What creates vibrant team culture?

I Iove the energy in the room, Matt says in our first Executive Presence group session. What is that? And how is ‘energy’ created, you might ask? Energy can be stored and transformed, but what is the form of energy among people? Energy among people is the interpersonal connections that create movement among people – either drawing them closer together or pushing them apart from one another. When the flow of feeling among people is positive, warm and those there accept one another,...

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The Family Dinner Table’s Influence on Leaders

Who would have thought the family dinner table shapes leaders’ abilities to influence? A microcosm of family life repeated over days, weeks, months and years as we grow up has significant influence on how we are in groups. Whether we converse easily, disagree without offending others, remain silent or dominate, one likely influence is earlier experiences and habits of family dinner time. Last week, I was working with a group of leaders discussing turning points in their careers. One leader...

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The Interpersonal Language of Leadership Engagement

This week, I had a digital meeting with Jim. He was heading into a performance discussion with a team member. Jim had done a lot of background work, sought feedback and reflected on his experience with this manager and his team. He had written his comments relating to various objectives and he wanted my perspective on the clarity of his message. He read, “You need to lead your team more, you need to keep them better informed, and you need...

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Quality Interactions Save the Day

Do you have days when nothing seems to work out? I had one of these days on a recent trip to Picton. I needed an internet source for a three hour zoom meeting. I felt like Goldilocks- I tried a café that set me up with internet vouchers and a chord to keep my laptop charged, but it was too noisy. I couldn’t hear. I drove to the visitor’s centre, but it was closed. A staffer came to see what...

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A small town, with world class service.

3 days in picturesque haven Picton, population 4,300, and I encountered world class service, many times. We went to an Irish pub for dinner. The atmosphere was warm and congenial, the service personable, the interior colourful and the food was fresh and delicious. We returned the following evening. We were met with, “Chardonnay sir, and for you ma’am, pinot gris?” Yes. The bartender remembered our drinks after one visit. I was impressed and delighted. I was struck by how the...

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5 Keys for Leaders to Accelerate Staff Engagement

BM is a senior leader I am working with. BM is talented, experienced, wise, and thoughtful. She is also shy, and reserved. So far, she has refused to share these insights with her colleagues. She thinks these insights lack value. With her permission, I am sharing these with you, so BM might gain a sense that her experience and wisdom is valuable to others. One of her organisation’s strategic goals is to dramatically improve staff engagement. BM quietly told me...

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A Moment of Calm

It is time to take stock – to note what is truly important to each of us. Let’s take a deep breath together. Former Aotearoa, NZ poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh interviewed Joy Hiljo, US poet Laureate during Readers and Writers Week. This was an absolute highlight for me. As I stood in line to go, I began talking with the woman next in line with me. She was a community activist from Detroit. She gave me a copy of...

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Three Tips for Personal Care in a Crisis

Being resilient means getting enough sleep each night, eating well and remaining hydrated. When you are under pressure, it is easy to forget to eat lunch, or to pause and think, breathe and drink water. However, self care must not slide by the wayside. Ensuring your brain has plenty of oxygen enables you to think clearly. Keep a supply of low carb high protein energy bars keeps hunger at bay. Have fresh fruit like mandarins, bananas available each day as...

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Know Where You Stand – Emotional Pain and Leadership

Discovering you were closer to someone in your team than they were with you can hurt deeply. This hurts even more when you realise that others knew this before you did. When information within informal networks of interpersonal relationships overrides formal structures, trust is broken. Emotions run high as the true structure of relationships are revealed. You know where you stand, and how close or distant others are in relation to you. Remember Carlos Ghosen, Chair of Nissan, Japan and...

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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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