Lessons from the Front Line: Lisa Leong on how to ‘disrupt yourself’

Lisa Leong, ABC, Radio and Podcast Presenter, TedX Speaker

Lisa Leong first stepped foot into the media industry volunteering in Hospital Radio. Wanting to go into radio, she sent her radio tape to countless radio stations but was faced with rejection. 

‘The risk of doing nothing was greater than the risk of doing something,’ said Leong. 

Six months later, on a cold winter morning in London, she walked up to Liberty Radio, the largest AM radio station in London where its producer was doing their breakfast show alone, and let her in. During breaks, they had conversations and learned more about each other. The next time she visited Liberty Radio, the producer put her on the radio, which led to her having her own segment. Now, she is a Radio and Podcast Presenter on ABC Radio. 

Leong speaks about how to navigate careers in uncertain times, where people often go to fear. As she said, ‘Broadcasting in fear and scarcity is no way to broadcast’. 

She shared three powerful practices to feel in flow and valued in the work that you do while being able to feel 20% more beautiful doing it.

First would be micro acts of bravery. “When we make a mistake, we often punish ourselves by minimizing and hiding ourselves. We’re afraid of mistakes, as most of us are conditioned to think growing up, even though there are no consequences for making mistakes. Instead, we should start maximizing ourselves when we make mistakes, celebrate the mistakes and be brave in trying, be kinder to ourselves, only then we can learn and grow. As a leader, it is not about how you respond to others’ mistakes, but how you respond to your own. People watch how you behave and take that point.”

Second would having an open mind. “A way of looking at being open-minded is an antidote to something pervasive. ‘The intellectual Piranha’ is a concept where we gobble up others’ ideas until there’s nothing left. The solution to this, instead of dismissing others’ points of view, is to affirm and build on their ideas. Having a thousand ideas at the start is better than deleting ideas until there’s only one or two left. This antidote is one that saves money, and time as well as builds a positive environment. So, turn those ‘Yes, but…’s into ‘Yes, and…’s.”

And finally, having a open heart. In the past, Leong has encountered someone with opposing points of view. Despite this, she walked up to him, gave each other an opening, and had conversations. Over time, they had an understanding of each other, and he became the largest supporter of her breakfast show. With empathy, we connect with others. 

It is not only about empathy for others but also about self-compassion. Being mindful of ourselves and our well-being converts into compassion for others.

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