The Thoughtful Leader Podcast with Ben Brearley-logo

The Thoughtful Leader Podcast with Ben Brearley

Business & Economics Podcasts

Short, sharp leadership advice for leaders and managers who care about the performance and job satisfaction of their teams.

Short, sharp leadership advice for leaders and managers who care about the performance and job satisfaction of their teams.




Short, sharp leadership advice for leaders and managers who care about the performance and job satisfaction of their teams.




#168: A Short Story - 3 Steps to Employee Engagement

Leaders love to have engaged, enthusiastic employees working for them, but it’s not always easy to make it happen. In this episode, I recount a short story of a time when I had some success in helping a team member feel more engaged in the work they were doing. I break it down into three main steps that made the difference, with the hope that you may be able to replicate some of them for yourself. Apply For Your Complimentary Coaching Session I invite you to a complimentary Discovery...


#167: Are Your People Feeling Unfulfilled at Work? Try These Ideas

With the rise of remote and flexible working, people are becoming more open to the idea of actually enjoying their work. Instead of just going through the daily grind, people actually want to like what they do! As leaders, we play an important role in helping our people feel more fulfilled. It’s up to them to decide where they want to go, but we can help them get there! In this episode, I take a look at some ideas to help your people feel more motivated and fulfilled at work. Apply For...


#166: The Importance of Mindset With Mark Altman

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mark Altman, who is the founder of MindsetGo, a company that helps people become more confident and effective communicators. Mark reached out to me a few months back and since then, we’ve been catching up to speak about leadership, training and all sorts of other topics and to bounce ideas off each other. In our conversation we speak about the importance of mindset, the impact of showing appreciation to others and some tips on starting...


#165: Don't Stagnate! How to Provide Development Opportunities For Your Team

Development opportunities are one of the best ways to stop your team from stagnating, ensuring everyone keeps learning and staying motivated. However, it’s not always easy to provide development opportunities. In this episode, I look at some of the risks in providing development opportunities, and some steps to take to enable your people to safely step outside of their comfort zone. Like the Show? Leave a Review On Apple Podcasts ✅ 👍 If you like this episode or the show in general,...


#164: Don't Let Blind Spots Derail Your Leadership

Blind spots are dangerous for leaders. It might be that you think people are perceiving you in one way, but actually they think something else about you entirely. Or perhaps you aren’t aware of your shortcomings, when other people can see them as plain as day. Whatever the case, ideally we want to reduce our blind spots so we don’t run into unexpected trouble. In this episode, I look at a useful model of self-awareness as well as some ways to try to reduce your blind spots, so you can...


#163: Team Members Relying On You Too Much? Try This

It’s natural for team members to need your support, but when it happens too often, it can be a real drag on your time. However, it’s not useful to lay the blame at their feet. Leadership behaviour is a major factor in how people behave, so the question should be asked – are you setting up the right conditions for your people to be self-sufficient? In this episode, I look at some strategies to help your people fend for themselves rather than using you as a crutch to lean on. Apply For...


#162: Don't Have a Team Operating Model? Here's Why You Need One.

Have you ever taken the time to actually write down what your team does, and how it does it? It can be a really useful process to go through to help you understand your team better, highlight gaps and improvement areas and communicate to others what your team is all about. “Operating model” can comes across as a consulting buzzword, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about understanding what your team does, and how it does it… then writing it down. In this episode I look at the key...


#161: Simple Ways to Improve Accountability In Your Team

Are you one of the many leaders who wish your people would take more accountability? Do you yearn for the day when your people will take greater ownership of their work to produce better results? Well, you’re not alone. In this episode, I take a look at some simple ways to improve accountability in your team, to hopefully help your people step up and take greater ownership. Book Your Complimentary Discovery Coaching Session I invite you to a complimentary Discovery Coaching Session,...


#160: Are People Testing Your Leadership? Try This

Sometimes you’ll come to work feeling like you’re being tested by your people. They’ll push boundaries, do their own thing and maybe give you some attitude. It can be super frustrating, but it’s a natural part of leadership especially for leaders new to their role. Sometimes people just need some time to adjust. In this episode I look at some of the ways that people will try to test your leadership, and some steps you can take to pass the test with flying colours. Book Your Discovery...


#159: How to Switch From a Reactive to a Proactive Team

Do you find your team reacting to problems rather than taking proactive action? You’re not alone – this can be a huge problem for team productivity and effectiveness. In this episode, I look at some of the reasons behind a lack of proactivity, and of course, some steps you can take to try to grow it in your team. It never feels good to be on the back foot all the time, so instead, let’s see if we can create an environment where proactivity is more likely to happen! Book Your Discovery...


#158: Let's Build a Better Leadership Mindset

Ever wanted to feel better about your leadership, enjoy your role more and have more motivation to make change and lead the way? Well, you’re not alone. Leadership can be a hard slog, especially with the constant change and turmoil that we have been experiencing over the last few years. In this episode, I look at some good ways to start to shift your mindset to a more positive place, so you can show up as your best self more often. Book Your Discovery Coaching Session I invite you to a...


#157: Getting Unstuck with Coach Robbie Swale

In this episode, I interview Robbie Swale who is a Coach and Author of the new book “How to Start When You’re Stuck”. In this interview we cover a lot of topics including how leaders commonly find themselves getting stuck, as well as a powerful question to ask yourself when you’re struggling to know what action to take. I’ve been working with Robbie over the last year myself, and as usual in this interview, he comes up with many insights and resources that you can find in the links at the...


#156: Let's Dismantle the Cult of Busyness

Ever noticed how busyness is often a sign of capability, competence or importance in many workplaces? Well, it’s time we put a stop to this. The problem with needing to be busy all the time is that thoughtful leadership suffers. In this episode, I look at some ways to start to push back against this nonsensical phenomenon and actually start getting real value out of the time we spend at work and in our leadership. Book Your Discovery Coaching Session I invite you to a complementary...


#155: How Are You Holding Yourself Back? Let's Fix It

Sometimes thoughtful leaders have a tendency to get in their own way. It might be not asking for what they really want, putting everyone else’s needs above their own or making assumptions about what’s possible without really knowing. Whatever the case, this can hurt our leadership and career potential, so in this episode I look at some of the common ways that leaders hold themselves back and what we can start to do about it. Book Your Discovery Coaching Session I invite you to a...


#154: Common Sense Principles to Help Your Leadership

Leadership can be daunting, and it can feel like we need to have years of leadership training and study under our belts to feel confident. The truth is, sometimes leadership is made out to be more complex than it really is. What we often really need is to exercise some simple common sense. In this episode, I look at some common sense leadership principles you can apply to your leadership, because sometimes it just ain’t that complicated. Book Your Discovery Coaching Session I invite you...


#153: Why Knowing Yourself Equals Better Leadership

It’s important to understand our team members to create an environment where they can perform at their best. But it’s no different for the leader. In order to create an environment where you can perform at your best, you need to understand yourself. That includes your preferences, triggers and the situations that have you performing at your best and your worst. In this episode I cover why it’s so important to understand yourself better, and some good ways to go about it. Like the Show?...


#152: How to Feel More At Peace With Your Leadership Situation

Many leaders go through tough times dealing with politics, bad bosses and many other problems. Not all of these issues are within our control to solve – so what should we do? Sometimes, the best we can do is to keep taking small steps to improve and do our best to feel at peace with our leadership situation. Otherwise, we run the risk of feeling frustrated, helpless and burning out. In this episode, I take a look at some ways to help you feel more at peace with your situation, so you can...


#151: Low on Confidence? Let's Tackle the Root Cause, not the Symptoms

It’s very common for leaders to feel low on confidence. After all, they’re often dealing with new situations and challenges which they’ve never had to tackle before. When we feel unconfident, it can feel like we’re lacking confidence *everywhere* in our leadership. In reality, there are often a few specific factors or situations that contribute to this feeling, not everything. In this episode, I take a look at tackling the cause of your leadership confidence issues, rather than focusing...


#150: The Thoughtful Leader Backstory, with Akua Asare

In this special episode of the Thoughtful Leader Podcast, I’m interviewed by Akua Asare, who is the founder of the Not-For-Profit Professional Women at Work. Akua is a Quality Manager and an inspirational improvement-focused individual who is doing great things! In this episode Akua interviews me about my background, how and why I got into coaching and some of the leadership challenges I commonly find through working with my clients. Akua is also a former coaching client of mine, so she...


#149: Simple Steps to Break Negative Behaviour Patterns

Negative behaviour patterns are common in workplaces, and you’ve probably run into them yourself. So how do we put a stop to behaviour that impacts team performance and wellbeing? In this episode, I take a look at this tricky problem and outline some steps you can take to try to make a positive shift in your working environment, for the benefit of yourself, your people and your organisation. This is the last episode for the year – so be sure to give me an end of year positive review on...