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Leaders Letter 181 – Which Are You Surrounded By? Problem Raisers, Problem Solvers Or Problematics

Dear leaders, when I look back over the last two decades of my career, there are a number of common themes that come up and bubble back up to the surface. 

In March 2020 I wrote one of my most popular blog posts called Problem Raisers Vs Problem Solvers Vs Problematics. 

In short, it is about the three different problem profiles. I have revisited the blog post and updated it to align specifically with leadership and how we can improve our teams(s) and importantly the leaders around us. 

» Throughout my career, I have made many observations about teams and individuals, as I have run teams in agencies, had two of my own consultancies, advised businesses & marketplaces and worked across multiple disciplines and business sectors; I have seen many versions of individuals who raise problems or pain points or become the problems themselves.

For the most part, people raise pain points, typically it is for the right reasons and depending on your work environment (or direct manager), you will see types of three profiles of people:

Problem Raisers — Problem Solvers — Problematics

Problem Raisers

Problem Raisers usually have the right intent, they want to raise pain points for themselves, for users or for clients. Problem Raisers want to create a fix to these pain points, however, they might not engineered in that way, they may not be creative (Problem Solvers are) or environmentally it is not their place (the position within the org or down to core individuals or departments to be the fixers) to offer a solution.

Problem Raisers are concerned about the problem but the fix is not always an important milestone for them, they potentially work around the problem or in some cases can continue to work without the Problem being explicitly fixed or removed.

A great team or cross-functional teams have a blend of Problem Raisers and Problem Solvers.

Problem Solvers

Problem Solvers (often seen as ‘the rescuer’ in Stephen Karpman’s The Drama Triangle) are those people who find pain points, raise problems and then offer solutions, typically driven by the outcome and fixing the problem that is at hand.

Problem Solvers can come in two subcategories:

  1. Empowered Problem Solver:
    Empowered Problem Solvers want to solve the puzzle, they see puzzles not problems. Empowered Problem Solvers have the ability to lead from the front and often act as the project manager and engineer the fix. The fix is their energy source and how they thrive.
  2. Problem Solver Solutioniser”: 
    The problem solver solutioniser are not empowered to make the change themselves and have to push for the solution from the passenger seat.

From experience, the best Problem Solvers typically have a growth mindset, they embrace change, they strive to improve themselves and the situation around them and want to take it on as a learning curve and grow from the experience.

There can actually be negative to Problem Solvers; they can get frustrated and fairly quickly and do not understand why these problems are not fixed. Problem Solvers often have high IQ and WIQ (work IQ) but can lack the PQ (political intelligence) needed to ensure these problems are addressed. 

The best MarketingGrowth and Product people I have worked with fall into the Problem Solvers profile and actively want to address the pain points at hand and the ones that are up and coming and prioritise accordingly. 

If a Problem Solver Solutioniser is ignored or their pain points are not addressed in a reasonable time, over time Problem Solvers can turn into Problematics and that can be a difficult place for you and your teams. 

Most often Problematics have a negative impact on their colleagues, they negatively impact how they are perceived and will then impact your department’s performance and the company’s subculture

As a leader, this is where you have to step up and ensure these changes are made or you or an external exec coach actually evolves the Problem Solver Solutioniser’s to have more PQ (political intelligence). 

Problematics

We have all worked with Problematics, they stand out, they are a negative (almost toxic) employee and unfortunately, the likelihood is they have been burnt, and the pain points they raise have not been addressed in the way they have felt heard.

Problematics feel like their pain points have never been addressed or fixed and every time they raise pain points it comes across as a problem or someone else fault.

Problematics are often overly negative and it starts to spread or they compare their experiences versus others and start resenting the work or workplace. Two or more Problematics in close proximity can have a real negative impact on people and teams around them.

Problematics fall into two subcategories: 

(1) Negative Problematics 
(2) Positive Problematics

I generally believe Positive Problematics can be moved back to Problem Raisers with specific coaching, supporting frameworks and measurements to help them understand the logic behind the decision made and re-engage them back into the business.

My Problem-Solving Power Half Hours can work with Positive Problematics and I recommend there are two or three sessions to uncover their issues and enable them to put across their business cases. 

Once a Problematic knows deep down things won’t change or they cannot make the changes they have recommended, unfortunately, they become Negative Problematics

Negative Problematics are faced with a realistic outcome and that is often unclear to them, it is to move onto a new workplace and have the opportunity to become Problem Raisers and reset their energy and become successful again with their role. 

Framework To Help

My favourite and most recommended framework that can help is the One Problem — Two Solutions framework:

One Problem — Two Solutions: With every problem raised, you should offer two possible solutions, one preferred and show how you landed with this solution and the second an alternative. 

This framework works particularly well with more senior people who are unaware of these types of pain points or those who like to make the decisions.

It is always important to ensure you show business impact, and external impact with revenue figures and I recommend going that step further and showing internal/cultural impact.

Offer a way to show which people or teams need to be involved and the timeline of the proposed solution. If this pain point is to replace other issues or stop work on existing items on roadmaps everything needs to be laid out and thought through. Often you will need to speak to the relevant teams to gain this insight however if you are a Problem Solver this will be part of something you have thought of.

As a leader, you can run the exercise in 1-2-1’s, informal check-ins or across your leadership team meetings and categorise your fellow leads into these three profiles and decide if you need to help enable them, back them more or in extreme cases move them towards an exit if they have moved too far towards a Negative Problematic. 

This week’s focus action is to categorise your department members into these categories and an interesting exercise is to apply this to your fellow management and leadership colleagues, this will give you a different perspective on how you can and should interact with your colleagues and the actions you have to take. 

Thanks and have a great week, 

Danny Denhard


Now Watch Leaders Reshaping Their Industries

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Luke Station Leaders Letter Interview



Dear leaders, have you ever met someone whose story and energy are so infectious you know you have to work with them? 

I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a motivational speaker and author of a new kids’ book Credo

As I teased in the community as the sixth business moat (leaders letter 177), Luke and I wanted to share the mic and talk through the mission he is on and the energy he gives with every motivational talk, in his professional workshops and even when coaching his kid’s football (soccer) team. 


I guarantee Luke’s incredible journey will inspire you and now on his mission to make every child’s internal butterfly bright – it will give you energy for more. 

Luke and I discussed some incredibly important topics:  

  • Leadership: How everyone has an opportunity to lead (but in different ways)
  • Lifelong Influences: How Luke’s former head teacher Mr Spencer inspired him and so many students to succeed (hint – he is that one teacher who had a huge impact on your life)
  • Pro Football To Dad: Life lessons and then applying them from not quite making the elite-level professional footballer to being a dad and taking on your inspired dream(s)
  • Passion => Job: How Luke turned his passion(s) into a life calling and a job as a motivational speaker and now author
  • Education Reform: Why Luke is going to create a new schooling experience to refresh how education operates within the UK, which has been stuck in the same cycle for decades

The Luke Staton Interview


The interview is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or watch again on YouTube.



The Leadership Lessons I Took Away From This Interview:

  • 1. Leaders (Like Mr Spencer) will have positive and negative impacts on your life, if you are deliberate as a leader you will be remembered. Legacy will live on for many years, how are you talked about behind your back or in the future
  • 2. When you are told to not go for it (like Luke and Luke’s mum), you have two choices,
    (1) go for it anyway or
    (2) let it inspire and drive you (and the people around you, whether that’s colleagues, your children or family members)
  • 3. Your passion will show up in and throughout your career, leadership is a skill you need to learn and when you blend your passion and leadership together it will translate and inspire many around you. This is why so many thought leaders and personality-led businesses (you hear more from the company leader than the company themselves) are doing so well currently
  • 4. Even if you don’t make it in one hard profession (Luke’s professional football experience) you still have the chance to craft your own products and journey and even become an author
  • 5. Have your own (leadership) theme, Luke’s is your inner butterfly – this is something Luke and I discussed in detail after the recording and I completely agree with it. If you do not have a leadership theme I am going to be diving deeper into your leadership theme in more detail in a few weeks.
  • 6. Have a vision for the future – Luke is on his mission to change educational institutes for the better, it made me question what my vision was for the future. I know some of my steps for the future but are they realistic and then big enough to roll up to my mission of fixing the broken world of work
Luke Staton at his Credo book signing

Make Sure You Connect With Luke

This week’s focus item is to re-review the leadership lessons and consider what your legacy might be and create your vision for the future.

Thanks and have a great week,

Danny Denhard

PS: Do you like the video format? If yes, you are in luck, there is another video-based leaders letter next week with Caleb Parker.

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Leaders Letter 178 –

Pirates Overthrowing The Ship’s Captain

Why Department Leads Needs Active Management, Coaching & Effective HR Partners

Dear leaders, I heard a statement on a consulting call earlier this year that I can’t shake. 

We are about to experience “the pirates overthrowing the ship’s captain”.

It was a phrase that I remember when I started my career when it was an internal leadership battle but I hadn’t heard it again in many years. 

The context this time around was very different but the end message is still the same. 

Pirates Vs Captain Or Was The Captain The Problem

The pirates overthrowing the ship’s captain statement was referencing a department that had enough of the existing department lead and had done everything to have them removed from their role. 

By all accounts, the removal was well deserved. The lead hadn’t been a leader, they let performance drop to an all-time low, they let the majority of one-to-ones slip and rarely attended the department and team meetings. They left it to the team(s) “to sort out between them”. 

Some of the circumstances explained: 

  • Poor management had hindered the team’s subculture and was impacting how the team were interacting 
  • The situation had hindered the trust of the business in that department 
  • The leadership team asked the Department lead what was happening within the team and large campaigns and they were unable to answer and struggled to follow up 
  • HR was fully aware of the implications and decided it best to allow it to play out 

Semantics Matter 

The turn of phrase was interesting, implying the team members were pirates. Oddly enough pirates are almost exclusively seen as bad, often focusing in on “attacks and robs”. 

Imagine finding out you were referred to as pirates and semantically you were attacking and robbing the department lead of their role… that really wasn’t what happened and it’s essential we are crystal clear in our communications as leaders.

Through all of my brief interactions, the team seemed to be super switched on, they wanted to hit targets and were looking for some direction from the business, not just their department head. The team Heads of were lost due to bad communication and issues were pushed between heads of departments and HR. 

Pirate Lessons

The biggest lesson here is some smart people make bad department heads (especially those without training and coaching) and often act in ways they feel are allowing the team to breathe, however, the micro lessons here are important too: 

  1. The lack of communication caused problems from their boss, throughout the department and cross-functionally – meaning their own department was being seen as incompetent and unable to help colleagues  
  2. Dropping 1-2-1s caused bigger interpersonal issues and hurt trust within the department. Team leads would complain to each other and their teams but felt unable to make real progress. HR didn’t want to intervene too quickly – creating another layer of distrust – this grows and spreads quickly 
  3. Communication needed to flow effectively between the leadership team and heads of teams and throughout their teams. This is where skip meetings could have uncovered some of these issues (with open communication between the Department Lead boss and the Heads of Teams) and sped up the process of the Department lead being replaced. 

One of the ongoing issues that are rarely addressed within businesses is the lack of management accountability and reviews of their managers and then review of their team members. 

Step Up Leaders! 

The number of times senior leaders could remove issues by simply connecting with their report’s team members and by asking for regular feedback you then should be able to spot patterns and not rely on “pirates”.  

This week’s focus action is to check in and meet with important members of your middle management and see where Department leads are struggling or falling short, especially with the pressures of November and December. 

Have a great week ahead! 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard

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Leaders Letter 176 – Leadership Superpower & Kryptonite

Dear leaders, do you know your superpower as a leader? 

On the flip side: Do you know your kryptonite? (The “substance” or actions that cause you to become weak when you are exposed to them)

Why? This is one of the go-to questions I like to ask in interviews and when I meet fellow leaders or onboard a new leader onto a project, a leadership team, a consultancy gig or when I start coaching. 

You can learn a lot about someone by their own answer(s) and if required from the people around them.

Knowing your (work) superpower is one of the best self-awareness hacks when looking to evaluate yourself, your recent performance, looking to empower others or when looking at a new role. 

It’s not up for me to judge superpowers or answers for kryptonite, however, I love seeing how people talk about their (super)powers and how they can light up and apply them to issues you might be experiencing. A person who has a superpower of problem-solving will light up when you bring up a problem and they’ll happily drive in without any ask for help.

I wanted to share fifteen superpowers that have been shared with me over the last ten years through conversations or through coaching onboarding (with consent of course) and see if they resonate with you specifically or help you select your superpower. 

Superpowers

  1. “GSD” – Getting sh*t done 
  2. Being able to break through the creative barrier 
  3. Prioritisation – driving the business priorities 
  4. Time management and teaching others time management hacks 
  5. Reducing combat to conflict and conflict to alignment 
  6. Ability to communicate bad news 
  7. Complex problem solver 
  8. Speaking the language of the business floor 
  9. Learn from every failure and able to teach everyone around me how to avoid that failure again 
  10. Reducing team anxiety around department goals
  11. Knowing I am not an expert in everything but can surround myself with experts and ‘learn it all’s’
  12. “Learning. Always” (this is from one of my favourite former colleagues and they learned constantly – their Microsoft OneNote likely competes with my 7111 notes I have currently)
  13. Remove CAN’T (from the team vocabulary) 
  14. Embracing new challenges 
  15. Being prepared — for anything 

Your Own Superpower & The Superpower You Are Told

The superpower I believe I have is being a translator throughout a business and between the leadership (the example is being able to explain technical problems or solutions to non-technical people)

The superpower I have been told I have is remaining calm when in the middle of a corporate storm or something big is happening and communicating the issue, breaking it down and then pushing forward on the required actions. 

Kryptonite

On the flip side, here are 5 pieces of kryptonite that might help you connect further or understand what others kryptonite is.

  1. “Energy is drained quickly when surrounded by negative team members”  
  2. “I’m always overly prepared, if it doesn’t go to plan – I struggle to adapt” 
  3. “Repeating myself – feel it draining and the worst part of leadership”  
  4. “Data – often cannot see through when data could be wrong or driving us in the wrong direction”  
  5. “Knowing people will want to leave my company”  

I know my kryptonite is people who can only see the short term, this drains me quickly and all I have experienced is this short-term only mindset negatively impacts those around them, especially in leadership roles.

This week’s focus item is to identify your own superpower and kryptonite and work out whether you need to work on your kryptonite or know this is just something that isn’t hindering your performance.

Have a great week! 

Danny Denhard  

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Leaders Letter 174 – Storytelling Masterclass With David Pullan

Dear leaders, this week we have a storytelling masterclass. 

I invited a friend of leaders letters David to share his storytelling. David and his company help companies ignite the moments that matter. 

David (Pullan) runs the story spotters, we have had the privilege of sharing a podcast, discussions on the importance of communication (internal and external), making workshops land and leadership and why many leadership teams just don’t understand effective storytelling 


The First Three Strokes

It’s 6 pm on a spring evening in London. 

I’m sitting in the bar of a Covent Garden hotel with my partner at The Story Spotters, Sarah Jane McKechnie.

Tourists, businesspeople and a minor celebrity scour drinks lists as they make plans for the night ahead.

But our glasses of Albariño sit untouched as Sarah Winckless, executive coach, and winner of Olympic Bronze in the Double Sculls at Athens 2004, tells us a story that will change the way we think about so many challenges that leaders face.

‘The thing about rowing is that if you only thought about the end, you’d never put your oars in the water. The end is about agony. In just under seven minutes, you know you’ll be blind with pain, hanging over the side of the boat, and probably heaving bile from the pit of your stomach. Agony. If you want to succeed you have to focus on the first three strokes. Power, tempo, rhythm. It’s all about those first three strokes.’

I want to suggest to you that this approach is one that all leaders should adopt as they start their transition into the first one-hundred days of a new role.

And the first three strokes in this case are story-based answers to three questions that every team is asking.

  1. Do I like you?
  2. Do you like me?
  3. Where are you going to take me?

Now I appreciate that question three is the one we really want to answer.

Strategy. Logic. Goals. KPIs. 

It’s where time is saved, and money is made.

But as Daniel Kahneman and others have said, you will never speak to the logic of the neo-cortex unless you placate the ‘emotional gatekeepers’ of the limbic system. 

Emotion then logic. Warmth then competence. Connection then challenge.

Get this right on day-one and it will create the momentum that will carry you to victory in the following ninety-nine days.

So, let’s look at how to create the story answers to these questions.

Share

Do I Like You?

This is all about letting people know why you’ve been chosen for this role and what it’s going to be like having you at the helm. 

And the answer doesn’t lie in a list of your qualifications and career highlights.

The answer lies in your values and the way you go about your leadership.

I recently worked with a wonderful leader who wanted her team to know that she would be their biggest cheer leader and would encourage them to do things they never thought were possible.

The way she did this was by showing a holiday photograph of her four teenagers who were all smiling after finishing a ‘Sound of Music’ bike tour that only hours before had appealed to them as much pushing a pea up Everest with their noses.

Of course, she backed this up with details and facts. 

But she won the hearts by using her humour and daring to show her humanity.

Do You Like Me?

A client of mine was at Cambridge at the same time as Chelsea Clinton.

One day the word went out that ‘Bill was in the quad.’

Suddenly the corridors echoed to the sound of books slamming shut and feet racing downstairs to see the ex-President.

The thing my client remembers most is the way that Clinton ‘bragged about you to yourself.’ 

He had obviously heard small details about the people his daughter spent her days with, he had remembered them, and he wasn’t afraid to voice his admiration

The ability to use genuine appreciation is an instant short cut to the hearts of your team on day one.  

But if you want to get good at it you need to start preparing in the weeks leading up to your transition.

Ask HR about where the values are seen in action. Talk to departmental heads about success stories. Walk the floors and notice the things you admire.

Then be like Bill and mention these on day one.

Your team will always thank you if you are specific about the qualities you appreciate, and how they have shaped your desire to be their leader. 

Where Are You Going to Take Me?

Congratulations.

You have placated the emotional gatekeepers and are ready to create your vision.

Vision is essentially your view of where your people need to go and how they will get there. 

But possibly the most important, and most overlooked, element of storytelling is why they need to get there.

The ‘why’ provides the motivation.

Michael Watkins developed the STARS model to help analyse the type of transition that leaders face. 

STARS stands for Start-Up, Turnaround, Accelerated Growth, Realignment and Sustaining Success. 

By their very nature, each situation will provide a different motivation.

But emotion alone won’t prove that this is the situation you are facing.

It’s time to get out the data and facts that will speak to the logical neo-cortex.

But never forget that the neo-cortex is already being bombarded with information and will look for any reason to switch off. 

Welcome back to our old friend story, the superhighway to head, heart and hands that Shawn Callahan from Anecdote International defines as, ‘facts in context told with feeling.’

Find the facts that prove the need. Describe who will be responsible for what. Identify where the benefit will be seen. And show how it will be measured.

Then say it like you mean it.

All of this will create belief. And belief will create action.

The Next Ninety-Nine Days.

So, you’ve arrived at the end of day one. 

You’ve set off with your first three story strokes

People know who you are. They understand that you appreciate who they are. And you’ve motivated them with your vision of success.

Which leaves the next ninety-nine days.

Ninety-nine days of focused action and choosing the behaviours that will trigger what others say about you.

But that’s a whole other story.


Want to learn more about storytelling and David’s journey? Watch David’s appearance on the 10Q interview ↓

I think you will agree this is a brilliant framing and will help you really understand storytelling and how to connect teams with powerful stories. 

Remember to connect with David on LinkedIn, I know you will also love David’s MO – to help leaders and high-performing teams turn their ‘what’ into ‘WOW!’

This week’s focus item is to learn from David’s day one idea of storytelling to create momentum (you can start day one this week with a powerful story)

Thanks and have a great week,

Danny Denhard

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Leaders Letter 173 – Leading With Vulnerability

Dear leaders, this week I interviewed Jacob Morgan, it so happens his book goes on sale today and it is a brilliant read. I was lucky to receive an early copy and it’s a must-read for modern-day leaders.

A little about Jacob: Jacob is a professionally trained futurist, speaker, and the best-selling author of 5 books including his most recent, Leading with Vulnerability: Unlock Your Greatest Superpower to Transform Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization and is the host of Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Unilever, Cisco, Mastercard, Nestle, Best Buy, SAP, KPMG, T-Mobile, Audi and Kaiser just to name a few so you are about to learn a number of leadership lessons below: 


5 Questions

What are the five main takeaways from your latest book leading with vulnerability?
And how can a leader apply these takeaways over the next month?
 

  1. Vulnerability for leaders is not the same as it for everyone else. As a leader your words have more weight and influence so what you say and what you do reverberates much further and louder. This means that if you keep showing up to work talking about failures, challenges, and things you are struggling with, eventually people will start to wonder why you are in a leadership role and you will undermine your credibility. Be mindful of what you share and who you share with. This builds into the second point below. 
  2.  Don’t be vulnerable at work, especially if you are in a leadership position. Instead, lead with vulnerability which means combining competence with connection. For example, instead of just admitting to a mistake at work, talk about what you learned and what you are going to do in the future to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again. I call this The Vulnerable Leader Equation.

Practice this by making sure you are always bringing together competence and connection into your interactions, business decisions, and engagements.

  1. The people you work with don’t just want to know what you are thinking but also how you are feeling about a situation or a decision. Leaders are great at sharing their rationale but are poor at sharing how something makes them feel. Being able to share this is what creates connection and trust. Take a look at something called “the feelings wheel” and instead of just saying you feel “good” or “fine,” try to get better at naming the real emotion you are feeling or experiencing.
  2. Turn negative experiences into learning moments. Vulnerability means that you are sharing or doing something to emotionally expose yourself. Sometimes this will yield great outcomes and other times it won’t. For example, someone might use something you say against you to keep you from growing in your career. Instead of using these as reasons for why you should never be vulnerable again, focus on what you learned from the situation, about yourself, and about the other person that will allow you to do a better job of leading with vulnerability in the future.
  3. Climb the vulnerability mountain. The cover of my book is a person getting ready to climb a mountain. The beginning of the climb is always easy but the higher up you go the more challenging it becomes, the more you might get hurt and take the wrong path. However, the more beautiful the vistas become, the farther out you can see, the more clarity you get, and the more people you meet on your journey. Identify what basecamp looks like for you, in other words what’s something you can do today that gets you going up that mountain. Maybe it’s admitting to a mistake and sharing some lessons learned. Then, define what sits at the very top of the peak for you, something scary you can’t imagine doing. Once you have the base and the peak, start climbing day by day, week by week, and month by month!

Q. What interview question would you ask a leadership candidate to see if they lead with vulnerability? If I could only ask one question it would be:

You have to confront your leader about a mistake you made on a client project. What do you say?


Q. I call the first step to vulnerable leadership “taking the corporate armour off”, what is the first recommendation for the biggest sceptics to show their new leadership skills? 

It’s true, leaders need to remove the armor but this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have thick skin. As I write in my book:

“There’s an assumption that armoring up means not showing emotion but that’s not entirely true. Armoring up also means avoiding situations and circumstances that would require you to show any emotion or be human to begin with. Some leaders do this by shutting down difficult conversations, avoiding certain topics, or using their power and authority to get others to bend to their will without questioning authority. Bad leaders never take the hits because they don’t even put on the uniform to join their team on the field. Great leaders take the hits for their people and keep charging everyone towards the end zone. That’s what having thick skin is all about.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to leading with vulnerability is assuming that once they say or do something, that there is nothing else that can be done. It’s like taking a short in basketball, if the ball doesn’t go in, it’s not game over, you can get the rebound and shoot the ball again. The same thing is true in leadership. I recently had a heated discussion with a friend of mine about making time for us to hang out which had previously been a challenge. We talked on the phone and after I shared how disappointed I felt and how hard I was trying I noticed he became quiet. I could tell that what I said didn’t land well and was making him very angry. Instead of letting things die, I followed up and said, “you sound really upset by what I just said, tell me how you interpreted everything.” To which he replied he felt that I was acting dismissive and not appreciating the challenges he was going through. Long-story short, we figured everything out because I was able to follow up after getting a bad response.


Q. Unlocking your superpower is my favourite theme in the book. How do you recommend leaders unlock their own superpower and how would you recommend they help their teams to unlock theirs? 

For leaders, you have to start. This is one of the points I had above in regards to climbing the vulnerability mountain. Reading, studying, and examining things will only get you so far, eventually you have to start taking those steps. Build your vulnerability mountain and remember to bring both connection (vulnerability) and competence (leadership) to every interaction and engagement you have. If you want to encourage your team to lead with vulnerability then it has to start with you as the leader.


Q. Your podcast has a number of brilliant guests and is a must-listen for me personally. What has surprised you by interviewing so many leaders? 

Thanks! What surprised me the most is that leaders are just like everyone else. I’ve had CEOs and billionaires from some of the world’s most successful companies on my program and they have struggle with the same things that you and I struggle with. They all have families, insecurities, hopes, dreams, aspirations, and they want to be seen and heard, just like we all do. At the end of the day, we are all just a bunch of imperfect people.

Here is one of my favourite episodes of Jacob’s podcast with Seth Godin ↓

Connect With Jacob and his leadership content: 

This week’s focus action is to follow Jacob’s recommendation climb that mountain and lead with vulnerability. 

Have a great week and next week I will land in your inbox with a leadership storytelling masterclass. 

Thanks, 

Danny Denhard

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Leaders Letter 172 – Speak Up Culture & Leadership With Stephen “Shed” Shedletzky

Dear leaders, have you embraced speak-up culture at your business? Many have struggled, so this week I have a great newsletter to help you shape or reshape open culture.

So this week I have a great 5 questions answering why speak-up culture is essential and how to lead your people to embrace and encourage a communication culture within organisations of all sizes. 

I invited author Stephen Shedletzky aka “Shed” to answer 5 questions about his upcoming book aptly named Speak-Up Culture and the lessons he took from leading his own company, learnings from working alongside Simon Sinek and dedicating his career to driving change across businesses. 


Q. You have a new book hitting our shelves dedicated to “Speak-Up Culture”, what are the five things every leadership team should do to encourage and adopt a speak-up culture? 

First, I think a definition may be helpful. 

A speak-up culture is an environment in which people feel it is both psychologically safe and worth it to speak up, to share:

  • Ideas, even if they’re half-baked,
  • Feedback, to help one another grow together and our work improve.
  • Concerns, even if they’re unpopular or personal,
  • Disagreements, especially with those more senior to us in an organization, and
  • Mistakes, believing it will lead to improvement, not being repeatedly ignored or worse punished.

The book, “Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up,” shows you how creating an environment where people feel it’s both safe and worth it to speak up is the responsibility and the advantage of leaders at every level who want to be great at leading, and who want to create a better version of humanity while they do it. The bottom line, for everyone, is that organizations with speak-up cultures are safer, more innovative, more engaged, and better-performing than their peers. 

The book releases on October 3, 2023, and is available for wherever you get your books. 

Okay, now here are five things leadership teams can do to foster a speak-up culture:

  1. Value people’s voice and contributions.
  2. Encourage people to speak up.
  3. Reward people when they do speak up, especially when they bring up bad news or hard things to share.
  4. In our cultures we get the behavior we reward and the behavior we tolerate. Tolerating behavior is a passive form of rewarding it. Identify your values and the behaviors your leaders and people ought to exhibit to live into them. Recognize and reward the behavior you wish to see more of. Provide feedback, coaching and discipline, if necessary when folks behave outside the value set. If they continue to behave outside the value set, even if they are individually high performers, they’re behavior is likely toxic to the team and these folks should be offered to the competition. 
  5. Ensure you hear from a diverse set of voices and embrace difference. If the same folks are the ones speaking up, your speak-up culture could be much more inclusive and robust.

Q. Leaders go first. That’s what it means “to lead.” is one of your recent quotes – How do you recommend leaders to lead in troubling times? 

Admit what they know and don’t yet know, so long as it’s appropriate. Vulnerability isn’t sharing all the things all the time. That could simply be oversharing. Vulnerability is about context — it’s about sharing what is necessary, appropriate, and useful given a particular context and audience.

On the first day of my corporate career (September 7, 2009), 1,000 people were let go following “post-merger synergies.” I was the kid walking in as many more people were walking out, boxes in hands. I saw the direct impact that a lack of transparency in leaders had on not just folks’ productivity, but also their health and well-being. I distinctly remember my colleague, a 37-year veteran of the company, sitting in the cubicle across from mine frightened her pink-slip would arrive next. 

In this instance, I witnessed far more leaders in self-preservation mode rather than sharing what they could openly and fighting for their people.

I make the distinction between capital L Leaders and lowercase l leaders.

While Leaders may have the title, as my esteemed colleague Rich Diviney shared, “Leaders aren’t born. Leaders aren’t even made. Leaders are chosen based upon the way they behave.’ Leadership is a set of behaviors and when folks behave as such, regardless of if they hold a formal position of leadership or not, people follow. 
Those who lead hold influence, and they have a following. 
To lead means to show up to serve, to be consistent and authentic, to extend compassion and empathy, to be decisive and yet accountable, giving credit when things go well and taking responsibility when things don’t go well. 

Here is a flavour Shed’s new book and going deeper into culture ↓

Q. You worked alongside Simon Sinek; you facilitated a number of speeches and workshops for other businesses. Out of all of the great books and philosophies (The Infinite Game, Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Find Your Why and Together Is Better) which sticks most with you today and your teachings in your own company?

Definitely his most recent book, The Infinite Game (2019). I describe that book as Simon’s greatest hits album plus some very worthwhile bonus tracks. The book is brilliantly wrapped in game theory – building upon the work of the late Dr. James Carse and his work on Finite and Infinite Games — to show us that we’re all players in games that have ends (finite) and games that may have mile markers but no end (infinite). While many business leaders strive to “win” the game of business, beat the competition or be the best, they’re using finite language and thus a finite mindset in infinite games. 

Of all of Simon’s works, The Infinite Game is most robust and relevant today. In the five practices he covers (Just Cause, Trusting Teams, Worthy Rivals, Existential Flexibility and the Courage to Lead), he nicely highlights the importance of his previous works as well. 


Q. Driving change and innovation is hard within businesses, even when you are the most senior or have the most relevant title, how would you recommend business leaders do to drive positive change within their organizations for the rest of the year? 

Leaders must know that even if they’re driving the bus, everyone’s behavior on that bus is pivotal and paramount. Leaders ought to lead, not drive change. This proves a useful distinction between leaders and drivers. Leaders inspire. Drivers force or even coerce. Leaders engender followers. People do as drivers say out of fear or a perception of necessity. So, I do believe it’s important for leaders to lead, not drive. 

Leaders ought also to be aware of three gears that must all move to create meaningful and last change. These three gears, depicted below from the book (page 106 in chapter 7, Culture Matters) are Mindset, Actions and Systems. 

A leader’s mindset matters and impacts others. You cannot force someone to take on a new mindset. Transformation is an inside out job. But when people have some sort of experience that changes the way they think and view the world, it changes the way they lead and behave. We can change our world when we change our mind. 

Second, as if I haven’t belabored this point enough, our actions and behaviors matter, a lot! And, as it turns out, we can actually act our way to new thinking. L. David Marquet highlights an impressive story on this as he lead and empowered a crew of 150 sailors to turn the worst rated submarine in the entire 1999 US Navy fleet, the USS Santa Fe, from worst to first in one year. He had his sailors act into a feeling of pride by following a simple set of actions in greeting visitors aboard the Santa Fe. It’s brilliant. More on this directly from Marquet here.

Finally, systems matter… again, a lot as well. We need all three of these gears to work in unison. If one is off, the entire culture suffers. If you put a good person in a bad system or environment, the latter prevails every time. I call this Pickle Brine Theory. If you put a world-class cucumber in awful pickle brine, we, my friends, have an awful pickle that should never have been made. And we can’t blame the pickle. We must examine its brine – the environment it was in. Take an average pickle, put it in excellent brine and we have a delicious pickle, to whatever your taste. To complete the analogy, we all start out as unique cucumbers and the brine we’re in determines the pickle we become. That’s right, culture is like a pickle jar. There, I said it. 


Q. What do you predict the future of work looking like in three years’ time?  

Hate to be lame, I’m not a wild futurist that thinks the world is going to be fundamentally different in what human beings want and value. Sure, the context will always change, but these truths, I believe, will remain:

1)     Respect – We all wanted to be treated as the human beings we are, not as numbers or cogs in a wheel or machine. 

2)    Flexibility – We want to feel empower and trusted to do our work in a responsible way that integrates into our lives.  

3)    Compensation – We want to be compensated fairly and equally based upon the value of our work. 

Finally, there will be (or already is) a job called “AI Prompter.” Let’s have humans working the machine, and not the other way around… unless we truly are in The Matrix… Well that got real meta at the end here #trippy. 

The places of work – virtual, physical and hybrid– that offer flexibility, fair compensation, and who treat people as the human beings they are will prevail.

I think you’ll agree there is a tremendous amount of value here and brilliantly actionable ways to introduce or reintroduce speak-up culture into your business. If you’d like to connect to Shed, please do so on LinkedIn and definitely think about purchasing Speak Up Culture book for your leadership team. 

This week’s focus action is to introduce (capital L) Leadership and ensure speak-up culture is introduced and respected in Q4. 

Thanks, have a great week and I’ll land in your inbox again next week with another leaders letters.

Danny Denhard

» If you have missed the 5 questions series you can enjoy here

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 170 – Leadership Lessons With Jo Bird

Dear leaders, how has the start of September gone? Are you ramping up for Q4 or are you in the middle of reviewing what has happened this year? 

This week I am continuing the 5 questions theme by interviewing Jo Bird. 

So who is Jo?

  • Jo is the creative lead at Lounge (the underwear brand) 
  • Powerful creative, being responsible for a number of powerful campaigns 
  • Conference speaker (has spoken at TEDx watch below)
  • Authentic Social Media Leader – Jo is one of my go-to examples of how leaders can show up authentically on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. 

» Please do connect with Jo on her website or on LinkedIn


The Q&A 

Q1. You share some incredible pieces of advice and insights with your connections and followers on LinkedIn, What’s the most valuable piece of advice you would give anyone progressing on their leadership journey? 

Ask yourself: ‘why do I want to be a leader?

A lot of people are chasing a job title so that they feel better about themselves. 
Or to gain respect. 
Or to challenge themselves in their own career. 
But the ‘me, me, me’ approach is a big fail at the first hurdle. It can also be incredibly disruptive to your team in the long-term. Trust me… I’ve had those bosses!

Being a great leader is about serving other people. It’s about standing in the shadows and applauding your team while they’re in the spotlight. It’s about empowering others to be their best selves. It’s about inspiring the team to reach a shared goal, together.

So, my advice would be to ask yourself why you want to do it. 

And then go from there.


Q2. The creative industry is likely going to experience big shifts with AI, what are the three pieces of advice you give fellow leaders on how to navigate the upcoming changes? 

  1. Be curious. You need to ask questions, do research and speak to industry professionals in order to make discoveries, learn and then subsequently inspire your team to also explore new technology, too.
  2. Be open-minded. Technology might not be your forte, or newness might feel uncomfortable, but great leaders do not stand still. 
  3. Be honest. It’s ok if you don’t have all the answers. AI will continue to develop at a rapid rate, which can feel overwhelming. If you are uncertain in any way, your team will appreciate your honesty.

Q3. You’ve given big conference talks, including a TEDX talk. Do you have three tips for other leaders who want to deliver brilliant presentations to their peers or at larger conferences? 

  1. Record yourself. Honestly. Self-awareness is the BEST tactic for developing as a speaker. Once you get over the ‘cringe’, you’ll start to notice your bad habits. ‘Ums’ and ‘ars’, awkward body language, lack of charisma. Only then can you start to practice.
  2. Practice! It’s true that preparation prevents p*ss poor performance! Do your research to make sure your presentation is air tight. And then rehearse in front of a mirror as many times as you can. When you feel like you can deliver the talk without looking at your notes, you’ll be so much more confident on stage.
  3. Treat it like a conversation. People think that being a presenter means being a robot or foghorn. It’s the opposite. The best, most captivating presenters are the ones who have built the courage to be themselves on stage. Like they’re speaking to a friend. To include their quirks, charisma and invite the audience in to their conversation.

Watch Jo’s Tedx video here


Q4. You’ve been a creative lead at both Lounge and Gymshark, both influential and culture-based brands, how do you inspire your teams when every campaign is expected to make a direct impact on the business? 

I have a few techniques that are working really well at the moment:

  1. Empowerment: I believe that creatives need to feel trusted, inspired and enabled to do their best work. For them, it can feel exhausting to constantly share their true, emotive, creative selves at work when pitching ideas. Especially if not all ideas are received well. So, they really need a leader who creates a safe space and continually champions them. Someone who ‘has their back.’
  2. Lead by example: I like to get my hands dirty, do great work and make it known to my team. If they are inspired by me – both inside and outside of the business – then they are more likely to respect my instructions as a leader.
  3. Communication: I am a high communicator. I am as transparent as I can be with my team. If there are business updates, if they have concerns, if they need more direction. I will speak to them as much as I can to make sure they feel supported and included. If they understand the bigger business goals, they are more likely to perform well.
  4. Humility: Working for rocketship brands means that the leaders can’t possibly know everything. The brands are growing at such a rapid rate, the leaders are learning and figuring things out all the time. So, I like to show a lot of humility. To leave ego at the door and encourage a ‘let’s learn this together’ attitude.

Q5. What’s the best piece of career advice you would give to C-suite leaders who don’t quite understand the power of creative (teams) or it’s just not landing right with them currently? 

I would quote Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar. In his book Creativity Inc he said: 

“You’ll never stumble upon the unexpected if you stick only to the familiar.”

Creatives are the most curious kind of employee. We’re the ones who like to turn left when everyone else turns right. We’re the ones who thrive in problems and strive to break patterns. 

I don’t think creatives should take over the boardroom (we’d spend all the money on games machines and slides in the office), but I 100% think creatives should be in the decision-making room.

We see the world differently. And that is what every business needs in order to stay relevant, stay inspiring and stay profitable.

(And if that didn’t work, I’d probably just hit them with a research study like: 70% of companies that engage with creativity had above-average total returns to shareholders – McKinsey & Company.)


I think you’ll agree Jo offered some incredible tips and you can apply them this week. 

This week’s focus action is to ensure you embrace your creativity and ensure you enable your team to integrate creativity into their work. 

Have a great week if you haven’t subscribed you will miss out on with the big question you need to answer: 
Which Do You Need, A Refresh, A Reset, A Reboot Or A Restart? 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 169 – Leadership Lessons & 5 Questions With Industry Leader & Coach Joe Scarboro

Dear leaders, this week I have a leader joining us who I can only describe as the nicest and smartest leader I have had the pleasure to get to know and have enjoyed a number of coffees with. 

Joe has worked across the C-Suite (holding both COO & CFO roles), been a successful founder who sold his company, led many others and now is coaching other C-Suite leaders. 

This week’s 5 questions are packed full of gems from Joe and I know you’ll get huge value from this.

Connect with Joe On LinkedIn

Joe Scarboro 5 Questions 

Q1/ You have a unique background where you’ve been a leader across the full spectrum, from Chair, COO, CFO and including being a founder. What are the three main leadership lessons you learned from operating across the C-suite? 

Broadly, these sit within the huge topic of “people”.

Having the right people on board is vital – whether that’s the one Co-Founder that you start with or your employees, board or management as you grow. It’s closely linked with purpose, as your values and how you recruit will define your people. Making people mistakes is costly though and this is amplified in the early stages and also when making senior hires at most stages. The downsides are mitigated as you grow, as bad hires have less of an impact, but I’d strongly advise against the temptation to get *someone* in a role sooner, rather than the right person in the role a little later. This is particularly common after a fundraise and during a stage of rapid growth. Creating a robust and well thought out hiring process will serve you well here.

The next tip would be on self awareness. As a leader, you need to be able understand your biases and tendencies in order to make better decisions. For example, acknowledging that you’re bad at delegation because “That’s not how I would do it” (and that makes you uncomfortable) allows you to begin to accept that someone else might not do it the same way, but will still likely get it done (caveated with the above of hiring the right people!). Self awareness needs constant attention though, it’s much easier said than done!

Lastly, I’d go with understanding when to listen to customers and when not to. There are a huge number of examples of successful companies on both sides of that argument, so it’s not as if one way is right and the other isn’t. Understanding how customers interact with your product or service and how they feel about it is generally always important, but if you’re doing something new (be that a totally new product concept, or a new feature) you may be better served by starting with your vision, with a clearly defined purpose for it and working from there.

Q2/ You are coaching across the C-suite, what are the current elements of leadership that are coming up in your coaching that could help leaders to improve their own organisations? 

I see systems thinking and second order effects often not always being given the consideration they need. Leaders deal with a number of issues at the same time, often under a lot of pressure and they operate to solve those issues quickly and effectively. In doing so, they can easily miss fully considering the impact of those decisions on a variety of other areas of their business and beyond. 

A classic challenge of this type is formulating sales comp. Solving for maximisation of incentive (and therefore sales) may seem the right way to go, but there are a lot of other considerations. 

  • What will the impact be on the non-sales team? 
  • Do you make it confidential so as to minimise the impact? 
  • Does making it confidential align with company values? 
  • Will it erode trust within the non-sales team? 
  • Are there mitigating measures you can put in place? 

If you make it transparent, how do you otherwise incentivise the non-sales team members? Of course, you can disappear into this type of thinking and emerge with a huge number of variables and no answers, so the key is to go to an appropriate level of depth for each decision. Having an appropriate heuristic for assessing decisions in this way really helps here, be that something simple like the important/urgent matrix, or something more specialised to the business.

Q3/ You recently took over hosting dinners for Tom Blomfield (the Monzo founder & GoCardless co-founder) from Series A to Series C, are there any themes that are coming that would help leaders understand how to handle today’s demands? 

The startup investing landscape has changed more so in the last twelve months than in the last decade. With the exception of certain areas (AI etc) attitudes to risk have changed, “available funds” are much less available and there’s a push towards profitability that just hasn’t existed for a long time.

This has fundamentally changed most businesses’ strategies. In some cases what was a 5+ year path to profitability now needs to be on a 2 year trajectory because there’s no guarantee that growth funds will be available.

That’s a lot of change to deal with in a short space of time. It’s given rise to a number of themes around hiring, product pricing, unit economics and a lot more besides. Whilst these attitudes are likely to change again, it’s not looking to be any time soon, so these are big issues that need strong consideration from founders and boards.

Q4/ Apart from the mass move to AI, are there any other important moves that you feel all companies will be making in the future? 

I find it hard to apply generic thinking to companies, as every one I have worked in has been different, you need to dig into the nuance and context in order to be able to provide appropriate advice. AI for example, should *everyone* be implementing AI? No. I don’t believe they should. Should everyone be looking at how it impacts their business? Absolutely, but that also goes for a number of areas. It’s more about remembering to lift your head up and consider the fundamentals and macro environment rather than being swept along by the latest hype or making specific moves because “everyone else” is.

One trend that I hope I see come in, is the removal of shareholder value being the de facto, priority number one of a company. There’s already a groundswell of companies changing their charters or otherwise operating with a wider pool of considerations, but I believe we’ll see an expansion of statutory reporting to encompass an element of this too. It’s been happening for years already (see corporate ESG reporting), but I believe there’s a strong chance this thinking will be brought into other areas of legislation too (employment law, consumer protection etc).

Q5/ What was your favourite leadership moment of your career?

There have been many, but most involve helping people. 

As a leadership team in one of my companies, we felt a particular employee wasn’t learning and growing to their potential, but we had no resources internally to help. We were a small company and whilst they were junior in their position, there was no one with more experience than them. We approached them and suggested it was time they moved to a different company, they resisted, but we pushed them forward (and out!). We believed that we were doing the right thing and thankfully we turned out to be right. The employee left, had no trouble finding a new role (including a 50% salary increase) and their career has since taken off!

This was packed full of insight and actionable tips, I am sure you will have a lot to think about this week.

So this week’s focus item is to re-read Joe’s brilliant answers and see where you can apply his lessons. 

Have a great week and I will land in your inbox next Monday,

Thanks, 

Danny Denhard

Read the other 5 questions about leadership interviews 

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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 161 – 5 Questions With Dave Cairns The #digitalhomad

Dear leaders, this week I have a brand new and special “5 questions with” series. This leadership newsletter is with futurist, SPaaS (Space-As-A-Service) and the creator of the #digitalhomad Dave Cairns

Dave recently started to work from anywhere (despite being an Office Leasing Agent) and is sharing his flex journey blending work and parent through a mix of video, written and audio content. 

I was introduced to Dave by the previous 5 questions with Caleb Parker and we have had some enlightening conversations and know he will inspire you to think about workspaces and work environments differently.

Dave is a brilliant thinker, he is prolific on LinkedIn and really shares his knowledge and insights. If you are an exec looking to see how to leverage LinkedIn to add value to your audience and customers Dave is a great example.  

The Q&A 

Q1: You used to be a professional poker player, how did being a top poker player help with your career and leadership style?

Poker is an interesting game. It’s the only pursuit I’ve encountered whereby it’s expected that you’ll be lied to. Ironically, there’s a lot of honesty in this dynamic; you can almost breathe a sigh of relief in that the baseline expectation is some form of deception. 

Conversely, in our professional lives we are always having to suss out whether or not we are being deceived by our colleagues, bosses or clients.

Having a background in poker has allowed me to apply my knowledge of zero sum games (in poker, your win is always someone else’s loss) to win-win(-win) outcomes.

Having a deep understanding of deception and self-interest allows one to evaluate bringing two or more parties together in non-linear ways. 

Q2: What are your top three recommendations for companies trying to get the most out of “hybrid” work? 

If you think culture = the office – start by reconsidering as “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Suzuki Roshi

Check out Dave’s insightful prediction from last year and his excellent thoughts on the topic shared on LinkedIn.

Increasingly, one of your most common employee avatars will resemble that of a “corporate freelancer” – an employee who desires the job security and values being on a team but wants to behave with the flexibility of a digital nomad/freelancer.

Beta test workplace strategies that embody unbundling work from a central office model and instead seek to create a network effect for your employees when it comes to where they work – both physically and digitally (in a digital capacity – explore virtual worlds that make up an aspect of what we define as the Metaverse)
Read Dave’s supporting metaverse LinkedIn post

Future of Work strategy must be built around the understanding that: both employees and employers must be able to reserve the right to change their minds. For employees, their life circumstances will change which will equate to ever-changing workplace needs.

For employers, long-term office leasing as primary strategy never made sense in the first place as no business can predict where they will be in 5-10 years time, yet their real estate is fixed and leased long.

Employers will continue to be at the mercy of destabilizing forces like de-globalization and climate change – they will quite literally need to be able to pick up and move “houses” (good thing their employees all have homes!). 

Q3: You are an active member of helping companies enable better working environments, most recently you entered the metaverse and help companies with your expertise and answered Q&A.
What have you learnt by sharing your ideas regularly across LinkedIn and embracing different technology platforms?
  

The way I see it, there are only advantages to exploring your own mind and sharing it with the world. And the same goes with novel technologies. It’s for these reasons that I publish content daily and that I explore new ways of connecting to & collaborating such as virtual worlds. 

If I write something stupid it’ll be forgotten tomorrow but if I write nothing I’ll miss the opportunity to keep getting to know my own mind. And if it turns out the metaverse is in fact “dead”, I’ll have lost nothing as I’ll have engaged with all kinds of new people along the way and will have valuable skills/perspectives BECAUSE I was curious. 

Q4: You are a huge advocate of Space as a Service (#SPaaS) – how do you see this really shaping the future of work? 

Over the last few years I’ve often said that there is NO office “amenity” more valuable than the choice to go there or not. I firmly believe this to be true as what is more valuable than autonomy? Autonomy provides us with the agency to decide where and with whom we belong. If I’m right, companies who compete for the next “warm body” to sit in their seat will get increasingly competitive.

It’s no longer just corporate executives that are consumers of the workplace. Whether they like it or not, their employees have been granted that same privilege. Accordingly, these newfound consumers will align with certain brands and not others, and will need different types of products/services.

The only words I can think of to describe this movement are Space-as-a-Service.

Q5: You started the #digitalhomad hashtag on LinkedIn to let people follow your journey and updates – how do you think your approach to LinkedIn can help business leaders from around the world to become more authentic across social media? 

After I left poker, I spent 8.5 years living in a state of cognitive dissonance. Even though I make a living from the office, I’ve NEVER romanticized it and in fact a lot of office culture just doesn’t work for me (I suspect I have ADHD and am trying to get assessed). 

For many years prior to Covid, I made content on LinkedIn but it wasn’t authentic. I was making videos and shit about how to sublease your office and relocate without having to pay double rent. While stuff like that matters to some of my customers, I wasn’t at all passionate about these subjects. 

I thank Covid for creating the space for me to access a former version of myself, a digitally nomadic online poker player. By accessing this guy once more I was able to start to poke holes in not just the office market, but the culture. In doing this, I’ve been on a journey of getting closer and closer to my authentic self. It’s brought me closer to all the change agents out there and has gotten me more deeply aligned with the types of customers I want to work with.

Saying what I think has also gotten me into a lot of trouble but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

You can’t put a price on authenticity – you win and so do the people you care about. 


» A huge thanks to Dave for answering these questions so transparently and offering his unique insight.

With the way the new world of work is shaping up, David is definitely a thought leader and I highly recommend following or connecting with Dave on LinkedIn. When I re-boot Fixing the broken world of work podcast, Dave will be the first guest I interview. 

Have a great week ahead and this week’s focus action is to rethink how you will look to work and leverage space differently. 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard

Read The Other 5 Questions Series