigate the stress and anxiety that can come with leading people. We explore the importance of identifying the gaps between your aspirations and the obstacles in your path, the importance of awareness, communication and decision making, how continuous learning can propel your leadership to new heights, and so much more.

    This episode will help you embrace your ambitions and pursue your boldest objectives. I hope you are ready to absorb the valuable insights that come from this conversation with Coach of the Head Coaches, Cody Royle.

    • 46 min
    E48 - Cameron Schwab - Leadership Strategist

    E48 - Cameron Schwab - Leadership Strategist

    This month, I sat down with Cameron Schwab for a deep and intimate conversation about the true essence of leadership - and how we can all be better leaders in the various roles we play in our lives.

    Few people know the peaks and pitfalls of leadership like Cameron. CEO of the Richmond Football Club at just 24 ears of age, he rode the rollercoaster of high performance sport as the second longest serving CEO in the modern game. In that time, he collected a host of valuable lessons he now leverages as a leadership coach and strategist, and has detailed in his book More to the Game.

    Moving beyond the usual vernacular around leadership, we discuss what lies at the heart of good leadership, the role adversity and complexity play in defining a leader, the leadership principles Cameron himself uses to guide his life, and so much more. This is a conversation where you’ll want to have a pen and paper close by to capture the countless ideas Cameron shares.

    Please enjoy this ripping conversation with the very wise leadership coach and strategist, Cameron Schwab.

    • 47 min
    E47 - Manu Kapur - Productive Failure

    E47 - Manu Kapur - Productive Failure

    My guest on this episode is Many Kapur. Manu holds the Professorship for Learning Sciences and Higher Education and directs The Future Learning Initiative at ETH Zurich. Manu conceptualized and developed the theory of Productive Failure. How, rather than avoiding failure, we can purposefully design for it to facilitate better learning.

    In this conversation, Manu explains the importance of our environment for learning, why we need tasks to be challenging enough to stretch us but not so difficult that we become overwhelmed, as well as the profound impact productive failure has on our ability to grow and learn.

    We also discuss the correlation between learning goals and persistence in problem-solving tasks, and uncovering valuable insights that can help us navigate our own personal and professional challenges.

    I hope you enjoy this conversation with Manu Kapur as he unlocks the secrets of productive failure, and how it can propel us towards a better, more fulfilling life.

    • 32 min
    E46 - Jehan Casinader - Rewriting our stories

    E46 - Jehan Casinader - Rewriting our stories

    How can confronting the end of your life teach you how to live a good life? According to author, educator, and speaker Jehan Casinader, quite a lot. Calling on his personal experience battling severe mental distress, Jehan joined me to talk about the connection between the narrative that runs through our life and the level of health and happiness we experience.

    Jehan is best known as a journalist and storyteller in the fast paved world of prime time TV in New Zealand. He was won a number of coveted media awards, including Broadcast Reporter of the year in 2020, and has written a brilliant book called This Is Not How It Ends covering his four year battle with depression and how the power of storytelling helped him survive.

    In this conversation, he shares why the stories we tell ourselves matter, and how interrogating their origins can help us better understand how we work, lead and live. We discuss ways we can mask our insecurities, the value of struggle, how silently struggling can lead to sickness, and the benefits of rewriting our story so we become the author of our own experience.

    Please enjoy the insightful and inspiring wisdom that flows consistently throughout this conversation with Jehan Casinader.

    • 45 min
    E45 - Digby Scott - Change makers

    E45 - Digby Scott - Change makers

    You are in for a real treat this month as I talk to acclaimed author, mentor, and genuine nice guy, Digby Scott. In this episode, Digby shares his insights about why we need to lead with more purpose and wisdom. Digby is the author of the book Change Makers and works with individuals and teams who want a more considered approach to how they engage and navigate, complexity, challenge, and change.

    This conversation with Digby was a real pleasure. We covered some wide ranging ground, including why we need to slow down, and ask better questions to gain better insights. Digby also shares the importance of cultivating courage, how systems can support personal and organisational growth, and so much more.

    This conversation will move your mental furniture around why we need more depth and wisdom in modern leadership. Time to listen and learn from the funny, insightful, and very wise, Digby Scott.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Will Carr 76 ,

Keeping it real!

A real inspiring, relatable podcast catering for those who aspire to improve or validate any aspect of leadership.
Terrific access to a great variety of guests with the host ensuring that there are thought provoking conversations, in depth insights, and understandable and useable examples.

Noisy Guts ,

Curious and curiouser!

I am constantly surprised by this podcast. Each episode is genuinely thought provoking. I love that it’s not delivered in a 10 second soundbite. But the conversations are more in-depth and meaty.

Shaun Seymour ,


I recently listend to ep 22 with Hannah Huesman... Great listen for anyone in the coaching/service realm. While the techniques and ideas discussed aren't specific to coaching/service they are very applicable. I garnered some of her ideas and am excited to use them with my clients.

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