GirlBossGuide: Lessons for Ladies who Lead

Respond, don’t React

An episode of GirlBossGuide: Lessons for Ladies who Lead

By Deborah Hartung
Leadership & Personal Development for women leaders and entrepreneurs.
Available on 11 platforms
Finding purpose in a cause
In a world of suffering, violence, poverty and efforts to erode human rights, Deborah invites you to be aware of what is happening in your community and to find a cause that sets your soul on fire. Anything - Animal rights or children or education or women’s or LGBTQ rights or the environment. Find something and DO something. Donate your time or your expertise. Support a cause that is bigger than you and your job and your friends. Positively impact and change the world and leave a lasting legacy.
April 12, 2019
Niko-Niko Mood Tracking
Deborah shares some insights into how you can use mood tracking in your personal life and at work to create awareness and really improve relationships and overall wellbeing. Combining mood tracking with free apps or journaling, as well as a personal coaching companion, helps you make sense of your moods and track days that were super challenging or really awesome. Deborah has designed the mood tracking companion questions along the GROW coaching methodology, so it’s super easy for you to implement at work and at home. Free download at or keep an eye out for the articles dropping later this week.
April 8, 2019
Tradition may be holding you back
In the corporate world, there are few phrases worse for innovation and growth than “we’ve always done things this way”. We have many traditions in our families, our communities and our workplaces that may well be outdated and not serving us or bringing us any joy. Deborah invites you to look at some of the traditions you uphold and do a quick audit. Are these aligned with your values and your purpose? Do these traditions bring you joy? Do they make sense? Or are they holding you back or causing you anxiety?
April 4, 2019
You are Enough
Deborah encourages you to realize that you are Enough, right now. You don’t need a better job or car or house. You don’t need to lose a few pounds, first. Your worth as a human being doesn’t depend on what you do for a living or what possessions you have or your physical appearance. You are Enough right now and you deserve to love yourself. Right now. Just as you are.
April 2, 2019
Dealing with conflict
Conflict is inevitable. Combat is optional. In this episode, Deborah discusses the importance of embracing disagreements and conflict as a learning opportunity and truly knowing your motives and being aware of your ego. Engage with empathy and use active listening to build relationships. Don’t let your ego take over and escalate verbal disagreements into full-blown combat that breaks down people and ruins relationships.
April 1, 2019
Quit the Judgment
Ever noticed how judgmental we are of others? What they’re wearing, their body type, their physical appearance in general? When we judge everyone else, we also tend to judge ourselves more harshly and we are dealing with a global pandemic of low self-esteem. Deborah invites you to quit the judgment on others. Be kinder to everyone you see and be kinder to yourself. It’s how we change the world.
March 25, 2019
The Company we Keep
There are really only 2 kinds of people in this world - those who energize and inspire us and those who drain and deplete us. Deborah invites you to be mindful of how you feel around certain people and to start becoming more selfish with your time and protecting your energy better, by spending as little time as possible with energy vampires.
March 19, 2019
Healing a Broken Heart
If you’re dealing with some kind of heartbreak, be kind to yourself and allow your heart time to heal. Deborah shares 3 tips for recovering from heartbreak and making sure that you don’t compromise on who you are, simply because you’re hurting right now.
March 15, 2019
Have to vs. Get To
Deborah shares the transformative power of flipping the script on yourself and replacing every “I have to..” statement with a more positive grateful statement, starting with “I get to..”. Change your thinking and you change your life. Focus on positivity and gratitude and you will find you have more and more positive things to be grateful for.
March 13, 2019
Be a Change Maker
If you want to change your life, start by changing your mind - the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back. If you want to change the world, start with yourself. Be clear on your purpose and your goals and focus on those, ignoring the irrational fears and self-limiting beliefs. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other people’s drama or problems. This is your journey, so just do YOU.
March 12, 2019
Know your Motives
How often do you question your own motives or gain clarity on your intentions before you speak up or take action in your life? Deborah shares a personal account about a friend who had to ask this very tough question of himself recently and had to confront whether or not he was perhaps being manipulative. They key to changing the world is always in changing our own behavior and it starts with self-awareness. Know yourself and know your motives.
March 8, 2019
The Power of Active Listening
Listen to ‘understand’ instead of just listening to ‘respond’. Active Listening is a powerful tool that will help you improve relationships and make people feel genuinely seen and heard. By focusing your attention on the speaker and being respectful and empathetic, you will be amazed at how your relationships change for the better.
March 7, 2019
Top 5 Traits of Toxic People
Actions always speak louder than words and it is possible to identify toxic people and avoid them, if you look out for the top 5 traits that Deborah has found to be common in all toxic people she has encountered. Keep an eye out for the article for Thrive Global on this topic, later this week.
February 28, 2019
Actions Speak
When meeting new people or assessing current relationships, Deborah reminds us that people can say all kinds of things, but the real test is found in how those people act and behave. Don’t just listen to words. Watch actions and behaviours - those will tell you exactly who someone is.
February 27, 2019
Overcoming Digital Isolation
In Part 2 of the Lessons on Digital Isolation and resultant loneliness, Deborah shares 4 practical tips to get you out of your digital cocoon and back to making some real human connections again. You will feel SO much better, both physically and emotionally. You can also read the article 👉👉👉
February 26, 2019
Digital Isolation
Are you perhaps allowing technology and your digital life to become a replacement for IRL connections? Deborah talks about how technology could be contributing to feelings of loneliness and isolation and could be depriving us of human connection. Do a quick stock take of who is important in your life that you haven’t seen in a long time. Is technology creating a false sense of intimacy and connection?
February 25, 2019
Evolve or Repeat
Have you ever noticed a pattern repeating itself in your life? Perhaps in your relationships or your career? Deborah invites you to take stock of these experiences and ask ‘what is this trying to teach me?’. Listen to the expression of your soul in that moment. That inner voice, your heart, knows what to do and what is necessary for you to evolve and grow. If you listen to your fears and your ego, you’re just going to be stuck - Repeating the same experiences until you learn the lesson and move on.
February 19, 2019
Schedule your Priorities
Your daily and weekly schedule should reflect the priorities and things that are truly important to you. Deborah invites you to examine your schedule and see how much time you have scheduled for family or fun or fitness and to then make adjustments accordingly. In saying ‘no’ to activities that drain our energy, we are able to create more time to say YES to the things that add joy and balance to our lives.
February 18, 2019
Real vs True
Deborah invites you to learn to distinguish between real feelings in a specific moment and question whether the accompanying thoughts and beliefs, are really true. Chances are, the feelings are real but the thoughts are not. You can learn to flip the script and change the thoughts so that the feeling isn’t entirely overwhelming.
February 12, 2019
Be more selfish with your time
Deborah invites you to take a look at all the things on your ‘to do’ list and to examine how many of those are actually YOUR responsibility and how many are other people’s problems and responsibilities that have now become yours to solve. It’s ok to be more selfish with your time and to say NO to the people and activities that drain your energy. It’s the only way to have more balance in your life and to make sure you’re putting yourself, first. You cannot pour from an empty cup..
February 11, 2019
The 90/90/1 Principle
If you have identified goals you want to focus on this year, Deborah invites you to use GROW coaching to become un-stuck and to use Robin Sharma’s 90/90/1 Principle for exceptional growth. GROW coaching was discussed in Ep 21 and worksheets are available for download on You can also read Deborah’s article for Thrive Global on creating more balance by design.
February 6, 2019
The ‘wheel of life’ Exercise
In order to create more balance in our lives, or embark on a personal journey to create the life we dream of, completing a ‘wheel of life’ assessment is a very useful tool. It allows us to see a visual representation of areas of our lives that need improving. A powerful tool to gain insights and to start a transformation journey with.
February 5, 2019
Don’t take anything Personally
How others behave and act towards us, is never about us and always about them. Yet we are so arrogant and self absorbed that we are quick to make things personal and to become defensive or hostile. Deborah invites you to practice the Second Agreement (from The 4 Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz) and to approach all people with more empathy and understanding, removing yourself and your issues from the equation, in order to build better interpersonal relationships.
February 4, 2019
Is your Job Slowly Killing You?
Stress and burnout don’t happen overnight and the signs are there if we just look for them. Headaches, digestive problems, changes to eating or sleeping habits or lack of interest in sex - all signs that you’re headed for burnout and need to make a change. Deborah encourages you to listen to your body, trust your intuition and find something that feeds your soul and doesn’t just line your pockets. No amount of money is worth your physical health or your overall wellbeing.
January 29, 2019
Lead by Example
As leaders, we have to model the behaviour we want to see in our teams and we have to constantly ensure that our behaviours reflect the values we are trying to promote within the workplace and at home. People will do as we do and not as we say. Deborah invites you to get clear on your values and then break those down into behaviours that support the values vs behaviours that detract and break down. Then start displaying and encouraging the right behaviours and watch engagement soar and culture improve.
January 28, 2019
The 10 Year Challenge
Deborah encourages you to do a retrospective on the last 10 years of your life and, instead of focusing on the superficial changes to your face and body, focus instead on what you have learned and how you have grown because of your life experiences and all you have overcome. Then celebrate yourself and your amazing resilience because you are a magical badass!
January 25, 2019
The impact we make
How often do you think about the fingerprints you leave behind on the souls of everyone you come into contact with? How often do you thank friends and colleagues for their presence in your life or for the impact they have made? Deborah encourages you to be mindful of your impact and to tell others how much you appreciate them, in a warm and authentic way.
January 24, 2019
I AM - how we define ourselves
Have you ever noticed the power of the phrase “I am”? How do you define yourself? What characteristics are you focusing on? Are these negatively impacting your self esteem and the way other people treat you? Deborah encourages you to look at how you define yourself and make sure you’re focusing on the right descriptors.
January 23, 2019
It’s OK to ask for help
After falling ill and being out of commission for a week, Deborah is back, sharing her learnings and the importance of listening to your body and asking for help or just saying ‘no’ so that you don’t run yourself down into full burnout territory. It’s ok to be human!
January 17, 2019
Love Yourself
Do you truly behave in a way that shows that you love yourself? Are you taking care of your health and your diet and your negative self talk and treating yourself as well as you would treat someone you love? If not, now is the time to change that.
January 8, 2019
Fear is an opportunity for Growth
Welcome to 2019! Deborah is super excited for a year of new challenges and opportunities for growth and invites you to take the first small step outside your comfort zone and to do something you are afraid of. Smash one fear, then the next and the next until you have the confidence and courage to take on your biggest goals. Smash those fears and be invincible this year!
January 6, 2019
A calendar date won’t change your life
In the last episode for 2018, Deborah takes her own advice to take time out to relax, recharge and re-group in order to be ready for a brand new year full of challenges. She also encourages listeners to remember that it’s not a date on a calendar that will bring change. It’s setting goals, changing mindset and taking action towards achieving those goals, that will set you up for an amazing 2019. Happy Holidays, Boss Ladies! Catch up with you from January 2nd again.
December 18, 2018
Make Better Decisions
Deborah shares 5 simple tips to empower and enable you to make better decisions on life and love. You can read the article for Women on Topp, here:
December 13, 2018
It is what it is
Deborah briefly explores our tendency to focus our energy on things we cannot control or change, instead of simply accepting these things for what they are. We should focus, instead, on our own attitudes and beliefs and how we respond to the things we cannot control. If you haven’t done it yet, download your free mini transformation workbook at You can follow all of Deborah’s work online and on social media. Visit
December 12, 2018
Kindness, empathy & Compassion
Kindness is not a weakness, especially not from a leadership perspective and especially not in our increasingly more disconnected world. Deborah invites you to lead by example and show more kindness, empathy and compassion - especially at work. Give public recognition for hard work and achievements and seek out opportunities to serve your community. It’s how we make the world a kinder, more human place.
December 11, 2018
Retrospective 1
Every 20 episodes or so, Deborah invites you to do a retrospective of what you have learned and to celebrate the changes you are making and the progress you have shown. During the past 20 episodes, we have covered some pretty BIG things and if you’ve downloaded your workbook from, you will have learned your personality type, identified your personal values and learned how to use the GROW coaching methodology to coach yourself and your colleagues. You’re doing great! Keep it up!
December 10, 2018
Share your Story
Nobody is sharing their failures and challenges on social media and this creates a false sense of ‘perfection’. Sharing your story with authentic vulnerability both inspires and empowers others and it helps you celebrate all you have overcome. Own your story and share it with others. Be proud of all you have overcome. You are amazing!
December 6, 2018
Personal Integrity
Integrity is one of the most important qualities that we as leaders can possess. In this episode, Deborah speaks about the importance of knowing your values and then actively living those - even if it makes you unpopular. Doing the right thing, being honest and trustworthy and being impeccable with your word, isn’t always easy, neither is taking the high road, especially not in our world of instant gratification. But it’s good for your soul and it’s great for your personal brand and your reputation as a a leader. Choose courage over comfort! Choose ‘right’ over ‘easy’.
December 5, 2018
GROW Coaching
Deborah explains how you can use the GROW coaching method to coach peers, friends and colleagues. You can even use the methodology to ‘coach’ yourself. Head on over to and download the free mini transformation workbook on the GirlBossGuide Podcast page.
December 4, 2018
Trust your Intuition
Learn to trust your sixth sense and align with your higher purpose, by trusting your intuition - that gut feeling that you get that something or someone is right for you or you should stay away from. To live a life aligned with your higher purpose, you need to connect with that inner voice that is your intuition. It’s never wrong!
December 3, 2018
Root Cause Analysis
If we want a different outcome in life, we need to start making different choices. In this episode, Deborah explains the importance of a ‘root cause analysis’ and asking ‘why’ when trying to understand how we landed up in a certain situation. Once we understand this better, we can examine the choices we made in getting to this point and we can then start working to make different choices that will get us a different result.
November 30, 2018
Survive the Holidays like a Pro
Women have a lot of pressure on them, especially during the holidays. The parties, the entertaining, the travel, the gifts and the dealing with people you can’t stand. Deborah shares her 4 top tips that she lives by, to get through the holidays like a Pro.
November 28, 2018
How we Measure Success
Deborah invites you to take stock of how we measure our success and asks whether we are truly living in integrity with our most authentic self and our values that we hold most dear. You can participate in the mini transformation exercise by downloading the free workbook on and completing the exercise relating to finding your own values.
November 27, 2018
It’s still a Man’s World - unless Women change it
Deborah explores the top 4 beliefs and behaviours that we have to challenge and change because these are holding us back. You can also read the article Deborah wrote for Women on Topp: 👇
November 26, 2018
Commit to Lifelong Learning
Leaders are called upon to create more leaders. “Who dares to teach, must never cease to learn.” Deborah encourages you to focus on self awareness and to learn new skills and to share your learning with others. From 11/25 you can visit and access FREE self development resources and tips.
November 23, 2018
What’s your Type?
Self-awareness is a critical skill for anyone in leadership. Do you know your personality type? Are you able to recognize the types in others and adjust your communication and expectations, accordingly? Deborah shares a free resource you can use to learn your MBTI personality classification and how it explains your behaviour.
November 22, 2018
What brings you JOY?
You’re so many different versions of ‘you’ for so many different people. When do you feel happiest and most like your true, authentic self? What brings you joy and makes your heart sing? Do more of that!
November 21, 2018
The Sounds of LIFE
Are you so engrossed in your work or your social media feed, that you’re drowning out the sights and sounds of life? Deborah caught herself being agitated by the sounds of life and quickly realized that she needs to change that mindset and appreciate the sounds of life and be more present in each moment.
November 20, 2018
Quit being Afraid
Fear stops us from chasing our dreams and living our best lives. Deborah shares her thoughts on fear of failure, fear of what others may think and fear of success. Quit being afraid. Own your sparkle!
November 16, 2018
Patience and Grace
We are all so busy chasing our goals that we sometimes become impatient when things don’t work out exactly as we wanted them to. Have patience and trust that there is a bigger plan. You might not get what you want in life, but you will always get what you need!
November 15, 2018
Progress over Perfection
Sometimes you’re physically ill or emotionally drained and feel like you can’t go on. Just do your best under the circumstances and focus on ‘progress’ over ‘perfection’. Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself and just do your best!
November 14, 2018
Level Up!
Each phase in your life, will require a different version of you. Never stop learning or doing the work to become the woman you need to be in order to thrive during the next stage in your journey. Not everyone will understand your journey or support you - level up, anyway!
November 12, 2018
Respond, don’t React
Learn to practice the pause and respond to challenges in a mindful, methodical way instead of having knee-jerk reactions and making rash decisions
November 12, 2018
Kindness & Boundaries: you can be a kind bad-ass!
As a woman in leadership, your natural kindness and empathy is actually a superpower. It’s ok to lead with more ‘heart’ and to acknowledge your emotions and the feelings and needs that others have. But you need to establish healthy boundaries to ensure that people don’t take advantage of your kindness or mistake it for weakness. Deborah shares the top 3 lessons she has learned about being a kind bad-ass and setting healthy boundaries in her personal and professional life.
November 9, 2018
Negative Self-Talk damages your soul
You will never speak to anyone as often as you speak to yourself. Learn how to speak to yourself more kindly and in a loving and respectful way that will increase your self-esteem. Stop being your own worst critic and being an enemy that breaks ‘you’ down and forces you to play small!
November 8, 2018
Find the Balance
What if we recharged ourselves as often as we recharge our phones? Yu are not a smartphone with ‘low power mode’. You have a finite amount of time in this life and you have to find balance between work and life. It’s ok to take some time out to rest and recharge!
November 8, 2018
Social Media: Watch out for the Dark Side
As much as we love social media and technology and the fact that it makes the world seem so much smaller and allows us to connect with new friends from around the world, social media can also be bad for us. Deborah shares 3 things to look out for.
November 5, 2018
ME Time
As a woman in leadership, you spend a lot of time and energy helping others and dealing with other people’s problems. It’s mentally, emotionally and physically draining. Take some ME Time - even if it’s for 30 minutes a day - to connect with your true authentic self and to revitalize your soul. Deborah shares what her ME Time looks like and encourages you to figure out yours.
November 5, 2018
Welcome & Intro
Welcome to the GirlBoss Guide Podcast, specifically for Ladies who Lead. Hosted by Deborah Hartung. Deborah is a Leadership & Culture Consultant, Coach, Writer and Keynote Speaker who works with women from around the world, encouraging and enabling them to be authentic leaders, aligned with their purpose. She writes for Lionesses of Africa, Future Females and Women on Topp and she shares her knowledge and her learnings in her articles and now, on this podcast.
November 5, 2018
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