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5 MINUTES WITH Paula Leach “Work is so much of life; I want to help to make that better.”

May 13 2022

We’re excited to be working with Paula Leach on the campaign for her new book Vantage Points. We asked Paula our 5 questions to find out more about her, her book, and her vision:

1. Pitch in 10 - sell us your book in less than 10 words

Your practical Leadership Coach: Simplifying, Inspiring, Impactful and Human.

2. Audience of One -  If you could choose ONE person to read your book who would it be and why? 

The ideal reader is a Senior Leader, any gender, aged between 35 – 50 in a corporate or large-scale organisational setting.

This reader has around 15 – 20 years’ experience, has been ‘successful’ in terms of climbing organisational hierarchy and yet has a few steps to go to reach the ‘c-suite’. (C-Suite minus 1, 2 or 3 levels).

This is a leader who wants to make an impact, believed that as they progressed in their career this would be the case, but is finding that their impact is being overshadowed by too much work, being too busy, not being able to manage the ‘politics’ of the organisation (and finding this distracting).

This leader is struggling to find a model of leadership to which they aspire, they aren’t sure they want what they can see above them and they feel frustrated and sometimes unsure of the point of it all. They often feel their team aren’t delivering what they need them to and they feel they are constantly under pressure to deliver and perform, but are struggling to connect with a sense of purpose and fulfilment themselves.

3. Behind the Book - Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have always been interested in the human element of work. I fundamentally believe that every individual has gifts, creativity, collaboration to bring to bear and the role of a leader is to create the conditions for every individual to thrive.

I spent over 25 years of my career as a Human Resources Professional working in global multinational, large scale public sector and high growth entrepreneurial organisations. This provided me with a unique perspective upon which to observe practical leadership in action. There are some truths:

1. Leaders are not prepared for the job of leadership in a practical sense.

2. Leaders often haven’t experienced great leadership themselves

3. Organisational hierarchies and structures are in place to organize work, however in many instances hierarchical or leadership position is leveraged as power positioning

4. Leaders are simply overwhelmed

5. We are not making progress on some of the critically important aspects of our working lives. Wellbeing, Representation and Inclusion, Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation.

I wrote this book for Leaders to re-discover and explore what a simplification of their leadership position might look like and how to create greater intention and fulfillment for themselves and their teams. I also wrote this book for myself. Not only was I an observer, coach and supporter of leaders, I was a leader myself grappling with exactly the same challenges and issues, curious to grow my practice and develop a better way. Work is so much of life; I want to help to make that better.

4. Guess what? Tell us one thing that readers might be surprised to hear about you. 

My introversion has been my superpower. If you had told me I would think this as a child or young adult, I wouldn’t have believed it. Labelled as shy and often feeling very left out, I always believed that this was something which would hold me back in life and in work. However, what I have come to learn is that the skills of observation, listening, making sense of situations before speaking, kindness, a calm disposition, have all been the very qualities which have enabled me to bring my biggest contributions and when I am in a situation where I can truly be myself, these are the qualities that I know others have and continue to value.

5. The next chapter - what’s next for you?

I have a love of learning and exploring human behaviour and meaning. It is a continual journey for me and I am excited to be opening up this exploration with others too through more writing (my second book is scoped out, not written yet!) and through my programmes where we get to re-invent and re-ignite our passions for leading our lives well and leading others. I have three programmes that I am launching this year,

1. A programme building on the concepts in the book to help leaders bring this to life in their working lives;

2. A programme looking at how to re-ignite purpose, passion and impact into the second half of your career and

3. A brilliant exclusive retreat programme in collaboration with Beingworks for senior leaders looking to re-boot, re-charge for themselves and their teams.

I continue to work in partnership with other brilliant organisations aligned with my purpose: The Executive Pipeline and Inpulse.

To get a review copy or to book in an interview, contact Kesia.burr@thebookpublicist.co.uk

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