Insights > Leader's Kitbag (Monthly Newsletter)
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Let’s talk about what’s working, and whether we need a new kind of leader – Leaders’ Kitbag September

I hope you’ve kept safe and continued to be well through these challenging times.

This month, we are focusing on what’s working around the evolving workplace dynamics we’ve seen playing out both within our clients and in the broader research we pay attention to. Which leaders are succeeding, and why? Is a new form of leadership emerging, or are these successful examples showing us that less recognised but in fact well established leadership practices are coming into their own. What kind of leader does the world need right now?

This month we’re making a small change, based on some of the feedback both directly about Kitbag, and the trends around available time and engagement right now. Or lack of both in fact. We’re condensing the content here with we hope more a focus on what should be applicable to your leadership context today and over the coming month. We look forward to the care and commitment you show in continuing to share your thoughts and feedback on what we provide, which you can do simply by replying to this email.

As ever, stay safe, be well, and let’s all stay connected and concerted in our efforts to build a better world,


Imagine a better world built by better leadership (including yours).

This content is visionary, strategic or futuristic in nature, looking at the road ahead for leadership.

Between Rio Tinto and AMP, we have seen two major Australian corporations respond to investor reactions related to the attention paid, or not as the case was in fact, to stakeholder interests beyond mere financial performance. This article in The Conversation (6min READ) gives some context around the critical role of TRUST in defining how leadership will deliver broader returns moving forward. 

Imagine a world here we have enough. We are enough. We have achieved enough. Or at least, that we don’t all constantly chase our tails in search of attaining more than we have now. Working with leaders, I so often find that when I get right down into the intrinsic motivations for achieving the career success they have done, many senior Executives are light on answers, and long on dissatisfaction. Some of the reasons for this might well be revealed in this podcast from Hidden Brain (33min LISTEN), which examines the psychology of wanting more, and offers some alternative ways of engaging with what we have and why we do what we do.

Ignite your potential to lead to your utmost ability.

This content is intended to be pragmatic, actionable and applicable to your leadership today.

Beware burnout. More and more leaders that I’ve interacted with over the past month are reporting that they are working harder than they ever have, over longer hours, and with more pressure and stress. Burnout is a real factor diminishing both impact and longevity of leaders. This short article (5min READ) from HBR offers some advice on avoiding burnout in the WFH setting.

Coach leaders is an idea that’s been around for a good long while, yet many leaders still come up short when it comes to deploying a coaching approach to activating the best performance from their team. Another concise HRB Article (4min READ) discusses some of the reasons for this, and what can be done to improve and deepen this part of leadership.

Wondering how to change and adapt in response to the disruption you experience on a daily basis? How about tuning into an Adaptive Leadership expert? Here’s a 2min WATCH sneek peak at the Better World Leader’s conversation with Brandon Srot who provides both insights and specific advice as to how to embrace the practice of adaptive leadership. The full conversation will be broadcast on 25th September on your preferred podcast platform and YouTube, simply search ‘Better World Leaders’.

Immerse yourself in our deep exploration of a focal leadership topic.

Month by month, we at 4i are examine key areas that enhance leadership’s impact and contribution.

Problems are coming thick and fast at the moment, some novel in of themselves, others more familiar but no less disruptive. And without physical proximity to each other, many teams that we work with are reporting what they feel has been a diminished ability to ideate around and through problems.

This article from McKinsey (15mins READ) gives a variety of ways to approach novel problems all grounded around creativity techniques and modes of creative thinking.

This podcast from This Working Life (25min LISTEN) provides some insights into how to improve one of the classic methodologies for overcoming problems – brainstorming. It provides both insights into what many groups do wrong, how to correct and improve these traditional approaches to group ideation, and how to adapt them for remote working and geographically dispersed teams.

Inspire yourself or others who you may share this with.  

Examples of great leadership, in particular what I call ‘Better World Leadership’ from the world at large.

As stated in the conversation with Brandon Srot (see Ignite), the world needs a different kind of leader. Navigating complex ambiguous global challenges, engaging diverse and rapidly changing stakeholder groups, the conventional charismatic leader is being left lacking. So what kind of leader is required? The adaptive one, for sure. But what about the sensitive one? This article from Melbourne-based Small Giants  (7min READ) draws the thread of sensitive leadership between 3 of the leaders being heralded as being most successful through recent times and challenges.

Discussion Questions – Something to consider or discuss (questions for you, your team or your leader)

– How are you deciding who to invest in the development of right now?

– How are you measuring your effectiveness as a leader?

– How is your self-awareness around burnout? Are you protecting yourself from over-extending and not regenerating your leadership?