So what’s happening with leaders in the 21st century?

October Newsletter

Well for a whole host of leaders the tried and tested ways of the past work for yesterday’s paradigm at yesterday’s pace and yesterdays people. The trouble is today is today and we’ve not even reached tomorrow yet.

So what’s to be done? Let’s some new questions?

  • What do people experience of us on their first day?
  • Even before that, what do candidates we’ve interviewed think of us? Are unsuccessful candidates discarded even though they have demonstrated lots of great skills? What do we do with them?
  • What’s working exceptionally well right now and why?
  • Do we as an organization follow the herd or lead it?
  • Do all of our peoples attributes turn up and turn on for work?

The concept and practice of collective leadership being aligned top to bottom seems to be getting more air time and the comment and writing in this area is increasing

As early as 2011 Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP published a research article “Collective leadership: Getting organizations to work as one” it highlighted some key trends (I have added my own de-jargonised thoughts in italics)

Leaders are seeking new ways to drive effective action. Changing employee expectations demands different and more tailored leadership approaches than many companies have used in the past. (why is it that employee engagement surveys in the USA show a lowest scoring for 20 years)

The average CEO tenure is getting shorter. This creates two challenges. First, continuity of leadership is hard to sustain. And second, leaders feel pressure to produce quick results that stick. (Football manager syndrome, that’s the problem measure the wrong things well and you get the wrong things done even better)

Downsizing has taken its toll. Leadership ranks and organisational layers are thinning. Organisations have to take full advantage of the talent they have to drive engagement that fulfills the business strategy.(taking advantage or mobilizing their potential) I recently participated on a Human Resources Professionals discussion group that harped on about how the psychological contract was dead and moaned about people most of the time and then gave advice on how you can control them, at that point I left the group)

Risks seem riskier. Today’s competitive environment values executives who are able to find new ways to manage through continuing global challenges and workforce instability.(its called reducing fear and increasing trust)

This is just one of the reports that highlight similar needs so why is it so different for most organisations given that the three principles of collective leadership are easy to understand (but hard to do)
1. Creating a sense of belonging (we want to work here)
2. Gaining shared commitment (we want to stay hear)
3. Achieving a shared interpretation of the problem and desired solution. (we know what is going on and what part we play)

These principles should be used across the organization strategy formulation, leadership development, organization design, process design, technology strategy, and change management.
• Drawing lessons from the people closest to the customer
• Ensuring your people have a sense of being connected
• Enabling people to act together to achieve their goals
• Understanding the ways in which the organisation gets work done?

Recently after attending a series of business gatherings and specialist workshops where the key issues of energizing your people and managing your talent we explored.

I came away realizing that neither question had been addressed in any great detail or significance. Yes energy can be increased by ensuring you are properly hydrated (the key tip bit from a two hour presentation by a presenter who was anything but energetic).
The managing talent session was an introduction to using assessment and development centers how to do it and what makes them effective actually a really great session but not what it said on the tin which was talent management?

What’s significant about these examples?
These sessions in their different ways show the dilemmas leaders have in the 21st century, making the message clear and making the message appropriate. The time for jargon has gone people has become too skeptical and lost faith in many institutions banks, religion politicians easily spring to mind
• The time for meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet
• The time for trying new things
• The time for taking action in a way that’s different from the past

Taking some tips from Rosaline Torres in her recent TED Talk “What makes a great leader?” see video.
She asked a series of questions to establish the leaders that we thriving what was it that they we re doing
1. Where are you looking to anticipate your next change? The companies or people who are exceptional
2. What is your diversity measure? The capacity to develop relationships with people different to you, so what would someone who has never bought your product or service say about you?
3. Are you courageous enough to abandon the past? So what’s next, what’s now and what will work tomorrow? Innovation creativity is the key. Letting people have space to think without a box let alone outside of one.
Call to action to all people developers, coaches and trainers an innovative new programme

The Artist & The Engineer: coaching using harmonised approaches      See your inner Artisteer!

Integrate from the world of the arts and science, understand how these approaches converge and flow together



Breakthrough in leadership the leadership stare?

August 2014 Newsletter

Remember that leadership starts with your own sense of what is fair, values and being seen to be of value

So when organisations start to pose the question what makes our people unhappy de-motivated or resistant it’s often because of what the organisation is not doing rather than what it is doing!

  • It’s not listening
  • It’s not considering
  • It’s not asking
  • It’s not genuine
  • It’s not open

What is it that makes your people unhappy?
So start by asking yourself what makes you happy because what makes you happy will make you realize what makes your people happy, are they really so different from us? We are all human beings in a job / career driven by needs; these might be to survive, to get past the day, to learn new things, to be a part of something, to get ourselves on the next step of the ladder, to get ourselves off the ladder to get ourselves a new ladder.

So what makes your people happy is,

  1. being listened to and heard
  2. being a part of something
  3. having some free scope for acting
  4. looking at our life as a whole
  5. having a sense of direction
  6. having a sense of ease
  7. knowing that they are appreciated
  8. getting recognition, thank you and thoughtful

So what makes your people unhappy?

  • being ignored
  • feeling isolated
  • being micro managed
  • treated without worth
  • keeping everything and everyone in boxes
  • feeling lost
  • having no confidence
  • not knowing what we are good at
  • being ignored (again)

So referring back to some previous Newsletters about the qualities of a leader, leadership is about being able to stop and stare where STARE is about:
Sharing your thoughts hopes and concerns
Trust yourself and your people
Action keep doing
Reflection keep thinking
Enterprise keep being creative and encourage innovation

To emphasis the value of a human authentic and appreciative leader
See clearly
Hear correctly
Think clearly
Inquire critically
Show respect
Maintain calm
Consider consequences
Create desirable outcomes
Do what is right
Give credit and step aside

I hope this newsletter has sparked some reaction and provoked some thoughts about your own leadership style. For those who want to be provoked further and am very happy to help you along the way


Getting to the heart of the matter

profileSo it’s that time when you’ve returned from holiday feeling sun tanned and skint, hoping the rain will ease off long enough for you to show off your tan and the back to work where its all the same as before.

For most organisations holidays are something that takes you away and interrupts the flow of business, do they really!

Time for reflection, contemplation gaining some perspective are always welcome in our busy overcrowded lives.

In the work faster, harder, leaner, meaner environment what really happens to us we become more job title and less human more protective less trusting more divisive and less welcoming.

Getting to the heart of the matter is more than just a phrase its a way that leads you forward, lets you be you and enables corporate life to be lived to the full.

Many on my recent blogs have been around the theme of trust either of others, how to develop it in organisations or recognising when it exists or not for people within organisations.

So how to begin?

Remember when you were curious and creative

Take a deep breath and put aside the politics

Start the day with a fresh outlook and look out for what comes your way!