June 2019 Update 
Leadership Insights

Personal Note

Leadership Insights is undergoing a wonderful change.  

I’m updating my brand to reflect the accessible and bespoke advisory, consulting and coaching services I offer.

My website is being refreshed too, and should be ready by the end of September. This is my third website. The first one was made in 2000 and the last one was developed in 2012. Let me know your responses via email or on social.  

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 do with leaders you might ask?
I love metaphors, and the idea that at least two things exist at the same time, so here we go.
Standing out from the crowd by knowing their point of difference.

Exceptional leaders know their purpose, the value they add, and what differentiates them from others. They know their achievements, and they know their territory is continually doing things they haven’t done before. They say and do things, and make decisions others can’t, or won't.
Leaders are versatile.

Exceptional leaders and one trick ponies are different breeds. Effective leaders run great meetings, present simply and powerfully, contribute wisely in groups, have good relationships, know how to collaborate and when to go it alone, and know when to tap into their own or other’s expertise. Effective leaders are both curious, and knowledgeable.
Leaders create vitality.

Leaders are continually doing what hasn’t been done before. They enter the territory of spontaneity, creating fresh and new approaches to old situations that no longer work, or ineffective. They refresh systems and processes and make decisions that create progress.

The definition of spontaneity is to approach familiar situations in a new way and approach new and unfamiliar situations, adequately i.e. good enough. There are five components of spontaneity:
  • Vitality
  • Adequacy
  • Originality
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity  
Leaders are part of a group.

One difference between leaders and lemons is that leaders are appointed to specific positions. However, leaders are only defined as leaders because they are part of the group they are in. Similarly, lemons are part of a genre – in fact there are at least 25 different types of lemons, and even more types of citrus. My roof garden lemons are Meyer, mainly because they are dwarf, and thrive in central city Wellington conditions. However, I love the Japanese Yuzu lemon especially in Lot 8 Yuzu Olive Oil which is great to have with pastas, salads and spicy black bean tacos.
Lemons and leaders both benefit from adapting to their environment.

Lemon trees adjust as their environment changes. Extra fertilizer and water are sometimes needed, branches sometimes need trimming, and thinning abundant fruit is required to keep the tree productive. 

Just like lemon trees, leaders also need to adapt to their environment, trim their focus to their priorities and learn to expand their existing capacities in order to face new or unexpected situations. Those who do, thrive.

Who would have thought the humble and versatile lemon shares significant similarities with leaders?

Diana Jones ©
Book Review
There’s a great review of my book Leadership Material in the latest Journal of Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy, Vol 66 no 1. 

Take a look at it here
Leadership Quote:

Don’t let your mistakes define you. Be accountable, take responsibility, invest in rapidly turning the situation around, get on with the fix, learn something new, and refresh your network of relationships. 

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.
Executive Presence was hands down the most useful programme I have attended. It helped me on a macro level: what sort of leader do I want to be? as well as on a micro level: how to contribute effectively at meetings. - Senior leader

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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