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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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: 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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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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Developing Emotionally-Intelligent Leaders – Learning the lessons

Writing 10 blogs on emotional intelligence over the Christmas break, I was intrigued to see which of these would have current relevance to work in the new year.

One topic stands out for me:Developing Emotional Intelligence Continue reading


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Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Challenge Number 6

Challenge #6: Senior Leaders need to pay attention to emotional intelligence

To build better emotional intelligence in leaders, we need senior people to appreciate EI competences.  This requires their attention, and willingness to invest time & money, in these invisible competences.

It’s not enough for one part of the system (say, HR, OD or L&D) to try and super-impose new ways of working on another part of the system.

Yes, the budget may lay in one of those departments.  But it’s a bit like assuming that the responsibility for health and safety lies in the H&S department.  Yes, we need knowledgeable professionals and specialists – but the basics need to be undertaken by everyone. Continue reading


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Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Challenge Number 4

Challenge #4: investing in emotional intelligence takes emotional intelligence

So, you’ve decided to take a whole-systems approach to leadership development.  You’re planning to get leaders and teams to take time out to review what’s working – and why it’s working – as well and getting people to recognise their own and each others’ emotions to sort out what’s getting in the way of success.

Then you take your ideas to the board.   And that’s when you meet the ‘Hierarchy of No’. Continue reading