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Executive Coaching

Leadership and Authenticity

Leadership and Authenticity

Conventional wisdom suggests that openness, transparency and consistency are critical values of an authentic and effective leader, and are key to building and maintaining trust with 'followers'.  But this is tricky stuff ! Consider the following examples : A leader who is open about his weaknesses and insecurities in order to be authentic, risks giving the impression that he is…
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Find a mentor to develop your skills

Find a mentor to develop your skills

Traditional leadership development whether in house or  in business schools focuses on teaching potential leaders what to do in different situations and what behaviours to adopt, with learning through case studies. This 'once off' model of learning is inadequate in an increasingly complex business environment, where there is an ongoing breakdown in long established industry boundaries, and an ever increasing…
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Goal setting  Pros and Cons

Goal setting Pros and Cons

Overwhelming research demonstrates that goal setting has a powerful influence on individual performance and motivation. Goals are potentially energising and motivating. Challenging goals lead to higher levels of effort. Deadlines lead to more rapid rates of work and  making a 'public' commitment to a goal, recorded in writing, enhances personal commitment to its achievement. But there are real problems with…
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Why have formal job descriptions?

Why have formal job descriptions?

As a business grows it becomes more challenging to maintain lines of communication and to ensure that all employees are aligned to the achievement of the same company vision. Having formal job descriptions can help this process of alignment. The development process for job descriptions can 'flush out' any misunderstandings about roles, ensure that there is no overlap between roles and…
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Test the quality of your plan for 2016

Test the quality of your plan for 2016

As we get closer to 2016 you will be (or should be!) working on your business plan for the year. As part of this process it can be useful to test the inputs to and outputs from your planning process, before the plan is signed off and specific objectives are assigned to individuals and teams.  The following are some questions…
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Position the team as the unit of performance

Position the team as the unit of performance

Most job applicants will  list 'team player' as one of their strengths. But how true is this in reality? Benchmark yourself against the following:  Are you prepared to stretch time lines to achieve buy in from key stakeholders? Do you really listen and allow yourself to be influenced by the views of others? Do you appreciate the impact on motivation and…
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Goals – be aware of downsides

Goals – be aware of downsides

Conventional wisdom is that having goals is the key to success and that the SMARTer (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) the goals are the better. But there is an alternative view, supported by research, which suggests that there can be negative consequences from having goals. Goals can be limiting if interpreted by those responsible for their achievement as being a boundary…
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The Art of the Possible

The Art of the Possible

Politics is sometimes described as the 'art of the possible', implying that making some progress is better than stalemate or insisting on an ideal solution that will never see the light of day. While it is easy to be cynical about politics I feel that business leaders can usefully apply some of the approaches used by the best politicians to…
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Communication and the Key Decision Maker

Communication and the Key Decision Maker

If  you are an owner manager/leader of a small management team there can be a tendency to assume that communication between yourself and those who report to you is good, simply because you talk to each other on a daily basis. It might be worthwhile to test this assumption.What messages are you sending out by the way in which you…
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Time management is self management

Time management is self management

It is our responsibility to determine how we spend our time. Stress related to time pressure is a symptom of poor self management. How you spend your day is a matter of setting priorities, planning and discipline in sticking  to your planned schedule.  If some unanticipated event arises during the course of the day the first step should always be…
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