Leading Exceptional Online Meetings

“How do you stop meetings from being boring?” This question dominated my recent free zoom session on leading exceptional online meetings. I had asked participants to submit their top two questions, and everyone had asked that question, or a version of it. It is a great question, and too few leaders recognise their meetings are boring or irrelevant to participants. If your own meetings don’t excite you, and you aren’t looking forward to getting together with those in the meeting,...

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Comparing Chefs And Nutrition With Leaders Creating Culture

On Valentine’s evening, my partner David and I dined at Atlas, a contemporary high-end restaurant in Wellington. I had booked several weeks earlier, and indicated I was vegan. The truth is, I’m ‘sort of vegan’. I do eat eggs, the occasional salmon or prawns to ensure I get enough protein particularly when I’m dining out. Why? Many chefs either don’t appear to understand the role of vegan protein if they consider substitutes. One example is olive oil is a great substitute for butter in vegans’...

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Remember Your Leadership Disciplines

We are in an age where new information, fads, innovations, trends, and social media flood us each day. In this flurry, it is easy to overlook or forget the simple disciplines which ensure we produce results. I love the creativity, colour and textures of preparing food. Then there is the delightful experience of eating home cooked food with family and friends. After travel books, recipe books are my most favoured; Yotam Ottolenghi, Heston Blumenthal, Adam Liaw, Ferran Adria, Gilli Basan,...

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The Demise Of The Rational Leader

The idea that successful leaders are rational is a myth. It’s just not true. This notion has been damaging for leaders because it takes people in the wrong direction and suggests that leaders lead functions, not people. In my book, Leadership Material, I emphasise that relationships and behaviour are two sources of success for leaders. There are at least eight other sources. Why is it that being rational doesn’t work? Because behaviour is comprised of at least three aspects – thinking,...

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Joy: The Other Side Of Engagement

In my work coaching leaders, I have many unexpected and inspiring moments. I hear captivating stories, significant challenges and inspiring visions for the future. Most frequently what a leader wants to explore in a session fills me with delight. Bill and I were having our concluding session after working together for 6-months. I asked what he wanted to focus on in the session. He said, “Joy. I want to find joy again in my work.” I looked at him, and...

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Performance Reviews Don’t Work

I have yet to meet anyone, a manager or a staff member, who has really enjoyed their performance review or found it helpful. Most leaders find performance reviews time-consuming to complete and anxiety provoking to lead. Most staff members find them nerve wracking. They wait to hear the worst. Commitments to no-surprises are rarely kept. Even if you have had a great year, being rated achieved hardly cuts the mustard. I recall as a young teacher preparing reports. I had 70 to do....

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9 Paths To Inspiring Others

To inspire: To make someone feel that they want to do something and that they can do it. To give (someone) an idea about what to do or create.   To fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.   To Be Inspiring A yoga teacher once taught me ‘consider every breath in is an inspiration, every breath out is letting go of what is no longer needed.’ With this mindset,...

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The Personal Aspect Of Professional Development

The cost to businesses of leaders, who are unable or unwilling to work well with people, is substantial. Personal grievances and time taken to sort through people problems takes focus away from leading people, delivering results, working with stakeholders, and implementing strategy. The toll on the emotional life in organisations negatively affects both culture and engagement. Learning to listen, run productive meetings, empathise and provide direction, find a way forward amongst conflict and difficulties are essential abilities to work in...

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Don’t Take It Personally

There are times when being rational can be extremely helpful and essential. One occasion is when you receive feedback that cuts you to the core. You might hear your key stakeholder isn’t impressed with your work, or their experience of your relationship management. Ouch. You might also experience when a boss or colleague: Cuts across you Ignores you Forgets you Critiques you unfairly Ouch, again. Oddly enough, if you have experienced any of these examples, you are likely to have...

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The Executive Assistant Guide

If you are lucky enough to have an Executive Assistant, the success of this working relationship greatly affects your ability to produce results. This article provides suggestions for the range of roles your EA might play in assisting you with your work and relationships. Feel free to adapt this to enhance the specific working relationships between you and your EA. With each task, I have suggested a role and a way your EA might consider approaching the task.   Diary Management Your...

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