June 2019 Update 
Leadership Insights

Personal Note

I’ve been working on my business and in my business.

I am underway refreshing my website design with the Chad Barr Group in the USA, and I invited the Lisa Larter Group in Canada to rebrand my business. I have been excited to see their emerging ideas and doing my best to keep the two processes aligned with us all talking with each other. Making detailed decisions to shape the future while delivering in the present has been challenging for me.

Frequently, I am working with leadership teams grappling with this. How much money, time and people do we invest in shaping the future while we deliver demanding business as usual?  Recognising the point when these two forces merge is helpful.

This month sees my new Compelling Executive Presence programme underway. Senior leaders from NZTA, Statistics, Environment, Internal Affairs, Defence, Education, Social Development, and Social Investment meet this Friday for the first group session.

Also, some of you may have noticed already, my Executive Presence Facebook page is now called Diana Jones – Executive Presence. If you'd like to keep in touch, please like and follow the page here

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, and continue the conversation, engagement and participation occur. The experience of the second is unnerving for both leaders and participants. This is collaboration and requires trust, candour, abilities to listen and to be thoughtful, to mutually shape direction. 
Trust is required by leaders to believe the shared agenda has emerged in the moment and in response to informal conversations usually over significant periods, rather than being politically motivated.
Group members trust the process they are in, ambiguous as it is. Their candour and good relationships relate to a shared productive future. This moves progress towards the outcome that both they and the formal leaders want.

Each person in the group is leading, contributing, and shaping the future.

A group I worked with this month was invited by their leaders to consider a refreshed operating model going forward and how former time-consuming overlaps would be managed.

The group was highly able and willing to do this, but their warm-up was not the operating model and what went where. They wanted to discuss how to build for the future, how they wanted to work together, the new behaviours they would need to make this happen, and what they would stop doing. On hearing this, their leaders realized while they were aligned, their group's thinking had expanded. Their teams wanted to influence the direction and to have the mandate to do so.   
Specific capacities helped this group’s conversations:
  • Imagining a future and pragmatic next steps
  • Good relationships with one another and their leaders
  • Bringing elephants into the room and increasing understanding of what was important to one another
  • Being bold with what they thought and wanting to achieve a shared vision
  • Having divergent perspectives and continuing to relate well with one another
We fall into a trap to think that leaders are those in positions of authority. Leadership can come from anyone in a group who provides direction and enhances cohesion rather than difference.

How well does your leadership approach encourage leadership and influence from others? What might you do to create environments where others flourish in contributing ideas and direction in the groups you lead?

Diana Jones ©
In Washington DC earlier this year, I was delighted to be interviewed by Dan Janal as part of his Top Business Leaders podcast series (23 minutes). We discuss my experiences of writing my book Leadership Material and the impact of the book on my work.

Listen to it here.
Leadership Quote:

Understanding why someone behaves in a particular way is unimportant and second guessing is even less helpful. After all this is not your business. What is important is what you as the leader will do about it.

- Diana Jones, Leadership Material, p. 101
Upcoming Workshops

Executive Presence 

for experienced GM’s and Directors - November 2019
If you want to increase your confidence, influence, impact with peers, senior leaders and Ministers, then enrol in this programme.
Diana’s Executive Presence programme is quite profound. I really challenged my thinking about myself and what is really important in being a leader. Diana is great at delivering the programme - she challenges, confronts, and really pushes you outside of your comfort zone. But all in a constructive and empathetic way - it really is a great way to learn.

Programme outline and dates here - Click here to view.

The Organisation Development Company
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand

Diana Jones May 2019 © 
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