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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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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: “I’ve never been so motivated”

It seems like people want quick and easy leadership development. The Board and budget-holders mainly.

Facilitators and trainers just spread their magic dust and, lo and behold, powerful leaders emerge. Not only is our expectation of leaders still in the mould of the ‘heroic leader’, but we expect miracles from our leadership development programmes too.

At the same time, there’s  an expectation from programme designers that leadership development is necessarily hard. It’s going to be tough. People will be challenged. Pushed out of their comfort zone.

It’s easy to see where this comes from.

  • The leadership development industry grew out of war – and what makes successful leaders at times of crisis.
  • It grew out of psychology – before the word ‘positive’ was introduced into that field.
  • It grew out of scarcity and the necessity for more – better performance and increased productivity.

So if your leadership pipeline is full of broken people who need fixing psychologically; who are leading through crises, and working in situations of famine and scarcity, not currently delivering – fine.

Go ahead, if you think that approach works.  If, on the other hand, you have a pipeline of good, talented people, who need the skills and opportunities to excel, maybe there’s a better way? Continue reading


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Leadership – the top three trust-building skills

I’m currently coaching two Country Directors of a global organisation.  Different countries.  Same issue.  Trust.  Or more to the point – distrust.
Or is it mistrust?

The Forton Group, LeadershipZone, leadership, coaching, trust

source: grammarist.com

Stephen Covey Jnr., son of the ‘7 habits’ author, wrote The Speed of Trust.  The rapid and positive impacts of working in an environment of trust.

When trust is in place, things get achieved.  Results are better.  Performance rises. 

Continue reading


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Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Number 10

Challenge #10: Emotional Intelligence as a ‘whole system’ solution

Leaders need to understand that Emotional Intelligence is a ‘whole system’ benefit; a positive and enduring solution. An investment for now & the long term.

The new leadership is organisation-wide.  Every team member is part of the whole system.  Emotional Intelligence at Work Continue reading


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Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Challenge Number 9

Challenge #9 Leadership is no longer the role of a single ‘hero leader’

A connected organisation no longer relies on single ‘hero leaders’ or champions to take on that responsibility solo.  This challenges peoples’ individual egos – but it’s actually a reflection of the reality of complex organisations.leader as superhero

“Everything we’re doing is part of the system.  There is no ‘Archimedean point’ where we’re either failing, or, if we pull harder, we’re going to succeed.” 

(Paul Hawken) Continue reading