Sarah David: intentional leadership, positive habits, transformation and business books plus Dulma Clark

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Sarah David

Sarah David runs consultancy Thrive. She has worked at an executive level in a £1.5 billion turnover law firm, and for small businesses, charities, not for profits and startups.

“As long as you’re dealing with people the challenges remain the same,” she told me yesterday. Her radio interview generated some of the most positive feedback of any episode to date. Here’s the podcast.

Sarah works with teams and leaders to transform their performance and financial results. At the core of dealing with challenges, she says, is “effective communication, clarity of purpose, and leaders willing to lead through change.”

Consultant, mentor and coach Sarah talks about intentional leadership, developing positive habits, supporting transformation. And, as an avid reader, the business books she rates most highly.

She’s also frank, direct and anti-fragile when it comes to addressing the impact of an enormous personal tragedy. What to do when “option A” is no longer available.

The podcast also features social entrepreneur Dulma Clark of Soul of Africa, which makes and sells “shoes that change lives.” 


Timings and show notes:

  • 0 – 6:28 introduction and updates. Some comments on social investment and investment readiness; storytelling and spreadsheets. HSBC’s gender pay gap figures revealed as reporting deadline looms.
  • 6:28 Sarah David, a management consultant for “people who don’t have time for consultants.”
  • [7:17] Sarah’s background including interning with Franklin Covey.
  • [8:13] the diverse nature of Sarah’s clients. What common challenges do they have?
  • [10:40] what do organisations ask Sarah to do? What is the change she effects?
  • [12:30] the work Sarah enjoys most, and a description of some dramatic results.
  • [14:09] Covey’s analogy of the jar, sand and rocks…what gets you stuck? Where should you focus?
  • [16:00] going from “knowing to doing”
  • [18:27] distractions, smartphones, sleep, habits and “gateway drugs.”
  • [20:13] being intentional in leadership.
  • [24:34] Sarah previously worked as a lawyer. What has been most transferable to the work she does today?
  • [28:30] Is it worthwhile to do an MBA? Sarah’s advice if you’re considering this.
  • [32:30] from age 30 to 40 Sarah worked in senior executive roles in the corporate world – and developed an interest in the not-for-profit space. Within that decade she adopted her boys, and began working with an organisation working with autistic children.
  • [36:45] Then tragedy struck: Sarah’s world was turned upside down. Since Sarah lost her husband, she’s been “going at Option B” as hard as she can.
  • [39:00] Sarah’s consultancy work has switched up into a new gear. What’s her purpose and intention? And her side project, Love Work More – what’s that?
  • [43:55] an interlude to hear a short interview with Dulma Clark, managing director of a social enterprise called Soul of Africa, which makes and sells “shoes that change lives.” Soul of Africa provides skills, earnings and support to communities.
  • [48:09] how to get in touch with the show.
  • [49:15] Sarah David is an avid reader and loves to discuss books. Here she gives her top recommendations and talks about why these books have such an impact: Emotional Agility by Susan David. Working Identity by Herminia Ibarra. Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
  • [53:30] reaching Sarah at Thrive and Love Work More. And wrapping up.

What next?

  • More about my Business Live radio show.
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