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Posts for tag: leadership


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What’s your game?

We all try harder when there’s a prize at stake, no matter how small.  The desire to win is in all of us to a greater or lesser extent and even those who wouldn’t be described as ‘competitive’ still enjoy playing.

The plan to increase productivity by canceling coffee breaks flopped!

The plan to increase productivity by canceling coffee breaks flopped!

In business, sales teams have included competitive measurement and reward to drive productivity for generations with such great effect that very few sales roles exist that don’t have some form of prize built into the remuneration package.  So it’s strange that other departments haven’t created their own ways to combine play with productive working….

Ten reasons why meetings fail

Meetings can take up a large portion of anyone’s working day and for many of us, demands on time in the office are already high. So in an ideal world every meeting should count, with specific objectives and results making the time invested worthwhile. 

Allowing conflict to get out of control = chaos

Allowing conflict to get out of control = chaos

All too often though, meetings – even during and afterwards – are perceived as a waste of time by those invited. This can usually be attributed to a lack of understanding about what the meeting was for. To avoid the sense that it was all worthless, here is a list of ten reasons why meetings can fail for you to use as a checklist when planning your next meeting:

1.      No agenda = no purpose
2.      No advance communication = surprising behaviours/responses
3.      Not encouraging participation = no interaction
4.      No time management = cost to organisation – time is money
5.      Allowing conflict to get out of control = chaos
6.      Not reaching consensus = waste of time and company resources
7.      Allowing sub meetings = no focus or direction
8.      Not controlling difficult behaviour = everyone becoming difficult
9.      Not summarising actions = misunderstanding of next steps
10.  Not motivational = attendees leave feeling flat and despondent

This list is based on an article written by Nuggets of Learning and Development.

Sick and Tired

Take a peek around your office, who’s got bags under their eyes?  A recent poll revealed that lack of sleep is the biggest health concern for 42% of the population, with another 34% experiencing low-level general fatigue.

Have you ever fallen asleep at work?

Have you ever fallen asleep at work?

Our relationship to tiredness is paradoxical, a source of shame, indicating our inability to cope; but also a badge of honour, signifying the importance of our work, for some its become an ‘affordable’ status symbol.

In reality tiredness leads to irritability, either bad decision making or worse, procrastination, poor concentration and reduced creativity.  Fatigue also reduces our immunity leading very quickly to ill health.
Whilst short term absences have reduced in the past year as people look to preserve their jobs, more than a third of employers claim that absences for long-term sickness increased last year.  A recent survey of nearly 700 employers found that 36 per cent of those asked said long-term sickness, where an employee had been off for more than a month, had risen between 2007 and 2008.  Long-term sickness is believed to be the most damaging area of absence. It cost the economy £5.3bn in 2007, according to the CBI….

The Power of a Leader

Can one person change the world?  Hilter certainly tried and thankfully failed, Stalin did his best and Obama certainly seems to be changing ‘our world’ if not all of the world.

2 lessons in leadership from Obama

Two lessons in leadership from Obama

Since September most media have been feeding us bad news stories, particularly regarding the economy.  In the midst of this, the election of the first black US President led to some optimistic reporting and has continued to do so.  Every time Obama stands in front of the cameras he seems to bring hope, not just to his nation but to the whole of the developed world.
He seems to understand that when he says swine flu cases are diminishing and the economy is stabilising the world believes him, confidence grows and with confidence can come recovery….

When teams and leaders collide

Why is it that when some companies and sports teams have a great leader and a brilliant team they still seem to under achieve?

Misaligned leaders and teams can have a very negative effect on success.

Misaligned leaders and teams can have a very negative effect on success, as shown by the England cricket team.

I was recently talking to an executive from a business that has exceptional recruitment.  They are renowned for attracting and recruiting some of the brightest minds in their field.  Their leaders are highly skilled and many have graduated from the best business schools.
During our conversation it became apparent that matching great leaders to already successful teams doesn’t always lead to instant success, in fact all too often team performance dropped as a new, highly competent leader was appointed.  The issue here is one of alignment.  Leaders come in different flavours – visionary, strategic, entrepreneurial, consensual, pastoral, motivational, as well as those brought in to turn around a crisis, the re-engineering leader….

New Leaders Needed

The days of leaders who can raise productivity and consequently profitability just by ‘managing by walking about’, patting their staff on the back and asking after the dog, are gone. 

Is Genghis Khan the ideal manager?

Is Genghis Khan the ideal manager?

In fact some would argue that relationship-based leadership was a fad or flash in the pan and now that businesses are in a battle to survive, ruthless tacticians are what’s needed to lead the team.  Luke Johnson said in today’s Financial Times : “It is becoming apparent that many leaders were really just suited to the good times. During a severe recession, when growth is irrelevant and all that matters is survival, their bullish attitude and denial of reality becomes positively dangerous .”  …


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