How to adopt a beginner’s mindset

Have you had a first time experience during lockdown? In the past week I have attended an online funeral service, a virtual wine-tasting session, a zoom book launch and held client coaching sessions via video. They were all alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings. Of course, they were not as good as the real thing. But they were better than nothing. I am sure you have your own examples of first time experiences. Perhaps you started a new job and you are meeting people while working from home.… Read more

Why leaders need the courage to ask great questions

When my client David took on his new leadership role he discovered quite a mess. The leadership team were not clear about the purpose of their group. They were not meeting their promised delivery targets. Everyone turned up late for meetings and they did not do what they promised they would do. No-one seemed to care. It was no surprise that they were at risk of imploding because of their poor performance.

The business had appointed David because of his track record as the ‘turn around guy.’… Read more

Why leadership is like a fascinating adventure

Back in pre-Covid times, I took my four-year-old granddaughter for a walk to the local coffee shop. What should have been a twenty-minute task turned into a fascinating two-hour adventure. She was wide-eyed with wonder as she peered in between the pickets of a fence to study the cobwebs in the bushes. She was excited about arranging sticks and rocks into patterns. Driveways of people’s houses beckoned her to explore their secrets. I had never noticed most of the things she saw, even though I had walked the same route hundreds of times.… Read more

Why culture change programs fail and what to do about it

Creating a vibrant culture is more than listing a set of values and hoping for the best. My client Tony’s leadership team confronted the harsh reality that they risked becoming irrelevant. But they refused to accept their predictable fate and collaborated on designing a new future. They affirmed their commitment to provide extraordinary value to their clients. It was time to change their culture.

Tony had seen too many culture change programs fail because of a lack of leadership. He did not want to follow examples he had experienced where the company posted a list of values on the wall and all too soon ignored them.… Read more

Great leaders know how to get the best from people

Have you had a leader who influenced your career, or who still inspires you to go the extra mile? Dean Phelan and I are interviewing leaders for our upcoming book, ‘The Gentle Art of Leadership.’ One thing we have found is that leaders who practice the gentle art had role models who influenced them and helped shape their own leadership style. Maybe it was their parents who instilled good values into them when they were growing up. Perhaps their first boss showed them the value of empathy in an early stage of their career.… Read more