Why So Cranky? Proteus Leadership I Leadership I Programs
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Why So Cranky?


Hi everyone,

During the worst part of the pandemic in lockdown Melbourne, we were all so VERY CRANKY!!

In fact, well beyond Melbourne there was a lot of outrage in the world throughout that period. People were posting, venting, and publicly ranting about their anger and annoyances, broadcasting it to the world, like it was a normal and healthy thing to do!

It seemed that some individuals actively sought reasons to be offended, contributing to a world that was spiralling into divisiveness, self-indulgence, tribalism, binary thinking, autocracy, and unforgiving selfishness. Yikes!

Reflecting on this, I now wonder did this pandemic-induced crankiness become so deeply ingrained that we neglected to reset our mindsets toward kindness, resilience, forgiveness and optimism about the world?

During those prolonged lockdowns, I remember continually reminding myself not to succumb to the rabbit hole of cynicism. I needed to proactively work on maintaining a worldview that the vast majority of people are inherently kind and good.

Amidst the chaos of that period, we also unearthed something beautiful – the realisation that family, friends and strong relationships are the essence of a meaningful life. We gained a profound understanding of what constitutes meaningful work, and that is to serve.

Do you recall the overt celebration of vital roles in the community, such as nurses, teachers, supermarket shelf stackers, delivery drivers, etc. Kindness, forgiveness and empathy emerged as the glue holding the community together. Quite remarkable!

However, still too often I found myself succumbing to being triggered and becoming cranky.

When a colleague asked me one day, “R U OK?” I vividly recall my candid response. “No, I’m not okay. I have my Cranky Pants on. So, you may need to steer well clear of me today!” Then they quipped back, “Well how long are you going to wear them for? Maybe you should just take your Cranky Pants off.”

We then both laughed at the mental image of me working at home that day in my undies (no one would know anyway being on Zoom), and the absurdity of staying cranky all day struck me.

It was then that I had an epiphany – I was actively choosing to remain irritable and bad-tempered. Metaphorically, I had decided to keep wearing my Cranky Pants, but I also realised in that moment that I have a choice.

Imagine if the world collectively had this epiphany too, deciding it was time to collectively take our ‘Cranky Pants’ off and consign them to the dustbin of history, where they rightfully belong.

Here we are in March 2024, navigating a post-pandemic era that still feels very wonky. With ongoing challenges such as the war in Ukraine, the Middle East crisis, rising living costs, identity politics… the list goes on. So, it's still tempting to justify keeping our Cranky Pants on permanently.

However, what if we consciously chose to abandon the notion of wearing Cranky Pants altogether? What if, at the very least, we allowed ourselves only a limited time in our 'Cranky Pants' and then promptly took them off?

When you stop and think about it, it is incredibly self-indulgent to stay permanently cranky! Please don’t become ‘that person’ where everyone knows you are easily triggered and offended at the world, forcing others to tiptoe around your very irritable Cranky Pants vibe.

Let's break free of the habits of being easily offended, constantly outraged and irritable. Throw those Cranky Pants away and refresh your wardrobe with a new array of Positive Pants to put on each day, while we transform our world for the good.

By embracing this shift, we have the power to create a much kinder, more improved and an altogether different environment to live and work in.

Have a wonderful week,




Richard Dore
CEO - Director of Partnerships

Proteus Leadership


International Women’s Day 2024

This week, we honour and give tribute to the women in our business and our lives as we celebrate International Women’s Day this coming Friday 8th March.

Proteus proudly celebrates the amazing women who work right across all disciplines within our organisation from education, client service, marketing and sales. Their input and leadership have allowed us to go from strength to strength, so that we may continue to work towards making our organisation a better and more equal environment.

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Korrine Jones, Regional Leader QLD ran the Emerging Leaders multi-session program at Urban Utilities. The group of up-and-coming leaders loved the behavioural styles session. This practical and dynamic program is designed to ensure emerging leaders have a greater chance of success and feel an enormous sense of achievement as they grow into their roles.

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Des Penny’s son, Mick Penny participated in the Great Skate, skating 100km in one day and raising over $20,000 for Mettle Women and the fight against domestic violence.

About 150 people welcomed him in after finishing his 100km skate, supported by The Lions Club and the Fire Brigade. Members of the Proteus team were also in attendance on the day to support Mick and this truly amazing cause.


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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?

Let’s GO – Let’s GROW Podcast


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Feature Program
Having Conversations That Matter
Virtual Workshop

Next program: 20 March


Transforming Relationships Within The Workplace

Some of the toughest roles for modern day leaders is dealing with the ‘difficult people’ situations at work and navigating challenging conversations with their peers and bosses.

The good news is that Having Conversations That Matter will create better leaders, build workplace resilience, transform relationships and create clear economic consequences for the organisation.

Topics Include:

  • Having Conversations That Matter Early
  • Why We Need To Be Proactive With Conflict
  • Planning And Delivering Tough Conversations With Results
  • Using The Proteus 5-Step Roadmap To Navigate Challenging Conversations
  • Preparing For Your Conversations Across And Up With Diplomacy
  • Communicating the Good News
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