Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #181 Anne Duggan Courageous Invitations

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #181 Anne Duggan Courageous Invitations

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #181 Anne Duggan Courageous Invitations

Courageous Invitations

On this episode of the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Anne Duggan about Courageous Invitations, growing a leadership mindset, and finding and connecting with “your people”.

We also dive deeper into the formula of peak performance leadership, understanding the self, purpose and passion, and being a fearless woman leader.

Anne Duggan – Courageous Invitations

Anne Duggan is a seasoned executive with over two decades of experience in managing complex projects and infrastructure procurement for top companies like KPMG, Suez Environment Group, Lendlease, and Macquarie Group. She’s a jack of all trades, being a solicitor, chartered accountant, and holding an MBA in Law and Business, a Masters of Science in Coaching Psychology, and even studying veterinary nursing.

But our guest’s passion doesn’t stop there. She’s also a trailblazer in social infrastructure development, having led some of the most significant affordable housing bids in Australia. With her expertise and drive, there’s no doubt that she can continue to make a significant impact in both the corporate and social sectors.

Anne talks about:

  • The core of courageous leadership
  • Finding people that you have a connection with
  • Importance of having a very diverse group of ideas and thoughts and background
  • Diversity in an organisation
  • Having a purpose vs. having a “why”
  • Courageous Invitations
  • Working with Dr Jefferson Yu-Jen Chen
  • Peak performance
  • Betting wisely by giving now and gaining more later
  • Fear of failure
  • Having a solid foundation for confidence
  • The power to change is in your control
  • Be the leader that people want to follow
  • Work less and achieve more
  • Navigate distraction, uncertainty & self-sabotage


“I think that the thing that really comes out is the heart and that is actually at the core of courageous leadership. It’s actually leading with your heart and being true and authentic to yourself.” Anne Duggan talks about having courage as a leader on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

“Disrupt yourself and think about what you really can be doing that’s different because you don’t have to be on the traditional trajectory to actually have an amazing career” The journey of finding oneself and establishing a career with Anne Duggan on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

“Getting to peak performance is also a journey. It’s not something you just switch on immediately and you’re there. It’s something that you build and develop and grow over time” Anne Duggan on how to attain peak performance on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Courageous Invitations
Anne Duggan
Anne Duggan Linkedin
Speakers Institute Corporate
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Craig Johns Facebook
Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast

Recommended Reading:

Courageous Invitations Book

December NRGizer Newsletter

IMG_8193The NRGizer by NRG2Perform December newsletter is now available – Be the Best Version of Yourself – In this issue we discuss Changing the Game with Kate Palmer of Sport Australia; quietening the mind before going to sleep; parking the ego in a co-CEO environment with Michael Sewards SkyBus, and take a look at whether you are seeing the big picture.

Ben Gathercole and Craig Johns also delve into disrupting the energy sector with Christopher Dean, you can’t stop rotting wood; leading from the mountain tops with Jamin Heppell and Jen Ziegner on Mountains and Marathons; and are you working out with a purpose.

View the Newsletter

Secret to Success – People Are Our Greatest Asset

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

There is nothing more beautiful than teaching and coaching people. The immense pride and enjoyment you get out of seeing someone grow is supported by the benefits you receive by teaching and coaching. You learn more about yourself, you tend to reflect on your own habits and routines, and you provide an opportunity to learn new ways of doing things.

“People learn the most when teaching others.”


As a CEO or leader you have a huge responsibility to not only prepare your people for their work, but also prepare them for life. More than just teaching skills, you have an obligation to teach them to find and understand their purpose. Once people understand their purpose, you then have to work with them to connect it with the purpose of the company and the work they are completing.

People are the only sustainable thing in an organization or a team. The New Zealand All Black Rugby Team’s win-rate over the last 100 years is over 75 per cent. It’s a phenomenal record, and an achievement matched by no other elite team, in any code, around the globe. However, in 2004 the All Blacks weren’t in a great place with team culture issues, low morale, disjointed purpose and declining performance.

“Better people make better All Blacks – but they also make better doctors and lawyers, bankers and businessmen, fathers, brothers, and friends.”


The team management and senior players came together and decided that they needed a fresh culture, where individual character and personal leadership were emphasized. They developed a new mantra, ‘Better People Make Better All Blacks’. This resulted in a remarkable turnaround with the team achieving a win-rate of just over 90%, and two Rugby World Cup’s, since 2004. They literally ‘swept the sheds’ and turned the focus to ‘leaving the jersey in a better place’.

There is nothing more rewarding than teaching people to become better than ourselves. Many CEO’s and leaders are afraid of the people they work with becoming better skilled, better leaders and better people than they are. It’s all about ego, and they need to realize that way of thinking is hindering the progress of both the company and themselves. As a CEO and leader, you need to learn how to create a mindset where you are proud of people growing above you, rather than being afraid of it.

“Understanding this responsibility creates a compelling sense of higher purpose. It’s a good lesson for us all: if we play a bigger game, we play a more effective game.”


When people are buying a product, they are looking for an emotional connection, rather than a material connection. Your people are at the heart of creating the emotional connection the buyers crave. It is important that you create an environment where your people are passionate about selling an experience, a new way of doing something, a feeling or a dream. As they say, ‘people sell, not products’.

People are more interested in the ‘why you are doing’ rather than ‘what you are doing’ when it comes to joining your community, purchasing a product or doing a deal with you. Why did the company begin, why does it act and interact in the way it does, and why do your people turn up every day? Your people need to be aligned in the collective purpose of the company, be passionate about the purpose, and live and breathe it every day.

“Give a man a fish; feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime.”


Enjoyment and happiness are the number one retention tools in the world. For people to enjoy their work and be happy in the workplace, they need positive relationships, purposeful work, opportunities to learn and grow, and have some ‘skin in the game’. Forget a tunnel-vision focus on the bottom line and profit aligned productivity, and begin focusing on creating an enjoyable and happy place, that people love turning up to every day.


Appreciation and recognition drive the human spirit. Confidence and self-esteem are some of the most vulnerable human characteristics. We often look for the negative things, those that aren’t going right and focus on them, rather than emphasizing the great things people are doing. If you are always focusing on the negative aspects of your companies or peoples work, you are not going to develop trust and the loyalty of your people.

“Tell me and I forget,
teach me and I will remember,
involve me and I will learn.”


Look at ways you can reward and recognize the efforts of your people, more often. This helps to build confidence and self-esteem, especially if you can create an environment where people feel appreciated for their work, while also learning how to improve in areas that need attention. Remember, without confidence it is impossible for people to perform at their best. Just watch a tennis tournament.

Your people are your greatest asset. Take the time to communicate with your people, listen to them, and ask questions that improve their understanding, and bring them closer to the purpose of the company and what they want to achieve in life. Find ways to reflect on how you interact with your people and seek new ways to communicate more effectively. You have a great responsibility!

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
If in terms of ten years, plant trees;
If in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”


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