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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Self-confidence and the Imposter Syndrome

Do you doubt your accomplishments? Do you experience a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud? The Imposter Syndrome is behind leaders’ and professionals’ lack of confidence. At least one of four factors produce this syndrome When you have achieved earlier goals and have yet to set future goals. In this intervening time, you have applied for and are appointed to a more senior position. This results in feeling you have yet to catch up with yourselfLeaders who...

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Who Controls Your Time – You or Your Boss?

Your work/life balance is in your hands and how much time you spend on each side is your choice. The choice is whether you make ‘your life’ a priority or not. Emergencies do require exceptional hours and for specific periods demands of your professional life may well creep into your personal life but, not as a given. Work/life balance is a catchy phrase. It is a concept that many aspire to, rather than live. Leaders become used to taking work home,...

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Year End: Why are you feeling so tired?

Jen’s opening bid in our coaching sessions was ‘I’m tired. Exhausted really’. Letting her comment sink in, I looked at her and asked her ‘What’s making you tired?’ Knowing something of her work over the year I followed that with ‘think back to the start of this year, what new things have you done?’ What have you achieved this year?’  Yes, it is ‘year-end’ in New Zealand with December and January combining long summer vacations and a festive season.  Jen...

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Are You Making Progress?

How do you know you’re making progress? What signals are you using to assess your development as a leader? How can you make meaningful assessments of your progress and build on your development? I had a chance to ask these questions to a group of senior leaders and the results were surprising. Six of the eight participants from a past Executive Presence programme participated in an Executive Presence Mastery session later on in the year. This was a chance for...

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Accountability Partners: An Essential Ingredient In Leadership Development

Millions of dollars have been invested in leadership development programmes over the years. What results should we expect to see in our leaders and in our organisations after such training?   I have learned there is one essential ingredient to ensure learning is implemented – having accountability partners. Many of us set leadership learning goals in isolation. We may be responding to 360-degree feedback or from encouragement from our managers. Our learning goals might be shared with our coach or...

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On being defensive

Much of my work is in the area of presence – being present with others, being in the moment, and really engaging in the relationship. One thing I notice is that people wanting to develop greater presence have  habitual behaviours that might well create distance, or barriers with others.  Others might experience them having a wall or a smoke screen around them. Habitual or default behaviours are more apparent when people are under pressure. These behaviours tend to generate strong...

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Doing Too Much: The Signs, Symptoms And Practical Solutions

General managers who come to me for coaching often say that they: Are being pulled down into the weeds, and they want to be up on the hillsDon’t delegate because they don’t have the right people around them with the right skills and competenciesCan do “it” better themselvesAre tired or overloaded and overwhelmed Do any of these feel familiar to you? Being a leader requires the ability to work with both the big picture and only some of the detail...

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Stress, psychological resilience and vitality

Stress, psychological resilience and vitality  Resilience can be defined by our capacity to remain responsive in the face of personal and professional setbacks. We all face these. A rejection for a job you really wanted, a project that doesn’t work out as expected, or being criticised by people whose opinions you value. It may be the loss of a loved one; a colleague or manager you loved working with leaves for another organisation; your own or another’s poor health…all of...

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Spotting successful in-house leadership interventions

In my work, I am privileged to be with many leadership teams in action. Recently I worked with two business units from a large government agency. The two groups had run into difficulties. The corporate services group was driving many changes and the business unit experienced these initiatives as disjointed, overwhelming and interrupting business as usual activities. The business unit managers were increasingly pulling up the gangplank and closing off to interactions with the corporate services managers. All were skilled...

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