How is leading in possibility make sense to you in these relevant times? 

Leadership is not just about having a title, it is not even just about having business opportunities. It is about mentoring, coaching, and modeling capacity of leadership for the people around you, in the context you are in,  to create more responsible leaders. 

Stacey Ashley is a High-Performance Leadership Expert, Speaker, Change & Transformation Leadership Coach, C-Suite Executive Coach, Leadership Development Coach, Mentor, and LinkedIn Top Voices 2018 Awardee 

In this episode, Stacey shares about building practical foundations for effective leadership,  

getting out of the trenches, to lead strategically and with influence. 

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • Learn about why you should Lead in Possibility 
  • Discover about the mentoring, coaching, modeling capacity of leadership in order to lead strategically and effectively 
  • Learn how to take responsibility for yourself and the people you serve so you can elevate leadership and create more effective leaders 

Leading in possibility is about creating the opportunity for people to actually realize their potential and possibility as well.

Stacey Ashley

 

Stacey’s Valuable Free Resource: 

Claim your Leadership Performance Boost: www.ashleycoaching.com.au/28days 

Topics Covered:

01:46 – What is the essence of leading in possibility? 

02:19 – Why leading in possibility is more than just about business opportunities? 

03:28 – The idea of elevating the practice of leadership around the world. 

04:40 – What could be preventing leaders from doing so much more with what they were set out to do from the start? 

05:33 – How are leaders get sucked by the day to day operations? 

06:12 – In what forms symptoms of a problem are showing up? 

07:15 – What mistakes do her clients commit before working with her? 

07:53 – The New Leader: What is this new book all about? 

08:24 – Her definition of Leadership. 

09:33 – In what capacities are we showing up as leaders? 

12:15 – Free actionable tip to help develop one’s leadership skills: What is the most important thing for me to be doing right now? 

14:06 – For your leadership performance boost, go to www.ashleycoaching.com.au/28days 

14:50 – How do you create more leaders? 

15:10 – Mentoring, coaching, and modeling: How do they differ? 

Key Takeaways:

“Leadership is about the aspiration for yourself and also for the people that you work with and the context of the world in which you work or operate. It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and for those that you serve.” – Stacey Ashley 

The practice of leadership needs to elevate so that we can actually take everyone with us and create more leaders, more leadership at a higher level.”  – Stacey Ashley 

“Leadership is not having a title and there are people reporting to you. I can be an individual and be a leader and show leadership. I can be a thought leader or a portfolio leader or leader of people.” – Stacey Ashley 

Leadership absolutely starts with self. If someone really wants to begin to elevate their leadership and to show leadership to the people around them, so they are growing, start with yourself, understand where your leadership at, where you might have opportunities to develop, and then do that.”– Stacey Ashley 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with Stacey Ashley:

Full Episode Transcript:

Stacey Ashley  

Leadership for me is, it’s about the aspiration for yourself and also for the people that you work with and the context of the world in which you work or operate. It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and for those that you serve. 

Bruce Ross 

Hello and a very warm welcome to another edition of Unshakable Leadership. My name is Bruce Ross, and it’s my privilege today to have the highly regarded and award-winning Stacy Ashley, with us today. 

Stacey Ashley   

Hey, it’s great to be here. 

Bruce Ross   

And it’s good to hear the Australian accent.  Where specifically are you? 

Stacey Ashley   

I’m on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, actually. 

Bruce Ross   

Very good. Now we are very fortunate to have Stacey. Let me give you a bit of a background about Stacey. Stacey is a high-performance leadership expert with over 30 years of experience. She’s helped thousands to develop leadership competence, confidence, and credibility. The author of two books on leadership including Amazon’s bestseller, The New Leader. Stacy has four international Stevie Awards. And those are the world’s premium Business Awards, including Coach of the Year 2019. She has been nominated for the Telstra Business woman’s awards five times. And in 2018, she was named and was in the global LinkedIn top voices. And Stacy’s obsessed with leaders leading in possibility. That’s a great enigmatic phrase right there. Stacy, what do you mean, leading in possibility? 

Stacey Ashley   

I think the essence of it is that when I’m working with leaders, I find that they’re leading in the here and now and it’s about just getting stuff done, and in some ways, it’s not enough. And so for me leading in possibility about what is the opportunity. So not just what we’re doing now, but what is the opportunity. And that can show up in many, many different ways. But if you’re leading in possibility, it’s not just about the things we know, it’s about the things you don’t know as well. 

Bruce Ross   

Can you give me some examples? Because ordinarily, say business leaders, you say opportunities, they think business opportunities, is that what you’re talking about or is it more than that? 

Stacey Ashley   

It’s more than that. For me leading in possibility is yes, it’s about innovation and ideas and things like that. It’s about what let’s just take for example of what’s most recently happened in the world. You know, what are the possibilities that this current set of conditions has created for us, not just what we’re seeing and feeling right now? But what it opened up in the way that we work in the modalities of work in the way that organizations are able to, resources, the upsides, and downsides? And you know, there’s just so many areas of potential. So that would be a great example. And then I think the other thing for me about leading in possibility is about creating the opportunity for people to actually realize their potential and possibility as well. There is a huge responsibility for that. 

Bruce Ross   

Yeah, yeah. Tell me more about that. 

Stacey Ashley   

I feel like and, of course, this is just my limited, you know, view of the world. But I feel like leadership is the huge responsibility to create more layers. You know, leadership is service. And I just feel like the potential has just been missed, you know, that the practice of leadership needs to elevate so that we can actually take everyone with us and create more leaders, more leadership at a higher level. And I mean that to me, it’s just filled with possibilities. Imagine what could happen if we elevated the practice of leadership around the world. 

Bruce Ross   

Rather, that segues very nicely into the first of my five primary questions. And that’s, what do you feel is the biggest challenge to help leaders in the world today? What is it they face? What’s the biggest challenge they face today? What are the symptoms of that challenge? How would they know that they are facing that challenge?  

Stacey Ashley  

So I find for me that often when I’m working with leaders, what I noticed is that they get caught up in the basics, some of the fundamentals and that actually gets in the way of them being able to step into the leadership. So they maybe they caught up in fizziness. Maybe they’ve got so many priorities that they actually don’t know their way to focus. And so they’re not making the impact or the difference that they had set out to make. And it’s not that they’re not making an impact or difference, but not as much as they had hoped to. Because they’re getting caught up on things that if they had mastered them early, they would already be taken care of. And then they could actually focus on the strategic, on the opportunity, on their people, all of us that, again, not saying they’re not doing that, but there’s so much more that they could be doing in that space. 

Bruce Ross   

Right. So the biggest challenge is getting sucked into the day to day operations. Is that right? 

Stacey Ashley   

It could be around day to day operations, but it may be that, I’ll give you a really simple example. With a lot of leaders I work with, they’re really good at actually, you know, organizing their calendar and making sure that you know, they’re in one place at one time and that sort of thing, but when I compare their calendar to this strategic objective and their role, they don’t line up. So, we’re not getting the foundations right so that we can actually work towards the bigger picture. 

Bruce Ross   

Got it, okay. And so the symptoms would turn up to them as what? 

Stacey Ashley   

It could be busy-ness, juggling all those priorities. But it could also be, you know, I’m not spending enough time with my people to develop them or it could be my own development has plateaued. I’m not actually, I haven’t got time and space to develop myself so that I’m able to contribute at a higher level. It could be that my to-do list has got some amazing things on it, but they’re not progressing. If I was to focus on those things, it would make a very big difference and it’s not again, all the people I work with are amazing and high performing. That sort of thing. But they’re able to do so much more if they were actually enabled to do that.  

Bruce Ross   

Right. Okay. And so what do you find are the biggest mistakes your clients are making prior to working with you? 

Stacey Ashley   

I would say that for a lot of them, it’s simply that they’ve been caught up in the machine, as opposed to actually stepping back and going, ‘Okay, what do I really need to do here, which of the leaders to call so that I can make the best contribution not just for me, but for my team because again, I’m elevating the practice of leadership mind in this so that overall, we’re actually making a bigger difference. That’s probably in a nutshell, really. 

Bruce Ross   

Okay. Good. Good. Good. And I’m interested because you said that you’ve written the book, The New Leader, are there some of the areas that you go into inside The New Leader? 

Stacey Ashley  

Some of them it’s a pretty practical book. And so it’s called The New Leader for two reasons, one is it’s aimed at people who are, you know, moving into leadership for the first time. But it’s also about a new way of being a leader, which is, let’s get these practical foundations right so that it releases you to move into being a leader rather than running around doing a whole lot of stuff, which is, you know, important. but if you were better at doing that and getting it out the way you’d have more space to lead. 

Bruce Ross   

What is your definition of leadership?  

Stacey Ashley   

That’s an interesting question. When I talk about leadership, and I’m really clear when I work with people in leadership is not you have a title and there are people reporting to you. You know, I can be an individual and be a leader and showing leadership. I can be, you know, a thought leader or a portfolio leader or leader of people. So leadership, for me, it’s about the aspiration for yourself and also for the people that you work with and the context of the world in which you work and operate, it’s about taking responsibility for yourself and for those that you serve and moving it forward. So it is about the higher purpose and meaning and all of those things. It’s not just about execution, although that is important. I think leadership again, it is an enabling, I think, and enabling of others and investment in others as well as self and it’s about fundamentally making the world a better place. 

Bruce Ross   

You know, what I love and what I’m hearing here is there is an element of looking out for the greater good. So it’s not just the business. Yes, that’s essential. That’s crucial. That’s why you’re there. But it’s also helping grow those individuals to be accountable leaders, self-leaders, but also for the greater good, the greater possibility is that what you mean? 

Stacey Ashley   

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if I was able to work with even more people than I already do and create some change that was, you know, beneficial, valuable, useful to the world I’d be a very happy person. I think we talked about leadership in the context of organizations. But, you know, that’s only part of the world that we live in and people go to work, but that’s only part of their life. But leaders will be leaders in all aspects. It’s not just about I go to work and I’m a leader, you’re either a leader or you’re not a leader. It doesn’t switch on and off. And so I believe that if we can foster leadership and an idea of leadership and the embodiment of leadership, then we are going to see that far-reaching impact and as you say that the greater good because those people shop in all spaces.  

Bruce Ross   

Yeah. That’s true. Because a mother can be a leader of a family. A young child can be a leader inside your friends. Yeah, I totally get that.  

Stacey Ashley 

Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other thing is that you know, there are so many things in our world that need more leadership. I mean, when we don’t go, ‘Oh, now we’re good enough leaders, now we don’t need anymore.’ So for anything that we can do, that’s about creating awareness, creating development, creating a sense of responsibility in leading myself and the people and the context that I operate in, then I think that’s got to be, you know, that’s a great thing we’re contributing to, you know, that global leadership and the impact of that, which is all of us.  

Bruce Ross   

Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, what would be one free actionable tip, the advice tool you can give our listeners, that would help them develop their leadership, address the challenges of being stuck in the here and now on the day-to-day, and not really taking advantage of the greater possibilities. What extra books or advice would you give?  

Stacey Ashley   

Yeah, if I was to keep it really simple, Bruce, I think the one question that I give to the people that I work with, and ask them to ask it of themselves on a frequent basis is what is the most important thing for me to be doing right now?  And that is not necessarily about the most urgent thing or it’s actually it’s about bringing context back to where I want to make a difference? So what’s the most important thing that I should be doing right now? And it could be spending time with my family. It could be, you know, I don’t know, meditating. It could be it. There are lots of things. It’s not just about I have to take action and do a piece of work. It’s what’s the most important thing for me to be doing right now, so I can make my contribution and make a difference. 

Bruce Ross  

Nice. That’s a good thing. And what I think as you’re asking a question that causes me to have a sense of self-reflection, self-awareness, I have to step back and go,’Well, this may not be the most important thing, but it could be in the end.’ 

Stacey Ashley   

Simple and kind of big as well.  

Bruce Ross   

Yeah, I like it. And what’s a valuable free resource that you can share with the listeners and the leaders who are paying attention to this podcast? 

Stacey Ashley   

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve got a great little leadership performance boost, I call it a little self-coaching challenge. And basically, it’s a sequence of 28 great coaching questions over 28 days that you can reflect on and decide to step up and answer that question or not your choice, but it’s a really great way of a) getting focused, on your leadership, on your contribution and b) learning a little bit about coaching questions and coaching which you know, is very valuable as a leader as well. 

Bruce Ross   

And where can they access that? 

Stacey Ashley   

So that is let me just think about that link. So it’s www.ashleycoaching.com.au/28days. 

Bruce Ross   

Nice. So we’ll make sure that we have this in the show notes down below. So for those people who are really interested in it, I guess that you’d be seeing that through email on a daily basis.  

Stacey Ashley   

Yeah. So from the point that they sign up, they’ll get one of those emails each day, with a really great coaching question on it.  

Bruce Ross   

Excellent. And the final question that I have for you is, what’s the question that I should have asked you to help our audience take or become more strategic or be more effective or raise their impact? What’s the question I should have asked and then what is your answer?  

Stacey Ashley   

The question probably is, how do these create more leaders, and the answer, I have it really fairly simple, is that every day with the people around them, they need to mentor they need to model or role model leadership, and they need to coach. 

Bruce Ross   

What to you is mentoring and coaching? 

Stacey Ashley 

Yeah. So a mentor, I’m sharing my wisdom, my stories, my experience with you so you might gain insight, learning, that sort of thing. Modeling is me turning up every day and being a leader, showing you what leadership is, the good days and the bad days. And coaching is me helping you to learn, so asking you the great questions so you can solve your own problems and learn in the process. So that’s the difference between coaching and mentoring. Mentor, I give you information and coaching, I draw out all of your great ideas and information. 

Bruce Ross   

Excellent. Some really great stuff there, and it’s about what I’ve heard is that leadership is about growing other people and growing yourself. Looking, sticking back from the immediacy of the day-to-day and asking the big question about, is this the most important thing I can be doing right now given the context in making a decision as to what to be focusing on now, as real practical tools. So anything, any last thing you’d like to add, to emphasize or re-emphasize? 

Stacey Ashley  

I think you’ve summed it up really well. Bruce. I think for me, leadership absolutely starts with self. And so you know, if someone really wants to begin to elevate their leadership and to show leadership to the people around them, so they are growing is, start with yourself, understand where your leadership at, where you might have opportunities to develop, and then do that. 

Bruce Ross   

Thank you very much for your time and your insight and your practicality. I think that opportunity three days of info and questions. Thanks so much. To make sure that’s in the show notes, and I’d like to thank you once again for appearing on the podcast. 

Stacey Ashley  

A great pleasure Bruce, thank you so much.  

Bruce Ross   

You’re most welcome. Thanks very much for checking out Flowpreneur Unshakable Leadership Podcast. If you like what we’re doing here, please head on over to iTunes, subscribe, write us and leave a review. We’d very much appreciate that. Now, if you’re actually wanting to expand your leadership capability and deepen your impact in the world, that is, be a better you both at work and home. Then I invite you to attend a live online Flowpreneur demo, where I’ll be sharing pure content and with nothing to buy. You can find all the details for this at peakperformancedemo.com, repeating, peakperformancedemo, all one word, dot com. Until next time, be bold! 

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