Leadership + Wellbeing Blog

Feb 26, 2019

Culture belongs to us all

As I float in and out of teams, listen to great leaders – up and coming + the experienced and wise - culture is absolutely key to the biggest success. The crazy thing is – and it doesn’t matter how big | small your business or organisation is - when culture is one that’s filled with fear, scarcity, emotional stinginess and uncertainty you won’t be going too far too fast, particularly with this young wave of Millennials coming in.

What we need most are people who are willing to step up, people who are willing to be brave, be courageous and people who are willing to lead with their heart. Our work shows how to do just that with Emotional Intelligence – that’s why this topic and why right now!

You can’t leave the world a braver place if you don’t change how you work. As adults we spend over half our time at work.  If work is toxic; if work is shaming; if work makes you question your value; everything in life goes to shite right?


Here's the true definition of a leader ... anyone brave on team who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and has the courage to develop that potential. It means having tough conversations, staying curious, and learning how to listen. It requires a lots of rumbles, circle-backs, and constantly using a powerful tool of ‘the story I’m telling myself’.  When you stay brave, it produces something far more powerful than you could ever do alone.

As Brene Brown says, ‘the greatest barrier is not our fear, it’s our armour’. It’s exactly how we show up when we are in fear. Yep, you and I are very aware of what kind of armour we donne – it’s been with us for a lifetime – no matter how young, mature or wise we are – we absolutely self-protect. Now it will take no convincing for you to know this armour corrodes trust and it’s toxic to our Why and What, and stunts our Who. The other piece of this simple puzzle is when we lean into the fear and stay brave we stop low-lining dead in its tracks.

So here are the questions for you as a leader – whether you have a title or not, you’re a leader: 

  • How much are you leaning into the fear and staying brave?
  • How much are you pulling on the armoured leadership approach? 
Bearing in mind perfectionism is armour that covers the ‘Oh God, what will people think?’  Comparison is the devil. And rest assured with the latter these will absolutely produce - time and again - toxic game playing around you.

We are right into healthy leadership when it models = healthy striving, empathy, plus self-compassion.

It’s about knowing your value – to be able to sit down with each other and ask – Help me explore and name the value I bring.  Help me know what it is I do uniquely well. Tell me about the strengths I bring. Once you have this conversation, guaranteed you’ll be able to recite this value easily on the other side – because you do bring value and you have values you love to live by.  Make sure people understand their value.  Then understand their values because the ideas they hold are precious.

Up for another valuable exercise …

With your personal values – get a big PostIt – everyone writes down two values. Leave them up for a week. Over the course of that week, each person on team anonymously takes sticky notes and writes about how that person’s behaviours exemplifies those values and what you appreciate about them. 

There's so much value, especially when you're sitting across from someone and you’re feeling pissed with them. This is the prime opportunity to lean into their values and have a conversation from that perspective. Then watch how things turn into happy, healthy, collective and collaborative.

Let's do our best to keep it real, awkward and brave!