Still Learning – Tales from a life in leadership

Des Penny is founder and Chief Executive of the national Leadership Development Company, Proteus Leadership. He is also editor and publisher of the Proteuslife magazine and an avid blogger through his blog – Optimistic Disturber.

He has spent most of his working life in senior leadership positions and has created a very simple mantra for what he does – creating great leaders.

Des is considered by many to be one of the most inspirational and innovative leaders in Australia and in 2013 was awarded the My Business Magazine, Australian Small Business Leader of the year. He has also won an Entrepreneur of the year award and his company Proteus Leadership has won many awards for professional services and leadership.

He has worked with literally thousands of Australian leaders helping them to create both positive personal cultures and positive workplace cultures.

His passion for life and indeed his journey thus far will inspire you to want to be better and to aim for Exceptional.

Enjoy Still Learning, and take on board the things that both challenge you and make you better.

Look around you and focus on the good in your life. Make sure your glass is at least half full. Take responsibility for your 50% of every situation and look after the things that are in your control. Then make decisions that you know are right for you and stop procrastinating.

Des Penny

Life Eyes – The Gateway to who you really could be

Life Eyes - Des Penny

In his book ‘Life Eyes: The Gateway to Who You Really Could Be’, Des Penny shares a practical and powerful way to see and work with the people around us, and our experience of everyday challenges. The practice of living with ‘Life Eyes’ involves seeing beyond the obvious to discover what is really happening.

As the Optimistic Disturber and an award winning Australian leader, Des Penny shares his thoughts on leading and living with insight. Through developing a greater level of insight we can improve our decision-making, our outlook on life and also our relationships.

When you are reading this book, enjoy the fun stories and the powerful messages but also look past the obvious and see what you can discover for yourself through each of the experiences and stories.

As I looked around the table at the five highly-intelligent men with whom I had worked for the past five years, it dawned on me that I did not like them, I did not respect them and I certainly did not want to become like them.

Des Penny


True Leadership Stands The Test Of TimeTrue Leadership Stands The Test Of Time

The role of leadership has changed in so many ways and yet in so many other ways, it has not. However, we seem to focus so much on the changes that have and will occur, that we lose sight of what is already working and what we have worked so hard to achieve.

We all understand the massive impact that technological change has had on our workplaces and indeed society, but… Read More…


Over the Christmas break of 2014 I started reading the new book by Goleman entitled ‘Focus’ and although like most of Goleman’s books, parts of it were very hard work, there were also some amazing gems. Being a reflective person, I am always looking for ways to improve myself and my organisation and so this book and topic really got me thinking.

2014 was an amazing year, but I was exhausted; a story that I had heard from many of the people… Read More…

Lolas Story Divides The CrowdLola’s Story Divides The Crowd

“If you decide you divide!” This is what Tony Blair told Julia Gillard when she became Prime Minister. That is why so many people sit on the fence and don’t make the decisions they need to make. They are scared what other people will think.

In November 2014 I took a leap of faith and stepped so far out of my comfort zone that it hurt… Read More…

The Leadership DanceThe Leadership Dance

Everyone loves to dance; it’s just that some people can and some people can’t! Although it’s fun watching people who can’t dance, try, it is simply exquisite when you see a person who is trained and has mastered the art of dance, perform.

What I have observed about elite performers is that many of the success principles they observe are similar to those required in our own roles… Read More…

Leading The FutureLeading The Future

I remember as a child going to my Grandparents farm just outside of Adelaide in South Australia and right across the lounge room wall was a line of plaster ducks, all positioned in perfect unison, with a definite leader and a row of followers.

There was something about my grandparent’s row of ducks that always caught my attention, even though their house was full of every type of ornament you could find… Read More…

Creating A Culture Of InnovationCreating A Culture Of Innovation

In the mind and heart of every person is a car park of unfulfilled ideas and dreams that have not yet come to fruition – but they still can.

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by the fact that one of my single greatest passions is to help people discover the innovation gene that is inside them… Read More…

Love What You Do!Love What You Do!

Recently on the blog, I wrote an article entitled ‘Get out if you hate it,’ which was inspired by countless numbers of people I have interacted with that not only disliked what they did and where they worked, but they actually hated it.

Without oversimplifying things, I just don’t get why people get so locked into situations where they completely lose their decision-making powers, where to make it better… Read More…

Reinventing yourself And Your OrganisationReinventing Yourself And Your Organisation

When we hear the word reinvent, it conjures up all sorts of thoughts and emotions, but usually people think that it means to completely change who we are, what we look like and what we do.

In some situations all of these things will need to change, but the real meaning of reinvention is not to start again, but to create a new version of something. Read More…

Exceptional Is The New Black

Exceptional Is The New Black!

Over the past months I have had the privilege of travelling around Australia presenting on Exceptional Is The New Black to over 1500 breakfast attendees.

It is a topic that is very close to my heart, as I believe the changes that are happening in the marketplace will demand nothing less than exceptional in the future. Read More…

The Leadership Circus

The Leadership Circus

The importance of someone to direct the show and take us on this incredible journey is so essential

I was sitting on the balcony of an apartment in Perth overlooking a large strip of lawn where people were participating in all sorts of sporting activities. It seemed like out of nowhere that a line of huge trucks arrived and parked in a circle across the grassed area. Read More…


Stepping into the Unknown

Plan to step into the unknown because that is where life’s growth hormones are stored!

I am a great believer in setting clear goals for our lives. Goals that will make us better people and improve our knowledge and skills; but sometimes even goal setting can become monotonous and mundane. So I want to take you to the next level of goal setting and it is called ‘stepping into the unknown’. Read More…

Being_ThankfulBeing Thankful

What else could I achieve? Up to me I guess!

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in Sydney, so I decided to fulfill my weekend ritual with a trip to Bronte beach to soak in the beauty and the majesty of this amazing place. People were doing the usual things, like jogging, walking their dogs and exercising;

Read More…

Shift HappensShift Happens

Our clients must always be the reason that we look to create a better way!

What exciting times we live in. I didn’t say easy; I said exciting. But there is a SHIFT happening! Thousands of jobs are being lost across Australia and businesses are closing everyday, which is sad and creates a great deal

Read More…

Proteus Life

The official magazine of proteus enterprises p/l

Des Penny – Editor
Proteus Life MagazineProteuslife is a quarterly magazine produced by Proteus Enterprises. The magazine covers the life of the Proteus team but also looks at contemporary leadership and lifestyle initiatives through articles and advertorials.

This is a free resource aimed at helping individuals and organisations to grow.

Click on the link to read the online versions. Alternatively you can sign up to receive a free copy delivered to your home or work – Click here to subscribe.

Enjoy the read and please feel free to leave your comments or contact us for more information on advertising in the magazine or if you wish to contribute an editorial.


Finding a better way. Keynote Speaker. Provocative and Inspiring. Des Penny is the Optimistic Disturber.

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