by | Mar 4, 2021

You often hear leaders talk about the ‘imposter syndrome’.

This ‘condition’ has been deeply analysed.

My take is relatively straightforward.

Leadership is hard.

This is particularly the case when trying to match often elevated expectations with capability.

You will fail often.

But let us remember, failure is our greatest teacher.

A couple of years ago I heard USA basketball coach Gregg Popovich, when facing the media having been beaten by the Australian Boomers in an historic loss/win (depending on where you sit), say:

“We are a better team than the start of the game because of the knowledge we have gained.”

He is effectively saying:

“We are better for having lost”.

He understood “What truly matters”.

Play on!



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I like this quote from Steve Maraboli:

“For me, the most interesting people seem to have the bumpiest pasts. I prefer to connect with someone who has experienced the struggles, battles and casualties of life’s journey. There is beauty, wisdom, and truth to be found in the scars”.

Perhaps the quote appeals to me as someone who was sacked as CEO on a couple of occasions. I have no doubt it was these setbacks, personally challenging and heartbreaking at the time, that created the path to the work I now do.

Whenever I was in doubt, I referred to theses ‘truisms’:

  • Leadership is Hard
  • Change is Different
  • Communication is Important
  • Things get Complicated
  • People are Human
  • The Future is Tomorrow

They won’t let you down.


“When you ask people what experience made them the person they are, they never say, “I really was a shallow and selfish jerk until I went on that amazing vacation in Hawaii.” No, people usually talk about moments of difficulty, struggle.”

David Brooks, from his excellent book “The Second Mountain”

We all have another mountain to climb


I feel I am on repeat with this recommendation, but I rarely miss an episode of Dr Michael Gervais podcast, “Finding Mastery”.

This episode with Alexi Pappas, an Olympic runner and an award-winning actor and writer, talks of overcoming depression and seeing a grander version of what her future could look like. She has gone deep.

I found this episode profound as someone who has been challenged by mental health issues for most of my adult life, all while trying to lead in often challenging and complex situations.

Link to Alexi Papas on Dr Michael Gervais “Finding Mastery”

…and a timeless song lyric:

Hey Hey. My My – Neil Young

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.

Hey hey, my my.
Out of the blue and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you’re gone, you can’t come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he’s not forgotten
Is this the tale of Johnny rotten?
It’s better to burn out than fade away
The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.


Cameron Schwab
CEO & Founder


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