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Tom McCallum

Today marks the launch of the new podcast series: “Elevating Leaders”. As the page on the site notes in the intro:


#OpenLeadership is the secret to linking the new way of thinking about vision, strategy and leadership to deliver on strategy over time.


This week I had the privilege to be given a tour of the production facility of a third-generation family business by one of the current generation.

One of many resonant moments was when they proudly showed me a piece of equipment their grandparent had installed so many years ago and that they still used every day. It is no longer the most efficient available, but they love it and it is a daily reminder of what they stand for and the traditions they hold dear.

At the same time, when we spoke after the tour, that current generation leader expressed…


I recall when my two oldest sons were competing at swimming at a high level. They trained over well over 20 hours a week, then had university studies to do. Aside from that they mostly ate and slept. I learned from them that this was not aimless, it was planned out. Recovery is part of training, or as they say in Swimming, “Eat, Sleep, Swim, Repeat”.

Yesterday I went on a long bike ride, exploring London. It was not an intense training ride, yet at the same time I was out for five hours and my tracker tells me I…


Greetings to…


The #OpenLeadership Model

On September 10th, in “Listening for Context”, I talked about how I had observed in many meetings in my time in Cayman what was NOT being said. Specifically that nobody was ready to talk about what it would mean to re-open the borders. I predicted that the planned October 14th border opening would not happen. …


Chart of the Week from Section 4

This week Roland Harwood asked this question on LinkedIn:

My answer was around taking a position on politics or other areas of controversy:


Joan Didion

My profession is as a Sounding Board, to support them on their journey from Good to Great to Elite. A key part of my role is in a coaching space, to help them sound out their thoughts and gain clarity on what their message is and what they need to focus on, as well as how to communicate it. Often this process helps them see what they cannot see for themselves without such outside support.

However, who helps me do the same for myself? Who is my sounding board? my coach? Yes, I am self-aware enough to have peers and…


Kae Tempest

Around three years ago on this blog, I wrote: “the longest writing. can be one line”, itself a line from poet Nayyirah Waheed, and containing multiple powerful single-line texts. This week Roland Harwood of WeAreLiminal shared this with me:

I had never heard of Kae Tempest, a spoken word artist who, in 2020, published a book-length essay called “On Connection”, the review in The Guardian of which inishes with this flourish: “I drank On Connection down like a fresh glass of water.” That review draws me to the work of Kae Tempest, but at the same time, for now, that single line hit me like a thunderbolt of clarity.

Connection is the feeling of landing in the present tense

Originally published at Tom McCallum.


Smart people seem to love complexity, often feeling that the more complex they make things, the more they can find an answer that others can’t.

The image above is from a scene in The Big Short, set in 2005, where one of the lead characters realise just how much a time bomb has been created by “smart” people layering complexity upon complexity to look to create financial value out of, well, dogs**t loans. This led to the Global Financial Crisis from 2008 onwards.

In 2021, though, we still love complexity, seeing investment banks and fund managers hiring the smartest mathematicians…

Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Leaders seeking to go from Good to Great to Elite to World Class. Daily posts here, or https://tommccallum.com/newsletter-sign-up/

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