Podcast Transcripts

18th April 2023

EP 63: Resist Temptation – Minimise Distraction

“The most scarce resource in the world today is attention” – Yuval Noah Harari. The only 2 industries that refer to customers as “users” are Big Tech and drug cartels. We live in an increasingly technology-fuelled Garden of Eden – an attention economy where the most sophisticated dark forces are constantly, covertly intent at work to distract you. If time is your most precious asset as a leader, then saving and spending it wisely becomes paramount. In this episode, Ian discusses how our old biological defences are hardly sea-worthy any longer and in this age of fierce clandestine competition for your attention, you’re gonna need a bigger boat (or at least a better way to navigate!) to stay afloat.
28th February 2023

Ep 62: “The Art of Leadership”

What has Art got to do with Leadership? Throughout nearly 30 years of working with leaders and leadership, the very best leaders Ian has encountered all have had one thing in common, irrespective of geography or industry: the sensibility of an artist. After all, leadership is all about creating something novel and new from just your imagination combined with the resources at your disposal whilst inspiring others to join in its creation. So just what is that artistic sensibility that separates the best from the rest?
14th February 2023

61: From the Archives: EP 29: Deepening Connections in Chaos

Whilst not obligatory that you “love” your people at work - in the amorous sense! - people at least need to know you, as the leader, have got their best interests at heart. On this Valentine’s Day, it is worth remembering that your connection to those that matter makes an enormous contribution to your leadership impact and results. In this episode, Ian revisits his discussion on how to deepen connections in the workplace.
19th January 2023

EP 60: Leadership Manifesto – 25 Principles for Leading in Chaos

In this episode, Ian discusses the lessons he has learnt over the past 25 years, through witnessing the best and worst of Leadership. He brings us through a Manifesto, consolidated into 25 Principles - of the essence of How to Be as a leader in a world of unending Chaos.
10th November 2022

EP 59 : Leadership in Lay-offs – Twitter Vs Stripe

“It’s only when the tide goes out you see who’s been swimming in the nude” – Warren Buffett. As a leader the decision to let people go is never easy, but sometimes necessary. Nonetheless, it is often in these Moments that Matter where leaders show what stuff they are really made of. Ian discusses how the current high-profile Tech lay-offs provide a unique test for leaders in a sector that has enjoyed rock-star growth throughout the last 2 decades.
25th October 2022

EP 58: “leadershipinchaos.gov.uk”

“Useless. Shambles. Incompetent. CHAOS” These were the dominant words of a GB News Peoples’ Poll Wordcloud last week as the Tory party unravelled amidst a sequence of bizarre and barely credible events. But what role did Leadership have to play in the absurdist drama and what was it Liz Truss did or didn’t do to contribute to her own ultimate downfall? This episode unpicks the very clear failures of the leader and the obvious cause-and-effect lessons in the whole sorry piece.
9th August 2022

EP 57: Leadership Manifesto: Principle #18 – Keep Your Focus – Avoid Procrastination

To be human is to procrastinate. The Greeks even had a special word for it "akrasia". However, it’s not a great device for leadership effectiveness when keeping focus is critical. The tendency towards Procrastination, and it’s full-sister Distraction, is becoming increasingly a topic of conversation with leaders. Ian discusses why does it happen? why is it increasingly emerging now? and what can we do to combat its creep?
1st June 2022

EP 56: Leadership Manifesto: Principle #19 – Stay Golden – Look after #1

Normal service is resumed as Ian returns to the Manifesto and explores how to preserve and protect the biggest asset any team has – you as the leader. Often ignoring their own needs and deprived in the service of others, the book title “Leaders Eat Last” promotes the idea of servant leadership (which I applaud by the way) ….however….Leaders Gotta Eat! How does a leader effectively balance doing the best for their people and their enterprise without doing the worst for themselves? Feast yourself!
5th May 2022

EP 53: Leadership in the New World (Dis)Order – Part 1

Ian is interrupting normal service for a newsflash! Such has been the demand recently out there for a succinct summary of what it means to be a leader now we are starting The Great Reset for society, work and life, that Ian has composed a triple-decker episode that roughly mirrors a keynote he is delivering to address the question. Many of the previous themes are peppered throughout, along with a few new nuggets for the latest version of the New World (Dis)Order. 
5th May 2022

EP 54: Leadership in the New World (Dis)Order – Part 2

In Part 2 of 3, Ian further explores Leading in the New World of (Dis) Order. Ian looks at the neuroscience of leadership, the Intention/ Impact gap and the importance of Self Awareness. Enjoy!
5th May 2022

EP 55: Leadership in the New World (Dis)Order – Part 3

In part 3 of 3, Ian continues this mini season on Leadership in the New World (Dis) Order. Insights include: How Leadership is the Same but Different. How we invest in the wrong things. Leadership’s 2 Great Underestimations. The 3 Magic Ingredients for post-pandemic leadership. Why Curiosity is the new Courage.
31st March 2022

EP 52: Leadership Manifesto: Principle #20 – Zoom Out Often

We often do our best thinking when we are not thinking. From Archimedes to Newton, great breakthrough discovery examples “away from the job” are rife in science, technology and the arts. It appears that it is often through a break that we really break through. Leadership is fundamentally about setting the right direction and making the right choices. Those choices, however, are only as good as the perspectives they are based on. In this episode, Ian explains how our “factory setting” as a species is an up-close perspective as it aids our survival in the moment. So how do you rise above your default programming to Zoom Out and gain enough valuable perspective to truly break through?
15th March 2022

EP 51: 2 year anniversary & 50 Episodes later….Reflections of an accidental podcaster.

It’s almost 2 years to the day since Ian began this podcast and 50 episodes later, he wanted to pause and momentarily to Zoom Out and reflect.
3rd March 2022

EP 50: Leadership Manifesto: Principle #21 – Choose Consciously and Wisely

“In every situation there is a space between the situation and how you respond”. Viktor Frankl. Think about this : The quality and situation of your life right now is the aggregate total of every decision you have ever made. Luck certainly plays a part - and there have been many “sliding doors” moments I’m sure, but ultimately, it is not what happened in those moments, but rather how you responded to what happened in those moments that made the difference.
15th February 2022

EP 49: Leadership Manifesto: Principle #25 Happiness in 3 Parts

“There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.”Thich Nhat Hanh. In response to the reaction from the “Leadership Manifesto – 22 Principles for ‘22” episode, Ian has been persuaded to build out the Manifesto into a season, with each episode delving into the principles one by one, and in greater detail. Starting with #22 we will work backwards principle-by-principle until we arrive an #1. That way, instead of just chapter headings with some brief elaboration, by the end of the season you will literally “have the book” on how to Lead in Chaos.
13th January 2022

EP 48: Leadership Manifesto: 25 Principles for Leading in Chaos in ’23

Building on the previous episode of Chaos as the new constant, Ian composed a Leadership Manifesto for the absurd times we live in titled Principles for Leading in Chaos of’22 Leadership Principles include:Hold your Assumptions lightly, not tightly. Use your imagination wisely, Beware your Comparative Mind, Communicate for your Audience, not Yourself. Iterate! And Re-Iterate.
17th December 2021

EP 47: Chaos is the New Normal

The popularised phrase “New Normal” is at best lazy, and at worst destructively misleading for leadership in every dimension – language, expectation and mindset. Yet people continue to strive for and promote it. For 30 years, the most popular remark Ian consistently hears from leaders going through change is “I can’t wait until this is over and we can return to normal”. Funny thing is, it never happened. Ever. What happens when leaders realise and accept the Chaos is constant – always was – and is, in fact, the New Normal.
24th November 2021

EP 46: Lessons from COP26

In Episode 46, Ian explores the lessons and parallels we can extract from the 2 week COP26 summit and how they map across to your world as a leader. This episode builds perfectly onto our previous mini-season on Leading Teams in Chaos (episodes 39-42).
3rd November 2021

EP 45: Finding Flow in Chaos

Last month saw the passing of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow – the seminal work that describes the human state of happiness, optimal experience and high performance. The book (and his research) has subsequently influenced everything from office design, to how to train soldiers, website and video game design amongst everything else. In this episode, Ian commemorates the author by synthesizing the essence of his work (in less than 15 minutes!) and describing how the Flow state is an absolute panacea for the 3 symptoms of our present COVID “hangover”.
11th October 2021

EP 44: Do The Right Things

According to Peter Drucker – if management is about doing things right, then leadership is doing the right things. Ian took a break from the Podcast for some Zooming Out time during summer but, since his return, has found it a very big challenge to return to the discipline of the broadcast because of competing pressures. This episode uses this most typical challenge to ask (and answer!) the question : “How do you get to do the things you need to do but just can’t find the time?”
1st July 2021

EP 43: Building Trust in Teams – Part 1

In this sub-set of the mini-season on Leading Teams in Chaos, Ian focuses on Trust. Isn’t it peculiar that whilst everyone agrees that Trust is a crucial ingredient to growing high performance in a team, Ian has never - in almost 30 years working with teams globally - been asked to host a conversation to discuss the topic specifically. In this episode he explores why this is. Ian also shares a more workable definition of Trust and its component parts, that helps turn the abstract into something more tangible and therefore more manageable.
10th June 2021

EP 42: Leading Teams in Chaos – Part 4

In this fourth part of a mini-season on Leading Teams in Chaos, Ian reflects on how nearly all leaders know what it’s like to be part of a highly effective team, but very few know how to build one. He also consolidates the agreements a team needs to make, and explores the 4 Commitment Cards to arrive at those agreements so that the team members feel committed, not just compliant.