What will be your theme for the year?

When my three children were little, I would ask them, “What do you want the weekend to be about?”

One might say, “How about we make it ten times more exciting than we have ever had!” If the others agreed, then we had our theme for the weekend.

We learned that if we set the theme first, it gave us a new context for our weekend activities. It was no accident that it usually turned out the way we said. We also realised that if we could do it for a weekend, we could do it for a week, a month or even a year.… Read more

How to give people permission and space to be outstanding leaders

Mark writes a personalised letter to his executives at the start of every year and follows up with another at the end of the year.

The letter at the beginning of the year is all about what they are trying to achieve for the year.

He outlines what they are trying to accomplish as a business and as a team, as well as his expectations of each leader.

It is very specific. That is the first conversation for the year.

At the end of the year, he writes each person another letter.… Read more

How standing for something helped deal with a crisis

When a major IT system fell over, the CIO, Graham experienced the single most high-pressure period of his career. Customers were angry, and it exposed the business to major reputational risk.

He had to resist the temptation to take over and pretend to have all the answers. He recognised his role was not to be a technical expert. Rather, he was the agent of hope, conveying the message, “We are going to get through this.” That meant he delegated and let the experts work through the issues without breathing down their necks.
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How to identify your accomplishments and gain fulfilment

Do you focus on what you have NOT done?

Perhaps you are caught up in a never ending to-do list? You may not take the time to reflect on your achievements. A valuable question to ask is, “What are you most proud of having accomplished?” 

You will have many things on your list of accomplishments. But there could be one highlight.

My client Karen was proud of reinventing her problem-solving strength.

She invested in her own development this year and in doing so, has taken her leadership to a new level.Read more

Your mindset is the one thing you can control

One thing you can control in an uncertain world is your mindset.

I saw the power of mindset during the 2008 global financial crisis. We were all hearing stories of gloom and doom at that time. Based on the news reports, we were all going down the toilet. I could not believe that leaders would just throw up their hands in horror. I interviewed many senior leaders in a Big Kahuna Leadership Survey to see what they were thinking about the dire situation we faced. … Read more