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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 65 – The Unspoken Costs Of Being A Business Leader 

Dear leaders, 

This week I wanted to offer up a personal story that has been reinforced a number of times whilst speaking to different leaders over the last three years. 

There are many unspoken costs of being a business leader. 

  • The sleepless nights 
  • The restless weekends 
  • The fight that no one sees, the fight inside the board room to protect your team and the team members who have worked their tales off 
  • The constant exhaustion you feel 
  • The continued burden of another politically fuelled discussion taking more time away from completing your actual work 
  • The fight to find five minutes to yourself to get your thoughts together 
  • The way you may struggle with relationships outside of the work 
  • The fear and paranoia you feel around the business and your role 
  • The feeling of being alone in your role and not having someone to really have your back 
  • The number of days you eat badly because you are in a rush and then the days you rely on caffeine-based drinks to get you through 
  • And lastly: The three days it takes to relax while you are on holiday/vacation and then the day of dread worrying about what has happened, even if you check emails and slacks.  
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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcasts

Welcome to the podcast series fixing the broken world of work, it has been a mission of Focus to deliver the best content to business leaders and managers so they can make their workplaces better and help to develop their teams and departments.

Season 1 is action-packed with brilliant stories, tips and actionable advice.

Each Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast is broken down below with why listen and the important topics we discussed, this should help you decide which podcast to start with.

Listen to the podcasts below and don’t forget to follow on your podcast app of choice:

Quick Links To Listen To:

Sharon Aneja

Sharon Aneja – Founder @ Humanity Works Consultancy

Why Listen: Sharon takes us on her incredible journey and why being a Positive Psychology coach is so important to her and for any workforce. Sharon shares a couple of brilliant frameworks and practices to improve any business.

Connected with Sharon on:

What Sharon and I discuss:

  • The importance of mental health and wellbeing
  • Why psychological flexibility is so important
  • Why command and control management fails their people and their business
  • Why businesses and managers wait for people to get stressed and burnt out rather than proactively addressing such important topics
  • The awakening businesses require
  • Why gamification can be negative
  •  the opportunity to be able to partner with organizations who are courageous enough to want to get to the heart of issues
  • How a routine operation changed Sharon’s life completely
  • And why every “leader” should have therapy

Read Sharon’s recommendations, full transcript and links


Jo Twisleton

Jo Twistleton – Director @ Twist Consultants

Why Listen: Jo has over twenty years in helping to transform businesses and business leaders. Listen to hear how to help shape organisations and make businesses more successful.

What Jo and I discuss:

  • Why a client that actually want to do change better are the best clients
  • Why coaching and mentoring is invaluable
  • Why the next phase of return to the office is so important to set company culture
  • What leaders need to remember – leveraging other people’s skills when they are better at things than they are
  • Why there is rarely a stupid question
  • Time management & reducing meeting culture
  • If you nail collaboration you win business
  • When team responses are so important

Connect with Jo On: 

Read Jo’s recommendations and full transcription


Andy Reid

Andy Reid – Founder @ Genius Box

Why Listen: Having helped some of the biggest names in business Andy will help you understand that business is about people and why workshops are so powerful for businesses that want to succeed.

What Andy and I discuss:

  • Leadership and the challenges of leadership
  • The lack of joy in work and bringing it back
  • The science of how the mind works
  • The power of storytelling
  • The art of running brilliant workshops for executives
  • Facilitating the right environment for the best ideas to flourish
  • Creating voices for everyone not just the HiPPO
  • Why leaders has to inspire

Connect With Andy On:

Read Andy’s recommendations and full transcript


Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts – CEO @ Zokri

Why Listen: As a multi-time business builder, Matt provides unique insights into how his leadership in the software space can help to improve conversations and goal setting not just through software but a combination between software and people.

What Matt and I discuss:

  • The power of the conversation
  • Importance of communications and priorities
  • Setting people up to have the right conversation with the right frameworks
  • Structured conversations having better organisation outcomes
  • Building software to empower teams to have the most important conversations and the resistance when software tells you what you should prioritize
  • Workplace safety “where people feel in a safe place to say what needs to be said to share their ideas, to disagree, to, problem solve, to innovate, to share ideas”
  • The best managers and teachers lead with trust
  • Why transparency should build confidence

Connect with Matt on:

Read Matt’s full recommendations and full transcript


Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte – Head of Culture @ Reddico.

Why Listen: Luke has helped to transform his agency Reddico company culture from struggling to hire to becoming one of the best places to work in the UK and why company culture and self-management is so important.

What Luke and I discuss:

  • How company culture should be shaped
  • Why self management system can and does improve agencies and businesses
  • What it took to get to a world class 96 NPS score
  • Empowering individual’s to do a really amazing job is a key factor to success
  • Why circles (like SWARM’s) helps to get the best work done
  • Company culture is the marketing tool, not a PR tool
  • How word of mouth can be the best hiring tool
  • How to win the Hybrid workplace

Connect with Luke On:

Read Luke’s recommendations and full transcript


Peter Hopwood

Peter Hopwood – Speaker & TEDX Coach

Why Listen? Peter is helping shape leaders and TEDX coaches to improve their leadership and delivery on essential messaging. If you are a leader of a startup to a large business this is a podcast for you.

What Peter and I discuss:

  • How to step up as a leader
  • Why leadership is often the smaller unspoken steps we take, such as mental nods, gestures and the tone we use when speaking
  • Why storytelling is more than a buzzword and will take leaders up many steps
  • Bias – how we can overcome bias in our teams minds
  • How to rebuild trust when may have lost trust from your team
  • How to tackle remote and hybrid work leadership differently

Connect with Peter On

Read Peter’s full transcription, recommendations and insights


Colin Newlyn

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2NPsetE4whj72s7rgTNnyY?si=DlxUDDoHSneUIGPTR9DMmQ&dl_branch=1

Colin Newlyn is on a mission to de-crapify work.

Why Listen? Colin has started his journey to help others address modern-day work and help to reshape people’s workday and careers.

What Colin and I discuss:

  • The tips to de-crap-ify work 
  • How leadership is about leading 
  • Why we all should be more pirate and vote in and out our leaders
  • The work week schedule can be rethought and disrupted
  • Why the commute should come under review
  • Why proximity still dictate success – but should not

Connect With Colin:

Read Colin’s full transcription, recommendations and insights


Binge Listen To All Of The Podcasts

Remember to follow on Apple podcasts, Spotify podcasts or Subscribe on Google Podcasts.

Need Help Shaping Your Hybrid Workplace?
Download The Free Hybrid Work Guide

Love The Podcast? Subscribe To Become A Better Leader!


FYI: The intro music and outro music is from pixelbay.

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Matt Roberts From Zokri

Matt Roberts – CEO @ Zokri

Matt is the CEO of Zokri, a software that is helping to shape goal setting and improve managers. Matt and I have known each other for over a decade and our careers have overlapped on a number of projects.

When Matt and I recently caught up and discussed goals and OKR’s and the power of conversations I knew he was a must listen for the Fixing the broken world of work podcast series.

Matt and I dive into the importance of setting the right goals, why management teams aren’t always set up to succeed and why your business and career can be improved by the right feedback and the right software.

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Andy Reid

Andy Reid – Founder @ Genius Box

Andy Reid is one of those people you work with once and you collaborate again and again.

Andy’s style is one of a kind, he and his team help to facilitate change within businesses from global household brands to brands that are looking to innovate or change the direction of their company. Andy and I dive into a number of brilliant topics, including why leadership is more than just being the person at the front barking orders, why storytelling works and why we have to bring joy back when fixing the broken world of work.

Andy drops some brilliantly nostalgic references so get ready to laugh, nod along and take numerous notes to help improve your workplace.

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Jo Twiselton

Jo Twistleton – Director @ Twist Consultants

I was introduced to Jo through a work project earlier this year and Jo and I hit it off instantly.

The work Jo has rolled out over the last two decades really stood out. Not only does Jo help businesses to improve company culture, but she also coaches leadership teams and helps to collaborate when businesses are merging and being acquired some of the most challenging and difficult times for businesses to communicate and connect their teams.

Jo shares some of her learnings from her career and helping leaders to actually lead and many of these tips will help you in your role and develop your own business.

The Podcast:

Listen On

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Podcast

Fixing The Broken World Of Work With Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte – Head of Culture @ Reddico.

Luke and I have been connected since 2020 and the work he and Reddico are doing to place culture and performance at the heart of everything their agency does really has enabled them to become one of the best places to work in the UK and win company culture awards.

Luke has helped to move Reddico to a self-management model and they have made it work which is a huge feat. This is a must-listen if you are looking to transform your business, help to improve your company culture and think more clearly around how performance and company culture works together.

Listen On

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Focus News Podcast

Introducing The Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

Brand New Podcast From Focus:
Fixing The Broken World Of Work Podcast

I set myself an annual target, it’s a mission really, I challenge myself to speak to as many leaders as possible. 

It has been something I have done for the last five years and it was something I undertook for personal development. 

But when I created Focus, I wanted to open up the conversation, the plan was to invite leaders to write for leaders letters, to interview leaders on company culture, on the future of work, on leadership and on important topics such as well-being and mental health. 

I wanted to help develop leaders and help to grow people who manage to managers to actual leaders and build a better generation of leaders through high-quality content packed with useful tips and takeaways while offering frameworks, coaching courses, management coaching and executive mentorship programmes.

My long term plan was to interview in person (yes, in real life) and ask for Q&A from the audience and build a network of leaders who would support the next generation. 

Unfortunately due to covid, this has not been possible to build, so for the first step towards offering a way to fix the broken world of work, I took my conversations and recorded a podcast series “Fixing The Broken World Of Work”. 

I am extremely proud of the first season, it is packed full of brilliant stories, tips and actionable advice for execs, managers who want to transition to leaders and those wanting to make positive change at work.

It is deliberately binge-able and be able to be downloaded all at once, with no waiting from week to week!  

I want leaders on whatever stage of their journey to be inspired to listen, make numerous notes and share the podcast season with their teams and their managers around them. 

It’s a podcast series that is deliberately different. 

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Focus News

Announcing The Future State Of Podcast

The Future State of podcast is a series of conversations between Nick Walter, the CEO of an extended reality* company Vortic and I.  

Nick and I have known each other for over ten years and often have numerous phone calls and long message threads about the state of an industry and how we think and how we would tackle that industry moving forward.

Nick and I have worked in bootstrapped businesses, successful startups and large organisations we have a good perspective on what’s happening and where the industry is and potentially should go.

The Podcast Explained

Nick and I deep dive into important and up-and-coming business areas, we discuss the current state of that particular business area, we debate what the important areas are, the opportunity in the market and then we provide our hot takes and the future state of that industry.

The podcast is weekly and typically goes live on Thursday’s.

Research & Insights Driven

We take a number of hours each week to research and talk to business minds within the space to be able to tackle rich and immersive topics.

The Future State podcast was built to provide more than just what is happening in the news or what you can read with a quick Google search, we break down each episode with our full notes not just show notes and we share our notes and insights via email so you never have to take too many notes and never miss an episode.

Why Listen?

Nick and I don’t hold back on opinions and potential actions so it’s not just another bland business podcast without personality or qualified opinion.

The First Three Episodes Cover:

  1. The future state of brand endorsements and brand partnerships.
    Why Anthony Joshua and Revolut might just be another Instagram deal
  2. The future state of football.
    Why the business side of the European Super League is so important and overlooked
  3. The future state of conferences
    Why large conferences might have died and why going niche might just be the answer for the organisers, the attendees and the speakers.

Sign Up & Get Insights & The Podcast Delivered To You

Or visit thefuturestate.co.uk and read (and listen) to the full industry breakdown.

Listen To The First Three Episodes:

The Future State Of Meta Aka Facebook 👍 or 👎 The Future State Of Podcast

TLDR: Why Facebook is moving to Meta and its quest to the Metaverse?  For full insights and analysis sign up at www.thefuturestate.co.uk Nick and Danny dive into the Meta brand, the Facebook rebrand that has a wave of memes (here is the Iceland Tourism example https://www.facebook.com/inspiredbyiceland/videos/182101337445400/), the PR machine created quite a buzz but as many questions trying to understand what it means. Danny takes you through the history of the brand, the reason why its journey is so important and why the fights and bets made by Facebook’s leadership team have led to one of the biggest rebrands in history. Danny answers Nick’s question of why the rebrand was so important and the other potential it had Important notes: You have 4 master brand types you can: monolithic (FedEx), endorsed (Virgin), free standing (unilever with dove, wall's etc), hybrid (coca cola company, coca cola – diet coke – coke zero + sprite, fanta etc) What is Meta? Group of businesses – Facebook (big blue), Instagram, WhatsApp, – VR and experimental. Money making (facebook app, instagram) vs money losing (whatsapp, VR, metaverse building). Is comparable to Alphabet (Google's parent) Nick dives into the metaverse and the VR and AR side of the rebrand and repositioning (well worth watching the haptics ​​https://twitter.com/boztank/status/1460668829789351936 Danny and Nick answer a listener question: From James Sinfield @ Nestle“In your honest opinions, will Facebook (Meta) succeed with their aim of building a new version of Internet? Is there a flaw in their thinking?” Then comes the future state of Facebook and Meta (including the breakdown of the metaverse) 6 Ways To Help Shape Your Thoughts Facebook has turned into email 2.0 – necessary evil for many Facebook was the gateway to the internet for millions of users – particularly in Asia and Africa Facebook isn't a social network it's an ad's network – Facebook's biggest challenge is their algorithms and controlling how content spreads. This is not under control and they struggle to do so, so why will people rush to the new Meta products, software or hardware driven Meta has to shape and control the next generation of platforms. They never shaped the iPhone or any android device. "Our biggest competitor by far is iMessage" – Mark Zuckerberg on 31st Oct 2018 Meta is a brand rebuild alongside a new ten year mission What do you think, let us know @dannydenhard and @nickwalter23 on Twitter 
  1. The Future State Of Meta Aka Facebook 👍 or 👎
  2. The Future State Of Social Media Pitch Edition – Commentary Based Social Media Site ✅
  3. The Future State of NFT's Podcast with Danny Denhard, Nick Walter & Alex Moss 🖼
  4. THE Brand New Email Client To Fix Work – The Future State Of Podcast Pitch Edition 📧
  5. The Future State Of Mobile Phones Podcast 📱

Subscribe on your Podcast app of choice: Apple // Spotify // Amazon Music // Listen Notes // Mixcloud // Deezer // Simplecast // or via RSS.


*What is XR

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Friday Focus

Friday Focus – 2nd April

This week, here are five podcasts from the brilliant leader and researcher Brene Brown.

Here are the five best Brene Brown podcast – Dare to lead. Grab your phone, put in your headphones and take a walk and enjoy these powerful podcasts.

Brene with former President Barack Obama

Armoured Leadership & The Power Of The Right Questions

Adam Grant & Brene Talk The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Dr. Sarah Lewis & The Uncontrolling Power of “Failure”

The Heart of Hard Conversations

Categories
Focus News

Hitting The Wall Podcast

Ash Taylor invited me onto his podcast Hitting The Wall (The Business Clubhouse) and it was a great conversation.

We talk about many important topics, including:

  • Being deliberate to win business
  • Company culture
  • How to build the right Hybrid office for the future
  • How to improve your business by being deliberate
  • Building your own ecosystem of smart and diverse people
  • The power of explaining something complex in writing and love of books

You can listen in your browser here or below:

Listen To The Podcast

A conversation with Danny Denhard of Focus Hitting the Wall

In this week’s episode I chat to Danny Denhard from Focus who’s on a mission to change the world of work. We discuss all things culture and leadership, digging into how businesses thrive when they put culture in the workplace first. You’ll learn about the power of creating personal eco-systems, and why enabling conflict in the workplace is a good thing. We talk about business being a badge of honour, prioritising culture before the workplace collapses, and why gossip is so important. Danny also takes through his personal manifesto for change, why being back-to-back is damaging productivity and whether the new habits we’ve created in the last 12 months are beneficial to people and businesses A fascinating discussion Weekly digest Of the best articles from the week you likely haven’t read – https://mustreads.substack.com Weekly inspiration every Monday on improving leadership – https://blog.focus.business/leaders Focus aka fixing the broken world of work Website https://www.focus.business/ Manifesto – https://www.focus.business/manifesto Connect on social media with me https://dannydenhard.com/linkedin https://dannydenhard.com/twitter

Resources Discussed In Podcast

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