The Leadership Enigma

Adam Pacifico

For 30 years I've uncovered the best and worst of human behaviour and endeavour.
Now it's time to  truly understand what we mean by leadership in a chaotic world.
I've delivered live events to over 60,000 around the world as a leadership expert, author, opinion columnist and barrister.

Each week I'll explore the power and potential of the human being with global experts, academics, rising stars, ambitious upstarts and disruptors across sectors, disciplines and geographies as we explore 'The Leadership Enigma.'

Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner or seasoned corporate executive, this show will uncover the tools, techniques, strategies and lessons learned to catapult your leadership capabilities in preparation for success in a constantly changing landscape.

The Leadership Enigma is an award winning globally ranked show powered by LaunchPod Studios.
www.leadersenigma.com
YouTube Channel:https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

196: A life of leadership: Ralph de la Vega
22-04-2024
196: A life of leadership: Ralph de la Vega
Ralph de la Vega is the former Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc. and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International. Ralph had a 42 year career at AT&T and is now living in Florida.  His father was in the food distribution business and he came from a strong and religious tight knit family in Cuba. Once the Castro Regime took over they nationalised all food production and distribution and his fathers business was taken over by the regime, food was rationed and small kids were being indoctrinated in schools to turn on their parents if they held views that were against the revolution. Ralph's parents decided to leave Cuba for the USA when he was 10 years old and in doing so they had to turn over all of their possessions to the Government. Once they arrived at the airport as a family of four (both parents and his younger sister) they were met by the militia who said to them five words that Ralph will never forget, "only the boy can go."Ralph's parents made the heart wrenching decision to send Ralph by himself to the USA which is where he stayed alone without his family for four years. When he arrived he spoke no English and had not a dollar to his name. From this incredibly humble start Ralph became the Vice Chairman of a Fortune 10 company, AT&T. Ralph credits his Grandmother for helping him reach his potential as when she arrived in the USA she told him "don't let anybody put limitations on what you want to achieve." His mantra to young adults is to dream big. Ralph tells me that his early years of adversity meant that when it came to his oversight of the merger with AT&T Wireless for $41bn, that was easy!Ralph has learned his leadership skills over four decades with over 200,000 employees and operations in 200 countries. The best leader is one who can take a group of talented individuals and get them to do things that they thought were impossible to do. Inspiring people is always more powerful than coercing and pushing. Followership is  important especially in a large organisation. Ralph hopes that as an immigrant to the USA he can inspire others to achieve their dreams and potential. Ralph is very proud that in his career he worked with Steve Jobs in launching the iPhone, connectedTesla cars for Elon Musk and launched the Kindle with Jeff Bezos worldwide, yet his favourite memory is that 24 of his previous employees that he directly led have gone on to become CEO's of their own companies. This is an episode packed full of anecdotes and stories from a senior leader who believes in helping talented people fulfil their dreams as he is now the sponsor of the De la Vega Entrepreneurship Award which is in its 4th year. This episode also includes Ralph's fond memories of working and sharing the stage with Steve Jobs who was a great practitioner for promoting simplicity. Ralph is the author of "Obstacles Welcome: How to Turn Adversity to Advantage in Business and Life." available from Amazon. Ralphdelavega.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
195: Joyology | Donna Easton
12-04-2024
195: Joyology | Donna Easton
Donna Easton is a Joyologist. What's a Joyologist I hear you shout? It's somebody who is obsessed with the things that make us feel happy and the things we can do to help ourselves to feel more joy in life. In a world of constant change and chaos we could all do with a little more fun and joy in life, so enjoy this episode. Donna outlines the importance of each of us building a baseline in happiness not based on toxic positivity but by creating enough joy in our day to day activities in order to mitigate the challenges and tough times when they inevitably come. Donna has not always been the happiest person in the room. Childhood trauma, rejection within the performing arts,  alopecia and other life challenges all pushed Donna into making the decision to dedicate her time and effort to identify what humans can do to create more joy and happiness in a crazy world. All of us have to deal with the inner critic and Donna has called hers 'Crow.' 'Crow' is always reminding Donna that good things should not happen to her and that she is not worthy or competent enough to deal with life's opportunities. Thankfully, Donna has learned how to address what 'Crow' says and still be able to push through and not feel paralysed by the negative thinking. Our inner voice is actually just trying to keep us safe. Donna has created 6 steps of the ELATED System.  Everything starts with the practice of Gratitude followed by Energy (how we are showing up for ourself and others) Laughter (find your Wally brian), Access the Creative (connect your body & mind), Try new things, Exist in the Now (with a sense of wonderment) and Do You (in a way that is beautiful and kick arse). Happier people are 17% more productive, but you know that don't you!!!www.mylifeshines.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
194: The Stigma of Authenticity | Sane Ngidi
12-04-2024
194: The Stigma of Authenticity | Sane Ngidi
Sane Ngidi is a young female black leader in Africa working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is an episode of two halves, the first focuses on some of the learning Sane has gained in her early corporate life and the second is a story of vulnerability, self reflection and resilience. Sane started corporate life as an industrial psychologist with her initial roles in Durban until she moved to Johannesburg. Sane is thankful for the strong role model of her mother when growing up and being told that you can always pave the way for others and lift those around you. During Sane's Phd she carried out research into perceptions of black African leaders in financial services. A common theme was of leaders not feeling ready or worthy of the role. However they also reported the power of male ally ship which helped them through their careers. Sane describes Africa as a place that lacks diversity but craves diversity in the workplace. Organisations are trying to ensure that they 'see' everyone as they build diversity of thought in their leadership teams. The Employment Equity Act is also a powerful guide for African businesses for the quotas they must fulfil. When Sane initially moved to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2021, life changed. In December 2021 Sane's father died suddenly and unexpectedly. She later discovered he knew he was dying but didn't share the news with his family. Whilst still grieving, in February 2022 Sane's aunt fell ill and died, followed in April 2022 her uncle was tragically stabbed and died. Sane realised that the cumulative impact of these losses meant she was not coping and she openly asked for help. She was not able to be her best self and she took a break from work for about 6 weeks. Then in September 2022, Sane's mother passed away. Of all the deaths, her mother's was emotionally peaceful due to a long illness. 2022 fundamentally changed Sane's view of mental health. She told this story in 2023 at the 'Ignite' staff event so people could understand her personal story. She was overwhelmed by the care, love and compassion from others and for their understanding that is OK not to be OK at times in our life. Trauma, grief and mental health can't be seen and Sane realised the need to speak up and be vulnerable in order to get the help she needed. Big thank you to Mark Watt, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles for being my super connector for great guests especially in Africa. Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
193: An African Tale | Paul Russo CEO of KCB
12-04-2024
193: An African Tale | Paul Russo CEO of KCB
Paul Russo is the CEO of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). This episode was recorded in Nairobi on the site of KCB's Leadership Centre. KCB is part of the critical financial infrastructure for 33 million people. They are present in 7 East African countries running over 300 branch networks, over 4000 agency outlets with 12,000 staff and a strong legacy as KCB is over 120 years old. Paul is a deeply committed CEO who believes passionately that 'people are everything' Paul is a also a  very humble leader from humble beginnings which has crafted the human leader he has become. He is from a family of 6 siblings, his parents were nomads from the north and he was the only one to go to school due to the efforts of the Catholic Church and local community and the NGO Indigenous Information Network. Paul is incredibly grateful to the community who ensured he was able to get an education, he therefore uses his role as CEO to lift as many people as possible.Paul has committed time to continually engage staff across the business as he understands that his leadership must be 'energy expensive.' As the CEO Paul understands that he must absorb the difficulties of the business in order to allow his people the space and time to create the value necessary for success. He is the role model to thousands inside the business and is well known across the country so his actions matter to millions. The new purpose of KCB if 'For People, For Better' and Paul is committed this will be  the North Star for the financial success that the bank must also attain and sustain. People technology and partnerships are Paul's primary focus yet people remain the paramount consideration. Paul's background is human capital and he leverages that experience to focus and understand his own human centred leadership style. Paul remembers his late parents and the resilience instilled in him as a child dealing with drought, bandits, disease and disadvantage. He leverages these experiences to harness his own ability to overcome challenge combined with his burning desire to never go back to his old way of life. Paul is an outstanding example of a Human Centred Leader driving his business as a Force for Good. Paul explains he is paid to care and the results will come and he works tirelessly to provide all of his people the reason to believe. Additional Heidrick & Struggles article with Paul Russo https://www.heidrick.com/en/insights/leadership-assessment/people-dont-just-matter-they-are-everything_an-interview-with-paul-russo-group-ceo-of-kcb-groupWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
192: Working Families | Jane van Zyl
12-04-2024
192: Working Families | Jane van Zyl
Jane Van Zyl is the CEO of Working Families, a UK based charity focused on helping working parents and carers. Their mission is to remove the barriers that people with caring responsibilities face in the workplace. They do this in three ways, a free legal advice line to help people with their issues and concerns, working with employers to help create and sustain flexible working and thirdly by pushing for practical and positive change at a policy level. Working Families has contributed to the Government's Flexible Working Task Force since 2018. As part of this close consultation and a recent private members bill, employees in 2024 will be able to request flexible working from day one of their employment and be able to make that request three times in one year whereby employers must respond to the request. The ability of an employer to understand and consider flexible working is an attractive proposition for a modern, diverse and talented workforce. What does flexibility actually mean? It's not a new concept. It refers to all of the ways you can work flexibly, such as term-time working, part time, hybrid, job share etc. The pandemic shone a light on people working from home for increased periods of time.  Jane explains to me that working from home during the pandemic was desperately difficult for so many in shared, cramped and isolated accommodation. However the pandemic also allowed us to understand what roles could be delivered successfully form home or other virtual locations. Many countries experienced the rise of the digital nomad! Working Families have also carried out in depth research which highlighted that lower income families were not able to access flexible working options that were available for different demographics of the workforce. Jane outlines that the role of the office has changed forever. Why do we even need offices? Perhaps it is to enhance the ability for people to collaborate, educate and celebrate as opposed to endless meetings and zoom calls. Jane explains that one of the primary keys to success for any organisation is the ability to truly understand the each job design and define the job description with clarity so that the flexible options can be identified early on for all parties with the intent to ensure that the role can ensure the role is 'human sized.'  Leaders must role model or in Jane's words 'real model' how their businesses can adapt and adopt more modern processes and practices to enhance flexible working. Jane is passionate about her work as she shares a deeply personal story of how flexible working transformed her relationship with her father. Working Families as an organisation that itself is now wholly remote and their work is helping families all across the country.  This episode is a fascinating and essential insight for any leader of any sized business into the changing world of work. You can access research and other important information by visiting www.workingfamilies.org.ukWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
191: Behind Face Value | Rob Moore
03-04-2024
191: Behind Face Value | Rob Moore
Rob Moore was riddled with debt before reinventing himself to become a multi millionaire property investor, world champion, author of 19 books including his latest, 'Money Matrix' and the host of Disruptors with over 1000 episodes serving over 3 million subscribers across platforms. This episode turns the tables on Rob from interviewer to interviewee as we peek behind the curtain of Rob Moore. This is a deeply personal episode with Rob who has a very public face for millions as regards his mission and passion to create global impact and educate as many people as possible to manage and enhance their personal finances. Rob shares his early memories of watching his father (his role model) deal with mental health issues and the impact it had on him to push himself through intense feelings of shame in order to strive and make personal changes in his life. Rob understands that he has become a successful financial provider for his loved ones and his expanding team across fourteen businesses. With this responsibility comes an increased sense of accountability and personal purpose. Rob and I candidly discuss a number of his proudest moments in life and also his thoughts on the difference between being liked and respected. Rob never refers to himself as a leader and this episode requires Rob to think about his own style of leadership across 14 businesses with an extreme focus on leading self, first and foremost which Rob explains is all about managing emotions with extreme self awareness. For Rob, leadership is about how many people you nurture and lift up not how many direct reports you may have. Rob understands the difference between being liked and respected. He used to do all he could to be liked as it is much easier to be liked. To be respected requires a level of challenge with care. He now focuses on being respected based on the clear and non negotiable standards he holds for himself and those who are part of his businesses.  Rob's best advice for entrepreneurs in a world that is constantly changing features in his new book 'Money Matrix' where he outlines the 4 stages of wealth. Make it, Manage it, Multiply it and  Maintain it. Start Ups need to 'start now and get perfect later.' More mature businesses need to rekindle their start up spirit and avoid slowness. If the pace of change external to your business is faster than the pace of change within your business, it's all over! Money loves speed and hates friction and therefore will inevitable become more digitised centrally which Rob explains carries certain dangers where we become the product and susceptible to unwanted levels of control. Rob tells me that the biggest misconception about money is that money is not one of the biggest issues in our lives. This fuels Rob's passion to help educate as many people as possible to learn how to build and manage their wealth. Always pay yourself first Rob explains, never spend more than you earn. He outlines a simple procedure where each of us must save a third, invest a third and spend a third.  As part of Rob's role as the host of Disruptors, he has interviewed numerous guests including the eclectic and controversial. Guests include the Tate Brothers, David Icke, Chris Eubank, Will.I.Am, Jordon Peterson, Dan Wootton, Grant Cardone, Katie Hopkins and many more. I ask him what he has learned from recently spending 7 hours interviewing the Tate brothers post their recent arrest. You may be surprised at this answer.  www.rob.teamMoney Matrix is available from Amazon Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
188: The Messy Middle | Dominic George
22-03-2024
188: The Messy Middle | Dominic George
Dominic George is from California but is now based in New York City and has a passion for helping black men working in middle manager positions. This episode is all about how to leverage the Messy Middle. George's passion for education and continuous learning was sparked by his 5th grade teacher and he learned the value of relying on other people when he was competing as a professional athlete in the swimming pool. Middle managers in George's view are the group who have a direct tie to the leaders who are creating company strategy, policy and vision and a direct tie to the individual contributors within an organisation. The middle manager population can sometimes be missed due to their size and scale with competing interests and priorities. This can be the issue for many who decide to transition from a business as they get fed up of waiting for some form of focus and effort on their needs. The reality is that the messy middle is full of diverse thought and skills and is actually the dynamo of the business which can either drive and enable change or even block change. One of the biggest challenges is communication or the lack of communication with the messy middle, partly associated with the different demographics that now exist within our organisations. George also tells me that new first line managers also make up the messy middle. They are full of enthusiasm and zest as they start to get traction in their careers and then suddenly they find themselves lost in the sheer size and inaction of the centre of the organisation and their momentum stalls. Limiting beliefs also exist within the middle manager group, for example visionaries don't think they can have the impact they should have and as such some lose self confidence and even start to abdicate their personal power to the more senior levels.George's top tips for any senior leader to get the most from the messy middle include: 1. Really see and connect with your people in this space to really understand the value, need, challenges and successes of this group. 2. Tailor professional development opportunities for this group, their sheer size and influence can drastically shift the momentum of an organisation. 3. Pull people forward. Senior leaders must create space and opportunity for the middle managers to step into new growth experiences. George also focuses on helping black men within the middle of a business. He sees that they are under leveraged in most instances and are waiting for permission to step up or they lack the opportunity to show what they can do. George coaches black men to define those spaces for themselves and identify sponsors within a business to be ambassadors for the change needed. Thankfully George is seeing positive change within organisations. www.linkedin.com/in/dominiccgeorge dominic@visionleadershipforlife.com Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videos Listen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5P www.leadersenigma.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
190: CEO & Board Confidence 2024 | Alice Breeden
19-03-2024
190: CEO & Board Confidence 2024 | Alice Breeden
Alice Breeden is Regional Managing Partner CEO & Board practice for Heidrick & Struggles based in London. This episode is based on the recent research completed by Heidrick focused on CEO and Board confidence. Alice highlights that there is so much happening in the world over shorter time periods that no leader has all the answers and every leader must be ever ready for the challenges. CEO and Board positions are a world that only few will occupy. Those who do, will need to operate in an environment of constant change, pressure and expectation. The Confidence research is being tracked quarterly by Heidrick throughout the year  in order to help advise leaders and also stay up to date and relevant as possible. The research findings represents data from almost 3,500 respondents from major organisations and key findings included low confidence in an organisations ability to reach their 2024 goals and low confidence in the longer term succession and leadership planning. The low confidence around reaching goals was predicated on leaders dealing with themes beyond their control combined with strategy being difficult to execute without  constant amendments, This compares with the fact that confidence is high in executive teams so organisations feel they have the right people but the landscape is problematic. The role of the Board has also changed over time, they too have shifted in their capabilities coupled with a deep sense of curiosity to deal with complex topics such as AI, climate and sustainability to name just a few. I also ask Alice about her thoughts on the role of Human Centred Leadership in CEO and Board roles . She explains that those in role understand success will be determined not just by their technical competence but very much by their ability to lead as a human with a deep sense of propose, curiosity, humility. constant learning, adaptability and agility. The Top 4 concerns for CEO's according to the Heidrick research included 1. Economic uncertainty2. Geopolitical volatility 3. Workforce attraction and retention and 4. Shifts in market dynamics. We also talk about culture in this episode as 83% of the companies surveyed are actively working on their culture as it is a key differentiator in the quest for success. To access the research: https://www.heidrick.com/en/insights/board-of-directors/ceo-and-board-confidence-monitor-a-worried-start-to-2024www.heidrick.com/en/people/b/alice_breedenWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
189: Killing Complexity | Adam Howe
19-03-2024
189: Killing Complexity | Adam Howe
Adam Howe is a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles based in their New York office and specialises in helping organisations to proactively kill complexity and promote simplicity. This episode is essential for leaders of any sized business. Adam realised during the delivery of large scale transformation programmes that people were overwhelmed and overloaded and that the idea of taking things away and subtracting tasks would improve productivity. Complexity is a huge issue and has never been higher. Research has found that on average, large publicly traded companies waste 10.2% of their EBITDA and high tend to suffer from low employee engagement ad lack of innovation. The solution for many companies is rooted in good leadership and culture. Heidrick & Struggles research has shown that companies who have high quality cultures drive 90% more revenue growth and 30% more profit growth over 5 years. The vast majority of organisational complexity is actually self generated by peoples decisions and behaviours. Leaders must become complexity conscious and be able to distinguish between good ad bad complexity. Good complexity is where the value of the complexity outweighs the cost and the inverse is true for bad complexity. As the context of an organisation changes, good complexity can become bad complexity so leaders must remain curious and vigilant. The role of complexity being used to undermine is well known as Adam explains how the CIA taught its operatives to use complexity in the 1940;s in its fight against governments it was at war with. Adam outlines the major root causes of complexity and the need for leaders to look holistically across the business. He also shares some examples of organisations who have benefited from killing complexity and promoting simplicity.As humans we are wired to create complexity and we need to avoid 'zombie complexity' which Adam explains as complexity that is simplified but the root causes were never dealt with so the complexity comes back. To sustainably drive simplicity within your business you must have a culture where everyone can call out complexity, they can speak up with our fear and know they will be listened to. Adam's advice is for leaders to be bold, clear trusting, pragmatic and obsessed in becoming complexity conscious. Check out the episode to hear about Home Depot, the Balance Bike and JEEP (Just Enough Essential Parts) Adam's top tips for any leader are to do the following:1. Write down on one page your top 3 priorities and your team are aligned on them2. Empower your team and your teams teams to really identify where bad complexity is getting in the way. Thereby getting clear on your complexity shadow. Start today by asking yourself and your teams, 'what have you said no to today?'www.heidrick.com/en/people/h/adam_howeWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
187: Shifting our Focus | Dr Graham Curtis
11-03-2024
187: Shifting our Focus | Dr Graham Curtis
Dr Graham Curtis is Director of learning and research at Roffey Park Institute and leads their Masters programme. Roffey Park was first established in the 1940's by the UK Government and a number of sponsoring companies focused on the rehabilitation of workers after the war. Today, Roffey Park is established on a multi acre site in Horsham helping to deliver educations and research to aid the health and well being of the workforce (they are validated by the University of Sussex). Roffey Park specialises in carrying out research to try and help leaders make better decisions based on evidence as opposed to mere hunches or biases. They are also passionate to help organisations identify and recognise talent from all levels to ensure that talent is maximised and where you were born or what school you went to is not a disadvantage. Graham explains that every single organisational context is different and those in senior leadership must remain attached to what is happening at the lower levels which means spending time on the 'shop floor' in order to pressure test assumptions, listen and learn from those closest to the customers and problems and being open and vulnerable to pivoting and changing direction. Graham talks passionately about coming from Sunderland and growing up on a tough estate and attending a comprehensive school but was always alive to opportunity as and when it came knocking. He remembers an incident when he was 7 years old and hospitalised through ill health yet he became the centre of attention through the love he received from family, teachers and medical staff. This helped him understand that he was worthy of investment, something that continues to motivate Graham in seeking to always help others. www.roffeypark.ac.uk to access multiple research papers including their important post pandemic research. www.linkedin.com/in/dr-graham-curtis-6b931911Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
186: Tune In | Nuala Walsh
08-03-2024
186: Tune In | Nuala Walsh
Nuala Walsh is a former senior executive for a FTSE 100 company, behavioural scientist, Ted X speaker, non executive director (including the Football Association and British & Irish Lions) various businesses and charities,  author  of 'Tune In' and has been recognised as one of the most influential women in finance. Nuala has interviewed Presidents, top sports stars and executives so this episode focuses on her learning and experience as a senior leader with an insatiable curiosity to understand why people do what they do.In a noisy world, when we are rewarded by speed, the crisis is growing as regards a leaders inability to ensure that they are making safe, sound and ethical decisions that truly consider the wider implications. Nuala's Ted X talk was at the University of Salford and focused on 'How to overcome Indecision.' The key message is that indecision is temporary, hidden and is normally a state of mind. No leader admits they are indecisive. Leaders's can control it by understanding one of three barriers that may exist (1) the decision is too big (2) it's too far in the future and a decision doesn't need to be made (3) or its too hard a decision.  The solution is to chunk or split the decision into smaller and easier components whilst visualising the end result. 'Tune In' is all about how to make smarter decisions in a noisy world. Nuala describes that the world is very visual and fast paced with too much data coming at leaders from all directions but inside a leader's head is just as crowded and noisy as the external world. Nuala also describes 'Power Recognition' as one of 10 misjudgement traps. She explains that there are three categories which include 'power seekers', 'power holders' or  those who have 'lost or are afraid of losing power.' and she provides some interesting examples which highlights that many leaders have an obsession with identify, title and status. Leaders must consider their own deaf spots - ask yourself are you a tuned out or tuned in leader? If you are not tuned in you are missing signals that matter. Nuala has interviewed Presidents, the first man on the moon, top sports stars and executives and she has always been curious as to the human being element of their accomplishments. In this episode she shares some insights from her interview with former President Bill Clinton and top golfer José María Olazábal. Don't miss this episode.www.nualagwalsh.comTune In is available on Amazon Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
185: The Unlock Moment | Gary Crotaz
01-03-2024
185: The Unlock Moment | Gary Crotaz
Dr Gary Crotaz is a former medical doctor, professional ballroom dancer turned coach, author and podcast host. This episode is a collaboration between The Unlock Moment and The Leadership Enigma. Gary realised after 8 years of medical training that he wanted a different career which in turn created opportunities for him in consulting and retail. Ballroom dancing had always been a parallel passion so Gary and his wife also travelled the world competing in professional tournaments with those who are well known to us from the TV hit 'Strictly Come Dancing.' Gary's shares my passion for curiosity, learning and conversation. One of Gary's first client's called him at 4am to declare that he realised that he wanted to pursue happiness and not success for the sake of it. This in turn allowed Gary to realise that people have unlock moments of clarity.An Unlock Moment is a moment when you think back and remember exactly where you were, who you were with and you suddenly know something that you had not realised before. Perhaps some may call it an epiphany.Two critical questions for all of us are firstly "if we want to really understand the person you are today, where do we need to start the story?" and "if you think about a remarkable moment of clarity, what do you think about?"In this episode Gary asks me a number of questions which lead me to remember a deeply personal moment with my daughter which was the catalyst for my exploration into my own Human Centred Leadership and sense of purpose. What is your Unlock Moment? The Unlock Moment: https://open.spotify.com/show/4yzWepuXTf5rursAv9O1NZwww.garycrotaz.comThe Idea Mindset is available on Amazon. Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
184: Punks in Suits | Blaire Palmer
23-02-2024
184: Punks in Suits | Blaire Palmer
Blaire Palmer is a global educator, keynote speaker, former journalist and producer at the BBC and now the author of multiple books including 'Punks in Suits'This episode explores our ability to fake it as opposed to bringing our true authentic self to the workplace through fear or lack of self confidence. Is our youthful rebel or inner punk an asset that we cease to rely on in order to comply? Blaire discovered coaching early on in her professional career as she became disillusioned with  journalism. She decided to help leaders myth bust and stop operating on old Victorian values whereby we view work and the people at work as part of a machine to deliver a mere product or service. The role of a leader is not to simply get people to do what you want them to do! Many of the challenges in the system come from Gen X based on the values and experiences they had growing up in the 70's and 80's. Now is the time to stop and reflect to consider the inefficiencies in the system in trying to create the best environment for humans to thrive. Blaire describes the concept of 'Punks in Suits' as capturing the spirit and irreverence of our youth when we questioned everything, embraced our individuality and authentically explored what was possible. The collective wisdom of what makes a good leader requires an element of 'faking it' in all of us. Blaire is keen to explore how leaders feel on their last day when they hand their laptop in and come face to face with who they could have been and the legacy they could have left having navigated and survived over three decades of corporate life. Blair's advice to any leader within the Gen X demographic is to consider your willingness and ability to trust others on a daily basis combined with an acceptance to be wrong or at least not right on everything! "Listen so hard so that you might change your mind.Blaire also suggests we change the focus on autonomy (the role of self)  to citizenship (the power of we and taking responsibility for your part in the world)www.thatpeoplething.comPunks in Suits in available from AmazonWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
183: The Power of Rhetoric | Simon Lancaster
31-01-2024
183: The Power of Rhetoric | Simon Lancaster
Simon Lancaster is one of the world's top speechwriters. He first became a speechwriter in the late 1990s working for Tony Blair’s Cabinet. He has since written speeches for the CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world including Unilever, HSBC and InterContinental Hotels Group. A leader's ability to communicate is critical to success and first impressions last! Simon's journey started as a musician with a dream of becoming a songwriter yet by the age of 24 he became a Minister's Private Secretary. Not bad he tells me for a kid that grew up on a council estate with his single mum.  Simon was paired up with Alan Johnson MP who became an important mentor in his life as Alan went on to become Secretary of State for Education and Skills from 2006 to 2007. Simon listened to Alan deliver multiple iconic speeches over the years mixing his personal story with the national story during the Thatcher years.  Simon explains that a good speechwriter has to find what's inside someone's soul. Most great speeches must not simply contain a list of your attributes and achievements as the audience is not that interested. Simon remembers advice from Peggy Noonan (speechwriter to Ronald Reagan) who said "reading is collecting wisdom and writing is spending it."Simon has a passion for helping the younger generation learn this skills and shares his advice of 'be proud to be yourself and be proud to show yourself to the world.'  Simon's 3 Top Tips for any leader include:1. The audience is more important than the speaker. It's not what you want to say but what the audience want to hear. 2. Emotions are more powerful than logic, this is based on biological fact. 3. Less is more www.bespokespeeches.comHe is the author of 'Connect' a book that helps a general audience that wants to be better at connecting and communicating with people. Available on Amazon. Simon would love to write a speech for Oprah, so if you are listening...........!Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
182: The Intrapreneur | Louis Gump
29-01-2024
182: The Intrapreneur | Louis Gump
Louis Gump is a digital veteran. He was at the heart of the digital revolution in 2001 as part of the team at The Weather Channel and then moved to helping CNN develop their first ever mobile app based approach to expanding their audience across the world. Louis is now also the author of 'The Inside Innovator' which is an Amazon Bestseller. I ask Louis about the current issue of 'fake news' and the polarisation of society. He considers this to be one of the most important issues facing us today. He says that 'reliable and professionally produced news that is fact based is critical to our society.'Intrapreneurship is described by Louis as 'creating value through innovation and growth through a larger organisation.' He explains that it remains the close cousin of the entrepreneur.Some organisations fear that great intrapreneurs will want to become entrepreneurs and exit the business to start their own ventures. Those who embrace their intrapreneurs find that the benefits outweigh the perceived risks. Why would you want to encourage intrapreneurs? One primary reason is that they drive a large proportion of the future value of companies and it helps train the next generation of leaders within.   Another critical aspect of intrapreneurship is the acceptance of a degree of risk and failure and self understanding that the success will come from failure. Failure to keep reinventing can lead to examples such as Kodak and Blockbuster. Many CEO's fear their organisations becoming irrelevant in an era of constant change. Disruption comes as a function of being a steward of a companies brand. Leaders listening to this episode need to:  1. Create a budget for intrapreneurship2. Ensure the budget goes to the right people and ideas3. Consider what evaluation criteria you need to put in place that match the task. The key message is identify your most promising talent and give them assignments to innovate. It delivers results for the business and trains the leaders of tomorrow.  The key traits in identifying the right talent include: 1. Curiosity2. Action oriented3. Ability to build bridges 4. Risk tolerance 5. Grounded optimismwww.louisgump.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
181: Love Leadership | Margot Faraci
26-01-2024
181: Love Leadership | Margot Faraci
Margot Faraci is a leader, author, writer and podcaster. She happened to be working in the UK from Australia so we asked her to come into the studio....which she did. Margot is a former lawyer and banker who at the age of 14 reflected that her style, in her own words, of 'mean girl' was not appropriate as it was based on deep insecurity. Margot was a blend of her parents and her first job as a leader was to truly know herself.  Margot also knew that she was a natural leader and it was worth trying to harness the right skills and capabilities by letting go of what was safe and what was known. As we get older and wiser we also travel through different phases of our own development and at age 40 Margot realised that she was burnt out so she took some time out and then entered a period of irrelevancy which is a leaders biggest fear.It was at this reflection point that Margot realised that there was a balance between fear and love and if she was to return to the corporate world she needed to do it on her own terms with a focus on love not fear. Things happen in life so all of us have to find the lesson and the gift in any situation, so Margot decided to start researching these issues within organisations and discovered that the UK alone was losing £2bn a year in productivity as a result of over a third of leaders leading from unconscious fear. Besides the numbers it also meant that teams and individuals were burnt out and avoidance was used by many to simply play safe. Courageous leaders however were hard on the problem and soft on the person. Margot uses me as an example in the studio to demonstrate how a leader might deal with a toxic star performer through the lens of Love not Fear and leading a conversation with curiosity whilst being Brave, Clear & Fair.  As humans we are judging machines, which historically keeps us safe, however we miss the power of curiosity to provide us with more objective facts to find the win win solution. https://www.margotfaraci.com/https://www.margotfaraci.com/loveleadershipsurveyWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
180: How to Avoid a Foreign Fail | Allyson Stewart-Allen
19-01-2024
180: How to Avoid a Foreign Fail | Allyson Stewart-Allen
Allyson Stewart-Allen is a CEO, advisor, broadcaster and author. I see Allyson each week on TV as she is a regular on Sky News and has been on several seasons of 'The Apprentice , You've Been Fired.' It was time to invite Alyson into the studio for a visual tour of brands. If you don't proactively work on your personal brand, someone else will do it for you and you may not like the results. Brands can take years to build and seconds to destroy and all leaders need to consider their own brand, their product or service and their collective organisational brand. To avoid an international failure, leaders must surround themselves with diversity of thought and experience and display huge amounts of humility and curiosity when expanding across regions. Allyson completed two degrees in International Marketing, at USC and her MBA at Claremont with Peter Drucker. Allyson was raised in Germany and has been in the UK for 36 years. She is the author of 'Working with Americans' which was a finalist at the International Book Awards. This is definitely an episode you want to watch on our YouTube channel as Allyson brings this episode to life showing  a number of incredible products from her 'cupboard of curiosities' as regards what does and does not work internationally and why. We talk about a number of products from Kit Kat in Japan to a Canadian chocolate called 'Seriously Helps You To Energise' also known as SHYTE!In between the amazing examples that Allyson talks about, we delve in to the leadership lessons relevant to any sized business on the basis that if you have a website, you are already global. In the UK we are currently experiencing the outcry into the Post Office scandal where a number of reputations and brands are squarely in the cross hairs of public opinion, which is yet another example of how vigilant leaders must be to their practices, exposure and impact on the world. www.allsysonstewartallen.comwww.internationalmarketingpartners.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
178: The AI Microwave Meal | Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
05-01-2024
178: The AI Microwave Meal | Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the author of 10 books and over 150 scientific papers. He is the Chief Innovation Officer for Manpower Group and and international authority in people analysts, talent management, leadership development and the Human AI Interface. This is the first episode of the New Year and we tackle questions such as 'Why are so many incompetent men made leaders?' and 'Why we should be more sexist!' as Tomas is a data driven feminist. However, the primary focus of this episode is based on Tomas' latest book 'I-Human' and the need for us all to dial up our human centred leadership capabilities. Tomas was born and brought up in Buenos Aires and became fascinated in leadership from an early age after seeing and experiencing years of national leadership crises. His Phd allowed him to specialise in investigating the data behind numerous people analytic assumptions and biases. Tomas quickly began to uncover the realities of how important EQ was compared to IQ and how many misconceptions have hindered how we identify talent. From an evolutionary perspective humans have always over focused on confidence than competence on the basis that if we BS ourselves it is much easier to BS other people! Leaders must be self aware enough to balance their self confidence with the realities of their capabilities. Confidence and drive remain critically important but with moderation applied to also avoid pathological insecurity. Tomas has recently focused on the role and impact of AI on the talent market. AI get a lot of criticism for augmenting biases but AI has the capability to unlearn faster than humans and make organisations more data driven in their people operations. In an age when so much ion our thinking and creativity could be outsourced to machines, leaders must be alive to the necessity to humanise their organisations and the work that they do in the world. AI will continue to upgrade and evolve but will we? Tomas' research indicates that AI is increasing and developing some of our worst traits such as bias and narcissism. Many of us blame AI for simply uncovering the bias that we have created and embedded into the various systems that we operate with. Algorithms used in AI often track and solidify our focus on what we already like, believe or subscribe to, which in turn may be the basis for such a polarised world. Digital narcissism is the norm and at the heart of many becoming global influencers, however the same behaviour repeated in the office would probably involve HR! We are thinking less, optimising and outsourcing more and becoming less and less patient with having to wait even a few seconds for what we want. In this environment we have to double down on curiosity, empathy and our human centred 'power' skills. Historically we promoted people for their technical skills and with AI these have been become disrupted and out of date. The Human Being is now the most powerful asset we have in a Digital world. Leaders with strong human centred skills will rise and AI has commoditised, crowd sourced and synthesised our access to vast amounts of information that it is akin to a Microwave Meal in that it is not very nutritional, healthy or nourishing but it's easy, fast, lazy and even free option that gives us the quick fix. Our ability to 'slow cook' ideas with real wisdom and experience and unleash our deep curiosity regardless of our status, experience level or age. www.drtomas.comWatch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com
179: A Leader of Leaders | Errol Gardner - Global Vice Chair EY Consulting
15-12-2023
179: A Leader of Leaders | Errol Gardner - Global Vice Chair EY Consulting
Errol Gardner is the Global Vice Chair (Consulting) for Ernst & Young. He is a member of the Executive Team and leads the consulting practice  globally of over 125,000 people.  EY has over 400,000 employees in 154 countries and in 2022 they received over 2 million job applications. Errol's job incudes defining the strategy for consulting and making sure they are clear on their market proposition for clients and ensuring his people are thriving. I ask Errol about the responsibility of being part of a broader global executive team leading over 400,000 as a leader of leaders and how he tries to cascade the human centred approach through all levels of the organisation. Errol's role requires him to travel for 60% of the year as he meets people within the organisation who help him sense-check and sense-make  what unites them and what is important at the local level. Errol understands that as he travels around the various EY global offices, he is a role model to many people that he does not personally know, however his leadership shadow is cast far and wide.  Errol recounts the George Floyd incident during the pandemic and the ripple impact it had on people who became much more vocal within their own organisations as regards injustice and for Errol it became a catalyst to become a voice for those who needed advocacy and so the Global Social Equity Task Force was born. EY has a fundamental role within many global businesses (financial integrity) but also sees itself as a Force for Good in the world's challenge areas such as sustainability, equity and social justice which Errol explains is brought to life though the very purpose of the business. 'EY Ripples' is just one example of such an internal initiative. Errol was born and bred in Leeds attending the local comprehensive and knew immediately the difficulties of being a black child in a predominantly white area, which in turn provided him the resilience and mechanisms to thrive. He started his professional career in 1990 leaving University to work in audit. He quickly took the opportunity to go to Jamaica (his parents are Jamaican, his father was on board one of the original Windrush ships) and after 5-6 months he was luckily offered a consultancy role and never looked back, this was in Errol's words his 'sliding door moment.'  Jamaica provided Errol the unique opportunity to grow his confidence working within a predominantly black environment and understand the dynamics of prejudice, inclusivity and the power of diversity of thought. He returned to the UK knowing that there were no excuses for him other than to show up and make a difference. Today Errol reflects on his incredible career and feels an obligation to help others to achieve their dreams. He loves working in a people business and providing opportunities for others to learn and thrive. Leading a global business requires a constant awareness of trends and critical geo political issues in an ever changing world and having a presence in 154 countries means that EY can remain a force for positive change. Errol is a human centred leader of leaders who uses his experiences and interactions as a constant reminder that people are at the heart of all success. All leaders create a lived experience for those around them, let 2024 be the year for creating the conditions for all to thrive and succeed. Enjoy this wonderful episode. Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videosListen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5Pwww.leadersenigma.com