How to operate with more courage and less fear

David McQueen, Author of The Brave Leader
Transcript (automatically generated, might contain errors) Speaker 1: Hello, everyone. I hope you’re doing great. David’s dance moves there have already, as Susie says in the chat, have already made him a TMM legend. That’s absolutely wicked. It’s so lovely to see you all. Thank you all so much for taking the time. If you […]

Transcript (automatically generated, might contain errors)

Speaker 1: Hello, everyone. I hope you’re doing great. David’s dance moves there have already, as Susie says in the chat, have already made him a TMM legend. That’s absolutely wicked. It’s so lovely to see you all. Thank you all so much for taking the time. If you haven’t already, do drop in the chat feature where you’re watching from. I can see that Stacey has said that I need David’s level of energy, which is absolutely incredible. We’ve got Ellie in Glasgow, Dion from somewhere. We’ve got Switzerland, Hertfordshire, Torquay, Lusanne, Cambridge, Cape Town, Bath, Manchester, Germany. It keeps on going on. If you haven’t already, I can see a bunch of messages coming in to hosts and panelists only. Do switch, as you can see the instructions on the screen, to swap your chat feature to everyone so everyone can see your messages. You’ll probably get double the amount of messages that you’re getting right now, and that’ll make the rest of today’s session absolutely amazing. Likewise, as on screen right now, if anything that you like on social media, as Nicole did, please do share afterwards. It makes the world of difference. Hi to Holly in Greenwich. We’ve got Kasim in Sheffield, Michelle in Kent. Folks in Bristol, incredible. Today’s speaker is the very amazing David McQueen, who’s the CEO of Q². He’s a TED Fellow, keynote speaker, author of The Brave Leader, which is where that QR code goes to, by the way. If everyone gets their phone right now and does the QR code thing, you’ll go straight to David’s incredible book, amongst many other things. I first came into contact with David through the Marketing Academy, and his warmth, his authenticity, his generosity came through the screen on that day, because it was mid-COVID. Ever since then, I’ve dreamt of having David involved in TMM, and today that’s happening, which is wicked. Today we’re speaking about operating with more courage and less fear, which is super relevant, given how in recent weeks with our talks with Sir John Hegarty, Ellie Norman, and Jo Lane, all of these people have spoken about the power of positivity and fearlessness. That’s also something that doesn’t naturally come to all of us. I’m hoping today we’ll be able to learn more about how to take on these traits, which I think will be really fabulous. Today will function purely as a Q&A. I have some questions lined up, but I’m counting on you for the rest, so you can use the Q&A feature, which is found in your toolbars below. Before we get going, I just want to say a big thank you to our sponsors. This week’s featured sponsor is Frontify. Frontify enable you to get consistency across your brand with all of your team. They’re a damn solution, but way more than that as well. Frontify recently released a report, having surveyed 450 CMOs, and this was the report that came off the back of it on when was the right time to invest in brand. It’s an ungated piece of content. There’s that QR code, and then you’ll get it right there. Also, a big thank you to Exclaimer, Cambridge Martin College and Redgate. We’ll speak about them already later on. With all that said, we’ve got Kat in the chat saying, I’m ready to face the fear. David, you’re an absolute hero for taking the time. I know you’ve been dashing across London to make it for us here today. Let’s get going with the first question, which is how do you define courage? How do you define fear?

Speaker 2: Way before I answer that question, let me big you up, because that intro with the video and stuff, I was trying to hold myself in and I was like, my head looks a bit shiny. It’s because I’m in this phone booth in Soho works. It’s the best place I could get without having any distraction. really, honestly, let me big you up before I answer my questions, Joe. This is really good. Interestingly enough, a couple of people have reached out to me to say that they were going to be on it. They saw my name. Obviously, it’s gone far and wide. I really appreciate that. I see one of my homies in here, bookies in here. I’m not swearing. I’m going to make sure I’m going to respect that. I’m going to hold my tongue. No bad language coming out of my mouth. Absolutely fabulous to be there. I’ll jump into the question that you asked them straight away. What is courage? For me, courage is a mindset. It is a sense of belief that you have to be able to go into a situation. It could be dangerous, it might be a bit uncomfortable. Sometimes it could be painful, it could be harmful. You go in and you actually address it without fear. On the flip side, fear is that anticipation that we have in our mind that we’re going into something that may be harmful or may be painful or what have you. We’ve already like given an outcome for what’s actually happened. For me, courage is that ability to recognize you can be really scared. if you got someone you can be scared of what’s going to happen. Courage that ability to go right. I’ve taken that. I’ve taken a reasonable risk, mostly, because sometimes you’re a bit silly. Usually you’ve taken a reasonable risk and you’re going to go right. I’m going to go and do this anyway, even though it can be quite fearful. Does that make sense?

Speaker 1: It does. Actually, what’s interesting is because in my mind, there were almost opposites. Actually, the way you described it almost feels like it’s a it’s a process. you start from a place of fear, and then you can actually end up in a place of courage, which is, a continuum. Is that how you think about it as well, or? A hundred percent.

Speaker 2: Okay. A hundred percent. I don’t think we can be courageous without fear. There is something in there that makes us go, oh, my goodness, how am I going to be able to deal with this? Then the brain goes, well, there are solutions. I think from an evolutionary point of view, very often we would either fight or flight. I think courage is more leaning towards the fight bit where we see this and we go, right, what? This can be a bit challenging, but I’m going to use my energy, I’m going to use my soul, I’m going to use the resources and the people around me to go through this space and be a lot more courageous.

Speaker 1: I love that. That’s already a reframe, because I think there’s a there’s a perception around fear that it could be a negative thing, right? that it’s something to be avoided at all costs. Actually, by framing it as you have, it feels like it’s a useful feature to have and to recognize it and use it as fuel. 100%. That’s lovely. feel the fear. That’s a wonderful thing. If we stop right now, I think there’s a reframe already right there in people’s heads where it’s like, cool, fear ain’t bad, which is cool. I really appreciate that. Thank you. As someone who often feels fear, that’s…

Speaker 2: It’s not a bad thing. It shows you’re alive. It shows you’re alive. When you stop feeling the fear, that’s when you have to start worrying, right? Yes. I love that. Somebody also said, feel the book, feel the fear and do it anyway. I think it’s Susan, somebody who did, I can’t remember. My wife has that as well. Really good book, really good book. A really good start for that. I agree.

Speaker 1: Love that. A resource and a reframe. We’ve done well. Let’s go into how one sort of goes on that journey then. We’re getting right into the meat of the conversation already. How do you go about turning fear into courage in your mind?

Speaker 2: I think it’s a process, right? It’s a bit like, I’ll give a really quick story if I can. I, I’ve, I didn’t learn how to swim until I was about 30 properly. All right. I, what it was is I was love, I love the water, but I was afraid of drowning. I love being in the sea. I love being in the swimming pool, but there were two situations that had got me where I lost like, I couldn’t feel the bottom of the pool anymore. My wife had to come and save me to her two times when she was my girlfriend at the time. She had to come and save me two times. It was like, look, dude, you need to fix yourself up. It was getting into a pool or whatever. You were going to go and drown. What it was, it was, it was because when I was, when I was going to, when I was going to swim, there was something in my mind. Okay. I’m a, I was born in 1969. Let me give you the context. I’m actually, I turned 55 on Sundays, my birthday. Congratulations. Born in the sixties and seventies, as again, I’m a courageous person. I can tell you right now, when I was in school, I was told by teachers, black guys can’t swim because your bones are too heavy. You’ll sink to the bottom of the pool. very different situation now in the, in the noughties or the twenties. Right. I was told that, and that’s stuck, stuck in my mind. I didn’t have a lot of people around me who looked like me who did swim either. There was all this constant message. I remember meeting my, the, by a lot of my friends could swim, but I remember meeting the woman who’s now my wife and she was a really good swimmer. I was like, well, hold on a minute. This is a black woman. How can she can swim? A lot of it for me was around the messages that we put in our head. It’s a perception, right? We all see the world slightly differently. For me, it’s around being able to go, there are some things that will really scare us, but let’s ask ourselves the question. Why is that scaring us? Is that rooted in opinion or is it rooted in fact? What are the things that we can either do to really challenge that fear, to really look at it and go, is this really real for me? Is it something that’s holding me back? For me as a coach, a lot of the things, a lot of my work, the majority of my work I spend is just asking questions, getting people to dig deeper. What are you really afraid of? Who told you that you can’t achieve that? Who says that you’re not capable of doing that? What’s stopping you from getting there? Who are the people around you who are supporting you? Who are the people around you who are critiquing you? Do you want to turn the noise down on the critiques and turn the voice up on the champions? It’s always about the questions that we ask each other and ask ourselves. Then that’s how we move forward. I was just saying to you just very quickly offline before we came on, I did stand-up comedy for two years and I did it more charitable. I didn’t have no ambitions for life at the Apollo or anything like that. One of the beautiful things about that is that you don’t go in there with the intention that you’re going to be offended. Now, I would always think about the wordplay that I’m going to use. Obviously, I work in inclusion and all the rest of it. I’m very mindful of my audience. What I will do is I realize in comedy, I play on a lot of people’s fears. People laugh at stuff that makes them really feel uncomfortable. I will do that with the intention that I’m not going to offend you as a person. Something I might say might be slightly offensive. I’m not offending you as a person. Showing that line, telling that line between the two was an incredible art that I learned from a lot of comedians. some go overboard and they just don’t really care. From the ones that I admired, they really allowed me to give myself permission to go. Don’t go out there worrying about whether or not you’re going to offend someone because someone’s always going to be offended. Just have a think about what you’re saying is whether or not it’s offensive to you and the audience that you’re actually working with. That was a major shift in the way from moving away from being fearful of what other people may be saying and being courageous in order to be able to be a lot more confident in what I was doing.

Speaker 1: I love that. There’s such an inner strength that sort of comes through in that story, to be able to ask yourself those questions and be able to actually change your outlook as a result. I really don’t want to make today about me, but I would say that I’m someone who comes from a fearful perspective. I’m listening to your words today. Actually, I’m taking a lot of them in for myself and sort of going, yes, that’s useful. What I’ve experienced in the past is, there has been a differentiation between the logic of here is something I’m fearful of and the emotion of here’s something I’m fearing. What I admire in your answer right there was that you’re able to sort of see the logic and then change your behavior as a result of that. The thing that makes me really curious about your mindset is whether that’s something you’ve done innately, that you’re able to give yourself that self-talk and say, here’s the logic and therefore I’m going to change my behavior, or whether that’s been a skill that you’ve learned over the course of time to sort of be able to give yourself the self-talk and ask those questions in those moments of fear and sort of change that situation for you. I think it’s a combination of the two.

Speaker 2: Yes. By that is that, okay, look, if you open up a door and tell me in that room is a group of poisonous snakes, all right, I’m like, shut that door, bro. I motivate myself to go into that room. What it is I know once that door is shut, I’m not fearful anymore. I’m not scared. Put me in the room. That’s something very different. That’s real. That’s what’s actually happening in that space. I think a lot of what I have experienced, and one of the reasons why I love doing coaching and doing education is that I was surrounded by individuals who were brave enough to do things. I was surrounded by teachers who took chances on me. I talked about the teacher who made a really negative comment when I was swimming. Years later, I’m like, okay, he was an idiot. Whatever, get over yourself. There were so many other teachers who really said to me, man, you’re really good at drama. You should go and do an assembly. I love the way you were singing in that group. Would you like to join the choir workshop? You were really good at sports. I love the way that you broke down that stuff in science or literature. Have you thought about X? I sometimes, I’ll be in these conversations sometimes with teachers where a lot of other students were like, what is this nerd doing? I’m like, I’m asking questions. I’m really like finding out, what is it that made you mature enough to be able to go and do this stuff? I’m really curious. That curiosity has all stayed with me. Historically, it was a lot of older people that I would ask. More so now, I ask a lot of younger people. I’ve got CapCut, for example, editing software on my phone. I don’t know jack about doing that properly. Who do I go to? I go to my daughters. My daughters are 26 and 22. I go and I ask, talk to dad. Talk to me like I’m stupid. Break it down. Give me the insight. Tell me what I need to do. I’ll go on my phone. How do I share a contact in WhatsApp? They’re like, dad, how to do it. Look, just talk with me really basic. I’ll go through these things because they’re digital natives. They have learned this stuff really quickly. I’m of this opinion that if I’m in a room and I don’t know, I don’t care who you are. I’m going to ask you. Because if you’ve got the answer, why am I going out there doing and making all that extra effort? What I’ve learned is part of it is innate and I will always ask questions. A big part of that question is wanting to always learn and wanting to always be curious. It allows me to like shut down all those kinds of conversations in my head that have no evidence. Somebody made a really good point actually earlier. I find it a bit cheesy sometimes, but I liked it. Whoever put it up, let me connect with you. Fear is false evidence appearing real. I like that. Sometimes it can be overused, but I really like that. Because if a snake and you’re fearful, that ain’t false evidence. That’s a damn snake. Sometimes if it’s in our head, we create these conversations in our head of what might be happening. The more we have experience and the more we ask questions and the more we learn

Speaker 1: from each other, the better we become. I love it. I just love it so much. That positivity comes through so much. I don’t know about you, but when the sunshine starts shining through spring and stuff like that, and everything comes through, like that sense of positivity, that sense of curiosity that you’re speaking about, it just becomes absolute gold dust. To sort of take the spirit of what you’re speaking about right now and combine it with like what can be a beautiful world outside, is really quite something. 17 minutes into the chat, I’m uplifted. I want to ask you because, you spend tons of time with lots of interesting people and lots of different scenarios as well. I’m curious as to your experience, really, and this can just be your personal experience, that there is a perception, contrary to what I’ve just spoken about, where times are quite tough right now. Objectively, they are for a lot of people in lots of different ways. I wanted to ask you, what are you seeing as the most regular draws on courage, as in things that take away people’s courage, or boosts to fear that you’re sort of hearing people speaking about most regularly right now? Because that would be presumably stuff that people in the chat and watching in today could empathise and relate with as well. No, 100%. I think there’s two things that jump

Speaker 2: out for me at the moment. For a lot of the larger clients I’ve worked with in the last year and a bit, they’ve been making a lot of redundancies. A lot of people are really worried about whether or not they’d have their job or not. That’s a big and present thing. A big part of how I work, when I’m specifically when I’m coaching senior leaders or senior executives, is I say, I want you to be really compassionate around how you manage this process. Because it’s horrible if that there’s going to be 2000 worth of cuts. There’s 3000 of you staff, who’s going to be in the lucky 1000? How do you manage that? A big part of the conversations I have with a lot of senior leaders is how to basically be a lot more compassionate about how we communicate that there is a change in the economy, there’s a change in society, a lot of stuff has happened. People over, people overreached in 2021, across the board. Now there’s a readjustment. There’s a big fear, I find that a lot of people from those who are in senior leadership and management as to how to communicate that, as well as people who are going to be on the receiving end as to how do I manage this process. A second one for me is around a big one at the moment is around how people navigate things like diversity, equity and inclusion. Now, I’m not a DI expert, I continue to tell people that inclusive leadership, I rephrase that slightly differently, I think it’s more around how do we make decisions full stop, not just sometimes how people want to tick a box and have it quite confined. A big part of the conversations that I’m having now is getting people to see reframe the conversations that are happening here as more around what’s happening with our culture, what’s our cultural DNA, what’s our humanity, what’s our expectation? Because for me, it’s all well and good being able to go and talk to people about neurodivergency around gender, around sexual orientation, around race and ethnicity, around class, and see those as separate entities, as opposed to, okay, if I’m a human, and I want to tap into my humanity, how do I connect with people? How do I listen? How do I understand? How do I interpret that full stop? A lot of people are absolutely afraid of saying the wrong thing. I had somebody come to me and they were like, Dave, I don’t know how to describe you. I know your parents are from the Caribbean. Do I describe you as British Caribbean? Do I describe you as black? Do I describe you as Afro-Caribbean? I just said, just describe me as tall and sexy. I’m good. The person started laughing. I was like, sometimes we overcomplicate this, because we’re worried about what we can be offended. I just said, well, look, I’ll define myself in terms of the in terms of the consensus as black. That’s how people will know. All right. I’m more a pecan mahogany brown, right? Let’s go with black. That makes people feel a lot, a lot easier. One of the reasons why I do that, particularly is because I know humor takes the temperature right down. I know it takes it right down. to your point, I see a lot of people getting really like, well, it is tough. We are in tough times. I don’t even think we’ve probably, if I’m going to be honest, I don’t even think we’ve properly understood how close to a recession or in the middle of recession we are. That’s excluding all the stuff that’s going on in the Levant in the Middle East and Sudan and Congo and all the other things that are happening around the world. It’s quite tough. In a hyper connected world, how do we step back a bit and go, right, let me send to me. That is the big thing. How do I send to me? How do I be courageous enough to take a step back and focus on what really works for me? Yes, I love that. I want to follow

Speaker 1: up on that, because like that last bit feels golden. I remember periods in my life, it was actually another Marketing Academy talk, which lended me the model of the things that you can’t control, the things you can influence and the things you can control. Writing those three buckets down was actually super powerful for me in terms of that sense of the things where, which, sort of put things into perspective for me. I wondered to the point of that stepping back and sort of centering yourself, whether you could speak a little bit more about that, because I think that might be useful for folks if they’re right now in a situation where they do feel fearful or something like that, or just not quite in the right headspace right now. What does that process of stepping back look like for you? Because that feels really quite a special skill that I’m not sure everyone has. 100%. A big part of it

Speaker 2: for me as community is who you have around you. I always say have, I always recommend to people, I always write about it, speak about it, talk about it, having your own personal advisory board, who are those individuals who are around you, who are number one, really like those individuals, those individuals who are, I’m going to try some more of those, by the way. Who are those people who are not afraid, who are really proud to champion you? Who are those individuals who are not afraid to critique you? I’ll give you a little secret. I’ll zoom in on the camera in a bit if I can. Right here, most of you will see that I’ve got a piercing, I’ve got a little stud. I’ve only had that for two and a half years, I’m 55. I only got my nose pierced. I also have these tattoos. This one is my youngest daughter, it’s a laurel, her name is Lauren, so you can get it right. My eldest daughter is Rihanna, which is, Reina is Spanish for queen, so trying to be creative here. I remember when I went and got my tattoos, I was having a conversation with my daughter and I was like, babe, it was my late 40s, do you think I’m too old enough to get a tattoo? She was like, dad, come on, I’ve got 12. I’m like, yes, well, I know what your issues are, but let’s talk about me now. She talked me through the whole process. She said, it’s going to be painful, but I’ll be with you, you’ll be fine. Cool. Then I remembered I’ve always, there were three things I always wanted to do. I wanted to get dreadlocks, I wanted to have a nose piercing, and I wanted to have a tattoo. The dreadlock ship sailed a long time ago. Right, okay. That ship sailed a long time ago. I wanted to have those other ones. I was having the conversation, I was saying, look, I just don’t, extended family is just going to be a bit funny, like this older, 52 year old getting his nose pierced. We sat down, we had a conversation. She said, but dad, what does it matter? You’ve always encouraged people to be able to like go to another level. Why does it really matter? It was quite powerful having that conversation because I was still in that moment when I was thinking about getting my nose pierced, I went back to 16 year old Dave and was thinking about what the extended family or other people were around me. I share that to say that a lot of people will see me as a very confident and, if you’ve ever seen me write on LinkedIn or see me speak or what have you, I’m a confident person. No shout out of a doubt, but there are always challenges. I think somebody wrote it in the chat where you have a little bit of a wobble, you’re going and you’re just like, you’re just a little bit, you just like get slightly off centered. I find that the very often when you hear narratives around character, resilience, and being tough, very often it’s singular, it’s focused around this mythical hero. I wrote about it in the book, if any of you get the chance to read it. I will be doing an audio, by the way, for those of you who don’t like print, I’ll make sure I do an audio version of the book. Right. It’s so weird in that so much of leadership is focusing on this mythical hero. Everybody wants to be the superstar who is doing the supercars or the president of the world or the king of the football team. Very often leadership is contextual, it’s situational. a fire warden, a fire warden is a leader. If that thing goes off in the building, it doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the OEC. I’m making up letters as I go along, right? There’s about a week in the hierarchy of the business that fire warden puts on that jacket, gets that whistle, says, everybody go to the left. No running. You’ve got to go downstairs. That’s that leader in that moment. We have to respect that they’re taking us to a certain space. They’re taking us to safety. They’re making sure that we get out of the building with a limited amount of damage. Very often people just see, oh, this superstar leader. No, that person knows what they’re doing. They have skills. We listen to them and we depend on them. For me, in the same way, wherever we are, whether we’re running our own business, working in an organization, doing something in the community, or even in our family, so much of our leadership is shaped by who do we have around us? Who’s our sounding board? Who’s our personal advisory board? Who are the people who will come correct? The book, honestly, the subtitle of the book was a lot stronger. I think it’s like, it’s more courage, less fear, better decisions for inclusive leadership. That was a word. My original title was The Brave Leader, right? How not to give an F and not give any BS leadership. People were looking at me like, Dave, you can’t go out into the world and do that. Even if you say that, if somebody doesn’t know who you are, that can’t be the first point of contact. I was like, okay, let me bring that back in, better decisions for inclusive leadership, whatever that means. The key bit I’m saying to you here was being able to have people that you bounce those ideas off, including your fears. Okay, if I give you, I think somebody made a point about being neurodiverse as well in the comments. One of the things I used to love doing when I was in school, I used to love working with students who had ADHD, who had dyslexia, who had dyspraxia, who just did not, who had ADD, I loved it because a lot of people would just write those kids off. I’m like, no, come into my class. You can swear as much as you like. You don’t need to sit down if you need to get up. If you’ve got an idea where you can like come and draw on the board. Teachers will be looking at me like, what the hell’s going on? I will bring them to me without, and I go, tell me. They’d be like, Dave, I don’t understand this F in maths. I go, okay, let’s break it down. We’re going to break it down. We’re going to make a little song about it. I had kids dancing in quadratic equations when they come out of my class, all because we reframed it. Instead of them being fearful, there was a new way that they could see it. I said, dyslexia, when you have dyslexia, excuse me, dyslexia is not a problem. It’s a gift. Okay. You may, you may not necessarily see it as a gift. This is my reframing to students, right? I was over-exaggerating, but it’s a gift. It just means that the world slightly differently. How are we going to get to get, am I going to get to meet you in that world? You can show me your world and then I’ll show you my world and we make the two come together. Much of it is about that experience. It’s about the team and all that stuff I learned, as I say to you, just like around dyslexia around dealing with people who are neurodiverse and what have you, it’s because other people told me and other people fed back to me, Dave, this is how you can navigate this space. This is not a bad kid. It’s a kid who just sees things differently. This is not a naughty child. This is a child who may be coming from a background with a hell of a lot more, issues that they’re dealing with. This is not a really ignorant boss. This is just a boss who just may not necessarily have exposure to certain different cultures and backgrounds. You need to take him on that journey. How do I do it? I ask questions. I ask questions. I ask questions just to challenge

Speaker 1: those fears. That’s wicked. Dude, you’re just an incredible speaker aside from the points I just drew on in. Thank you. I love, sort of how you bring people in. That’s just gorgeous. we’ve got Andy saying, this is absolute gold. we got Sam saying, I wish all the teachers were like you. the person that you referenced earlier was Simon, who is an absolute hero and, one of those community people who brings other people in as well. just so lovely. I want to shout out Rachel Carter as well in the chat, because I think what’s lovely is, Rachel says, I tend to use wobble when I’m on the edge of my resilience zone for want of a better expression. I find it hard not to give myself that evidence without the facts in my head. I think what she’s done there is taken the opportunity in a safe space, a community space, to share something which hopefully helps other people, which is hopefully also a little bit to what you’ve just been speaking about there. that sense of community and for what it’s worth, I got my first tattoo a couple of weeks ago as well, for my daughter. We’re there, together in that as well. what was really interesting as well with your answer right there was that you were speaking through, courage for other people. I found that really interesting because like the framing of today’s session was, I think the title was how to operate with less courage and, with more courage and less fear. The framing of that was very much about self, but what I love that you took it to that place of others. you’ve already spoken about questions, but I just wanted to sort of probe a little deeper on that and sort of say, how can you find, how can you help other people find courage, more often? Because if you’re in a leadership position, this is important, but as we go through life, helping other people find courage feels important.

Speaker 2: It’s a bit of context. My, I grew up very die in the wall. My dad was a labor supporter. It was all about solidarity around community. We were part of a Caribbean community in Northwest London. A lot of it was around, really making sure that we can, feed from each other and really, build on that. Look, I believe that, so I used to, before I went into leadership, there were two things I, two spaces I was in. I mentioned Bucky, but Bucky, who was here because she’ll know, she’ll know me. I used to work in education and I also used to do a lot of presentation skills and the amount of people that I know who are absolutely terrified before they go to do a meeting, people are terrified to do this, these conversations I’ve coached people through that or to go and give a presentation. Much of it is going, okay, if I was sitting on your shoulder in that room, what would you expect me to say? That’s what I used to say to people all the time. If I’m going onto a stage with you and I’m sitting on your shoulder right here, what would you expect me to say? Some people are like, I expect you to tap me on my head. Then I’m like, I’m not going to do that. Because that’s some weird imagery. All right. Much of it was around going, I want you to recognize when you go into that room, I am with you. I’d say that to my clients all the time. I would get them to write down five words. Whoever’s listening here now, this is an encouragement. I deserve to be here. I deserve to be here. Because if you’ve been asked to do something or in a space to do something, the truth is that somebody has recognized your talent and they’ve been, they’re aware of what it is that you do. Yes, sometimes it is nerve wracking, but you deserve to be there. We’re here because we deserve to be here. We reached out and we had this conversation. We made it work because we deserve it. We realized that whilst we are here, we are here. The deservingness is to know that not only are we making sure that we honor all the individuals who have signed up to be part and part of this conversation, but we want to do it for ourselves as well. We want to walk away from here going, damn, David, Joe, you guys did a good job for each other. As well as the 200 or people who have obviously signed up as well. The courage piece is recognizing that it’s not only for ourselves. It is primarily for ourselves, but we’re also doing it so that others can look on and they can be happy as well. For me, there are going to be people who aren’t invested, right? There are going to be people who are just not invested in that whole process. I get that. There is something around recognizing that when I’m here, like I said, I saw your intro and I’m like, I’m literally starting a series of masterclasses. I’m like, dude, I need to get some video editors to put some, I don’t know, some, I’m a piano or some good Afro house or so called and stuff like with all the video bits and all that. I’m like, this is so dope. I love that. It’s something that I’m going to go like, for me, I walk away from it going, I’m going to, I’m not going to copy yours, right? Let me just give it a hundred. What has inspired me to do is go when I do a masterclass, what a way to start it. What a way to bring people in. For me, that is a, that’s made me more courageous when I’m doing, I’m don’t get me wrong. I’m, I’ve got, I’ve been doing masterclasses for years, so I’m used to it, but having that bit at the end, at the beginning, oh my God, when I dropped that, courage levels are going to go up because I know there’ll be feedback, but people will go, oh my God, that was really good. I’m feeding it back to you. I know it feel back to me. I know someone else will look on and go, wow. Yes. If I add this bit here, or, if I use a little bit of humor that Dave has in his example, if I do this, that might be a really good example for me to have that courage and courage for me is it’s, you don’t just land on it. It’s incremental. It’s compounding. All right. You do it. I’ve been speaking since I was a kid, but people don’t understand that I’m always learning. I did stand up comedy. I did the Alexander technique. I did amateur dramatics. I joined speakers clubs. I spoke at speaker’s corner in Hyde park. I’m more confident speaking in large audience than I am in small audiences in front of me. A lot of people don’t know that when I, the secret sauce, right? I have, I’ve learned how to facilitate meetings, all those things. I’m constantly learning and I’m not brilliant at all. There are some that I’m brilliant at others that I’m still learning on, but it’s that constant curiosity and that constant desire to do better, but not just for me, but recognizing that there are other people looking at me wanting to do some of this stuff that I do. I go, look, don’t just do what I’m doing. I want you to do even better. That’s what builds up courage for me. That’s what I encourage people to do. When you are building your courage, it’s not just for you, but there are other people looking on that are going to be empowered by your story. They’re going to be empowered by the way that you communicate in situations and they’re going to learn from you. Use that as an impetus to go, right, I’m doing it for me, but there are others who are going to benefit from

Speaker 1: it as well. Absolutely gorgeous. I love that. As an example, you only need to go through the chat. We’ve got Tiffany right now, who’s saying those five words that you said here, I deserve to be here. They hit Tiffany right in the chest. Then you’ve got Nicola saying my first tattoo might be, I deserve to be here. Oh, love that. Love that.

Speaker 2: There’s a lovely… I’m just charging my phone while we talk, by the way. I’ve got the new iPhone camera because how spooky the camera makes me look, but I’ve got to make sure it’s charged,

Speaker 1: I’m still listening. I’m still here. You’re doing great. I’ll take the opportunity to say there’s some great questions in the Q&A already. Folks, if you want to head into the Q&A and give a thumbs up to any questions that you like, or alternatively, if you’ve got some questions that you’d like me to ask David, then please do drop them in as well. We’ll make sure that we get to those in just a minute. Before we do that, I just want to head to your book, because the Brave stands for five things, and I’ve written it down here because I don’t want to get it wrong. I now need to find it. Bold, resilient, agile, visionary, and ethical. I wanted to ask you about these. While I’m doing that, I’m actually going to pop the book QR code right up again, so folks have got the opportunity to find you. How did you end up on bold, resilient, agile, visionary, and ethical when speaking about the quote-unquote brave leader? Because those are five big words, but they feel important, and they feel like they’ve been

Speaker 2: thoughtfully put together. 100%. Actually, in true honesty, my original A was authentic, but I hate it when people say authentic. You’ve got to be like, oh my god, what does authentic actually mean? We’re still figuring ourselves out. What does that mean? I’ll take you through them, and then I’ll tell you what the importance is for me. Be bold, because I wanted individuals in whatever position that you are in. When I say position, as a situation or context as a leader, because I don’t think leadership is about a position or title. I think it’s about how you respond and where you take people. You may get a title that comes with it, but it’s more about what you do. Bold was about being able to be in a space and recognize sometimes you’re going to have to make uncomfortable decisions. Sometimes it won’t be the popular one, but it’s going to be bold. I’ll come back about one of the challenges that I’ve had about that as well if I can. The second one was about resilience. Again, I said to you, too often resilience has been set down as an individual. I think that for leadership to work, it’s got to be part of a system. It’s got to be systemic. It’s not just one person doing one thing. You’ve got to be part of an interlocking system. It’s like an ecosystem. I’ve turned into this weird gardener. I’ve moved up to Ellsbury in Buckinghamshire, and I’ve got this huge garden. I tell you now, my nickname that everybody calls me is Q. I actually wanted to get a YouTube channel called Q Gardens, but we’ll talk about that. One of the things about the garden is I’m learning about all these companion plants, growing vegetables, and growing vegetables with companion plants that will deter slugs. I’m making sure that you can have the complementary ones with my hydrangeas and my fruit trees. It’s so weird going into this world. I used to watch gardening shows before, but I’m nerding out now. What it’s really taught me is that the resilience of the garden is dependent on all the other flowers and plants that are in there. It’s also dependent on the animals and insects that you attract to the garden because it’s one big ecosystem. It’s the same thing for me with leadership. It doesn’t sit in isolation. You have to have a lot of moving parts, a lot of dependencies, a lot of understanding what works, what doesn’t work. Some things may drop off and die. Other things may have built and grow up from there. The resilience piece for me is how do I build a sense of strength to be able to bounce back? How do I do that within the system that there are other people who will support me to be able to bounce back as well? It was a big, massive issue in the UK around men’s mental health because way too many men think that they have to go and do things on their own. I’m like, dude, go and join a group. Go and start your own group. Hang out with other men. Talk. Be vulnerable because you don’t need to do this stuff on your own. Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I demeaning mental health and suicide and all the stuff that comes with it. There are so many activities that we can do and put in place that we can become resilient together rather than just being resilient on our own. AI is agile. The world is always changing. I wanted to have that sense of agility. everybody’s, oh, you use AI, it’s going to change the world. Oh, shut up and just get on with it. You’ve still got to remember your passport, your password, mate. AI is cool, but AI has a lot of issues with it. The agility is being able to go, right, how do I respond? What’s the bits I’m going to take on board? What are the bits I’m going to let go? V is visionary. It’s always about recognizing that sometimes you’re going to see things that other people don’t. I know that there are some things that I want to be able to achieve in my organization by the time I’m 60. Within the impact of I have that, I know if I said it to some people, they’d be like, you are crazy, dude. You are absolutely, are you mad? I’m like, yes, sometimes it’s that madness that you need. It’s the genius. It’s going out there with that big vision and driving yourself towards it. The last one is ethical. An ethical is around, I see moral as an individual thing. we take stands individually as moral, but collectively we take ethical stance. That means a justness. It’s about fairness. It’s about respect to the environment that we have. When I say environment, I’m talking about not only the ecology around us, but the humans around us as well. That’s why I was saying that point earlier to you around coaching a lot of those senior leaders who had to get rid of stuff. I was like, what’s the ethical way to do this? You don’t just send them an email and just say, you’re shut down and you can’t log in. Talk them through the process and say that this is what’s going to actually happen. Ethical for me, that last one is the most important one. It’s the most important one to be courageous. It’s around thinking, okay, when I make a decision and when I then I make sense of the world, I make a decision and then I take an action. Those three things are really important for me in leadership. Ethically, how is that going to impact other people? Yes, some of those decisions may be painful, but have I thought about how I’m going to manage those stakeholders? Have I thought about what that impact actually really looks like? For me, that’s really important. I start with the E and then I like work my way back to be really ethical. What’s that vision you’re going to take us on? The E-verb was never going to work. Definitely having that visionary thing about being resilient and bold. One of the things I found as I’ve been doing quite a lot of touring in the UK and later on in the year, I’m going to go to America and to about four African countries. One of the things I found, and I’m really like having a lot of conversations around it, was the bold piece, specifically from a gender orientation. A lot of women I’ve been having conversations with say, what, David, when I’m assertive, it’s seen as aggressive. Where I go into meetings and I raise my voice and a man may say the same thing and they get the credit for something that I said. How do I be bold in those situations? How do I lead boldly? A big part of my work at the moment is really like understanding the nuance of what that means from both a gender orientation piece or in cultures where they may not necessarily speak out as much. I’m having to really go, well, what does boldness look like if I am a senior leader working in a hierarchical bank in Singapore? What does boldness look like if I am a senior manager working in a school in Poland? What does boldness look like if I’m talking to individuals who have a certain way of thinking while I’m working out of North America? All those things, all those bits of those data points that come back to me just give such a sense of nuance of understanding, wow, this does take bravery to stand in this space and to hold your truth and to say, these are the values. I don’t think organizations have values. I think they have principles, but that’s a whole other podcast. These are the values and principles that we have. We say that we’re going to be ethical, we’re going to be honest, we’re going to be just. How do I make sure that aligns with me? How do I hold myself accountable and how do I hold other people accountable as well? That does take a lot of bravery, especially when a lot of people

Speaker 1: don’t like to rock the boat. Yes. It’s tricky to, and it says it’s very tricky to be a woman in business and still have a hundred percent. It’s, a huge thing. I wanted to pick on one of those, the things that you’ve spoken about. Then we’re going to go to the community questions. You spoke about the different cultural differences and the nuances and all that sort of stuff. I wanted to pick up on experience and how your experience of going through the workforce and going through your career has changed your perspective on leadership. As a younger person, how did you look at leadership and what was useful? As someone who’s never experienced, what do you look at and go, my experience, my leadership style is now this because of all the experiences that

Speaker 2: I’ve had? Yes. I grew up in quite a strong religious tradition. I grew up as a Christian and I define now as a humanist. I’m agnostic now. There was so much of those learnings that really like taught me how to use my voice. It taught me how to stand in certain spaces. Even though I was younger than some other individuals, I remember one teacher saying to me, David, if you have the facts and you can argue those facts respectfully, people can give their opinion, but it doesn’t take away from the facts. That stuff has stuck with me like for my full life. A lot of those experiences in school, in church and in the community where I saw individuals who would selflessly, not selfishly, but selflessly go and they would go in a certain direction. Sometimes they would do it and, they would suffer because they would be tired or burn out on all the rest of it. That’s the things I wanted to avoid. The principles about being able to take that forward are immense. I learned from so many amazing role models who were there and who were able to really hold my hand and allow me to be able to create my own form of leadership, but then also be able to coach and mentor other people who are coming up behind me or alongside me to go, what’s your style? How do you approach this stuff? What’s the best way of you being able to navigate that? Does that make sense?

Speaker 1: Love it. It does. It’s fabulous. There’s a grounding. We don’t need to go into my personal experience on that, but I’ve had a very similar sort of stuff and those role models, that’s

Speaker 2: this community. It’s so important. Can I ask a really quick question? Can I answer a really quick question? Sorry, answer something really quickly, if that’s all right. Somebody just asked us now very quickly what BRAVE is. I think we’ll throw it in. It stands for Bold, Resilient, Agile, Visionary, and Ethical. That’s the acronym. Obviously, BRAVE also means courageous. It also means fearless. When you combine all those three, that’s what it means when I talk about a brave leader. I quickly saw when you were speaking where two or three people actually challenged me about the ethics and ethical. I said that moral’s more of an individual one and ethical’s group. Somebody said, not all ethics agree. I totally agree. I totally agree with you. In ethical leadership, what we do is we find the consensus as to what it is that makes us work. Say, for example, I’ll give you a very quick example. On this call here, we may have a number of people who are pro-life, all right? We may have a number of individuals that are pro-choice. For me, those are moral stances. If you’re working for a healthcare organization, you can’t make that moral stance. You have to make an ethical choice. That ethical choice is primarily about the welfare and the well-being of the mother. That’s the primary care when you’re in that space, whether she makes a choice to either abort or to keep. Your main order, when you’re thinking about the Hippocratic Oath or whatever it is that governs the healthcare, is an ethical one around how do you make sure that you provide for that actual mother. Whether you have a moral position that’s different from them, as a collective, when we make ethical choices that are just, that are fair, that are sustainable, and that don’t because no harm, we do that as a collective. Yes, we may have different points around what that ethic means, but from a leadership point of view, it is around consensus. I hope that helps to address the couple of points that I saw, because obviously, the little prompts at the bottom from the chat, and I saw it come up twice, so I thought I would follow up on that. I think what I will do is, if it’s okay with you, Joe, what I’ll do is I’m in the middle of writing a piece around ethical choice. I’ll do it, I’ll post it on LinkedIn, and then I’ll wait for people to come back and tear me a new one and keep my answer. It’s all good, and it’s all in love, but I love that. I’m not in any way saying that I’m right. I’m saying that’s a stance that I take when I talk to people about ethical leadership. It’s about that consensus around how do we collectively want to get to a point that aligns with our values and our principles. Again, we may differ within the organization, but wherever we have consensus, where does that

Speaker 1: consensus actually take us to? I love that, and like everything you’ve displayed so far in this conversation, but also through what I’ve seen you speak about online and stuff like that, particularly that questioning point. I know that you would embrace everything through that curiosity sort of lens and asking the questions that you’ve sort of spoken about already, which is, absolutely incredible. We’ve got Anna in the chat saying I could listen to David all day. Let’s take some questions from the community because this is truly the most important part. If any questions that you would like answering, make sure to give them a thumbs up so we can make sure to prioritize those. I haven’t read these in advance, so I’m reading them at the same time as understanding them, but they’ve been upvoted, so it’s what the community would like answering. Yes. The first question comes from Claire. Claire asks, working in marketing where it comes to creativity in campaigns, bosses have been fearful in the past to invest in time and budget to try something new versus tried and tested. How do we encourage being braver with our work plans and taking risks with campaigns in such a data-centric and budget-obsessed world? I remember we asked

Speaker 2: something similar when I did my last marketing academy in New York. It was a similar question. I believe that a part of it is you have to be able to demonstrate micro-wins, so small wins. Again, when you are, I read an article on The Weeknd, which was really powerful, somebody working in advertising, and they were like, what, we should get rid of pitches. We should really get rid of pitches because the things that have, the things that it’s a broken model and the thing that needs to be done. I said, you can’t get rid of a pitch, but what you can do is you can do micro-campaigns where you can do micro pieces of work that demonstrate why this is going to be better, why this would replace it. In the same way, I totally hear where Claire’s coming from, where, especially when you are in individuals, in the pocket of individuals who are thinking, right, we have a budget. We’ve got to be able to do this. This is what the data says. How do we do it? It says micro-wins. It is the micro-wins. It’s never going to be, unless you can come up with a really good business case with a stack of evidence behind it, it’s never going to be that those, that you can actually turn people away from what they’ve been doing and what’s been giving them results for years. It’s the micro-wins. It’s the real micro-projects of being able to go, right, we tried this and this is what happened. We’re going to build it and we’re going to try it again. You keep on compounding and compounding and people can’t take away from that. Again, I am totally conscious that with people who are frightened by budgets and who are held in that constraint of budget, it’s not the easiest thing to do. What I’ve always, what I’ve really always encouraged people to do and coach them to do is go and see, what are those micro-campaigns? What are those things that can be done very differently? If I can go very quickly, just very quickly. I remember in 2020 when, a lot of people were putting up black squares because of, Black Lives Matter. I was like, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, because it’s not sustainable. They were like, what are you talking about? Don’t do it. Then, two years later, it just wasn’t sustainable. I’m looking at people like, I told you so. Here are ways and means that you can do it. If you want to recruit individuals from a wider reach, if you want to build your supply chain, if you want to be able to have a sense of doing surveys and understanding more people from the black or other non-majority ethnic group, just build that in, but do it bit by bit. Do it bit by bit. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver, but rather come in with some real small elements of what you’re going to do and then build it from

Speaker 1: there. Hope that helps. It’s bang on. The thing that I love is also the consistency, because at the beginning of the chat, you spoke about courage as an initiative process, one that doesn’t happen straight away. In your case, you reeled off a series of things that you did to get better at public speaking. Actually, you’ve taken that exact same principle here and applied it in a very different context, which just shows principles in action, which I think people can really take something away from today. Thank you for that as well, because I think that’s really illuminating in terms of how your brain works. That was fabulous. We’ve got Claire saying, super helpful. Thank you, David, in the chat. Next one, we’ll take it from Anna. Anna’s been very complimentary in the chat as well today about you, David. You touched a nerve with Anna in a very good way. Anna says, as an entrepreneur, I feel fear regularly. The internal chatter and imposter syndrome creeps in, even though I know I’m very capable. How do you silence

Speaker 2: the internal chatter? Okay, so let me jump on that. Even though I know I’m very capable bit, even though I know I’m very capable bit, and it means that you don’t have imposter syndrome, you aren’t an imposter. you are. All right, there are people who may tell you, but you’re coming correct. you’re not an imposter. All you need to do is not silence the chat, but turn the volume down. The chat is always going to be there. The chat is always going to be there. This is in our head. They’re all, can I make it? Can I do it? Oh my God, am I going to win it? Am I going to make this deal? It’s always going to be there. All we have to do is turn down the volume and replace it with something else. Again, I think about every single person who’s on this call. You’ve got all the receipts to show that you are not an imposter. Every single one of you is in some way either qualified by accreditation or you’re qualified by experience. You have a history of things that you’ve done that shows that you deserve to be in there. You’re not an imposter. Yes, don’t get me wrong. We have systems around us that will tell us because of the way we look, the sound, our voice, our gender, our race, our sex, and all these other things that will come in. Oh my God. They’ll make us feel like an imposter. Very often we have a choice as to whether or not we want to give them that credit to call us an imposter. You ain’t no imposter. Anna, you are. You’re great. You’re fabulous. All right. Don’t you worry about that. What it is it’s very much around being able to turn down the volume on that. Again, that comes back to that sounding board, that person who you might, remember somebody used to do this. They used to have a, it’s really weird. They used to have this like messaging system to somebody who didn’t actually exist. It was a fictional person on their board, but they would send them a message and sending them the message would almost be like, I know what they’re going to tell me back. They would write it down and they would go into the meeting. They’re like, what? Joe, if Joe was here and I didn’t do what Joe told me to do, Joe would kick my ass and Joe’s knocking my ass today. I’m going to go into that meeting and do the thing. That it depends again, there are lots of different ways. I’ll think of some of these things and I will add them. I’ll definitely add them. Oh, by the way, I’m going to do this thing. I never do it. All right. Please, everybody here. All right. I’m going to do something that I don’t normally do this because I’m very restrictive about hire. If you want to connect with me directly on LinkedIn, because I think some of these things can come off with my email address that you need to connect with me. I’m going to say it once. If you miss it, you snooze, you lose. Okay. It’s hello, H E double L O at David McQueen dot Please do not share with other people. Just use it for yourself. It’d be great to have that conversation keep going afterwards as well. Thank you. That’s beautiful. Yes. I

Speaker 1: hope that helped Anna. It’s a beautiful answer. We’ve got Amelia saying a fantastic answer to a great question. Thank you for a great question, Anna. We’ve got Rachel saying, God, that’s gorgeous. Properly good. Thank you for the generosity as well. Don’t worry. We’ve got the next question comes from anonymous. It says, hello, David, which is a good greeting. In today’s workplaces, there are often individuals who express anti-woke sentiments and put others down. How can someone effectively stand up against such behavior while promoting inclusivity and respect in the workplace? Yes. I always say to people,

Speaker 2: what do they, what do you actually mean by woke? What do you, do you actually know what woke means? Do what it means? Because when people use that phrase, they have no idea. Woke is basically from American vernacular to be awake. It means to be aware. It means to be sensitive to other people’s needs. Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to fall over. I am, I’m a person that, as I said, I work in inclusive leadership, but I struggle with pronouns. I really do. Because I struggle with pronouns, I’m very good at remembering people’s first names because I find it easier to remember that than to remember. I don’t want to misgender anybody. I don’t want to use the wrong phrase framing. A big part of the awareness and being awake is about our sensitivity and awareness of people who are around us. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to be pretty clear-eyed and say everything in just a way for, people just to look good and tick a box. It just means being truly aware. There are some times I will ask somebody, are you okay? They’ll go, yes, and they won’t give me any eye contact, right? My awareness goes, you ain’t okay. I may not dig deeper into it, but my awareness allows me to be really present to that. Very often when I hear people say things like anti-woke and they say sentiments, I honestly ask them, I go, what do you mean by that? What do you mean by that? Break that down to me. What do you mean by that? If somebody comes into, like if somebody says, for example, I was in a board meeting and somebody was like, we had a member on our board and it was very uncomfortable because she was a lesbian and she didn’t want to talk about what she did on the weekend. I was like, sorry, bookie, forgive me here. That’s none of your fucking business what she does on a weekend. It’s none of your business. It actually isn’t. Why are you asking her that? Just because you are comfortable in that space. Why does she have to be able to explain that? You only want to do that because you’re curious as to what a lesbian does on a weekend. That’s still none of your fucking business. All right. I was like, oh David, I think you’re a bit curt. I thought I can get worse. I can get worse. I need you to understand that person who’s here is feeling uncomfortable. You’re not giving space for that to happen because that person doesn’t feel comfortable enough to be able to go. That’s not appropriate for me because then you’ll get shut down. A big part of it is asking questions about, what do you mean by that? What impact does it really have on other individuals? Because when I hear things like anti-woke and anything that begins with anti-woke and all this stuff, I often ask the question, what do you mean by that? Have you taken into consideration somebody’s feeling because you have no idea what they’re dealing with? Being able to take a step back? Because if you’ve even hired somebody to be in a workplace with you, and then that person feels really uncomfortable being there, and you’ve got a list on your wall saying integrity and honesty and all those other BS things, and you’re not doing it, what does that mean? Part of my suggestion would be, there’s two things. Number one, asking the questions. The number two is, I think, again, I’ll go back to that whole personal advisory board, who are your advocates? Who are your individuals that you can probably bounce some ideas around that can say to you, how can I tackle this situation? Because I’m going up against this person and I know they can be really tough and I feel uncomfortable. Can you speak on my behalf? If I do go in there, what can I say? I feel really uncomfortable about this and I won’t respond. What would you do? Can you advocate on my behalf? That’s, I know I’ve gone on so much about this personal advisory board, but it just really is an insight as to how some other people, my mentor, I’ve got a mentor, if I can just slightly go a bit left. My mentor, tall white guy called Liam. Lots of people are like, oh, they ask me, they go, why have you got a white guy as a mentor all day? I’m like, why not? He has taught me how I, when I usually walk into a room, all right, and I usually walk into many rooms as the only man, all right, only person that has got a suntan. I’ll leave it there. I’ll let you work it out afterwards. I’m pink and brown and I’ll go into some of those spaces. Sometimes coming back to Anna’s point, if somebody, a voice in my head goes, oh, do you not feel like an imposter? Then I go, no, I deserve to be here. Then I lean back to my mentor and my mentor will go, when you go in here, ask these questions. This is what they’re looking for. You’ve got a background in finance and this is what, you can go in there and you can talk to them about finance. You can talk to them about leading. You can talk to them about power, talk to them in that speak, understand their language. Then once you’ve got them, bring them back into the frame. That’s your questioning. That’s your thinking. Then you use, you advocate for that power. I would have never understood that had I not spoken to a, I’m going to say never, but it would have been a steeper learning curve had I not spoken to somebody who had been in that space and understood how those power dynamics work. For me, it’s really about tapping into who you have around you, but also doing those micro things where you ask the question once, what does that mean? Can you be really clear just so that we can be, yes, just so that we can be really clear about that. Thank you. I’m going to call you anonymous, my friend, my good friend. Thank

Speaker 1: you for answering that question. I hope that’s helped. It absolutely did. Thank you so much. There’s just like so much good stuff that has come from today’s session. Not surprisingly, but the chat comments, we’ve got Kat who says everyone needs a shoulder, David McQueen. We’ve got Samantha who says, I feel, I literally feel so much more courageous just listening to you, David. We’ve got Claire saying, this is brilliant. We’ve got Anna saying I deserve to be here. We’ve got Alison saying, thank you so much in capital letters. It just goes on, David. I’m mindful that, however, that’s our hour and I don’t know where it’s gone, but it’s been- I’ve got 10 minutes. Mate, do you want to do one more?

Speaker 2: I’ve got 10 minutes. They might kick me out of here, but I’ve got 10 minutes. Let’s do one more. They kick me out. I’ll just go and walk in the lobby. I’m happy. I’ve got 10 minutes. I can answer another one. That’s fine.

Speaker 1: That’s wicked. Oh, thank you. The question comes from Tia and I think it actually is a really lovely way to wrap up today’s session.

Speaker 2: I’m going to be walking because they’re probably going to kick me out of here. I’ll stay here, but as soon as they kick me out of here, I’ll walk and I’ll take my laptop with me. Go ahead.

Speaker 1: I love it. I love it so much. Tia says, I always feel fear slash pressure before meetings, even though I should be driving the meetings. I sometimes feel as if I have allowed the client to. How can I work on my confidence and asserting my position in a call slash meeting?

Speaker 2: Yes. One of the big ways of being able to assert it for me is always having an agenda that made people know that’s coming from you. Whenever I, if I ever want to assert controlling meeting, I’m writing that agenda. I’m letting people know that it’s me that shaped that agenda. Then I set the expectations. This is the journey that I’m going to take us on. This is where we’re going to go. I set that space there. What it does is it allows you to recognize that you go into that space and you’re driving the direction it’s actually going in. What I also do as well is if I have a meeting, sometimes I will practice in front of other individuals as well. My daughter, my oldest daughter, she’s 26, but she will ask me the most weird questions in the world. I’m like, it doesn’t matter what actually happens. Nothing is going to get weirder than what my daughter just asked. Having that little bit of practice, setting the agenda, when you’re in control, this is so important. When you’re in control of the agenda, you’re in control of the temperature, you’re in control of the tone. Even though the client will come in and say something, you can go, okay, really good to get this point, really appreciate it. I’m going to have to go back to this question, go back to this point, just so that we can make it brief or get to the answer. Always, if you set the agenda, you set the tone, you set the pace of what that’s actually going in. Again, whoever’s going in with you in those meetings, whether it’s online like this, or even if it’s face to face, have those advocates and champions. You’d be in Zoom or something like this. You may be thinking, oh my God, I just want to strangle that client. Your friend just sends you a little message on Zoom going like, okay, you got this. I can see in your eyes, you look like you want to just kick them up, don’t do it. Just having those, that support mechanism around you, I think is really powerful, but you’ve got it. You’ve got it. You’ll be fine. Let me know when you go to the next one, try it and see what it goes. If the agenda doesn’t work,

Speaker 1: I’ll have to cook something else out of the bag. Honestly, it’s a funny thing because this is actually like one of the first, it’s the first time we’ve chatted like face to face as you do in a virtual scenario, but coming into our conversation and like with WhatsApp and with email and stuff like that, I’ve felt that, I felt, like a quote unquote in the agenda, not in a bad way, but just like, yes, what, I actually really appreciate someone who knows what they want and what they offer and can put those across in such a way where it’s like, yes, cool, clarity. I think that’s probably the word. Yes. I just wanted to sort of share that experience from the other side in the sense that like as someone who’s been part of that relationship and that experience, that was actually a really positive thing. It was a really positive experience as well because there was like, there was no, there was no blurry edges as to where we all stood, which is fantastic.

Speaker 2: I just wanted to add a bit. I appreciate you. What it is, I’ll say this, I know we’ve got to go, I’ll say this and I’m going to have to go and check my email inbox. The one thing I will say is that, we did meet briefly and, we had the conversation going back and forward. Even when I was to let everybody know, I had a bit of a panic getting the room in here and getting the connection, but I was like, no, I don’t care if it’s one minute to two, I’m going to make sure I’m in here on time. The big thing for me was making sure that this was your reputation. This is your house. This is your zone. This is your space. I’m coming into your house and no matter how good I think I’ve got to perform, I’ve got to make you look good because it’s about the guests you have in here. It’s about the way that you’ve made the decision to bring somebody to this room. For me, it comes out to that point you’re saying about courage. I’m like, do what? I’ve got, I have got to make sure that when people leave here, they’re like, oh, this was a great guest that we got on here. Thank you for inviting us. I know that I’ve got to be able to carry that for you. An absolute privilege and I’m sure, and I’m sure we’ll be doing it again. We’ll find a way back when we’re doing it again.

Speaker 1: Whenever you want, you’re very welcome. With that said, what a brilliant way to wrap up the session. This season on leadership, it’s just been a fabulous sort of four weeks. David, you’ve been the absolute cherry on the top. You’ve been the cake, you’ve been the whole bunch, it’s been really fabulous. As so have the community. Thank you all so much for showing up as you have, asking the great questions that you have. It really adds so much to these sessions. Hopefully, David, you can see the comments coming through. I see them coming through. It’s beautiful. A lot of very lovely people. This will be our last session for two weeks. We return, funny enough, we mentioned AI earlier. We are going to do a little season on what marketers need to know about AI. That curiosity about that. That will be launched this week. Look out for those sessions. It will be done in a very accessible, hopefully uplifting way that sort of enables us to have that curiosity and ask those questions the right way. Finally, a big thank you to our sponsors, Frontify Exclaimer, Cambridge Marketing College and Redgate. Couldn’t do this without all of them. Thank you very much to all of those as well. With all that said, see you in two weeks. David, you’re an absolute hero, mate. Thank you for taking the time. Thank you to everyone watching and we’ll see you very soon. Cheers, everyone. Bye.