Kate Billing, Be a Force for Good With Human-Centered Leadership – InnovaBuzz 269
Kate Billing, Blacksmith
In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Kate Billing, co-founder of Blacksmith, where she’s on a mission to forge better, more human-focused leaders, working on new ways of developing leaders who are fit for the future.
In our discussion, Kate and I talked about:
- What is human-centered leadership and how we can take responsibility for our own “map”
- Why high “performance” is a bad metaphor for leadership and why high “function” and reaching high expectations are better
- Leadership begins with working on being your best self every day.
Mel Kettle in episode 231 introduced us to Kate.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the PodcastThe big leadership opportunity for business owners is not just money. It is in how you can be really different in yourself and how you can have a positive impact. @KateBilling on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
Show Notes from this episode with Kate Billing, Co-founder of Blacksmith
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Human experiences are an important part of how we can lead and do business better.
- A map is what you currently have whilst a landscape is an ever-changing context of who you are, how the world is, and how the people are. If the map and the landscape don’t agree, then, the map is wrong and the landscape is right.
- There is always a chance to redraw your map.
- High-performance is unhelpful when it comes to individual and overall organisational performance.
- There’s constant anxiety that is created by back to back meetings and living out of inboxes versus creating the space to really go deeper in our reflections of who we are, how we are behaving, how we can function together, and what we are going after.
- Human-centered leadership is all about having a contextualised understanding of how humans work individually and collectively.
- If you are really interested in making a difference, you must educate yourself about what you can do to make a difference.
- Businesses are a force for good. We employ people. We educate people. We do business with people. How we develop our people, how we make our products, what we do with our profits, and how we are as humans, all help accelerate the change in our planet.
- The big leadership opportunity for business owners is not just money. It is in how you can be really different in yourself and how you can have a positive impact.
- Humanism is all about believing in ourselves as human beings that we have the capacity to find our way through this together to solve the problems that we consciously and unconsciously make to create a better world.
- Technology is not a disruptive agent. It is a stable thing. The disruptive piece is the human adaptation of it. Technology does not develop by itself. We direct the development of technology and we need to figure out how to use technology better.
- Being provocative and standing for something doesn’t mean being unmovable and inflexible. It’s coming from a place of curiosity in all your conversations that makes you more accessible.
- The more you know what you stand for, the work you do, and the value you create the easier it is for you to assess opportunities because not all opportunities are opportunities that you want.
- There is something really powerful in having a humble and compassionate conversation with someone who is not right for you or who is not ready to work for you.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Kate’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Create the space for thinking and reflecting that is free of distractions.
- Best thing for new ideas – Deeply understanding humans and their challenges, reflecting on our own experiences and the conversations we have. Test your idea. Take risks and get feedback.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Whiteboard and Post-it notes.
- Keep project / client on track – Have lots of conversations. Set really clear expectations and role clarity. Talk to them more often than you think you need to. It’s all about building that connection and trust through conversations.
- Differentiate – Stand for something. Make your own flag. Paint it and put glitter on it. Wind it up on a flag pole and be prepared to be visible.
To Be a Leader
Work harder on yourself than on your job. The best innovation, the best work, the deepest connection, and the most powerful impact come from being your best self.
Kate suggested I interview Andrew Davies of B-Corporation. So Andrew, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Kate Billing.
Cool things about Kate
- Their company, Blacksmith, is New Zealand’s 7th certified B Corp and has been recognized as the ‘Best FOR the World’ (top 10% of B Corps) globally by B Lab in 2019.
- She’s worked for more than 20 years in the people, culture, and leadership space.
- She’s a member of the Thought Leaders Business School.