Cadence Catch-up with Lewis #1

Welcome to my inaugural Newsletter!

Since starting Cadence Leadership Advisory in July last year (yes, as Sydney entered a 4-month lockdown) I’ve been hugely encouraged by the support received from my LinkedIn followers.

As the business name implies, leadership is the core theme running through everything I write, every workshop I create, and every coaching session I facilitate. I developed this business because I believe sustainable, long-term success in your chosen field can only exist when you have the necessary human and leadership skills to work to your natural best. This takes perseverance, an open mind, and constant review – but when you get it right, the results can be magical.

One theme I’ve been thinking about this month is risk-taking. It took quite a bit of personal risk to launch a new business in a lockdown – especially so after holding senior risk management roles during my banking career, where conservatism was the name of the game! But it’s gratifying to see the work I’m doing provide real moments of personal growth for the people and organisations I’m helping. In my view, the key is finding the level of risk you feel comfortable with – then stretching it about 10% more. Let me expand on this through the articles I’ve chosen to highlight.


In her article for ABC Everyday, Meg Watson highlights the critical need for preparation before undertaking a negotiation about changes to your work arrangements. Potentially, a risky space to enter if not handled well. But good preparation puts you in a stronger position if you know the value your activities have brought an organisation. For example, how many sales have I made? How much money has your new process saved? What knowledge or skill makes you “mission critical”?

And remember, working arrangements are a two-way street – compare a conversation leading with the above information to one where someone wants to retain work-from-home arrangements, just because it suits them. If you care enough to ask for greater work flexibility, give yourself the best shot at success. By doing the right preparation, you can de-risk the conversation.

Do you have an example where changed workplace arrangements have proven mutually beneficial?


In this self-penned article, I examine how Cricket Australia just might have done former coach Justin Langer a favour – by NOT extending his lucrative contract. Keeping the emotion behind the decision to one side, I look at the role timing can have in determining whether you are the right person for a job. You might have most of the skills, but is the leadership style you bring to the table really what the organisation requires now?

In Langer’s case, he walked away and took the risk he could find a bigger role elsewhere. England might be talking to him soon. He goes into that selection process armed with intimate knowledge of his leadership style, strengths and growth areas – with Cricket Australia to thank for that.

When have you missed out on a role because you may not have been the right person for the time? In hindsight, was the right decision made?


In a quiet moment of reflection recently, I looked at the business cards in my folder and had a total “I’m really doing this!” moment. After more than three decades in reasonably secure (though increasingly less so) corporate roles, I have taken a risk and become an entrepreneur. Every decision I take, every interaction I have, every activity I generate, comes back to me making it happen. I’m loving the responsibility this brings, but also the sense of freedom to pursue projects with partners and organisations I respect.

If you turned the clock back two years, did I think I’d ever be self-employed? Not on your life. But as a curious person with a hunger to contribute and share my skills to make workplaces more effective, there is no turning back.

What’s your passion that’s waiting to become a sustainable business?


To round out my first Cadence Catch-Up, thought I’d share a couple of podcasts that I’m really enjoying at the moment. Firstly, Working It is produced by the Financial Times and focuses on different aspects of corporate culture, like managing your boss, workplace flexibility, diversity and managing generation gaps. It’s slickly produced, as you’d expect from the FT, but not stuffy. Each episode is about 15 minutes on average so it’s easy to cover a few different topics during your commute. Well worth a listen if you’re interested in staying in touch with the latest workplace trends.

Another favourite is Forever Employable Stories by Jeff Gothelf. Jeff is a coach, trainer, speaker and author who has produced two series of interviews with diverse people who have succeeded in creating their own audiences and work flows. Personal risk-taking is again the theme! My favourites are with Stephen Shedletzky in Series 1, a colleague of Simon Sinek who explains how luck doesn’t just happen, it’s where preparation meets opportunity; and Laurie Ruettimann in Series 2, who speaks about the value of individuals who have embraced self-leadership, the ability to maintain a growth mindset and continually reflect on ways to improve their own performance, and those around them. There are nearly 30 stories in all to choose from, and they provide inspiration for intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs alike – anybody wanting to generate new and sustainable revenue streams.

I hope you enjoy the first Cadence Catch-Up. If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions for other leadership themes you’d like me to explore in future editions, please let me know.


Cadence Leadership Advisory is a leadership development business specialising in coaching people, team leadership and development, strategy review and organisational culture.

Its Founder, Lewis Williams, has over 25 years of leadership experience gained through senior roles at NAB, HSBC and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. A Graduate of AGSM@UNSW, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and an Approved Advisor with Advisory Board Centre, he instigated and drove development of the 2021 paper “Organisational Culture: Beyond the Intangible” with other alumni of the AICD. He is also an accredited CultureTalk practitioner, a training and development platform that activates the framework of personality archetypes for the growth of leaders, teams, brands and cultures.

FOUNDER: Lewis Williams


MOBILE: 61 (0) 477 371 665

LINKEDIN: cadenceleadershipadvisory/

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