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WGT: Leading Self to Lead Others with Nick Wright MD Hyper Island UK [transcript]

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Nick Wright, MD of Hyper Island UK.

Transcript of this episode was produced using transcription software with an approximate 95% accuracy so there might be some typos.

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Leading Self to Lead Others with Nick Wright

Lech: [00:00:00] Hello, you legend. Thank you very much for lending me your ear yet again this week. This time I'm talking to Nick Wright, who's the MD of Hyper Island UK, which is a digital and creative business school.

Since he started his first band at school, he's been obsessed with developing high performing teams and how a really great team can do really great things. So he will share his thoughts on how to approach building a great team, the tools and techniques, and most of all, the leadership required . And apparently. The band was awful. Here's my interview with Nick Wright enjoy.

Nick. Welcome. Thank you very much for, for joining me today. I'd like to start with my usual question, which is when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Nick Wright: [00:01:02] Thank you. That was a great question. So I wanted to be a pilot when I was younger and as I grew up, I realized I wasn't any good at the maths required to be a pilot even went in and, and did tried to get a scholarship three university to join the RAF and and I failed after the first day. So there, it was quite clear. This is not the path for me.

Lech: [00:01:25] Yeah, that's really cool because a lot of kids, especially boys do have dreams like that. When there are little that they want to be a pilot, I'm a policeman, but actually never get to that stage. But you, you did, you you've tried it wasn't just a dream when you were little. But also I, it. In your bio, you mentioned about starting your first, that you had the band and that's kind of started your path in terms of what you do in life.

And I actually wondered whether you won't answer with that, that that's what you wanted to do. You want to be a rock star, musician of some sorts. But glad to hear that you, you got to try at least an attempted to, to be a pilot. I'm actually quite interested about it with the bio and the, and the band.

Tell me a little bit more about what was that about how they come to it, because if you, if it sets you on the path that you are now at many years later I think it was a very important experience for you.

Nick Wright: [00:02:13] Yeah. Well, I mean, it's the way you introduce it sounds a little bit like I then became that rock star, but that also didn't happen.

So two, two failures in my life have led to great amounts of learning, obviously. Which is, which is an important part of, of, of, you know, what I, I think is important and also what we do in terms of where I work. But anyway, so the band thing where he was, was. As much about the music, but it was also about the recognition that how group dynamics work, you know, the band has to play music together.

So there's that, there's a way of, of, of coordinating that and how enjoyable that is. And I was also in an orchestra. I played trombone for a number of years and was in a. An orchestra and then part of an ensemble for that as well. And so the idea of, of working together as a team to produce music that was particularly important.

And then the learnings from that also around getting a band from one place to another I from practice to gig it was also an incredibly interesting experience. And I ended up just being the person who coordinated that. So as much about the admin is about. The, the musician and working with, I suppose, a band is a bunch of volunteers until they start getting paid.

So working with a group of volunteers to try and convince them to do something, also taught me a lot about group dynamics and how people work together and what's required. So I suppose in that sense, yes, it did absolutely set me on the path to, to, to kind of working how I do and where I do now.

Lech: [00:03:36] What was that journey from, from the, from the band roughly to where you are now, did you, once you realize that that's what you really like to do you purpose, purpose, your decorate, or did you try different avenues and different jobs between then and now in the role that you're in now at hyper Island?

Nick Wright: [00:03:55] Yeah, for sure. So we ended up to graduating from university. I ended up learning doing a course in terms of English teaching English as a foreign language to adults. And I then went overseas and lived overseas in Brazil and in Poland. And I actually found that also was a really interesting And engaging experience.

In fact, I wanted to do more of it. So I came back to the UK and then did a postgraduate diploma. So di dived into what, what it was to teach, to teach English. And in fact, learning a language is very, very much based on experience and experience-based learning. I didn't realize that until later how important that will be coming my career, but certainly the idea of do something reflect on it.

And learn and make it better and then do it again. The principle of, of Kolb's learning spiral, right? So experience-based learning actually gets a deeper understanding of the thing you're trying to do was, was fundamental. So I ended up doing my diploma and then my postgraduate diploma. And then I ended up becoming a teacher trainer for that, that subjects I was then teaching new starts to.

But people who wanted to learn teach English as a foreign language. And then, because I, I was, I suppose, useful, I ended up running a language school. So I was, I was at the tender age of 27 running a language school of about I, whatever 20 or 30 staff and 200 3,300 students, which was itself a massive learning curve and an industry that was Was incredibly intense and saturated in terms of the the, the offers available for, for learning English in the UK.

So really interesting world for me in terms of understanding how to run a business. And then from there I went into running a qualification agency And understood that side of things, how we work with universities to get qualifications validated and stuff like that. I then moved on to Central Saint Martins and became in the end, the director of innovation and business ed.

And that was a really fascinating experience for me, thumbs down, how we, we use kind of that raw innovation of student learning students working on pitches from, from businesses. And integrating those learnings into the intellectual property that those those pictures were connected with and how that then translates back into the real world of actually creating products and services.

And that was part of that, the role that I had, I spent six years at central Saint Martins learned an awful lot about fashion design art and design product design and then got the opportunity to join hyperlink, which is where I am now. And I'm the managing director for hyper Island in the UK.

It's my pleasure to work with the team there and then our wider team across Sweden of course, where the origins of fibroma sit 25 years ago, but also in Singapore, APAC and in the Americas as well. So and, and, and what links Brian, and to, I suppose, that career that I've, I've just sort of detailed is, is that link with, with teams and understanding team dynamics and how that can unlock.

You know, progress, not always in the case of my band, but you know, often in terms of running businesses and understanding that, but also that poorest nature of innovation and, and student learning and an industry and, and absolutely sitting underneath all of that is experience-based learning. So that that learned by doing approach which, which ultimately gets the the deeper dive into, into, into your learning and personal growth.

I hope that gives a bit of a summary.

Lech: [00:07:03] I love a guest who does a good overview and then a nice summary to what you just said. And that's all you've done and kind of brought in nicely, looped at together. Another thing I love about interviewing people and and, and being, having the opportunity to get them to share their knowledge and experience with other people is the fact that I also personally gain a hell of a lot out of it.

And the fact is that I, you just kind of. Put a few things in place for me, because I've just found how I can, how I actually relate and how our paths at the beginning are actually very, very similar because I used to, my first university degree was English studies. So teaching English as a foreign language I never gone into proper teaching other than some placements.

I'm actually quite surprised to hear you say that you are in Poland, where I'm originally from whereabouts were you?

Nick Wright: [00:07:49] I was in a town near the German border actually called Gorzow near Poznan.

Lech: [00:07:54] Never been to Gorzow. but been to Poznan I'm originally from the North round kind of Gdansk and those areas.

Nick Wright: [00:08:00] Far more beautiful part of Poland. If you don't mind me saying

Lech: [00:08:02] I liked the parts around Poznan and Gdansk. I'm a water person. I've grown up by a Lake. And when I when I'm not near water, I kind of feel that I, I really do miss that element and I really miss nature. But coming back what you were saying in terms of how you saw the processes of learning and learning by doing fit to get as a result of your background and that whole Journey that you've been on because obviously as you summarize the yourself, there was always the same theme, the same thread that was running through that, which is around people, focus, people develop, which is really interesting.

And that's what kind of why I found myself in as as, as you were saying that I could really relate to that, to that side of things that although different roles. Marketing project management that I used to do, it was always the training element. It was always poking the focused on people and long behold I byproduct.

And the result of that also is, is this podcast, but I'm coming back to you saying you were obviously you said that you work in Hyper Island, which, which does a lot of amazing courses in terms of people or people development, but you and I were also chatting about self leadership because leadership is a big part of our own cause organizations and beyond organizations really.

But often I think misunderstanding, first of all, leadership is, but we even more often ignore the elements or don't give enough focus in terms of actually self-leadership what is self leadership and the role it plays in how we manage the people around us, the people we work with. Maybe let's start with, what is your understanding?

How would you describe self-leadership well, what is that? So for people who might kind of be struggling a little bit unsure of what that is,

Nick Wright: [00:09:36] I'd love to be able to take a little bit of a step back, actually, if that's all right, just talk more broadly around why self-leadership is important and that context, and then dive into self-leadership if that's okay. So I think for me and I, and I pick this up in, in understanding more about the podcast and your aims for the podcast, it's that shift from the requirements of self-leadership is ever more important in, in current day organizations. And, and as individuals anyway and it sits really between that shift from that 20th century logic that was based almost entirely around Taylorism and, and the use of, of kind of command and control structures siloed, linear, predictable organizations.

Team behavior was siloed because that's the best way to kind of organize the work that was done and was needed to be done. Infrastructures were fixed skillsets were fixed because actually it was about doing the thing rather than being able to multitask and so on. And this comes out of that kind of factory based mentality of, of, of, of making it more and more efficient.

So things were complicated became increasingly complicated. But rarely were they complex because actually. The disruptions happened in, in the industrial revolution. And from there, it sort of moved on, but actually what we found with the fourth industrial revolution and that kind of network society technology is accelerating changes at such a pace.

That in fact, we're moving from a kind of complicated scenario to a complex scenario. And when you have complexity or complexity what, what happens is that it's really hard to find the answer. And, and as change accelerates, it's even more difficult. So what we found with that shift is it's become more customer centric.

Leadership approaches about distributed mandates because we need to be faster in terms of making decisions, organizations that, you know, talk about agile and kind of responsiveness team behaviors are collaborative. And, and learning is absolutely key to this. And I think going back to the point about, you know, self.

Self leadership that changes driven by technology or even, you know, the, the, the pandemic that we are hopefully coming out of, but certainly very much impacted by this. This has forced massive acceleration and changes is, is never going to be slow as it is today. You know, it's a faster and faster. And so.

That drives that complexity. And so actually that the way to harness that change and to, to, to find the answers is to deal with the perspectives in the room. And so at this point, suddenly self-leadership becomes really critical because actually you have to speak from the I. You have to own the decision.

You need to work in a way that's collaborative with, with individuals. And so a leader in that situation both need to understand how they work. On on in their cells, but also how they can then harness perspectives in the room and, and create effective group dynamics to stimulate self-leadership within their people in order to get to the change faster, get to change faster to solve the problem that's presenting itself.

For example, the vaccine rollouts you know, w it created a massive amounts of complexity without doubt. And so how do, how do we solve this? But we have to solve it with the people we have. Together or in fact, faster than your competitors we've got a rapidly changing landscape and you need to, to, to, to of answer that I said going back to, to self-leadership in terms of what it means it's about speaking from the I, my ability to lead myself it's about self-awareness.

It's about being aware and tuned into different aspects of myself in terms of how I respond you know, intuition, emotional responses understanding when I make conscious and intentional choices, moving from reaction to response and how I, how I show up ultimately, and that there's a whole lot of thinking that sits behind that.

But certainly those are the kind of headlines and context for that.

Lech: [00:13:08] Thank you for actually really nicely leading us into that that topic, it's useful to have that background with you, which you've provided. And you did mention, there are of course, a lot of. Elements to, to, to feed the ship.

And that w that we focused kind of from the place of the eye, that's where we start. And we look at the people around us. What happens when leaders fail to do that? Where we fail to start leading from the I what's, what are the kind of most common Issues or impacts that you've seen as a, as a result of that?

Nick Wright: [00:13:37] I think a lack of understanding about how, how you operate as an individual means that you're then. Closed off to an empathetic response to the requirements of your team. And if you can't unlock your team, then ultimately you're just making decisions without that.

Foresight that without that visibility of, of all the factors and that the component parts, and perhaps ultimately you're making the wrong decision because you are not able to unlock the team to present the different perspectives and to help. We talk about you know, brain-friendly feedback, for example, and, and the ability to course correct teams tapping into their need for.

Empathetic feedback and support rather than you know, kind of coming from a critical position or another position to take on that is around nonviolent communication. That, that sounds violent by just saying it, but it's, it's about how you enter into a situation, a feedback situation, or it's a, it's a team development team team support situation to unlock them and how you will course correct.

And it's about. Using nonviolent communication tools to be able to, to support and empower those members of the team to work better. So if you don't have that and have that awareness, I think it just makes your life harder to be able to run the business, to, to lead the team to make the change happen.

Lech: [00:14:54] As you were saying that the, the kind of the age old question kind of came to my mind. And as a result of that I've got a follow-up in terms of isn't this kind of the debate whether you're born a leader or a manager , can this be something that people can upskill themselves in developing something that they genuinely have, have to have some sort of predisposition to.

Nick Wright: [00:15:13] That's the, the eternal question. I think isn't it.

And people try to answer it. I think some. Personality types are more able to tap into the requirements of, of what a leader needs to have in our, in my opinion. But I th I think absolutely can be learned and I think. In a fundamental, every single human being is different, but we're all very similar.

So actually it's just about tapping into the strengths that you have and working on the weaknesses that you have in those, those scenarios. But fundamentally it's about learning and a willingness to learn. There's the term growth mindset. I mean, W whether you agree with that term or not, it is the idea that, that you're willing to go into that stretch zone to work on your own personal development, to be able to be better at what you do.

And if you don't do that, then you're never going to be a great leader. So irrespective whether you have the traits predisposed or not, it's kind of irrelevant. So I think those that want to lead, I think can, can do it. My other thought is that It's it's okay to not also be the leader. Like I think in teams I've, I've led the greatest attribute in any of those members of the team is that capacity for self leadership and ownership of their, their change, their learning and their decisions.

And I think therefore leadership happens if it's gonna happen, it happens. It can happen in all of us. It just, it just takes different forms and structures. That's all.

Lech: [00:16:34] What'd you think the most kind of common stay off stereotypes that we, we sort of need to let go of when it comes to leadership in general, because I think that's one of the blockers that that we face in terms of actually being developed ourselves and our teams, that there are things that we're clinging on to beliefs that we're clinging onto that are just relics, as you've mentioned before, kind of before the fourth industrial revolution or revolution.

And even before that, that would just. Tend to perpetuate because that's how things

were done

and we continue doing them well. It's one of those things that we think we need to let go

Nick Wright: [00:17:07] Yeah. I think that's a, that's a fascinating point and question.

Of course there was this obsession with, you know, the, the, the strong leader. We've, we've seen obviously political leaders across the globe rise in recent years as, as the, you know, from a position of strength and, and making the hard decision. And actually we have to let go of that because it is it doesn't harness.

The F the F the opportunity to make the correct decision. As I said, it talks about harnessing the perspectives. So while it looks great on a, on a soundbite and people respond to it because muscle memory has taught us that top down leadership. Command and control structures are the way to do it because it's been done for at least the past a hundred, 200 years.

This is not the way to solve the problem. So I think it's letting go of that. But the other thing I, I have I always sort of laugh at myself about really is that I, I am. I am a facilitative leader and I sign up to that kind of process and purpose, and it's about working with the team. But so often in my life, I've also worked with that kind of dictator style leader.

And I, I sort of laugh at myself because my approach is a facilitative leader is, is inherently. Harder work and, and it's it seems to me like harder work and requires a great deal of emotional strength. Whereas it dictates a type leader walks in and just does this thing upsets. Everyone walks out and I'm not entirely convinced that I'm getting better results than the person who's a dictator.

So I need to, I mean, I will never change, but I just think, I wonder, you know, ultimately maybe it would just be easier on myself if I just took that approach, but you know, it's just not me.

Lech: [00:18:46] First of all, please, don't we need more people like, like yourself. I know what you mean about leaders or managers who come in with their sys 10 boots and do the job and. Arguably, there's room there's space for that type of leadership.

When the situation demands it, but I think it's more in terms of crisis mode. I would argue in situations short-term projects, I believe that is possible that it's achievable and does have some merit in short terms projects. But then if we want something for the long-term it's.

More benefits come from your type of leadership from being a servant leader. That's kind of, what's going to get out the best out of people over the long-term. And also if you're running an organization and if you, if you have that type of leader, that it's something that is more likely to keep people with you because they will believe in your cause how you manage this, that will, you know, they will sign up to, to what you believe in and the purpose of the organization, rather than just being frustrated with potentially how.

The, the kind of dictatorship style leadership works because that tends to, as you said it tends to rub people up the wrong way, and it's very often difficult to deal with

Nick Wright: [00:19:57] I think your point about needing different styles of leadership is, is is a really good one. And there's a a brilliant researcher called Susan Whelan and she talks about teams she's done. She ha she did an enormous amount of research around teams and team dynamics and How to get the best team and, and Amy Edmonson also builds on that a professor at Harvard who talks a lot about the kind of things that Susan Whelan also researched.

And it's about looking at the stages of team development. And Susan talks about the first stage of team development, which w which is around the new team. So it's about whenever there's a. Either a team coming together or there's a shift in the team. So for example there's a new leader or there's a new member of the team that's considered the new team because actually the moment there's a newness in the environment, then it's about going back to kind of stage one. And the leadership style required in that situation is very much around structure and absolute clarity and purpose. So this, this is your job. This is what I need you to work on. And this is my job, and this is what I will be working on. And this is what your colleague's job is, and that's what they will be working on.

So it's not a dictatorship, but it's certainly real clarity and purpose around what it is that you will be doing. But as you move through the stages, it requires a different style of leadership. So stage two is The time when, and I'm sure you'll be familiar with this is when the group gets a bit more confident, it gets a bit more understanding of what they're doing and they start to challenge the challenge, your leader, they challenge each other.

There are side conversations, there's challenges over whether the purpose of the project or whatever it is, is correct or not. And this is just Challenging getting the chance to, to check whether in fact, this, this direction of travel is, is the right thing. And they're taking this time to take ownership and it's like, I didn't take self-leadership in that space.

And the role of the leader in that situation is very much about welcoming that challenge, working with feedback to unlock it. But essentially keeping the group on, on track in terms of what the purpose is and the process is and that ultimately builds trust within the team. Cause they they've tested.

They feel confident still. And so trust is being built. And then if that stage could be moved through, you can then get in stage three and four, which is very much around unlocking the real true potential of the team. So these are people who are now in a trusting environment, they are working effectively because they know exactly what they're going to do.

They're overlapping all over the place with other, other colleagues, but that's okay because those colleagues are overlapping as well. And that's you, they're just getting the job done. So stages three and four. It's more about. Let's just get it done because we're not, we haven't got personal agendas.

We're not trying to change the leader. We're just going to get the job done so we know what I'm doing and I like what I'm doing and I'm going to get on with it. So in that sense, I think, yes, absolutely. You do definitely need to switch in and out as a leader, depending on where you think the team is. And that, that is about, you know, reading the research but also lots and lots and lots of experience, because it's really hard to know when, when that team is in stage two

Lech: [00:22:51] it's different navigate. The stages is, as you said, and there tends to be so many forces pulling teams in different directions. And. Sometimes the, the thing you mentioned about personal agendas. I, I, I think that sometimes we think there's not a personal agenda, but there is one that is hidden and not vice may, maybe not even realize.

And those tend to be the blockers in these situations that, but can we do something about it? Potentially, but if even the person who's got this, this agenda doesn't realize that it hasn't, it's going to be difficult. I was actually wondering you mentioned these situations and I was like ask people about their inspirations, especially when it comes to leadership.

Are there any figures living or not historical or presence that you you really kind of admire in that sense? From both business and non-business environments.

Nick Wright: [00:23:42] I'll start with a negative actually, I've, I've learned an awful lot from really bad leaders that I've had.

Lech: [00:23:48] That's always a good point place to start.

Nick Wright: [00:23:50] and I've, I've been, you know, in part grateful for that opportunity.

And see, and then in turn seeing what the potential is of, of unlocking the teams that I've inherited from, from leaders as well. So that that's been an interesting process and I guess a validation as well as the theory. But I think. Yeah. I mean, there are like, I can't, I can't think of exact names, you know, kind of right now in terms of what leaders stood out for me, but certainly I know that when I've come across come across leaders that show that kind of behavior, I'm, I'm really grateful for the opportunity to, to learn from them as well.

Maybe one example I'd love to share is Actually the chief executive of TUI and whether, whether he knows he's aware of this or not, we did a. In terms of how I feel, but I, we did a session with, with the two executive team about, yeah, almost over a year ago. So just before the pandemic hit.

And I was really impressed with how he worked with his executive team when we worked together. And I felt that he exhibited that. Understanding of how team dynamics work and when to, to show that real structured approach versus the, the, you know, enhancing self-leadership and, and the behaviors it unsurprisingly to working with high pride on some fairly sizeable leadership change programs.

So I suppose my assumption is, is that because of his leadership style, he's welcoming, that kind of transition within his organization, understanding the need for, for unlocking self-leadership in his leaders. Then enables them to be able to work in such a way, but for sure, I felt that watching him operate, I thought it was, yeah, it was exactly the kind of behavior that's required in the 21st century.

And, and it's been a fascinating process to, to watch from a distance how two, we have responded to the impact of the pandemic on their business. Yeah, this is a travel retail group that have been hit massively by the lack of travel and leisure opportunities. So to see them shift and operate and, and stay afloat and also plan for the future.

I have no doubt that it's because of the leadership style that he has created within the teams that, that has led to the fact that they are able to respond in the way they need to.

Lech: [00:26:05] Absolutely. The, that type of leadership is, is crucial in times of crisis because when you've got strong leadership and strong workplace culture, it makes navigating these types of change. Yeah. I don't want to say easy or a breeze, but definitely less difficult to, to, to be able to handle that and adapt to whatever is being thrown at you.

The example of a good leader from a slightly different angle that came to my mind. I haven't met him personally. I've read about him. Recently. I dunno, maybe you've heard the story about the CEO of. Monzo bank and that he's stepping down after a number of years in the organization. And what I really enjoyed about the article about the story is that he, for a number of years, he's been quite open about mental health within the organization, his mental health, most of all, and how important it is.

And what's been going on. For him that has been struggling a little bit. And he decided eventually after a number of years of stepping down a little bit in completely step away from Monzo, two things, I loved about it, the openness about, and the vulnerability around the mental health aspects that he's been struggling with was one.

And the other element is that the self-awareness. Of that situation also to say that this is he started Monzo because he's been there from the start, he started Monzo and he really enjoys working in a small, relatively scrappy startup. But Monzo has obviously grown to something much bigger and older has been obviously absolutely enjoying it and loving it.

There's also been that element that's missing for him. . And I think that type of quite literally an example setting, I find amazing in meters. And then in this situation, particularly, I think we need more people like that.

Nick Wright: [00:27:41] Yeah. I absolutely agree with you. I think modeling the way is a really important element to, to yeah. To sharing what the expectations are. Yes. And then enables others to act accordingly and to own that space.

Yeah, for sure.

Lech: [00:27:55] And talking of leaders that are controversial. This person has been discussed number of times, but it comes up as a, as a very interesting one often quoted this is Steve jobs. He A leader in a, in a, in a, if a great leader in a sense, but also a very, very difficult person to work with apparently from many sources apparently horrible person to work with.

Do you know much about him? What's your kind of, what's your takeover of your, have a read up on that? In terms of how that fits in terms of modeling and being actually a leader who's very difficult to work with, but then achieves the


Nick Wright: [00:28:29] Well, but perhaps back to that dictator leader that just does what they want and it turns out okay.

Anyway. So why bother being a facilitative leader when it's so much harder? Yeah, no, I think, I think a leader in that environment has to have a great second or, or support network to be able to interpret the expectations. And, and certainly Steve jobs had that around him. Steve Wozniak is, it is a great example of that and, and others around him.

So I think I think if you are able to, if you're that kind of leader and you're able to position yourself in that space, and then you're in a great place and mining other buildings that you quite often find that behavior in the founder type role And that's great as a sort of source code for the organization and in that sense, that inspires individuals to, to want to work for, and then work with those individuals.

And that is, that is certainly a component part of, of Of of leadership in terms of framing the purpose of what we're doing here. And it's an incredibly valid part. Clearly, you know, Apple went from strength to strength, but Steve jobs wouldn't have achieved it without the team around him and, and those exhibiting other forms of leadership, which supported and compensated for certain elements that he lacked in my opinion.

Lech: [00:29:39] I think it's a, in a way it's a fascinating study for fundraising. So as, even as you said, that it's good to learn from the bad examples from basically from what to new from, from the really bad leaders in a sense. And I think Steve jobs is. The type of figure that has, it can be the bad leader, but also can be the great leader.

And you can, you can land both sides because on the, on the good side, you've got the, the being driven so much by purpose so much by what he believed in by his values. That is, that is actually beyond belief. That's possible to do when it comes to Leadership and building teams kind of talking why there, about the topic that we started with.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been


Nick Wright: [00:30:20] Yeah, actually actually a really useful piece of advice that I was given was by my stepdad fairly early on which was. Sleep on it, let them see if they can work it out. And when, when you were an inexperienced leader, No matter what age you are, but in experience leading, ah, you can step into that space, which is, I need to solve this.

I need to solve this for, for them, for the business, for the project. It's my responsibility. As a leader to, to show, show this and to solve it. It's not actually that the answer sits very much in the team as we've been talking about. And he. Came from a, well, he was obviously older and came from a more traditional form of relationship in terms of his experience.

But, but that advice speaks of that facilitative style, which is actually, if you've empowered them, they're going to come with the solution and even better implement it themselves. And that's not you being a bad leader or being weak, it's simply letting them get on with it. So yeah, I think that was a particularly useful piece of advice early on.

Lech: [00:31:23] I think it's a brilliant piece of advice that definitely because we do get. Caught caught up in the trap of, we need to do it ourselves and we can do it in the best way. And that might be the case true, because you might have the most experience, but also that is completely blocking innovation and people being able to, to think outside the box, because you might be missing something, you might have a different outlook on something as a leader.

So as you said, it's definitely better to give it to the team to figure out themselves it's difficult. And I guess, again, it comes back to that self-leadership. Of allowing yourself that and realizing that you have to be patient, that you have to allow your team to do that and potentially fail. You can try and put some guardrails in place.

Of course, that if, if they do fail, then kind of the, the, the, the consequences are mitigated. And to a certain extent, a contained. But most of all that they will, they learn. I'm, I'm really of the belief that a mistake is only truly a mistake if you've learned nothing from it. Otherwise it is a sort of investment into the future that you, you know how to do something a little bit better at that.

Okay. So we talked about the advice you've been given. What's the piece of advice that you would give.

Nick Wright: [00:32:34] Yeah, I think

it might. My fundamental advice is if you've got the right people in the room, I, you know, you've employed the right. People broadly they've got the right skill sets and capabilities and let them do the job you know, harness their perspectives to be able to help you answer the question or the issue.

And then when you've, when you feel you find a step, then make the decision. That's that's your role in, in that kind of leadership space is to be really clear about what's required so people can understand what the purpose is, what the parameters of that purpose are and, and, and how to then get on and do their thing.

And the only other second piece of advice I'd give is, is reflection is, is absolutely fundamental, constantly activate that reflection, that wealth of knowledge, where you think about the thing that happened you go a bit deeper and start to try and interpret what the, the. The things could have been done or reflections on what might've been done and then turn that into purposeful action.

So it's really about constant learning and don't worry about overthinking it, but definitely do something about that

Lech: [00:33:36] A part from obviously visiting and visit visiting hyper islands website and gain your resource and your courses and your knowledge from that. Where can people go or while your other favorite places that you kind of get knowledge and, and kind of course, development options for self-leadership leadership and managing teams and actually based on the advice that you've just given.

Nick Wright: [00:33:56] So I go back to the, the whole prime website. It's maybe not the website, but the Hyper Island toolbox actually is really useful because there's loads and loads of practical activities that you can do around team development.

Self-leadership innovation. You know, they range from, you know, five minutes sessions to, to two hours or, or days long. And it's, it's free which has asked you to sign up and learn more about what we do. But it's, yeah, it's very, very useful resource and we keep adding to it. So I go to it very frequently just for inspiration.

But I think otherwise it's, it's about One, one book and particularly obsessed with them. And my team will laugh at me about this because I haven't mentioned it now. And again is a team of teams by general Stanley McChrystal and It's it's a great reference point fought for how you build agile.

And I use that word broadly, not in that kind of project term teams that can function independent of the leader and then with the leadership. So, yeah. Yeah, that's a great text for me. I even managed to get a book, signing him for another book. He wrote called leadership and shook his hand. And so it was a great moment for me to reflect on.

Lech: [00:35:03] Hyper Islands, toolboxes and amazing. I would say gold mine of knowledge. I've used it a number of times and I actually can't believe that. I did not remember that when as soon as you said that it kind of light bulb, of course team of teams haven't heard of it. So I'll, I'll include that for everybody in show notes, but I'll definitely be reading that as well.

What projects, what things have you got going on in the next few months that you are really excited about or you really looking forward to

Nick Wright: [00:35:26] Yeah, I think, I think that the pandemic has accelerated our own transformation at hyper as well, but I don't think it definitely has. And it's about looking at what that means for our students in terms of delivery formats our master's qualification, for example that's run out of Sweden and Manchester and London, and also, obviously in our team in Singapore and what structures we could take, for example, the masters online, you know, what does that look like now that we've had so many learnings about how that delivery can be effective and purposeful and, and create the experience led processes that we have anyway, in, in the in-person.

I think that's particularly interesting for us. And then it's also working with our clients who themselves are even more accelerated and their understanding of the need for this kind of way of work and behavior in their teams. And unlocking that potential with them. We work in a partnership approach and if they get what we do then w you know, we can, we can create great things for them.

So I think it's just, yeah, working with them as a exit, the pandemic, and there's a bit more stability in seeing what we can do together.

Lech: [00:36:28] I'll be including the, obviously all the links for hyper Island in, in the show notes. But if people want to potentially follow what you do or get in touch with some questions, if you don't mind, what's possibly the best way of doing that.

Nick Wright: [00:36:40] Yeah, for sure. It's like LinkedIn, happily respondent and follow up, or my emails. So that's Nick dot

Lech: [00:36:49] Nick, it's been an absolute joy and pleasure to, to have you on the show. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Nick Wright: [00:36:53] Thank you so much for inviting me.


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