Leadership & Life Chat

Mark Curtis and Becky Ames

Boost your health, wealth and self! Becky and Mark chat about what leadership really means, in both life and business. Welcome back to series 3 of Leadership and Life Chat, where veteran host Mark Curtis, and new presenter Becky Ames will look at what makes a great leader and offer tips to help improve your leadership skills and wellbeing in general. In each episode, they will discuss a different topic, possibly one you may never have considered impacts your life or business, and provide their now infamous top 3 tips on how to implement these into your everyday routines to boost your health, wealth and self! The series will also feature very special guests at the top of their field, with subjects ranging from climate change to A.I, and psychology to havening technique. Our intrepid hosts will be picking their guests’ brains to uncover their key messages, understand what it took for them to get to the top, and how this can be applied to our own lives and successes. You can still find episodes of Leadership & Life Chat with original team James and Mark, and their first series Impromptu Business Chat all on this one channel. GET IN TOUCH! Get in touch on podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk, or leave us a voice note, quick and easy, just visit https://telb.ee/LLC Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors www.larking-gowen.co.uk (c) Larking Gowen LLP read less
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Episodes

Feel the fear and retire anyway! How exactly did Mark Curtis retire before 50?
04-04-2024
Feel the fear and retire anyway! How exactly did Mark Curtis retire before 50?
Four years, 131 episodes, 38 guests and three presenters later, it’s time to say goodbye to the Leadership & Life Chat ‘band’ as we know it.  In this episode, original presenter, James Lay, makes a triumphant return and, alongside Becky, questions Mark on exactly how he’s been able to pre-plan and orchestrate his retirement at only 49, and the lessons he’s learnt on the way. Mark is, as always, open about his views on taking control of one's life, and recognising choices while always having a focus on a roadmap for the future, both in business and personal life. The team also dive deep and reflect on the importance of embracing personal purpose.  They discuss the insights of previous guests around living to your values, stepping out of your comfort zone, overcoming fear, the power of support and encouragement, fears of public speaking, making sacrifices, challenging the perception of success, the importance of continuous learning, the power of asking questions and so much more. In this final EVER episode, Mark reflects on his past success and failures, shares the advice he would give to his younger self, and looks back on what he’s learned throughout his career, including the importance of being brave and speaking up, avoiding black and white thinking, and developing an internal locus of control.  *Insert profound heavy metal lyric in honour of Mark here*…. Producer Lizzie can’t think of any, she’s a Taylor Swift fan… Show notes Impromptu Business Chat/Leadership & Life Chat episodes: •    Interview with Paul McVeigh - the power of beliefs in business •    How to be an AWESOME leader and achieve a great work-life balance, with coach and author Ben Coomber •    Selling up is hard to do. What comes next? With business strategist, Dawn Bloomer •    Highway to the conquer zone with profit hunter Freddie Bennett •    Interview with Dr Chris Mason on Leadership Success •    Find meaning in your work: Meaningful May •    Power of public speaking with Andrew Brammer •    Special interview episode with Damian Horner: The Dark Art of Marketing Marks Books/Podcasts Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! The Way of Wyrd Never Finished David Goggins The Fifth Sacred Thing – Starhawke Reality Blind: Integrating the Systems Science Underpinning Our Collective Futures The Great Simplification with Nate Hagens podcast
Leading through anxiety – Let’s get philosophical with Garath Symonds
28-03-2024
Leading through anxiety – Let’s get philosophical with Garath Symonds
In this episode, Garath Symonds, the founder of Reconnect Coaching, joins Mark and Becky to discuss his upcoming book, ‘The Anxious Leader’. They explore how anxiety impacts decision-making and leadership, the importance of rational thinking and ego reflection, as well as strategies for tolerating anxiety as opposed to rejecting it. They delve into the role of meditation and self-reflection for leaders, along with managing trauma's impact and the importance of vulnerability and psychological safety in top level roles, and ultimately, embracing life’s lessons. Tune in for fascinating insights into leadership and personal growth in the podcast’s penultimate episode! GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk. We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify; this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here   Show notes Connect with Garath on LinkedIn Reconnectcoaching.co.uk  Books The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World – Ronald A Heifetz The Bhagavad Gita – Eknath Easwaran What Matters Most – James Hollis  Keep your eye on Garaths channels for the release of his upcoming book 'The Anxious Leader' - due to be published in 2024  Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S8 Ep2 The war on talent rages on! The impact of the Great Resignation, with Steve Jacobs from WTW
21-03-2024
S8 Ep2 The war on talent rages on! The impact of the Great Resignation, with Steve Jacobs from WTW
In a world of quiet quitting and the ‘Great Resignation’, what should employers be doing to keep their best people?  This week Mark chats to Steve Jacobs, a director at WTW, to discuss the importance of employee benefits and how to navigate the ever-changing trends in the workplace.  With the shift in employee expectations post COVID-19, and a focus on flexibility and work-life balance, they look at the differences between employer and employee perspectives on what constitutes a ‘benefit’ now and, in particular, what employees sometimes value above money. They discuss diversity and inclusion, global differences in legislation and the challenge of the multi-gen workforce.  With a background in the Merchant Navy, and now working for WTW, a world leader in data driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital – Steve has seen it all, and his business has helped businesses to navigate stormy, unpredictable waters.  GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk. We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify; this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here   Show notes    •    Connect with Steve on LinkedIn •    Find out about the work of WTW: wtwco.com & UK: wtw-healthandbenefits.co.uk •    Leadership & Life Chat – Andy Nicol and Sue Liburd  •    Brené Brown podcasts  •    Ken Blanchard: ‘The One Minute Manager’  •    Ravin Jesuthasan: The future of work Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S8 Ep1 - It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top – with campaigner and award-winning leader, Nick Jonsson
14-03-2024
S8 Ep1 - It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top – with campaigner and award-winning leader, Nick Jonsson
You might not think this topic applies to you – but it’s a conversation that might be important for someone you love.  TRIGGER WARNING: This episode contains mention of drug addiction, depression and suicide We open the LAST EVER series of the podcast with Mark and Becky chatting to Nick Jonsson in one of our most frank, honest and powerful episodes surrounding the often brutal reality of leadership and its toll.  Nick opens up about his personal journey with executive loneliness and his own ‘rock bottom’, what led him to seek help, and his path to creating a safe space for senior executives and business owners to discuss their challenges. Nick is the co-founder and Managing Director of EGN, one of Asia's premier networking organisations, and his path takes him from his native Sweden to Australia and beyond! Nick is passionate about the need to change the perception of vulnerability and encourages leaders to embrace it as a strength.  This conversation is a powerful dive into the realities of identity and purpose in the workplace, the impact of isolation on younger generations and the dangers of inflated ego in CEOs and business owners!  GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes Nick's website Nick’s book: Executive Loneliness  SUICIDE SUPPORT – UK: SAMARITANS Call 116 123 USA: Call or text 988 or text TALK to 741741  Vistage – peer network  Leadership & Life Chat: Be more Labrador! Building trust at work with Darryl Stickel PhD
S7 E4.  How not to be a bad boss, with coach and TEDx speaker Rob Kalwarowsky
08-02-2024
S7 E4. How not to be a bad boss, with coach and TEDx speaker Rob Kalwarowsky
This conversation is far from a laugh riot, but is a fascinating insight into the reality of what it’s like for many teams members out there right now working under bad bosses. The stats will blow your mind! Fearless Organisation Practitioner Rob Kalwarowsky, famous for his speech ‘How to Avoid Becoming an As*hole Boss’; outlines the 6 different destructive leader types: •    The arrogant or violent boss  •    Abusive narcissist  •    Messy boss •    Cowardly boss (ghost managers) •    Passive aggressive boss •    Passive egocentric boss Do you recognize yourself as any of these? If so, it might be time to make a change. They seem extreme but Rob outlines the data and research behind how these categories came into the lexicon and how too much stress on teams will result in costs for businesses in the long term. There is a demand for the right people needed in businesses, but there’s a disconnect with the overall quality of leadership in businesses across the world – recent trends of quiet quitting and the great resignation are directly tied to specific managers.  Rob believes that his insights can literally help to change your business and the lives of those working with you, forever. GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes Contact Rob: elitehighperformance.com Watch the full speech How to Avoid Becoming an As*hole Boss here Find Rob on: Instagram Youtube Linked In TikTok Spotify Thanks to www.expertbookers.com - visit them and find out how they can help support your podcast! Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn Jamesclear.com No Bad Parts - Dr Richard Schwartz Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself – Michael Singer 7 Rules of Power: Surprising - But True - Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance your career – Jeffrey Pfeffer Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S7 E2. What’s in your stress bucket? With solution-focused psychotherapist, Gin Lalli
25-01-2024
S7 E2. What’s in your stress bucket? With solution-focused psychotherapist, Gin Lalli
Psychotherapist, Gin Lalli, supports people in finding practical solutions for mental fitness when feeling out of control, and how to avoid negative thinking with the aim of limiting your stress. Stress is a consequence of negative thinking, and the responses come from the part of your brain that is designed to keep you safe – they were vital for survival in caveman days, but we don’t need them daily in 2024. We can retrain our brains to understand that thoughts and internal chatter are NOT facts. It takes time and commitment, but it is possible. Gin outlines the scientific role sleep plays in our mental health; how to cope if we don’t get enough sleep; the importance of micro-interactions; what the cause and effect of modern-day stress is and how our cortisol levels really work for and against us. There’s a lot of polar bear talk, supermarket self-checkout rage, and ‘Producer Lizzie’ even manages to wedge in the psychological benefits of horror films! GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes: Visit Gin's website at Ginlalli.com Gin’s book - Solution-Focused Therapy Handbook: How to Empty Your Stress Bucket & podcast - Stress Bucket Solutions The Chimp Paradox – Prof Steve Peters The work of Trevor Moawad Susan Jeffers – Feel the Fear and do it anyway Just One Thing – Michael Mosley podcast Sleep is your superpower – Matt Walker TED Talk Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker  Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S7 E1. Should leaders be ruthless or rigorous? Examining the work of Jim Collins
18-01-2024
S7 E1. Should leaders be ruthless or rigorous? Examining the work of Jim Collins
We are back for series 7! Loyal listeners will know that Mark and Becky are huge fans of Jim Collins, so they decided it was time to dive deep into his work, and look at the seven key questions he claims all leaders need to ask themselves. They outline how each question can help with recruitment and retaining our talented people! Jim once said leaders should be “rigorous, not ruthless.” Can this really be applied to success? GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes Jim Collins – Good to Great Value setting within business episode of Leadership & Life Chat –  Working 9-5, not the only way to make a living Leadership & Life Chat - You’ve got the power The 7 questions Are you beginning to lose other people by keeping this person in the seat?Do you have a values problem, a wills problem or a skill problem?What is the person's relationship to the window and the mirror?Does the person see work as a job or a responsibility?Has your confidence in the person gone up or down in the last year?Do you have a bus problem or a seat problem?How would you feel if this person quit? Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S6 E6. Silence your inner critic with coach Kamini Wood
14-12-2023
S6 E6. Silence your inner critic with coach Kamini Wood
Do you think you’ve grown as a person, or as a leader, or have you allowed your challenges or failures to hold you back? Human Potential Coach Kamini Wood is passionate about helping people to understand their worth and grow their personal and professional paths, or as she puts it, “I mess with how people think!” Do you ever feel like you don’t belong? You don’t fit in? What do you allow your inner critic to tell you? Kamini started her journey into personal development after realising, as a mother of five, she needed to start adopting a more conscious parenting tactic, as she was projecting too much of her own emotion onto her children. She could see people doing this at her family law firm too. Our relationship with ourself is the most important one we’ll ever have, so Mark and Becky chat to Kamini about how we can tap into our goals and values, and reject the fear response for the better of our businesses and brains! GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kamini.wood.5 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/itsauthenticme/?hl=en LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaminiwood/Kaminiwood.comRiseUp - Live Joy Your Way podcastAtlas of the Heart – Brené BrownViktor FranklRuss Harris – The Happiness Trap    Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S6 E4. What does your daily leadership look like? With author Antonio Garrido
30-11-2023
S6 E4. What does your daily leadership look like? With author Antonio Garrido
This episode is a complete refresh on the topic of leadership. Antonio Garrido, former architect and author of My Daily Leadership: A Powerful Roadmap for Leadership Success, has dedicated the latter half of his career to helping CEO’s better tap into their emotional intelligence, understand the art of truth telling and create more productive working relationships. His energy and experience offers a reinvigorated perspective on modern day business, as he philosophises with Mark over the reality of business ownership and management in 2023, he gives some uncomfortable examples of the type of personalities still allowed to operate at top levels, and why those businesses open themselves up to failure. Do you want to create a carrot or stick culture? GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes LinkedInwww.mydailyleadership.comEmail Antonio: antonio@mydailyleadership.comBlinkist Leadership & Life Chat – How to cultivate creativity at workMy Daily Leadership bookExample of someone who has worked from the bottom up – Karen Hester COO of Adnams on Tourism Business Chat. Books Freedom from Command and Control: A Better Way to Make the Work WorkTed X – Itay Talgam - Lead like the great conductorsThe One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller10x Is Easier than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less, Dan Sullivan Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand LeadersSeth Goden booksPurple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being RemarkableServant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and ResultsThe Creative Act: A Way of Being Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S6 E2. Selling up is hard to do. What comes next? With business strategist, Dawn Bloomer
16-11-2023
S6 E2. Selling up is hard to do. What comes next? With business strategist, Dawn Bloomer
Studies suggest that selling your business or retiring early do not necessarily make someone happier. Dawn Bloomer, a former veterinarian turned strategic advisor, knows this all too well.  Dawn guides us through her journey after selling her successful practice and finding herself adrift – she hadn’t planned what to do next! She chats to Mark and Becky about the importance of exit plans and considering ‘what comes next’. They talk about the accountability and logistics often over-looked in any move, and the toxic ‘workaholic’ culture that still exists despite its known impact on our wellbeing. Dawn prefers to look at work-life balance as ‘integration’. This is a great episode for anyone looking to climb the career ladder, but who’s worried about the sacrifices they think are needed; those planning for an exit; and managers who need to better understand the implications of their teams returning after maternity, sickness or other forms of leave.  GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We’d also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify;  this really helps people find us! You can also watch us on YouTube! Click here You can find all of the Leadership & Life Chat episodes here Show notes Contact Dawn - www.productivepressure.com Linkedin Larking Gowen Corporate Transactions Books Transitions (40th Anniversary): Making Sense of Life's Changes - – William & Sue Susan Bridges The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level – Gay Hendricks Reinventing Yourself – Steve Chandler – get the audio-book! Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
A.I SPECIAL - Roundtable with Alix Rübsaam & Alison Alexander
23-08-2023
A.I SPECIAL - Roundtable with Alix Rübsaam & Alison Alexander
How can you use, shape and lead AI in business – with experts Alix Rübsaam and Alison Alexander.  Should we be worried? What does the future of humanity really look like? You might aready be familiar with ChatGPT, but there’s a whole world of AI out there, and it’s rapidly impacting how we live and work.  For this special roundtable episode, we invited previous guests, Alix Rübsaam, Head of Curriculum and Expertise at Singularity Education Group and an expert on the human influence on algorithms, and Alison Alexander, the co-founder of Metacampus, and expert on Web3.  This conversation takes us into the world of large language models, government legislation and policy, prompt engineering, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), the human fear response, historical tech trends and, most importantly, the philosophical and moral implications of using AI in our businesses.  This episode will help you navigate the real-life application of AI in your work, and learn how business owners can avoid a ‘wild-west’ situation with unintended consequences simply by implementing policy, systems and boundaries.  If you’re still scratching your head wondering what on earth is going on, this one is not to be missed!  GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk.  We would also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, this really helps people find us! You can also now watch us on YouTube! Click here to watch this weeks episode Show notes Alix •    Alix on LinkedIn •    Singularity Group Alison •    Alison’s Substack  •    Alison on Twitter - @AMETAVERSEA •    Alison LinkedIn    •    Metacampus  General •    DALL.E 2 •    Claude 2 Anthropic AI
S5 E6. Be more Labrador! Building trust at work with Darryl Stickel PhD
13-07-2023
S5 E6. Be more Labrador! Building trust at work with Darryl Stickel PhD
Darryl’s journey is nothing short of inspirational. Darryl was already living with degenerative eyesight, resulting in becoming legally blind, when he was brutally attacked at 17. Rather than recoiling from the world and pursuing resentment, he decided to embrace empathy and his life and career of thinking was brought hastily forward. Darryl achieved his doctorate at Duke University and wrote his thesis on building trust in hostile environments. Inspired by Darryl’s guide dog Drake, who serves as his company’s ‘Director of Goodness’ (DOG), they talk about how to pursue a life of positivity, integrity, embracing neutrality in toxic work relationships, and how vulnerability is the key to building trust, which is proven to improve business levels.  Mark and Darryl nerd out on their shared interest in tribalism and the bigger philosophical questions around leadership and discuss Darryl’s equation: Uncertainty x vulnerability = risk. GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk. We would also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, this really helps people find us! You can also now watch us on YouTube! Click here  Show notes Building Trust - Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World – Darryl Stickel trustunlimited.com Leadership & Life Chat - The new office, and the generation gap Thinking, Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP
S5 E3. Culture vs cult - what side does your leadership fall on?
22-06-2023
S5 E3. Culture vs cult - what side does your leadership fall on?
Mark is inspired this week by a TEDx talk which leads him to reflect on one of his favourite topics – evolution, tribes and what makes humans tick. It’s a tough question to ask yourself, but are you creating a cult or a culture? Mark and Becky discuss where the idea of culture comes from and what it really means for businesses. “Cult leaders see greatness in themselves”, whereas, if you operate as a culture, you see greatness in the team.    They also discuss the impact the CEO/owner has on a culture and why active engagement is important. They consider the negative connotation behind the term ‘HR’ and why, perhaps, this no longer fits the modern world… GET IN TOUCH! We would love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode, email us at podcasts@larking-gowen.co.uk. We would also love it if you could rate us 5 STARS on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, this really helps people find us. You can also now watch us on YouTube! Click here Show notes Corporate Anthropologist, Michael Henderson – TEDx  Michael Henderson website  Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win Jim Collins – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't The three secrets of resilient people – Lucy Hone – TEDx Thank you to our sponsors Larking Gowen, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors – check out their website to see how they could help your business www.larking-gowen.co.uk © Larking Gowen LLP