Check out the full episode here:


We talk to David Neal about the nuances of good leadership. David Neal has a decade of experience in the Australian Army, with most of his experience in leadership roles. He is currently a Director at Eighth Mile Consulting.


1:39 – from enemies to best mates.

6:12 – there is nothing noble about being harmless.

7:06 – avoiding or engaging with conflict.

7:27 – what makes a leader?

8:50 – good leadership looks different in different contexts.

11:40 – the leadership style in the military.

12:59 – how values and beliefs impact team performance.

15:12 – navigating the conflicts that arise from having a diverse team.

15:35 – definition of leadership.

16:30 – diversity is contextual. What are you trying to achieve?

18:43 – are you trying to be right or correct?

20:36 – leaders represent people authentically in forums where they cannot represent themselves.

22:18 – trying to be right disengages people around you.

23:41 – it’s better to lose the battle and keep the relationship, especially with your kids.

25:07 – extreme ownership and admitting mistakes.

27:28 – where the name Eighth Mile Consulting came from.

29:18 – owning our mistakes turns our weakness into a strength.

31:39 – owning your faults increases your credibility and your ability to influence.

32:55 – steelman and strawman debating tactics.

36:01 – influence starts by listening, not speaking.

38:14 – it takes discipline to shut up and listen.

41:55 – I don’t have time to listen.

44:02 – why boundaries give more freedom.

52:14 – boundaries with children.

54:46 – just do what makes you happy is terrible advice.

56:46 – the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

58:18 – sometimes leaders only have bad options to choose from.

1:00:14 – leadership is not about you.

1:02:44 – a leader’s reputation is their influence.

1:06:1 – making an unpopular decision that you believe will be best for the long term.

1:10:49 – reputation is based on your character but not fully in your own control.

1:12:57 – how to become more self-aware as leaders.

1:15:30 – everyone is a leader.

1:16:11 – how to create a safe space for people to speak up.

1:18:55 – empathy saved the world.

1:24:7 – our ego can be our greatest enemy.

1:26:12 – connect with David Neal.”


You can find more detailed show notes with links to references at:

David Neal Is a leader, strategist, founder, project and change manager, as well as a practical consultant for clients such as the ADA NSW, University of Sydney, Australian Defence Force, Prescare, RSL Queensland, MedReleaf, and KPMG. ​He is one of the authors of ‘Growing Good Leaders’ which focuses on developing high performing teams and running projects. He travels throughout Australia and overseas helping others to simplify the complex. His time serving in the military has provided him with vast experience in leadership, complex problem solving, project and risk management. He has chosen mateship, family and helping good people as his path.

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