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. In my book, I dismiss the idea that successful leaders are rational. 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...

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Misreading popular leaders

What really draws people to leaders, people who want to help them achieve their vision? Journalists labeling New Zealand’s PM Ardern’s dramatic rise as mania implies thoughtless following. This is not so. Don’t be misled by click bait labels. So what has Jacindamania got to do with leading? Very little. How do we account for Ardern  attracting significant numbers of voters as she accepted the role of leader with one of New Zealand’s political parties and is now Prime Minister?...

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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  consuming to complete and anxiety provoking to lead. Most staff 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...

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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

What is personal development? How does it apply to us at work? How do we measure it? What might others notice? How do our personal capacities affect the bottom line? What does it take for significant others to notice that we are have developed our capacities?   To begin to answer these questions, I’ll make two distinctions – professional skills and abilities, and personal skills and abilities. Professional skills include legal, financial, planning, marketing, medical, health, engineering, environmental, managing performance,...

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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 youIgnores youForgets youCritiques you unfairly Ouch, again. Oddly enough, if you have experienced any of these examples, you are likely to have been, or...

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The Executive Assistant Guide

If you are lucky enough to have an EA, 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. Please feel free to adapt this to enhance the specific working relationships between you and your EA. With each task, I have suggested a role, a way your EA might consider approaching the task. Please feel free to edit...

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This thing called feedback

Leaders giving feedback to develop their staff’s capacities has become second nature since the 80’s. How much of it is effective? What kind of ‘feedback’ is likely to assist the recipient to want to change their behaviour? If we knew this, we’d all have a key to both productivity and life enhancing organisation culture. What might be done? I notice many leaders are skilled in observing behavior and the negative affects of certain behaviors. And yet, many of the same...

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Turning working relationships around

This thing called feedback Leaders giving feedback to develop their staff’s capacities has become second nature since the 80’s. How much of it is effective? What kind of ‘feedback’ is likely to assist the recipient to want to change their behaviour? If we knew this, we’d all have a key to both productivity and life enhancing organisation culture. What might be done? I notice many leaders are skilled in observing behavior and the negative affects of certain behaviors. And yet,...

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