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Weeknote: 06.01.23


  • Interesting conversation with Will Campbell on Management and Leadership – what’s the difference and how can we break down the divide. Management = the role, accountabilities and authority you have; and, leadership = what you bring to the role.

  • Luke R shared Matt Webb’s blog and I found out about the idea of Unoffice hours – really interesting and hopefully and interesting way of meeting new people in 2023.

  • Finished reading Regenerative Leadership –interesting book on leading from a systems perspective.

  • This week, I made progress on numerous client projects and explored the future of leadership. I spent time with my sister and family and started writing weeknotes, a spur-of-the-moment decision I'm enthusiastic about.

  • I'm excited to learn about search next week. I never imagined knowing about this, but I'm curious to see what it reveals. I'm excited to see more of Scotland and maybe even ski.

Ideas I found interesting? I had a great conversation with Will Campbell on the difference between being a leader and leadership. We’re both in agreement that we’re too focused on the individual and thus heroic leaders. Organisations need to think more about how to create leadership in their organisations. This led to some productive thinking about future trends in leadership and management – how do we break down this barrier and move away from the unhealthy division between seeing people as leaders and managers. We need to be more aware that management is the role – the accountability and authority that comes from a position; while, leadership is what you bring to the role – your identity, integrity and intent.

I’m reading Margaret Heffernan's A Bigger Prize: When No One Wins Unless Everyone Wins. Its been fascinating to think about what competition means for us and how it has shaped my thinking across my life – from trying to constantly progress in my career to winning at school.

I loved this idea from Matt Webb, of Unoffice hours. Such an interesting idea – I’m going to try it out. His premise is: “We have half an hour to talk about whatever you want. If you're curious about how we could work together, we can dig into that. If you're looking to share ideas, or follow up on something I wrote on my blog, or show me your latest project -- let's do that”. What a great idea.

I also enjoyed finishing Regenerative Leadership and learning about a different approach and way of thinking about leadership. This diagram is just super interesting and challenging.

  • When employees strongly agree that they trust the leadership of their organization, they are 4x as likely to be engaged.

  • Employees who strongly agree that leaders help them see how changes made today will affect their organization in the future are 7.5x as likely to feel connected to their company culture.

  • When employees strongly agree that the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization, they are 73% less likely to feel burned out at work.

What did I enjoy? I enjoyed thinking about the leadership debate on being authentic or not. If you’ve read any of my post you’ll know I really like Herminia Ibarra’s work on working identity and leadership. One of the ideas that really challenged my thinking, and I’ve enjoyed following since, is whether you need to be authentic to be a leader. This Gallup blog argues that you do but I’m not so sure after reading Ibarra’s work. I think there is a lot to be said to understanding who you are, and then not being too much yourself – acting your way into leadership. Its definitely a debate I enjoy and an idea that I’m finding fun to explore.

I enjoyed having my sister visit with her partner. It was great to spend time as a family, and see how we’re both growing as people – not always perfectly or even smoothly, but its fun to watch us grow. It capped off a great 2022 where I saw more of my sister than I have in any year in the last decade – I felt pretty lucky.

What did I find challenging? I often find myself being challenged by statistics like this one - 1 in 10 Managers have the potential to be great. I don’t agree, I think that almost anyone can take on leadership and be great, it's about finding the right conditions and support. I suppose my reading of Margaret Heffernan's work has gotten me thinking more about the role of competition and why we constantly find ourselves trying to set ourselves up to compete against others. Wouldn’t the world be better off if we tried to make everyone effective in their role and enable them to lead in their own ways?

I continue struggling with allocating my time, where I should spend it and how to make the most of different engagements. I played around with my calendar this week and we’ll see how it goes. I have found finding a rhythm and routine challenging over the last month.

What did you achieve? I made progress on several projects for different clients this week and had the chance to explore the future of leadership, which was fun. I found time to spend with my sister and family and started writing weeknotes – a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision, but one that I’m excited by.

What are you looking forward to next week? I’m looking forward to learning a completely new skill next week – about how search work and search processes. I don’t think I envisioned myself learning about this, but I’m excited to see what it brings up. I’m also looking forward to exploring more of Scotland and maybe even bringing my skis out of the shed!


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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