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About Jacquie

Jacquie Molloy guides senior leaders to develop and display leadership authority (what she calls Authoritas); helps Boards to discover the power (and imperative) of exploring differences of opinion through Debate; and shares the practices for personal authority, high-performing teams and cultural excellence with individuals and organisations so they can be Visible in all the right ways.

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What do you need to do?

1 July marks the beginning of the second half of the year, the third quarter and the start of a new financial year.
That’s reason enough to pause, focus your mind and ask yourself:

  1. How am I showing up in my role? Am I creating a followership of those
    I lead? and what is the evidence for these beliefs?

  2. What are my priorities for the rest of this year — not my wishlist, not my rolling to-do list, not my ‘what I think I should do’ list, but actual priorities?

  3. What habits, practices or tasks do I need to let go of — for good,
    no messing around this time?

What will you commit to establish or change in the second half of this year to enhance your productivity, your resilience and your reputation?

Conversation is where it all happens!
Would you like to have a take-stock conversation about you and your team?


What stops you and your team from being switched on?

There’s a tonne of literature out there about making teams great. And an equally wide range of materials about the many ways we as individuals stop ourselves from being at our best.

So what is new to add?

Well perhaps nothing new so much as a reimagined way into the conversation that will help us cut through the white noise that has built up around these topics, preventing us from clearly seeing what is holding us and our teams back.

Let's start that conversation with three very human factors that prevent you and your team from being switched on.

1. Mental multi-tasking

2. Censorship (internal and external)

3. Resentment.

They are also all ways that we, and those around us, resist.

You probably know that we resist everything that we find uncomfortable or difficult unless we have developed the strategies and tactics — and habits — to move through the resistance into action.

We resist dynamics that don't appeal to us or don't make us feel valued. We put off, make excuses and rationalise what we don't want to do in favour of other things.

We hide behind ‘busy’. Often. Even when we don't know that is what we are doing.

For our team — especially if it's an Exec Team or Board — to be switched on, then our team members must know how to identify these types of resistance and how they play out in themselves and others.

They must become skilled at reading the dynamics of the room clearly and without prejudice.

They must learn how to reset and elevate their performances.

I’ll be sharing some of my new work on Switched on Teams this year, including a white paper for the C-Suite and Boards that will be released in May. If you're interested in receiving this white paper, reply to this email or contact Chloe so that we can put you on the Priority List.

For now, why not reflect on how any or all of these 3 factors play a part in how you show up and contribute — and indeed if you have different ways of showing up and participating depending on who is in the room or who is speaking or what is being discussed.

That awareness is gold if you are willing to see it.

Here’s to a productive and energised 2019!


Authoritas: a leadership approach for turbulent times

Sometimes we find ourselves facing the unexpected — a situation or event that we did not ask or plan for. 
How we react and respond in these times is the real test of our leadership.
Because leadership does not require a title (although many leaders have one) and it does not require hundreds or thousands (or millions) of followers.
We are all leaders.
And we can all demonstrate Authoritas.

Just like excellence is not the norm, but is a reward for those who do the extra work, then Authoritas is the standard of leadership that goes beyond ‘taking charge’ and ‘making decisions’ and calls into service those esteemed qualities of integrity, gravitas, authority, courage, compassion, empathy, self-awareness, critical thinking and discipline.

And just as there is no one brand of excellence, there is also no one ‘right way’ to lead.
But like all high quality experiences, like all forms of excellence, we know great and inspired and trustworthy leadership when we see it.
We recognise Authoritas without having to be told what ‘it’ is.

Authoritas sets you apart just as excellence sets you apart.
One of the core aspects of Authoritas is the question: who am I willing to be?
Having to meet the situation that is can be overwhelming and the attendant disbelief and frustration can easily lead to inertia and even complacency.
It’s human nature to try and hold the status quo no matter what.
And sometimes meeting the situation that is hurtles us into high emotion, which can be a wonderful catalyst for swift action.
As an Authoritas leader, if the strategic response is quiet inaction (for now), then hold that state with disciplined awareness and integrity and clear-sighted critical judgement.
As an Authoritas leader, if the strategic response is swift action, then undertake that with decisiveness and compassion and full accountability.
Not surprisingly, when we’re talking about Authoritas at senior levels, a high level of self-care is not weak nor is it optional — it is mandatory.
Because you know the saying ‘give until it hurts’? Well, that’s where you need to be playing: for your organisation, for your people, for your community.
The Authoritas leader knows that it’s not just learning that comes from outside the comfort zone – that’s where leading happens too.

Your mission is to continue to ask and reflect on these ‘open’ questions:
  • How am I inclusive? (And how do I know this is true?)
  • What are my secret fears and doubts — and how are they likely to show up in my decision making (or inaction) when I am fatigued or stressed?
  • Why am I putting off the final sign-off of an initiative that I know we must take?
  • How do I renew my resolve and hold myself accountable to what I say I, and we, stand for?

Who are you willing to be?
If you or your team need to bolster the critical thinking skills, perspective-taking practices and the critical leadership comms practices or want to increase the level of difference you can make, then please reach out.
I’d feel proud to help you fully embody Authoritas.


Context & Perception

What were you doing before you opened this email?

It’s an important question to keep in mind when you are prepping a presentation; when you have been invited to present at a meeting (but not attend all of it), when you are writing a Board paper or other kind of pre-read … when you are writing or preparing any communication.

It’s not enough to tell your story well — you need to tell the right story for this specific purpose and this particular reader (or set of readers or audience) at this time.

This is a common area that can trip people up or become a blindspot. And that’s a problem because it’s going to interfere with your ability to lead (or create the rep you want).

Because the foundation of practical and effective leadership is excellent communications.

Being very clear about ‘audience and purpose’ is an essential part of preparing great comms. And part of that prep work is understanding the context you are communicating in.

What has the reader, or audience, been doing?

Where is their head?

Will they be able to go from 0 to 100?

How can you help them be where they need to be in order to hear what you have to say?


How to stay in the game

I bet you know this pattern: work builds up and we live at a frenzied pace for a while and then it completes or reaches a pause and the sudden stop throws us.

Or we get sick. Or our heads explode.

And when we get wise to this we start paying closer attention. That starts with us saying: ‘I hope I don't get sick. I always get sick when I go on holidays.’ (That’s awareness.)

Next stage is we reach for supplements or good food or exercise – all in lieu of sleep and quality rest most likely ­– as a way of minimising the effects of living in deficit and preparing for the sudden stop and collapse that is on its way.

(That’s prevention-ish; it can't hurt but it might not be enough to meet the monster head on.)

But at this level, you're looking for mastery.

You must pay attention to three areas: mental, physical and emotional.

Indeed your goal is to make it ‘life as usual’ in many respects — and possibly even better than ‘life as usual’. 

This isn't about perfection and never getting sick again.

But it is a willingness and commitment to maintain a level of practice.

Think of it as 3 areas of action.

  1. Shift, and strengthen, your mindset.

You'll always be at risk if your pattern is high intensity madness followed by a sudden stop.

Rather, like any athlete who must train, race and recover (and then do it again) knows, it is best done in tapered stages. And if you run or ride, you’ll know that the ‘speed’ or ‘smash’ is not the hardest part of your session, but rather those first 30 seconds when you drop back after holding a high speed or pace. 

That's when you really feel the burn and in training that’s where the focus is: learning to maintain a slow and steady drop back to — and hold at — the place where it burns the most.

Master that discomfort and you will be much stronger.

Your mindset shift is one that both allows you and encourages you to maintain some tension after the deadline even when you don't have to.

2. Pay attention to your physical needs: good food, regular exercise and quality rest.

Not rocket science right? But it’s amazing how quick we are to sacrifice some or all of these essentials to the dark altar of work, work, work and whatever other chaos we try to cram into our schedule.

When things heat up, you want to also activate any and all ‘extreme self care’ practices. (And if you think that sounds weak in any way, you have your priorities upside down. You want to stay in action, right?)

Self care also includes creating an environment of physical comfort and pleasure and support — especially when you are travelling and away from home.

3. Clarify your priorities (and generate some pride).

You can only maintain disciplined action when you know that it’s necessary and will get you closer to something even better.

When your tasks and actions are aligned with a strategy you believe in and your true priorities, then you also get to feel good and proud about your accomplishments.

Rather than being a negative, I believe that pride can be an engine, providing the fuel you need to stay in the game.

Good habits don't have to be 100% every day to be effective. “More days than not” is sometimes the best we can do.

But you don't have to get sick when you stop or go on holidays.

Overwhelm is a choice. And we have more say over the quality of our our day-to-day lives than we (choose to) think.

What say you?