Sally Henderson
Powerful change from the inside out



How to ride the Holiday Season's rollercoaster of pressure

This is a very interesting time of year. Not quite out of the normal week-by-week challenges, but not quite into the craziness that is pre-Christmas either, with no time to complete everything! 

This is a really important time for leaders and talent in creative businesses. We all know the stresses, pressures and challenges are often what make the buzz of agency life. However, at this time of the year when energy is low and demands are high, buzz can quickly turn into bash!  

Bashing of morale, emotional investment and commitment.

People start to feel disconnected, unappreciated, and the "grass is greener" itch starts to kick in. For leaders, they can invest so much of themselves at this time of year with seeing clients, taking out staff, doing the late-nights and early mornings that burn-out strikes. Once the holiday hits, so can the massive energy collapse and feeling low.

How do you avoid this?

From my experience, both in my role as an International Results-Based Executive Mentor, and in my past career as an Executive Search Consultant, here are some ideas that will help: 

For your talent: 

  • Ensure people are feeling valued.

I heard a wonderful initiative at the Agency Hackers day (do look out for 2018 as Ian Harris does a great job) by Lisa Myers of Verve Search, who have recently sold to Omnicom, about something she does at least twice a year called "Love Week". For a week, everyone is like a Secret Santa doing nice, feel-good things for colleagues, anonymously. Lisa has done this for 4 years now, and the data doesn’t lie: directly after Love Week, performance and profit significantly increase!

  • Help your people set up for success in 2018

Make sure you know what your people want from their growth and development next year. Set goals and objectives with a clear timeline to measure success, and also mark when learning and support needs to happen to deliver great results.

  • Understand Motivation. 

Just because we are good at something doesn’t mean we love doing it! Through understanding yours and your teams’ motivation, you can target investment, understand how people need different rewards and goals to drive them, and not lose indispensable time, energy and resources second-guessing needs.

This can be a really hard ask when, as a leader, you are already stretched thinly,  and perhaps out-of-touch with your own motivation and fuel. Luckily, I have found a proven way to help leaders and teams boost performance through understanding motivation, and I can deliver this for individuals, teams and whole organisations. Have a look here to find out why 24,000+ people and John Lewis recommend Motivation Map Profiling.


For you, the leader: 

  • Make time to think. 

This week, I had the absolute pleasure of running one of my #ShineBrighter Round-Tables for Managing Directors. (I often have CEO’s join these as they are in the dual role!). What came through thick and fast from every attendee was just how valuable it was to have time out of the ordinary and day-to-day challenges to access new thinking, fresh perspectives and focus on personal professional development as a leader. To find out more from the morning watch this video. 

  • Ensure you invest in you

    I am a passionate advocate of investing in leaders to make the World of Work work. Too many leaders are needlessly coping with high stress and little support. Imagine the difference, not just for you as a leader but also for your organisation, when you access investment for targeted growth? Happier people, better culture, better relationships, better business. Makes sense to me! Have a look at my unique take on Results-Based Executive Mentoring, designed to help you achieve greater results faster at work and in life. 
  • Stop being on auto-pilot.

Be open, curious, real and actively help others without judgement. How would your leadership and results improve, if you applied this approach to the people you see every day in your Senior Management / Leadership team as opposed to relying on ready-formed opinions and beliefs lurking in your sub-conscious?  


For more practical advice and tips head to the free resources page of my website.  


Sally Henderson is an International Results-Based Executive Mentor on a mission to stop businesses wasting money on poor recruitment and actively invest in their people to make the world of work work.

Sally is a passionate advocate of supporting those leaders in the demanding and often mis-understood role of Managing Director in the creative industry to boost performance and help leaders thrive in a healthy and transformational way.

If you are an MD looking to develop your leadership and business go to to find out more about her work, as well as the free resources, webinars, #ShineBrighter Round-Tables and Results-Based Executive Mentoring that is proven to help you fast-track greater results.


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sally henderson