Any Regrets? Proteus Leadership I Leadership I Programs
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Des Bit

Any Regrets?

Growing up on a dairy farm in Nar Nar Goon, Gippsland Victoria, the expectation was to either pursue a trade, or continue the farming life. However, this path wasn’t for me. At seventeen, I fled to the big smoke (well to Carlton in a shared house with seven other people) to start my new life.

A few years later, a friend and I found ourselves working in Park City Utah, a ski resort in the USA. We were having an amazing working adventure whilst continuing to scheme how we could hustle getting our next job, perhaps in New York after the ski season ended. Exhilarating times!

The excitement however soon took an abrupt turn. An 'aerogram' from my older sister arrived with the blunt message, "Phone home now and get your arse back to the farm – mum is dying of cancer."

You see, during that time I didn't have a landline in the USA. There were no mobile phones, no internet, and long-distance calls were expensive. Being young, carefree and without commitments, I wasn't inclined to call or write home much. Consequently, I had no idea of the distress that I was causing by being inaccessible.

One week later, I was ensconced back home on the farm, spending the rest of the year alongside my family, and taking care of mum.

It felt selfish and indulgent to ask, but knowing that mum wasn’t going to make it past her fifty third birthday I wanted to know, did she have any life regrets?

Growing up in what felt like a parochial, religious farming community was, for me, suffocating. With my newfound 'worldly' perspective, I also believed that Mum was constrained by her working-class background, with limited options, ultimately becoming a victim of the societal norms prevailing during her time. It's ironic how my naive twenty-two-year-old brain was so quick to label my mother's life as 'restricted and suppressed'!

So, taking a deep breath I asked mum about any regrets that she might have had. To my surprise, without hesitating, she answered, "Yes, I wish I could have had 12 kids. Having 9 is great, but I always wanted 12!"

When I responded with, “That was it, no other regrets! Come on mum, you can’t be serious, there must be others”. “Yes, I am serious. That’s my only regret.” Her response was unequivocal. “It’s a bugger that I'm dying, but I’m living the life that I always wanted, on a farm surrounded by a bunch of kids”.

This struck me like a lightning bolt. Mum was living and always had been living a rich and liberated life, with absolute clarity on what truly mattered to her. It was only when I asked that crucial question about regrets, that I recognised her unwavering commitment to her dreams.

Mum was a stoic woman of her times. She just didn’t indulge in sharing one’s goals, dreams, and visions! However, only then did I discover her lifelong dream… to live in a rural community, run a farm (a small business) with my father, be surrounded by a large family (12 kids to be exact), and actively engage in a church where she could give back to others. And give back she did!

Every year, as International Women's Day approaches in March, my thoughts gravitate towards reflecting on my mother's life. I’m reminded of her internal and resolute clarity on what was important in life—her own aspirations, not mine or others, nor of any passing fad—and the courage to go ahead and simply live that life.

Mum, your legacy continues to challenge me to serve and make a difference! You inspire me to live my life with clarity, purpose and without (or limited) regrets. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Wishing you a wonderful regret-free week.




Richard Dore
CEO - Director of Partnerships

Proteus Leadership


Welcome Nathan Archer, Regional Leader WA / Lead Educator / Coach

Nathan Archer commenced with Proteus Leadership on Monday 11th March as the Regional Leader WA / Lead Educator / Coach.
Nathan brings with him over 15 years’ experience in the leadership, training, and coaching space. We are thrilled to have him join the Proteus family.
If you would like to speak to Nathan about a partnership or discuss your training needs, contact our office on 1300 219 903.


The latest episode of Des Penny’s Podcast, Let’s Go – Let’s Grow was released on Friday 15th March. This episode focused on the topic Fostering A Spirit of Discovery. In this episode, Des explores the essence of fostering a spirit of discovery and seizing opportunities in our lives. Being a discoverer isn't just about grand adventures, but about recognising and embracing opportunities wherever we are.

Des reflects on missed opportunities in his life, using them as fuel for growth and bravery moving forward. He emphasises the importance of being ready when opportunity knocks, and encourages listeners to become creators of their own opportunities.

Click on the button below to listen or download on your preferred platform.

Listen Podcast


Busy Week Of Training in NSW

Sarah Savvas, Regional Leader NSW / ACT had a busy week of training running in-house programs for several clients. Sarah ran the final session of the Leading People & Culture program with All Lift, an embedding session for the Emerging Leaders program with Tribe Breweries and then finished off the week with a two-day Emerging Leaders program for Australian Clinical Labs. What a great week of professional development!

If you would like to experience this great professional development for your team, all our programs and workshops can be conducted as in-houses. If you would like to discuss running a program in-house, please contact us on 1300 219 903.


Simon Fallon At Emerging Leaders QLD

Simon Fallon, Lead Educator / Account Manager with participants from the Emerging Leaders Public face-to-face program in QLD this past week. Our public face-to-face programs give participants the opportunity to network and learn from others who come from different backgrounds and industries.


  • Perth - 30th May
  • Adelaide - 19th June
  • Melbourne - 20th June
  • Brisbane - 26th June

Places are filling fast for the Proteus breakfast series with Richard Dore on Embracing The Imposter Syndrome.

Book your places and / or corporate tables as soon as possible.

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Check out the public schedule button below for all our virtual and face-to-face programs that are currently scheduled. We continue to update this schedule based on client feedback and demand.

Professional Development Schedule


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Feature Program
Presenting With Confidence
Virtual Workshop

Next program: 11 April


Getting Yourself And Your Ideas Heard

One of the most important skills that a leader can possess is the ability to communicate effectively. We are often called on to present information or strategy, or maybe to conduct a meeting; not having the appropriate skills can stop us getting an important message across, and may even impact on our career.

Topics Include:

  • Building Rapport With Your Audience
  • Having A Clear Objective
  • The 5-Step SOSOR Roadmap
  • The 4 P’s of Presenting
  • Linking It All Together With Segues
  • The ‘Load, Aim, Fire’ Concept
  • Body Language And Making A Positive Impression
  • Avoiding Death By PowerPoint
  • The Art of Story Telling
  • Dealing With Difficult Or Hostile Participants

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