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Three Things I’ve Learned from my Art

I’ve never shared this before. In fact, for some reason I’ve always hidden the fact that I’m an artist. As a reformed workaholic, if I’ve learned anything from Covid, it’s the importance of my life outside of work.

So, here’s my list of the 3 Life Lessons I’ve learnt from being an artist that have helped my career as a speaker, author, facilitator and leadership coach:

1. Don’t overthink things. It’s too easy to be undermined by your own self-talk. Before I start every single painting I think “I’m not sure I can do this”. Similarly in my work, before every presentation, workshop, webinar or anything that puts me in the spotlight- I have to remember that this is NOT about me, it’s about how I might be able to help other people. I imagine that SOMEBODY out there needs to hear my message, even it’s only one person in the audience!

2. Paint what you see- not what you think you see. This is a biggie. It’s been profound for my work. I learned over the years to always do my own ‘discovery’, conduct my own research and 1:1 interviews and “get under the skin” of the business before running a workshop. It’s about paying attention to the facts. Paying attention to the ACTUAL customer or employee experience. Asking the right questions and then listening for answers.

3. Be true to you and you’ll do your best work. Over the years my painting subjects have changed radically, but I keep returning to painting water. Whether it’s waves or rivers or swimming pools. I love it! And I’m getting better at it. Similarly in my work, more and more since Covid, I wanted to work one-on-one with leaders who are a values –fit for my business; CEOs who genuinely care about their organisational culture and want to create a great place to work. People who inspire me. So I decided to build a Leadership Coaching practice – and I’m loving it!

The key takeaway from all of this for me is that: It’s not only OK to be human, we have to stop apologising for it and start embracing it as the single most important ingredient for leadership success.

People bring their whole selves to work – not just their work self and I’ve seen amazing leaders inspire and re-energise their employees by recognising this simple fact.

If you’re a CEO in the community services sector struggling with cultural fatigue, if you have any doubts about your communication skills, or if like more information about my coaching program my email is If we’re a ‘values fit’, then I’d love to help.


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