Earlier this week I received some fabulous pushback on a project I am working on. I had got to a place where I thought it was pretty good – and ready go to production.

I had received some very positive feedback from a number of stakeholders so had confidence.

Then one key stakeholder landed a real punch.

He called out a number of issues that I had missed and the others would not have known to look for.

I was deflated. Frustrated too because he (of course!) called out problems not solutions.

But I got over myself and spent a day of hard thinking on it and addressed his concerns.

Guess what?

I LOVE where it is going now. A massive step up for two important areas of the work that feed into others.

It is more insightful
It is more cohesive
It is more useful

So … Do you open yourself to challenge? Do you go there by offering it to others?

Go on. Be brave. It's the right kind of hard.

I hope that helps. More next week.

Kind regards,

PS – In the spirit of bravery, I am now working on ANOTHER project!

If you write board papers, would you be happy to fill in this tiny survey? I so appreciate your help. Click here.



I love what I do.

I help senior leaders and their teams prepare high-quality papers and presentations in a fraction of the time.

This involves 'nailing' the message that will quickly engage decision makers in the required outcome.

I leverage 25+ years' experience including

  • learning structured thinking techniques at McKinsey in Hong Kong in the mid 1990s before coaching and training their teams globally as a freelancer for a further 15 years
  • being approved to teach the Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto in 2009
  • helping CEOs, C-suite leaders and their reports deeply understand their stakeholder needs and communicate accordingly
  • seeing leaders cut the number of times they review major papers by ~30% and teams cut the amount of time they take to prepare major papers by ~20%*
  • watching senior meetings focus on substantive discussions and better decisions rather than trying to clarify the issue

My approach helps anyone who needs to engage senior leaders and Boards.

Recent clients include 7Eleven, KPMG, Mercer, Meta, Woolworths.

Learn more at www.clarityfirstprogram.com


(*) Numbers are based on 2023 client benchmarking results.