I hope that 2023 has started well for you?

Firstly I want to share the following article What Is Psychological Safety? (hbr.org) about the importance of providing a “safe space” for your team, an environment where people can talk to you without fear. Where they can express their emotions, their opinions, and even criticise, without any kind of judgement or retribution. It’s hugely important, especially today in this current environment where there’s so much uncertainty about what’s right or wrong, what’s acceptable and what’s not. I particularly like the simple tactics for creating a safe space and thought you might find them useful?

I also wanted to share that the REAL Leadership Consultancy has been voted one of the top leadership coaching companies in 2022, you can find out more here

I decided to change my direction just over 2 years ago, to give up my corporate career and focus on starting my own business that I could get passionate about, working with inspirational people who wanted to improve their leadership skills. Like many entrepreneurs, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotion but this award goes a little way towards justifying the sacrifices and stress, it is also in recognition of some truly amazing clients and this inspiring community of leaders!

This month we are focusing on change and having the courage to make a change in direction or do things in a different way:

1. During these challenging times read more from Steve on “leading through uncertainty”.
2. Hear from Maria Bettencourt Tavares what she has learnt about her leadership style moving from working in a large corporation to founding a startup in an industry that she’s passionate about.
3. Do you ever wonder what your child thinks you do? Asking that question can lead you to taking a new direction.
4. Why we’re encouraging you to put your leadership books back on the shelf this month.

In this latest blog article, Steve shares his thoughts on leading through uncertainty.

This is a quote from the late Ayrton Senna that was mentioned in a fascinating McKinsey article How ambidextrous leaders manage through volatile times | McKinsey.

The article went on to describe that despite all of the rain out there, from the war in Ukraine, increased costs of living, increasing inflation and hybrid work challenges, to name just a few…there are two leadership mindsets to consider. The cautious leaders who cut back and hide in their offices (or at home) and wait for better weather? Or those that go on the offensive and look for opportunities, show a positive mindset and inspire their teams to get ahead of the pack?

Read more about leading through uncertain times and how it all starts with you!

Recently we heard from Maria Bettencourt Tavares, CEO and Founder of LOONAWELL, the first and only pet food brand in the world to be certified by the Swiss Vitamin Institute.

In 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the pandemic, Maria transitioned from her corporate career to the world of entrepreneurship and founded LOONAWELL, in Zurich, Switzerland.

Maria grew up in Estoril, Portugal, by the vast Atlantic ocean, which taught her one important lesson: to put things into perspective. Here she shares how this helped her change her direction in business and what she has learnt about her leadership style moving from working in a large corporation to founding a startup in an industry that she’s passionate about.

In an article that many of our clients refer to when speaking to Steve, we reflect again on what made Steve take a change in direction and start his own business.

“I remember a colleague telling me that his young daughter thought he was a train driver, because that’s all she ever saw him do, catch a train for his commute. The fact he was CEO of a successful company didn’t register.

Several years ago I asked my son the same question. “You work in research in London” was his response, never mind a 25-year career working with some of the world’s leading companies, my commercial or leadership expertise, recruiting and developing hundreds of people along the way, leading to running my own company for the past three years.”

As you know each month we normally share with you one of the books that we have enjoyed reading. -However, last week Steve was talking to one of the REAL. Leadership clients, who asked what leadership books he would recommend.The response from Steve was not to recommend books, or listen to a favourite podcast, but to talk to people. Talk to peers, talk to those in your business who you admire and reach out to people you haven’t spoken to for a while. Sometimes as life gets busy we forget how important conversations are!

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