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Author: Andrew Beveridge

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Weekly research-based tips and advice to tackle today's biggest leadership challenges, all in under eight minutes. Hosted by leadership development specialist and psychologist Andrew Beveridge. Go to for more information.
68 Episodes
This week's podcast is a replay of our 14th October 2018 episode on Leadership First Impressions   Research demonstrates that 90% of the initial impression we form about people is based on two factors - warmth and competence. It also turns out these two factors are difficult to combine. So how do we demonstrate both warmth and competence as leaders?    TRANSCRIPT Welcome to episode fourteen of the Leadership Today podcast. Each week we provide practical advice to address some of today’s biggest leadership challenges. This week we are looking at leadership first impressions. It turns out that 90% of the initial impression we form about a person is around two things - their warmth and their competence. In other words - do I connect with you, and do you know what you’re doing? It’s important to note that warmth isn’t primarily about being liked - it’s about making a real connection. That you are a real human being that people can relate to on an emotional level. Competence is about knowing what you’re doing. That you are a leader who is skilled and capable - someone others can respect. These factors produce two stereotypes of leaders that perhaps you can identify with: The first is the competent but cold leader - they’re all business, great at what they do, but they just seem to struggle to connect with people. People respect them, but they may not put in an extra effort for them. Then there’s the warm and friendly but not-so-competent leader - they are great at bringing people around them, but those people gradually drift away when they figure out the leader isn’t up to the task. These stereotypes assume that competence and warmth sit at opposite ends of a spectrum. That a leader can only be all about results, or all about people, but not both. And many leaders assume that this is indeed the case. So if they’re forced to choose between the two, it’s perhaps not surprising that many leaders go for the “respected but not connected” version of competence without warmth. That flows into how they communicate and interact with people. Indeed, they have to guard their image of competence, so letting people into who they are as a human being is a risk - and a risk they see as not worth taking. How does that come across to others? People who take on this competent but cold combination often try to present themselves as an expert. And there’s no shortage of experts - LinkedIn has nearly 6 million people who list themselves as experts in various fields. In fact, LinkedIn lists so many people with “keynote speaker” in their title, that to give each of them just five gigs a year would require there to be over 3,000 keynote speeches every single day. Some people really latch on to the need to lead with their expertise. The good news is that you can combine the two - it is possible to be seen as both warm and competent. The research suggests that it is tricky, but also possible. And the research also suggests that you should lead with warmth. That making a connection with people matters, and provides a foundation to then demonstrate your competence. I worked alongside a leader who embodied exactly this combination. He was a lovely guy to work with, but also filled you with confidence that he knew exactly what he was doing. He was incredibly calm in a crisis - his body language and tone of voice even made him seem relaxed. Even when things were going horribly wrong, he was interested in others’ views, and keen to resolve the issue. He didn’t just remain calm himself, but he helped others to calm down. This allowed people to focus on the problem and work towards a positive outcome. They weren’t worried about the leader and his response - they trusted him, they felt connected to him, and they knew he valued maintaining and building connections with his team, even when they made a mistake. As Amy Cuddy and her fellow researchers put it - “Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.” So here are some ideas of how you can combine both warmth and competence in the way that you present. Be yourself. Be a real human being that turns up to work with strengths, weaknesses, interests and concerns. Don’t try to be perfect, but do try to become better. Be interested in others. Take the time to understand where they are coming from - their interests, even their hopes and dreams. Let people into your head. Share your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes the calm person can appear as if they don’t care enough. Sometimes trying to be friendly can appear flighty. Don’t let people have to guess where you’re coming from and what’s driving your behaviour - let them into your head. Be prepared to present your capabilities with confidence. Try to capture in one or two sentences what you bring and what makes you unique. Then think about how you present that authentic image of you to others. And lastly - get feedback. Ask people about how approachable you are, and what you might do to improve this. Ask for feedback about what makes you appear more and less competent. I hope you find these ideas helpful as you continue to improve the way you lead. As always, if you’re interested in the research, the references are listed in the transcript at our website - And thanks again for those who have taken the time to rate, review and share the podcast with others. It’s great to hear your feedback and to see the hundreds of people who are downloading the podcast each week. We’ll see you next week.   Research used for this episode: A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Fiske, Susan T; Cuddy, Amy J C; Glick, Peter; Xu, Jun.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Washington Vol. 82, Iss. 6,  (Jun 2002): 878-902. Connect, Then Lead. To exert influence, you must balance competence with warmth. by Amy J.C. Cuddy, Matthew Kohut, and John Neffing. Harvard Business Review July–August 2013.      
Welcome to Midweek Motivate. The middle of the week can be tough for leaders. The goal of midweek motivate is to give you one practical idea that you can try for yourself or with your team right away. And this week we’re looking at making the first day at a new job great. The first day in a new job can feel quite overwhelming, but there are some simple things we can do as leaders to make the first day great. Here are some quick tips to try with new people joining your organisation: Make contact before the first day. Give the person a call the week before they start to let them know how excited you are that they are joining. Buddy new people up. Introduce the new person to someone within the organisation before they start. This allows them to ask the ‘stupid’ questions - what people tend to wear, what time people typically turn up - all of those questions can be answered before they start. Have everything ready. Technology, stationery, and any other resources they may need. I once started a new job and arrive to find an assortment of random boxes on my desk and no computer. I was told there were some delays with the technology and I would get a laptop the next week. I spent a whole week working on a Blackberry. Having everything ready communicates that you really care. Build connections. Set up some meetings to help the person get to know the organisation and key people. Be there. As a leader, show up. Make sure you’re physically there on their first day. This makes a real difference. Leave a small gift on their desk. Think about something you learned about the person during the selection process and give them a small gift that reflects that interest. That’s what people talk about with their friends. What are your tips for making the first day great? Send them to
Summary Entrance interviews beat exit interviews any day of the week. In this Leadership Today podcast we cover some questions to draw on the experiences and observations of new starters to improve our organisations.   Transcript Welcome to episode 56 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we tackle one of today’s biggest leadership challenges. This week we’re looking at the power of entrance interviews - drawing on the experiences and observations of new starters to improve our organisations. Last week we explored ways to improve exit interviews. However, it’s important not just to focus on those leaving our organisation - after all, they’ve already decided to move on. We need to also capitalise on those who are newer to our organisation and the fresh perspectives they bring. Think back to the last time you joined a new organisation. In those first few weeks you were hyper aware of what was different or unusual about the organisation - the positives, the negatives, and the just plain weird. The security access seems really tight, but people hold the door open for others all the time. People make an effort to introduce themselves and make others feel welcome. Meetings always start 10 minutes late. Most people setup their laptop and work on emails during meetings. There’s a buzz of excitement around the office. Or, it’s like a dentist waiting room in here - all I can hear is typing. Wouldn’t it be great to capitalise on these unique perspectives as people join your organisation? Like exit interviews, entrance interviews are a great opportunity to learn. But they’re even better than exit interviews because you can still course correct. You might even pick up some frustrations and reduce unwanted staff turnover along the way. I suggest undertaking entrance interviews at two points in time - 30 days and 90 days after joining. 30 days gives enough time to process what’s unique about the organisation before becoming fully entrenched. And 90 days provides additional time to experience some things for the first time. I think the two-up manager, the leader two levels above the person, is in a great position to undertake these interviews. It helps that leader to remain close to the experience of new people, while also building relationships and connections. They’re also a step further away from the day-to-day which may bring a different perspective to the discussion. The person’s direct manager could also be well suited to undertake the entrance interview. It’s important to frame the entrance interview as not being a test. You’re not putting the individual on trial here, and there aren’t right or wrong answers. This is genuinely an exercise to learn from their experiences and fresh perspective, and to make the organisation an even better place to work. Here are some questions I suggest for the entrance interview: What is unusual about this organisation? Here we’re trying to get at the unique attributes, both positive and negative. What’s exciting about working here? These are the aspects that could motivate and engage our people. What’s frustrating about working here? This allows us to identify potential impediments to performance. What surprised you about the role? Surprises aren’t always bad, so we want to draw out both the positive and the negative. How would you describe the culture? What does it feel like to work here? Listen carefully to the words used and the extent to which they align with your desired culture. What does it take to succeed here? What is rewarded? You might be surprised at what people see. You might think hard work is rewarded, but the new person sees friendships and connections as the way to get ahead. I think entrance interviews are a fantastic learning opportunity for leaders and organisations. They signal your interest in listening and improvement. Why not trial an entrance interview this week and let me know how you go. As a reminder, I’ve recently launched my three week Boost Your Assertiveness course. I’m offering the course to podcast listeners for 30% off. Check the show notes for the link -
Welcome to our fourth Midweek Motivate. The middle of the week can be tough for leaders. The goal of midweek motivate is to give you one practical idea that you can try for yourself or with your team right away. And this week we’re looking at doing less with less, but more of the right things. It’s a common expression - we need to do more with less. But I think it’s time to challenge that. Instead of doing more with less, maybe we need to do less with less, but more of the right things. The focus then shifts from activity and productivity, to importance and impact. Here are some things you can try this week: Look at your purpose. What really matters for you and for your role? And then apply that importance lens over the work you do. If there’s work that’s not important, then challenge whether you need to keep doing it. Be prepared to say ‘no’, or at least ‘let me think about it’. A key to doing less with less is to carefully consider any additional work being passed your way. For every new initiative, kill off an old initiative. The same goes for meetings. That’s a great way of testing just how important the new initiative or meeting is in the context of what you’re already committed to. Trial some new artificial constraints. How would we do this with fewer people? How would we do this in half the time? Innovation often requires constraints. Having all the time and resources in the world can actually reduce innovation. So this week, focus on doing less with less, but more of the right things. Look at your purpose, be prepared to say no, be prepared to kill off old initiatives, and trial some artificial constraints. Let me know how you go, and you can get in contact via the Leadership Today website - just go to the connect page - or you can email me directly Let me know how you go and have a great week.
Summary Exit interviews often stink. They end up being overly positive or overly negative. This week we explore seven ways to radically improve your exit interviews.   Transcript Welcome to episode 55 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we tackle one of today’s biggest leadership challenges. This week we’re looking at seven ways to radically improve exit interviews. Exit interviews are one of those things that vary in popularity and application. Some organisations use them every time someone leaves. Other organisations may have been burned in the past or not seen the value. The idea is great - let’s find out from people who are leaving the organisation why they’re leaving and what we can do to make the place better for the people who still work here. We can do that using a structured interview just before they depart to whatever exciting opportunity comes next in their career. In application though, the interviews tend to either be really positive or really negative. As a colleague of mine once wisely noted, you’re never more popular or better at your job than on your last day. We tend, rightly, to celebrate those who have contributed to our organisations on the day they are finishing up. We bring together a summary of their achievements, list all the great things we love about them, and talk about how much they will be missed. Friends come to the person and question how the place will ever be the same without them. All of that primes the person to say positive things in their exit interview. It turns into a “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation. The exit interview may well highlight lots of positives about the organisation, but probably understates the challenges and areas for improvement. On the other hand you have people leaving the organisation where something has gone wrong. They may be angry or frustrated. The exit interview for them is a way to be heard. In those exit interviews the tone is more “it’s not me, it’s you - and, by the way, I’ve set the stationery room alight”. Those exit interviews end up highlighting a shopping list of problems and complaints, often more about that person than the organisation. Whichever way the exit interview goes, there’s a risk that what we are hearing is not accurate. It seems like a missed opportunity to improve. If only we could source more honest feedback. Well, help has arrived. Here are seven tips for dramatically improving your exit interviews. 1. Never on the last day. It’s best to conduct your exit interview as close to the time when the person tells you that they are leaving. At that point their thinking is usually clear. They will be ready to provide honest answers about why they’ve chosen to move on. 2. Split the conversation into two. During the first discussion you can focus on the reasons for leaving. It’s helpful to schedule a second conversation that’s focused on improvements. That provides the person with more time to think about suggestions for improvement rather than putting them on the spot. 3. Balance the discussion. We can tend to dive into the negatives or try to pull out too many positives. Balance the conversations with questions such as: * What aspects of the role have you enjoyed the most? * What aspects of the role have you enjoyed the least? 4. Focus improvements on the role. This focus on the role helps people to be more open about improvements without feeling like they’re being overly critical about their experiences. You could ask: * What could be improved about the role for the next person to fill the position? 5. Explore missed opportunities. Discuss the areas where the organisation failed to draw the best out of the person: * Are there particular skills or abilities you have that could have been used more effectively? * How long did you intend to stay versus what you actually stayed for? * What will be different in the next role that your present position hasn’t been able to provide? 6. Perform a clarity check. Clarity of purpose and role is critical to success, and the following questions can help with that: * What was your experience of the role and its responsibilities? Was it what you expected? * How clear were the goals and accountabilities associated with your role? * Was the induction and training provided sufficient for you to perform the role? How could it be improved? 7. Keep the door open. If the person’s departure is genuinely a loss to the organisation, why not leave open the opportunity of them returning one day. You might ask: * Would you work for us again in the future? Why or why not? Applying these tips will help you to get the best out your exit interviews, while also making the process more positive for you and the person leaving. Keeping all of that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if we could gain some of the benefits of an exit interview earlier in the process? Next week we’re exploring entrance interviews - drawing on the experiences and observations of those who are newer to our organisations. As you might know I’ve recently launched my three week Boost Your Assertiveness course. I’m offering the course to podcast listeners for 30% off, taking the course cost down from $149 US to the weirdly precise $104.30 . Check the show notes for the link - Have a great week.
Welcome to our third Midweek Motivate. The middle of the week can be tough for leaders. The goal of midweek motivate is to give you one practical idea that you can try for yourself or with your team right away. And this week we’re looking at two ways that inserting a gap can help you as a leader.   Do you find you’re getting overloaded by the volume of requests coming to you? Do you find it hard to say ‘no’ in the moment? This can be pretty common for leaders. Saying ‘yes’ to requests early in our career can help us to advance. We’re seen as the go-to person who is keen to tackle anything. But, as we progress, effective leadership is often about what we say ‘no’ to.   One practical thing to try this week is to insert a gap between any requests made of you and your response. Even if they’re simple requests, ask for some time to think about it and get back to the person. If someone asks you “Can you run that report for me today?” you might say “Let me check what I have scheduled and I’ll get straight back to you”. That provides you with some time to think about the request and your capacity to complete it.   The second way inserting a gap can help is when we find ourselves having a strong emotional response at work. Rather than just speaking our mind in the moment, it can be helpful to take a quick walk around the block. And rather than firing off an email when we’re frustrated, we might save it as a draft to review the next day. Many a career has been saved by that simple tip.   So over the next few days think about inserting a gap to grab back control over your time and your emotions. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.   Well hopefully you’re finding the midweek motivate helpful in boosting your motivation in that little midweek slump that we all tend to hit. If there’s any particular tips that you’ve found helpful why don’t you email them through to me. You can contact me at or you can go to the website and connect with me via the connect page. There are options to follow me on LinkedIn, join our Leadership Today facebook page, or send us a message. Have a great week and we’ll speak with you again next week.
Summary How are your listening skills? This week we’re looking at five tips to level up your listening.   Transcript Welcome to episode 54 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we tackle one of today’s biggest leadership challenges. This week we’re looking at five tips to level up your listening. Have you ever had that experience of talking to someone, only to notice that they’re not really paying attention? How are your listening skills? What’s the balance like between your speaking and listening? Listening is an essential part of effective leadership. Listening underpins core skills such as influencing and assertiveness. If we want to influence someone we need to know where we are influencing them from, not just where we want to influence them to. To do that effectively, we need to really listen to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. We need to listen to the content and also the emotion. So, rather than just give you some tips about listening, I’m going to test your listening skills through this podcast. During the podcast I’m going to ask you to complete a pretty simple addition of some numbers. Just keep track of the total as the podcast continues. And keep the number in your head - you’re not allowed to take notes. Okay, so we’re going to start with 1,000. It’s helpful to think about the common levels of listening. The first level is ignoring. To be fair, you could argue that this isn't really a level of listening. It's almost like actively not listening. Smart phones are great for this - if you've ever tried to have a conversation with someone while they play with their phone, you'll know exactly what I mean. +10. So you should have a total of 1,010, and that’s my last hint. The next level of listening is pretending. Here I'm trying to give the impression that I'm listening while I'm really not listening. I might nod my head occasionally, say 'mmm-hmmm', but people pick up really quickly when we're just pretending to listen. +1000 The next level up is selective listening. This is better than the previous two levels of listening, but still isn't great. Here we're listening to the other person, but just to elements of what they're saying. Maybe we're just hearing the parts we agree with, or we're listening out for things to disagree with. Either way, there's a whole lot of other information that we're missing out on when we listen selectively. +30 The fourth level of listening is listening to respond. Here my listening is attuned to opportunities to turn the conversation back to my interests. Or I'm listening to argue back, so am only really hearing part of what you're saying. I'm not asking questions unless they will help me to respond. +1000 The fifth and final level is listening to understand. Here my objective is to really understand your perspective. I'm asking open questions and confirming my understanding. I'm not worrying so much about the next question, but am making sure I'm concentrating on what you're saying. I'm listening not just to the words, but for the emotions behind the words. I'm keeping the conversation focused on you. +50 So we want to move our listening up these levels in order to have assertive and influential conversations. Our attention spans can often work against this. If you've ever listened to a podcast or audio book on double speed you will know exactly what I mean. +1000. Our brains can comfortably process verbal information coming at us at double speed. Which means, when someone is talking normal speed, it's tempting for us to try to divert some of our attention to other things. What should I have for dinner tonight? What meeting do I have coming up next? But we are actually not great at multi-tasking, and anything else we're thinking about will take us away from the task of listening to understand. +10 Okay - that’s all the numbers. What total did you end up with? Did you get 4,500? If so, unfortunately that’s not the correct answer. The correct answer is 4,100, but lots of people end up with 4,500 as their brains try to simplify the task and round up to the nearest 500. If you chose to perform the calculation through this podcast, you probably didn’t end up listening very well or calculating very well. It’s exactly the same when we’re distracted during every day conversations. Trying to think about something else while you’re also trying to listen means you’re probably not doing either very well. It’s far better to have a 10 minute conversation where you’re 100% listening than a 20 minute conversation where you’re 50% listening. Here are five simple tips to try out this week: 1. Paraphrase what you’ve heard back to the person. That demonstrates you’re really listening and also quickly uncovers any misunderstandings. 2. If you’re in a meeting, take notes. Note taking is a great way to maintain focus and summarise themes. 3. Don’t just listen to the facts, but also listen for emotion. How do you think the person is feeling? 4. Don’t worry about what’s next. Be comfortable formulating your next question once they’ve finished what they’re saying, rather than part way through. 5. Watch your body language. Make sure you’re facing the person and making eye contact. Nod occasionally to demonstrate your interest. Hopefully today’s podcast encourages you to pay attention to your listening in the coming week. If you liked today’s content, the levels of listening were drawn from my new Boost Your Assertiveness online course. You can find a link to the course via the website or in the show notes. I hope you found the content helpful and I look forward to speaking with you next week.
Midweek Motivate - Looper

Midweek Motivate - Looper


Welcome to our second Midweek Motivate. The middle of the week can be tough for leaders. The goal of midweek motivate is to give you one practical idea that you can try for yourself or with your team right away. Our workplaces are full of so many distractions. Loud conversations, noisy equipment and other background noise can distract us. People try to counteract this in lots of ways, and headphones are right up there as the distraction-reducing weapon of choice. I even saw someone once who had a large pair of over-ear headphones on with the cable dangling down to the ground - they didn’t even plug the headphones in, but used them as some kind of open plan hearing protection. So you have some deep focused work to get done and you’ve reached for the headphones. What next? The key here is to not replace one distraction with another. We humans are hopeless at multitasking, particularly when it comes to perception and concentration. It might be tempting to put on an audiobook or podcast but, despite my clearly vested interest in telling you otherwise, neither is a great idea. Our brains will be trying to decode the voices coming into our ears, and that will continue to distract us from our work. Okay - so if audiobooks and podcasts are out, what about music? Music is likely to be a better option, but not all music is created equal when it comes to concentration. Music with lots of lyrics, particularly unfamiliar music, again is likely to distract us. So a better option is to go for familiar music that doesn’t have lyrics. But that potentially sounds kind of boring. Another trick is to loop one song on repeat. Just pick a song you like to match the mood you want to be in while undertaking the deep work, and put it on single-track repeat. You will find that your brain quickly tunes out the music while it also buffers you from other distractions. Give it a try today and let me know how you go and let another colleague know about the podcast as well. Have a great week.
Summary In today’s episode, we outline the ten best podcasts for leaders in 2019.   Transcript Welcome to episode 53 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we tackle one of today’s biggest leadership challenges. As leaders, podcasts offer a tempting solution to continuing our professional development and keeping in touch with broader trends. We can simply pull on the headphones and learn about almost anything. But with over 700,000 active podcasts, it can be hard for a leader to know where to start. Fortunately I’ve done the heavy lifting for you, with today’s episode outlining the ten best podcasts for leaders in 2019. It’s important to note that these are the ten best podcasts for leaders - they’re not the ten best podcasts about leadership. Instead, they provide a broad range of perspectives, topics and approaches. You’re unlikely to love them all - there’s clearly an element of preferences around style and content. But if you pick up one or two new podcasts then hopefully this episode has served its purpose. And, for the pedantic, I’m actually going to list 14 podcasts - there were a few ties along the way. I have links to all of the podcasts in the show notes. So, for dramatic effect, I’m going to start at number 10 and work my way up. As leaders it’s important to challenge our perspectives and broaden our thinking, which brings me to number 10. 10 - Akimbo by Seth Godin Seth Godin is one of the most popular and successful authors and bloggers of our time, producing content at a frenetic pace. It’s a little hard to tie his Akimbo podcast down, but he’s bound to challenge your thinking and bring new perspectives to the way you lead. There’s a solid 15% of what he says that I tend to either disagree with or think he has gotten completely wrong. And there’s a solid 15% that makes me think about the world in a completely new way, so that seems like a fair trade off. Episodes vary dramatically in length from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. Teamwork, engagement and culture are rich topics to explore and it’s helpful to have a seasoned expert to guide the way. And who better to that than Patrick Lencioni at number 9. 9 - At The Table with Patrick Lencioni Patrick is a well known author of books including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The podcast is setup as a chat between Pat and a few of his work colleagues. The format is pretty casual and relatively new, so they’re still bedding down the style a little bit. Episodes are around 30 to 40 minutes. People are diverse and difficult to understand, but having deep insight into what motivates and drives others is a key part of leadership. That’s where podcast number 8 comes in handy. 8 - Hidden Brain from NPR. Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, this podcast is a gem which combines science and storytelling to uncover the often subtle forces that drive our behaviour. Always thought provoking and really well produced. Episodes range from 25 minutes up to an hour. Setting up workplaces that are engaging and motivating is what leaders do to achieve results, and that’s the focus of podcast number 7. 7 - WorkLife with Adam Grant from TED. As an organisational psychologist, Adam’s podcast focuses on motivation and meaning at work. He’s a university professor and the author of several books, including cowriting the excellent Option B with Sheryl Sandberg. Get your thumb ready to skip past the adverts, but otherwise it’s well worth adding to your list. Episodes are released in seasons and are around 30 to 45 minutes. We operate within a broader economic and historical landscape, and our number 6 podcast combines both. 6 - 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy - BBC World Service To be honest, history and economics were two subjects I wasn’t great at, but Tim Harford combines the two brilliantly. Each week he explores an aspect of our modern economy by focusing on an invention or discovery that changed the path of business and human life. Episodes come in around 10 minutes. How do you get the best out of your day? That’s where number 5 comes in. 5 - How I Work - Amantha Imber If you enjoy listening to me each week, then why not add another Australian psychologist to your podcast playlist. Amantha’s podcast is typically interview based, with some shorter tip-based episodes. The focus is on personal productivity - how successful people from a range of backgrounds get the most out of their day. That ranges from musicians to entrepreneurs and even a magician. Interview episodes are around 50 minutes and come out weekly. Economics doesn’t have to be boring, as the two podcasts at number 4 demonstrate. 4 - Planet Money - NPR AND Freakonomics Planet Money is one of the podcasts I enjoy the most. A really interesting take on economics presented in an engaging way. The show has fantastic hosts and a great format. Freakonomics builds off the success of the book by the same name. Again, an interesting take on economics. It can be a bit hit and miss, so it’s worth working through the enormous back catalogue to pick out topics of interest. Either are great ways to build your confidence as a leader around economic trends. Planet Money is around 20 minutes, and Freakonomics is around 40 minutes to an hour. Maybe you need some practical leadership tips. Our two podcasts that tied at number 3 can help you there. 3 - Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast AND Lead to Win with Michael Hyatt Craig Groeschel is a prominent leadership speaker who is also the founder of a large multi-site church in the US. He presents really practical content that’s equally applicable in business and not for profit settings. If you’re after practical leadership advice, the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast is hard to beat. Another one to check out is Lead to Win. Again, some great practical content, although a little heavy on the self-promotion at times. Both are around 25 minutes. Keeping up to date with the latest news can be hard, particularly if you want to take a broader view. The two podcasts at number 2 are designed to do exactly that. 2 - The Inquiry - BBC World Service AND Economist Radio - Economist When it comes to taking a global perspective, it’s hard to beat the BBC and the Economist. The Inquiry is topical and comes out weekly, whereas Economist Radio comes out on weekdays and covers several stories. As leaders it’s challenging to step out of our own organisations and take a truly global context. Either podcast will help you to do that. It’s fantastic to learn from the experiences of people who have grown successful organisations, which brings us to number one - which is, again, a tie. 1 - How I Built This with Guy Raz AND Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman You should give both of these podcasts a go. How I Built This provides fascinating background to entrepreneurs and their journeys to build successful businesses. The episode with James Dyson is a great place to start. My only complaint is that they do throw in quite a few reruns into your podcast feed without marking them up as reruns. Masters of Scale is incredibly well produced, drawing together interesting guests into well formulated stories around a theme. Episodes range from about 40 minutes to an hour. So, as you’re likely to hear on each of the podcasts I’ve recommended, why not help others to find this podcast by providing a rating and review. It does help us to creep up the charts which in turn helps others to find us. And finally, a couple of pieces of news from Leadership Today. We have just launched the Midweek Motivate. If you already subscribe to the Leadership Today podcast it’s a bonus episode that will turn up in your feed every Wednesday. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, why not just click on the subscribe button now. The goal is to provide one practical tip that you can apply right away to help get over that midweek leadership slump. And our Boost Your Assertiveness three week online course is live. Go to to check out a free preview of the first two days of content.
Welcome to our first Midweek Motivate. As the name suggests, these episodes come out in the middle of the week - right at the point where your enthusiasm as a leader may be starting to dip. The goal of midweek motivate is to give you one practical idea you can try for yourself or with your team right away.  Our main Leadership Today episodes that come out on Saturdays are short - coming in at under 8 minutes each. But midweek motivate is even shorter, so let’s get into today’s topic - removing frustrations. Even the most engaged employee can become undone by frustrations. Those annoying obstacles that get in between our motivation and our performance. It might be the computer that needs rebooting, a clunky process that takes way too long, or a colleague who seems to be working against us rather than with us. Tools, processes and people - so many opportunities for frustrations. But your most engaged team members probably don’t want to speak to you about their frustrations. They don’t want to be seen as negative or complaining. So they take all these small frustrations and put up with them for as long as they can, until it all explodes. I had a team member whose computer keyboard had an unreliable letter T. If they typed a word with the letter T in it, sometimes it would work, and sometimes it wouldn’t work. How frustrating is that? They had gone to IT but they didn’t have any spare keyboards. So they just put up with it - day after day after day. That is until we had our monthly meeting, and I asked one simple question. “Is there anything that’s frustrating or getting in your way at the moment?”. 30 minutes later I was back from the local stationery store with a new keyboard. But what if I hadn’t asked the question? So this midweek motivate challenge is to ask that very question of one of your colleagues or team members - “Is there anything that’s frustrating or getting in your way at the moment?”. Then listen, provide suggestions, or just help them to get it out of their way. Give it a try and let me know how you go.
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