Throughout my work I am exceedingly blessed to meet amazing, truly jaw dropping phenomenal leaders.
Their stories are inspiring, their generosity enlightening and you cannot help but feel energised after a conversation with them.
And we find it rude not to tell you about them.
This, for me, is a big part of what this is about. In listening to people’s stories we get a handle on the art of the possible and that is precious.
Each conversation I have had has filled me up.
If hearing about someone else’s story inspires you to connect with them, start a new business, meet them for a coffee, and ask them for a job – then, quite frankly, our work here is done.
As leaders we have a responsibility- a huge responsibility- to step up and create the environment to allow others to step up too. We have the opportunity to have conversations that really matter and create change.
Every interview we have conducted so far has created such an ‘expanded’ feeling, a notion of “it does exist, we can do this” and my wish is to bottle up those feelings and send them on the interweb – to you.
What do you nail in leadership?
Humour. And conversation – my humour is a good Trojan horse and can disarm people – when used with respect and with elegance and not in a defensive way – and then it can really open up a true and meaningful conversation.
What do you value the most ?
What gets you through the day?
Connection with people. I am lousy if I haven’t had a conversation with someone. Human contact is ridiculously important to me.
Best person you have ever worked with and why?
A dear friend who I worked with for about 18 months - her intelligence, her brilliance with people and her downright cheekiness. She is an exceptional leader and taught me a lot. I have someone I would call a “mentor” and he has imparted so much wisdom that has added another dimension to what I do.
What gives you courage?
Knowing what I am here to do.
How do you motivate and inspire people?
Give them time and listen. Really truly listen (my mum will totally disagree with that last one).
The word “experience” is really valuable to me and I am constantly coming back to this in coaching, in facilitation, in strategic elements – what is the experience we are creating?
What is your greatest frustration?
Not knowing where I am in life. I like it when things are going right although in this most recent journey, I have come to realise that everything happens for a reason. A shift in direction, whether it be good or bad, means that change is coming. And, quite frankly, it would be rude to get frustrated at change.
What is your saving grace as a leader?
My sense of humour I think.
What brings out your dark side?
Not eating. And tiredness. And inauthentic people. And unfairness. And playing the game.
Gosh I sound lovely to be around!
What are you certain about?
I can talk.
What is your go to pair of shoes/ lucky pants / fave phone / song when you have an important meeting or you have to present- could you send us a picture of them please?
My &otherstories black velvet and gold studded heeled shoes. Yep. And an &otherstories dress which I have in black, blue and orange.. cannot wait for another colour!
Most embarrassing leadership moment (that still brings you out in a sweat?)
I do not even want to say it! When I am delivering it can be pretty intense and people want to talk to you at breaks and lunch and so there really is not a moment to self and so I treasure the time in the toilet! And so one time I took myself off to the toilet to check my emails and in my excitement of alone time (this is sounding ruder by the minute) I didn’t lock the door and one of the (male)delegates walked in whilst I was on the loo.
I still feel terrible about it – for him! And for me…
How do you create balance?
I love the quote from Alain de Botton,
“There is no such thing as work – life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life”
I suppose that is my way of saying I do not do balance? I am an all or nothing girl – you see that in everything that I do and with my work I am eternally grateful for doing what I love the most and so when I do it I do it properly.
What is your greatest fear?
The inevitable – death! And especially my parents of whom I believe are superhuman and therefore this fate will not happen to them.
How do you stay calm?
Possibly not the word to describe me however meditation chills me out and reading. Usually about murder.
How do you inspire people?
I think it goes back to the listening and really getting people to believe in themselves. I am really open and honest with people and just love a great meaningful conversation.
What do you dream about?
Everything! I have vivid dreams. So its all encompassing and wildly different. Last night was not great as I had really strong nightmares after seeing a horrific trailer for a scary movie in the cinema – there should be warnings about these things!
And I dream a lot during the day.
Would you employ you?
You hear me say a lot that I am unemployable. And I think I have proved that really well!
How do you keep fit for business?
I have a personal trainer and that’s super important. I am currently in love with Ariel Yoga – and if I can find a house with large enough ceilings for rebounding I shall have a trampette in the house.
What is taking up your thinking space right now?
The launch of Leadership Styled and 2 other brands, writing my book and development of new connections with businesses. Someone remind me never to launch 3 new companies whilst maintaining 2... please?
Favourite book on leadership
Too hard! Too hard! Too hard!
How would others describe your style of leadership in 3 words?
Hyper Mary Poppins (this is from clients... )
What is the difference between being in a business and owning a business?
As a business owner it is so hard to separate you from the business. It is your baby, it is an extension of you. I guess it would depend on the nature of the business. With what I do, I get paid to “be me”.
Now that’s incredibly lucky – and a bit of a curse!
~ Sir Isaac Newton
~ Maya Angelou
~ Alain de Botton
~ My favourite musical quote
“Sometimes a leader wakes us up and we realise... we can!"
Keep in touch monthly (or even more frequently with us*).
* We promise not to virtually stalk you, it will be (at max) weekly round ups and elements that it would be rude not to tell you about...