As the world constantly changes, then today is a simple as it gets! It’s your leadership capabilities that will make the difference for your business, your people and your success. Each week Adam Pacifico, leadership expert, author, opinion columnist and barrister will be joined by global experts, academics, rising stars, ambitious upstarts and disruptors across sectors, disciplines and geographies as we push, prod and provoke 'The Leadership Enigma.' Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner or seasoned corporate executive, this show will uncover the tools, techniques, strategies and lessons learned to catapult your leadership capabilities in preparation for success in a constantly changing landscape.
119: A Life of Music & Resilience
Alice Dyson is the COO of One Media IP a business listed on the London Stock Exchange operating within the music industry. Alice also sits on the Board of BPI, responsible for amongst other things, The Brits. On a personal note, Alice has had two near death experiences and in her spare time plays hockey for Great Britain.
Alice explains she is from a family of musicians. Her father a classical composer and her mother a music teacher and so her career has an element of inevitability in her exploration of the business of music.
There are few senior female leaders within the music industry and Alice understands the lessons from her childhood have stood her in good stead for her professional journey.
Alice has always recognised when she is surrounded by talented people from whom she can learn and role model. Her focus and resilience have always been critical foundations for her success, and her personal resilience has been tested more than most. Alice was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis that almost crippled her initially. Her medical treatment plan meant that her immune system has been compromised in fighting infection. She caught sepsis (blood poisoning) on one occasion and more recently and perhaps inevitably caught Covid having isolated for over a year. Both experiences could have proved fatal. One of Alice’s most personal lessons was that you always need people to be able to advocate for you and speak for you when you can’t, in her case because she was too ill. However, you must also be able to advocate for yourself, especially when young and passionate in crafting a creating a future.
We are all leaders, even as children and we must always be able to attribute skills and capabilities to yourself when appropriate and recognise how we can develop and be brave enough to tell people when you good at something. To that end, Alice is passionate about more woman finding their voice within the profession and as a leader she is always looking for people with the best skills and capabilities to do the work she can’t.
Alice talks about having a 360 view and acute listening systems all the time to sense make with laser focus on the music consumer in order to keep learning and adapt to market shifts using the team with the right skills and complementary capabilities.
Alice is an inspirational leader who will continue to learn in all that she does.
118: Growth Mindset & Psychological Safety | Chris Samsa
Chris Samsa is a positive psychologist and one of the founding directors of The Neuro Leadership Institute and has personally worked with Carol Dweck in the arena of Growth Mindset and Psychological Safety.
A Positive Psychologist focuses on your strengths and what is ‘right’ with you as opposed to just developmental areas. Chris advises that all of us must find out we are naturally good at and do more of it.
Through neuroplasticity of the brain we are a collection of habits and behaviours; thinking habits, emotional habits and physical habits.
Chris explains that all of us move continually between a growth and a fixed mindset. Nearly all of us have a bias for a fixed mindset due to our experiences growing up. Language is the key to how we travel between Growth and Fixed Mindset including how we deal with ‘Radio Me’ or the Inner Critic. The most powerful word that we can deploy is the word ‘YET’ as it transforms a fixed mindset statement into a growth mindset statement.
Chris outlines the 5 F’s of how our minds deal with threat: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Flock and Fawn and the issue of cut-throat competitiveness.
We discuss the Psychological Safety Index which is a tool to measure Psychological Safety in organisations.
The 4 key pillars are:
1. Inclusion and diversity. You can have a diverse organisation but not have inclusion. Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice at the table. When you have true inclusion and diversity, team members feel able to speak up and they can contribute to the group.
2. Attitude to risk and failure. Research discovered that the more successful teams made mistakes with a view to owning those mistakes and identifying the learning as opposed to apportioning blame. Poor performing teams spend too much time and energy covering up mistakes.
3. Willingness to help: Pro social behaviours are exhibited and increased when Psychological Safety is in place.
4. Open conversation (equal turn taking) this is all about people having the sense their voice matters and will be heard.
117: Sustainable Leadership
Clarke Murphy is a CEO and Board Advisor and author of ‘Sustainable Leadership’. He hosts The Redefiners podcast. Leaders are faced with global growth, changing demographics of the workforce, constant change, digital transformation, automation, globalisation and more, and therefore lead in the transformation as opposed to the replacement business.
Clarke explains that sustainability is the broad umbrella for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals decided in 1998-1999 and not just climate change.
Sustainable leaders are essential for all organisations and Clarkes research has identified four key elements:
1. Multi-Level Systems Thinking - which allows a leader to think conceptually about the depth of complexity they operate in.
2. Stakeholder Inclusion – will you include your competitors. Regulators and employees into the conversation to solve a sustainable issue. This takes guts and followership.
3. Disruptive Innovation – questioning own beliefs and learning from failure with humility and listening skills in abundance
4. Long Term Activation – when hit with failure, can you keep moving long beyond the moment.
Clarke also introduces us to LQ: The ability for a leader to always learn especially from the younger generations within the organisation.
Sustainability is a non-negotiable for all leaders and not just a compliance or tick box exercise. Leaders must look at their organisations and identify what are their commitments to sustainability and understand how they measure their actions over multiple years. The journey starts with one step.
Clarke provides numerous examples of companies getting this right and the value they are creating both internally and externally. You will also have to decide if you are a 100%er, a Moon Shooter or a Fence Sitter.
Creating a better world is an obligation for every leader and every organisation. Take the first step.
Sustainable Leadership – Lessons of Vision, Courage, and Grit from the CEOs Who Dared to Build a Better World is available from Amazon.
116: Freedom at Work | Traci Fenton
Traci Fenton is the CEO of WorldBlu with a personal purpose and passion to help 1 billion people live, lead and work in freedom rather than fear. We have never lived in a time with so much fear and Traci has dedicated the last 25 years of her professional life in service of helping leaders and organisations in over 100 countries.
WorldBlu has certified organisations across the world for 17 years who embrace freedom centred leadership principles. Those organisations have experienced an average of 700% greater revenue growth over a three-year period compared to S&P 500 indexed companies.
Traci was raised in a spiritual family, both parents were teachers and Traci realised as a young 10-year-old girl that her purpose was about helping other people which later developed into giving power to people so that they can be free and live their full potential and infinite worth.
Organisations across the world have a responsibility to be a force for good and create the conditions for everyone to be their best. When companies operate democratically it ripples out to increase the level of peace, economic prosperity and civil engagement for that organisation.
The bedrock for Freedom at Work is based on Mindset. Leaders must handle fear day to day. Traci explains we have approx. 60,000 thoughts per day. 80% of those thoughts are the same thoughts that we had the day before and 95% of those thoughts are negative and fear based.
Traci helps leaders with her five-step process to recognise their fears and overcome them. The 5 questions are:
1. What are you afraid of?
2. Why are you afraid?
3. So what would you do if you were not afraid?
4. How would you feel without that fear?
5. Why is it ok to let the fear go?
In this episode Traci also outlines the 3 pillars of Freedom Centred Leadership. Power, Love and the powerful concept of Ubuntu. Listen to the full episode for more details.
‘Freedom at Work’ is available on Amazon.
115: Get Your GRIT Together | Laurie Sudbrink
Laurie Sudbrink is the author of GRIT and CEO of Unlimited Coaching. Her work is her passion based on being a middle child with 13 siblings from a blended family. Grit was something she was taught at a young age and now she works on a daily basis with leaders across multiple organisations helping people work better together.
Laurie’s passion to help others is partly based on the loss of two of her brothers to suicide leaving her questioning and seeking her personal purpose. Laurie decided her response was not just about being ‘gritty’ it was about living her purpose and giving authentically. Laurie realised life would never be the same after these tragedies and so her journey started to define GRIT for herself and others and to always learn and grow from every situation in life.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, which is unsustainable.
Generosity – the ability to give and receive with a feeling of abundance and a focus on servant leadership.
Respect – When we know and accept ourselves we align our behaviours on a daily basis and practice our ability to self-respect. Also, we must respect others whilst challenging our own thoughts and beliefs that drive our actions.
Integrity – Aligning to your truth and being authentic to your personal purpose. All leaders cast a shadow and we must also consider our congruence.
Truth – It all starts inside us, knowing yourself and accepting ourselves with objectivity. The DISC tool is a useful resource for all leaders to uncover their truth. Be curious about yourself.
For your free GRIT assessment: www.lauriesudbrink.com
114: Mindfulness and Peak Performance | Luke Doherty
Luke is a former U18’s England rugby player who has devoted his life to working with athletes from Premiership and Championship football teams, elite rugby, GB skateboarding, weightlifting and disadvantaged young adults in relation to mindfulness and mental wellbeing. The link between mental health and performance is now well known and something every leader must consider for him or herself and their teams.
Luke had a very goal driven attitude and was always searching for external validation, however two players from his peer group who went on to play professional rugby took their own lives and this was the catalyst for Luke to focus on the power of mindfulness and mental health for 6 years with the London Buddhist Centre which in turn deepened his need to change the image of mental health in the workplace.
Meditation was at the core of Luke’s work, where he understood the ability to balance the nervous system and also find meaning by creating space for refection. Luke focuses on the human being as opposed to the human achieving and you may be surprised as to the single greatest result of mindfulness for athletes and business leaders that Luke reveals.
The pandemic forced people into different routines with different pressures and mental health became more of a reality for all of us. All leaders need to forward think their own and their team’s mental health and away from purely goal driven approaches for a more balanced drive, increased self-awareness and performance. Luke also shares a very personal story of how a single question asked of him by a schoolchild forced him to question the whole process and application of mindfulness. 10 minutes of mindfulness or meditation a day for 6 months can change the neuro pathways and build mental muscle mass, Enjoy
A breath of fresh air!
Adam's way of getting expert opinions from guests is fantastic! The conversations are all well thought out, even in a casual setting. He brings a breath of fresh air with how he conducts his podcasts which easily translates to the viewers. Any leader or aspiring leader should tune in to see what I'm talking about.
Nice conversation flow. The links between policing and leading are especially relevant now.