It’s a HIGH WIRE ACT… 7 things you need to BALANCE to improve your leadership!

Leadership is a balancing act. In SO many ways. Today I’m going to give you 7 leadership balances you have to get comfortable with. Because… For all of them.. If you don’t find the balance point… You’ll fall over! And your leadership will suffer.

Let’s start with why you SHOULD document everything.

  • Confidence and Humility

Leaders have to be confident. AND humble. Sometimes you have to get right to it. It’s your idea. You’re the leader. This is what we’re doing. And sometimes you have to say… Look. I don’t have all the answers. Your ideas are what we need here.

  • Warmth and Robustness

You have to understand and care about the people on your team. And sometimes you have to let them know that they’re not delivering and things need to change. You need be fair. And firm.

  • Consistency and Flexibility

If you’re not consistent, your team will lose trust and respect for you. But you have to take account of specific circumstances and make sure you support the individuals on your team in the way that they need.

  • Consultation and Decisiveness

You need to hear all the voices and opinions. Then you need to decide what you’re going to do. And sometimes that decision will upset half of your people. But you still need to make it.

  • Big Picture and Small Details

You need to understand what’s going on. At the grand scale, and at a level of fine detail. Because… If you leave a small strand sticking out, someone might grab it and unravel the whole thing. So you need to do both.

  • Tasks and People

You have to get things done. AND you have to look after your people. And it’s a constant balancing act, judging how hard you push, and how much you need to give people time to recover or grow.

  • Direct and control vs engage and enthuse

You might call this Type X vs Type Y. Do you sit in the captains chair and dish out orders? Or do you sit round the conference table and encourage ideas, set the scene and give people the encouragement to work out what to do themselves? The right answer… as with all of these is a bit of both.

But often new leaders feel that they need to be all the way over at one end of some of these balances. They must be confident, robust and decisive. They have to focus on the big picture and not worry about the details.

But this almost always fails. The truth is…

For ALL of these balances… You have to figure out your natural tendencies. AND You have to figure out what your business/organisation and team need from you. Both generally and in every moment.

So sometimes, even though you’re typically very warm and empathetic, you might have to bring out your robust and firm side.

And ultimately, THAT’s the leadership balancing act. Balancing your natural tendencies, with what’s needed in the moment.

So my challenge to you, to close things out is… Go back through this video… And for each of these 7 balances… Write down where you think your natural balance point is, AND where you think your boss or your team needs you to be.

Then you can look at them and pick something to work on. Getting more confident. Or focusing on the details more. Whatever it is, pick something to improve… and that way you’ll be leading yourself, and becoming more balanced.

This exercise is actually from my Leadership Essentials Course, that gives you a shortcut to the best things I’ve learned in 15 years of actually doing leadership. You can find out more at

Go check it out by hitting the button below..


ESSENTIAL tips for NEW MANAGERS… The key things you need to DO in your new leadership role!

As soon as you start your role. In the first week. First month. You MUST do these five things.

Let’s get straight into it….

Number 1: Build relationships

It’s the most important thing. Get to know your team. Get to know your boss. Get to know other people around the organisation. Get to know your customers – whether that’s the people that buy your business’s stuff, or the people elsewhere in your business that you and your team support.

Talk with them. And listen! Ask them what THEY think should be your most important priority. Ask them what they think YOU really need to know about your team, about the business.

Your influence as a manager… Your ability to get things done… Will come from your relationships with the people around you. So make a point to work on them.

Number 2: Get clear on the results your boss wants to see

The rest of your influence comes FROM the stuff you get done. So you need to make sure that your efforts are in line with your bosses expectations.

What do THEY think the most important thing in your inbox is? What’s the biggest thing in THEIR inbox and how can you help with that?

What would they like to hear that you’ve accomplished in your first 90 days, your first year?

Yes, you’ll have a job description. But make sure you properly understand what your boss REALLY wants to see.

Number 3: Don’t stop doing the things that make you you!

When you start a new role, it’s really easy to throw yourself into it 110%. There’s loads to learn. Loads to do. And you can find yourself working late, or into the weekends. And you push the things you rely on to keep you sane off to the side.

Now… To some extent, this is natural and necessary. Starting a new job is tough, and you have to put the hours in to make it work.

But… You HAVE to hold on to the stuff that keeps you on an even keel. So whether it’s the gym, or singing in the choir, or knitting, or youtube… MAKE TIME to keep being you.

Or in six months, you’ll be exhausted, burnt out, and no good to anyone.

Number 4: Figure out what you need to CHANGE about you!

If you’ve moved from a technical role to a position managing people, you’ll need a whole new skillset and be facing a whole new set of challenges.

If you’ve been promoted to lead the team that you’ve been a part of for a while, you’re going to have to stop doing some of the things you liked to do in your old role, so you have time to do the things you need to do in your new role.

You might find that you need to manage your time differently.

Whatever it is… As you start your new role, you’ll need to change SOMETHING from how you’ve done things before. Figure out what it is. And run TOWARDS that change. Not away from it.

And lastly… Number 5: Commit to being more than a manager

Being a manager is tough. Making sure everything gets done, gets done right and gets done on time, is complicated important work. 

But if you want to build your career, in your next job interview you want to say more than “I made sure we followed all the procedures correctly.”

You want to say… “I worked with the team to fix these problems, improved customer satisfaction, brought in NEW systems to make our work more efficient…”

So. Commit to finding things to change for the better. Commit to communicating and working with your team in ways that bring them with you, instead of ordering them around, or dragging them along. Commit to doing all you can to help your corner of the business do better, be better and feel better. Commit to being a LEADER as well as a manager! And you’ll go far!

If you want help getting started, you should check out my Jetstart workshop. It’s a short, free, REALLY actionable video training session, where I’ll teach you one way to think about what leadership is, and an exact three step process to start building your leadership CV. Check it out at or just hit the button below to really get your leadership going.


Leaders aren’t lawyers! Don’t BUILD A CASE for HR. Do this instead…

If you have a problem with someone on your team your boss might have told you…“Make sure you document everything. Build a case for HR.”

Half of this advice is right. And half is dead wrong! Because leaders and managers AREN’T lawyers! It’s not our job to build cases against people. It’s our job to support them and lift them up!

So today we’re going to talk about why you SHOULD document everything, and why you SHOULDN’T be thinking about “building a case for HR”.

Let’s start with why you SHOULD document everything.

Whenever you’re dealing with a performance or conduct issue, you MIGHT end up in a formal process, and in that process you’re going to need documentation about what happened, what they did and said, and what you did and said…

But. You don’t have to make this complicated. It’s as simple as sending an email. 

The rule is… If you EVER have a conversation with someone about a performance or conduct issue, you follow that conversation up with an email, setting out the key things you discussed.

If your organisation doesn’t use email just write YOURSELF a note in your diary, or send YOURSELF an email.

And ONE reason you do this is so that if you DO end up in a formal process you’re ready for it.

BUT… It’s not the only reason. It’s not even the most important reason.

And this is where we’re getting into what’s WRONG and why you SHOULDN’T be thinking about “building a case for HR”.

You see… if you start off with the attitude that you’re building a case, you are ASSUMING that your job is to help HR PROSECUTE a case. You’re assuming that this will end in the employee being disciplined or fired through an HR process.

And that’s a rotten way to SERVE your colleague as their manager.

Your job as a leader is to do everything you can to enable your team’s success. It’s to do everything you can to GROW the individuals that report to you. It’s your job to challenge and encourage your people to give 100% in support of the business.

So. If you have a performance or conduct issue to tackle… Your job isn’t to “build a case” AGAINST them. Your job is to HELP THEM by giving them every chance to turn that issue around.

So. The main reason to document conversations in writing is to HELP YOU CREATE CLARITY for your colleague and give you a REFERENCE POINT should you need to come back to anything.

And yes. If you get to an “HR stage” later on, you can use those emails or notes to demonstrate that you did everything you could as a leader to clarify expectations and support your colleague.

So… Do document everything. But not because you’re the district attorney “building a case”. Do it because you’re a leader, supporting your colleague to deliver what the business needs.

And by the way… You should be supporting your colleagues in EVERY conversation with them… Not just the difficult ones. And to help with that, I’ve put together a cheatsheet PDF for great one to one meetings with your team, and you can grab it at

It’s a really simple and it’s my gift to you because I’m all about helping new leaders make a flying start!

Grab it by hitting the button below.