In today’s dynamic and ever-changing business landscape, leaders face the challenge of steering their organizations through uncertainty while maintaining a long-term vision. The latest episode of Peak Performance Leadership brings to the fore an insightful discussion on the art of strategic leadership in turbulent times. Host Scott McCarthy engages strategy expert Rosie Yeo in a conversation that delves deep into the intricacies of crafting a powerful strategy and nurturing a culture of adaptability and innovation within organizations.

Meet Rosie

Rosie Yeo is known as a strategy alchemist because of her skill in helping leaders and teams collectively imagine and achieve a better future. Her experience as a public affairs strategist, board director and corporate adviser provides unique insights into how organizations design and implement their big plans. Rosie designs and facilitates strategic planning in boardrooms and executive offsites, and injects energy and focus into larger meetings and complex stakeholder consultations.

Timestamped Overview

00:00 Rosie talks creating powerful strategy for success.
03:32 Execution strategy important for big and small businesses.
10:05 Encourage interactive strategy meetings with thoughtful approach.
12:08 External facilitator helps with strategy and dynamics.
17:45 Focus on quality of conversation, keep process simple.
21:24 Identify hurdles, find keys, and take action.
24:19 Powerful tool for addressing workplace challenges.
29:00 Strategy must adapt to constant change, flexibility.
30:06 Encourage abstract thinking, broad perspectives, and commitment.
33:42 Focusing on the long term path ahead.
37:23 Encourage sharing to help elevate performance levels.

Guest Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Rosie’s resources be sure to check out the following links:

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:
On episode 2 23 of the peak performance leadership podcast, we speak to strategy expert Rosie Yeo, and she’s gonna tell you five simple steps on how you can create a powerful strategy for your organization. That’s right folks. It’s all about strategy today. Are you ready for this? Alright. Let’s do it. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership podcast, a weekly podcast series dedicated to helping you hit peak performance across the 3 domains of leadership. Those being leading yourself, leading your team, and leading your organization.

Scott McCarthy [00:00:46]:
This podcast couples my 20 years of military experience as a senior Canadian army officer with world class guests bringing you the most complete podcast of leadership going. And for more, feel free to check out our site at moving forward And with that, let’s get to the show. Yes. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. It is your chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy. It’s so good to be talking to you today.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:22]:
And if you’re listening real time, you’ll realize that I did something. I pitted 2 things against each other this month. I pitted culture and strategy. That’s right. Last week, we were talking about culture for your listening real time, and I would heavily suggest you go back and check out my interview with Mark Moncek, all about creating a culture of opportunity. But today, we are gonna be talking to strategy expert Rosie Yeo. And she’s gonna be talking about how you can create a powerful strategy in uncertain times, and I’m going to give you a hint of something. There is an interesting common denominator between these 2 interviews.

Scott McCarthy [00:02:15]:
There’s an interesting thing that these 2 interviews have in common. And if you haven’t listened to Mark’s interview, then you should go back and check that one out at lead don’t boss.comforward/222 triple two. But anyway, today’s episode with Rosie, we talk about things such as how to create a powerful strategy, how to create a great strategy session to plan it out, 5 steps to creating that powerful strategy, some small actions that can lead to large strategic wins, how to empower strategic conversations with our team members and a whole whack more. It is loaded with strategy today. Rosie knows that good leaders know strategy is vital when it comes to organizational longevity. Right? If you don’t have a good strategy organization is not going to last. That is why she is here. She is inactive in a role in helping organizations plan strategy sessions, execute on strategy sessions around the globe, and especially in Australia where she’s at.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:32]:
So this topic is Uber Boarding. We’ve seen organizations, big businesses fall because of a lack of execution on their strategy. So This is super important. It’s important to not only just big businesses, but you small business owners out there who are listing were you the middle manager. Right? Because your team could have a strategy, but how you’re going to go about executing on your organization strategy, and you can take these lessons and apply it. Don’t go, oh, I’m just a middle manager or, oh, I’m just a small business owner. This isn’t applicable to me. It absolutely is.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:16]:
Us as leaders, we need to be thinking strategically all the time. And then finally, I’ll tell you there is a great linkage between strategy and culture that has been brought out here in this. And it goes back to the last episode as I mentioned. So there you go. Alright, ladies and gentlemen. That’s enough of me. So why don’t you sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation about creating a powerful strategy in uncertain times with Rosie Rosie, welcome to the show. So good to have you here.

Rosie Yeo [00:05:00]:
Hi, Scott. Great to be talking with you.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:04]:
So last week’s episode, I had someone on the show talking about culture, and they started off with the The famous quote, culture eats strategy for breakfast. As a strategist, I wanna know your take on this one right now to kick the show off.

Rosie Yeo [00:05:23]:
Oh, look. I have a mate who’s a fantastic culture expert, and we have this we have this discussion over and over again. You know, I totally believe that strategy actually has to be encapsulated in culture. You don’t just separate the 2 Because, you know, a really successful strategy is one that is lived and breathed in the organisation. So they’re absolutely intertwined And, you know, that’s like choosing between your favorite children.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:55]:
Yeah. As a parent, I know you don’t want to do that.

Rosie Yeo [00:06:00]:
You’re not allowed

Scott McCarthy [00:06:01]:
to bother. I didn’t sign the contract on that one, did I? Oh, wait. Yeah. Yeah. As a dad of 2 2 sons, yeah, they’re no favorites. They’re both my favorite. Equally, I I love them equal, just sometimes not as equal depending on who and when of the day. But anyway, no.

Scott McCarthy [00:06:22]:
So, actually, interesting point. He basically said the same thing after the fact. He said, culture and strategy do need to come together. And especially in the, you know, this disruption we’ve gone through in the past, you know, how many years? Like, really? Like, 2 for cove 3 for COVID now. There’s some issues before that. Now we got, like, brink World War 3 kicking, you know, kicking on our door, all this other stuff. So a little bit of disruptive disruption going on in the world. So his point is culture, strategy do need to come together.

Scott McCarthy [00:07:02]:
However, what he was saying was that if we embody it, you know, as a culture, then the strategy kinda comes along for the ride. But I think you’re probably gonna say something wrong in the inverse.

Rosie Yeo [00:07:15]:
Look, I would probably look at it. I mean, first of all, a lot of people talk about strategy And then point to something on the bookshelf and go, yeah, that’s our strategy. It’s over there. You can, you know, I’ll send you the document. That’s not That’s not powerful strategy, you know, that’s a document and people can’t actually quite remember what it says. Strategy at its heart has to be based in that sort of shared ambition that everybody understands in the organisation and signs up to. So starting off with that core purpose Of what you’re really there to try to achieve over the long term is the core of strategy. And when you think about it, you know, as you’re thinking about What your organizational culture is.

Rosie Yeo [00:07:55]:
A key part of culture is everybody understanding what that core purpose is And working towards that. And if you understand the core purpose, then all of a sudden your values are clear, you know, your priorities are clear. It just makes it a lot easier to have those conversations and make, you know, challenging decisions and keep moving through uncertainty and through change.

Scott McCarthy [00:08:18]:
So we got values, we got purpose, are part of a powerful strategy. What else is what else is in there?

Rosie Yeo [00:08:29]:
So I would say that if you really wanna create powerful strategy, There’s 3 things that you absolutely need to blend together. And the first is information. So, obviously, We need information. We need data. We need analysis. And you need to have a, a sort of not just have the information, but understand what that information means. But that’s often where people stop, you know, they set a strategy meeting and the first half of the day is just chock full of PowerPoint presentations about all the stuff you’ve done or What the, you know, what the landscape looks like and all of that. That’s all fine, but it’s not enough on its own because, you know, creating strategy is about painting a path to a future that doesn’t yet exist.

Rosie Yeo [00:09:11]:
So if something doesn’t yet exist, we actually have to invent it for ourselves and that requires imagination. And, you know, sometimes people sit back and go, that’s so fluffy. You know, it’s not fluffy, it’s essential Because you have to, you know, you have to blend this information with imagination and creative thinking. And then if you blend those 2 things with that really clear idea of what your ultimate core purpose is. That’s how you create powerful strategy Because you know where you’re trying to get to in the long term. You know the info, you know, you understand what all the various elements are. You’ve got the information there. You understand what that information means For you, and you’ve started to think differently about how to bring it to life.

Scott McCarthy [00:09:59]:
So you’re saying a 120 PowerPoint slides is not the right way to kick off a strategy session?

Rosie Yeo [00:10:05]:
Okay. Find me someone who says, you know, who sat through a 120 point PowerPoint slides and agreed that that was a great day. I mean, It’s so funny because, you know, it just it just is not part of because I facilitate a lot of strategy meetings, there’s an art to having the meeting so it doesn’t feel like every other meeting. Because if a strategy meeting feels like every other meeting, you know, the same room, same process, You know, same discussion points. The ideas are going to be the same as well. You know, you’re going to be having the same conversations. I often encourage organizations to start thinking about, okay, marshall all that information, but get it to people first and then spend the 1st part of your strategy session. You still need to think about what it means, but you don’t need to just, you know, repeat all the all the data, you know, upfront that get it out first, have the powerful conversation about what does that mean for us now? What have we learned? What have we changed our minds about over the past year? And then let’s look forward.

Rosie Yeo [00:11:05]:
What does it mean for how we plan for the future?

Scott McCarthy [00:11:11]:
Love it. Absolutely love it. I I like that, that ideology. You know, we need to make the session feel different than the other meetings.

Rosie Yeo [00:11:22]:

Scott McCarthy [00:11:23]:
And you might be a bit biased in this question. We’re gonna ask it anyway. Do you think it it shouldn’t be the, you know, the leader or the senior leaders of the organization actually facilitating and running that session. Should it be someone else? Now I say you’re obviously gonna be a bit biased because, you know, this is what you do.

Rosie Yeo [00:11:42]:
Business. Yeah.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:44]:
Right. That’s that’s your business. Of course, you’re gonna go, yeah, for sure. But but could the leader, let’s say the CEO say, hey, let’s grab middle manager Joe or Jane down there in sales and bring her up and say, you know, obviously educate her a little bit and say, this is what you what what I want you to do is facilitate it. Could that be a, you know, a a good strategy or tactic, I will call it, to the strategy.

Rosie Yeo [00:12:08]:
So I would say, You know, there’s a couple of if I if I step back when I think about why organisations hire me as a facilitator to do strategy, There’s a there’s a few different buckets they fall into. You know, sometimes someone hires an external facilitator because the organization is having some challenging issues, and It is difficult for people to speak together or there’s some, you know, underlying issues going on and they need someone to take the heat out of it. That’s that’s one way, you know, there’s challenging dynamics going on in the But sometimes organizations actually do it simply because they’re high functioning teams and the CEO and the chair And the senior leaders actually want to be part of the conversation. And whoever’s running that process and running the meeting, That’s not the same as being in the conversation and, you know, an active participant because you do kind of have to stand a little bit aside from it And make sure you, you know, you’re sort of heading in the right direction and pulling everybody in. So a lot of the times that’s why people bring me in. So I absolutely think there is a role for bringing money in, you know, obviously, externally or, or internally. The the trick is that particularly for a strategy conversation, It can’t be someone who’s just there keeping time, you know, like if you bring a junior manager in who’s sort of a little bit in awe of Some of the senior managers, they’re not going to be able to, you know, manage the conversation and and help the organisation ask the tough questions and actually drive into decision making as well. But there’s certainly a role for, you know, involving someone who’s Very senior, but maybe in the next division or, you know, maybe there is 1 member of the board who’s experienced in leading these kind of conversations.

Rosie Yeo [00:13:52]:
I think, you know, they are they they can be tough going as well, you know, when you’re trying to juggle A certain amount of uncertainty in a conversation. You know what it’s like? And I remember particularly when I was, you know, back when I was sort of, starting to facilitate strategy sessions. There’s always a moment in a meeting where you kind of look around the room, you think about all the ideas that are on the table and all the different views. And there’s always that moment of going, oh my gosh, How are we gonna bring this together? You know, how are we gonna land this with a clear consensus at the end of the day? And I think one of the most powerful things you can do as a leader of that sort of discussion is to just be comfortable in some uncertainty. You actually have to let that uncertainty go for a little while. You know, you can’t jump in to try and Make everybody agree right away and move on. You know, that’s not a constructive conversation. The diversity of our view of views is a really powerful part of trying to figure out the right way forward.

Rosie Yeo [00:14:59]:
That was a long winded answer, wasn’t it?

Scott McCarthy [00:15:01]:
No. That was fantastic. It was I’ve had longer. Let me tell you.

Rosie Yeo [00:15:06]:
Okay. Well, now you’ve given me something to aim for. No.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:09]:
No. No. But I I really like, how you wrapped it up. And as, you know, the diversity of our views is, you know, basically where we want to go and and looking at that and then finding a direction to go from that. Now with that. Obviously, there’s conflict that arises as you hinted at and he had discussions or might be a lot of, you know, basically, drama, you know, skeletons in the closet. Right? Hatchets that have been buried or not so buried or semi buried, and everything else in between. So how as the leader that’s looking at this, how how can we get, you know, get her team past this crap and actually go, okay.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:55]:
Let’s go. Let’s get into this. Our organization needs this because as I started the show with, We’re in a time of uncertainty. VOCA as as we like to call it. So, actually, I don’t know if you follow me, but by the day, I’m a senior Canadian army officer. Right? So Mhmm. Volatile, ambiguous, complex, got no. And and I forget the day off the top of my head.

Scott McCarthy [00:16:18]:
But, anyway, point is, It is chaos. Right? And that’s the environment we live in, but congratulations. Welcome to the world too. So we can’t allow all this bad stuff in the background to hamper the organization because guess what? Lives depend on it. Our people’s lives depend on it. Our livelihoods depend on it. We need to get the strategy right to keep the organization breathing, moving forward, growing, etcetera. So how do we get all that crap out of the way so we can actually get towards the goods.

Scott McCarthy [00:16:49]:
Tracy Chapman

Rosie Yeo [00:16:49]:
Well, I think there’s a couple of things. First of all, just on process for a moment. Often when people start talking about, yes, we need to do a strategy session, let’s do our 3 year plan or whatever. The first thing they always ask is, like, which framework should we use? You know, let’s choose a framework. And I understand that because it gives certainty, but sometimes using a complex framework can really work against you. I don’t one of the reasons why I first got into facilitating strategies because I was a I was a director on, on some boards, you know, and we we’d roll into the strategy meetings and, you know, these these complex strategy frameworks would be wheeled out that people would have to walk through during the meeting. And, You know, I used to just shake my head because there’d be like a 20 minute conversation about, you know, but are we talking about a goal now or should this be determined as an objective? You know, like, And there was all this definitional stuff going on. I always find that the simpler the process you use, the more powerful the conversations can be.

Rosie Yeo [00:17:45]:
So it really is about focusing on the quality of the conversation and keeping the outline process as simple as possible. Because when you think about it, you know, like strategy, it’s all about it’s literally about thinking, you know, Where are we right now? Who are we? Where are we right now? Where are we trying to go? What’s our shared ambition? You know, and then let’s think about that pathway. What’s gonna what’s gonna help us. And then from that conversation, okay, what are the key things we need to do, the keys to success that we need to focus on? And then let’s decide what those next steps are and move ahead. So I think just having a really clear framework for your discussion, it helps everybody walk The same journey with you. That’s the starting point. I also think providing enough time and, you know, when you talk about the quality of the conversations, providing that time and space for people to actually have the conversations is really important cause, you know, we forget that there actually does need to be a level of trust and goodwill if you’re trying to make big decisions and, you know, take a leap beyond what you’re doing right now. I mean, you wouldn’t jump in a plane if you didn’t know the pilot was, You know, actually qualified.

Rosie Yeo [00:19:04]:
And we sort of expect people to come into a senior team go, yes, we’re all, you know, we’re all with you. We’re going out there. And if they haven’t had the time To actually build that level of trust in the the intent and the expertise of the, the fellow travellers, it’s really difficult to get people to commit to a big leap. Now that doesn’t mean you all need to be best friends, but it does need mean you need to trust the professional expertise and give people the time to, you know, so you can be aware of what their understanding is, what their perspective is and build that shared agreement.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:39]:
That’s awesome. So I really like the simple framework. As I said, our army guy, simples embedded in me. Right? Like, you give me something complex. My eyes glaze over. I’m my eyes roll in the back of their head, and I drool on myself, and nothing happens. We need simplicity. We need more because the world’s complex enough as it is.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:59]:

Rosie Yeo [00:20:00]:

Scott McCarthy [00:20:00]:
You know you know what I mean? So another level of complexity, but at the same time, as you talked about earlier, you need to be creative and complexity kills creativity. And an 18 step, you know, 18 step strategy building session is not something where you’re gonna get too super creative, but rather, you know, maybe a 4 step process or 3 step process, whatever, you know, could be. It it could drive that and and and 5 steps. Here we go.

Rosie Yeo [00:20:33]:
5 steps.

Scott McCarthy [00:20:34]:
What is it? That note alright. What what are these 5 stats for Rosie Yeo that they, you know, that they should jump into?

Rosie Yeo [00:20:42]:
Look. They’re the ones I mentioned before, you know, you start with where are we, then you talk about and that includes, you know, what’s our environment look like now? What have we learned? What have we changed our minds about Right now. And then you look to the future, you know, what what are the what are the things that are what are the accelerating changes in our world and around us? You know, what are what are the things that are not gonna change? And then what’s out, you know, be clear about what your shared ambition is, whatever your time horizon is that you’ve set. You know, normally people talk about 3 years, 5 year horizon. I’ve done some 20 year horizons. I think in the past 2 years, most people have been, you know, a lot of my clients just been, no, we just need to Focus on the next year. We can’t look ahead, but that’s another issue. So step 2 is look to the future.

Rosie Yeo [00:21:24]:
And then step 3 is that Figuring out, you know, what are the hurdles and enablers to success, taking a broad brush approach to all the elements that might hinder us or enable us. And then out of those, work out the ones that are most significant. And out of that, you will find some keys to success. The things that if you get right, you will succeed. And out of that, then you can start thinking about, okay, well, for each of those keys to success, what are the big things we need to do to achieve it? And the one thing I always ask people to do as well, even if you don’t have time, you’re not doing a whole implementation plan for each of those elements that you think, you know, the key strategies that you’re walking away with, Just say, what is the 1st step for each of these we need to take tomorrow to bring them to life? Because all of a sudden That makes it real because we all fall into that habit of, being quite general, you know, we need to, we need to Build great relationships with our stakeholders. You know? Yep. That’s fantastic. No one’s gonna argue with that, but what on earth does that actually mean? You know, you’ve got to unpick that.

Rosie Yeo [00:22:32]:
Right. So, you know, who are those stakeholders? What do they think about you at the moment? What does improving your relationship look like? What’s gonna change? Then all of a sudden, you know, if you’ve got that at least that first step, like the first step is right. We actually need to, you know, change the way we communicate, you know, These are our top 5 stakeholders. This is how we need to change our communication with them or, you know, this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna organize a forum with them, whatever it might be. So just that that last step of just at least coming up with some extremely tangible first steps help people go beyond generalities.

Scott McCarthy [00:23:09]:
I love the tangible first steps. And that really jumped out at me as I read your book, Go for Bold. Because that’s how I coach as well. It’s like, hey. You know? What’s what can you do right now to push you towards your goal right now. Like, today, tomorrow time frame. Right? What’s something you can do? And a lot of people are like, oh, it’s funny the amount of people that actually get shocked by that question. It’s like, no.

Scott McCarthy [00:23:39]:
You’re like, what’s a tangible thing. Like, oh, I wanna improve communication, in in my team. Okay. Great. What’s something you can do right now? Right now, like, literally as we get off this call for you to start improving communication. There’s and And the funny part of it is often people have no idea. There’s like, oh, and I think that’s the reason why they go to that general route because they don’t know what to do. And then I was like, okay.

Scott McCarthy [00:24:06]:
Well, this is where, you know, I get paid. So, like, okay. Let’s start, you know, start asking some questions. Okay. So where do you feel you’re you’re you’re lacking? And, you know, what have you tried in the past? And blah blah blah. So but that’s what really jumped out of me.

Rosie Yeo [00:24:19]:
It’s it’s powerful. I mean, I’ve used it. I and I use that. It’s not everything, but having those tangible questions can be really helpful on a number of fronts. I mean, I was working with an organisation, An industry organisation, they’ve got real challenges with, with, you know, attracting staff and particularly bringing in younger staff And, you know, particularly coming out of COVID. And so, you know, everybody talks about, yes, it’s, you know, we’ve got to change the workplace and all of this, but all of a sudden just asking them 2 questions, you know. Sherry I know a guy, Eric, who’s 50 years of age and has had a really rough time over the last, you know, in this sector, you know, what can you do in his workplace, to ensure that he still has a productive and satisfying work life over the next 10 years. And when they came up with some tangible stuff for that, it was like, right Now there’s an 18 year old.

Rosie Yeo [00:25:05]:
Her name is Suri. She’s about to finish high school. She’s vaguely thinking of starting to work in your industry. What is one thing you could change in your workplace right now that would make a difference to her being confident to Start down the track in this, in this career and, you know, what happens next for her. So it’s, you know, it’s not everything we’ve got to go big, but sometimes those tangible questions. They, they bring it to life, what it is you have to do.

Scott McCarthy [00:25:34]:
You know, I would argue often it’s the small things we do, which matters the most. Mhmm. And those small things end up becoming those big things. Right? Like, okay. How might we take care of the 50 year old. How might we be attractive to the 18 year old? Oh, you know, maybe we could actually go to the high schools or we sponsor something there. You know? You know, there’s 50,000,000 different things that they could do. Mhmm.

Scott McCarthy [00:25:59]:
But then they’re actually getting noticed, and now they’re actually being seen. Or Now the employee feels respected and, oh, should not your overarching strategy, part of your overarching strategy, be employee retention because we are in something that’s called the great resignation right now. So and and guess what? Can you hear me? We’re feeling it too. We’re feeling that too. We we call it the missing middle. So the middle ranks right now is where we’ve been we’ve been, hit the hardest. In that, you know, we’re we’re recruiting. And, yes, we’re getting, you know, enough people in, and we have a lot of senior leaders, but it’s those missing ones that have been in for 10, 12 years that are that are leaving for other opportunities and, you know, good good on them.

Scott McCarthy [00:26:51]:
That’s their right. I’m not gonna I’m not here to judge, but it just the point is that’s affecting us as well. So now we are constantly having conversations about retention and then what it is. And and then there’s many changes coming in our workplace to, you know, potentially help the retention issue. But it goes to your point, you know, small things add up to big things.

Rosie Yeo [00:27:15]:
Mhmm. And I think I think you’re right. And I mean, I think some of the reconfiguring we’re seeing or reevaluating we’re seeing of people. You know, I think there was a there was a tendency to go, yeah, it’s the millennials. Millennials wanna feel about purpose, But it’s not that. It’s actually all of us have had that time to think about what it is we wanna do, you know, like, what difference do we wanna make, and are we actually proud Of the organization we work for and and what we do. And, again, that just leads into Everyone in your organization needs to have that clear sense of what your core purpose is in the organization. And that shared ambition Needs to be understood and signed up to across the organization.

Scott McCarthy [00:27:58]:
Now with that shared ambition, shared vision intent, which of course obviously gets tied to strategy. Mhmm. You know, it takes a lot of conversation, especially for listeners out there who come from big organizations. So at one point, I led an organization of 200 members. So I was in charge of it. 202 100 members. And, like, it took a lot, like, to explain and constantly pushing my mission and our vision and all this stuff ahead for that squadron. They’re saying, you know, this is where we’re going.

Scott McCarthy [00:28:29]:
This is how we’re gonna get there. This is why you you you right there. You know? Purple so and so right there working working on that desk. This is why you’re important to that. It takes a lot. So from your standpoint. How can we get, you know, our team members talking about this in a meaningful way in more than just strategy sessions because, you know, it can’t be a one and done. You can’t just show up, have a strategy session and be like, okay.

Scott McCarthy [00:28:57]:
Put it put it in the book. We’re done. We’re good.

Rosie Yeo [00:29:00]:
Yeah. Particularly because things change. You know, it’s it’s like you can set a strategy, but strategy can’t be set in stone because guaranteed something’s gonna change along the way. So we’re constantly, I think, leaders I have to constantly see strategy through these 2 lenses. So one of them is that long term lens, you know, you absolutely need to know where you’re going in the long term. But then there’s also that short term lens about how do you help people in your organization maintain a strategic mindset? So how do they make decisions in the short term and day to day that’s sort of in the chaos of all whatever’s going on and whatever gets thrown up at you that day While still maintaining that sense of, you know, ultimately, we’re still going, that’s where we’re still going long term. And I think one of the things I talk about in the book Is that we can encourage everyone to build a more strategic mindset by simply encouraging 3 different behaviors in our teams and in our organisations and asking 3 different questions. And the behaviours I talk about are like look up, look around and lock in.

Rosie Yeo [00:30:06]:
And what that means is that, you know, by looking up, you’re encouraging people to, you know, psychologists talk about that fact that when you sort of look up or out to the horizon or up into the stars, you actually begin to think in a different way because you enter, you know, the state of abstraction where your mind is more open to more complex things. So just giving people, encouraging people all the time to ask what if, to wonder, to imagine how things could be different, to think creatively. And then the second element is that looking around. So Encourage your people to not just focus on what’s right in front of them. Take that 3 60 degree view. So if you’re trying to solve a problem, don’t just think would I do? Because this is the way we’ve always done it. You know, give them again that space to start thinking about how would someone do it if they were more sort of artistically bent? Or What would, what would an engineer, you know, what approach would they take? Or how’s an entirely different industry responded to this kind of, this challenge? So just asking what about a little bit more often, thinking a bit more broadly, really helps you come up with more options for solving things. And then, of course, the 3rd behaviour, lock in.

Rosie Yeo [00:31:19]:
Like, strategy ultimately is about making choices. We have to always choose what matters most. And this is where the short term and the long term combine because you when you’re making decisions about what to do now, That what matters most conversation is also about how is this contributing to our long term shared ambition? You know, is this is this gonna get us further down the way? Sure. There are some zigzags along the way, but is it helping us get to that long term decision. And just by encouraging people, you know, on your everyday meetings to have that conversation. If you’ve got weekly work in progress meetings, you know, ask at the end of the meeting, What matters most are the things we’re talking about now? Are they getting us to that longer term objective? And if they’re not, there better be a good reason why, you know, there could a good reason why you’re doing them right now. But they may, you know, but it it’s always helpful. And I think encouraging, particularly up and coming leaders to try and ask those 3 questions more often.

Rosie Yeo [00:32:23]:
You get a more rounded approach and you get more strategic decisions being taken.

Scott McCarthy [00:32:29]:
Love it. Absolutely love it. You know, what I hear from you is it comes down to a lot of, you know, prioritization and making sure those decisions are actually like to the strategy and the goals that you’ve set out in the 1st place because Mhmm. If you’re not working towards that, then What are you doing? Really? Like like, why are you doing that? Because it’s not linked towards what your your desired what we refer to as desired end state, you know, where we want to be at the end of the operation or whatever we’re going through.

Rosie Yeo [00:33:00]:
And that’s how much do

Scott McCarthy [00:33:01]:
you think? Doctor

Rosie Yeo [00:33:03]:
Yeah. Because it does. I mean, I think particularly now everybody’s been, you know, there’s There’s been so much immediate upheaval that, you know, it’s understandable that everybody’s kind of fixed on how do we how do we adapt? How do we how do we do stuff right now to just keep going because we keep getting curveballs? But, I went hiking recently down in South Australia and, You know, it’s interesting. I I was sort of thinking that, you know, we knew we were going to go to a a mountain sort of off there in the distance. We could see that mountain we were going to. But on this particular day, we’re actually walking through a a dry riverbed, you know, and it’s like, it’s pretty rough and uneven. It’s just stones on this dry riverbed. And I was kinda thinking it’s a bit like strategies.

Rosie Yeo [00:33:42]:
So if you’re just walking along the dry riverbed stumbling over these stones, that’s all you can see. All you can see is that you keep walking, you know, straight ahead on this uneven ground. But if you know and you keep sight on the fact that there is that mountain you’re getting to, All of a sudden your gaze changes because yes, you can keep going through the dry riverbed, but you might also look up and see there are other pathways, You know, there might be another way that goes sort of through the ridge onto the left or there might be another I shouldn’t say left, should I? Not to a military guy. Should be able to go due north or due I don’t know. Someone was guiding our path. I wasn’t finding the way. But it’s interesting to think about it from that perspective, Because all of a sudden the long term view is relevant every day.

Scott McCarthy [00:34:28]:
Wow. That’s a great way to begin wrapping up this conversation. You know, I I really appreciate that last bit. And, Yeah. You’re absolutely right. We we do need that longer term perspective so we can see what’s coming, so that we can have, you know, plan, prepare for it. And put at the same time, have a, you know, a a good idea of where we’re going. Mhmm.

Scott McCarthy [00:34:50]:
General idea of how we’re gonna get there, but available to make those course corrections as we go. Because I often use an analogy, you know, if a pilot takes off from New York, I’ll use I usually use London, but let’s go with Sydney because you’re on here. You know, it just sets course for Sydney and then sets it on autopilot and leaves loan for probably, I would say, 18 hours. Do you think these actually gonna end up at Sydney? No. There there there’s probably about, you know, 100 or so micro corrections along that way. Yeah. He knows where he’s going or where they’re going. No wonder you can get there, but there’s micro corrections along the way.

Scott McCarthy [00:35:29]:
There’s might be a detour due to a thunderstorm in the area, etcetera. And if you’re just like, oh, autopilot set, head down. I’ll read my book for the next 18 hours. You’re not gonna make it. So I I really like that.

Rosie Yeo [00:35:43]:
I love your analogy.

Scott McCarthy [00:35:46]:
Rosie, great conversation. As we wrap up here, do got a couple last questions for you. Mhmm. And the first question, is a question I ask all the guests here at the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. As according to Rosie Yoh, what makes a great leader?

Rosie Yeo [00:36:05]:
I think a great leader is someone who not just has a vision for where you’re gonna get to, but actually has that shared vision with their team. They’re actually in that walking alongside together. They will know where they’re going.

Scott McCarthy [00:36:21]:
Oh, that’s nicely said. I’m not sure if I had anyone say it quite that way before, so I really like that. Well done. And final question of the show, it’s all but you. Shameless plug. How can people find you? How can they follow you? Be part of your journey? Whatever we got going on, let us know.

Rosie Yeo [00:36:39]:
Alright. I would love to people follow me. Go to, obviously, connect with me on LinkedIn, Rosie Yeo, y e o. If you wanna find out more about my book, It’s And that will also get you to my website too, where there’s plenty more information as well.

Scott McCarthy [00:36:59]:
And for you to listener, it’s easy as always. Just go to lead don’t boss.comforward/22 three, and the links are already in the show notes. So you can grab them without having to worry about it. Alright, Rosie. Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. Definitely enjoyed this conversation.

Rosie Yeo [00:37:19]:
Thanks, Scott.

Scott McCarthy [00:37:23]:
And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting the peak performance leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly support the podcast? And, no, that’s not leaving a rating and review. It’s simply helping a friend, and that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them if you think this would resonate with them and help them elevate their performance level, whether that’s within themselves, their teams, or their organization. So do that. Help me. Help a friend win win all around.

Scott McCarthy [00:37:57]:
And, hey. You look like a great friend at the same time. So just hit that little share button on your app, and then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it. Finally, there’s always more. There’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization. So why don’t you subscribe? Subscribe to the show via moving forward leadership .comforward/subscribe. Until next time, lead. Don’t boss, and thanks for coming out.

Scott McCarthy [00:38:38]:
Take care now.