The Thoughtful Leader Podcast
Short, sharp leadership advice for leaders and managers who care about the performance and job satisfaction of their teams.
info_outline Don't Wait for a Crisis - Why Leaders Should Focus On Workplace Wellbeing 07/06/2020
Don't Wait for a Crisis - Why Leaders Should Focus On Workplace Wellbeing I've worked in many organisations where leaders are still running on the hamster wheel of work. These leaders treat themselves poorly, without taking breaks or doing anything else to support their wellbeing at work. There are a few problems here - perception is one of them. Some leaders think that if they are perceived as hard-working or never taking a break, people will think they are better leaders... wrong! When I see someone who can't take a break and keeps putting themselves second all the time, I see someone who has their priorities wrong and needs a wake-up call. Your health and wellbeing is important if you're going to lead other people, because you can't help anyone when you're stressed, run-down and not thinking straight. In this episode, I cover some of my top, very simple strategies to improve your workplace wellbeing so you can be there to support your team. Online Course: If you need to reduce stress and improve your effectiveness, enrol in the , containing short video lessons with actionable strategies to improve your productivity. Don't just be busy... be effective! Links: Article: . Article: . Article: Article: Online Course:
info_outline How to Ignore the Trivial Issues and Tackle that Elephant in the Room 06/29/2020
How to Ignore the Trivial Issues and Tackle that Elephant in the Room Many organisations spend an enormous amount of time focusing on small, trivial issues and working around problems instead of tackling them head on. Focusing on the small issues is a great way to procrastinate and make yourself feel like you're doing something. In this episode I talk about why this happens, how you can tell if it's happening to you and then, of course, some ways to help you change your mindset and give you the courage to address that elephant in the room. If you like this episode, make sure you take a few minutes to leave a review on here. It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! And don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I could answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: Article: . Podcast: .
info_outline Want a More Proactive Team? Try These Things. 06/22/2020
Want a More Proactive Team? Try These Things. Are you a leader who would love your team to be more proactive? I'm sure you're not alone! Having proactive team members is great because it reduces the "fire-fighting" reactive mentality that often builds up in our teams and workplaces. In this episode, I share some of my tips for cultivating a more proactive team, that you can try for yourself. They aren't rocket science, but you do need to be consistent to get results. Try them out and let me know what happens! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on here. It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I might answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: Article: Audiobook: . Show Notes Page:
info_outline Why We Need More Mindfulness In Leadership 06/15/2020
Why We Need More Mindfulness In Leadership Stress is a common part of every workplace, and leaders experience it more than most. In one particularly stressful part of my leadership career, I started to notice myself getting more frustrated and upset at situations in my workplace. I decided that I wanted to make sure I was calm and composed and able to take on stressful work environments without flying off the handle. After receiving some advice from a senior colleague, I decided to give mindfulness exercises a try. Mindfulness takes a little practice, but it isn't difficult. It really helps you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and how you are responding to situations in your life. In this episode I share some tips on mindfulness that can help you remain calm and composed in your leadership role. After all, people are looking at us to provide a good example... we are role models, even if we don't really feel like it! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on here. It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I could answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: . Resource: .
info_outline How You Can Be a More Thoughtful Leader Today 06/08/2020
How You Can Be a More Thoughtful Leader Today Thoughtful leaders show empathy, are introspective, perceptive but they also push back when they need to. Contrary to popular belief, being a thoughtful leader is not all about being soft and fluffy when leading your team. Being a thoughtful leader doesn't mean you're a pushover or you don't stand up for yourself. Thoughtful leadership is all about intention. Thoughtful leaders (like you) think about how you are leading and the impact your leadership is having on the people around you. Listen to this episode for more ideas on how you can be a more thoughtful leader today - your team will thank you for it! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on here. It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I could answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: Show notes:
info_outline A Simple Model for Team Motivation 06/01/2020
A Simple Model for Team Motivation Team Motivation is an ongoing challenge for many leaders, because work isn't the only thing many team members want to be doing. Some team members are very motivated and career-focused, but I've found this isn't necessarily the norm. That doesn't mean we give up on the other team members. Leaders have a responsibility to try to bring out the best in their teams, and we can do this by working with our people and understanding their goals and aspirations. You can see the simple Team Motivation Model below, with the five components Aspirations, Purpose, the Pathway, Hygiene Factors (or Environmental Conditions) and Team Harmony. See if you can use the model to prompt you with ways to improve the motivation in your team. Your team members will thank you for it! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on here. It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I could answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: Audio Book: Shownotes: 1/
info_outline How Team Alignment Will Help You Get On (and Stay On) the Right Track 05/24/2020
How Team Alignment Will Help You Get On (and Stay On) the Right Track If you feel like your team isn't operating as well as it could be, it might be that you aren't all pulling in the same direction. Confusion, frustration and conflict are often symptoms that people aren't on the same page. In other words, you need to get your team aligned so you're all speaking the same language. In this episode, I talk about some simple ways to make sure you and your team members are "singing from the same hymn sheet". In simple terms, we can do this by choosing a direction, setting clear expectations and then monitoring and correcting as we go. Listen to the episode to find out more! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on . It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to have your say on this episode, share your experience or post a question which I could answer on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: Podcast Episode: Article: eBooks:
info_outline Leading Change In Your Team 05/17/2020
Leading Change In Your Team When you're trying to implement a change in your team, it can be tempting to just push it through. After all, you're the boss, right? Unfortunately this is the attitude taken by many organisations who fail to plan changes adequately and consider the different aspects of change. However, taking a "It's my way or the highway" approach can lead to long-term damage to your team and organisation as resentment grows for the leadership team. In this episode I cover some of the questions to consider when trying to implement a change in your team, as well as introduce a simple framework that can help you structure your change efforts. Yes, change is constant and you will never please everyone, but leaders can and should be doing a lot better when it comes to leading change initiatives. If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on . It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to comment on this episode or share your experience or post a question which could be answered on an upcoming episode! Links: Article: ADKAR Framework: Book: - (Note: This is an affiliate link and I receive a small commission for any purchases through it).
info_outline Q&A: Micromanaging Bosses & Failing to Delegate 05/10/2020
Q&A: Micromanaging Bosses & Failing to Delegate In this episode, I answer some reader and listener questions that recently came through regarding how to manage a micromanaging boss and what happens when you fail to delegate. I'm sure these are applicable to many of you leaders out there so I thought this would be a good opportunity to give my guidance on these often trick situations! If you'd like to have the chance to have a question addressed in a future episode, simply sign up (for free) and post your query in the ! If you like this episode, I'd be ever so grateful if you could please leave a review on . It really helps other leaders find the podcast so we can help create better workplaces around the world. Thank you in advance! Links: Post your question on the Thoughtful Leader Forum: Related Episode: Shownotes:
info_outline 3 Pillars of Effective Leadership 05/03/2020
3 Pillars of Effective Leadership Effective leadership is all about getting your important work done while being able to support and improve your team at the same time. I have seen so many examples of wasted effort in my career and I feel that a focus on greater effectiveness is the solution. It's not all about money - when people are working on things that don't matter or doing boring manual work that could be done more easily, it is demotivating and soul-destroying. We don't want that in our teams, so in this episode we focus on 3 pillars of effective leadership. See if you can apply them in your team! Online Course: If you want to be more effective, take the Thoughtful Leader . It's open now so enrol today! And if you like this episode, please leave a review on - it really helps others find the podcast so we can help more leaders around the world! Thank you in advance! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at to comment on this episode or share your experiences, challenges and successes! Links: Article: Online Course: . Show notes page:
info_outline How to Feel In Control Without Being a Controlling Boss 04/26/2020
How to Feel In Control Without Being a Controlling Boss Leadership can be uncomfortable, especially when you're worried that your team might not be able to deliver what you need. Unfortunately, some leaders start to resort to controlling leadership, where they get deep into the detail of every aspect and start to want to know everything that's happening, all of the time. Leaders in this situation might not delegate, instead trying to keep hold of the key aspects of the work for themselves. This controlling approach doesn't lead to a very good outcome for our teams. So in this episode, I provide some steps to try help you feel more comfortable that you're in control, while also allowing your teams the space and autonomy to get their work done and stay motivated. If you're struggling with feelings of a lack of control, listen to this episode and hopefully it can help you! Don't forget to join the Thoughtful Leader Community forum at and share your experiences, troubles and successes! Links: Article: . Podcast Episode: Podcast Episode: Resource: . Resource: . Shownotes page:
info_outline How to Deal With Uncertainty - Working "In the Grey" 04/19/2020
How to Deal With Uncertainty - Working "In the Grey" Working "In the Grey" is a term used to describe a situation where we don't have all the answers. We might be embarking on a project that we've never tried before or trying to solve a problem we're just not that familiar with. This is a fairly common situation as the business landscape is changing rapidly, with technology advances giving rise to new forms of competition and disruption. The recent pandemic is another good example of working in the grey as many organisations suddenly needed to find out how they were going to remain productive while working with a completely remote team. In my consulting career I had to do this often. When I started a new consulting project, if I'd never worked for the client before, I was unfamiliar with the organisation and their problem. But I couldn't take a long time to figure it out... I had to get cracking straight away! In this episode I cover lots of useful tips for working in the grey and succeeding. And once you've succeeded working with uncertainty a few times, you'll feel much more confident to lead your team through it again! Join the new Thoughtful Leader Community: I've recently created a new leadership forum for you (and other leaders like you) to engaged in discussions that will improve the way we lead our teams. Simply visit and sign up for your free account to start a conversation! Links: Article: Community: Podcast Episode: Article: Shownotes page:
info_outline Overwhelmed? Let's Work at 80% 04/13/2020
Overwhelmed? Let's Work at 80% It's easy for leaders and their teams to become consumed with the day to day work, never finding the time to take a breath. There also seems to be a desire to fill up our entire schedule with work, leaving no room for downtime or working on other activities that will help our teams improve. However, when our teams are working flat out for 100% of the day, they are more likely to experience burnout, have less variety in their work and find no time to spend developing their own skills and careers. That's why we need to work at 80% capacity. The rest of the time can be spent doing value adding work that will help our people and our teams improve! Online Course: For great ways to improve your effectiveness and productivity at work, take the today! Invest the time now and you'll see big rewards later as you start to work more effectively. Links: Article: . Shownotes page:
info_outline "I Don't Have Time" - Taking Back Control of Your Leadership 04/05/2020
"I Don't Have Time" - Taking Back Control of Your Leadership We are all busy and have constraints on our time, but that doesn't mean that we need to be a victim of our circumstances. I hear it often - "I don't have time". What we're really saying is "That's not important right now". I'm asking all the leaders out there to change the narrative. We need to start taking back control and being intentional about where our focus lies, instead of hiding behind the "lack of time". We will always make time for the important things, so let's find out what they are, and do them. No more excuses - let's just be open and honest about where our priorities are! Once we start to do this, we'll realise that some of the choices we make aren't great. After all, when we say "No", what are we saying "Yes" to instead? Links: Show Notes page: Article: . Article: Multi-tasking: Switching Costs - American Psychological Association (APA) - Article: Women and Men Are Equally Bad at Multitasking - Harvard Business Review - Article: How Multitasking Affects Productivity & Brain Health - VeryWellMind -
info_outline Why Formal Authority Won't Solve Your Leadership Problems 03/29/2020
Why Formal Authority Won't Solve Your Leadership Problems Often we dream of being "the boss" and having the authority to make any changes we like. The reality of our workplaces is much different. So much of leadership is about influencing and building rapport with your team and other managers, and formal authority really only gets you part of the way. Being the boss gets your team to listen to you, but they won't willingly follow your lead unless you build rapport, respect and credibility as well. In this episode I talk about formal authority and some of the problems it doesn't solve, and then give some ideas on how you can improve your leadership without relying on formal authority so much. Links: Article: . Article: . Shownotes page:
info_outline Tips for Leading Remote Workers 03/23/2020
Tips for Leading Remote Workers The working world has been changing over recent years, with more flexible working arrangements and the ability to work remotely. Some online software businesses already operate with an entirely remote workforce and without a head office! With the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, we're now seeing a shift to remote working at a rapid rate. So in this episode, I talk about some of my tips and factors to consider when leading remote teams, so that you can stay productive and keep people involved. Links: Article: Show notes page: .
info_outline High Performers? Or Just Acting Like It? 03/15/2020
High Performers? Or Just Acting Like It? As leaders we need to be reinforcing the right behaviours in our teams. We do this by praising or rewarding people for good behaviour and making sure there are consequences for bad behaviours. Likewise, we need to be doing this for performance, too. This means it is really important for us to be aware of what good performance is, and what it isn't. Too often people are rewarded for showing superficial high performance. So in this episode, I cover some of the signs that might show that your people are just trying to appear like they are strong performers... rather than actually demonstrating it through their work. Show Links: Shownotes page: Article: .
info_outline The Middle-Management Conundrum - When You Disagree With Senior Management Direction 03/08/2020
The Middle-Management Conundrum - When You Disagree With Senior Management Direction Middle Managers sometimes have a pretty tough role. They need to ensure their teams are performing well, while also pleasing their senior management and carrying out their direction. This can be really hard if you disagree with the direction coming from the top, because you need to balance "following orders" with maintaining respect and credibility in front of your team. In this episode, I discuss this tricky situation and talk about some potential options for how to move forward and get a positive outcome... or make a change for the better! Go to the show notes page to sign up for regular updates here: Show Links: Article: . Article:
info_outline Why Leaders Should Do More Planning (and Why They Don't) 03/01/2020
Why Leaders Should Do More Planning (and Why They Don't) Planning is an often underrated skill. The reason many people don't care about planning is because when you spend time planning, you don't feel like you're doing anything. When you've got a big project to do, it feels like you should be getting on and delivering things, rather than wasting time planning. However, there is a reason why people say "Measure twice, cut once" and "Failing to plan is planning to fail". In this episode, we cover the key benefits of planning, and why leaders should be doing more of it! Show Links: Article: . Article: . eBook:
info_outline Employee Wellbeing: Is it Important Or Are We Just Ticking a Box? 02/25/2020
Employee Wellbeing: Is it Important Or Are We Just Ticking a Box? It's clear that there has been an increase in employee wellbeing programs in our workplaces in recent years. This is a positive step, because a focus on mental health is definitely required, especially where we spend much of our time - at work! However, I've also noticed that these programs will be introduced without the necessarily changes in behaviour that need to go with them. Everything else stays the same - the stress, deadlines and micromanagement. In this episode I discuss what is required to actually make a difference in employee wellbeing, so that we make this more than just a "tick the box" exercise. Show Links: Article: Research: Research: .
info_outline Why Thoughtful Leaders Need the Most Confidence 02/17/2020
Why Thoughtful Leaders Need the Most Confidence I believe that Thoughtful Leaders (the ones who lead intentionally and think about the impact of their behaviour on their people) actually need to focus more on building confidence than other leaders. Why? Because Thoughtful Leaders like you have greater empathy for and awareness of the people around them, so they tend to notice the signs if things aren't quite right. And when your team is going through a tough time, highly empathic leaders can feel like turning back, when really they need to keep going. In this episode, I unpack this concept a bit more and give you some tips on how to build your confidence so you can be thoughtful and effective at the same time. Coaching Program: Improve your leadership confidence with my 6-week . The program is a combination of online material and individual coaching sessions which will help you tackle your individual challenges and be a better leader for your team. Show Links: Article: . Coaching Program: .
info_outline The Importance of Consequences for an Effective Workplace 02/09/2020
The Importance of Consequences for an Effective Workplace In this episode, I talk about the importance of consequences in the workplace. Sounds scary? It isn't really. Consequences don't have to be all bad, and it's not always about firing people or yelling at them. Sometimes all you need is to show the people in your team that you care, and you're watching. Listen to find out more about how positive and negative consequences can push and pull your people to higher levels of performance. Audiobook: If you would like some help improving the performance of your team, be sure to check out my . It has plenty of tools, techniques and ideas to help you get the best out of your team. Show Links: Resource: . Article: .
info_outline Are You a Valuable Leader? The Fine Line Between Hurting and Helping Your Team. 02/02/2020
Are You a Valuable Leader? The Fine Line Between Hurting and Helping Your Team. In this episode, I look at some situations where leaders are actually hurting their teams... when they might actually think they are helping. Sometimes it can be a fine line between being a valuable leader who helps your team achieve better levels of performance, and just being overhead, actually causing greater problems for your team than you solve. Don't let this happen to you! Come and listen to some of the situations where I've seen leadership go bad, even with the best of intentions. Show Links: Article: Article: .
info_outline Why Trusting Your People Is Your Best Strategy 01/27/2020
Why Trusting Your People Is Your Best Strategy Trust is a huge factor in improving engagement and motivation in your teams. Imagine, your team members feeling like you believe in them ... wouldn't that be nice? In this episode, I talk about why trusting your people is not only a nice thing to do, it also gets better results and builds better relationships with your team members. In other words, you can't afford not to be doing it! And below is the 2 x 2 trust matrix which shows the possible outcomes of choosing to trust and believe in your team... or not: Links: Article: . Simon Sinek Video:
info_outline Is a Productivity Problem Hurting Your Leadership? 01/20/2020
Is a Productivity Problem Hurting Your Leadership? I'm a big believer that effective time management and productivity is one of the foundations of good leadership. Leaders who manage their time poorly have less time for their teams and are not able to focus effectively, resorting to constant fire-fighting. A lot of good productivity comes down to mindset and what you will accept. In this episode, I look at 4 common symptoms which may indicate you have a productivity problem which is hurting your team. Online Course: If you feel as if you could benefit from managing your time more effectively, enrol in the today. I've also added a coaching option which will help tackle your individual challenges too. Links: Online Course: . eBook: . Atlassian Article: Article: .
info_outline Leadership Lessons for 2020 01/11/2020
Leadership Lessons for 2020 In this episode, I share 5 leadership lessons from my career, with the hope that you can use some of them to help you in 2020 (or any year really...). But the new year is always a good time to take stock, give ourselves a kick and do things differently! Leave a comment below about the lessons, or simply comment on my new podcast graphic or the new intro music! Links: eBook: . Online Course: . Article: .
info_outline Are You Avoiding a Difficult Conversation? 01/07/2020
Are You Avoiding a Difficult Conversation? Difficult conversations are unavoidable in leadership if you want to be effective. These conversations could be about performance, behaviour or many other subjects. Without being able to have these conversations, you'll be stuck with conflicts and unmanaged expectations. In this episode, I introduce 3 questions that can help you to spur yourself into action to tackle that hard conversation. Let's face it, you probably already know you should be having the conversation... you just need some help to get started with it! Links: Resource: . Article: .
info_outline Employee Retention: More Than Stopping People Quitting 12/15/2019
Employee Retention: More Than Stopping People Quitting When it comes to retaining people, all you need to do is to stop them from leaving, right? No, not really. If all you do is try to keep people from leaving, it's not that hard. But then you run the risk of leading a team of people who are unhappy and unmotivated... but not unhappy enough to leave. I call this the motivation dead zone - you can see the zones pictured below. In this episode, we look at how to get people out of the Quitting Zone, through the Motivation Dead Zone and into the Satisfaction Zone, through the use of Hygiene Factors and Positive Motivators. It's the last episode for the year too - I hope you have some time off to spend with loved ones and take a break! Resource: If you need some more ideas to motivate your team, Thoughtful Leader can help. , for tools and techniques to get the best out of your team members. Links: Article: . Resource: .
info_outline The Perils of Passive Leadership 12/08/2019
The Perils of Passive Leadership Passive leadership happens when leaders fail to take action, and it can be a huge problem for teams and workplaces. In this episode, I look at some key examples of passive leadership as well as ways that you can start taking action to avoid them. Passive leaders will make their teams feel like their situation is hopeless, so don't let this happen in your team! Resource: If you feel like you could benefit from greater leadership confidence to start taking the action you know you should be, sign up for the from Thoughtful Leader. Links: Article: Resource: .
info_outline Why Building Your Team's Confidence Should Be a Priority 12/03/2019
Why Building Your Team's Confidence Should Be a Priority Leading a confident team has several important benefits. In this episode, I talk about these benefits and some of the simple things you can do to help grow the confidence of your team members and put your team in a better place. If you feel like you could benefit from greater leadership confidence or you are leading other managers who could use a boost, be sure to sign up for the from Thoughtful Leader. Links: Article: . Resource: .