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How to Create a Team Dynamic that Actually Works

In traditional leadership structures, power is seen as something hierarchical. The greater your position, the greater your ability to effect change. The primary issue with this is that it is simply incorrect. Just because power is not being used, does not mean it doesn’t exist. Hierarchical leadership structures are ineffective because they rely on the illusion that those at the top have all the power, all the knowledge and all the significance. If people believe the illusion, they will act accordingly – as a disempowered team.

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15 signs a coach can deliver what they claim

In theory the first sign should be a qualification. ICF, EMCC, ILM and the Association for Coaching are the main accrediting bodies for leadership coaches. They all exist to uphold a certain standard of coaching, and require that coaches exhibit self-awareness and relational skills, and learn accepted models, techniques and ethics, but two coaches with the same accrediting body can still have very different approaches to coaching.

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How to stay true to your values as a leader

“We need leaders to be more than just figureheads and fall guys…leadership is not a thing but a process – as we have defined it – to coordinate and direct.” – Nigel Nicolson, The “I” of Leadership

Leadership is a process of making decisions that affect other people. Our personal decision-making informs how our team makes decisions, which determines what our organisation becomes. Whether it becomes anything worthwhile will depend on what values we set out with and whether we stayed true to those same principles.

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How to navigate uncertainty

When was the last time your work excited you? Not because of how others might reward you but because of the work itself. If the fire fades for too long, it’s likely we’ve made things too predictable for ourselves. That doesn’t mean the future really is foreseeable but that we’ve relied on a mode of behaviour to convince others (and ourselves) that we have things under control.

“Transition and uncertainty are attendant to any path.” – Sarah Levitt, Magnificent Leadership

Avoiding uncertainty is a lot of work and can drain even the most driven leaders. Not least because it can’t be done. The question is not whether we will stay ahead of the game but how we will respond when we realise the roll of the dice is not in our hands.

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How to align your inner and outer worlds

Have you ever found yourself acting contrary to your core convictions? When we’re at base camp it can be easy to draft out an organisation’s ethos. But when we’re approaching high altitude – and the wind feels like it’s going to blow us off the mountain – it can be easy to dig into old habits and slip into survival techniques that ignore our personal or corporate vision.     

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Why Questions Matter More Than Answers

Answers make us feel like experts. They give us confidence to make a great sales pitch. But if we hold onto them too tightly, they can give rise to a dangerous leadership dynamic.
Questions make us feel uncertain. Uncomfortable. Even vulnerable. They require us to analyse our assumptions and risk our reputations as the ‘experts.’ But when we use them correctly they break us out of boundaries we didn’t understand we were working within.
Here we present the pitfalls of answers and the overlooked qualities of questions. As Peter Drucker said, “There are few things as useless, if not dangerous, as the right answer to the wrong question.”

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How to stop wasting money on leadership development

Businesses invest an incredible amount of time and money in their leaders, and rightly so. But unless they invest in the right way, they are wasting precious resources, and crucially, their leaders remain undeveloped.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on leadership development annually, averaging £1400 per manager in the private sector according to a survey conducted by CMI and Penna. So turning that into a measurable pay-off should surely be a priority, right? Here are five ways we have found that produce results:

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