Episode 3

full
Published on:

3rd Nov 2022

When are you a leader?

We explore when you are a leader from a few angles, including your perception versus the perception of others, if you ever switch off as a leader and how your home life might be influenced by your leadership role and vice versa:

  • 02:15  – is there a difference between management and leadership?
  • 05:33 – the role of organisations in leadership development
  • 09:39 – perceptions of when you are a leader
  • 17:04 – exploring feedback about your leadership
  • 19:24 – is leadership 24/7?
  • 28:40 – How to...

As always we share our top takeaways and in this episode we strongly recommend revisiting your purpose and why you want to be a leader, focus on developing your leadership brand (even if that feels a bit icky) and make sure you consider your own wellbeing. 

----------------

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

New episodes will be released every Thursday and you can listen/download on your favourite platform.

To find out more visit www.howtotakethelead.com  

Enjoy this series and let us know what you would like us to cover in future episodes on Instagram @howtotakethelead or Twitter @How2TakeTheLead

Transcript
Lee:

well, as a complete aside, I do know someone many, many, many years ago who

Lee:

did set objectives for his girlfriend.

Lee:

​ Hello and welcome to another

Lee:

How are you?

Lee:

This rainy afternoon,

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, it's proper miserable out there, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

I think the, the weather is, uh, is keeping tone with the

Carrie-Ann:

state of leadership at the moment.

Carrie-Ann:

That's what I think

Lee:

I also realize that we seem to start every episode

Lee:

with some form of weather check.

Lee:

So is that just the Britishness in us coming out?

Carrie-Ann:

The polite Britishness, weather cuing, just generally random

Carrie-Ann:

small talk before anything starts.

Carrie-Ann:

But yeah, it is miserable, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And it's cold now it's proper coming into like that winter feeling.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'm hoping that the podcast offers people, some think good and juicy to

Carrie-Ann:

listen to whilst they're going into hibernation mode for the season.

Lee:

So today I wanted to explore, we, we've done episodes before about

Lee:

what is leadership and I kind of wanna re-look at it, but come at

Lee:

it from a slightly different angle.

Lee:

For me, leadership is a word that so often is interchanged with the word management.

Lee:

And I think particularly when you look at it from an organizational point of

Lee:

view, there's an expectation almost even in the language we use in this podcast,

Lee:

I'd say that the more senior you are, The more you are in a leadership position.

Lee:

And for me, I think there is a difference between being in a leadership

Lee:

position and the requirements and the accountabilities of you as a person.

Lee:

but I think that's different to demonstrating leadership.

Lee:

I don't think they're mutually exclusive terms, and I think we would all be

Lee:

able to reference leaders who actually are senior managers, and we also know

Lee:

leaders who aren't great managers.

Lee:

So I think there is a, A distinction and a separation.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

So I want to explore today a bit more around that concept of leadership and

Lee:

the perceptions and realities, and I suppose to kick us off, get your

Lee:

sense on those connotations of when you think about leadership and being

Lee:

a leader, what that brings up for you?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, I think you're absolutely right, that

Carrie-Ann:

difference between leadership and management, it's definitely there.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think my experience has been that you often see people who are technically

Carrie-Ann:

really capable in their role being pro promoted to management positions, but

Carrie-Ann:

that doesn't automatically mean that they'll be good people, managers, but also

Carrie-Ann:

managing people doesn't automatically, like you say, make you a good leader.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, in terms of thinking about leadership, there's something about

Carrie-Ann:

mindset and approach and actually seeing yourself as a leader rather

Carrie-Ann:

than seeing yourself as someone who signs off annual leave, manages

Carrie-Ann:

sickness, sets tasks for the team.

Carrie-Ann:

I think there is a difference, and I think there is a role needed

Carrie-Ann:

in some of that management space, but absolutely agree with you.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think there's something for me in terms of like those connotations around

Carrie-Ann:

being a leader, I don't feel like you automatically get that through, the role

Carrie-Ann:

that you have, like that whole leadership, when you're in that leadership space,

Carrie-Ann:

it's not necessarily aligned to the seniority of the position that you are in.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, for me, I think it's definitely more about what actions you

Carrie-Ann:

demonstrate and what behaviors you demonstrate in that leadership space.

Carrie-Ann:

As a leader, I think there's something that, you've mentioned this already

Carrie-Ann:

around responsibility and accountability.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think when you step into that space as a leader, whether it's into

Carrie-Ann:

a more senior leadership position or whether you are being a leader in your

Carrie-Ann:

field or for a specific cause, that responsibility I think then comes with it.

Carrie-Ann:

So responsibility to role model to others.

Carrie-Ann:

I think connotations of being a leader, for me, it definitely, so

Carrie-Ann:

linked with your integrity, you know, are you acting with integrity?

Carrie-Ann:

Are you demonstrating your values?

Carrie-Ann:

Are you prepared to speak out on behalf of others and advocate for them?

Carrie-Ann:

You know, are you able to spearhead change?

Carrie-Ann:

So it feels like lots of those kind of words and descriptions fit for

Carrie-Ann:

me with the idea of being a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

I think one of the other things that comes to mind for me when I talk

Carrie-Ann:

about what it means to be a leader and what's associated with that is

Carrie-Ann:

also that awareness that others will be critical of you if they have a

Carrie-Ann:

different opinion and a different view.

Carrie-Ann:

And that you have to be prepared for the impacts of that.

Carrie-Ann:

And I sometimes think people who assume their position makes them a leader

Carrie-Ann:

sometimes perhaps haven't done that developmental work and that thinking about

Carrie-Ann:

what that means for them both personally and for the people they're leading.

Lee:

Do you think organizations have some responsibility for that?

Lee:

Because I think as they're pulling people up the hierarchy because of

Lee:

how they've perhaps managed their function, it, it may or may not be

Lee:

their people management skills, but maybe they're excelling in their area

Lee:

of expertise, they get pulled up.

Lee:

Then the expectation and the label of leadership comes into

Lee:

play, the more senior they get.

Lee:

But they don't necessarily get that school in around well, The difference

Lee:

when you step into a leadership space?

Carrie-Ann:

I absolutely agree and I see that a lot in organizations.

Carrie-Ann:

I think people, one, I don't think people often get their training and

Carrie-Ann:

development they need to become managers.

Carrie-Ann:

Back to that point of you might, you might be a really excellent accountant for

Carrie-Ann:

example, but that doesn't automatically mean you're gonna be a really good

Carrie-Ann:

manager of a team of other accountants.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think people almost shine and excel in their sphere of professional

Carrie-Ann:

knowledge and expertise, but often don't get that support when they then get

Carrie-Ann:

that promotion into a management role.

Carrie-Ann:

But I also think the development schemes and training and approach that is on offer

Carrie-Ann:

from some organizations don't help with that shift of mindset into the leadership

Carrie-Ann:

space because often people will then go, Oh, well I, I haven't got the skills

Carrie-Ann:

and I've been promoted to team manager, service manager, whatever, get put on a

Carrie-Ann:

management training course, which ends up being very much driven by processes

Carrie-Ann:

that you have to follow as a manager.

Carrie-Ann:

Do you know the right HR processes and policies?

Carrie-Ann:

If you have to deal with a difficult member of staff or a

Carrie-Ann:

performance issue, for example.

Carrie-Ann:

And again, that doesn't for me touch on that leadership space and thinking, So

Carrie-Ann:

I, I would absolutely agree organizations need to do more and my perception

Carrie-Ann:

is there are many organizations that maybe themselves don't understand

Carrie-Ann:

that difference to be able to offer the right development in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

I dunno if that's been your experience,

Lee:

I, I, I reflect on when I was working in one organization and

Lee:

we had a leadership development program, an internal one.

Lee:

And everyone of a certain tier and above were automatically included in

Lee:

that leadership development program.

Lee:

And we used to start the sessions.

Lee:

With the chief exec asking people put your hand up if you

Lee:

consider yourself to be a leader.

Lee:

And it was quite enlightening because actually less than half the room put

Lee:

their hand up and part of the work we did was, was around trying to shift

Lee:

that mindset from your responsibilities as you become a senior leader versus

Lee:

those management responsibilities.

Lee:

And we tried to measure that over time, I haven't got any hard.

Lee:

Fast measures.

Lee:

It did change.

Lee:

Some people did start to see themselves as that, but did we do enough?

Lee:

I, I think we still immediately labeled everyone as leader

Lee:

without them demonstrating their ability or accountability of that.

Carrie-Ann:

and I think back to your point about seniority, I guess there

Carrie-Ann:

is an expectation that once you reach a certain level within your career or your

Carrie-Ann:

organization, that there is that automatic shift into that leadership space.

Carrie-Ann:

But there will be people who are not in a senior position, but who would

Carrie-Ann:

consider themselves to be leaders in their organizations because they're experts in

Carrie-Ann:

their field or because they have a, a huge group of, of colleagues potentially that

Carrie-Ann:

look up to them for leadership even though they're not in a leadership position.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think it is all about perception, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And that labeling and how you manage some of that, I, I think

Carrie-Ann:

that's quite interesting to explore.

Lee:

Mm.

Carrie-Ann:

Because it's not only your perception of yourself, so

Carrie-Ann:

I wonder how many people in that room who didn't perceive or did

Carrie-Ann:

perceive themselves as leaders.

Carrie-Ann:

If you ask the people they worked with, how many people would go,

Carrie-Ann:

Yes, I see them as a leader or not.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that's sometimes more about people's behaviors, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

And how they operate in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

So

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

And Kind of bridges nicely into my next point, which was the fact that

Lee:

some people we know have that natural leadership ability within them.

Lee:

Um, they don't feel they need authority or seniority or however you want to, to badge

Lee:

it to lead whilst others feel like they've got to be given that by someone else to be

Lee:

able to show leadership and again, I know we are potentially confusing leadership

Lee:

and management, but I do think that's what you see is, is that permission to lead

Lee:

that some people feel they have to have.

Lee:

And I suppose it goes back to whether people themselves see themselves as

Lee:

needing to manage others in order to lead.

Lee:

And I think some of the difficulties can be if people perhaps don't have a natural

Lee:

management infrastructure around them, can they show themselves to be a leader?

Lee:

Or if people aren't in a senior position, do they just seem themselves

Lee:

as a team manager or head of team, and don't see themselves as a leader.

Lee:

So I wondered what your thoughts were on that.

Carrie-Ann:

I definitely agree.

Carrie-Ann:

It's about how you perceive yourself.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, in that space for sure.

Carrie-Ann:

And I also think it's something about how you act in that space as well.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think actually in healthcare, which is obviously a field, where

Carrie-Ann:

a lot of my experience comes from.

Carrie-Ann:

You do often come across clinicians at all different levels in, in their

Carrie-Ann:

kind of, Career journey and, and that hierarchy that you've talked about

Carrie-Ann:

who are definite leaders without having those senior positions.

Carrie-Ann:

Because what they're really good at is galvanizing groups of staff to

Carrie-Ann:

work together and to collaborate That, that they really demonstrate through

Carrie-Ann:

their actions and what they choose to be vocal about, that they are working

Carrie-Ann:

towards something that they perceive to be a really important cause.

Carrie-Ann:

You often find those sorts of people really active in that

Carrie-Ann:

space around lobbying for change or advocating for others.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think there are definitely people who are able to do that

Carrie-Ann:

without being given the authority of a particular title to do that.

Carrie-Ann:

But I think, I think people do struggle with that.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think there will be people who will think, I don't have the authority to act

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader because I'm not a, a manager.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, but I think it's, for me, it's about mindset and that desire to make

Carrie-Ann:

an impact and, and I would say, You know, it, it is easy to say cuz there'll

Carrie-Ann:

be all sorts of restrictions around how people operate in the workplace.

Carrie-Ann:

But there's a bit of me that feels like if you doubt you have the authority,

Carrie-Ann:

but you feel like you can make an impact in that leadership space, what's the

Carrie-Ann:

worst that that could happen for you?

Lee:

Mm.

Carrie-Ann:

for forgiveness, not seek permission sometimes, because

Carrie-Ann:

sometimes you know, there's not gonna be enough senior job titles

Carrie-Ann:

in an organization for everyone to.

Carrie-Ann:

Labeled as a leader through the hierarchy, but that doesn't mean

Carrie-Ann:

you can't be a leader without the job title, if that makes sense.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

So if you know someone is doubting their authority to lead or the

Lee:

perception of their ability to lead, what can they do about it?

Lee:

You know, what sets people apart who just naturally fall into that space and

Lee:

seem to make it work for them, versus those that perhaps feel like they need

Lee:

that, that permission or something?

Carrie-Ann:

I think in terms of people who don't naturally feel able to step

Carrie-Ann:

into that space for whatever reason, there's something for me about like

Carrie-Ann:

your support network and who you have around you who can help to influence

Carrie-Ann:

you and challenge your thinking and help to give you that confidence,

Carrie-Ann:

I guess, to step into that space.

Carrie-Ann:

I go back to that, but I mean, it's about being brave, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

It is about being brave enough to put yourself out there

Carrie-Ann:

and potentially take a risk.

Carrie-Ann:

So I guess it's also about looking at the opportunities that you have to influence

Carrie-Ann:

and to make an impact, as a leader in your organization, regardless of role.

Carrie-Ann:

And if there are smaller things you can do to start to make you feel more

Carrie-Ann:

comfortable operating in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

Because I think as we've already said leadership comes with a lot

Carrie-Ann:

of responsibility and you are gonna face challenges and you are

Carrie-Ann:

gonna face people who are gonna be critical of your view on things or

Carrie-Ann:

the way in which you want to operate.

Carrie-Ann:

So actually doing small, incremental things that probably feel less of a

Carrie-Ann:

huge risk, I think, help you get into that head space, if that makes sense.

Lee:

I would add to that people who are questioning their leadership

Lee:

ability or authority, I think that there are a few things to.

Lee:

I go back to your purpose.

Lee:

So why?

Lee:

Why actually, do you want to be seen as a leader?

Lee:

Is it that you want to be recognized as having a position of power or authority?

Lee:

Is it that you want to be seen like that because actually it's an important step

Lee:

in your career because you're viewing it in a seniority point of view, or

Lee:

is it because you actually just want

Lee:

be a really great manager, but you want to inspire people.

Lee:

You want to bring a bit extra to the role.

Lee:

So going back to your rationale, why is I think a really good starting point.

Lee:

And I always look to people like project managers or program directors because

Lee:

they're often leaders because they lead a project but don't often have teams.

Lee:

They've got to galvanize other people in other teams who have different

Lee:

reporting and accountability lines.

Lee:

And you can really tell the difference between successful program project

Lee:

leaders and the success of a project as opposed to those who perhaps maybe need

Lee:

to try and grab some authority and power.

Carrie-Ann:

And I, I think that is really interesting, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Because for me, that feels like a, a potentially harder space to lead in when

Carrie-Ann:

actually you don't have that authority necessarily over the people that you're

Carrie-Ann:

trying to bring on a journey with you and get to deliver things with your

Carrie-Ann:

kind of oversight and your vision.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that that does demonstrate to me people who

Carrie-Ann:

are successful in that space.

Carrie-Ann:

Definitely for me demonstrate really good and strong leadership skills.

Carrie-Ann:

But I, I'd really like your point about asking why do you want to be a leader?

Carrie-Ann:

I think that should, you know, each step of your own career journey, you should

Carrie-Ann:

be asking, why do I want to move into that next space and take that next step?

Carrie-Ann:

And obviously there will be people who are driven by power and wanting to have

Carrie-Ann:

that power and influence over others in terms of the hierarchy and the seniority,

Carrie-Ann:

that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

Carrie-Ann:

It's made me feel like I want it.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm itchy about that, cuz that doesn't sit comfortably with me.

Carrie-Ann:

I guess for me I think as well, I think it's.

Carrie-Ann:

Not easier for leaders, that's not the right word, but leaders who are doing

Carrie-Ann:

something because they're passionate about the cause or the impact that they can

Carrie-Ann:

have for other people, I think generally come tend to come across as more authentic

Carrie-Ann:

in that leadership space than people who are doing it for ego is probably

Carrie-Ann:

what I'm trying to say on that point.

Carrie-Ann:

But so I think that purpose and the why is a really good

Carrie-Ann:

question to be asking yourself.

Lee:

And I think also asking other people the why.

Lee:

So if you've had feedback, and I've seen this happen where chief

Lee:

exec or director says, you are in a leadership position, you need to be

Lee:

demonstrating better leadership, or you need to show up more as a leader.

Lee:

The, the really generic feedback term that, that people often get thrown at

Lee:

them a bit like, you need to be more strategic, what the F does that mean?

Lee:

. So being able to go to someone if you get that feedback and go can

Lee:

we make this a bit more tangible?

Lee:

What, what do you mean?

Lee:

What does that look like for you?

Lee:

What's the space I'm not filling that I need to?

Carrie-Ann:

How can I demonstrate that?

Carrie-Ann:

You want me to demonstrate something?

Carrie-Ann:

Tell me how, what is, Yeah, exactly.

Carrie-Ann:

What is it that you need to see from me that would make you feel confident

Carrie-Ann:

that I'm demonstrating what you need.

Carrie-Ann:

And, and then when you hear it, you have to question whether

Carrie-Ann:

you are comfortable with that.

Carrie-Ann:

Some of that feedback you might get might, might mean that you change your mind

Carrie-Ann:

about the why you want to be a leader in that particular space or organization.

Lee:

Or you might figure out that they've got no clue what they're doing

Lee:

in terms of leadership and actually that isn't the right fit for you anyway.

Lee:

A conversation that my husband and I had during series one, and I can't remember.

Lee:

What episode triggered it might have been the superpower one.

Lee:

He didn't listen to the whole series.

Lee:

It was the early episodes I forced him

Carrie-Ann:

Was he a fair weather listener?

Lee:

he was a

Carrie-Ann:

Fair

Carrie-Ann:

weather listener.

Carrie-Ann:

But at least he showed some support though

Lee:

Well, I think it's because you are of a half had listened

Lee:

and he felt like he needed to.

Lee:

Otherwise I wouldn't have let it

Carrie-Ann:

Again, I think that was on the fair weather.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm just trying to be a supportive partner front.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm, I'm not sure he could feedback, which his favorite episode was.

Lee:

Anyway, I say what to say, he did to demonstrate, said

Lee:

listening of a podcast episode.

Lee:

He and I got into quite hearty discussion about something.

Lee:

And it was the point that leadership isn't something that you just switch on and off.

Lee:

If you're a good leader then it's inherent to your character and you would

Lee:

be demonstrating the same traits when you are at home or out in company as

Lee:

you would when you're in the workplace.

Lee:

And it was a really interesting discussion because yes, that's true,

Lee:

but also I, I felt a bit like some elements of leadership would be

Lee:

really odd if you bought it home.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna start performance Managing your husband.

Carrie-Ann:

This is excellent.

Lee:

Well, as a complete aside, I do know someone many, many, many years ago who

Lee:

did set objectives for his girlfriend.

Lee:

I'm

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, I don't even, do you know what?

Carrie-Ann:

I don't even know where to go for that.

Carrie-Ann:

I feel like that's like a bonus episode Waiting to happen.

Lee:

Suddenly your upper half starts giving this massive vision

Lee:

statement as you carves the roast on a Sunday, you know, maybe that's

Lee:

what you like in your household, but that wouldn't really be for me.

Lee:

It got me thinking about how different are you at work to at home.

Lee:

And is leadership something that you leave at the door in the office

Lee:

or do you bring it back with you?

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, I've got so much to say about this, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

I, I do have friends who at New Year have a New Year's meal and bottle of

Carrie-Ann:

something lovely and they do a backward look of the year That's just gone.

Carrie-Ann:

In terms of what they feel has

Lee:

like their annual report.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, that what they feel has been really positive that's

Carrie-Ann:

happened for them in that year.

Carrie-Ann:

What they found really challenging as a couple, as a family, whatever.

Carrie-Ann:

And then they do a bit of a forward look.

Carrie-Ann:

Like what?

Carrie-Ann:

What are our aspirations for the year ahead?

Carrie-Ann:

Like, are there things we want to achieve?

Carrie-Ann:

Which I kind of quite like, but, But now you've said it's like an annual report.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm like, Oh no, that's good

Lee:

Well, my mind went to one new report when you first started to

Lee:

describe it, but then I thought, actually I do something similar.

Lee:

I'm not, with, not with David.

Lee:

God help.

Lee:

He would like, literally, he'd leave me if I started doing that.

Lee:

I do that like at the end, people journal, people like to set themselves personal

Lee:

cause I'm not against any of that.

Lee:

I suppose it's that forced.

Lee:

I, I suppose when he was talking about it, I had the whole hockey

Lee:

sticks situation vision in my head of really rallying the troops in the

Lee:

household and all kind of marching up the hills to the same goal and.

Carrie-Ann:

Yes.

Carrie-Ann:

So anyway, sorry.

Carrie-Ann:

I've dig, I've made just digress again a little bit there.

Carrie-Ann:

So, um, back to the question that you asked me.

Carrie-Ann:

I do, I do think there are people who, uh, maybe their traits and personality

Carrie-Ann:

type might naturally lend themselves to be more comfortable in that leadership space.

Carrie-Ann:

But I do think that you can learn to be a good leader and I guess key to

Carrie-Ann:

that is having that open mindset and wanting to learn and grow and develop.

Carrie-Ann:

So I definitely think that there's something there, and I think in terms

Carrie-Ann:

of that, I dunno, because I look at the introvert extrovert argument around that

Carrie-Ann:

one about you can say people are natural born leaders, but you know, we've had this

Carrie-Ann:

whole debate going on about how people expect extroverts to be better leaders.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually quite a lot of the evidence and research shows that introverts

Carrie-Ann:

make better leaders, but we still keep telling them to be more extrovert.

Carrie-Ann:

So you know that there's a whole piece around that in terms of whether.

Carrie-Ann:

Like natural ability versus nurture versus effort.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't know.

Carrie-Ann:

But back to the point I guess around that, the home and and work scenario, I think

Carrie-Ann:

I probably personally do demonstrate some things because they're just inherent in

Carrie-Ann:

me in terms of the way I act, in terms of when I'm in the home, in my home

Carrie-Ann:

environment, in my personal life, I still operate in a way, which is about the

Carrie-Ann:

fact that actually what motivates me is achieving things and having an impact.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'm looking for things to do in the home that make me feel

Carrie-Ann:

like I've achieved something.

Carrie-Ann:

I think I bring some creativity into that space, which I think

Carrie-Ann:

I do in the professional space.

Carrie-Ann:

I am still quite goals focused.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think there are some things that transcend between home and work life.

Carrie-Ann:

But

Lee:

Your transferable skills,

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, let's talk about transferable skills, but the difference,

Carrie-Ann:

is what, what I feel is important to focus my energies and time on at home

Carrie-Ann:

versus at work, which will be different.

Carrie-Ann:

So maybe my approach to some of those things would be the same, but

Carrie-Ann:

actually, the subject matter would be very different And, and when I was

Carrie-Ann:

thinking about this before we started having this conversation, I thought

Carrie-Ann:

what was quite interesting for me to reflect on is that my partner and I are

Carrie-Ann:

both leaders in our workplace in very different fields and very different ways.

Carrie-Ann:

But what I do sometimes notice at home is that there are some weeks when

Carrie-Ann:

neither of us want to make a decision.

Carrie-Ann:

Neither of us wants to step up into that space to go, right,

Carrie-Ann:

this is what we're doing.

Carrie-Ann:

You know, It's not about any necessarily major things might

Carrie-Ann:

be like what to have for dinner.

Carrie-Ann:

What are we doing at the weekend?

Carrie-Ann:

Where are we going?

Carrie-Ann:

Who are we seeing?

Carrie-Ann:

I think.

Carrie-Ann:

Because both of us have done that all week long in our roles that we

Carrie-Ann:

get home and we're like, I just want someone else to make the decisions.

Carrie-Ann:

And then he's like, Well, I just want someone else to make the decisions too.

Carrie-Ann:

So we, we get into this little state sometimes of like, just

Carrie-Ann:

nothing happens because, because neither of us wanna take the lead.

Lee:

So this, this is one of my biggest issues and the biggest differences I

Lee:

think I've found between my work life and my home life is my indecisiveness.

Lee:

And I had this conversation with David the other day.

Lee:

because he was like, I don't understand, I think we were watching some TV show and

Lee:

he was like, Oh, you'd be really good at doing that cuz you'd be really decisive.

Lee:

He said, I don't understand why you're just not like that at home though.

Lee:

And I, and I reflected going, Yeah, I used to, I had no problems making

Lee:

decisions when I was at work.

Lee:

I'd be really clear, I'd have a process of elimination, I'd,

Lee:

maybe seek counsel, whatever.

Lee:

At home.

Lee:

I am so indecisive, chronically indecisive.

Lee:

Still, Um, even though I run my own business, if I talk about stuff in

Lee:

my business, I can make a decision and I've never thought of it.

Lee:

Maybe I'm tired of making decisions, but um, yeah, that's my biggest difference.

Carrie-Ann:

Having said that though, I do think that I definitely,

Carrie-Ann:

much more easily in my personal life than than did my partner.

Carrie-Ann:

It can easily step up into that decision making mode because then it gets to a

Carrie-Ann:

point where I'm like, Well, somebody has to make a decision, so I'm just gonna make

Carrie-Ann:

it because we can't carry on in this state of like nothing's actually progressing.

Carrie-Ann:

And I do think I'm a big picture ideas sort of person, and I think at home,

Carrie-Ann:

I know that's one of my strengths.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I do a bit more of that in terms of, the big thinking about what, what we're

Carrie-Ann:

gonna commit to next, what we're doing.

Carrie-Ann:

But then I know that I rely on my partner to do all the logical, practical

Carrie-Ann:

stuff to actually make it happen.

Carrie-Ann:

So that's another similarity, I guess, to how I operate in the,

Carrie-Ann:

in the workspace, um, as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

So I, I think you can't, you can't undo some of it, but I, I agree with you.

Carrie-Ann:

I don't think you go home in leadership mode to like act a certain way.

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's natural things that come out cuz that's just part of your

Carrie-Ann:

personality and who you are and maybe your why, your leadership style is like it is.

Carrie-Ann:

But it situation dependent, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

I think.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

But I have, I mean, you do see sometimes, and I think, I've been accused of this

Lee:

before, you've come back and you're using work speak in the home and it's

Lee:

like, I mean, we don't do corporate BS here, but you know, back in the day,

Lee:

I dabbled every now and then with it

Carrie-Ann:

How about No, I can't.

Carrie-Ann:

I can't tell you off Lee cause I did the same and my ex-partner and I used to work

Carrie-Ann:

together and that was just an absolute nightmare because you almost can avoid

Carrie-Ann:

having the corporate BS speak at home.

Carrie-Ann:

And we got to a point where we used, if we used to commute together, we used to

Carrie-Ann:

say by the time we get out of the car at home, we'd not allowed to talk about

Carrie-Ann:

work anymore because it is draining.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it does make you tired.

Carrie-Ann:

You do need that, that change.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that's something that i've learnt over time is

Carrie-Ann:

to do that wellbeing stuff.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think for me, some of my home has to be about balance, wellbeing,

Carrie-Ann:

not maybe being so focused.

Carrie-Ann:

But I, I hope I bring some of that into my leadership space at work as well.

Carrie-Ann:

And then I guess at work, the planning, the focus to setting the direction,

Carrie-Ann:

the collaboration, the facilitation, I hope I bring some of that when

Carrie-Ann:

it's needed into the home space.

Carrie-Ann:

But it's just getting that right, isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

Not.

Carrie-Ann:

Too much one way or the other.

Lee:

I know for me, the home thing that I bring into to work is that

Lee:

understanding other people's perspectives?

Lee:

I think my husband's definitely influenced me with that.

Lee:

I've would historically get quite hotheaded and be quick to judge on

Lee:

certain things or situations and um, I wouldn't say I'm completely cured,

Lee:

but he has definitely mellowed me out and made me think more broadly about

Lee:

different perspectives and made me challenge my own thinking and take

Lee:

a step back sometimes before I act.

Lee:

And, and all of that, which I know absolutely benefited me in my late

Lee:

years in my corporate role because I think I handled situations maybe

Lee:

through experience of ha not handling them the best way to begin with.

Lee:

But also his influence on me and thinking how would he

Lee:

have approached it has helped.

Lee:

Um, I dunno what I've influenced on him though, if that, that's

Lee:

a whole other conversation

Carrie-Ann:

That's, that's another bonus episode of the podcast right there,

Lee:

So to wrap up with our how-to's, how do you start to hone in, I

Lee:

suppose, of on who you are as a leader and, and when and how you lead?

Carrie-Ann:

I think, in terms of how tos for me, that point you made about

Carrie-Ann:

your why, is a really important one.

Carrie-Ann:

I think if you are doubting that you have authority, but you have the

Carrie-Ann:

desire to want to make an impact, then something's calling you to

Carrie-Ann:

step into that leadership space.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think my thinking there would be seek forgiveness, not permission.

Carrie-Ann:

Just do it.

Carrie-Ann:

Just step up and see what happens.

Carrie-Ann:

Um, and I think just reflecting on the last bit of the conversation, if you

Carrie-Ann:

act with integrity and authenticity in the workplace, then you are bringing

Carrie-Ann:

some of your home self and, and vice versa to, to both of those roles.

Carrie-Ann:

But there is something for me about learning to switch off a bit because I

Carrie-Ann:

think sometimes when you are a leader, you do think it's 24 7 and absolutely, you

Carrie-Ann:

know, you're having to role model being a good person, not even a good leader

Carrie-Ann:

all the time because the eyes are on you.

Carrie-Ann:

But it's, it is important, I think, to be able to switch off mostly for

Carrie-Ann:

your own wellbeing and so you don't burn out, but also to role model

Carrie-Ann:

some good practice to other people.

Lee:

Well, I can't really top that, so my how to would be more around

Lee:

that building your leadership brand.

Lee:

We did an episode about that in series one.

Lee:

I know that can feel really icky for some people, but the fact is

Lee:

we all have a brand and a personal brand, and this is about stepping

Lee:

into that leadership brand space.

Lee:

So for me it's about getting some intentionality about what makes you, you

Show artwork for How to Take the Lead

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

Profile picture for Lee Griffith
Lee Griffith is an executive coach and leadership communications strategist 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

Profile picture for Carrie-Ann Wade
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