How to lead for CALM through a pandemic

Recently I took part in the Unprecedented project initiated by Macildowie Recruitment and Retention to build an online library of experiences and learnings from leading through the pandemic with the aim of supporting future leaders navigate challenging times. The project is made up of a series of blogs and videos with a range of people in leadership positions.

Here is my Unprecedented blog with my thoughts on 2020 and CALM leadership through the pandemic.

Define leadership and what being a leader means to you.

Leadership for me is about making connections founded on trust, supporting and challenging people to be the best they can be, and creating and developing an inspiring space that people want to be part of. It’s also always a work in progress and needs constant attention and communication with ourselves and others to be effective.


Who are your Leadership role models/inspirations?

I am very inspired by the school of thought that leadership requires vulnerability, openness, and authenticity to really be effective for people and for business. It is not all about surfing politics, productivity, and financials – it’s all about balance.


My go-to people for leadership inspiration are Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, The School of Life, Alison Rose, Mo Gawdat, Julia Samuels… to name just a few!


What are the “non negotiable” behaviours that you expect you and those around you to live by?

Listening and understanding first – I can’t stand it when leaders don’t take the time to do this. Empathy is so important and this starts with a good level of self-awareness.


What impact has Covid-19 had on you?

It’s been really hard – and I’ve noticed it’s been hard on everyone in some way. Everyone has their Covid story and it’s meant most of us have had to face some kind of loss which has been hard to bear, no matter how small or big, and it will take time for those wounds to heal.


The behavioural changes and constant transitions with all of the uncertainty on top has been very testing – a good opportunity to practice dealing with life at its most challenging but what has been most exhausting and overwhelming is the duration of the whole thing.


What impact has covid had on your business?

I hope that Calm In A Box can help people and organisations deal with the impact of Covid so it has actually given me renewed inspiration.


What have been the Unprecedented decisions you have made? Those where there was no playbook.

I decided to move forward with launching my business. This has taken a lot of courage and mental strength because I have ended up losing a lot of my security which is something that triggers me regularly and I have to constantly battle with.


What were the 3 biggest (or best) decisions you have made in 2020?

  1. To stand up for what I believe in.

  2. To set big boundaries.

  3. To follow my heart.


What remain your 3 biggest challenges?

  1. Confidence

  2. Anxiety

  3. Resilience


How have you/your business evolved from a digital/tech perspective?

I would never have felt totally comfortable coaching online – now I do it all the time with individuals and groups without batting an eyelid!


Looking ahead to 2021 what are your predictions for the economy? For your sector?

I am worried about the future. But this is the way of the world and when you look back at history, we always come through for better or worse.


What advice would you give to those entering the workforce today?

Work hard

Be kind

Don’t sweat the small stuff, it will all be ok


The Pandemic has caused many of us to reassess what is important in our lives. In what ways have you recalibrated your own priorities and goals?

Completely – those things were always there inside, I just didn’t put any of them into practice or share what I really thought and wanted. Calm In A Box is ultimately my manifestation of what is important to me in life and how I want to contribute. It’s time to break away from being and doing what the traditional hierarchy expects and to be true to myself. Some people and structures are starting to embrace this and the pandemic has accelerated this thinking which is brilliant to see. But there are a lot of people and structures who are still very resistant to the ideas I believe in and so it’s going to be an interesting ride!

For more information on Unprecedented and to explore more of the blog library, click here