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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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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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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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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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...

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Great Leaders Imagine What Is Possible

Leaders who focus on creating better futures for others face just as many roadblocks as the rest of us. What helps leaders navigate these roadblocks, rather than give up and be defeated? The answers lies in creating effective goals. Effective goals are outcome statements describing the future state as if it were current. In my workshops, I am constantly inspired by the goals participants set. Each participant has a vision for themselves and their organisation beyond what they are doing...

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When Meetings Go Awry

How often does this happen in your meetings?   The conversation goes into irrelevant details Someone is holding forth and it is unclear what is important Someone is holding forth and they are definitely off-topic What is happening? Essentially, there is a leadership gap. What does this mean? The leader has lost their way, or group members are anxious of the consequences of redirecting the meeting, or the meeting chair senses whoever is talking is more ‘senior’ than they are...

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Summer Reads

I am a voracious reader of business books and articles, biographies and autobiographies, detective stories written by women, and contemporary fiction. I become a fan of particular authors and read all they have written. Within those moments, I am transported out of my own life and into others lives. I’m lucky to know a number of business authors; I love reading their books and discovering what they are thinking, or how they work. Two great books I have read recently...

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Small Shifts In Behaviour Have Powerful Impacts

As leaders take on more complex and significant assignments, they frequently notice they behave in ways that are no longer effective. While the leader has many capacities and helpful behaviours, they also have responses that are no longer fit for purpose. I call these default behaviours – reactive ways of behaving from earlier in their lives. This becomes problematic when leaders’ default behaviours remain dominant and unchecked, even though they may be inappropriate to the leader’s current situation. When a...

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