Podcast: How to lead without losing yourself with Heather Dawson

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Leadership, Mental Resilience, Podcast

This was such a powerful and thought-provoking conversation for me, and I know it will be for you too. 

“I thought I was the title on my business card. Stepping away from it was a shedding of identities, to strip away the layers to find who I really am.” – Heather Dawson

On our latest podcast episode of the future-ready
 leadership series, I speak to Heather Dawson who is a Nebraskan-born farm-girl-turned-financial services leader and current Chief Experience Officer of Local Government Super in Sydney. She is also a trained executive coach, a Google Search Inside Yourself practitioner, and one of the most mindful and down-to-earth leaders I know. I’ve had the pleasure of both working and collaborating with Heather for the last decade.  

In this episode, we talk about one of the main challenges we have as leaders: 

How to balance being a human-centric leader when the pressure is on to service customers and hit commercial outcomes.  


Firstly, what does it mean to be a human leader?  

Emotionally intelligent leaders strive to be good to themselves, to their teams, and purposeful for organisations. It was once looked down upon, but vulnerability is one of the core qualities of a future-ready leader; we’re now seeing there’s strength in bringing the armour down and becoming more human. 

In our conversation, Heather talks about
 how burn-out led her to explore the mindfulness space and how she had to rebuild herself with a new perspective on business, something she calls ‘conscious capitalism’.

Heather talks about how leaders can use mindfulness to show up as the best version of themselves and reveals some of the practices she brings to meetings and conversations, plus how to adapt these in the changing workplace. She explores why being an emotionally intelligent leader takes practice and how she manages her emotions to show up consistently every day with her teams.  

In this episode you will learn 

  • How to use your EQ to drive a successful and sustainable business 
  • Why burn-out can be a force for growth  
  • Empathy, not tech, is the future of the workplace 
  • Mindfulness tools for authentic leaders 
  • How to create a culture of trust 
  • How to create an environment where your people thrive


It’s now clear that forward-thinking leaders have to push against the grain to create the change, so both they and their people can thrive right where they are.  

I really hope you enjoy my conversation with Heather and that you benefit from the great insights, research, and tools.


To your health and happiness,

Clare Robinson,
Founder & Head Coach, CLARETY

P.S. If this has thrown up some thoughts for you, such as “my perfectionism is blocking me from being authentic” or “I need to operate in a different way or I’ll burn out”, then I’m here to support you.  

Applications are now open for our new Luminous Leadership program, launching on the 16th of March. Click here to book a call with Clare and find out more about the program.

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