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Ordinary Leadership Week Note: Managing leadership transitions

Week of 29.09.23

I'm experimenting with a new, lighter format for the Ordinary Leadership Newsletter. We're going to move to weekly and try to capture interesting leadership ideas, themes, and tools that emerge from reading and discussions during the week. Some weeks, there will be more material than others.

What leadership themes stood out this week

I've been thinking about and discussing transitions in leadership this week. The quote from Herminia Ibarra below is a reminder that transitions are hard. They are bruising and challenge how you see your current and future identities. Things don’t just click into place, and moving on from your old selves doesn’t happen overnight.

When I talk to individuals who are making this transition, I'm struck by how much they focus on how they want to show up in the world, to keep them focused on the next step and building their new identity.

Three interesting ideas from the week

#communication What, so what, now what: a phrase to remember when asked to speak impromptu. From the HBR article, How to Shine When You Are Put on the Spot (

#vision Nike's original vision. I'm not sure I agree with all of them, but I really like a few - live off the land until your job is done - for example.

#working_identity #transitions “Old possible selves are always more vivid than the new: they are attached to familiar routines, to people we trust, to well rehearsed stories. The selves that have existed only in our minds as fantasies or that are grounded only in fleeting encounters with people who captured our imagination are much fuzzier, fragile, unformed.” - Herminia Ibarra, Working Identity.


Let's connect.


If you found this blog engaging, have questions about ordinary leadership or want to chat about leadership in general, it would be great to connect.


I set aside two weekly hours to make new connections and renew old ones. We have half an hour to discuss whatever you want - how we could work together, your projects and ideas, or something else. It's space for connection.

You can book a slot here, and there is more background here.

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