SPARK Ignite Great Leadership | HRDQ-U Webinar

SPARK: Ignite Great Leadership through Exceptional Self-Leadership



In March 2021, Gallup scored employee engagement as low as 15%. Add to this the current Great Resignation and the fact that, according to SHRM, less than 10% of employees actually use their organization’s EAP services … something has to change! Managers develop support and development for today’s landscape. Professional and leadership development go hand in hand.

Today, more than ever before, the foundational skills of time management, organizing, planning, and communication must be matched with managers and leaders also having confidence, influence, and courage for productivity, engagement, role, and life success.

Self-leadership is the ability to lead oneself: if you can’t effectively lead yourself, then this directly impacts the effectiveness of leading others. Ponder this: would you follow you? Dee Hock, founder of Visa, has been quoted saying, “If you want to lead, invest at least 40% of your time in leading yourself.”

Self-leaders understand that their influence, courage, and confidence impact performance, profit, and people. Great leadership starts with great self-leadership, and Office Professionals are more and more being seen as the essential leaders they always have been. This interactive and collaborative webinar will help fire up confidence, courage, and influence through self-leadership.

Attendees will learn

  • How to explore the need for self-leadership.
  • How to identify the three V’s for improving your self-leadership.
  • How focusing on these three V’s will make you a more confident, influential, and courageous office professional.
  • How to identify the nine strategies that ignite exceptional self-leadership.
  • How to deeply connect with your value.
  • How to identify, set, and hold real and respectful boundaries.
  • How to rid the imposter syndrome, unleashing your personal power for better self-leadership and career success.


Sally Foley-Lewis inspires skills managers to be high performing, purposeful and productive. Obsessed with leadership and professional development that ensures people reach their potential. Sally’s presentations and programs positively impact your confidence, leadership and results.


  • 2021 University of Southern Queensland – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year – Business and Enterprise
  • 2021 A.I. Influential Businesswoman – Winner – Most Inspirational Leadership Development Specialist (Australia)
  • 2021 ROAR Success Awards – Silver Leadership Award
  • 2020 Gold Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services
  • 2020 Bronze Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Services
  • 2020 Breakthrough Speaker of the Year by Professional Speakers Australia
  • 2019 finalist for Australian Learning Professional of the Year
  • 2019 Australian Champion Sole Trader winner – Australian Small Business Champion Awards
  • One of the 25 LinkedIn Top Voices for Australia for 2018 for her thought leadership.


She is a global professional speaker, and has authored multiple books. The drive to support and skill managers comes from her own CEO and senior leadership experiences. Sally delivers presentations, keynote speeches, workshops and coaching – live online and face-to-face – to skill managers, boost productivity and self-leadership.

Blending 20+ years of working with a diverse range of people and industries, in Germany, the Middle East, Asia and across Australia Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor and an ability to inspire and make people feel at ease. Sally’s your first choice for mastering skills, facilitating action and achieving results. Connect with Sally on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and at


What’s My Communication Style assessment
What’s My Communication Style Assessment

Communication skills are critical if your organization is going to perform at its best – particularly during challenging times. You can dramatically improve communication skills by building a better understanding of personal styles and their effects on others. With the What’s My Communication Style Assessment, learners engage in a proven process that identifies their dominant communication style and the communication behaviors that distinguish it, then teaches them how to flex their style with colleagues for optimal communication.

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On-Demand Webinar Recording
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SPARK: Ignite Great Leadership Through Exceptional Self-Leadership


Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Spark, Ignite Great Leadership Through Exceptional Self Leadership, Hosted by HRDQU, and presented by Sally Foley Lewis. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.


Today’s webinar is sponsored by the What’s My Communication Style Online Assessment and Training Course.


Communication Skills are critical If your organization is going to perform at its best, dramatically improve communication skills of your employees through a better understanding of personal style and the effect on others.


What’s my communication styles assessment is just 20 minutes to an aha moment.


Learners engage in a proven process that identifies their dominant communication style, and the communication behaviors that distinguish it, then teaches them how to flex their style with colleagues for optimal communication.


Learn more at where you get to take a free test drive of the online assessments.


Today’s presenter is Sally Lewis, Sally inspires skills managers to be high performing, purposeful, unproductive, obsessed with leadership and professional development that ensures people reach their potential, sallies presentations, and programs positively impact your confidence, leadership, and results.


She is a global professional speaker and has authored multiple books.


The drive to support and skill managers that come from her own CEO and senior leadership experiences, Sally delivers presentations, keynote speeches, workshops, and coaching, live, online, and face-to-face to skill managers, Boost productivity and self-leadership, blending over 20 years of working with a diverse range of people in industries in Germany, the Middle East, Asia, and across Australia.


Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor, and an ability to inspire and make people feel at ease, Sally’s your first choice for mastering skills, facilitating action, and achieving results. Thank you for joining us today, Sally.


Thank you, Sarah. It was 1992.


I had graduated university, and this was my very first job.


I was on the first ladder of the rung to my career, and I don’t know what your first job was, but I thought it was quite interesting when I look back now and think that my very first job was a recreation officer in a psychiatric hospital. It certainly was an eye opener to the world of work. And, you know, like thirsts for everything, and when maybe you were in your first job, you tend to get given some of the menial tasks. When you’re at the bottom rung of the ladder, you get certain things that you have to do. It’s almost a rite of passage, in some ways, especially back then, in 1992.


And some of the menial tasks that I was required to do, which I didn’t mind doing, because it’s all learning. But I need to, I was tasked with doing the ordering for the whole of our department. So I would order the milk, the T, the coffee, tissues, stationary, occupational therapy supplies, the recreation, supplies, anything that our department needed. I would have to order it. And back then, our order book was the carbon paper, Copied Actual pen and paper book, And I know what I say, carbon paper. I tend to carbon date myself. I get that. So, if you, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s, uh, it’s old-school, copy and paste. So I would have to write the orders out. And my signature was registered as the person to do the ordering.


So I had to sign the orders, and I’d ripped the page out, into the into Office envelope. It would go, the mail would be picked up, and then someday a few days later, all our supplies would arrive. And so that was one of my tasks.


And I was, I was at that place for a little while, and my, my annual leave was coming up, and so I did a final order before my leave, making sure that everyone was looked after. They had everything that they needed them.


When I came back from my lave, and it was time to do the next order, I was flipping through the pages of the book. And I noticed, when I got to the last page that had had an order on it, I looked at it. And the law.


I look, I looked at the signature, and, and so it was my signature. But it wasn’t my signature that looked at the date.


Look back at the signature.


And I thought that moment when you have that realization.


And I was looking up and out of my mouth, I blurted someone’s forged my signature.


And I didn’t have the composure at that moment, but as it was coming at my mouth.


And I was staring at my boss, and my boss turned.


And with a very flippant and disregarded time said, it was just full milk.


And right, then my world crumbled, in that moment, I had every value that I believed in and grew up with, and thought I was working with completely and utterly challenged in that moment, because I was blurted all that out already. And the response that I had from my boss was, it was just milk.




I didn’t know what to say, I had no voice.


And because this was my boss, and I could potentially be walking into a career limiting move if they were, depending on what I say mixed, I felt quite small, I quote, I felt almost invisible.


No, I was truly challenged.


In that moment, I was, I just didn’t know where to go, what to do, what to say, I wanted to crawl under the desk and hide, because it was something that I really had to think about. No.


If is it OK to forge a signature, maybe I could forge the CEO’s signature and get myself a pay rise.


You know, why did she forge signature for milk when she could have got milk another way? Might be a more ethical way? You know, I don’t know about you, but I. have. You had a situation where your values have been completely discounted.


You know, you’re challenged or turned upside down when you thought that you had that, that space of safety, you know, back then, that the term psychological safety was not heard of, It wasn’t even thought of. But that was the beginning of the end of a sense of safety, working in that environment. You know, have you had your voice shut down?




Have you been in a situation where you felt as though you couldn’t, you couldn’t speak up, because, if you did, it could have been a very cold career limiting. You know, has your visibility being diminished because of a situation? So it’s really quite interesting to think about where this impacts us when we’ve had these sort of situations.


So, I think one of the things to think about in these moments, you know, they can be truly defining moments for, for all of us.


And when we think about our voice and our value and our visibility, leadership, context, you know, I often think about my, my grandfather had an amazing workshop under his house with all sorts of tools and nuts, but he had just everywhere of all sorts of things. And he had this big would plane, and a wood plane is like a razor for wood, and it goes across a piece of wood. And I need shave off the tiniest thickness layer of wood, and I think sometimes it can be moments at work when you want to.


You want to present an idea, because you think it will bring a certain value to the organization, but someone makes fun of it or, or doesn’t see the value in it the way you do, and then you can feel like some the lead has taken a slice of you.


You know, all your You’re at a meeting and you put forward an idea, but it gets ignored and then two people to the right of you.


Suddenly say the same idea and they go, oh, great idea Bob Dwelled on then your left Another slice of you has been taken away now.


Hmm you know all these slices from like the metaphorical would play you.


Know they can weigh you down ways and things Thins the wood down, I think one of the biggest things that we can do when we focus on our self-leadership is that, know, applying like that behavior, that slices us a way that doesn’t work on steel. So you know, the stronger we can be, like steel, the, the better we can be as leaders. And I truly believe that great leadership starts with exceptional self-leadership. And that can be the defining and pivotal moment for all of us.


And when I think back to that time, when my boss forged my signature, it was it was an invaluable lesson around where’s my value.


Where’s my voice and where’s my visibility.


So, you know, what is self-leadership? It’s you know, it’s a process of influencing oneself and when you look at the work of Charles Manson, Christopher Neck and Geoffrey Hinton, they pulled together a whole range of theories that help to define self-leadership. And the two that I really resonate with the most the social cognitive theory, and that’s the capacity to manage or control ourselves. Especially when we’re faced with you, know, difficult, yet important tasks.


And then self-determination theory, which is that natural reward that you know, that we enjoy when we’re doing things we like, you know, and so Blending those together Helps us be on this journey of self-leadership.


And I do believe self-leadership is absolutely a journey.


And know, I like to think of some times that, when we were in a space of really good self-leadership, when we’ve worked on our self-leadership, and we are continuously working on our self-leadership, it shows up, in so many ways, like, much better job satisfaction. You know, we, as leaders, when, whereas, when we are, operating from, a level of, of, positive, and, and exceptional self-leadership. We can also help our team members and our direct reports to also improve their self-leadership. So, their job satisfaction, also improves. And you don’t need me to tell you the value to the organization. When our staff are actually satisfied with what they’re doing. They’re engaged, and they’re productive. And the cost saving that goes with that.


The other benefit of having good level of self-leadership is that we’ve got this ability to handle whatever gets thrown at us. Our self-efficacy is wrong.


You know, come at me, world, try your hardest, is what I like to say, you know, some days, you just think, oh, OK, come on, keep going, but we bounce back, really, effectively, when we’ve got a good level of self-leadership. Also, our creativity and innovation is heightened when we are really good self-leaders.


We’re able to not get hung up on certain things, but play, and be curious, and be creative and innovate. And be open to the ideas that are around us, and to explore them even more. Which then leads to greater opportunities for ourselves, for our teams, for the work. And, therefore, overall and job performance improves. So, there’s a real direct relationship between focusing on self-leadership, in, in our people, in our organizations, down to the bottom line, and, of, you know, the profits through better performance and productivity. So, self-leadership is a critical area that I don’t think it’s spoken about or dealt with very much in organizations.


And, and when I’m working with leaders, so often when we are talking, when we’re doing leadership development programs, with, with the managers that I work with, there’s always a component of self-leadership that we end out focusing on.


No matter if the content is around that or not, we do end up discussing really critical elements of self-leadership.


So, I think one of the things that’s really important, too, is that, in another way of looking at it, is that, when we are leading ourselves really effectively, then that has an impact on the people around us.


When I can lead myself, well, I know I’m in a better space to be able to lead my people.


When I’m leading my people really well, that means I’m going to, I’ve got a great team that able to help me lead the operations effectively.


I get the information I need so that I can be a better operational leader, which means that then I’m in a better position to influence strategy for the betterment of the organization.


So it has a really important ripple effect for all through the organization.


So, no, I want to think about the situation where I had working for an organization, where the boss was someone who didn’t have a whole lot of self-awareness and thought that they were an exceptional leader. They, they, they once, were, went on their leave. And when they came back, told us, told the team, all while I was away, I did a leadership assessment, and I’m Pat and I scored 100%. And, and, you know, the report says, I’m an exceptional leader.


And none of us said anything in the moment, but it was, this person didn’t have any sort of situational awareness of their own behavior. And it was interesting because the turnover in the organization we did a calculation quickly in.


And 21 people had left the organization in a period of six months, which was exceptionally high. It was horrendously high. So the leading of the people was not was obviously not really good which meant that the impact on our operations in the organization was that we’re constantly onboarding. We’re constantly scrambling because this person has left. We’ve got to plug someone else in to do the work which meant the employees were becoming overworked. So, the operations were getting drained, and the level of overwhelm and overwork and burnout was going up.


Which meant that, that later, ended up being a micromanager, because everything was falling apart inside, They weren’t able to stay out of the weeds and be strategic.


And so, it was really fascinating to look at that suits scenario and say, Part of the issue was their own self leadership and their own ability to see who they were and to lead themselves effectively.


And so, I think one of the things to think about is, is being able to identify where you’re at. You know, it’s really important to know who you are, and where your app are, particularly on a self-leadership journey.


I think there’s a, one of the ways that you can explore that, is through, you know, the, uh, The bottom level. Let’s start at the bottom.


You know, if you’re someone, who’s maybe had a really, really, you know, terrible time, and let’s face it. The last few years have not been great. Maybe this is something that we might relate to, even if it was for a little while, we tended to avoid looking out for ourselves. We avoid looking after ourselves, we avoid any, any sort of inward looking, and learning, and growing, and developing, and so we neglect ourselves, maybe that’s something to, that, that resonates with you at a period of time.


And that’s the lowest level. And we don’t want to stay there at all. So, we would move then up to a space where we are becoming more awake to what’s going on. Something may have triggered us and said, OK, there’s some work here to be done, and then we discover something about ourselves.


And when, I don’t know about you, but as a, has anyone told you that you do something? You know, like you baby play with your hair too much, or you, you scratch your ear too much or something, something where you haven’t been made aware of it, and you because all of a sudden you wake up to this notion of, some from some feedback around who you are.


Such a journey of discovery begins.


When the next level then, we go on of curiosity is spock’s, so we go and acquire, and we go and learn about ourselves. And this is where we might take on more courses, like an Emotional Intelligence Course, or a Personality Styles. Or, you know, the, you know, the communication styles, like Sarah talked about at the top of the show.


Anything? Anything that helps us learn and grow about ourselves and, you know, constantly finding out about who we are, and how we fit in this world, which means that we’re then more equipped to be able to define ourselves. We are aware of who we are, and we get to choose how we show up in this world.


This is where we can see that shift from really being clear about our values, our voice, and our visibility, and it’s starting to be finessed, and there’s an elegance about it. So that we are able to say, this is who I am, and this is how I’m showing up in the world.


Therefore, we’re at that space of leading ourselves because we accept who we are.


It doesn’t stop here. We haven’t just made it. We’re actually, you know, we’ve accepted that. this is the journey we’re on. This is who I am, and I’m still open to continuously learning.


So, I think that’s really important, to keep in mind. I wonder where you see yourself at the moment with this. Is this something that, you know, you can identify any of these, on the, on the levels there, if you can, just pop them into the question box, and I’ll have a quick look at questions now.


Effective and feasible. You think self-leadership is, particularly in work environment, where you’re constantly controlled by the surrounding environment.


What are like the results in such cases?


Self-leadership could be an inner journey, and I think it’s important that when we work on that, we can find strategies to deal with that, and I’m going to work through a few of them, and some of these might resonate for you. Hopefully that that might make sense as we work through some of these. How do you lead yourself when you are a perfectionist? Well, it’s good to know that you’re a perfect. If you know you’re a perfectionist, then you have a choice, don’t you? You have a choice to work on that and to understand that further.


And I think, you know, like, taking on board programs and training and learning around the strategies you can do and the feedback that you get from others will help you with that as well.


So, and pay attention to some of the strategies that I shared, these may help, as well.


And some of the strategies that I want to share with you are based on the value, voice, and visibility components that I think strongly underpin. Someone who can have exceptional self-leadership.


So, when we think about values, we think about, do you know what your values are? Because when you really clear about what your values are, you’re going to be in a great position to be able to set boundaries that are truly mutually respectful to you and the organization and to others.


Boundaries are not just saying no and going home on time. In her boundaries are also or finishing work on time. They also include culture, religion, and ethics, your positions, your sexuality, your emotions and thoughts, your personal space.


Hmm, hmm. Excuse me.


I think it’s really important that in that in the area of values, when we’re really clear about who we are and how we want to show up in this world, and we can set these really clear boundaries for ourselves. You know, we’re then going to have better self-esteem, we’re going to be able to conserve our emotional and physical energy more effectively, and then we’ll have more independence and agency.


And I think when it comes to also, this area of the self-awareness, anything that any work that we do on that? The emotional intelligence area, and we truly dive into that, and work on our emotional intelligence, then we are in a better position to be a better communicator. We’re more confident.


We’re able to see ourselves in the context of those around us, and it actually impacts on perfectionism for that question as well. You know, you, you get to put things into a different perspective and be able to make better choices around the level of work, the boundaries to our work and the impact you can have with and for and on people. So, really important to keep that in mind.


You know, boundaries are, you know, are so important for making sure that we are respected, and I love …


Brown’s work and she does talk about going through her alcoholism and becoming going through the, the 12 steps with Alcoholics Anonymous, and she said that, through that process, she heard this.


This phrase of clear is kind an unclear is unkind. and I think it’s so important to keep that in mind. And when we’re working on our self-leadership, you know, making sure that we say to ourselves what’s the most clear way I can say this? Because this is actually the kindest way and not just kind for myself, but it’s actually kind for others. Because when others are unclear, they don’t know where the boundaries are.


So they go to they’re going to cross boundaries. Because I don’t know where they are. We’re not being helpful in that way.


So really important.


The next level then is our voice.


And I always like to start with the inner work first and then move to the outer work.


And so, when it comes to our voice, what’s your self-talk?


No, what do you say to yourself about yourself?


You know, do you even catch yourself? Can you hear yourself?


We always, there’s a dialog going on constantly. So do you hear it, do pay attention to it? When the biggest things we can do is stop paying attention to what we say to ourselves about ourselves in the different situations we’re faced with, day in, day out.


Now, one of the things that really resonated for me in this particular work around self-leadership is, is when someone pays you a compliment, what’s the first thing that you say to yourself here before something comes out of here? Do you disregard it?


Mentally, before you say anything, Know, years ago, when someone pay me a compliment, I would be below, on the inside. I didn’t even have a word. I just had a grown on the inside. And then I would be dismissive in my words are no nothing oh, no, I’m not. Oh, no owner.


And took me, it took someone who really cared for me to say, do you know that you’re actually, you’re not accepting the complement and the impact that might have on the other person, who’s trying to pay you that compliment, And it really made me think about, you know, just saying, Thank you, as a starting point.


And then, the work began to pay attention to what was going on inside.


What was I actually saying to myself, I was groaning.


No, and I had to catch that.


The first step to improving our self-talk is being able to hear it and catch it.


It’s great to do a journaling exercise, where you can catch and listen to what you’re saying to yourself about yourself and seeing where you see what you hear, what you’re saying actually capture that dance, and then you can really explore why that’s happening when it happens. And then what are the alternatives that you can use instead? Self-deprecating is a common response. Absolutely is Brent. Yes, and also when you blend it with humor, and particularly in my culture, I’m actually Australian, if you couldn’t already tell by my accent. And I’m in Australia, we use self-deprecating humor a lot in Australia. So, yeah, and it is a common response and I think it needs to be understood in its context. Definitely, yeah. Group. Good pick up, For sure.


So the inner work is our self-talk. So the outer work is our interpersonal communication skills.


Anything, anything that you do to help improve your interpersonal communication skills will have an instant, positive impact on yourself leadership, which then impacts your relationships. And your general leadership around your organization.


You know, being able to present, being able to speak out, being able to share what you need to say is so important. And I think that’s a critical thing to keep in mind.




I think one of the things that’s so valuable is that, particularly when we’re in more leadership roles or when we’ve got to be the voice of a team, then I think it’s really important that, you know, we pay attention to how we’re showing up with our voice.


Just before I get often worried when I don’t deflect the compliment that I will be thought of as conceded, Oh, that’s an interesting concept. Yes. Yeah, I can see where that can could be, and I can resonate with that from my, from my early days.


But I think it’s about being kind to the person whose page of the compliment and maybe switching that mindset around, just say, thank you, just say thank you, because they’ve taken the time to think of you and pay you that compliment. Now, I hope that helps for you. Yeah.


You know, so, you know, our voice, making sure that we are speaking up is so critical and one of the things that I think is important is paying attention to any autonomic overrides that we might have. And that’s our, you know, fight, flight, or freeze, if we have to speak up in a meeting, and we sort of don’t know what to say, don’t want to say, don’t want anyone to look at me, don’t want to be called on. Please don’t ask me in mm. one of the one of the easiest ways that we can help calm down that that up, that fight, flight, or freeze is our autonomic override. Excuse me.


So doing some breathing, breathing, excuse me, it helps to oxygenate our brain. And when our brain has oxygen, it works better. Doing a breathing exercise will absolutely help us find the presence that we need.


I can remember, it was in my early speaking days when I started my career as a professional speaker. And I was in this very nervous state. It was the biggest audience that I’d ever spoken in front of. And all of a sudden, I just started breathing really shallow. And, you know, my, my amygdala hijack, was coming. I was in fear mode and when I got finally got onstage, I couldn’t catch my breath. And I really think and, you know, Marilyn Monroe, if you, if you recall the Marilyn Monroe is in her beautiful, bresee, mister President. I was not **** like that at all.


It was terrible. But I needed to breathe.


I needed to bring the oxygen deep into my belly so that it would be oxygenating up into my brain, and I could become, you know, when we think about our interpersonal communication skills, and being mindful of what we say, and when we saw it. You know, maybe we could think about who we could talk to get some advice before we start speaking.


So, leveraging the relationships and the knowledge that’s around you before we launch into something, and maybe say something that might be out of place, is really valuable.


Know, what’s happening? What’s going on around you before you speak? I’m sure you know this when I say this but excuse me.


Have you ever met someone who’s completely clueless, you know, the, you know, someone who’s walked into a room, the room is in a really sort of not positive mood, some bad news is being shared. And then this happy person just bounces even.


It doesn’t really realize doesn’t pay attention to how everyone going and doesn’t pick up on the clues and the cues that things aren’t going so well at the moment. Yeah. Nice, but clueless. So I’m sure that’s not you. So, you know, it’s really valuable to be able to observe before we speak up.


And it doesn’t mean, I didn’t speak up because I was observing it, means observing before we speak up, is really important. I’ve never had those feelings when I get a calm when I get complimented. I do feel that the compliment is nice, but I’m self-affirmed and no.


the quality of what I did. So I don’t need it. I do. Thank the person, though. Well, that’s good.


That’s brilliant.


I’m glad. That’s, that’s, you’re in a great space. That’s fantastic. Thank you.


So I’m doing one of the other things around our interpersonal communication skills, and when we do speak up, is I love this concept of having mental, double line spaces in our head. And I’d say even extra wide margins. And what do I mean by that?


Is when we’re having a conversation, and when we’re contributing to a meeting, or we’re trying to excuse me, come up with ideas for, you know, what to do about a certain project. We often can get excited about our own ideas. We want to put forward our opinions, and we want to put forward our input yet. If we do that with, with extra wide margins and double line spacing, then we allow space for the edits.


We allow space for change to happen, which means we allow for even better outcomes to happen.


And when we do that with our own mindset that we have this extra wide margin and double on spicing, then we’re able to be in a position to handle any sort of options or objections. That might come at us.


Because we’ve got the space there to be open, for things to be changed, to be value added to, for your idea to be built on.


And I think that’s a really important mindset, particularly because when we need to communicate and be understood, we also want to make sure others feel understood and heard as well.


And I think it also helps us, too, being in a space where we know when to take the seat at the table. We know when to speak up. We also know when not to speak up and being mindful of the situation that’s going on.


And I, I really think there’s some value in always having a voice at a table. I remember when I was in one job, I was at years ago, I had a boss come to me before a meeting and say, I need you to speak up at this meeting.


I’m thinking, OK, why?


I was really quiet. No, I’m not I’m not shy. I’m not someone who would not speak up normally, And so, I just didn’t know what the point was. I didn’t understand. I said, tell me more about what this is?


Well, this is, you know, this topic of this meeting is, is your area of expertise, and the team need to hear from you, and this is your, you’re know, they need to hear your voice. And I said, well, but everything gets said.


I don’t need to add to it, so I don’t know what else to say. I would just be repeating things that are already being said. And then he looked at me, and he said, oh, OK, well, I’m going to ask you a question.


And I want your voice to be heard. And I thought, OK, all right.


So, in the meeting, during the course of the meeting, he turned, he asked me the question, and I responded, and all of a sudden, was like the mood turned.


And when people looked at me, and listened to what I had to say, it was, it was, again, another one of those defining moments where, oh, I’m being seen as knowing what I’m talking about and having expertise.


And it’s not that they didn’t think that before, but they finally heard my voice on this.


I left that meeting feeling a little bit taller. So, you know, being mindful of where we’re sitting when it comes to our contributions into meetings is really important.


For a lot of people, when we’re getting to sort of higher levels of management roles, even into some, some of the higher leadership roles, the more we have to present is really important. When we have to speak up at meetings, or, you know, maybe presenting, giving presentations, is a key part of a person’s, just general role, and a lot of people get nervous when we have to speak.


We all know that, no, public speaking is the number one fear of most people.


And having nerves is actually quite natural. And I would encourage people to embrace those nerves, you often hear people say, oh, don’t be nervous, you’ll be fine. You know, I’m still here.


People suggesting that, you imagine the audience naked, I cannot, for the life of me, think that that’s a good thing.


But do not picture them naked. but paint. people say, don’t be nervous.


I want to share, because I’ve been a professional speaker for 20 years now, and I want to share my little secret on this.


I get worried if I’m not nervous to me nerves, a sign that I’m excited. And I’m engaged, and this is important. So, if I’m not nervous, I start to think, am I being a bit complacent about this? Why am I, why am I not nervous?


And then when the nerves do show up, I get excited because that’s, I say, thank you.


I’ll take that energy and I will move it over to a space where it helps me to deliver the message that I need to deliver so that I am doing a service to this audience.


So for me, Nervous and service go together and I just think or value them. So if that’s of any value as a tip for you, I hope it works for you. But don’t be afraid to be nervous but thank you for showing up and harness the energy from it.


Use your autonomic overawed of breathing to help you and always be prepared when you have to do those presentations.


So our third element around, out, out, Excuse me, self-leadership, is visibility. And the first part to that is, again, the inner work.


What’s your self-image?


How do you see yourself? How do you think that you show up in this world, and how you are seen in this world? I think it’s really critical to think about what it is that you say about yourself as a, you know, how you see yourself as a person, as a leader, as a contributor to your community, your organization, your team.


Now, working on yourself image is really important, and one of the one of the most effective ways that I have done that over the years is, is creating a brag book.


Now, it’s actually a brag box because I collect all the cards, the e-mails, the testimonials, I’ve got boxes of gifts that people have given me. Whenever I’ve done something positive and people have given me prize, I’ve collected that.


So, when I have some of those tough days, when I am being down on myself, and my image of myself is not as positive as it could be. I go to the brag box, and I sit there, and I go through and re read some of the lovely things people have said about what I’ve done, and it lifts me back up again.


Hopefully, that will help for you to, know, visibility is so critical. Because if we, if we stay invisible, then we miss out on so much. We miss out on so many opportunities, we won’t be taken as seriously as maybe we want to be. So we need to put ourselves in places where we are saying, we need to be.


Thinking about the people that we connect ourselves with. You know, I loved the line, L L.


Our network is our net worth. And so, you know, who do you network with? Who do you, who do you hang out with professionally?


Making sure that you are networking constantly, and I don’t mean that every single day every single hour, but I mean having a constant network program in your schedule is really valuable. And I would encourage you to think about what is one internal networking opportunity one external networking opportunity that you could take on board once a month. And with the pandemic it has not been easy, and a lot of things have gone online but participating actively in programs like what HIV to you are doing.


You know, being able to reach out to people and connect with them afterwards LinkedIn is a great place to network as well, and not just put your profile up and, and comment on posts that you see, but also join some of the groups that they have and contribute and ask questions. That helps you to be visible and get known and be seen.


The other piece around visibility that I think is incredibly valuable and really helps amplify yourself leadership and therefore your leadership, so that you are saying, is mentoring.


Having a mentor has been one of the most advantageous strategies for people’s career because mentors can advocate for you. They can sponsor you. They can give you their wisdom from their own experience. I had a mentor for a little while in one particular organization, and I would be invited to every event that they went to.


I felt out of place, I felt uncomfortable. I felt like I was in the wrong room constantly. However, I said yes. And I went to every event that I was invited to as their guest, because it put me in a room to talk to people, I would never, have met, very senior people who could make some really interesting decisions about my career.


But what it also did was that mentor helped me, too, be able to handle those situations. And at the end of that program, my mentor actually recommended me for some different roles, because I said, yes. No, I got out of my comfort zone, and I got into the learnings thing, and it gave me the confidence to be able to, to handle that situation, to be able to stand in the room and, and communicate with people who I thought were far more important than may far more powerful than me. And I did it anyway.


No, confidence is not, not without fear.


Sometimes it’s doing it, despite that the fear is there. So, a mentor is someone who can truly help you move through, and so that you can stand out.


The other thing that I think is really kind of an interesting opportunity that I would really, really challenge people to think about doing is looking at, what are some awards that you could actually apply for?


You know, sometimes we wait for awards to happen for us, but there are so many opportunities that are out in our, in our respective industries now that we can nominate ourselves or work with someone to nominate you for an award.


And thinking about the, the achievements that you’ve had over the course of the last 12 months, that could actually be truly worthy of an award.


And sometimes, it might help to have a mentor or a friend, a trusted colleague, worked through an award application with you, to look at some of the things that you’ve achieved over the last time period, and maybe apply for an award. Because award is a great way to recognize what you’ve done. And what it does is it validates for you.


And, one of the things that I have learned, because I’ve, I have gone through a process over the last decade of earning quite a few awards, but I entered them because, I had someone say to me, just enter.


And, I said, why?


And, they said, the process of applying for an award helps you actually understand just how much you’ve done, how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved.


And what that does for your own confidence in yourself, can, can, you know, it’s just phenomenal. And so, I would encourage you to look at what is an award that you could actually apply for and without being attached to winning but be attached to the process of the application.


Because in doing that, you actually, when you submit it, you actually feel really proud of yourself, because you’ve, you’ve reviewed what you’ve done So that, that visibility piece is really important. And even if you are nominated, this is, there’s a judging panel that see you.


And you can often get really great feedback.


Now, when we think about the, the, oh, hang on, I’m just want to go back.


Well, we jumped quite a few slides there.


Oh, sorry about that.


So I want to just jump to there and highlight some key pieces around this.


And the first one is that, when we are operating at a level of really exceptional self-leadership, our values are aligned. We’ve got clear boundaries in place. We’re able to stand up for ourselves and be assertive. We’ve got an exceptional emotional intelligence in place. And our voice, we, our self-talk is in check. We’ve got great interpersonal communication skills.


And we were able to be discerning about speaking up, you know, when those two elements are aligned, then we are seen as being intelligent in the combo in the, in the overlap between value. And voice was seen as someone with emotional intelligence.


Not just intelligent people, because we know what we’re doing, but social intelligence, as well.


When our voices in line, and our visibility is in line. So, we, again, great, self-talk is in check. Our interpersonal communication skills are exceptional. We just turning about, speaking up. We have mentors. And when networking, we’re clear about our, and we have a positive self-image. You know, we, we put ourselves into places and spaces so that we can be seen by those who can help us when those two overlaps and are working really well. Then, our image out to the two others is also very positive.


Our image about ourselves is confident and influential and courageous, and then when our visibility and our value need to re share your slides there OK, sorry about that, All right.


Here we go.


Is that working?


Yes, we see the slides. Now, you need to put that in full screen mode.


Is it not in full screen mode?


We see your desktop, too.


Oh, that’s odd, OK.


Sorry, sorry everyone, let’s just do that, you don’t want to see my messy desk.


How’s that?


Looks like, maybe we’re seeing your second screen, possibly, there we go, there we are, OK. Sorry about that. And I want to just go back when they were, So thank you. Yes. So, our, our voice and our visibility mean when they’re working well out, we have a positive image. We have we’re confident. We are influential, were courageous. When our visibility and our value are aligned when those two overlap and are in a positive frame. We are seen as someone with integrity.


That’s incorrect, and that’s absolutely critical because when we’ve seen a zone with it with integrity, then we were authentic, were honest, were credible, were reliable, you know, where they’re going to be, the person of choice, when opportunities come along, and the senior decision makers are trying to decide whose it’ll be you. So, I think that’s a really critical way of framing up self-leadership. Any way that you can amplify yourself leadership so that you’ve got exceptional leadership, start with your values, your voice, and your visibility.


So, I just wanted to, just put this slide up, so that you can have a look at that and have a choice around whether you’d like to. Have some weekly notes from me, grab a chapter one of the Spark org, as well as chapter one of the productive later. You can also get the Management Success skills, A workbook and the self-leadership white paper, if you’d like that. You just need to send me an e-mail with the HRDQ-U freebies, and with, with HRDQ. I’m working with them and is a 10% discount when you buy the Full Spock book and the codes there on the screen as well. So, while that’s up, I just want to just jump into the questions and make sure I haven’t missed anything.


Ah, OK, let me just scrolling down, OK, what are your thoughts on the 24-hour rule?


This means if it isn’t fire or super important, waiting on a response or reply.


I’m not too sure exactly what you mean by 24-hour rule, Megan, but I’m going to I assume it means That you don’t need to be switched on plugged in tuned. in. Ramped up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unless that’s what you’re paid to do. So if that’s what you mean, then I absolutely think it’s important that if you’re a leader, your role modeling, that you do not know you’re not paying your people to be to be working 24 hours a day, it is unhealthy.


This research that comes out that once we hit the 50 hours of work in a week, we become unproductive. There’s no more productivity to be had when we hit the 50 hours mark. So you’re not getting anything more out of people. I would say going backwards because everything is taking longer to be done anyway.


So I believe that it’s absolutely important that there are healthy, respectful boundaries in place. And I hope that’s what you’re referring to. Yes, that’s correct. OK, thanks, Megan. Yeah, definitely.


And, it’s not easy when, maybe there are some senior leaders who expect, I remember when I, I, I stepped into the senior CEO role for a youth program.


I was already the senior project officer.


The CEO left, I applied for the role, and I was, I was lucky enough to win the position of CEO now, because this was a youth program, and we had young people out doing things out, in outdoor education, program components.


I had a pager, very old school page. This is going back a few years now.


So if there was an emergency, they would ring the civil service and get the emergency services sorted, and then I would be paged, so that I could then handle the next layer in that particular issue that would arise.


That’s what the pager was for. And so, I, my first, my first day, as a CEO, my pager went off at six AM, I almost had a heart attack. I thought, oh my gosh, first day, some child is stuck in the bush somewhere. They’ve had an accident, and there’s these helicopters, and those ambulances, and those Emergency rescue squads.


It was 6 AM, I was still having a little moment.


So I’ve, I’ve looked at the pager and it says Ring Allen. And there was the phone number. And I thought Alan, Alan …, the chairman of the board.


So I thought, OK, this is interesting. So I’ve wrung Allen, and I’ve said, Hello, is everything OK? And he said, yes, I just thought we’d have a chat.


And I said, Alan, I have to tell you, you’ve just given me a heart attack.


This page is for emergencies for when young people have had an accident.


Oh, I said, you just gotta give me a moment to catch my breath.


And he said, oh, I, you know, the previous CEO, and I would page them every morning. I said, that’s not going to happen with me.


And I said, Alan, I’m going to call you when I get to the office later this morning. Thank you. And I hung up on him.


Now, that might not be something everyone wants to do.


And I admit that when I hung up, I thought I might get into trouble for that.


And, no, he didn’t like it.


I actually said, When I when I got to the office, I said, Alan, my understanding of this pager is it is for emergencies only.


And when you called him when the page went off this morning, I thought I had to go into emergency mode.


My hours are 8 30, till 5 30.


And unless it’s an emergency, that’s when you and I are going to do our best work.


And he said, well, what’s your mobile number?


And I said, that’s my mobile number.


And this is before we had no bring your devices to work. I said, I’m not going to give you my mobile number, because our best work will be between 83530. And when we’re preparing for the board meetings, he did not like it.


But I was clear. And he actually calmed down.


In the end, when his term, as chairman actually came to an end and he and I went to lunch, I took him to lunch, because I thought that was important to do. He said, no, I didn’t like it.


I thought you were a bit feisty. But you know what? You did the right thing.


So, you know, hopefully that’s of any help for you, Megan, yeah. Thank you. How effective and feasible you think is self-leadership, to say, OK, We’ve, I think we’ve covered that one.


Hopefully you found some strategies, and then I’m just running through the questions.




I like that, because if there are no edits, the spaces came up. Yeah, definitely double line spacing and extra wide margins. Absolutely. Agree with embracing nerves all. Thanks, Brent. Yeah.


I don’t think, I think not having nerves assigned, that you’re not doing a good job anymore. Yeah. I kinda like the Tingle things of nerves, because it tells you it’s important, doesn’t it because if it wasn’t important to you, you, you wouldn’t care, and you wouldn’t be nervous.




Definitely, OK. In our agency, we can only receive an award nomination if someone else nominates us. We’re not allowed to nominate ourselves. But that’s your agency.


Maybe there’s something in your community.


Maybe there’s something in your wider industry, you know, maybe you can nominate someone else and help them, know, sometimes is that there’s a, uh, this is risk reciprocity. That can happen when, when you do something nice for someone else, it sometimes comes back to you, as well. And they might not they might not know it was you that nominated them.


But maybe you can help someone nominate something to consider.


I can’t see the slides Just sorry about that.




I’m taking out, OK, but I missed the last I after aware, OK. So, we’ve got we accept is the last one. That’s the fifth one.


Good webinar and thank you. My pleasure.


Fantastic. So hopefully you’ve got that information that’s on the slide now, if that’s what you’d like. And I just wanted to finish with one of my most favorite quotes ever, and I think that when we look at all the information that’s out there about self-leadership and the important self-leadership is for our own leadership and for leading others. I don’t think we can go past the very wise, Doctor Seuss, who says, your brains in your head, your feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.


So, with that in mind, I just want to see if there are any last questions or comments. What is, and say, I agree on your feistiness. Too many people wanted to push you down, or out of a role and being straightforward and feisty helps them to understand your intentions. I didn’t think, I was trying to be feisty, you know, he was the chairman of the board. But he saw it as feisty, because I was a young person and yeah. Yeah.


And Look, 100 percent have to tell you I was scared doing it. I was really scared to say it, but it has to be said. So, you know, and I feel good that I felt really good that I actually said it. I felt like I had said it politely and calmly and we cannot control how other people are going to respond to it but clear is kind.


Unclear is unkind.


Mmm hmm.


Thank you. You’re welcome. Miranda Ramona, Sorry. I can say that Probably Sorry, I love this quote. My favorite to Oh, that’s good. Yeah. I think setting boundaries often feels wrong. But you are often thought better of it because of it. It can feel like you’re rejecting someone. They can feel like you’re insulting someone. But again, it’s that mindset shift. If I don’t set this boundary, then they’re going to constantly cross it.


Because they don’t know, and then one day, I’m going to explode the wrong way.


Yeah, I completely understand how it can feel. But you will feel better for it.


And once people settle down and get used to the boundary, then the relationship actually can improve.




I just wanted to go to the next slide, and hand back to you, Sarah.


Oh, great!


Thanks, Sally. We had some great comments and conversation Come from the question still, today, So, thanks, participants, for, for, joining us, in that, with some great commentary there, and today’s webinar was sponsored by the What’s My Communication Style, Online Assessment and Training Course. Take a free test drive at and learn how you can flex your style for optimal performance on the job. And if you’d like to learn more on topics like today, HRDQ memberships offers over 200 Human Resource Webinars, it keeps you in the know with industry trends, as well as workforce virtual seminars on key training topics for your employees. Whether you’re a professional learner or a learning professional, we’ve got your training needs covered. You can learn more at That does bring us to the end of our webinar today. Thank you very much for your time today, Sally.


Thank you, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, happy training.

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3 Responses

  1. Question: What are your thoughts on the 24-hour rule?

    Answer: I’m not too sure exactly what you mean by 24-hour rule, Megan, but I’m going to I assume it means that you don’t need to be switched on, plugged in, tuned in, ramped up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unless that’s what you’re paid to do. So if that’s what you mean, then I absolutely think it’s important that if you’re a leader, your role modeling, you’re not paying your people to be to be working 24 hours a day, it is unhealthy.

  2. Question: How do you lead yourself when you are a perfectionist?

    Answer: Well, it’s good to know that you’re a perfectionist. If you know you’re a perfectionist, then you have a choice, don’t you? You have a choice to work on that and to understand that further. And I think, you know, like, taking on board programs and training and learning around the strategies you can do and the feedback that you get from others will help you with that as well.

  3. Question: How effective and feasible do you think self-leadership is, particularly in a work environment, where you’re constantly controlled by the surrounding environment? What are likely the results in such cases?

    Answer: Self-leadership could be an inner journey, and I think it’s important that when we work on that, we can find strategies to deal with that, and I’m going to work through a few of them, and some of these might resonate for you. Hopefully that that might make sense as we work through some of these.


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