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Confrontation – Give difficult feedback

By |2018-07-02T14:50:27+00:00June 27th, 2018|Coaching, Leading, Models, Teams|

There is real skill required to build warm relationships at the same time as you manage people to achieve high levels of delivery. It is easy to be either a nice ineffectual leader or a ruthless driver. It is a lot more difficult to drive and build appropriate relationships at the same time. And this [...]

Take these leadership steps to create team magic

By |2018-05-29T10:20:38+00:00May 28th, 2018|Delegation, Empowerment, Leading, Teams, Uncategorized|

Most organisations use leadership in teams to achieve goals Even with the best technology, most efficient processes, and most exciting ideas, you ultimately implement your strategy through people. Probably people in teams! which means you will need leadership.  Unless you have these guys at your disposal: Teams will allow you to undertake larger, more complex [...]

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Balanced Scorecard: Align your action around a few key measures

By |2018-05-21T12:04:45+00:00March 1st, 2018|Communication, Conversation models, Decision making, Delegation, Strategy, Teams, Uncategorized|

Sherlock Holmes uses key indicators. In one of the Sherlock Holmes stories he says “I watch these five people and when they do something different I know the game is afoot”.  It would be great to have such an arrangement in our organisation.  “We watch these eight measures and when one starts moving we know [...]

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Defensive Reasoning: the traps we set ourselves

By |2016-11-18T10:03:57+00:00April 19th, 2016|Communication, Conversation models, Teams, Uncategorized|

Dean Rusk with President Johnson and Robert McNamara.  The very pinnacle of government in the USA at the time.  No place for defensive reasoning - but... Dean Rusk was the 54th United States Secretary of State from 1961 – 1969, serving under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.  He has also been attributed with [...]

Select team-members – two cautions

By |2016-11-18T10:03:58+00:00September 23rd, 2015|Teams|

South African Rugby is in shock! Beaten by Japan? The newspapers and armchair selectors kick-in.  The team is too old, too white and too arrogant. And of course there are particular players who should not have been on the field. It’s a maul out there. A maul.  I am comfortable to observe without inserting my [...]

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Structure 1: Executive function of brains

By |2016-11-18T10:04:04+00:00May 16th, 2014|Leading, Strategy, Teams, Uncategorized|

William Cobbett once used a smoked (therefore reddish brown) herring to distract a pack of hounds from the scent of a hare. Then on 14 February 1807 he used the incident to criticise the English Press who had mistakenly reported the defeat of Napoleon calling it a ‘political red herring’. And so the term ‘Red [...]

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Aligning teams by managing brains

By |2016-11-18T10:04:04+00:00May 16th, 2014|Leading, Strategy, Teams, Uncategorized|

How is this for an impressive termite mound?   (Image is from the posting by S.C. Lougheed.) “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” Proverbs 6:6 Not strictly 'ants' but OK [...]

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Personal Mission Statement

By |2016-11-18T10:04:04+00:00March 5th, 2014|Coaching, Empowerment, Leading, Performance, Purpose, Teams, What Matters|

A mason was asked “what are you doing?” He said “can’t you see I am chipping stone” and carried on hammering in a lacklustre way. When asked the same question, another mason replied “I am building a cathedral” and continued hammering joyfully away. I have always been a little sceptical of this story.  It sounds [...]

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motivate teams through small wins

By |2016-11-18T10:04:04+00:00November 22nd, 2012|Coaching, Leading, Teams|

Just about every board-game is developed around a simple principle. We love a sense of progress and are bothered by setbacks. We get a kick out ascending a ladder and are frustrated by having to slide down a snake. Dr Anna Tarrant from whom I took the illustration has used this principle quite creatively in [...]

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Are you living in a monochrome palette?

By |2016-11-18T10:04:05+00:00March 7th, 2012|Coaching, Conversation models, Learning, Models, Teams, Watercolour|

I have a presentation called "Your Life in Light and Colour".  In this presentation I use the painting of a watercolour as a metaphor for life, or at least life in business.  This has been well received and now I have decided to take it forward as an offer.   I am rewriting the material [...]

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