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Limitless Leadership™ – Question why you do things….What’s your lamb roast?

Questioning others is a great way to understand, seek information, make others feel important and listened to. From a leadership perspective it can also empower others to come up with their own solutions, a bit like delegating thinking.

Why then do we often forget to question ourselves and the things we do and think?

Many a time we may get caught up on the Ferris wheel of life and almost go into autopilot doing we what we do because we’ve always done it that way before. The old adage, “If it aint broke, why fix it” can work for a while but in today’s world we need to look at what’s next. We need to bring in new ways of thinking, innovating and looking towards to future to stay relevant. I really believe looking outside the square helps us stand out and be different not better. That way we can stay a step in front and continue to challenge the status quo.

Always question the why…don’t be satisfied with only knowing the how -Catherine Pulsifer                        

There was a great story I read many years ago, about a lady who prepared a lamb roast each Sunday night for her family. Her husband used to cut the leg of lamb in half and one afternoon asked her, “Why do we cut the leg of lamb in half?” To which she responded, “I have no idea, we have always done it that way”.

Wiping her apron, she pondered her husband’s question and decided to call her Mum. “Mum why do we always cut the lamb leg in half?” Her Mum seemed puzzled and responded with “I don't know, maybe ask your grandmother”.

Highly curious now the lady set aside the vegetables she was cutting and called her grandmother and asked the same question “Nanna, why do you, Mum and I cut our Sunday leg of lamb in half”. The grandmother replied “Well, I’m not sure but I’ve always cut mine in half as I had a small oven”. The lady burst out laughing as she looked at her 900mm oven. Never had she questioned why she had cut the roast in half, it had never crossed her mind, as it was just the way it was always done.

Seize opportunities..

This analogy is a great way to reflect on how sometimes the simple tasks, decisions and way things are done are carried out almost in autopilot. Often we become time poor and I believe so many opportunities are missed for things to be even more effective.

When the stakes are high and the pressure is on it can be difficult for leaders, especially senior ones new to their roles, to pause before acting and to take a step back and reflect on why they are doing what they are doing and this also applies to those around them.

I think sometimes questioning our actions on the bigger things can be dwarfed by our inaction on questioning the smaller things.

I’d love to hear, where is the opportunity for you to question your “lamb roast” ?

Lead to be limitless…



Renee Giarrussso Director RG Dynamics Pty Limited Limited Leadership

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.  Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits, so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

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The Gift Mindset™: 6 Keys to Leading With Empathy

Empathy 6 keys to leading with empathy

When a colleague or direct report opens up to you about feeling overstretched and tired how do you respond? Do you respond with empathy or do you shut off as you have your own stuff to deal with?

Empathy is one of the 12 Gifts to lead and be a Limitless Leader™ and the word actually comes from the German word  “Euinfühlung” which means “feeling in”.

Many confuse empathy with sympathy with the key difference being…

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself – Mahsin Hamid

Expressing the gift of empathy is vital in any role, interaction or relationship and what I have noticed is many people think they do “empathy” but how many are truly feeling in?

Mastering empathy as a leader is a critical skill.

Six key things we need to do to experience empathy:6 keys to leading with empathy

  •  Listen through their ears

    • What are they hearing?
    • How might they interpret this?
  • Get in their head

    • What might they be thinking?
    • What logic might they be using to interpret the situation?
  • Notice their words

    • What are they saying?
    • What defining words, quotes and insights stand out?
  • View things through their eyes

    • What are they seeing?
    • How does this tie in to their lens view of the world?
  • Feel through their heart

    • What emotions may they be feeling?
    • How does this impact on their actions?
  • Watch their actions

    • What are they doing?
    • What are you noticing about their actions and body language?

By tuning in and literally almost physically experiencing what others may be going through you will have the closest chance to really understanding the other person and “feeling in” to what is going on. Hence, experiencing true and deep empathetic connection.

Think about a time someone has really empathised with you, what did you notice and how did you feel? Key moments of another showing empathy towards me stand out and although I can’t articulate their words I do remember how that made me feel.

When have you experienced empathy? As always I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lead to be Limitless

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch. .  Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits, so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renee on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

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Limitless Leadership: Rapport equals influence in the coaching conversation

Rapport is like a boomerang, it will only come back if the connection is a mutual one.

Rapport building is all about connection and taking the time to build deep connection and therefore meaningful relationships and influence.

Rapport equates to influence.

Some of the best leaders I work with are seen as a coaching resource. You can have the best frameworks to coach and mentor but without connection ,trust and a safe zone for the coachee to grow, coaching will be one sided, ineffective and a waste of time for both of you.

Focus on goals

In any coaching relationship, whether formal or informal, the focus should be on the coachees goals and how they can be achieved. Coaching is not counselling so it does not require the coach to know too much about the coachees private life or to become their ‘best friend.' Your aim as coach is to create a level of rapport that means the coachee is happy to talk honestly about their work performance.

If you're like most people, when you welcome people such as friends and family into your house you want to make them feel welcome and at ease. While the specifics of what you might say to a team member are different from what you might say to a house guest, the motivation and attitude behind the words should be the same.

Listen to what is NOT being said and only ask one question at a time and let the coachee's response shape the next question.

During a coaching session, you want to open the conversation with a remark that lets the coachee know that you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Following this with an open question will assist in leading the conversation into the topic, challenge or opportunity the coachee would like to be coached on during that session.

Active listening is important after asking questions as it demonstrates to the coachee your interest in what they are saying. Listening makes the coachee feel important and is a great way to get you, as the coach, to talk less.

Rapport is built upon but keep in mind you and the coachee can go in and out of rapport so don’t take it for granted. At times, not being in rapport can serve the coachee well, especially if you are challenging them or getting them to think and act outside of their comfort zone.

Building Rapport in the Session

Take time to build rapport

The time is takes is minimal in comparison to the benefits. Be interested and curious and hold the space to be present and there for the coachee. Maximise similarities and minimise differences.

Ask rapport-building questions

Use open questions. These starts with: How, When, Where, What, Why and Who – open questions get the coachee to talk and open up which is really important.

Listen deeply

Show you are listening by asking one question at a time, paraphrasing answers to show you have listened and clarify throughout the session.

Ask permission to give feedback and make suggestions

Don't assume things, be upfront and set the scene and expectations by asking the coachee for permission to give feedback and to also make suggestions where and when needed

Match their language

By being a little more like the coachee, without changing who you are, there will be a match and this can assist in building rapport more easily. Match words and the pace at which they talk

Acknowledge the coachee

As a coach, you want to assist the coachee in building even more confidence in their ideas, thoughts and actions. My regularly affirming they are on the right track, when they are, acknowledge this and celebrate success.

In any relationship rapport can go a long way and is often missed in the busyness of life.

Take the time to be in the moment, be ALL there and be curious to add and receive value from every interaction.

Be limitless!


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Ramping up Risk – Embrace the Unknown

A few weeks ago, at the conclusion of running a 2-day program to a senior leadership team, one of the participants, let’s call him Ken asked me an interesting question. “In a company culture such as ours, where risk and making mistakes is shunned upon, how can we as leaders change this?” A great question I thought. So many organisations I come across face the same challenge. With people tackling so much on the job and bogged down in what I call the chaos of “doing”, role functions are becoming task oriented, process and technology driven and almost robotic. Culture such as this cannot change overnight as we all know, there is no magic pill. What there is, for us as leaders, is an opportunity to start to instil, encourage and create cultures that embrace risk to take them to the next level.

“Focus on people before progress”

The word risk conjures up negativity and loss and every one’s perception and belief of what risk is to them will be dependent on their experience and exposure to it, both professionally and personally. The Merriam Webster definition of risk is: “a possibility of loss or injury” and “someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard”. It’s no wonder the word “risk” is as appealing to most as jumping into a tankful of sharks. Some people are actually motivated by risk whilst some are risk adverse and I believe whatever side you sit this filters down into the organisation and contributes to the overall culture and the way you lead.

Look at companies who took huge risks and came out the other side:

  • Neflix was a content creator then became a distributor
  • Starbucks was a coffee wholesaler who now retail
  • Amazon purchasing Wholefoods and now having a bricks and mortar presence
  • Airbnb collaborated with Flight Centre for a mutual partnership

“To embrace unknown change, we need to take risks and get out embracing known change and being comfortable”

So, it sounds simple, doesn't it? Simple yes but not always easy to implement.

I believe it starts with you and these 3 tips below could assist:

Build Rapport

Rapport creates deep connection and influence. It also builds trust and openess in others and in turn can increase ones confidence to be more likely to voice their true intentions.

Take the time to build rapport and get to know your team and the true essence of who they are, their ideas and their abilities. Find things in common to break the ice, match the way they like to be communicated to and take the time to be present and listen to who they really are.


We all have strengths but very few of us stop and reflect on what we are good at that we actually enjoy. Do you know the strengths of those in your team, your peers, your up-line? By understanding what lights others up you can leverage these when trying something new and ensure people with a diversity of strengths can really tap into these for maximum results and effectiveness.

Read more here

Model the way

What are you doing to lead by example? Do you take risks, create and encourage change or stick to the status quo and never question the way things are done? Show your team the way to embrace the unknown and the cost of not doing this and staying comfortable. Celebrate success when things go well so when times get tough individuals can tap into the resources that got them there last time. When things go wrong work through the learnings as a team and don't forget to reinforce the steps or parts that did go well so you can replicate success next time!

What will it cost you and your organisation not to embrace the unknown?

I’d love to hear what you are doing to build a culture that embraces risk and change, encourages new ways of thinking and enables others to learn and grow from mistakes.

To being limitless!


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Motivation Trumps Skill

‘Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.’ ―Thomas Jefferson

For decades, motivation has been a major management and leadership issue. It has been the subject of many research studies by figures such as Fredrick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, John Hunt and Clayton Alderfer. Many of their findings still resonate today but working practices have changed, and now there is a focus on variables such as work-life balance, flexible working hours, working virtually (from home) and a shifting focus on performance objectives. We now need to consider motivation from an organisational and individual perspective with a focus, in this chapter, around you, the individual. If you can identify and focus on what motivates and engages you, you can contribute to the motivation and engagement of others at work. Like a lighthouse, to project the blinding light that is emitted out to sea, everything needs to be in order within the lighthouse—a bit like motivation.

During my time as a hands-on leader and working with leaders, I developed the belief that motivation trumps skill. Skill alone is not enough to get us to the top of the mountain. Motivation, either intrinsic or extrinsic, overlays an energy to any skill we master; it's the fuel to succeed and exceed. It's the force behind driving what we know and learn (our skills). Years ago, when recruiting for a large corporate, I interviewed a double degree candidate who ticked all the boxes: IQ, great references and ability to think on his feet. What he didn't emit was the attitude, motivation and energy that all the one-dimensional paperwork had sold him on. He had the knowledge and the skill, but he was missing the will. This was important in such a fast-paced corporate environment, and without any evidence of this, the candidate didn't progress to the next level. If you claim to be energetic and driven, at least act it for the interview.

Being deeply self-aware of what motivates you, and those around you will take your conversations, rapport and sphere of influence to the next level.

To be self-aware, you need to be open and committed and take the time to understand what really motivates and energises you at a deeper level.

To do this, you need emotional control and intelligence so you can identify your triggers; leading to building a heightened radar into the triggers of others.

Being self-aware also requires you to get out of what you know—your comfort zone—so you can be open to self-growth and change. This is important as this sets the base to be open, ready and aware. Don't just know and grow your skills. The real gold is tapping into and understanding the depths of what motivates you.

One of the many studies that support my theory was conducted by researchers at the Universities of Munich and Bielefeld and was published in Child Development journal. It suggested motivation and study habits—not intelligence—are the key factors in maths achievement (Paul, 2013).

What are you going to do to tap into what fuels you?


Renée has published her first book “Limitless Leadership”- A guide to leading from the inside out. Order your copy today! or

Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished author, facilitator, speaker, trainer and coach who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation, communication and connection. Working with executives and SLT teams, she maps and designs motivation to maximise performance and engagement.

Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioural change around leadership, communication and transition leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.

Work with me! 

Contact us today at to discuss how we can collaborate on your business success. Learn more about our in-house Limitless Leadership, Mapping Motivation for Performance and Presenting to Lead and Communication workshops and mentoring programs.

“The Top Fifteen Percent Leader” A dynamic, interactive leadership program, run as an openly facilitated in-house program 3 hours a month over the year!

Download our FREE whitepaper and program details

Lunch and Lead-April 7th  South Melbourne

Join 15 like-minded women from a diverse array industries over lunch. Take the time to reflect and enjoy an open and casual conversation on what challenges you and motivates you from a leadership perspective. Celebrate the year that has been! FULLY BOOKED OUT

Mastering your Mojo-June 15th Melbourne

Go from drowning in the overwhelm that sometimes a career and life can create to taking the time to reflect, recharge and reconnect with your purpose and mission to move forward.

Join me for our “Mastering your Leadership Mojo” practicum

Time: 9am-4pm

Venue: Golden Gate Hotel, South Melbourne

Investment: $595 + GST pp

Book before May 5th at our Early bird rate of $495 + GST

Limited to 25 places

What you will get:

  • 1 full day workshop facilitated by Renee Giarrusso
  • The day is based around key themes: Reflect-Recharge- Refocus
  • Recharge to reconnect ~Learning to manage your energy for optimal results in your daily life- Guest speaker Amanda Adey Auricfields Kinesiology
  • Access to sharing and learning with like-minded people
  • A scrumptious sit-down Al a carte lunch
  • Barista coffee all day (it’s the little things J )
  • All workshop materials

 Contact admin@reneegiarrusso for further details

Drop into or Eventbrite to secure your place and early bird pricing

*Limited to 25 attendees