Embrace Change to Foster Growth with Leanne Culloden

Change is scary. When we were young, trying out new things was exciting. But as we grow older, we develop a fear of placing ourselves in unfamiliar situations. Getting out of our comfort zone is daunting. But do you know what is much scarier? It’s when your fear stops your growth and progress. Fear kills our potential and hinders us from striving in our career, life, and relationships — but this should not be the case. Instead, we should embrace change.

In this episode, Leanne Culloden shares the three proudest moments that led her onto her current path today. She talks about deciding to embrace change, be independent at a young age and how it shaped her view of the world. She also lays down the most significant milestones in her career and how they honed her leadership skills. Finally, Leanne discusses how she balances handling a massive job and being a mum and wife.

If you want to know how you can embrace change and enable progress in your work and personal life, then this episode is for you! 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover why you should embrace change and overcome fear to grow.
  2. Find out the most efficient way to choose team members.
  3. Learn how you can build trust between your team and your clients.


Episode Highlights 

[03:10] First Taste of Independence

  • Leanne considers her first real taste of independence at 19 as her first proudest moment.
  • She and her friend booked a two-week holiday to Majorca and decided to live and work there shortly after.
  • Everyone should embrace change and experience taking themselves out of the environments they grew up in.
  • Leanne already knew that she didn’t want to go to university and would instead get a job and work.
  • Her pride comes from making the massive decision to put herself into a different situation at a young age.

[05:52] What She Learned from Being Independent at a Young Age

  • She met a lot of amazing people from different parts of the world.
  • She was able to learn a lot about human behaviour.
  • Learning how to manage money without her parents was a big thing.
  • Independence is learning how to live as an adult.
  • Taking that courageous step to embrace change led her onto the path she’s presently walking.

[07:20] How It Shaped Her Relationships

  • She met many people from all over the world with different personalities and characters.
  • While growing up, society conditioned us to show up in a certain way.
  • Leanne learned about people’s differences and diversity during that time.
  • The experience helped her understand and collaborate with other people on a work and personal level.

[08:56] Why Adults Don’t Embrace Change

  • We were bolder in trying out new things when we were younger. But fear develops as we grow older.
  • Allowing fear to take over stops you from progressing in many areas of life, especially at work.
  • Leanne is a big believer in always trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Recognise what your fears are, and try to show yourself out there. That’s what growth is.

[10:27] The Progression of Her Career at Mitie

  • Her second proudest moment is her career at Mitie. She has been working at Mitie for 12 years, starting as a temp and working her way up to a management role.
  • She took the opportunity to lead a project around mobilising a contract in the nuclear industry. 
  • Leanne took the role for two reasons: (1) she’s a people pleaser, and (2) it was a real opportunity.
  • They were awarded the contract and set up a team of 30 people. She takes pride in it because it was the first time she had been in complete control of an end-to-end project.
  • The contract is still ongoing nine years after. Leanne takes pride in having the ability to support people in their passion and careers.

[14:05] What to Look for When Handpicking Team Members

  • Not everyone is cut out for the roles available in the facilities world.
  • They held an open day in the local community and interviewed around 250 people.
  • The project required customer-focused security roles. The interview process focused on soft skills.
  • Some people may not look like someone fitting for the role at first glance. But asking them probing questions can make you realise they’re perfect for the team.
  • Balancing people’s strengths is key to creating a great team.

[16:10] Learnings from the Interview Process

  • Leanne learned what not to do in an interview situation.
  • She also met people with great potential who were in the wrong jobs and gave them an opportunity.
  • A good interviewer can uncover the mask the interviewee is wearing.

[18:44] Her Role as a Strategic Account Director

  • Her third proudest moment is her role as a Strategic Account Director.
  • Leanne works in the security business of Mitie. She provides security services to large customers across the UK.
  • Her proudest moment is working through the pandemic while still delivering excellent service.
  • They decided to collaborate at every level by setting up different degrees of communication. 
  • It means a lot to thank the people involved in a project for their contributions.

[21:55] Building a Great Customer and Team Relationship

  • They continue to provide amazing service to their customers.
  • Hearing good feedback fills Leanne with pride because it means she’s doing her job well.
  • She feels lucky and proud to work with amazing team members.

[23:16] Managing the Transition of On-Site to Work from Home Leadership 

  • Leanne got used to being a hands-on leader and getting out there. Their clients were not working on-site and didn’t want them to come there as well. 
  • She has an open-door policy and keeps her lines of communication open at all times.
  • People can sometimes be in their little bubble, making it hard to see what’s outside it.
  • Having open trust and visibility is critical in leadership. Leanne’s team put video communication in place early on for easy access to one another.
  • They also issue a quarterly newsletter that incorporates employee interviews and photographs.

[27:54] Creating Work and Life Balance

  • Leanne is a mum and a wife to a husband with an equally massive job. Organising is key to keeping work and life balanced.
  • Mum guilt is a real thing.
  • She sees it as having different areas of life that are equally important.
  • Knowing your priority at the time, having open communication, and not letting guilt consume you is key to creating balance.
  • Doing the inner work leads to getting outward results. Leanne has a few non-negotiables in terms of self-care.

[30:51] Leanne’s Secret to Success

  • Her secret to success is not having or not believing that you have all the answers.
  • You are letting your ego take over when you believe you have all the answers. It leaves no room for growth, learning, and making wrong decisions.
  • Always be humble and seek out more in terms of knowledge and learning.
  • One big secret of success is understanding the people around you at work.
  • Always take help when offered; showing vulnerability is something that resonates with people. 

5 Powerful Quotes

[04:07] “I would absolutely encourage everybody to take themselves out of their environments where they grew up, go to school, hang around with the people that are around them where they grow up, and go and meet new people, go off to a different place.”

[07:33] “I think when we grow up, we’re conditioned to believe that we need to behave in a certain way, act in a certain way, speak in a certain way to people, look a certain way to a degree as well.”

[09:51] “You have to recognise what your fears are and then really try and show yourself out there. That’s what growth is.”

[15:53] “It’s about balancing people’s strengths to create a great team.”

[30:16] “If you do that inner work — that’s the journaling, the personal development, the self-care — you will get the outer results.”

About Leanne

Leanne Culloden is the Strategic Account Director of Mitie, the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. She handles developing strategic visions and delivering operational excellence. Leanne develops client relationships and strengthens the company’s mission as a trusted service partner while serving as a coach and mentor to her team. 

You can know more about Leanne by visiting her LinkedIn profile.  

Enjoy this Podcast?

Change brings fears, but Leanne Culloden shows how it can lead us to growth. If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Mindset Mentor Meets, hit subscribe and share it with your friends! Everyone can find success by looking at their origins and building new connections.

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