How’s your play life?

To kickstart my Autumn reading, I’ve been delving into a business/leadership book by Stuart Brown called Play, How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination and invigorates the soul.

He talks about our ‘play life’ as essential to the quality of our human experience.  As an adult, I’d never thought of having a ‘play life’ before!

Being playful is so good for us, but how much space do we allow for play in our adult lives?

This article explores why and how you can lighten up your work and life through play.

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How to build your gravitas and ensure your strengths work for you

Cara McCarthy

Cara McCarthy

You will have noticed that over the past number of months I have invited a guest writer, Cara McCarthy, to share her thoughts on various leadership topics. I am delighted to now be able to share the news that Cara is joining me as a partner in The Padfield Partnership in contemplation of my eventual transition to retirement.

I have known Cara for several years (having met her at a training course to become certified in the Leadership Circle Profile tool), and admire her professionalism, skill, integrity and experience. We are excited about our partnership and enhancing the value we can bring.

Cara has spent more than 20 years working closely with senior leaders and their teams to support their development, performance and growth. Like me, she is an accredited and experienced one-to-one leadership coach and a systemic team coach, and she has a particular interest in the cultures that leaders create.

For many years, Cara headed up the OD, Culture, Learning & Talent function at a leading investment management firm. Since becoming independent, she has worked with a diverse client group from a range of organisations and sectors. Through our partnership, we can use our complementary skills and qualifications to enhance our value and the projects we work on – and look forward to working with you in this way!

We hope you enjoy this month’s topic.

Last month, we looked at the impact gravitas has on our leadership presence: How to build your gravitas and unlock transformational leadership.

We talked about gravitas as the balance between gravity, or the substance and ‘weight’ a person carries, and levity, a complementary element of humour and personality.

We explored Caroline Goyder’s gravitas equation from her book Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority, and considered ways to grow and sustain our personal gravitas:

Knowledge + purpose + passion ( anxiety) = Gravitas

This month, we explore the anxiety element and look at some tendencies that might unwittingly be diminishing our gravitas. We will explore how leaning in to our strengths will ensure we keep maximising our leadership presence.

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How to lead in a world that’s gone beyond VUCA to BANI

This month’s article is written by a special guest author – Cara McCarthy. We met about four years ago when we were both certified to use the Leadership Circle profiling tool, and have collaborated several times since then. Like me, Cara is a coach and facilitator who helps organisations develop, leaders grow, and teams be more effective.

The subject of ‘moving on from VUCA’ arose in a recent conversation, (and was very well received in a talk we prepared for a network of senior Executives), so I have invited her to share her thoughts in this area. I think this is a fascinating read! As usual, they are mixed with practical ideas you can implement in your working life, and link to related reading on the topic.

I’m sure you’ll find this information useful and look forward to your comments.

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Uncharted territory

How to lead ‘extreme’ teams

In today’s world, many leaders need to address complex, multi-boundary challenges at scale. To meet this need, you’ll have to develop your leadership mindset and skills, especially your ability to lead ‘extreme’ teams into uncharted territory (as the image suggests).

Much of the content of this month’s article was inspired by the book: Extreme Teaming: Lessons in complex cross-sector leadership by Amy C Edmondson and Jean-Francois Harvey.

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People pleasing

How to stop being a people-pleaser

We all need to feel loved and accepted, however, this is exaggerated in someone who’s a people-pleaser, and they may avoid circumstances that cause them to feel conflict with others. Because they’re worried about being rejected, they generally seek approval to reassure themselves.

This isn’t the most constructive way to be, so this month’s article is about people-pleasing and how to escape it.

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The power of diversity in teams

The power of diversity in teams

When you face a challenge in your organisation, you shouldn’t always stick with the same peer group, or even the same peer group + direct reports, to address it.

It’s best to use a diverse pool of people from across the organisation, and maybe from outside the organisation. This will help challenge the prevailing understanding, mindset and beliefs, and is likely to result in increased creativity.

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How to deal with emotionally immature people

How do you cope if your boss, colleague, client or other stakeholder is emotionally immature? These are individuals who can be successful on the outside; they are smart and capable, but they have not developed emotionally. This makes them very tricky to deal with, and even harder to build a working relationship with!

This article explores their likely traits, and ideas for how you can respond.

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Dealing with life transitions

I have recently experienced some significant changes in my life. This made me think about transitions and how to handle them.

Any kind of transition can lead to uncomfortable feelings, and it may take time to work through them. The extent of the emotion you feel is linked to the level of loss. However, it’s not all bad, as transitions can also be opportunities for growth and reshaping of your relationships.

We can’t escape things ending and new things beginning. It’s all part of life. In this article, you’ll discover four main types of life transition described by Sharan Merriam (Professor of Adult Education, University of Georgia), and get some ideas about how to deal with them.

When you understand what type of transition you’re facing, it may help you through the process.

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