Visit Us

Category Archive: Blog

  1. De-motivation and Procrastination: 2 Pre Exercise Companions We Don’t Want!

    Leave a Comment

    This is an article I wrote for my local gym. A little different from my normal posts, but still related to leading self and wellbeing.

    Do you plan to exercise and always follow through?

    Do you always eat the right things, drink the right things, do the right things?

    If you answered yes, no need to read on 🙂 If you answered sometimes, then this article is for you!

    First of all, lets give ourselves a break for being human and not always doing the right thing. Balance is more important for wellbeing, than perfection. That said, how can we conspire for our own success around making healthy choices most of the time? Try these mindset tips:

    • This first one is the key and you have probably heard it before and may have even done it. Set yourself a goal.

    But not a simple goal (the most common kind). For example:

    • ‘To eat more healthily’ or ‘To lose 5 kilo’s” are not specific enough
    • ‘To reduce the risk of poor health” moves you away from what you don’t want but gives you nothing to aim for.

    Rather, it is important that the goal be compelling and exciting and real. So get a piece of paper and write a timeframe on it – 3, 6 or 12 months. Now begin to write the goal as if it has already happened. Begin with the sentence ‘It is [insert future date] and I am…

    Now write down how it will be health and fitness wise for you by that date: How will you feel? What will are you able to do better than you can do now? What will people be telling you? What will you be noticing about yourself? What will you be wearing? What health improvements will you have achieved?

    Now you have a specific and measurable goal. Check back with the timeframe, is it achievable? If not, change the date, or revise the goal until it is.

    Finally answer this question: For what purpose do you want to achieve this goal? What will the achievement of it give you?

    Now moving forward…

    • If you fall off, if you fail, treat yourself as you would your best friend. Compassion is a better motivator than hard heartedness.
    • Make a small decision towards your goal every day e.g.
      • Decide to put your exercise gear on when you get up in the morning
      • Decide to walk for 5 minutes
      • Eat a healthy breakfast
    • Give yourself a nudge; persuade friends to join you in either your goal or your activities.
    • Finally, notice your successes not matter how small they may seem. Success is a great motivator, so hunt for them, celebrate them!
  2. Women in Leadership Online Course Ready for Sign Up

    Leave a Comment

    I’m very excited announce that our Women in Leadership Course is finally live. I’m so proud that it’s different to most leadership programs in that it’s practical, personal and applicable to both leadership at work and in life. This pic is of the front page at log in and gives an idea of the content via the headings – there’s lots underneath. I’m still adding stuff because I love it!  🙂 #womeninleadership

    The course is 12 hours plus of learning for $199 plus GST – we are keeping it affordable so loads of women can do it. #equalpay #genderequality

    To get the the sign up button go to this page and when you get to pay pal you will see all of the courses – just remove the courses you don’t want and proceed from there. Once I receive notification of enrolment I will send you your link to the course – its as easy as that.

  3. How to Cope with a Bad Boss in a Dysfunctional Culture

    Leave a Comment

    When this happens it has a tremendous impact on a person’s engagement at work and also on their wellbeing and I have noticed it come up again and again in a range of contexts. It’s the double whammy that causes the problem I think – a great boss in a poor culture is often fine and the impact of a bad boss in a good culture can be managed much more easily.

    When it happens it is not a good place to be. Your mindset could be one of feeling stuck, that you have no influence and that it is impossible to change. If this sounds familiar, there are things you can do though to unstick yourself, shift your mindset and create some momentum:

    1. Remind yourself that other people’s behaviour is not your responsibility, it’s theirs. You didn’t cause it and you can’t change it, only they can.
    2. Use the circle of influence and circle of concern (Steven Covey) to work out exactly what you can influence about your situation and what you can’t. Ask yourself if you do the things you have identified that you can influence, will this make a positive difference or could it make it worse? What are the risks and benefits to you, your career, your family.
    3. Find someone you trust to talk to about this and work it through. Consider someone who will support you to look objectively at your situation rather than join you in it. Consider a trusted colleague (not necessarily in your department or even organisation), a Mentor, Employee Assistance if you have it or a Coach.
    4. Build your professional network. Make an effort to build relationships with a range of people both inside and outside of your organisation over time, who you can both add value to, who you can learn from, who you can help and who could be a resource for you you one day.
    5. If there is no influencing this situation and you feel stuck, make long term career goal at least 5 years ahead (it’s not a bad idea to do this anyway). Then work out where you need to be in 3 years, 1 Year and 6 months from now to be on track to reach it. Once you have this begin to take some actions, one step at a time towards your first goal. Ask for help from the people you have identified that you trust (see points 3 and 4).

    If you have experienced this and have some tips to add, or a specific question I would love to see your comments.

    You can contact me on or +61 421 775 924


  4. ‘Women in Leadership’ 12 Hour Online Course Outline


    12 Hour Leadership Intensive for Women

    Below is an overview of the Women in Leadership Course now open for enrolment and due to commence at the end of September.

    If you would like to enrol in the course please click here and you will be taken to our website. Once there simply click on the green button and follow the prompts.


    To provide you with both information that has practical relevance for your own leadership development needs as well as tools and strategies you can use to implement what you learn

    What You Will Learn

    By the end of the 12-hour course you will have an increased understanding of the following six areas of women in leadership. This part of the course takes about 6 hours to complete.

    1. Women in leadership and the barriers we face
    2. What great leadership looks like so that you know what you want to aspire to
    3. Why great leadership is important to us in our workplaces and the link between leadership and wellbeing
    4. Your own vision purpose and values around your leadership
    5. Your own leadership strengths and the areas where you would like to develop, learn and grow
    6. The goals that you would like to achieve by the end of this leadership learning

    When you have completed the first half of the course, the subjects below will assist you to meet the goals that you set above. You can choose 6 hours of further learning from this wide range of content to make up the 12 hours of the course. All of the subjects are available to you, so you can do as many as you like within the 6-month timeframe that you have access to this course if you would like to. This however, will take you longer than 6 hours.

    Activities Related to Leadership Strategies and Tools

    • Your leadership standard
    • Goal setting and action planning
    • Managing difficult conversations with bosses, peers and direct reports,
    • Delegating effectively
    • Time management
    • Influencing / managing up

    Activities Related to Behaviors and Beliefs in the Context of Leadership

    • Lacking confidence / imposter syndrome
    • Being assertive in a way that suits your communication style
    • Danger of assumptions
    • Introversion and extraversion in leadership
    • The drama triangle: understanding bullying behaviours

    Activities Related to Building Positive Cultures and Fostering Engagement

    • Creating shared understanding around team purpose vision, values and expected behaviours
    • Helping your team connect to purpose
    • Acknowledging and appreciating others contribution
    • The importance of connecting with others in the workplace
    • Promoting wellbeing through leadership
    • Barriers to change
    • Developing facilitation skills



  5. Six Common Culture Killers and What to Do about Them

    Leave a Comment

    This article describes six key things that commonly have a negative impact on workplace culture and provides some ideas leaders can use to creating a more positive environment.

    What You Stand for as a Leader is Unclear

    Our standard of leadership is the foundation upon which our behaviour and our responses to issues and situations depend. If you have not fully explored the criteria that underpin your leadership, it may be that you don’t always respond in a consistent way. You may lack certainty or confidence. You could end up agreeing to things that in fact don’t sit well with you, or not always stand up for what you believe. You may also feel incongruent about the choices and decisions that you sometimes make.

    In addition, bot being able to express what your leadership standards are (because I’m sure you have them) makes it difficult for you to set expectations for the team, as well as model and teach leadership.

    Take some time to explore what is important to you as a leader. What is it that you stand for? What is important to you? What do you expect of your team members?

    People are not Connected to a Common Purpose

    Because we spend so much at work, if what we do lacks meaning for us, our sense or feeling of wellbeing both at work and across life generally may suffer as a result and so might our work and our level of engagement. It is important therefore, to create an environment in which people truly feel that what they do has meaning and is meaningful.

    To help people feel connected, try having regular conversations with your team and individuals about:

    • Your collective purpose and how that relates back to the organisations broad mission and goals
    • Why you as a team do what you do and how each individual in the team contributes to this
    • What the individuals and team have achieved and how this has contributed to both the team and organisations short and long term goals.

    People are not Connected to You or Each Other

    Connecting with those we work with at all levels is important. It helps people feel valued and engaged which in turn promotes wellbeing. To foster connection try:

    • Being genuinely curious about peoples’ wellbeing. Learn about them – their interests and family, remember what you learn and check in with them often.
    • Creating the opportunity for social contact within the team and go along as well.
    • Finding out what the long term goals and aspirations are for the people you work with.
    • Making sure that team members spend time doing things they are good at and give feedback – help people grow though your connection towards where they want to be in the future.
    • Recognising and celebrating good work.

    People Feel a Lack of Appreciation

    Following on from the last point above, people like to be rewarded for the work they do and as we know, pay is not the biggest driver as a reward. Most people prefer to be shown that they are valued in some other way as well, for example:

    • Through personal recognition and acknowledgement
    • Knowing that they matter
    • By being enabled to do what they are good at most of the time and have their achievements celebrated, both publicly and privately
    • Being autonomous


    Team members who feel trusted, who feel like they are accomplishing things and making a difference are likely to feel more engaged. Micromanagement occurs commonly because of a lack of trust in self and others, commonly around:

    1. An unconscious fear of losing control e.g. work, timeframes, quality, outcomes
    2. Feeling that the job would not be done the way we would do it
    3. A fear that the job wouldn’t be done to our standards
    4. Concerned that a team member may not have the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to complete the work


    To increase trust, try being SMART about delegation:

    • Specific – what do you specifically need to be done?
    • Measurable – how will you know it is done?
    • Achievable – does the person have the skills and capabilities to do the job and if not how can you help them learn
    • Relevant – how is it important to you, the team, team goals, KPI’s etc. Also how will the learning be important to your team member?
    • Time bound – when does it need to be done by and what reporting mechanism will you put in place to keep track of this

    Bullying Behaviours Tolerated

    Last but not least, ignoring, denying, justifying or living with bullying behaviours is a significant culture killer. These behaviours have negative impact on individual’s wellbeing, both the person being bullied and the others in the team.

    If this is happening in your workplace take steps to address it. Be clear on your leadership standard and make sure others are too (see point 1). Find out your bullying policy. Talk to someone you trust like a mentor, HR, EAP or a coach and find a way of solving this problem.


    By Debra Pittam: working with you on to effectively manage change, foster employee engagement and build positive cultures through executive/leadership coaching and facilitation. Let me know how I can help. Call 0421 775 924.

  6. 18 Leadership Quotes: the Collective Wisdom of 13 Amazing Women

    Leave a Comment

    As we head towards international Women’s day I have been thinking about and am grateful for how much I have learned from so many women across my life both in person and through books. These quotes are by women I admire and would someday love to meet!

    On Motivation

    “Keep your eyes Open. Listen. Follow your curiosity. Ideas are constantly trying to get our attention. Let them know you are available.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic (2015)

    “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

    On Failure

    “Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.” – Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of Who You Think You Are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (2010)

    “The knowledge you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive”.  – JK Rowling’s commencement address at Harvard (2008)

    On Vulnerability

    “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brene Browm, Rising Strong (2015)

    Our Inner World and Self-Leadership

    “The way you tell your story to yourself matters” – Amy Cuddy, Presence: Brining Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (2015)

    “…you simply need to learn to live with the inner voice of self doubt but not be held back by it, to hear the voice and not take direction from it.” – Tara Mohr, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Vision and Make Things Happen (2014)

    “What you intend, you create”. – Laura Berman Fortgang, Take Yourself to the Top (2005)

    “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality” – Classics Greek author Plutarch via JK Rowling at her commencement address at Harvard (2008)

    “The choices you make will determine how quickly you move toward the top and how quickly you get there.”

    – Laura Berman Fortgang, Take Yourself to the Top (2005)

    “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”– Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

    “Women who lead, read” – Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism (2014)

    On Leading Others

    “This is something I know for a fact: You have to work hardest for the things you love most.” – Carol Dweck, Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential (2006)

    “In most cases being a good boss mans hiring talented people and then getting out of their way. “ – Tina Fey, Bossy Pants (2011)

    “Treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all.” – Arianna Huffington, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder (2014)

    “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

    “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” – Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012)

    “Lift as you climb” – Margie Warrell, Fearless, Sydney, December 2016


    Thank you for reading this article. If you are interested in knowing about my online courses on leadership for women or leadership coaching, please get in touch via mail to




  7. Where do Women Lead?

    Leave a Comment

    Well everywhere…

    Before we begin, lets make sure that we are on the same page about what leadership is. There are many leadership theories, models and frameworks. Most of them share the view that good leadership is underpinned by good character and positive relationships and is, at its core, about influencing both people and outcomes. A person’s purpose, beliefs, values, behaviour and the way they interact with and value others therefore, define how they are perceived as a leader. Consider these contemporary examples: Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen, Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg.

    So if leadership is about character, about who we are and how we go about influencing in the world, why don’t more women confidently step out and acknowledge themselves as the leaders that they are? Why aren’t more women acknowledged for their leadership? There are after all, a myriad of women in the world who answer to this definition of leadership. I think the answer is multifaceted and complex and an important beginning, is for us to develop an understanding of where women are in the current leadership paradigm.

    Women and Leadership: Where are we?

    Most of the current published experts on leadership are men, with the exception of a few notable women (think Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, Brene Brown, Oprah). Add to this, that most of the contemporary writings about leadership describe it within the context of a formal and defined management role in the work context and we begin to see a narrow paradigm emerging. This is pertinent because women tend to influence across the community as well as at work, often when they are not in a designated leadership role.

    Women in fact, are quietly leading everywhere:

    1. At work in formal leadership roles and also when our role is not a designated leadership role. We often lead in things like improvement initiatives and influence the workplace or team culture
    2. At home with family creating a vision of how we want it to be for our children and creating family culture,
    3. In community: in schools, sporting clubs, and through voluntary and other unpaid work
    4. As carer’s of children, of other family members and often friends and neighbors too

    Due to the narrow paradigm within which contemporary writing on leadership sits, this breadth of where and how women lead, outside of the work context is often unrecognized both by women themselves, by their employers and by those they influence.

    In my work with women as a leadership coach, I often find that a low level of confidence around leadership identity and capability can affect a women’s capacity to lead themselves across all aspects of their lives. It can impact their self-perception and their vision of what’s possible in life and work. As a result, rather than set great leadership goals and achieve enriching outcomes across their lives, women can let life just happen. The good news is, I have noticed that when women begin to understand the context of women in leadership at work, at home and in community they are better able to connect with and acknowledge their inner leader and take charge of their future in a positive way.

    So if you are a woman, I invite you now, to spend a few moments, using the definition of leadership here and the examples of where women lead, to identify the areas in which you currently are a leader. If you are a man, pass this to a woman friend or family member. When you are done, share, acknowledge and celebrate your leadership and the leadership of other women with other women. It’s time to change the conversation.

    Let me know if you need any help with that

    +61 421 775 924


  8. 6 Key Things to Expect from a Leadership Coach

    Leave a Comment

    I find when I am beginning a coaching relationship with a coachee – especially if they haven’t personally sought coaching (e.g. if coaching has been suggested by a manager or is a mandatory part of a leadership development program) that people often don’t know what to expect. This can result initially and understandably in defensiveness, confusion, anxiety and lack of engagement. As a result, building a positive coaching relationship can be impacted at least initially.

    I am writing this to share with those I work with to give us a starting point from which to begin a conversation and though which we can develop a shared understating about leadership coaching as it relates to them. I thought I would share it with you too.

    What you should expect…

    1. An equal, professional, collaborative and respectful relationship
    2. Your coach to create with you and for you, a learning space that is both challenging and supportive
    3. A focus on your strengths
    4. Commitment from your coach to your learning, development and outcomes and expect your coach to require your commitment to the coaching relationship, process and the outcomes
    5. An assessment and initial session to help you understand where you are (e.g. 360 feedback, EDISC), what your strengths are, where you want to be and how to get there as well as how the coaching process will support that
    6. That learning and change is a complex process that happens over time. You should expect the occasional light bulb moment, but coaching is not a quick fix – you will need to work at it.


    You should also expect:

    • A dialogue
    • To learn about human behaviour
    • To gain personal insights and also expect effort and hard work to turn them in to change
    • Uncertainty sometimes
    • The unexpected sometimes
    • Excitement and inspiration
    • To think differently
    • To try new things
    • To laugh
    • To be acknowledged
    • To make changes and to change the way you think and behave

    Leadership coaching is a complex, multifaceted and individualised process and if you are a coach or have worked with a coach I have no doubt you could add to this list. I would love to see your thoughts in the comments section.

    For more information about leadership coaching call 0421 775 924 or email



    Coaching for Leadership (3rd ed.), 2012. Goldsmith G., Lyons, L. S., McArthur, S. Ed. Pffeifer

    A Guide to Third Generation Coaching. Narrative-Collaborative Theory and Practice (2012). Steltler, R. Springer.

  9. 12 Key Reasons to Hire a Leadership Coach

    Leave a Comment

    I am often asked why would someone seek coaching for leadership and do you have to be a corporate leader to benefit? I don’t think so. Leadership skills, capabilities and behaviours are required by many of us across a range of contexts not only at work and not only in an office environment. Developing leadership skills is of course important at work, whether you are in a designated leadership role or not. They are also important however, for small business owners, community workers, volunteers, committee members, in sport for young people, for men and for women and the list could go on.

    Across all of these contexts, these are the 12 key areas in which people both seek out and benefit from, leadership coaching:

    1. Lack of confidence
    2. Imposter syndrome
    3. Seeking Promotion and/or recognition
    4. To improve overall leadership capability
    5. To improve or enhance emotional intelligence
    6. To learn more about human behaviour
    7. To learn more about self both personally and in relation to strengths and leadership
    8. To achieve a goal: often presenting as wanting to move away from something unpleasant e.g. awful job, bad boss…
    9. For career development
    10. To manage a difficult situation e.g. bullying, managing challenging behaviours, poor workplace culture
    11. To develop specific leadership skills, capabilities and behaviours* either generally in response to an assessment of leadership capability or sometimes specifically in response to the identification of a fatal flaw
    12. To fix a fatal flaw: Zenger and Folkman describe as fatal flaws 10 leadership shortcomings that can derail leaders and of which poor leaders are commonly unaware


    *Leadership Capabilities, Skills and Behaviours

    As referred to in point 11, these include:

    • Visioning
    • Setting effective (SMART) goals
    • Having a leadership Standard
    • Influencing (people, culture)
    • Assertiveness
    • Negotiation
    • Giving and receiving feedback
    • Creating a shared understanding
    • Conflict resolution
    • Having difficult conversations
    • Change management
    • Leadership strategies and tools
    • Acknowledgement and praise
    • Effective decision making

    10 Most Common Fatal Flaws

    These were identified through research done by by Zenger and Folkman (2009, pp 152 – 159)

    1. Not Inspiring others
    2. Accepting mediocre performance
    3. Lack of clarity around vision and direction
    4. Lack of trust
    5. Lack of collaboration
    6. Poor role model
    7. Not learning from mistakes i.e. not developing self
    8. Poor interpersonal skills (EQ)
    9. Resistant to new initiatives and change
    10. Focus on self, doesn’t develop others

    If you have sought leadership coaching or are a leadership coach and have a different view or some points to add I would love to see it in the comments section.

    For more information about leadership coaching with me call 0421 775 924 or email



    • Coaching for Leadership (3rd ed.), 2012. Goldsmith G., Lyons, L. S., McArthur, S. Ed. Pffeifer
    • The Extraordinary Leader, 2009. Zenger, J. and Folkman, J. McGraw Hill
    • 10 Fatal Flaws that Derail Leaders, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, HBR, June 2009



Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial