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12 Days till Christmas - Day 1. "Doing Life Hard"

In a twist on the 12 days of Christmas – I’m doing a 12 days till Christmas set of posts that reflect some of the thoughts, narratives and learnings of my recent leadership journey to Antarctica with @homewardboundprojects and 100+ #womeninSTEMM

On deck to the NW of the Falkland Islands contemplating leadership through the LSI leadership diagnostic, November 14th 2023.

It’s already been a ride! I’m on a ship with 109 women and non-binary in STEM on a leadership journey that will take us to Antarctica. After some volatile seas down the East Coast of South America, today we enter calmer waters. Sheltered by the Falkland Islands and in the sunshine, we gather on deck to explore the LSI leadership diagnostic (Life Styles Inventory). We contemplate our own leadership and consider how our internal narratives impact our ability to lead. As @homewardboundprojects co-founder and visionary Fabian Dattner says: unconstructive thinking is “Doing Life Hard”. Effective leadership is reflecting your most constructive self inwardly, as well as outwardly. It is about leading how you would like to be led, and understanding how constructive thinking, strategy and action enables others to lead and to value constructive leadership styles.


We can all think and act unconstructively: when we feel unfairly treated or when something changes unexpectedly or outside our control. Constructive thinking comes more easily when we are physically and mentally prepared, not sleep deprived or hungry! Making sure we are physically and mentally prepared for the task in hand is key, because how we turn-up and lead is important to ourselves and others.


Our constructive thinking and leadership have already been challenged by the news that we will not travel to South Georgia as planned. Some landing and visiting sites have been closed due to Avian Flu, and visiting there could add furthers risks to wildlife. We may also act as a vector for the flu to the Antarctic mainland, a risk we are not willing to take. Our individual response to the news affects others around us, and our collective narrative is important. The prospect of staying longer in the Falkland Islands creates new prospects and we bring our constructive leadership style to the fore to create new narratives and celebrate new opportunities. On this ship we are not “Doing Life Hard”.


An extended version of a blog post for @homewardboundprojects written in collaboration with Sallie Pearson.






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