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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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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Who are the leaders in UK logistics?

Your chance to nominate the people & companies in the UK that support diversity & women in logistics

Here at the Forton Group we’re delighted to be supporting the UK Women in Logistics awards for the second year running.  We sponsor the Company of the Year award (250 or more employees) alongside other sponsors – PepsiCo, Manpower and the Search Consultancy.Leaders - Women in Logistics

The awards will be presented at the annual Women in Logistics (WiL) UK Awards Night and Charity Ball – later in the year (an honorary mention for the welcome drinks sponsors DocData by the way).  Last year WiL raised £8,000 for Transaid and, together, we’re hoping to do even better in 2013…

For us it’s all about growing women’s confidence in their own resourcefulness and recognising the HR, OD and L&D professionals who support women to play powerful roles in this important business sector.

Getting resources from A-B is tough.  It’s a highly competitive business with tight margins.  Whether that’s on the transport side, international work, storage or distribution.  IT is playing an increasingly vital role too.

The good news is that, companies which draw on a more diverse workforce, have been shown to be more successful.  And it’s not just the so-called soft skills either.  Women bring the essential skills of organising, planning and performance delivery – just as well as men.Leadership development, coaching and communications

So the first step towards these awards are the nominations.

  • Do you know an organisation that support women’s careers and are worthy of lifting the trophy?
  • Do you know an outstanding woman, or young women (under 30) making an outstanding contribution to the sector?

If the answer is YES – it’s easy to nominate them today – just click on these four categories:

Woman of the Year – sponsored by Search Consultancy

Young Woman of the Year (under 30) – sponsored by Manpower

Company of the Year (250 or more employees) – sponsored by the Forton Group

SME of the Year (fewer than 250 employees) – sponsored by PepsiCo

Please do share this email with your networks and let’s support the UK logistics sector to be even more successful by celebrating diversity.


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What impact are you having as a leader?

What impact are you having as a leader?  This is a scary question for me because I know that, sometimes, I don’t have the impact I intended – and sometimes, noticing other peoples’ impact helps me reflect on my own.

Over the weekend we took family members shopping to a pleasant local town with great facilities.  The highlight of the day, for me, was intended as a browse through a branch of an internationally-renowned designer clothing company.  Dressed head to toe in their products, I went looking for inspiration to brighten up the wet winter days ahead.

What I noticed was that the experience wasn’t as pleasant as usual.  Continue reading


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Do Not Disturb: Successful leaders hit the pause button

Leaders spend a lot of their time, doing and directing – often focusing on what they’ve got to deliver and how they’re going to achieve that.  What we don’t do enough of – and I include myself in this – is simply stop for a moment and hit the pause button.  I know the benefits are huge – I get clarity and become better at making choices and decisions.  Sometimes I need to pause for longer; for example, when we review our business building plans.  At those times I prefer to set aside a couple of hours to really get thinking about what works and where we need to focus our business.  We call the short version putting on the ‘pause button’, and the longer version requires us to hang our ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.

Do Not Disturb

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Leadership fundamentals: success in a nutshell

When I start working with new clients, I sometimes get the opportunity for an initial burst of intensive coaching.  We talk through issues in sometimes microscopic detail each week and then move to fortnightly or monthly sessions.  The shifts that occur and the results that can happen by working this way are sometimes sensational, sometimes smooth yet powerful.

I’m fascinated by what it takes to transform organisations and the role of coaching in transformative learning – where we shift from problem/solution thinking to behaviours that have far-reaching impacts.

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Intuition and Decision-making

My earliest interest in leadership and management was around the topic of decision-making and success.  Why do some people need lots of information – and even then don’t take decisions?  Why do some leaders move forward on the basis of very little information?

I first began to understand intuition in action when working on a consulting project for a specialist hospital in south-west England.  Head Injury patients were recovering from surgery and the nurses reported their observations of very subtle signs and signals from the patients.  They believed they saw a correlation between these early signs and later recovery (or lack of it).

Malcolm Gladwell explored this further in his book ‘Blink’, where he described the impact of seeing repeating patterns – either in behaviour or inanimate objects, such as the sculptures at the Getty Museum.  An expert in the field will know, in the blink of an eye, whether the work is genuine or a fake.  Just as the nurse can tell by the blink of an eye, whether the patient will walk, talk and return to work.

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