Episode 5

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Published on:

7th Jul 2022

Are you too comfy in your leadership role?

In this episode of How to Take the Lead, we are talking all things comfort zone. Do you operate in yours most of the time? We discuss how and why you should step outside of your comfort zone as a leader.  

In this episode we share our thoughts, experiences and learning, including:

03:58 – comfort zones and subjectivity

18:23 – putting your judgements aside

24:30 – values based recruitment and EQ/ IQ

26:26 – how to step outside your comfort zone – our top takeaways

Our top tips in this episode include being honest about your comfort zone, consider the risks and mitigations of stretching outside your comfort zone and think about where you can seek support. 

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If you enjoyed this episode why not subscribe to the podcast. We would love it if you left us a rating or review and feel free to share the link to this episode with anyone else you think would find it interesting, using #HowToTakeTheLead

You can find out more about Lee Griffith via www.sundayskies.com and about Carrie-Ann Wade at www.cats-pajamas.co.uk

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Carrie-Ann on LinkedInTwitter and Instagram.

Transcript
Lee Griffith:

It's not butterflies in your stomach,

Lee Griffith:

your stomach dropped out of your backside.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Welcome to the danger zone.

Lee Griffith:

You're listening to how to take the lead with Lee

Lee Griffith:

Griffith

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and Carrie-Ann Wade.

Lee Griffith:

Two corporate colleagues turned business

Lee Griffith:

besties who question everything we've ever learned about

Lee Griffith:

leadership.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

What started with us putting the world to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

rights over a gin after work is now a weekly show, challenging

Carrie-Ann Wade:

the myths and perceptions and exploring what leadership looks

Carrie-Ann Wade:

like in the modern day.

Lee Griffith:

We'll also be sharing our experiences and

Lee Griffith:

stories along the way.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

You can find our show notes at

Carrie-Ann Wade:

howtotakethelead.com

Lee Griffith:

Hit subscribe to receive new episodes every

Lee Griffith:

Thursday.

Lee Griffith:

And please share your thoughts and stories on the

Lee Griffith:

topics we cover using the hashtag how to take the lead.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

welcome everyone to episode five of how

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to take the lead and we are going to be talking all about

Carrie-Ann Wade:

stepping outside of your comfort zone and I can see Lee's face

Carrie-Ann Wade:

already. I've got to be honest Lee I think we've been doing

Carrie-Ann Wade:

quite a lot of stepping outside of our comfort zones over the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

last year or so.

Lee Griffith:

Yeah I think we've written a book on it

Lee Griffith:

practically.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

That'd be next on the list book to come. We

Carrie-Ann Wade:

just thought it would be interesting to explore the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

subject of your comfort zone or having a comfort zone and kind

Carrie-Ann Wade:

of what that means for you as a leader how you might want to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

step out of it so and I thought it would just be helpful for us

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to clarify I guess really what we mean by comfort zone. So for

Carrie-Ann Wade:

me I'm not talking about getting out of my elasticated waist

Carrie-Ann Wade:

trousers because I'm actually going into the office rather

Carrie-Ann Wade:

than having an online meeting although recently that has felt

Carrie-Ann Wade:

like having to step outside of my comfort zone. But it's more

Carrie-Ann Wade:

for me about the level at which at which you operate in your

Carrie-Ann Wade:

kind of leadership life in the workplace that feels maybe a bit

Carrie-Ann Wade:

more familiar and feels like it comes easy to you so I'm not

Carrie-Ann Wade:

sure what your views are on what is a comfort zone.

Lee Griffith:

Yeah, easy is one of those feelings that you get

Lee Griffith:

when you're in your comfort zone is that sense of you just feel

Lee Griffith:

comfortable, safe. It's the routine stuff that you do and

Lee Griffith:

there's almost that security of thinking well, things will

Lee Griffith:

always be alright because it's tried and tested if I keep

Lee Griffith:

things as they are. So I think it's an interesting discussion

Lee Griffith:

today. And I think it's also important to early on to note

Lee Griffith:

that it's not just about physical actions of stuff, it

Lee Griffith:

can be the way that you might think about something or what

Lee Griffith:

you say to someone it can be the difference between not saying

Lee Griffith:

anything to showing your vulnerability which we spoke

Lee Griffith:

about in the last episode.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Absolutely a good reminder I think Lee that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

it isn't just it isn't just your elasticated waist trousers or

Carrie-Ann Wade:

physical stuff, it is also about mindset isn't it. Maybe your

Carrie-Ann Wade:

approach to things that may or may not keep you in your comfort

Carrie-Ann Wade:

zone. And I guess for some people being in their comfort

Carrie-Ann Wade:

zone is not always a bad thing, it might like feel like a place

Carrie-Ann Wade:

as you say where they are safe and secure. But I think the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

discussion in this episode might take us to a few different

Carrie-Ann Wade:

places where we perhaps have a different perspective, I guess

Carrie-Ann Wade:

on whether or not you should step outside of your comfort

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zone and I think before I start to ask you a bit more to explore

Carrie-Ann Wade:

kind of the signs of when you might be outside of your comfort

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zone. I guess I felt the need to say that sometimes you might be

Carrie-Ann Wade:

forced, I guess to step outside of your comfort zone as a leader

Carrie-Ann Wade:

in the workplace. And other times you might choose to take

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that step outside of your comfort zone and they probably

Carrie-Ann Wade:

come from two very different mindsets, which probably worth

Carrie-Ann Wade:

us bearing in mind as we're having these discussions.

Lee Griffith:

Do you know what's really interesting though, that

Lee Griffith:

concept of are you being forced or you choosing and I think that

Lee Griffith:

that often can come from the point of how subjective a

Lee Griffith:

comfort zone is to someone. So we all find comfort in different

Lee Griffith:

things. And as leaders, we can't assume what the zones of comfort

Lee Griffith:

are. And maybe when we're being forced into things that we don't

Lee Griffith:

feel comfortable with it could be because the person who's

Lee Griffith:

asking us feels totally comfortable with that and

Lee Griffith:

haven't put themselves in your shoes.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I already feel like we get to go to so many

Carrie-Ann Wade:

different places in this conversation because kind of as

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you're saying that as well. I guess that subjectivity is a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

really important point to note, isn't it because actually, what

Carrie-Ann Wade:

might be you feel like you're in your comfort zone might feel

Carrie-Ann Wade:

totally out of someone else's comfort zone if you ask them to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

do the same thing. And also, I guess, you know, you might

Carrie-Ann Wade:

perceive that somebody is operating in their comfort zone

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and they might not be at all they might be really having to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

go that extra mile to force themselves to work in a certain

Carrie-Ann Wade:

way or deliver on something but they might just be making it

Carrie-Ann Wade:

look from the outside like it is super easy and that they are

Carrie-Ann Wade:

totally in their comfort zone. So I think we're going to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

explore quite a lot of things in this conversation and I guess I

Carrie-Ann Wade:

wanted to start and I don't know why I've picked this as an area

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to start but because we talked a bit about comfort zones, but I

Carrie-Ann Wade:

guess maybe I could throw a bit of a curveball in the because

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you might not be ready to ask you this question. But do you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

know what your comfort zone is? Are you aware of it when you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

are? Are you aware when you're operating totally within your

Carrie-Ann Wade:

comfort zone and examples of when you are?

Lee Griffith:

So I would say 80% of my week when I was starting

Lee Griffith:

my business was out of my comfort zone it was completely

Lee Griffith:

brand new to me and if doing this podcast is well out of our

Lee Griffith:

comfort zones, and we started it when we did the Insta lives that

Lee Griffith:

was something we've never considered doing before. So I

Lee Griffith:

think that for me, I have awareness of when I'm pushing

Lee Griffith:

myself out of my comfort zone. There's three zones that you're

Lee Griffith:

in. So you have your comfort zone, you have your stretch

Lee Griffith:

zone, and then you have the danger zone and the stretch zone

Lee Griffith:

is where you're learning and it's where you feel the most

Lee Griffith:

rewarded. It's when you perhaps get excited and you get those

Lee Griffith:

butterflies in your stomach. So that's when you're feeling like

Lee Griffith:

you're stretching yourself, comforts when you're feeling

Lee Griffith:

safe and secure and you might even feel a little bit fatigued

Lee Griffith:

or you just feel like you're on a bit of a treadmill because you

Lee Griffith:

could be a bit bored and all of those kinds of emotions.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Sometimes when comfort zone hits also a bit

Carrie-Ann Wade:

feeling a bit lazy. Yeah, that sounds terrible. But it's like a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

bit of a lazy day because I'm totally in my comfort zone. And

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I'm not having to think about this. I'm just almost on

Carrie-Ann Wade:

autopilot because yeah, safe in the knowledge that I just know

Carrie-Ann Wade:

what I'm doing. So yeah.

Lee Griffith:

And then you've got that danger zone, which is

Lee Griffith:

like the fear zone where you are. It's not butterflies in

Lee Griffith:

your stomach, your stomach's dropped out of your backside.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

As you're saying that I've got welcome to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

the danger zone in my head. I've already taken us to a place I

Carrie-Ann Wade:

was not expecting now my turn to to do bad singing and your

Carrie-Ann Wade:

stomach's droped out of your bottom.

Lee Griffith:

It's that sense of that fear where you might not

Lee Griffith:

even be able to concentrate because you're so distracted by

Lee Griffith:

the thought of whatever it is that you're you're being pushed

Lee Griffith:

to people can go who are really in danger zone, might be getting

Lee Griffith:

palpitations might feel like they're having a panic attack.

Lee Griffith:

So there are physical symptoms almost, of how you might feel

Lee Griffith:

depending on what zone you're in.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Absolutely. And just as you're talking I'm also

Carrie-Ann Wade:

thinking how much you're prepared to stay in your comfort

Carrie-Ann Wade:

zone or stretch yourself outof it can be impacted by so many

Carrie-Ann Wade:

things like how you're feeling that day like you say whether

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you're whether you're just a bit tired and you've got low energy,

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that's probably not the day to be stretching yourself. That's

Carrie-Ann Wade:

probably the day when you're going to going to want to stick

Carrie-Ann Wade:

in your comfort zone.

Lee Griffith:

I just slightly disagree with you though because

Lee Griffith:

I agree to the sense that you will know when is a good time to

Lee Griffith:

stretch yourself or to push yourself and when it's a good

Lee Griffith:

time stay in your comfort zone. But sometimes, like before we

Lee Griffith:

came on to do our podcast recording today I was in such a

Lee Griffith:

low energy place. I could have easily just called you and said

Lee Griffith:

you know what can we rearrange this for tomorrow? And I could

Lee Griffith:

go and get a bag of crisps, a cup of tea and sat and watch

Lee Griffith:

some trashy TV. I could easily have done that because that

Lee Griffith:

would have brought me comfort at that moment in time because my

Lee Griffith:

energy was feeling so low. And this is a stretch out of my

Lee Griffith:

comfort zone for me to be doing the podcast but I'm just talking

Lee Griffith:

to you before we hit record, energised me already and it was

Lee Griffith:

the right call to just push through and do it.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Absolutely. And I think that links to the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

question we'll come to a bit later on because there is still

Carrie-Ann Wade:

something I like to ask you about sort of the importance of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

stepping outside of your comfort zone and I think you're right,

Carrie-Ann Wade:

it's very easy if you're in a certain frame of mind. If you're

Carrie-Ann Wade:

in a certain place in your career sometimes to just go I

Carrie-Ann Wade:

want to stick in my comfort zone because that's what gives me

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that safety and security. And I'm not going to stretch myself

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and I think we will start to talk about why it might be

Carrie-Ann Wade:

important to do the opposite and to stretch yourself for sure.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

But I guess to start with and you've touched on this a little

Carrie-Ann Wade:

bit, I think already in terms of kind of physical reactions and

Carrie-Ann Wade:

how you're you might feel but what for you do you think are

Carrie-Ann Wade:

the signs at not you personally but you personally if you'd like

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to share that, but like what are the signs as a leader that you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

might be stepping outside of your actual comfort zone?

Lee Griffith:

I think the signs of it is something that you've

Lee Griffith:

probably had to give a little bit more thought to than you

Lee Griffith:

would normally it's probably something where you feel I'm

Lee Griffith:

learning something new. I don't have that knowledge and

Lee Griffith:

experience. I do think learning is probably one of the most

Lee Griffith:

obvious things when you start to step outside of your comfort

Lee Griffith:

zone regardless of what it is I'm not necessarily talking

Lee Griffith:

about education or textbook learning. It could be you've

Lee Griffith:

learned something new about yourself or you've learned a new

Lee Griffith:

skill or you've learned about somebody else you work with. So

Lee Griffith:

it's all kinds of questions that could be answered. If you start

Lee Griffith:

to step outside of your comfort zone. If you stay in your

Lee Griffith:

comfort zone. You don't learn and nothing changes. But in

Lee Griffith:

fact, everything changes because everyone else around you will be

Lee Griffith:

stretching themselves will be growing will be learning and

Lee Griffith:

they'll start to overtake you and you you lose your relevancy

Lee Griffith:

and your currency.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

And your point about growth I think is a good

Carrie-Ann Wade:

one Lee. Because for me it feels like if you feel like you're

Carrie-Ann Wade:

stepping outside of your comfort zone you will feel like you're

Carrie-Ann Wade:

growing you'll feel like you're expanding your knowledge,

Carrie-Ann Wade:

expanding your skill set, expanding your experience and

Carrie-Ann Wade:

actually that might be uncomfortable. For you to begin

Carrie-Ann Wade:

with. It might always feel uncomfortable but like you say

Carrie-Ann Wade:

it's that that's the kind of sign that you are actually

Carrie-Ann Wade:

pushing yourself outside of that comfort zone that there is that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

bit of discomfort, maybe some nervousness, maybe some sort of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

butterflies anticipation that you're doing something that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you're not used to doing and that you're potentially not sure

Carrie-Ann Wade:

what the outcome of that will be because it is outside of what

Carrie-Ann Wade:

would naturally be your comfort zone. So I think we've started

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to touch on this already in our conversation in this episode Lee

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and I guess I just want to delve into it a bit deeper in terms of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

when you're in a leadership position. Why really is it

Carrie-Ann Wade:

important that you do step outside of your comfort zone?

Carrie-Ann Wade:

And you've mentioned what happens already, I think if you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

don't around people sort of overtaking you and other

Carrie-Ann Wade:

people's growth rates being much, much broader and much

Carrie-Ann Wade:

quicker than yours. So do you want to elaborate a bit more on

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that? Talk to us about why it's important to take these steps

Carrie-Ann Wade:

outside of your comfort zone?

Lee Griffith:

Yeah, I mean, I think the the point I made about

Lee Griffith:

you going backwards almost if you don't challenge yourself and

Lee Griffith:

stretch yourself but also I think, again and it touches on

Lee Griffith:

what we spoke about in the last episode around that need to be

Lee Griffith:

conscious of the standard you're setting for other people. So if

Lee Griffith:

you're not growing and challenging yourself as a

Lee Griffith:

leader, then what's the lesson that you're sharing and showing

Lee Griffith:

to your team and what are they going to take from that I

Lee Griffith:

suppose even more importantly, you are potentially holding back

Lee Griffith:

the progress of your team or your organisation depending on

Lee Griffith:

your seniority in post, and that's when real damage and

Lee Griffith:

disruption can happen. So there's an actual serious

Lee Griffith:

consequence of you sitting in your comfort zone. Now that

Lee Griffith:

doesn't mean hundred percent of your time you need to be in a

Lee Griffith:

stretch zone. But if you spend predominantly all your time to

Lee Griffith:

the majority of your time in your comfort zone, it can have

Lee Griffith:

really serious ramifications if you think about companies who've

Lee Griffith:

been complacent with their performance or resistance to

Lee Griffith:

change. Yeah, what happens to them, they become irrelevant.

Lee Griffith:

They potentially fold other competitors takeover, it could

Lee Griffith:

be performance slips and errors happen and people come to harm

Lee Griffith:

you know, depending on what the organisation is, so I think it

Lee Griffith:

can be we joke about almost being comfy pants and all of

Lee Griffith:

that. But it can be a really serious thing for a leader if

Lee Griffith:

they don't step out of their comfort zone.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I think the point you've made about the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

impacts on the wider team or organisation is probably the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

crucial bit there. Because I guess it could be your personal

Carrie-Ann Wade:

choice about whether you as an individual want to step outside

Carrie-Ann Wade:

of your comfort zone or not, or if you're going to resist that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

actually if you are in a role as a leader, you have an obligation

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to role model that good practice to the rest of your organisation

Carrie-Ann Wade:

or your team as you say depending on your seniority. And

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I think if your team is constantly operating in a place

Carrie-Ann Wade:

where it is the comfort zone only, then you're not creating

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that culture of learning that culture of improved and that's

Carrie-Ann Wade:

really important, as you say to progress, that might be to be

Carrie-Ann Wade:

more innovative, that might be to improve performance. But if

Carrie-Ann Wade:

if the as the leader of that team, you're just very happy to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

sit in your comfort zone and let everyone else do the same. You

Carrie-Ann Wade:

know, that makes it quite difficult, I think for other

Carrie-Ann Wade:

people to potentially raise some challenge and to want to stretch

Carrie-Ann Wade:

themselves and stretch the team because you're not creating a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

culture where that's the norm. And so actually, potentially as

Carrie-Ann Wade:

well, for me, I feel like there are ramifications around sort of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

the retention of really good people. Actually, I think in my

Carrie-Ann Wade:

own personal experience when I've recruited into teams, and

Carrie-Ann Wade:

worked with different teams, really good people who were

Carrie-Ann Wade:

motivated who want to excel and to achieve are people who do

Carrie-Ann Wade:

want to stretch themselves outside of their comfort zone

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and if they don't get that opportunity within your team or

Carrie-Ann Wade:

your organisation they will look for that somewhere else because

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that is what motivates them and kind of keeps them going. So

Carrie-Ann Wade:

yeah, I think you're right in terms of these wider impacts on

Carrie-Ann Wade:

more people, just yourself of notstepping out of that comfort

Carrie-Ann Wade:

zone.

Lee Griffith:

Are you a new, established or aspiring CEO

Lee Griffith:

looking to maximise your impact in the workplace?At Sunday

Lee Griffith:

Skies I help you get clear on your big vision, create a

Lee Griffith:

strategy that connects and the communication plan to deliver it

Lee Griffith:

to no matter where you are in your CEO journey through my

Lee Griffith:

unique blend of coaching and done with you consulting. I will

Lee Griffith:

give you the strategy support and space to succeed in post.

Lee Griffith:

Visit sundayskies.com to find out more and sign up for my

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email to receive intelligence and information that will

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challenge and change the way you lead.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

If you're enjoying this episode of How To

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Take The Lead, please hit subscribe and why not leave a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

review or rating. We'd also love to hear your stories and

Carrie-Ann Wade:

thoughts on today's topic, please DM us, our links are in

Carrie-Ann Wade:

the show notes or tag us into your socials using the hashtag

Carrie-Ann Wade:

how to take the lead.

Lee Griffith:

I got an email this morning from, I subscribe

Lee Griffith:

to Rachel Watson's email list and I've mentioned her before as

Lee Griffith:

someone that I really value the insights she gives on thinking

Lee Griffith:

differently about stuff and she completely coincidentally sent

Lee Griffith:

an email about comfort this morning and her discussion point

Lee Griffith:

was around organisations try to make people feel comfortable at

Lee Griffith:

work but if you do that, or if you focus on that too much,

Lee Griffith:

actually what you're doing is limiting diversity of thought,

Lee Griffith:

constructive challenge. People stop taking risks in an

Lee Griffith:

organisation so it can actually really reduce trust in the

Lee Griffith:

workplace. And I thought that was such an interesting insight

Lee Griffith:

that I hadn't really considered in that context.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

You know, we talk a lot about that trust

Carrie-Ann Wade:

don't we in various other conversations that we have about

Carrie-Ann Wade:

leadership. So the more we're talking about this, the more

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that I'm getting the sense that stretching yourself as a leader

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and stepping out of your comfort zone has so many implications

Carrie-Ann Wade:

for lots of different areas. You as a leader, your team and your

Carrie-Ann Wade:

organisation probably more so than I'd perhaps first thoughtt

Carrie-Ann Wade:

when we started to have this conversation Lee, so that's

Carrie-Ann Wade:

brilliant. I guess that takes me on to what we're talking about

Carrie-Ann Wade:

wanting to sort of stretch yourself but how how can you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

proactively seek out these opportunities to move out of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

your comfort zone as a leader and and I guess for me it's like

Carrie-Ann Wade:

what sorts of opportunities might they be and you know, I've

Carrie-Ann Wade:

got a few examples of my own and definitely this collaboration

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and the how to take the lead stuff is is massively one of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

them because I never thought 12 months ago that we'd be sat here

Carrie-Ann Wade:

recording podcasts together talking about this very topic if

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I'm honest with you, Lee and like you say it hasn't just been

Carrie-Ann Wade:

sort of the technical skills that that has kind of stretched

Carrie-Ann Wade:

me and mostly you because you are the techie guru behind the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

podcast lets be honest. You know, it's just been that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

putting yourself out there as a leader, sharing your thinking

Carrie-Ann Wade:

and putting it out there in the public domain for other people

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to kind of have a view on can feel like a stretch and feel a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

bit scary but I'm ever so glad that we've been doing it to be

Carrie-Ann Wade:

honest. I don't know if you've got some of your own examples

Carrie-Ann Wade:

already but then we can move on to the how people can seek these

Carrie-Ann Wade:

opportunities out.

Lee Griffith:

One thing I would want to reflect on and I'll come

Lee Griffith:

to an example for me if I think to the question around how do

Lee Griffith:

you start to seek opportunities outside your comfort zone I

Lee Griffith:

actually go back to there's a bit of self reflection that you

Lee Griffith:

need to do and it can be looking at perhaps your language. So if

Lee Griffith:

you're using words or phrases like I can't or I'm not very

Lee Griffith:

good at. These are the limiting, wit my coaching hat on, these

Lee Griffith:

are your limiting beliefs that are keeping you in your comfort

Lee Griffith:

zone. So being able to recognise when you are saying that to

Lee Griffith:

yourself and to others is really important. It might be things

Lee Griffith:

that you recognise that you will always avoid doing so are you

Lee Griffith:

avoiding speaking at a meeting or if you get asked to present

Lee Griffith:

are you passing the buck along to someone else? Or wherever are

Lee Griffith:

you trying to find work arounds because you don't feel

Lee Griffith:

comfortable? They're all really good signs that you perhaps need

Lee Griffith:

to be doing something different to push yourself out of your

Lee Griffith:

comfort zone. And I think that absolutely is scary stepping

Lee Griffith:

outside of your comfort zone. We talked about nervousness and

Lee Griffith:

excitement and butterflies. But sometimes it can still be in

Lee Griffith:

feel really scare me. And what I would always say is try and

Lee Griffith:

break that down into manageable chunks. And if I think of an

Lee Griffith:

example for me, I don't I don't like presenting now my self talk

Lee Griffith:

was always good at presenting but actually I just like to

Lee Griffith:

avoid it because I didn't like doing it. And I had to break

Lee Griffith:

that down into lots of small, manageable bite sized chunks

Lee Griffith:

that took me on a journey before I presented and for me it was a

Lee Griffith:

bit like if you've ever watched Charlie Brown really modern

Lee Griffith:

reference there but Lionel's blanket. I would have to do

Lee Griffith:

things that I would need to do around my preparation walk me

Lee Griffith:

through every step, considering the questions that might come

Lee Griffith:

up, knowing what areas I'm going to cover all of those types of

Lee Griffith:

things to get me in a place of comfort to present.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I'd like to share with you on that one. But

Carrie-Ann Wade:

my natural comfort zone when it comes to things like presenting

Carrie-Ann Wade:

is basically to wing it. And if I'm terrible the other way I if

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I feel too over prepared then I go into pieces and I know that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

yeah, it just won't come out how I want it to come out but I

Carrie-Ann Wade:

don't know. I don't know if that's true or if that's just me

Carrie-Ann Wade:

creating an excuse for doing everything at the last minute

Lee Griffith:

There is a really good book I don't know if you've

Carrie-Ann Wade:

And I think there's confidence sometimes

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Lee.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

read it The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. You know that the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

lady who wrote Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and all of that it's

Carrie-Ann Wade:

basically her true life story of how she recognised and got told

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that she was turning down lots of opportunities that were open

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to her and then she decided that she was going to have a year

Carrie-Ann Wade:

where she just said yes to everything that came her way.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

And I found that so inspirational and it actually

Carrie-Ann Wade:

bolstered me to say yes to more things.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

that can be gained from seeing other people do that. And seek

Carrie-Ann Wade:

seeking out these opportunities and stepping into a space that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

they're not used to. And it's not at all in the same way. I'm

Carrie-Ann Wade:

not saying I was a Shonda at all, but that year I separated

Carrie-Ann Wade:

from my ex husband I decided I was going to spend a year saying

Carrie-Ann Wade:

yes to opportunities so not just work wise, but it was brilliant

Carrie-Ann Wade:

because I found myself doing things that I would have never

Carrie-Ann Wade:

doing things like going out on a canal boat in Birmingham,

Carrie-Ann Wade:

listening to listening to a poetryevening and getting

Carrie-Ann Wade:

dressed up in 1920s clothes to do it and stuff like that. It

Carrie-Ann Wade:

was just, you know, real confidence, to be honest with

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you, but you always need to see other people doing it sometimes

Carrie-Ann Wade:

for you to realise it's perhaps not quite as scary and fearful

Carrie-Ann Wade:

as you think it might be.

Lee Griffith:

So Shonda's, this book idea was stolen from you.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Well. I'd like to say yes, but absolutely not.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

And I'm sure that opportunities that came Shonda's way were very

Carrie-Ann Wade:

different to the ones that came my way but I have to say it was

Carrie-Ann Wade:

very empowering to say yes to more things that my natural

Carrie-Ann Wade:

response might have been a no to. And I've got to meet some

Carrie-Ann Wade:

brilliant people both workwise and outside of work and do some

Carrie-Ann Wade:

amazing things and I'm not sure why I limited it to a year maybe

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I just need to get back in that zone of like just say yes, more.

Lee Griffith:

Yeah, you and me both.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

So say we have talked about how it feels to

Carrie-Ann Wade:

step outside of your comfort zone and why it's important for

Carrie-Ann Wade:

you to do that as a leader and kind of how you can look for

Carrie-Ann Wade:

opportunities to do that. And I liked what you talked about

Carrie-Ann Wade:

around stretch Lee so I guess we're at that point in the

Carrie-Ann Wade:

episode where we share some how tos so Lee what did your how tos

Carrie-Ann Wade:

be in terms of how to step outside of your comfort zone as

Carrie-Ann Wade:

a leader?

Lee Griffith:

I think mine would be if I've got three so my first

Lee Griffith:

one would be that honesty with yourself about how much you're

Lee Griffith:

actually operating in your comfort zone. My second one

Lee Griffith:

would be around that stretch. So a good marker is is what's 10 to

Lee Griffith:

15% stretch outside your comfort zone. What does that look like?

Lee Griffith:

That's usually pretty manageable and quite risk free. And if

Lee Griffith:

there is a downside to it, it's likely not to cause any huge

Lee Griffith:

impact. Yeah. So but the plus side is if it goes well then you

Lee Griffith:

can take another 10 15% Step. And so that's a nice way to

Lee Griffith:

start to ease yourself into into your stretch. So and then my

Lee Griffith:

third point would be I think this is one of those areas that

Lee Griffith:

working with a coach is really really helpful and I know I've

Lee Griffith:

benefited in my corporate career discussing exactly this thing

Lee Griffith:

with my with my coach. It is all about how you empower people to

Lee Griffith:

stretch themselves. So if you haven't got a coach, I strongly

Lee Griffith:

not just because I am one don't you don't need to come to me

Lee Griffith:

that isn't a plug.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Other coaches are available.

Lee Griffith:

But having having that professional person that

Lee Griffith:

can ask you questions, make you think differently is really

Lee Griffith:

important.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

I'm going to build on that top tip to sort of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

add a little bit from my point of view, I think there is

Carrie-Ann Wade:

something about if you're able to have that reflection time and

Carrie-Ann Wade:

have these conversations and seek out people to kind of

Carrie-Ann Wade:

challenge some of your thinking around that I think it's really

Carrie-Ann Wade:

important to work out where you might stretch. I sometimes think

Carrie-Ann Wade:

it's important to think about where are you going to have most

Carrie-Ann Wade:

impact stepping outside of your comfort zone and potentially not

Carrie-Ann Wade:

just doing it for doing it's sake back to that bit that you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

mentioned, risk and mitigating that risk, really be thoughtful

Carrie-Ann Wade:

about actually what's the benefit to you as a leader in

Carrie-Ann Wade:

your organisation in terms of where you stretch and how you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

kind of direct that stretch and then there's definitely a bit

Carrie-Ann Wade:

for me that you mentioned that I think is a good top tip and how

Carrie-Ann Wade:

to is is just remembering your your role as a leader within

Carrie-Ann Wade:

your wider teams and how you demonstrate that actually is a

Carrie-Ann Wade:

good thing to step outside of your comfort zone so that you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

actually start to create the culture. Let's call it a stretch

Carrie-Ann Wade:

culture that might be what it's referred to in what you were

Carrie-Ann Wade:

talking about Lee but how you start to then create that

Carrie-Ann Wade:

stretch culture within your own team and your own organisation.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

So some top tips for people to think about in terms of comfort

Carrie-Ann Wade:

zone, I would definitely be really interested to hear from

Carrie-Ann Wade:

listeners about how they are stepping outside of their

Carrie-Ann Wade:

comfort zone and what that feels like so do get in touch with us

Carrie-Ann Wade:

across the socials or DMS. Leave us some comments that would be

Carrie-Ann Wade:

great. As always, Lee, thank you and thank you for being somebody

Carrie-Ann Wade:

who pushes me outside of my comfort zone and gives me those

Carrie-Ann Wade:

nudges to stretch myself it is genuinely much appreciated.

Lee Griffith:

Right back at you you definitely pushed me outside

Lee Griffith:

mine as well I wouldn't be sat here.

Lee Griffith:

So here we are in our stretch zone I don't think we've quite

Lee Griffith:

reached the danger zone with this one yet Lee, let's say

Lee Griffith:

we're still in our stretch zone with this one. I hope that's

Lee Griffith:

provided some food for thought for people. And I'm looking

Lee Griffith:

forward to our next episode.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Thanks again for listening to today's

Carrie-Ann Wade:

episode.

Lee Griffith:

Don't forget to hit subscribe so you're the

Lee Griffith:

first to receive new episodes when they drop every Thursday

Carrie-Ann Wade:

if you enjoyed the show, we'd love it if you

Carrie-Ann Wade:

would rate it or leave a review

Lee Griffith:

and let us know your thoughts and own

Lee Griffith:

experiences.

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Get in touch with either of us on LinkedIn,

Carrie-Ann Wade:

Twitter or Instagram

Lee Griffith:

or use the hashtag how to take the lead

Carrie-Ann Wade:

until next week - get out there and take the

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About the Podcast

How to Take the Lead
Unfiltered conversations for the modern leader
How to Take the Lead is a show exploring all things leadership.

Every week we'll be exploring a different part of life as a leader, questioning everything we've ever learnt and sharing a few of our own stories along the way.

If you want to learn how to do leadership your own way, join hosts Lee Griffith (from www.sundayskies.com) and Carrie-Ann Wade (from www.cats-pajamas.co.uk) as they debunk myths, tackle stereotypes and generally put the leadership world to rights.

New episodes are released every Thursday. To get involved, share your thoughts and stories or to ask questions visit www.howtotakethelead.com or DM us via instagram, LinkedIn or twitter.

About your hosts

Lee Griffith

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Lee Griffith is a leadership strategist and coach who works with CEOs and senior leaders to maximise their impact. A former award-winning communications and engagement director with over 20 years of experience, Lee has supported everything from major incidents to reconfigurations, turnarounds and transformations. She now runs her own company, sunday skies, and speaks regularly about how leaders can build connection and effect change through great communication and engagement. Find out more via www.sundayskies.com.

Carrie-Ann Wade

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Carrie-Ann Wade is a communications director in the NHS with over 20 years of communications and marketing experience. She is also founder of Cat’s Pajamas Communications which focuses on mentoring communications professionals to thrive and grow in their careers. She has been named one of F:entrepreneur's #ialso100 2020 top female entrepreneurs and business leaders, and Cat’s Pajamas has been recognised in Small Business Saturday's UK #SmallBiz100, as a business with impact.
Find out more via www.cats-pajamas.co.uk