Looking for Joy…

Sometimes my first client conversations go deep into the problem, the challenge or the desire my client is bringing to our work together. And sometimes they go high and wide, discussions about the meaning of life that don’t seem to connect to the immediate challenge, and yet explain everything.

My conversation yesterday was the latter. A highly successful professional, a famous name in his field, who felt like he’d lost his way, like his success had peaked and the only track was down. He wanted to recapture some meaning to his life and work, to feel fulfilled, to feel excited…

Maybe ‘influence’ isn’t what you think it is?

Thanks to GLady on Pixabay for the image

What’s for Dinner?

We have a bit of a standing joke in the house, where, if I’m going to the shop and I ask my husband what he might like for dinner, he always replies,

I’ve asked whether it’s a knee-jerk response, the habit of a single word, but he says, no he really likes fish.

Never Again…

Until we watched Seaspiracy a couple of weeks ago, after which he told me,

I’m never eating fish ever again.

Now, this isn’t a post about eating or not fish, or to advocate for a solution to the global…

How flexible is your leadership style?

Thanks to pixel2013 on Pixabay for the image

Where are You Heading?

I was with a client today who was telling me about a colleague who had a single track approach to everything. We’ve all encountered them, maybe even been that person (I know I feel like that person sometimes!).

But what was obvious was that her colleague really believed in the approach she was recommending. It was a ‘tactic’, the only tactic in the toolkit seemingly.

It’s easy to see when it’s someone else, that the tactic-driven approach is the one that is less likely to land, or more likely to get us lost —…

Navigating potential beyond the personality profile

Thanks to Free-Photos on Pixabay for the image.

Navigating the Boxes…

The question in the headline can only be answered by you, for you, and it was the main focus for a recent the lunchtime leadership sessions.

We were talking about how to ‘Be More of Who You Are (leadership beyond the personality profile)’, that age-old subject of who are we and how do our labels help and hinder us.

So much of the value of those sessions is in the experience, but maybe in relating a snippet of the experience, you will find a gem that is useful for you?

I know an hour…

What would it be like to escape who you think you are?

Do You Have Preferences? Or Even a Personality Profile?

My dog took his ball out on the walk yesterday. He stood at the garden gate, chewed blue ball in mouth, a determined

I’ve got my ball and I’m bringing it with me,

look on his face.

We have lots of four-legged friends who are glued to their balls (one poodle pal in particular), others who insist on carrying the stick for miles (labradors usually!), but not our fella.

He’s the dog who will chase the dog chasing the ball because it’s a great game. The fun for…

The Narcissist and the Limitation of Labels


An article arrived in my inbox today calling out narcissists in leadership positions.

Yes, I get it.

Headlines. And me too, evidently.

The Shorthand

I understand the shorthand here-that (some) people in power (sometimes) seem to value the power more than the outcome or the people. Or worse, there is malign intent and there is a negative impact on people and performance that may run a spectrum from undesirable to intolerable.

We should talk about this. About culture, about checks and balances, about hiring and firing procedures, and, of course, about our own individual agency…

…without being a pushover

Thank you Andrew Martin and Pixabay for the image

This post comes out of one of the Leadership Sessions I host. It isn’t a read-out exactly, nor a summary, but a few ‘highlights’ from the session, distinctions and pointers I thought it might be useful to share. Places, perhaps, to pause and reflect on the landscape.

1. Can You Feel It?

My words may not be your words but I suspect we will both know ‘kindness’ when we feel it.

I don’t mind whether you have a definition in words. Sometimes that’s important-when you need agreements, when you’re in cooperation and you need a shared understanding. Your context is your…

A Custodian Approach to Ownership

Many thanks to Edi Nugraha on Pixabay for the image.


For many years we lived in an old house, ‘old’ by housing standards (500+ years), not so old by planet standards.

What I noticed for all the years I lived there was that I never felt as if i really ‘owned’ it. I mean, I had the mortgage papers and the stuff was mine, but I also felt the expanse of the generations who’d lived there before me, and who would after. …

What if there was a guaranteed, no-fail, simple technique you could use anywhere, any time? Interested?

Thank you to Caleb Woods on Unsplash for the photo


When it comes to motivating others what are you really doing?

This question has come up a lot in the work-at-home weirdness of the last year.

Motivating myself and motivating others — how do I rally enthusiasm and outputs?

A recent online group I led was a great reminder about what’s really going on here. The group was there for a purpose (the purpose wasn’t to talk about motivation!), we had a task, an agenda and a flow.

What was interesting though, at the…

Leadership in view — seeing it and getting better at it.

If You Can’t See It, That Doesn’t Mean it Isn’t There…

Youngest son, currently finishing his degree at home in his attic bedroom, was keen to talk through a chapter of his dissertation on institutional memory. Sometimes he likes to articulate the work he’s doing, talk, and make sense of it out loud… I always find him interesting and I’m happy to listen.

‘It’s not a ‘thing’,’ he told me, but I have identified, and I’m describing three effects of it and how they change over the period.’

I almost laughed, actually, because it’s exactly the language I might use…

Cathy Presland

What if making an impact was part of your everyday? Stories to light up your soul. Read more and free courses: https://cathypresland.com/find-out-more

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