Thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s survey about how hybrid working is affecting leaders.

I asked, what is the main challenge leaders face with a working from home/hybrid model?

The results from my newsletter survey and an identical poll I conducted on LinkedIn (in percentages) are:

Thank you also to the people who shared their valuable insights. Clearly, the challenges for leaders of working from home or in a hybrid model are top of…


Leaders everywhere are struggling with the challenge of remote working. If you are a leader in Melbourne or Sydney, chances are you are working from home. In other parts of the world, you may use a hybrid model.

Either way, leaders face multiple challenges.

Expectations

Many people report that clients and management still expect as much, if not more, output from remote teams than when they were in house. Those expectations are unrealistic.

Mental health

Mental health is also a rising challenge. Last year, Mental Health First Aid England reported that one in six workers will experience depression, anxiety or…


There is an ancient Indian parable about six blind men, none of whom had ever encountered an elephant before. The way they learn about the elephant is by touching it. Each blind man feels a different single part of the elephant’s body, the side, a leg or it’s tusk. They describe the elephant from their individual perspective in widely varying ways, which leads to them arguing about who is right and suspecting each other of being dishonest.

The parable illustrates the point that we claim we know the absolute truth based on our limited, subjective experience. …


I have found when I ask people about a leader who has had an important influence in their career, they often talk about someone who believed in them, more than they believed in themselves at that point in time. Maybe you have experienced that type of leader who brought out the best version of you.

Cheryl is a leader with that ability. She can see people’s strengths and tap into their passion. The same talent enables her to attract smart people who want the opportunity to be on her team. She can also retain mature, clever people who have hit…


There is plenty of discussion about lockdown fatigue and its impact on mental health. The message is clear about the need to support each other, and those who are distressed, within our families, workplaces, communities, and churches throughout this period. I am aware of leaders making heroic efforts to check in with their teams adopting a variation of Fi Slaven’s mantra, “I’m here if you need me.” But where do leaders turn for support? You can only be effective in supporting your team, colleagues, or family members if you are taking care of yourself.

It underscores how important it is…


In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown outlines a phenomenon called “sunk-cost bias.” In case you are wondering what that is, he defines it as, “the tendency to continue to invest time, money, or energy into something we know is a losing proposition simply because we have already incurred, or sunk, a cost that cannot be recouped.”

A classic example of sunk-cost bias he describes is the Concorde jet which was lauded as a striking achievement in aeronautical engineering that could fly from London to New York in as little as two hours, fifty-two minutes, and fifty-nine seconds.

As Greg explains…


The highlight of many memorable Olympic moments for me was seeing Australian swimming coach Dean Boxall’s excitement after 20-year-old Ariane Titmus beat US star Katie Ledecky in the final of the women’s 400m freestyle. As her coach, he was just as elated as her when she achieved her dream of winning gold. His bold style has helped take Titmus from a personal best time 16 seconds behind Ledecky’s in the 400m freestyle, to world-beater. “It’s for him as much as it is for me. He puts 100 percent into being a swimming coach,” Titmus said after winning gold.

Titmus and…


Grace had an amazing capacity for analytical thinking, but she was using her superpower to overthink the simplest of problems. She worried about getting the right answer to any issue, believing a mistake could cost her job. Worrying about finding a perfect solution made her anxious most of the time. Her tendency for analysis paralysis was not only damaging her wellbeing, but it was also destroying her team. They were reluctant to take risks because a misstep could have serious repercussions. She was always striving to achieve perfection because it seemed to give meaning to her life. …


The conversation Ray had with a senior leader at a pre-COVID event captivated him. He said the executive asked him about his business objectives, his role, and the challenges he faced. He listened intently to the responses and although he did not offer any advice or suggestions, his comments showed he could relate to everything Ray was telling him.

The experience had an enormous impact on Ray. He said when this senior executive was listening to him, he gave his complete attention. “It felt like I was the only person in the world. I want what he’s got,” Ray said…


It has delighted me to hear from several people over the last few weeks checking in with me to see how I am going with the latest lockdown. Fi Slaven‘s message is one of my favourites. She lets me know, “I’m here if you need me.” It is a phrase she borrowed from netball. When a player is taking the ball down the court, her team members run beside her calling out, “I’m here if you need me.” There is no problem if everything is going well. But she now knows her teammates are available.

Fi’s kind offer is reassuring…

Brian Donovan

I help leaders build their influence and achieve stretch results. http://www.donovanleadership.com

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