Three work colleagues having a jolly time - to show jolly work

I recently held an Awayday for the leaders in my women’s Sweet Spot group coaching programme at a beautiful, historical venue by the river in central London.

Everyone loved it. One director of a big national charity shared that it was an ‘utter joy’ to spend time with ‘real live’ warm-hearted peers away from her usual responsibilities. Another leader said it had been so refreshing it was ‘like being on a spa break’.

They also shared that it felt naughty and indulgent

We got into conversation about why those particular feelings had come up and found ourselves agreeing that, far from being indulgent, the kind of space the Sweet Spot provides is actually vital if you want to be a truly successful, inspiring and happy leader.

I hear so much about back-to-back meetings, long hours and relentless pressure from non-profit leaders. I get a real sense of heads down, slog slog slog, and ploughing on through the to-do list. And I know that this just isn’t sustainable or very much fun.

My worry is that working in this way eventually leads to a drop in creativity, poor decision-making, and on to unhappiness, stress and even burn out. I know that this isn’t the kind of leadership you want for you, or for your organisation. It’s just not going to get the big results you’re all working towards,

A woman taking a walk away from work to be jolly

Finding time and space

I’m totally committed to helping leaders take the time to refresh and restore yourself and to work on your personal leadership development. This isn’t about courses and training. This is about finding whatever opportunities you can, however short, to re-energise, refresh your thinking and get guidance and support from other leaders in the sector.

And it’s not about having a ‘jolly’ either. This is the true work of leadership.

Here are my top suggestions

  1. Take your lunch break. I know it’s hard, but even 20 minutes away from your desk doing something different is restorative
  2. Dump the scrolling and take 30 mins a day to read three blogs, or listen to an uplifting Ted talk or podcast.
  3. Set your own clear boundaries at the start and end of your working day – do your very best to stick to them.
  4. Meet up with a colleague or friend for a working walk and lunch once a week. Take it in turns to explore a tricky issue or decision that’s concerning you.
  5. Join Leaders Who Brunch, my no-cost drop-in community of non-profit leaders, you can register for the next meet-up here.

And, remember, whatever you do, it isn’t a ‘jolly’. It’s work.

Leading from the Sweet Spot


When women leaders join my Sweet Spot Group Coaching programme, they get plenty of time and space to support their own leadership development alongside wise, generous non-profit peers.

If you’re fed-up with feeling that you have to be slogging away alone, email me at We’ll set up a chat about joining my next small group of non-profit women leaders in the Sweet Spot.