Begin with the end in mind

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

Has your vision for the year turned out? Not the company one; your personal vision. You may not have written it down, but you probably had a picture in mind of your personal and professional objectives for this year. Maybe you thought it was time to get out from under the day-to-day pressures and take your career in a new direction. Perhaps you wanted to implement a big new strategy. Whatever your objectives were, you could either be celebrating your success or lamenting that nothing much has changed this year.  Read more

You are a business of one


Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

Each of us is a business of one, whether you are a business owner or work for an employer. In the book, Business Model You, the authors Tim Clark, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur make the point that we need a personal business model in much the same way as a company does. Our personal version needs to be continually reinvented, just as any business does, as the environment changes.

A key component of a good business model is the value proposition that the business provides.Read more

A little bit of appreciation goes a long way

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Leaders are only as effective as the team they have around them. Of course, that means choosing people wisely. But even if you have a great team, the next challenge is getting them to stick around. Perhaps appreciation plays a bigger part in retaining people than we realise.

Tony* knew that he was fortunate to have a great leadership team. He gave each one of his direct reports his heartfelt appreciation at the end of their strategy session.Read more

End the year on a high note

Photo by Valentino Funghi on Unsplash

End of year madness is fast approaching. Christmas decorations are already in the shops. Maybe you suddenly realise that you have not yet taken enough action on your new-year resolution to get fit (just saying). Perhaps time is running out to achieve all your business or professional objectives for this year. Add to that family and holiday plans looming up.  

As we deal with the calendar ticking over, it is all too easy to focus on what we have not done rather than what we have actually accomplished over the year. Read more

Are you confident in your value?


As the only woman on the executive leadership team at the strategic offsite, Heather* was reluctant to risk speaking up. She asked the facilitator to present on her area of accountability rather than do it herself. It was a decision that she later deeply regretted. She was sick and tired of holding herself back. She wanted to build her confidence and break out of the protective bubble that she had created for herself.

Heather decided to take on a stretch objective to formulate a restructure of the business and present it to the executive leadership team.Read more

What is a problem worth your time?

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Productivity experts can help you use your time more effectively, but only you will know the answer to the question, “What is a problem worth your time?” That was a defining question in Graeme’s* career. He decided that a problem worth his time was to dramatically improve his client relationships. He was leading a major project and his stakeholders were upset about expected delays in delivery.

Graeme was well known for producing elegant solutions to complex technical problems.Read more

Executive presence – what is it and how do you get more of it?

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Ray* was captivated by the conversation he had with a CEO he met at a recent function. He is an example of a leader who has ‘executive presence’ he said. I asked him to describe the conversation to see if we could get a better handle of this concept of presence. Ray said that the CEO simply asked each person who was on the table that they shared to talk about themselves, their business, what role they played and the challenges they faced.Read more

Are you realising your potential?


My friend, Ted Holmes, launched his tenth poetry book at his 95th birthday celebration last year. He invited his family and friends to return in another five years for his centenary celebration. He is always looking ahead. His latest project is to complete a higher degree, focused on the themes of his considerable body of poetry.  Ted views his potential as not something which is limited by his age.

I often try to engage Ted in talking about his illustrious past.Read more

Respect is simple but powerful

Photo: Sebastiano Pitruzzello

Ross gave Gary* a big hug when he returned to work after several of his immediate family members were killed in a terrible car accident. Ross did not mind that his hard-bitten executive leadership team members were watching. He knew that it would not be easy for Gary to come back to work after facing such a tragedy. He was genuinely concerned for Gary and his spontaneous hug was an expression of his support for Gary and what he was going through. Read more

Leadership causes culture not the other way around

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Tony’s* leadership team confronted the predictable future they faced if nothing changed. They were once an important group but now they risked becoming irrelevant. They refused to accept the nauseating prospect of a gradual demise. Once they decided to end the predictable future, they were able to design a new future. It was a future based on their commitment to make a difference in the lives of their clients. They took on a bigger game to convert their words into action.Read more