In your career, what’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given, and why?

That, to be an effective leader, you have to follow certain behaviours; not be friends with your team, be first in last out, know much more than everyone else. 

It’s absolute codswallop.  

Trust is the key to effective team performance and that proper connection will help with communication, decision making and understanding. Being vulnerable is the most powerful leadership behaviour.

Leading by example means ensuring your team knows it’s okay to prioritise themselves, recognising outputs, not hours, and creating the right work life balance to protect their physical and mental well-being. 

An elite team will consist of a team of experts who know everything about their particular subject matter - that means great leaders are comfortable with surrounding themselves with people who know more than them. 

What’s your biggest ‘Cappuccino Career Cock-up’?

My biggest Cappuccino Career Cock-up was a job I took just after my mum had passed away. I had been consulting on my own for a year or so but when the hubbub of the mourning period passed and everyone went back to work, I felt like I needed more structure and more noise around me. I jumped at an opportunity which ticked a few boxes (big brand, big team etc) without considering there was no cultural fit. The expectations of the role were about maintaining the status quo, not driving change (which is always my MO) and the fact that it was a 3 hour daily commute (which meant me not seeing my 18 month old daughter for most of the week). 

I lasted 5 months and it really knocked my confidence. 

What were your lessons from that?

To be really specific about what you want. I genuinely believe you can have anything you want in life. There are two conditions with which that is true; firstly that you KNOW what you want and secondly that you KNOW you can have it. Taking time to get the first bit right by being specific about the things that matter is really important. The second bit requires focus, visualisation and manifestation. It is how I live my life and it works every time!

What is the importance of making mistakes when paving your career path?

Making mistakes is just part of life! If you don’t take risks and try new things then you’ll never progress, and the odds are that some of those risks won’t pay off.

In any situation you have two choices; to live in cause or effect. If you live in effect you can blame other people/circumstances and sit in your mistake. If you live in cause, you ask yourself three key questions; how did I contribute towards/create this? What can I learn from this? What options are available to me now?

Summary: as a leader, what advice would you ABSOLUTELY NOT give anyone now?

Oh god so many things… to work relentlessly at all costs. To wait until you’re completely ready until you ask for a promotion. To be first in last out. To wear a corporate mask and protect your vulnerability. To need to know every detail about what’s going on in your area… I could go on!