How to advise hesitant leaders

Back at the start of the year I was heading home from working with one of my international clients.

I boarded a plane in Dublin, Ireland, bound for Heathrow. There was only one other person in my row and we struck up a conversation.

I discovered it was Shari McDaid, @ShariMcDaid, CEO of Mental Health Reform, the Irish national coalition advocating for reform of the mental health system, a role she held for seven years.

During the course of our flight we talked about being women in business and particularly the role of leaders in organisations. I encouraged her to share her story of being a hesitant leader as it fascinated me.

This morning Shari emailed me a link to her recent TEDx talk and I’m delighted to share it with you. It focuses on how to go from Helper to Leader.

The TEDx description states: “Sometimes the smallest chances can help someone go from being a wallflower to a leader.

“The stories we tell ourselves about leadership can hold us back, but we can write new stories of ourselves, with the help of supportive people around us.

“By talking openly and honestly, Shari McDaid provides a fresh take on vulnerability and leadership.”

In her role, Shari advised successive Ministers of State for Mental Health and senior civil servants on solutions to improving mental health and related services. She has been a member of numerous government advisory committees and has regularly appeared in broadcast and print media.

Do take the time to watch her TEDx talk, it offers insight from a leader’s perspective and I think you’ll enjoy it:

Do you work with hesitant leaders?

If so, I hope you find this short film useful.

It is easy to keep our heads down and not talk to others while travelling (when it was allowed pre-COVID-19 – feels like a lifetime ago!). But you never know what it will lead to.

I’m so pleased Shari acted on our conversation, which resulted in the talk.

Further reading on leadership via the All Things IC blog

Have a great weekend,


Post author: Rachel Miller.

First published on the All Things IC blog 20 November 2020.


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