Eat Our Young Proteus Leadership I Leadership I Programs
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Des Bit

Eat Our Young

It was the 1990’s.

After volunteering to facilitate some internal workshops and receiving requests to run similar sessions elsewhere, I discovered to my delight, that ‘adult education’ was becoming a thing.

Excitedly, I thought to myself, "I believe I've found my happy place" - a profession that I could wholeheartedly embrace, with the hope of becoming a great educator one day.

So, I took the initiative to reinvent myself as a HR professional in Learning & Development (L&D).

After six years of dedicating weekends and evenings to University, engaging in part-time contract teaching at TAFE, building 'stage presence’, all the while working full-time... I secured a position with a large healthcare provider overseeing their L&D. Woohoo!

Now I was “Happy Scared”.

Happy to escape from my previous job, which was rife with dysfunction, I was thrilled to secure my first full-time professional 'grown-up' role in the L&D space.

Scared because I was grappling with having no experience in healthcare that subsequently triggered many 'Imposter Syndrome Moments’.

A few weeks into my new role, I attended my first monthly meeting with all the Directors of Nursing and various team leaders.

The tension in the room was palpable. The meeting quickly deteriorated into a toxic sideshow, with people making cynical and snide comments. In some cases, the more established senior managers were overtly shaming the younger leaders!

Turning to my new colleague I whispered, "What is going on?" She replied, "This is what we do around here." While still confused, she continued, "Oh Richard, we are in health. We Eat Our Young."

Twelve months later, we persuaded the Executive to run some workshops from a company that many health people were raving about - Proteus Leadership. The founder Des Penny, agreed to deliver some sessions aimed at helping us transform our culture and improve our leadership behaviours.

I vividly remember the day when Des walked into our training room (The Viper’s Den) and went about knocking his presentation out of the park. He had us captivated, whilst maintaining his composure in a very tense environment, sharing insights into what great workplaces could be, and should be.

Throughout the session he fearlessly called out any cynical comments, even when they came from our most cynical senior leaders. Amazing!

Des challenged us by stating, "People only do what they do because we let them", emphasising the importance of not condoning or 'walking past' bad behaviour.

Now it’s the 2020’s.

Thank goodness for the positive changes over the past thirty years.

Smart and insightful people now swiftly call this stuff out or opt to leave and seek out more functional workplaces with better leaders.

We've reached a point where we no longer tolerate the ritualised bullying of our emerging talent. The days of feeling threatened, scared and "eating our young" are behind us. Well, I truly hope they are.

People now realise that there is a better way. We nurture and develop our less experienced people and emerging leaders because they represent our future… and because it’s the right thing to do.

Serving Our Young

As I often say, our primary role is to serve. To serve our people, our clients and the greater cause. The focus is not on ‘eating our young’ to preserve our positional power but by Serving Our Young to create great future leaders.

This can only happen when we take care of each other. We need to build up our less experienced colleagues, especially those embarking on their careers, whilst fostering a collegial and collaborative environment. This will then cultivate outstanding leadership and build workplaces that are truly committed to providing exceptional service.

After all, that's what we are paid to do.

Have a wonderful week, be kind and please… no eating your young at work!




Richard Dore
CEO - Director Of Partnerships

Proteus Leadership


Des Presents At His Final Leadership Breakfast Series In Perth & Brisbane



Over 240 leaders attended Des Penny’s last Leadership Breakfast Series, "Leading & Living with Insight," in Perth and Brisbane. Congratulations, Des, on an amazing keynote series.


2024 Professional Development Schedule Available - Register Into 2024 Programs Now!


I am thrilled to inform you that our Virtual Program and Workshop schedule for 2024 is now available. You can check it out on our website or download a PDF with links to all of our programs. We have some exciting changes on our schedule and have refreshed all our programs for 2024, so check it out.


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Welcome Matthew Church

We are so excited to have Matthew Church join our Education team as Educator/Coach/Account Manager, based in our Melbourne office. Matthew comes with a wealth of experience and commences on 27th November 2023. We look forward to Matthew adding his skills to the Proteus team.



What Our Facilitators Have Been Doing

Jen Bierge kicked off our 2023/24 Leadership Partnership with Southern Cross Care WA. 20+ delegates for workshop #1 of 9. What a privilege!



Lisa Cutler virtually delivered an amazing public, Coaching With Confidence Workshop with a fantastic and interactive group of leaders.
Click on the button below to register on this practical workshop in 2024.

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Korrine Jones, QLD Regional Leader, had the privilege of conducting our 'Emerging Leaders' Face-to-face program in Brisbane. What a fantastic group!

Click on the button below to check the last available programs for 2023. Time is running out!

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November Frenzy! Thank you to all the organisations and individuals that took advantage of our November Frenzy and locked in their Professional Development for 2024.


Have You Listened To The Let's Go - Let's Grow Podcast With Des Penny Yet?

If you're looking for a podcast that will help you become a better leader and grow your business, we highly recommend Let's Go - Let's Grow with Des Penny. Whether you're a seasoned leader or just starting out in your career, you're sure to find valuable insights and inspiration in these conversations. So, why not give them a listen today and subscribe by clicking on the link below?

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Creating A Positive Culture
Virtual Workshop


Last Program 2023!
29 November. Don't miss out!


Creating Positive Cultures is about giving people the skills and permission to destroy dysfunction, kill off negative influences and the space for all your positive people to shine and thrive.

Culture is all about your behaviours, it is what to do. So great leaders and workplaces don’t allow their culture to happen by default, they design it together by agreeing to operate above the line in a positive, professional and proactive way.

This allows for a psychological safe space to innovate, stay relevant, to fight clean to develop resilience, gratitude and a growth mindset, while giving staff permission to call people out on any toxic behaviours.

This results in a self-regulating culture where people celebrate achievements while creating great relationships, products and services.

  • Creating, leading and modelling great cultures
  • Staying positive and understanding the importance of recognition
  • Moving from entitlement to responsibility
  • Dealing with miserable people and ‘fighting clean’
  • Leading a robust, no-whinge and solution-focused culture
  • Helping your positive people to shine


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