Holidays And Travel Bring Fresh Insights To Life

Being a business owner, I diary my holidays as I plan my year. I discovered that if I didn’t, work would easily swamp my time. Recently I traveled to Venice, Sicily, and then Nice. I am a photographer and gorgeous vignettes are abundant, yet it was the delightful and helpful everyday transactions with the people that made the stay memorable. Several experiences stand out as signs of progress. We have travelled in brand-new planes, trains and buses and landed in...

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What Do Leaders And Lemons Have In Common?

This photo is of lemons from my central city roof garden. I love lemons. From their vibrant colour to sour taste and the fact they are ripe in mid-winter when most fruits are dormant. Lemons are versatile. With this crop, I dried lemon slices for summer drinks, preserved lemons for chickpea tagines, and made cashew nut custard for deserts (recipe here). Spread it on crispbreads with pickles and it makes a great snack. What have any of these features to...

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Who Are The Real Leaders?

Group theory has two main sources of direction in groups. One is leader-led, where the leader provides context and gives direction then the group works on how to implement that. The second source of direction is group-centred, where the group warm-up comes out and significantly shapes the direction. When the two warmups clash and one or other side becomes intractable, mutiny or rebellion as in industrial action or leader-staff divisions result. When leaders accept the emerging direction of the group,...

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Great Leaders Imagine What Is Possible

Leaders who focus on creating better futures for others face just as many roadblocks as the rest of us. What helps leaders navigate these roadblocks, rather than give up and be defeated? Effective goals are outcome statements describing the future state as if it were current. In my workshops, I am continually inspired by the goals participants set. Each participant has a vision for themselves and their organisation beyond what they are doing now. They want to make their ‘potential’...

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What Cuba Has to Teach Us On Infrastructure

I’ve travelled to over 30 countries and one I had the privilege of staying a week in was Havana, Cuba. My first impressions were of a country in a time warp resulting from little investment in infrastructure over the past 40 years. Castro came to power in 1959 and his revolutionary manifesto implemented free education, literacy, health care, minimum wage, inexpensive utilities and basic staples. These were huge changes and many have endured. What hasn’t endured is ongoing investment in infrastructure, government wages...

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Taking People With You

Come From Away was one of the Broadway shows David and I chose on our recent visit to New York. An unlikely and poignant musical based on the 39 planes which were diverted to a small Newfoundland town for a week during the 9/11 disaster. The story centred on the interactions with a town of 7000 people accepting an equal number of bewildered stranded travellers desperate to be with their work colleagues or families. The awkwardness, delights, and setbacks which...

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When Meetings Go Awry

How often are you in meetings where: The conversation goes into irrelevant detailsSomeone is holding forth and it is unclear what is importantSomeone is holding forth and they are definitely off topic What is happening? Essentially there is a leadership gap. What does this mean? The leader has lost their way, or group members are anxious of the consequences if they were to redirect the meeting or the meeting chair senses whoever is talking is more ‘senior’ than they are; by age,...

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Summer Reads

I love reading. There’re few things as satisfying as curling up in the warm summer shade with a book. I am a voracious reader of business books and articles, biographies and autobiographies, detective stories written by women, and contemporary fiction. I become a fan of particular authors and read all they have written. Within those moments, I am transported out of my own life and into others lives. I’m lucky to know a number of business authors and love reading...

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Learning And Implementation Are Two Different Things

Kia ora koutou, Kei te peha koe? Akoranga = learning. The greatest impact of leadership development is on your personal capacities. Whether your ability to run great meetings, speak succinctly, or create alliances around innovative approaches is being developed, personal development for building professional capability is the key. My current professional development is learning Te Reo. Why? I wanted to learn because my grandchildren are bilingual and I don’t want them to have to think in English every time we interact....

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Commissioning Work For Compelling Results

How often are you asked to do something and then your manager either significantly reworks it, or asks you to? How often are you presented with work you have commissioned which doesn’t hit the mark and has to be reworked? How often do you or your team work after hours to finalise urgent papers? How much time is wasted with this reworking? hese concerns are familiar to some of my clients. They know delegating and commissioning work is not a...

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