Dear reader,

The What

For the last two months, I have been interviewing leaders and sharing their leadership journeys in a mini-newsletter. As a subscriber to this (Deploy Yourself) newsletter, you will get the best-curated insights from these interviews in a mini-email like this one. I will send it in the gap week between two regular newsletters. You can also read this mini-issue online.

The Why

We all have a lot to learn from the stories of our leaders – of how they came to be where they are today. These are stories peers and friends don’t usually know, and my attempt is to give you an opportunity to learn from those who have already tasted success and made an impact.

Find out about the events from their lives that shaped them to be the person and leader they are. In the interview, they also share about the people who have influenced them the most in their leadership.

The Who(s)

Penelope. – “I have learnt to not agree to deadlines imposed upon me, rather negotiate and arrive at a mutually agreeable timescale”

Penelope is the Founder & Director of Stimulus, and she is passionate about empowering women, especially women from Black & Ethnic Minority backgrounds. In the interview, she opens up about her “chaotic childhood with limited choices” and how her mother inspired her to dream bigger. She describes herself as a “nobody from nowhere“, and she loves that “she can inspire other women“. In the interview, you will see that she is anything but ordinary.

She talks about how at times what people need is a champion in their corner so that they don’t have to face it alone. She shares the importance of delegating work, and the very important skill of saying NO often to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. She further adds, “Doing a simple grounding exercise at my desk helps calm my mind, as does a quick walk.

Read the full interview with Penelope here.

Erno Hannink – “I understand that I can only control how I respond to things”

Erno Hannink is, in his own words, “a business coach, a podcast host, a footfall referee, a stoic“, among other things. He says, “At the age of 53, I have just gotten a clear picture of what the meaning of my life is. Maybe I am just at the beginning”. He says being a referee on Sundays keeps him fit and gives him the confidence to speak up.

He asks some thought-provoking questions like Why do we ruin the planet just to make cheaper products and strive for more profit? I don’t understand why we underpay women and minorities all over the world and let other people work in circumstances that we would not do.”

He starts his day by writing down a list of 3 goals that he wants to accomplish each day. To reduce noise he keeps his phone on silent and does not read newspapers, or listen to, or watch the news. His goal each day is to Improve his wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance by 1%.

Read the full interview with Erno here.

Related resources

The interview with Erno poked me to reflect on my Leadership Lighthouse and the importance of knowing our own values. We talked about how little we actually control, and how realising that is liberating. When he talked about getting 1% better daily, the importance of compound interest in our growth was crystal clear for me.

Talking to Penelope helped me remember my own struggles and the lessons I continue to learn from them. She reminded me of the importance of seeing and believing in others, and the importance of a growth mindset. When she spoke about grounding exercises and daily walks – two practices I do each day, I smiled at the time when I didn’t even know that I had a body.

How can you contribute?

Each one of us is on a leadership journey. Our journeys might not look alike. They might resemble more of a roller-coaster ride than a race track, and that is what makes each one of us special and unique in our own ways. I am deeply touched when someone takes the time to share their story with me. The leaders I work with are also left inspired when we listen to each other’s leadership journeys.

If you think that your leadership journey is worth sharing and would be valuable to others, reach out and allow me the privilege to interview you. If you would like to recommend someone else who I should interview, feel free to write to me. You can send me a message on LinkedIn or send me an email at

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate. Just hit reply.

See you next week with the regular newsletter.

With gratitude,