The LeadershipZone for better leadership

Get into the leadershipzone – practical tools and ideas you can use to improve your effectiveness as a leader or manager


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Leadership Development – five lessons from politics

It felt a privilege to be on a call last night with a political leadership specialist. I thought it was going to be one of those dry, academic, conversations. It turned out to be truly inspiring.

Prof. Archie Brown, has written a book on political leadership (review here). It’s peppered with anecdotes and the great names of 20th century politics – like De Gaulle, Brandt, Thatcher and Gorbachev.  He was interviewed by Bob Hughes, PCC, as our Leadership Book Club author of the month.  Now, I know that even using the word ‘politics’ can be a turn-off. Stick with me –this will support your own leadership development work – I promise. Our conversation drew useful parallels between political leadership and organizational leadership. Continue reading


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Leadership Development: 3 ways to escape the Hawthorne Effect

At its heart, leadership development is very simple – we want people to learn some leadership principles, practice them in a safe environment, and put them to work. So what gets in the way? Why does it feel so hard sometimes? I’ve been supporting a client as she’s been travelling the world, working with her team of trainers and coaches to do just that. My role is a sounding board, while she is at the ‘coalface’.

Her efforts went into delivery quality. We deliver Masterclasses and Supervision support for her coaches. And we update trainers in the latest learning and facilitation methods for groups and teams through a blend of methods. All of which produced good results and happier participants.  But how long do they last?  And do they escape the Hawthorne Effect? Continue reading


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Vision: the framework for great leadership

Running one of our Ignite courses last week in leadership and coaching skills, I was struck by just how much power leaders have, regardless of their position in the hierarchy.  And it’s all down to one thing: vision.

The reason vision is so important is because it’s such a powerful tool.These carvings frame the doorway

It’s the difference between rich and poor.  Success and failure.  Or worse, stagnation.  It’s so easy to keep doing the same old things when you don’t know where you’re going.  It’s a completely different, richer and more dynamic, picture when you have a vision. Continue reading


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September 21st: International Day of Peace – what’s this to do with leadership?

Today is the UN International Day of Peace. This feels like a big topic. It raises so many issues. Like -

  • How can one person like me have a positive impact when so many people are at war?
  • What can we do about the impacts on women and children as targets in conflict?
  • What do we mean by ‘peace’ in the workplace?

And finally – what’s this got to do with leadership? Continue reading


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Leadership development: it’s not all about the individual leader

I’d be interested to know if you share my concerns about leadership development.  Much as I’m fascinated by the topic, and by the very real need to develop the leaders of today and tomorrow, my concern is that leaders think it’s all about them.

What their personality profiles tell them.

What their personal preferences are.

Over the years I’ve heard about ‘plants’ and ‘shapers’.  Tuckman’s theory.  Quality Circles and self-directed teams.  I love them all.  They’re ways of looking at the world that challenge our thinking and help improve team success.

But have you found that sometimes leaders – and future leaders – think it’s all about them?   Continue reading


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8 elements that ground leadership learning and create more effective leaders

August is always a busy time for leadership development.  While many people are away, some clients want to think through their ideas about how to create more effective leaders, and

  • Find new ways to influence the board
  • Have a bigger impact on the organisation’s leadership culture
  • Ultimately, have more effective leaders working successfully in the organisation

Because the phone isn’t ringing all day and people aren’t constantly being interrupted, there’s more thinking time.

Time for discussion and exploration.

We often get called in just to facilitate a discussion around leadership development. Supporting L&D Managers to reflect and refocus. Continue reading


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Leadership: the hidden failure

Do you ever wonder why, despite your best efforts, certain negative behaviours persist in your organisation?  Leaders may feel like they’re doing their best, but their leadership style may actually be inviting failure, not guarding against it.

It’s why people

  • lack motivation
  • don’t step up and take responsibility
  • whose potential is high, deliver performance that remains frustratingly low

It’s why low-retention figures are costing your organisation significant amounts of unnecessary time and money

We’re privileged to work closely with leaders 1-1, and in small, exclusive and confidential groups.  We get close to the issues they face, day to day.

And sometimes recurring patterns emerge and demand our attention. Continue reading

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