Company Culture Leadership

11 Common But Unspoken Hiring Mistakes 

In recent months, we have seen an increase in hiring mistakes.

Rushing to hire, rushing to counter offer and in many cases hiring the wrong candidate because there is no clear understanding of what you want, what you need and why you are hiring this role for long term success. 

Truth is, very few people are good at hiring for the long term success of their department.

Hiring has been a challenge for many, however, the question should be asked:

Are you setting yourself and your company up to fail with bad processes and bad practices?  

Here are 11 common but unspoken hiring mistakes many are making and it is setting you and your company up to fail. 

Being led by recruiters, not by hiring managers
– are you allowing recruiters to filter CV’s and profiles based solely on one conversation with the hiring manager? It’s important to build that trust and relationship between hiring managers and recruiters before allowing this process to happen.

Asking bad questions leads to bad answers 
– are you and your teams asking bad questions that only promote and accept bad answers? Have you reviewed your interview questions recently and given interview training?

Hiring those that interview the best vs hiring those who will do the best job  
– this has been happening for years, however, it has not been addressed and this is down to lack of time, lack of training and lack of awareness of how people interview vs how people work. Create more working environments vs more interview questions.

Not having a clear understanding of what you need from the role not from the candidate 
– I recently asked ten hiring managers what they are hiring for and their process and 8 of the 10 suggested they just copied and pasted another company’s job description and did not materially change for their workplace, they didn’t have time to consider the goals to make this role successful. The role and the job spec sets you up to succeed or fail. Consider what you need from the role not specifically from that idealistic candidate you have in your mind, consider the goals and the 12-month plan ahead, not just the job spec highlighting what you might want.

Hiring managers coming in too late in the process
–  many hiring processes remove the hiring manager from CV/resume reviews and LinkedIn profile reviews and then miss one to two rounds of interviews before interviewing the candidate directly, this means many hours of wastage and interviewing badly fitted candidates

Too many colleagues in the hiring process 
– hiring is an art form, hiring processes vary greatly, and many now opt to bring in colleagues and teams into rounds of interviews, very often there are too many colleagues involved in the hiring process and is extending the time scales. This is the hardest element to get right, however, ensuring the right colleagues are part of the process and provide good feedback is an essential balance.

Too many interview rounds, especially hybrid recruitment.
– are you hosting too many rounds of interviews? Can you hire in three rounds, not six or seven which is now a common number of rounds of interviews.
Have you learnt how to interview virtually effectively?  

Being too narrow on what a successful candidate looks like and in turn what will make them successful 
– unlike many businesses leads and department heads I believe being ultra-narrow and overly specific in what a successful candidate will look like actually hinders your hiring process and will impact your existing team and bias your hiring. Having an idea of what a successful candidate will look like is great however often when you interview someone and they lead the charge, you can feel empowered to change your view of what a successful candidate is.

Hiring for a team skill gap not for solving the existing and upcoming customer problems 
– there are many reasons why you are hiring; backfill, hiring to demand, hiring to grow your team or reshaping your department. What this is often missing is hiring for the future and most hiring is focused around the current skill gap in the team rather than the customer problems and helping to hire to fix these not just hiring for a digital specialist in your Marketing team as you don’t have an expert. Where some will have to and want headcount here is where freelancers, coaches and agencies can add a lot of value and you can then evolve your department based on customer problems for now and the future.

CV/resume hires, hiring based on brands people worked at. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple etc
–  the repeated mistake many make is hiring from some of the largest companies in the world. Typically, some in the hope of hiring up (“hiring higher calibre”), some to bring the experience, others in hoping these hires can bring the perceived successful operational frameworks with them or in hope to bring the same level of performance to their own business.
The truth is these companies operate in magnitudes of £$/x’s and 0’s bigger than you and often have numerous others who perform the same role, so in your org, you will have one senior-level Ops lead, in Google they will have a series of Ops leads.
These hires rarely scale well and expect large teams and hiring is rarely an issue in larger businesses, in smaller businesses and startups this just isn’t an option. Operationally too, larger companies have much more status-driven games and long hierarchical battles, these politics will also come into your business and will impact the culture and subculture of your business.

Hiring for cultural fit when you are unaware of what cultural fit is at your company 
– the unspoken hiring mistake is suggesting you are hiring for cultural fit when you do not have a culture defined or understand what culture is within your business. Cultural fit is often referred to by mistake as skills or “observed” ability. These misunderstandings will cause numerous headaches when looking for the right fit or explaining what cultural fit is within your department (subculture) and cultural fit within the business. If a candidate asks what cultural fit you are looking for and you cannot answer it in one to two sentences, you likely do not have your culture defined or cultural fit written down, agreed upon and shared throughout your business.

Not having a clear view (roadmap) and a potential 3-year plan for the role
– the topic I speak on most with hiring when asked to support hiring mid to senior-level roles. Thinking through and supplying a career roadmap for this role is essential for all roles, particularly those looking to join you and who need to map out their career. Most outstanding mid to exec level candidates have a plan and a long term roadmap they are building on top of.

Very often long term success of the role is considered at numbers levels and then potentially job titles are considered, however, what the next two to three steps are and what the two up two across matrix is for this specific person. Yes, often this has to be considered when probation is based and you have an understanding of their performance, however, to give you a competitive advantage when you interview you should be interviewing for the next three steps for this role and within the business and evolving with each catch-up and 1:2:1.

Leadership Strategy

Can the Stripe community letter create guidance for you and your company?

Stripe released a brilliant and smart seven-page letter for their community, it was an update on the company, what they drove In 2021 and where their next steps are and where they see opportunity. 

At first glance, you can tell this has taken a number of iterations but the most impressive element of the letter is how detailed and directive it is, not just for Stripe (taking a leaf from Bob Iger’s book: lead from press release), its partners and those wanting to be in the fintech community but for the industry as a whole. 

A letter is a format I have written about before, the letter of writing a letter is personal, intentional and provides a map for those who struggle to see a vision through presentations and videos. 

Everyone can create a presentation or a deck with aesthetically pleasing graphs and numerous words but a letter is a statement of intent, a way to appeal to many without death by PowerPoint and donning their caps to the likes of Jeff Bezos who mastered the art of the shareholder letter and Warren Buffett’s excellent shareholder letters, read the four giants section from 2021 letter

What can you take inspiration from for your letter? 


A brief look back at what you achieved, the product solutions shipped with mentions of partners you are proud of and the impact you’re having. 

Stripe 2022 shareholder letter


Setting clear product and industry direction is vital for any letter, internal or external. Stripe sets a direction for the industry who have built on its piping and for those wanting to grow moving forward.

Reduce the fears

Cybersecurity and hacking are areas many have unfortunately experienced issues in and are a fear every online business has. Acknowledging the problem and highlighting how you are working on this briefly shows you know your customer and offer peace of mind for your partners. 

Show you understand the future

The creator economy is something many businesses are desperately attempting to be part of and Stripe is part of the foundational layer, be inspired by how they reference and show their part of the largest subscription shift in history. 

Ability to focus

Despite being one of the only companies in the world that can be the partner, the piping and the platform, Stripe has an ability to connect the dots like very few and focus their community on their two core business sides the consumer and the businesses playing their space. The way they word their letter is something to analyse and implement in your writings. 

Reference what people know

Unlike many, the Collison brothers are self-aware and reference what others know and discuss and are an important anchor point for many other founders and leaders to leverage. Turn a perceived negative into a positive. 

Stripes mission


Stripe’s mission is to grow the GDP of the internet. That means both helping existing economic activity migrate to the internet an$ enabling completely new undertakings that couldn’t exist in an offline world.” Stripe’s mission is aligned with business growth and making everyone successful, if you are a marketplace or offer products with solutions for the customer this is something you will want to borrow and drive people towards. 

Moving forward be inspired to get into a room or shared document and write your thoughts, reference the past, highlight the future and showcase your work while celebrating other successes. If you cannot show your mission and vision know you are going to be looking in the rear mirror and the likelihood is you will struggle to bring the company and potential partners into the future with you. 

The TLDR: Inspire the internal and external customer by writing a brilliant letter showcasing your achievements, your past and the provide a bright future for you and your ecosystem.

Read the full letter below

Read other essential leadership lessons

Read the buzzword bingo card
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 94 – Quest Lists

Dear leaders, this week I am going to introduce you to one of my own personal practices, this time I am going to introduce you to my annual quests list. 

Every year I keep a quest (like missions but actually able to complete) list that I want to achieve. They are more than personal year resolutions because I hold myself accountable. 

Here are my current quests.

My outstanding 2022 quests are:  

  • Guest lecture at universitywhy? I never went to uni and I want to provide an accurate story of work and what is happening through my experience 
  • Appear on a tier 1 podcastwhy? I have had two podcasts and write two weekly newsletters, I want to be able to add value to the biggest audience possible. 
  • Take on 2 more coaching clientswhy? I love mentoring and coaching. I love seeing people develop their skills and want to help improve two more people in the coming year.  
  • Keynote a conference (hybrid or IRL)why? I speak at conferences, I have spoken at many over the last 13 years, I want to keynote a conference this year with a hybrid audience as it is new and will be the first time talks will be as much for that on-demand as in person. 
  • Take on another NED rolewhy? I have a broad skill set and I want to help businesses to develop with my skill set and help to shape a company with my unique perspective where company culture and strategy have to be aligned (my P+P mantra of performance + people). I also love seeing the lightbulb switch on with professionals who just haven’t found the right switch yet.   
  • Get better at storytellingwhy? Storytelling is one of the opportunities on my SWOT analysis and I believe getting better at storytelling is going to be vitally important when there are too many data points available, storytelling will cut through when data is inconclusive or actually divides teams and companies. 
  • Release a brand new productwhy? I release “products and services” every year, a lot of them are for my own test and learn approach to life. I haven’t launched a new product officially in 2022 (although I have a number of templates and frameworks in the works). 

What are your quests for this year?

Do you have any and why’s for them? 

As previously hinted at I am slowly writing a book, this is more of a personal mission for me than an annual quest but it’s coming together. 

Want to help me with my quests? Or can you help with any of my quests? Definitely get in touch.

Have a great week and think about how you can create an actionable quest list (or help your team members create their own).


Danny Denhard

What To Read Next


The Mission, Vision, 5x Principles, Strategy, Departmental Plans, Tactics Cheatsheet  

The one word that confuses so many companies is strategy, what strategy is and is not and who sets strategy, plans and tactics.

In one of the most popular and most shared leaders newsletter, WTF is strategy we shared how you build strategy, simply: you have one company-wide strategy, departmental plans rolling up into the strategy and then tactical layers underneath.

Simple right?

Well, it should be, however, with so many demands to have longer plans and missions to complete, here is a free breakdown and cheatsheet to build the right framework for your company’s strategy journey.

The Mission, Vision, 5x Principles, Strategy, Departmental Plans, Tactics Cheatsheet  


The incompletable mission your company is on. The biggest of achievements.

Missions can be revisited every five to ten years or in big times of world change.
Set by leadership (founder + board)


The ten-year vision for the company, vision is what you will strive to become.

Vision is to be revisited every 3 years. 
Set by leadership and supporting panel

5x Principles

The guiding principles to make decisions. If there is confusion or your strategy is going off course, your principles make decisions easier and guide you into the vision and the mission.

These principles should be re-visited each year but stay the majority the same to keep the company on track
Set by leadership and supporting panel

Annual Strategy

The annual company-wide strategy, the things you are going to do and the things you definitely will not be doing. It should fit on one page and everyone in the business should be able to tell you what it is and what success looks like.

The annual strategy should be re-visited but rarely ever change significantly.
Set by leadership

Departmental Plan

No company should have departmental strategies, your department plans have to roll into the annual strategy. Your plans have to be cross-functional and understand the overlap and how you work together with other departments to make the company successful. If there are no cross-functional elements to part of the plan, you have to revisit.

Departmental plans can evolve and change but when they do it has to be known across the business.
Revisit the plans every month, these unlikely should significantly change quarterly
Set by the department (lead+) and their panel    


These are the number of activities you will take, including the channels and the levers the teams are going to pull to roll up into the plan, that rolls up into the annual company-wide strategy.

Tactics can change regularly, fortnightly/bi-weekly to quarterly. The more you change, the more you will struggle to keep everyone updated and believe in long terms plans.
Set by tactical discipline team

Supporting Resources

Leadership Podcast

Leadership Masterclass Podcast

It is rare that you find a priceless podcast on leadership that you should pay for. This is one of those you feel you should have paid for.

This podcast with General Stanley McChrystal on the Knowledge Project podcast (I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter) with Shane Parrish.

Watch Or Listen Below

Quote of the podcast:

“When I was a brand-new lieutenant, I asked my father, “How would I know if somebody that I worked for or worked for me was going to be a good commander in combat? … How would you tell in peacetime?” He says, “You won’t. You won’t know because people have capabilities or coping mechanisms that in peacetime look fine, that doesn’t play well in war.”

Then I asked him, “Okay, when you’re in combat, how do you know?” He said, “Some people keep asking for more information and what they’re trying to do is drive uncertainty to zero so that there’s really not a question on the right course of action because you know everything.” But you can’t do that. It’s not achievable. So they become hesitant.

They become tentative, and they become focused on getting more and more information to ratchet the uncertainty out of the situation and they don’t act.”

General Stanley McChrystal & Shane Parrish

Why listen to this masterclass with General Stanley McChrystal:

  • Commander’s intent
  • Threats vs. vulnerabilities framework and maths
  • Detecting and avoiding threats
  • Decision making framework
  • Why tiredness is making us more risk averse in 2022
  • How to make decision’s in moral dilemma’s
  • Why money and bonuses hurts the cilivan leadership and workplace (and helps in the military)
  • Why person and organisational values need to work together and the who they are is so important to perform
  • Training Matters: Military takes average talents and drive way above average results
  • War time decisions are big time decisions but is rarely needed in peace time (due to laws and rules)
  • Why history will help
  • Why stress management is personal but there are guides you can follow
  • How to develop mental toughness
  • How to teach self discipline

Like This?

Listen to the fixing the broken world of work podcast.

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Briony Gunson 🧘‍♀️ – Focus Podcast With Danny Denhard Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

This episodes guest Briony Gunson ( is a business + mindset coach, meditation teacher + trauma-informed breathwork trainer, Briony helps individuals and businesses to improve.  Follow Briony across social – LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube.  The Links:  Briony's Introduction Video On YouTube Podcast: Aubrey Marcus – not about the world of work but psychology, spirituality, human potential + behaviour Book: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art  by James Nestor Newsletter: Brain pickings AKA The Marginalian has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most mind-broadening and hear Sign up to Briony's Friday Feels newsletter: – Briony archives them on her blog.  Listen to Briony's guided meditations on Insight Timer, e.g. this is a popular one: Briony also recommended Kirsty Hulse's work (Kirsty is great and gets my co-approval) Briony takes us on a journey of: Mental health and why it is so important to be aware of How mental health is evolving How your mental health can help to transform physical health Why early morning open-air swims have been so important Therapy and therapists role in peoples lives Why breathwork is so important Why our bodies are driven by our breath and controlling our breath Why Yoga is vital to so many of us Personal development starts with you Everyone is facing similar challenges – it's how you find the best course of action Why retreats are going to so popular and a necessary part of life and work You are the expert of yourself – why starting to listen to yourself and your body is so important
  1. Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Briony Gunson 🧘‍♀️ – Focus Podcast With Danny Denhard
  2. Fixing the broken world of work podcast with Colin Newlyn 🏴‍☠️
  3. Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Peter Hopwood
  4. Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Andy Reid
  5. Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Jo Twiselton
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 89 – Learning From Olympic Sports Psychology

Dear leaders, this week I am going to share with you something that was sent to me by one of my former team members. 

This (pic) is a Japanese curler, Satsuki Fujisawa, she is Olympic level, meaning she is one of the top three or four athletes in her field from her country, she has dedicated years to the craft and competing at a once in a lifetime event against the best the world has to offer. 

The message was written on her hand before she went out and importantly it was in view while she competed. 

The message reads:
“I’m a good curler.”
“I have confidence.”
“Let’s have fun”. 

I love these: 

  • I’m a good curler” – reminder this is what you are and what you are doing and you are good. Good is a better-placed word than great, good guides you, great can mislead.   
  • I have confidence” – keep reminding yourself you are confident and keep it front of mind even if you have one off-moment when performing.  
  • Let’s have fun” – helps to remove some of the pressure off you and helps to remind you that having fun while playing sport helps you to perform well. 

Why was this sent to me? 

I was and am fascinated by the world of psychology and the impact short messages can have on people, particularly on high performing athletes and colleagues.
I have loosely studied psychology throughout my career and it has helped me coach and mentor many great people. 

I might have said about my love for the TV show Billions and why I believe many businesses would benefit from having their own Wendy Rhoades, a psychology-based performance coach ensuring high performing traders hit record goals and pick up their confidence when second-guessing decisions.   

This particular team member and I worked together on developing their perceived weaknesses and there were three areas that they struggled with and needed some coaching around. 

  1. Standing in front of a large audience and delivering a message that hit.  
  2. Being able to concentrate on delivering an important message to senior people.  
  3. Confidence. 

Our Process 

  1. We worked on breaking down the messaging, always having a single post-it note with the messages in their hand when delivering a message.
    Small, subtle and keeps you on track. 
  2. Always have a specific small notepad with the core takeaway on for when they were delivering messaging to the leadership team and cross off when completed the message like a task.
    This works well pairing with presentations and if you are in external crisis situations (which we were from time to time from the company we guided) it really helped to reduce panic.  
  3. Writing down feedback given and keeping a record of the positive messages and comments from the meeting. I am a huge advocate of having nice, positive and good feedback records. The power of re-reading on down days or bad days can be priceless.

The trick is to keep a series of the same small notebooks and see the journey you went on. Ensure you have the date written down and the context of the meeting included, this will be great to read back through and provide you with confidence and a timeline of how you have evolved. 

I have to admit this specific person was and is a secret weapon and were brilliant, collaborating with them was great and all they needed from time to time was a little nudge or reassurance. 

I learned a lot from them and I am proud to still be able to help coach and collaborate with them. 

When you are developing leaders is in your department or company, these little exercises are ones they will pass onto others and tiny acts of psychology really do help the day to day and the careers of those around you. 

Have a great week and consider how you might leverage something as small as a note written on a team members hand to help them progress. 


Danny Denhard

Essential Reading This Week

Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 84 – One Slot One Shot Meetings

Dear leaders, I wanted to share something I have been doing for over a decade that I know will add value to your weeks. 

I call it the one slot, one shot per week, it is one one hour slot booked out in my calendar per week for random (yes random) meetings. This can be for ‘coffee walk and talk’, for a video call or for a meeting in person. 

Yes, before you ask – you could tweak it to one per month.

Why the name?
One slot is simple and one shot is if you could drink one shot of espresso (plus milk I’m a latte person) in the meeting. 

Why do I do this? 

When I was working through what I wanted to do around ten years ago, I was often reached out to on LinkedIn or asked to be introduced to someone by a friend or old colleague. 

Some of the best relationships, the best work opportunities and the smartest people I have met and kept in contact with is from the one slot meetings. It’s something I openly look forward to and actually when there is a chance I take a meeting to help someone who has reached out. 

I am not the only person who offers this sort of calendar slot. Professor BJ Fogg (Tiny Habits is a must-read/listen) who I have written about offers this for 15 minutes and only ever has one meeting per person, it is usually someone pitching an idea and he says whether it will work or not and what they could do. Get in line for that shot as he has taught James Clear, the Instagram co-founders and many other prominent leaders. 

Recently I took a 30-minute chat with someone who is looking to develop in their role and they were super smart, ambitious and looking to see if they were on the right track, they took notes, asked smart questions and followed up quickly with a nice note of thanks, some notes from the call and a clever question, which to be honest is something that rarely happens. 

I know many of us are pushed for time however making 30 minutes a month to have a conversation away from your current work and often not requiring too much thought could be something you look forward to and actively develop an impressive network over the next year ahead. 

Have a think about how you can develop your network or your own concept to connect. I bet you could recommend this to one of your fellow leaders and they find value in it…and yes it could be internal but making it forced removes some of the beauty of this exercise. 

Thanks and have a great week ahead,

Danny Denhard 

Essential Reading

Three Resources To Read This Week

  1. 25 Meeting Recommendations
  2. The Hybrid Work Guide
  3. The Best Hybrid Work Tools & Software
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 83 – It’s Never Too Late, You’re Never Too Old

Dear leaders, with the end of year reviews likely happening I thought it might be time to give you a different perspective. 

I had a funny conversation with a friend recently, where they questioned if they were too old to launch something at 41. 

It is only a recent phenomenon that founders of companies were actually under the age of 30.  Tech has obviously broken the older traditions and accelerated how young founders and company leaders can be. 

If your product is good enough and you bring the right people around you, age is just a number.

Responsibility is obviously a big influence on making the choice on whether you go for an idea or not, with the way of the world, you are never too old. 

Here is a list of highly successful companies from founders that were over the age of 40. 


  • Vera Wang, Vera Wang 40
  • Robert Noyce, Intel 41
  • Diane Greene, VMware 43
  • Sam Walton, Walmart 44
  • Jim Sinegal, Costco 47
  • Adi Dassler, Adidas 48


  • Rudolf Dassler, Puma 50
  • Bernie Marcus, Home Depot 50
  • Gordon Bowker, Starbucks 51


  • Charles Flint, IBM 61
  • Col. Sanders, KFC 62

If your idea is good enough and you have the right timing, sprinkled with luck and of course hard work, you have a chance at any age. (obviously, the younger you are the likelihood is you have fewer responsibilities and don’t need as much sleep or caffeine)

Maybe revisit these the next time you are considering your options or you have an itch you cannot stop scratching. 

Have a great week.


Danny Denhard


Annual Playbook Template For Company-Wide Success

Every year businesses set up their teams to fail by asking them to build their action plan or playbook for the year ahead.

Why? Because often it is no one’s specific job to own or the owner has only ever done it one way in this business and do not know the ingredients to list on their recipe, aka the right template for the company strategy.

Remember how the best companies win is by having one company-wide strategy, not departmental strategies.

Time For The New Template

Without specific guidance or a template every department across a business does it differently, they rarely collaborate and the business then has 5-10 different departments with different formats making it nearly impossible to understand what the teams are doing and why their actions are important.

OKR’s Fail

Many companies have moved to the OKR model, OKR’s work for some, however, OKR’s do not go into the how or generally the why, this creates frictions at KR levels and individuals are faced with the choice of selecting the company or team OKR or having to select their own KR to hit their targets.

This quickly impacts company culture and introduces “me before we” – individuals putting themselves first before their team, department and the company.

This is just one way the system does not enable you to support your team with the right template and creates instant friction from the start of the year.

7 Step Template

This year I wanted to create a free 7 step template for you and your teams to use and help to shape the year ahead for success and provide a chance to present to each other to enable each department to understand the actions you are going to be taking and the demands on that team.

There are two templates available for you to scroll through and then download for free.

To download once in the Google interface, go to:

File >> Download >> Select your format to download.

The Free Strategy Templates

Docs Template

Slides Template

If you are struggling to build your company strategy get in touch below.

Or read these essential guides to strategy

This is essential reading for company strategy
Essential reading for those struggling with how to build long term plans
Find out what your business should operate as, a partner, a platform or the piping
The common mistakes businesses make when becoming successful, fighting internal politics and internal problems not the customer problems
Imperative for those who have a struggle with different levels of the company and why the company is evolving
Considering rethinking how you operate, considering a 4 day work week or getting pressure to move to full time hybrid, this guide are for you
The complete free hybrid work guide
Anonymous Career Advice

What three actions to take to kick off 2022 well?

In the end of the year instalment of anonymous career advice, a leader asks an important question to kick off 2022 well.

Dear focus, I want to kick off 2022 well. What are three things I can do as a mid-sized business leader? 

In most businesses the leader has to show the direction you are headed, why you are looking forward to the year ahead and how the departments and teams will be leading from the front and where they will be collaborating. 

In all of the businesses I have worked in, worked with or consulted on, there are a number of selective characteristics that are run through. All involving direction setting, thanking and ensuring you reference the importance of your people and their performance (collectively and individually).

Remind yourself of the two P’s when creating the 3 action points below: 

The Two P’s 

The people (company culture) and the performance (strategy). 

The three actions below can be live or can be pre-recorded. Pre-recorded allows you to practise and get it to where you are happy. Powerpoint, Google Slides and Keynote all offer recording and inserting video per slide or across the presentation.

Live is great for connection building, pre-recorded will benefit those of you looking to manage the time and asking for Q&A and being able to prep. 

Only you as the leader will know what works best for you and your style (personality type). 

Have notes and links to hand to send across post three actions. 

1/ Personal Statement 

A quick statement of the company, what you are looking forward to seeing, what you are excited for and what behaviours you love to see and are agreed across the business that will likely be rewarded. 

Slides will help you here.

FYI: There is nothing more awkward than asking for each member of the leadership to have comments or offer their one minute to ten-minute statement.

2/ Quick Positive Review Of 2021 

Here is a breakdown of what to include and flow through:

  • A reminder of the journey you went on (timeline) 
  • What did the team do well? 
  • What made you proud? 
  • Any stand out examples of cross-functional collaboration and delivery 
  • Was there any big campaign, releases or launches? 
  • Were there important milestones hit and which milestones were hit? 

Remove all mad and sad parts of the review, glad (happy and proud) is the most important to concentrate on and start with a micro-moment

3/ Walkthrough the company-wide strategy for 2022  

Here are 4 steps to include and run through quickly. Double click on the elements you were weaker on in 2021 and requires more work. This should be informed from the staff feedback throughout 2021:

  • Strategy: What beliefs do you have, what bets are you making and what pillars are going to guide the teams 
  • Action points ahead: The key sections of work from different departments 
  • Product roadmap overview: top level don’t go into long details just key points and what you are looking to release or deliver by when (use the think big, act small, by when framework if required) 
  • Milestones: The milestones you would like to hit and how you are looking forward to the teams developing this out 

Remember To Resight Metrics: If you have a number of metrics you have signed off on and agreed upon, share this on one slide presentation or a short image you will share post-presentation / speech, this way you will create a guidepost to allow the company to understand their targets and what they are building towards. 

Remember the longer it takes to sign off-targets and north stars the more difficult it is for the teams to hit the ground running and get ahead of the hard tactical battle ahead. 

Something to keep in mind, Steve Jobs was the ultimate internal sales and marketing person for Apple and this role is vital for success any year, none more so with such uncertainty people look for leadership with direction and trust signals. Drive this by driving the business forward on day 1.

Best of luck and have a good end to 2021 and a successful 2022. 


Danny Denhard

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