I recently spent a day in Sydney with my mentor group and my coach, and I found myself stepping into the wise elder territory (eek!) as I reflected on my approach to my business over the last 25 years. As I heard about the various life events people were dealing with (their own inflection points in their lives and businesses), I thought about my own business and where I’m at right now. As is often the case, I applied an approach I use with my coaching clients, the ‘dial up and dial down’ concept, to prompt my colleagues to reflect on what was required of them right now. What would be the impact (financial, emotional, family) of dialling things down for a period of time? There have certainly been times where I have needed to do that. Births, divorce, challenges with kids, parents in care, death of both parents, all required me to consciously choose what I would dial up and down and yes of course there were business impacts each time.

That same notion of dialling up and down can be applied to leadership. This idea of flexibility and choice in how we approach leadership is an essential aspect of my coaching. It’s never about changing who you are, and it’s not about fixing you, but rather, it’s about continually asking what’s required of me as a leader in the current context? What do I want to consciously dial up and what do I want to dial down?

For some people it’s obvious and the work we do together is to uncover patterns and habits of thinking (for the dial down behaviours) and develop strategies and techniques for the dial up behaviours. For most people, feedback from others in the form of the Leadership Circle Profile 360, provides clear direction about what the leader could dial up and down in order to be more effective in this current context. For example, if you need your team to become more accountable for their performance and your natural style is to map out everything that needs to be done and take control of all the key decisions, then your dial up may be around sharing the vision and being clear on what achieving success looks like. You might just need to dial down the desire for it to be exactly as you would do it.

Back to life… I’m thinking a lot about what I could dial up and down now that I have no children living at home, my parents have passed, I’m fit and healthy, have the support of my husband and I’m keen to see what I can do with my business.

Take a moment today to think about what you could be dialling up and dialling down in life and business. Let me know what you come up with.

What I’m…

Learning: I attended a fantastic webinar with Kelly Slessor exploring AI and how I can lean in to it despite my deep urge to run away from it. I’ve dabbled with ChatGPT and if I’m honest, prided myself in not using it but now I’ve seen how to really use it well to understand your customer and write for them, (ah the power of detailed excellent prompts). I learned about Claude for long form writing and understanding the difference between ChatGPT and Gemini. Completely blown away by Opus clip (video production) and Hume (Empathy feedback). So many uses for AI in reviewing documents and approaches, tidying up our first drafts, giving your website the once over…oh and so much more.

Reading: Mmm confession time: I feel like I’m buying a lot of ‘work’ books but just not actually reading them. I’ll do better next month! A couple I’ve been enjoying jumping in and out of are two by Michael Bangar Stanier: How to Work with Almost Anyone and his even more well known, The Coaching Habit.  

Listening to: Dr Rangan Chatterjee interview with Dr Gabor Mate: The Five Lessons People Learn Too Late, Why We Should Stop Trying To Live Longer And How Curiosity Leads To Compassion. Lots of relatable bits of goodness and a few challenges in here!

Loving: Swimming! I have never used exercise as a reward but suddenly after 3 months in the pool, I’m giving myself a treat of swimming for 30 mins once I finish a report or as a close out to the day.  I love the glide through the water, nothing to do except think and be mindful of my style. It’s a meditation and I’m getting fit!