Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #197 Vanessa Vershaw Unreasonable Ambition

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #197 Vanessa Vershaw Unreasonable Ambition

Unreasonable Ambition

On this episode of the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Vanessa Vershaw about Unreasonable Ambition, having a strong self-concept and empathy vs. compassion as a leader.

We also dive deeper into building an empathetic skillset and a compassionate organisation, creating a deeper sense and connection within teams, and nurturing rising talent.

Vanessa Vershaw  – Unreasonable Ambition

Vanessa Vershaw is the CEO and Founder of Reinvention Consulting Group and the author of the book Unreasonable Ambition, winner of the 2022 Momentum Trail-blazer Award, and an award-winning Australian Organisational Psychologist for ASX 20 & Fortune 100 companies globally.

She is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, Murdoc University and Curtin University where she took Modern Languages & Theater, Law, and Psychology. A former journalist with ABC, Vanessa’s expertise has gained recognition through publications in The Australian Financial Review, The Diplomat magazine, and other esteemed platforms. 

Vanessa talks about:

  • Wanting to serve people at an early age and becoming an organisational psychologist
  • Being strong with her views and being a natural leader
  • Unreasonable Ambition
  • Embracing your true self
  • Going into journalism and leaving and going into Psychology
  • Empathy vs. Compassion as a leader
  • Building empathic skills as a leader
  • A compassionate organisation achieves collective resilience
  • Building a shared purpose and meaning in an organisation
  • A deeper sense of connection and belonging in an organisation
  • The great resignation
  • The mirroring technique in executive coaching
  • Nurturing rising talents and giving real time feedback
  • Real transformation happens when we’re not in charge
  • Choosing the road less travelled


“It’s not about having an ego. It’s about having a very strong self-concept. And that’s difference. The strong self-concept is I know who I am, warts and all. I’ve got great self-awareness. I know what I can do and I know what I can do right from a skills perspective. And it gives perspective.” Having a strong self-concept with Vanessa Vershaw on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast.

“How could you afford not to be anybody other than yourself? And that’s really the lessons that I roll through, through my own experiences.” Vanessa Vershaw on embracing her true self on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast.

“We’re actually creating an organisation where it’s not a team of people, but it’s almost a tribe of people where we are connected deeply through purpose and belonging and why compassion is really important. It’s because a compassionate organisation is the one that’s able to achieve collective resilience.” Having compassion as a leader with Vanessa Vershaw on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Vanessa Vershaw
Vanessa Vershaw LinkedIn
Vanessa Vershaw Instagram
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Craig Johns Facebook
Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast


Unreasonable Ambition: Renegade thinking for leaders to create impossible change