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Self Aware Leaders – why we need them more than ever

being ghosted and rejected

I loved last weeks podcast with Neil McLean, the Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Academy.  We spoke all about self aware Leadership, purpose, passion and wellbeing.  You can tune in here. 

I found our conversation uplifting and inspiring with so many great hints and tips that can be applied to our modern day living.  I write in my next book about the fact that we are all leaders and influencers, whether we like it or not.  We all have the ability to be an incredible leader and this excites me.



Neil McLean - Social Enterprise Academy

Let’s find out a little more about Neil.

Neil, what a podcast! Thank you so much.  What do you love most about your role as chief exec for social enterprise academy?

A couple of things I suppose:  one  is the sheer variety of the role and being connected to (albeit indirectly) transformational learning: supporting people to learn more about themselves so that they can turn up as their best selves.  I love talking about the impact of what we do – and seeing it.  It’s great when someone tells me what has happened in their lives as a direct consequence of engaging in an Academy programme. I often reflect on the fact that it’s a privilege to be involved in the Academy’s work..


What is the best piece of advice you ever had?

That’s tough – I’ve had a lot of great advice.  Maybe the best (but possibly one of the most challenging to implement / follow) came from a coach I was working with who asked me the question, “Imagine the person you haven’t hired because you’re bending over backwards to accommodate someone you know is not suited to the role”.  Often the best advice is posed in the form of an open, insightful question.

Do you have a favourite quote? 

(Can I have two – think there is a theme emerging here):

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn!” Alvin Toffler, Futurist.

“I do not like that man,  I must get to know him better.”  Abraham Lincoln


Great choices, I am so glad you gave me 2 as they are brilliant.  What does joy mean to you?

At a simple level, I experience joy when scoring a goal at football.  Sometimes I think I’m still 12!!  Being or seeing someone in flow also brings joy.

Favourite restaurant in Edinburgh?

The Tanjore – South Indian restaurant, Clerk Street.  Amazing food and lovely service.


Favourite place to go to feel connected with nature?

Any forest with a  river running through it (preferably walking with my dog)– I can think of a few places: for example, the north reaches of the river Findhorn

Neil and I met during our course with the Mindful Enterprise.  It had a huge impact on us both.  Neil and Sarah (who was also on the course) now run free mindfulness meetups which are on a Monday night in the centre of Edinburgh.  If you would like to come along then you can sign up here.  If mindfulness is something you would like to find out more about, I would highly recommend the mindful based living courses with The Mindful Enterprise.  

And just for fun, if you would like to see Neil do a rubix cube in my kitchen, check out the link below.  I was very impressed.


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