Leadership is Similar to Sudoku

I love doing sudoku, particularly the tough ones. I love seeing the patterns of numbers emerge from nothing, and logic slowly dawning. Sudoku has simple rules; the numbers 1-9 in each of the 9 boxes, numbers 1-9, horizontally, vertically, and at times, diagonally. Every few months, tougher sudoku become possible as I learn new patterns of thought and analysis. I love the experience of being completely absorbed in the puzzle. I don’t emphasize my failure to resolve a particular puzzle....

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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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Quit the Blame Game – Glitches and Roadblocks are Normal

Hindsight, and reflection: Insights into Learning  Hindsight; I find unhelpful. Reflection, I rate. What is the difference? Hindsight leaves me feeling inadequate, and with a sense of failure, that my effort was not good enough. Hindsight encourages fault finding, blame and criticism. Each is entirely unhelpful in any learning process. Reflection enables me to identify causes, helps me reset a vision of what is possible, identify what I want to learn, and apply. Why is reflection valuable? Setting out to...

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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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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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Free, Frank And Fearless

Providing advice to others is a professional privilege. The best advisors I know give free, frank, and fearless advice. They share their expertise and they add value. They relate to the results being sought. They use expressions like, “Doing xyz is the wrong strategy. Doing abc will take you in the wrong direction. If you do this…you’ll discover most people won’t want that.” These advisors let you know the implications of different options. These advisors are not likely to tell you what you want to...

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