A Brilliant Gamble

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We are all so busy, right? There's never enough time to do everything. But what if 90% of what we spend our time on isn't making much of a difference? What if we could be spending our time on activity that really moved the dial, that really made an impact in terms of the purpose of our organisation and in terms of what we value in our lives? While this episode doesn't attempt to entirely address that challenge with one simple tool, I do introduce a tool I've developed recently to help me decide what to focus on. You can adapt it to your needs so easily. The upshot is, though, that leadership isn't about making the best of what you've got but about making tough decisions...often about what NOT to do. Please comment and review this podcast, share it with friends and come and see me on instagram (@blairelyspalmer) or talk to me on twitter (@blairepalmer). Thank you and enjoy!
I spend much of my time inside big business. As a keynote speaker and coach for leaders I’m very familiar with the ways large organisations operate and the universal challenges that they face against a backdrop of a world changing faster than ever before. For years I’ve been trying to help those organisations and their leaders to change. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they find it impossible. It’s always painful. Change hurts! As part of my mission to understand why and how we change and where we might want to focus our attentions in order to create a better blend between work and the rest of life I wanted to talk to today’s guest. Mark Williams is CMO at People First, an HR consultancy, with a special interest in the future of work. I’m very curious about how the workplace is changing and how we, as the workers, will need to change in order to adapt. In this conversation we talk about coming trends, what human qualities will be required in order to be employable in the future and how fundamentally we need to rethink work and the part business plays in the world in the light of such dramatic changes. It’s a big topic and one people like Mark, and me, are grappling with. There are no guaranteed answers. But I think you’ll enjoy listening to this conversation and considering what it might mean for you, your colleagues and the next generation. You can find out more about Mark's work on the People First website or follow him on Twitter. You can stay in touch with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and of course, the website.
One of the most influential books for me of the last couple of years is Frederic Laloux's Reinventing Organisations which reinforced many of the ideas I had been having independently about what is not working any more about big business. I've been wanting to share these ideas with you and found the perfect opportunity when I met Charlie Efford, who shares my enthusiasm for these concepts. In our conversation on this week's podcast we talk about Charlie's professional history and the unusual route he took to the work he does today. Then we go through the main ideas in Reinventing Organisations. And finally we discuss what comes after "Teal". All will be revealed as you listen! Please stay in touch via twitter (@blairepalmer), instagram (@blairelyspalmer) or email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com). And please remember to review the podcast on itunes as it really helps more people know about it! Thank you!!
I've been writing about, and consequently thinking about, feelings all week. The chapter of the new book, Punks in Suits, about Trust looks at the part emotions play in business and how important our ability to bring feelings in to the conversation is. One reason for this is that, very fast, computers are increasingly able to do things that have previously only been done by people. At some point these jobs will all be done by 'bots. Anything a bot can do - anything that is based on pure logic, data analysis, facts and process will be able to be done by a bot. What does that mean for humans and the workplace? Well, it means that if you say that you are able to leave emotion at the door and make decisions purely on scientific fact, you're basically saying that a bot can do your job. The truth is that, certainly for the foreseeable future, bots won't be able to empathise, sense, read between the lines or connect and therefore we'd better get good at doing that ourselves. Those might be the only jobs humans will be doing! And that ability to empathise, sense, read between the lines and connect is what makes humans great problem solvers, innovators and creatives - just the skills your business needs. If leaders are unable to connect with their emotions then maybe bots can do our jobs too! Instagram: @blairelyspalmer Twitter: @blairepalmer Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com
I think of myself as a yes person! This is what we're all encouraged to be, isn't it? But I've noticed that some easy "yeses" then lead to some hard "nos" later on. If you're bringing about change in your life in order to have more alignment and a more integrated feeling within you'll sometimes have to choose between priority 1 in your life and priority 2. Sounds obvious, but how often have we said something is important to us (kids, self-care, taking a day off) but then neglected that priority for something we've said is less important (work, social media, cleaning the kitchen)? In thisweek's episode I am talking about what happens when you have a tough decision - two almost equal priorities and how to avoid an easy yes and a hard no later on. Stay in touch in Instagram (@punksinsuits), email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com) and on our Punks in Suits facebook page OR our Brilliant Gamble Group. There will be more info about what's happening with this podcast and with the business in the coming weeks so stay tuned!! Thank you!
When I first became a coach in 2000 I was one of the first wave of coaches in the UK. Generally young, successful women who’d come from the corporate world, we saw coaching as a way to help people move forward in their lives and make conscious choices about how they wanted to live and how they wanted to feel. Suzy Walker is one of the biggest names to come from that wave of coaches. Now Editor of Psychologies Magazine, she is author of the bestseller “Making the Big Leap” and for many years ran her own highly successful coaching business. In our interview we talk about changing your name mid-life, returning to a “proper job” having worked for yourself, and our beliefs around money... and we end up making a pact together to change our attitudes towards financial security. You’ll enjoy this interview if you’re at a crossroads, if you’re interested in working on your intuition and shifting long-standing beliefs, especially about money, if you’re looking for more balance in your life or you’re keen to pare down your life to a more simple way of living. You can follow Psychologies Magazine on Facebook and find out about all the live videos they broadcast every day including my next one of October 18th! If you want to work on your own beliefs and assumptions and create a life that’s more meaningful for you - sign up to A Brilliant Gamble Online NOW! This self-paced online coaching programme takes you step-by-step from designing your ideal life to figuring out how work and everything else will blend into that life. You'll discover and think about how you want to FEEL about your life and how to make it a reality. Plus, you'll have lifetime access to tonnes of videos and tried and tested exercises that have worked for, not only, my clients but that I use to make changes in my own life. Find out more here. And you can stay in touch with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and of course, the website.
On today’s show it’s all about getting the money in. There are lots of things to keep yourself busy when you run a business and many of them are important. But unless you set aside time to do the activities that get the money in you’re going to find yourself back in a 9-5 job. I learnt these lessons the hard way, by nearly going out of business because I was spending my time doing what I enjoyed most and not making sales, closing and keeping prospective clients moving through the funnel. You can get the money in and still be authentic, still put customers at the heart of what you do and focus on adding value so it’s nothing to be afraid of. But there’s really nothing more important. I talk about: The importance of invoicing Closing sales that are forever open Thinking about where new business is coming from Keeping money in the business Considering the return on investment of any spending To find out more about my How to Quit Your Job programme and to sign up, click here You can also download the free Escape the Rat Race Checklist and join our Corporate Escapees Facebook Group. Stay in touch with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and of course, the website.
I remember telling the careers advisor at school that I wanted to be a journalist... she laughed and said, "You'd better have something to fall back on!" I've always wondered what on earth would she have said if I’d have told her I wanted to be a full-time author? How many of us have dreamt of being a professional artiste? Writer, painter, poet, photographer, needle-felter? Such careers are often perceived as unrealistic dreams - perhaps a hobby at best, or something to save to do during retirement when there’s cash in the bank and we’ve earned the right to do something we love every day.  You won’t be surprised that I don’t think you should have to wait until retirement to do something you love. I did become a journalist (despite it being an apparent miracle) and other real people are out there making movies we watch, writing the novels we read and drawing for a living.  One of those 'other people' is the hugely successful Tom McLaughlin. A children’s author and illustrator, Tom was never (as far as I can tell) told that he couldn’t be a writer. And that’s despite being dyslexic. In this week's podcast episode, we talk about what brought Tom to writing and illustration; and how he organises his time to create work-life balance (which, it turns out, is just as much an issue for “creatives” as for anyone else).  If you dream of 'one day being a writer' - or if you already have a writing project in progress - you’ll love listening to Tom talk through his creative process and how he dealt with rejection, doubts and fears that he was wasting his time, before he got his break. And even if you don’t think you have a book in you, you’ll enjoy hearing how Tom sees the world, where he finds inspiration and how he’s turned the potential disadvantage of dyslexia into a superpower.  You can find out more about Tom here or on his Amazon author’s page. You can stay in touch with us too of course! I’m launching a new online programme in the Autumn – it's all a bit hush-hush at the moment, but if you sign up to the newsletter you’ll be the first to know all the goss! abrilliantgamble.com If you've enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share with your network. It means the world to us! You can keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and of course, the website. Thank you for listening!
When you make a change, especially a big disruptive one, everything that kept you stable and safe is thrown into the air! This can be hugely liberating. What held you back is gone and the future is full of adventure, opportunities and new stories to write. But it can also be unsettling, disorientating and fear-inducing. That’s when having a strong support network of friends, family, peers and colleagues really comes into its own. This week I speak to Elizabeth Dunne, co-founder of Two Desks Limited, a creative support agency. Elizabeth is also a member of my team and supports me on my own Brilliant Gamble as I spend a year as a digital nomad in Europe. I’ve spoken before about my team - Elizabeth and I began working together when I needed a website for A Brilliant Gamble. I find her support really helpful on many fronts. For example, she was with me when I had a "Belly of the Whale" moment last week. Elizabeth believes in holistic support for her clients and comes from a high-flying background as an incredibly talented and successful Executive Assistant with creative flair. She co-founded one of the first Virtual Assistant teams in the UK but recently took her own Brilliant Gamble when, alongside her business partner, she made the move to limit her new business and restrict growth - a concept that's a little strange to outsiders! In the show we talk about: When and what to outsource (and why!) to move your business or plans forward What to look for when outsourcing to build your business What work life balance or imbalance looks and why it's different for everyone My recent foray into the Belly of the Whale and how (and why!) Elizabeth helped me out Being an adult, what success looks and feels like and how to grow up, put on your Big Girl Pants and get stuff done. I hope you enjoy this entertaining episode. Elizabeth is an expat American and her vibrant personality and energy coupled with her views on remote working, what creative support looks like and how to be of genuine service to your clients is really refreshing. You can find Elizabeth on Twitter and Instagram to find out more about her and Two Desks. If you've enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share with your network. It means the world to us! You can keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and of course, the website. Thank you for listening!--
Do we need to re-think what we mean by "influence"? Often "influencing techniques" are tricks we use to get people to take us seriously, to do what we say, to get people to do what we want them to do. But what if influence really begins far before you actually have to change anyone's mind? What if it starts with you, your ability to connect with others and YOUR ability to change YOUR mind? That's what we're talking about in this episode. And we'd love your thoughts - twitter: @blairepalmer, instagram: @blairelyspalmer, email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com
We tend to ignore "tensions" until so many have accumulated that a massive amount of change is required to set things right. Of course, every time you address a tension you risk creating another one so when you undertake a massive overhaul you often unintentionally create a whole lot of new problems that need to be addressed. In today's episode I'm talking about how to identify little tensions and make small tweaks rather than waiting until a major change initiative is required. There are lots of signals that something's not quite right and I identify a few of these today. I'd love to know what tweaks you're making in your life, your organisation or your industry. Stay in touch on twitter (@blairepalmer), email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com) and our Punks in Suits Facebook page. And follow our "brilliant gamble" on Instagram (@abrilliantgamble) and join our A Brilliant Gamble Facebook GROUP! Thanks!
Four nights in a campervan in the snow has taught me a lesson already. When you embark on an adventure don't be too attached to how you expected things to be...be ready to roll with what the universe has in store for you! On this week's show I'm talking to award winning Women's Advocate and Empowerment Coach, Ali Soleil, about embarking on adventures in your 40s and 50s. Ali is the host of the F Years Podcast and helps women in mid-life to go from fed up to fabulous. In this conversation we talk about living out of your car, finding the adventure that's waiting for you and letting go. If you're ready to run towards joy, you'll love Ali and her infectious enthusiasm for life. Check out The F Years Podcast for yourself on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-f-years-podcast/id1320450539?mt=2 And to stay in touch with us visit www.abrilliantgamble.com, follow us on Instagram and twitter @brilliantgamble and on our A Brilliant Gamble Facebook page! You can see where we are, what we've been up to on our big trip and read my latest blogs. Feel free to share this podcast and leave a rating and review as it helps people find us and start taking a Brilliant Gamble of their own!
Why is there never enough time!? I was positive that changing our lifestyle would mean that I'd be able to create more time each day. I mean, what is there to do? You’re renting a house - so there’s no maintenance. You don’t have much stuff - so you aren’t going to spend your time looking for lost things, tidying or shopping. You’re driving from country to country and when you get there - surely you just sit about enjoying the scenery and occasionally answering an email? WRONG! As long as someone is working, you’re working (or you’re feeling like you should be). In today's 24/7 world, it takes huge mental strength to switch off from work. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business person, a leader or a creative, it can be a struggle. Add in working with global colleagues and clients and their respective time zones and it can be a recipe for work life balance disaster. This isn't a problem just in business - keeping up with friends around the globe can be really difficult too. I don't know about you, but I have a never-ending to do list! I know that being busy is not an indicator of value, of true productivity...but it can feel that way. In my search for better work life balance, I’m willing to try anything, which is why I was so keen to talk to today’s guest, Mike Smutka. Mike is co-founder and CEO of Buckets.co, an online project management platform that helps you get organised and stay organised. He has entrepreneurship running through his veins dating back to his first start up at the age of 15. By his early 20s, Mike was running a successful online advertising consulting business called RS2 Media with offices in the US, Philippines, India and Argentina. The challenges Mike faced around managing people all over the world as a distributed team generated his passion for solving organisation and collaboration issues; the result of which became Buckets where he has focused his entrepreneurial efforts for the past three years. You'll learn: information, inspiration and methods to help with time management and productivity how to use a time management app to better your work life balance how you can use the principles behind Kanban to - guess what? Have more time! This show is ideal for anyone at a career crossroads or looking for better work life balance and are keen to find a way to get organised. It's a must-listen for anyone who feels that there's not enough time to get things done. Visit Buckets.co to find out more about Mike's business - it's free to join and use and they're growing a great online community. You can stay in touch with us of course. Sign up for the newsletter and recieve a free 3-part Gamble Guide on our website which will help you focus your thoughts and energy towards exploring - or taking - a brilliant gamble of your own. And you can follow our Big Trip on Twitter and Instagram. Please share this podcast with your network - you could help others at a career crossroads who are looking for more work life balance to take a Brilliant Gamble of their own!
Welcome to A Brilliant Gamble! This is the 65th episode of this show but the first with our new name. A Brilliant Gamble is all about betting on the the world of work changing and taking the risk of saying No to the 9-5. Work isn't working as it is, that's for sure. And more and more people, myself included, are asking whether it has to be this way? Can we configure a life where work integrates seamlessly rather than requiring us to make sacrifices to succeed? It was with this in mind that I wanted to speak to today's guests. Will and Jessica travel the world with their children, and hamster called Sunshine, in an RV and have been living in other countries like locals for more than 3 years. They left their jobs in Boston to take this adventure and now they help others who want to do the same thing through their business, Worldtowning. Their story is fascinating, honest, funny and inspiring. It's partly because of them that I am taking my daughter and dogs on our big trip, starting later this week (!). I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to them. If you want to know more about Worldtowning you can find them at www.worldtowning.com and on YouTube and Instagram. To stay in touch with US here at A Brilliant Gamble, check out the new website www.abrilliantgamble.com and our instagram and twitter feeds (@brilliantgamble). Looking forward to your feedback, to your star ratings on iTunes and to hearing about your Brilliant Gambles! Blaire x
So excited about today's podcast! I'm talking to Lisa Talbot, Award Winning Personal & Fashion Stylist about how to shake up your professional "look" and reveal more of the real you underneath. No one's saying you have to get a mohawk and wear a safety pin through your nose but business wear is so conservative that it's almost the last taboo. Even people who are outspoken, creative and enthusiastic about shaking things up tend to conform to the uniform. And that might be undermining their credibility as a model for change. Not to mention that hiding who you are every day takes its toll on your enthusiasm and sense of purpose. Lisa is well known for her fun and full of energy personality and passion for helping both women & men feel & look amazing. She firmly believes your wardrobe should work for your personality, lifestyle, body shape & budget. Lisa’s wealth of experience and her natural ability to relate to her audience make her consultations, presentations & interviews exciting, interesting and thought provoking. I'm sure you'll agree! You can find out more about how to work with her at www.lisatalbot.co.uk. To stay in touch with us you can tweet (@blairepalmer), email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com), follow our personal adventures on Instagram (@abrilliantgamble) and our personal Facebook page (@abrilliantgamble). Or just pick up the phone and call. We love that!
How do you release the Punk inside you? On this podcast we normally talk about the “work you” - how to be a leader in your work, how to bring about change in your organisation. But inevitably re-thinking yourself at work leads to changes in your life outside of work. In this week’s show I share four places where you could look to start to integrate your growing authenticity in work and your desire to be yourself in your wider life. These are highly practical suggestions that will make a difference both inside and outside of your working life. Over the coming months I will return to these ideas with a variety of guests who will help me to explore how your growth as a leader might impact your life choices. Certainly the growth I’ve undergone professionally has brought about massive changes in my personal life too. Please stay in touch via twitter (@blairepalmer), instagram (we have a new name on instagram which is @abrilliantgamble because my account is not only about my work but about our family adventures as homeschoolers, animal lovers, music makers and everything else we get up to) or email blaire@thatpeoplething.com. And if you go to our website www.thatpeoplething.com you can sign up to our newsletter and get a free 5 part series covering the basics of the Punks in Suits concept and irregular news, insights, tips and thought provoking questions.
This week's podcast is a topic very close to my heart - education. With a child who is currently home educated I've become more and more interested in how children actually learn and what they learn from different forms of education. Kerry McDonald is my guest and is well positioned to explore education, and how education may need to change to address the future needs of business (and our world!). Kerry is a mom of four unschooled children, a writer for Natural Mother Magazine and a self-directed learning advocate who is a Board member at the non-profit Alliance for Self-Directed Education. She has a Master's degree in education policy from Harvard University and is an education writer for several national media outlets. Her writing has appeared in Forbes, NPR, and Education Next among others. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and writes at Whole Family Learning. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@kerry_edu). The books she mentions in the interview are Now You See It, by Cathy Davidson, and Wounded by School, by Kirsten Olson. Here is the blog link where you can find her book recommendations if you're interested in learning more about home education and self-directed learning - http://www.wholefamilylearning.com/2017/09/letter-to-prospective-homeschooling.html To follow my journey with my daughter Ivy we are @abrilliantgamble on Instagram and we have a Facebook Group called A Brilliant Gamble too. You can find out more about my work with organisations and individuals and how to book me as a speaker at www.thatpeoplething.com and follow me on twitter (@blairepalmer). Please feel free to share this podcast, leave a review on iTunes and stay in touch, especially if you have a particular topic you'd like me to discuss on the show! Thank you!
Wherever I go, senior people tell me they wish their people would step up and take ownership of their job. So in this week's episode I talk to Mark Fritz who is all about ownership! I his keynote speeches and workshops he explores how to create a sense of ownership amongst your people and what that requires of leaders. I loved talking with Mark who is full of easy to remember concepts and tips. I'm confident you'll take a lot from it too. Stay in touch with me on twitter (@blairepalmer), instagram (@blairelyspalmer) and email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com).
I'm delighted to introduce you to real-life punk, Joel Vos. Psychologist,Vos, AKA the Punk Professor, talks to me about Meaning, Mental Health and Punk. He's hugely knowledgeable and I love his academic but also very practical approach to the topic. I hope you enjoy seeing the world through his eyes for half an hour today. Twitter: @blairepalmer Instagram: @blairelyspalmer Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com
Should I do this? Shouldn't I be doing better than this? Shouldn't they listen to me? Shouldn't I have done something differently? This episode is all about shoulds and shouldn'ts. We look at 4 different kinds of shoulds and how to deal with them. From a leadership perspective, shoulds give you the impression that you don't have a choice, that you are duty bound to behave a certain way or that "that's just life". But shoulds are beliefs and assumptions. And true leaders don't simply accept beliefs and assumptions without first questioning them. I hope you find this week's podcast thought-provoking. Please stay in touch via twitter (@blairepalmer), instagram (@blairelyspalmer) and email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com). And please feel free to share this podcast!!
I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest this week. Yehudi is a fascinating guy, a team coach and org design specialist who asks some pretty big questions in his work, questions we would all do well to ask. In my solo shows I tend to focus on the inner work, but in my interview shows it's normally about these big questions - putting assumptions under the microscope and asking ourselves "What if there's nothing to these assumptions except conventional wisdom?". I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to Yehudi and I talk about education, organisational change, organisational design and what the business of the future will look like. Stay in touch on twitter @blairepalmer, instagram @blairelyspalmer or email blaire@thatpeoplething.com
Sounds like an obvious question with an obvious answer, right? But maybe it's worth really thinking about it. Because we pay a huge price for our work in terms of our health, our freedom, our time, our priorities. Yes, work is an enabler for other things. It give us the money to make choices. And we may really enjoy the work itself. But what if the price is too high? How can you find the right place for work in your life alongside everything else that matters to you? In this episode I muse on the purpose of work in our fast changing world. Please do share your thoughts and stories with me on our Punks in Suits Facebook page, via twitter (@blairepalmer), Instagram (@blairelyspalmer) or by email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com). And please review this podcast on iTunes as it helps us move up the ranking and allows more people to find us. Thanks!
Earlier this year I shared my view that there really isn't such a thing as "leadership development". But this doesn't mean you can't grow in to leadership or grow as a leader. The best leaders are endlessly curious and endlessly evolving. In this episode I share a few ways you can grow and evolve without anyone trying to teach you to lead. For me the only leadership development is inner work and big questions. But what does that actually look like? That's what I'm talking about today. I'd love your thoughts. Twitter: @blairepalmer Instagram: @blairelyspalmer Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com
In Episode 3 of the Punks in Suits Podcast we talk Assumptions! Assumptions will get in the way of your true authenticity, they will limit your creativity, they will cloud your best, intuitive decision-making and make it tough for you to bring about change. Given that leaders look at what is (which you can't do when your judgement is clouded) and what could be (which you can't do when your judgement is clouded) and disrupt the status quo to bring about change (which you can't do when your judgement is clouded) discovering what's clouding your judgement is pretty important! Today, with a bit of help from Albert Einstein, I will be talking about how to discover the biases and baggage you bring to your thinking, your conversations and your listening and how to bust them wide open. Please connect with me on Instagram @blairelyspalmer, twitter @blairepalmer or email blaire@thatpeoplething.com to keep the conversation going! (And listen right to the end for the outtakes!)
I'm often asked why people won't step up and take ownership even when the bosses in the organisation tell them they're empowered. But people can only be empowered to the same extent that you are willing to give away your power. In this episode I talk about standing in different positions in the organisation to see the world a different way, and inviting people in your company to stand where you stand and see what you see. Please contact me on social media with your experiences of leadership and your thoughts about the practices I am talking about. Instagram @blairelyspalmer, twitter @blairepalmer or email blaire@thatpeoplething.com
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Podcast Details

Oct 7th, 2016
Latest Episode
Sep 24th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
42 minutes

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