Author Archive

12
Sep

Four bad habits of super-smart leaders

Some leaders are too clever for their own good While we often consider the blessings that accompany a high IQ, we seldom think of the challenges that come with extreme intelligence. Yet there are many. In my role as an executive coach, I have had the opportunity to work with more than 150 major chief executives. As a group, they would score well above the norm on any standard definition of intellectual intelligence (I am not referring to ‘emotional intelligence’, ‘artistic intelligence’ or other forms of intelligence). Although, like any group, chief executives may do stupid things, they are seldom stupid people. 1. Proving how smart we are For ten years, I had the privilege of being on the board of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation. This gave me the opportunity to spend more than ...

30
Aug

One-to-one meetings with direct reports often feel more hurried and disorganised than they need to be. It’s important to check in regularly with each of your employees, but how can you make the best use of the time? How can you make the meetings more productive and collaborative? What do you need to change as the manager and what do you need to ask your direct report to do differently as well? What the Experts Say In the digital age, we tend to communicate with direct reports via email, IM, phone, and text. But nothing quite beats a face-to-face, one-on-one meeting, says Elizabeth Grace Saunders, the author of How to Invest Your Time Like Money, and the founder of Real Life E Time Coaching & Training. “One-on-ones are one of the most important productivity ...

22
Aug

The main attributes that people look for in their leaders have not changed much in the past five years. This is the conclusion of the latest Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KCLM), which has tracked global views on leadership for five years. The survey, conducted annually by public relations and marketing agency Ketchum, highlights the qualities people expect their leaders to have, overall levels of confidence in leaders and also offers some lessons for leaders seeking to improve. Which qualities do people look for in leaders?   The attribute people are looking for most is leading by example. It has taken the top spot for the past three years, and featured in the top three in 2012 and 2013. Open communication is also seen as a vital skill for leaders. It topped the list in 2012 and 2013, and ...

08
Aug

How To Rewire Your Brain To Better Handle Stress

In most scenarios, stress is just another aspect of the human experience. It comes and goes, and while it’s relatively unpleasant to deal with, its long-term effects are negligible. However, when stress becomes pervasive and continuous, the physical and mental health impacts can be severe. Entrepreneurs are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of pervasive stress. Running a business or team requires leaders to manage multiple complex and diverse functions at once. Throughout my years at BodeTree, I've found that this large universe of responsibility is the central source of stress in my life. Each part of the team, from sales to development, has unique and occasionally conflicting perspectives and desires. Managing all of these different views and needs can be exhausting. For the longest time, I found myself working to treat the symptoms of stress. I’d take the occasional vacation and ...

18
Jul

Brexit: How to Support Worried Employees

Brexit: How to Support Worried Employees Keep a close eye on your staff so that post-referendum anxiety doesn't spiral out of control Employers will be facing many questions about how business is going to proceed following the referendum vote to leave the EU. Larger organisations will have already planned for the outcome and for some, in the short term Brexit may mean cuts in research and development, training, benefits and even jobs. Smaller businesses may be hard-pressed too – and face a situation made more challenging by their relative lack of resources. One thing is certain. Employees will be concerned for their jobs – in the near future and beyond – and if you are a European working in Britain you may be feeling alienated. Whatever the future brings, uncertainty is neither good for business nor ...

12
Jul

Having a first class degree makes people arrogant, an attorney has claimed as she revealed she gives priority to graduates with a 2:1 Sarah Perkins, a patent attorney and partner at Stevens Hewlett and Perkins, said high achieving students often lack “soft skills” including the ability to communicate with clients and process information quickly. She added that academia encourages some students “to think they can do anything because they are clever” and leads them to assume they are suited for any job. It comes as tens of thousands of university students received their degree classifications last month, with many graduates starting new jobs in September. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Ms Perkins, who achieved a 2:1 in physics at the University of Edinburgh, said: “In all my years I have been recruiting, I have singularly failed ...

05
Jul

When and How to Stop Doing Low Value Work

This helpful HBR article on how to give up low value work reminded me of the TED talk by Seema Bansal: How to fix a broken education system ... without any more money. Seema Bansal forged a path to public education reform for 15,000 schools in India, by setting an ambitious goal: by 2020, 80 percent of children should have grade-level knowledge. She's looking to meet this goal by seeking reforms that will work in every school without additional resources. When Bansal investigated what was going on in these under performing schools, she found a key issue was that teachers were doing low value work. https://www.ted.com/talks/seema_bansal_how_to_fix_a_broken_education_system_without_any_more_money Here is a guide to help YOU give up low value work: In the past, time management experts would recommend that you divide up your work into A tasks, B tasks, and C tasks. The concept was to do the A tasks ...

29
Jun

Recent Video Shows Bank Employees Being Spanked for ‘Poor Performance’ on a Training Course Bank employees deemed to have performed poorly in their jobs have been filmed being spanked and having their heads shaved. The footage shows eight employees of Changzhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank, in China’s northern Shanxi province, being smacked on the backside with what appears to be a thick wooden slab. Motivational trainer Jiang Yang wrote on his blog: “Spanking was a training model I have been exploring for many years.” Footage of the ‘punishment’ has been circulating on social media (Guardian website). The bank hired Jiang to run a “performance breakthrough” course for its staff of more than 200. After a day of training Jiang demanded explanations from the eight employees with the weakest scores. One replied, “I'm not hard on myself.” Another shouted, “I didn't make ...

27
Jun

As the director of People Analytics at Google for the last decade, Brian Welle’s world revolves around data. He has found that those hard, cold numbers can, when used properly, uncover the key attributes that make people better managers and team members. Once identified, the attributes can then be cultivated and instilled to boost performance. Welle spoke recently with Cade Massey, Wharton practice professor of operations, information and decisions and co-director of the Wharton People Analytics Initiative, about applying data analytics in the office. Welle identified eight attributes that define a top-performing manager: a good coach; empowers the team and does not micromanage; expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being; productive and results-oriented; good communicator — listens and shares information; helps ...

17
Jun

How to know if someone is ready to be a manager Perhaps it’s an art rather than a science but the ability to spot when someone is ready to manage people seems to be something that many organisations struggle with. Firstly there is the expectation that if someone is in the organisation long enough we must promote them, as they become more senior very often they gain people management responsibilities. Sadly, however a person’s ability to do their job is a very poor indicator of their ability to lead and manage people. With little flexibility on the corporate ladder, we end up forced into promoting people into management roles, not because we feel they would make a great leader but rather because that is the next step in their ‘career path’. The costs of poor managers to an organisation are huge ...

10
Jun

Engagement Under The Spotlight

HR professionals spent a few hours immersed in an insightful discussion on engagement strategies, hosted by Elysian and facilitated by top engagement expert Chris Atkinson. There was much common ground to be found amongst the HR professionals as discussions explored the impact on employee engagement caused by merger and corporate acquisitions. They felt a key challenge centred around  maintaining a consistent corporate identity and value set in the face of all of the change.     In addition to the feel good aspects, there is also a significant commercial benefit in engagement and Chris led an active discussion that explored stats and findings from the largest global research studies into employee engagement. Perks and benefits are not key levers. They are likely to lead to dissatisfaction especially if they have to be removed due to budget decreases ...

25
May

The ROI Of Improving Employee Engagement

Many leaders have spent countless hours hoping for business to return to pre-recession vitality levels. They've waited for something to rescue them from the seemingly endless challenges they’re facing on a daily basis, and wondered where the next big breakthrough is that will finally snap the economy out of the doldrums and set their organisations back onto the path of prosperity. But some leaders knew the breakthrough would come from someone, not something. These leaders tapped the resources of their employees and encouraged them to help navigate the challenges and economic uncertainty. And their organisations have weathered the bumps better than most as they positioned themselves advantageously for better days ahead. They knew the solution to more innovation, cost savings, increased profitability, organisational growth and more satisfied and loyal customers was right under their noses all along.  

25
May

  “The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.”– Navy SEAL Creed   In the Navy SEAL teams, there are three things we must do perfectly to be effective operators: Move, Shoot and Communicate. Communication being of the utmost importance. As a leader, great communication is critical not just to provide details about the mission and vision of what you are trying to accomplish, but also to motivate, inspire and manage relationships to move people in a desired direction. When in a leadership position, we often don’t realize that the spotlight is always on us. Everything we say and do is being scrutinized, for better or for worse. By accepting both the honour and challenge of leading a team, it is important to remember that ...