Following my two earlier articles about Northern Power Women’s excellent report, “Levelling Up by Powering On”, here is the second half of my baker’s dozen of foundational principles that I continuously rely on in my work with leaders across a broad demographic spectrum.
My first article in this series concludes with a model that highlights the need for concepts to possess rigorous research underpinnings and to be practical. It is vital these can be implemented. It may not necessarily be easy to do this. However, through diligent endeavour they can be learnt, understood, practised, and competence deepened by ongoing coaching. Combined, rather than any one in isolation, these faculties represent the hallmarks of great leadership.
When exercised, these principles deliver a humane, compassionate, and purposeful style of leadership. This imbues organisations, large and small, for and not for profit, with a fit and healthy climate. Employee engagement and well-being will rise, the customer and citizen experience will improve, the environment will be protected – the triple bottom line is maximised.
The sustainable outcome is that we won’t just level up, we shall power forward into a new and better community.
Continue reading “A baker’s dozen of valid and practical leadership actions – part 2”
Following my last article about Northern Power Women’s excellent report, “Levelling Up by Powering On”, see https://www.tsp-uk.co.uk/general-leadership/northern-power-women-levelling-up-by-powering-on/, here is the first half of my baker’s dozen of foundational principles that I continuously rely on in my work with leaders across a broad demographic spectrum.
Continue reading “A baker’s dozen of valid and practical leadership actions: part 1, items 1 to 7”
I commend this excellent report, which I read it between Christmas and New Year. It is available at https://www.northernpowerwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Levelling-Up-by-Powering-On-Report.pdf. It is required reading to help us all to sharpen our leadership focus at the start of this new decade (assuming you subscribe to the view the decade starts this year not last).
Through both fortitude and good fortune – “Diligence is the mother of good luck,” remarked Benjamin Franklin – the paper should be regarded as being like the blue touch paper on a firework. When lit it should ignite a dazzling blaze of considered and considerate action to change the composition and competence of organisational leadership across the Northern Powerhouse, as well as everywhere else.
In an article entitled “The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights” published in mid-October by The Economist, see https://www.economist.com/international/2020/10/17/the-pandemic-has-eroded-democracy-and-respect-for-human-rights, Freedom House, a Washington DC based think tank, says their research exposes growing pressures being imposed by many, male populist leaders around the world to stifle democracy and constrain human rights. It is on that taut, global canvas that NPW has chosen to paint its brighter, rosier more compassionate picture of the future.
Continue reading “Northern Power Women – Levelling up by Powering On”
How to trust and be trusted. What behaviours do you need to deploy consistently and constantly to strengthen trust?
Back in October last year, I wrote a blog about trust, see https://www.tsp-uk.co.uk/general-leadership/trust/. As we embark into a new year, I thought it would be helpful to provide a few observations on how trust can be earned, given and sustained.
What behaviours do you need to deploy consistently and constantly to strengthen trust and act as a vaccine against its mutated forms of distrust (usually based on experience) and mistrust (a general sense of unease)?
Continue reading “How to trust and be trusted – a healthy behavioural vaccine”
Last week, my good friend and business colleague, Gary Winter (see the post script to Harvard Business School article, “The Great Training Robbery”, which concerns the famous turn-round at Asda during the 1990s in which Gary was deeply immersed), told me about a programme he listened to on BBC Radio 4. In this, a prominent CEO spoke about doubting the necessity for their employees to remain working from home (WFH). The CEO felt they should be “keen and willing” to return to the workplace and their fears and concerns about Covid-19 were both mis-guided and misplaced (so singing from the same song sheet as President Trump uttering, “Do not be afraid,” upon his return to the White House from hospital). To us, it sounds as though this CEO does not trust their employees’ commitment.
Is this a widespread sentiment?
Continue reading “Trust”
I came across this illustration on LinkedIn a few days ago. It claims to offer a fresh recipe for the mindset shifts required to transform organisations. It stimulated much thought and reflection about the practicalities of the ideas it imparted. While the best ideas are often simple, is this too simplistic? Does it ignore the realities of organisational and wider societal life? This is morphing at warp speed under the impact of Covid-19. What the end state will, no one is really sure.
Without doubt, change needs to occur. Are the alternatives so firmly locked at the opposite ends of the five linear scales? In other words, rather than “Yes, but…”, don’t we need a “Yes, and” approach? Walt Disney was alleged to answer questions by saying, “Yes, what if we did this…?”. By doing so, he responds positively to the principle of the idea while “reviewing and refining” it. This remains an organisation habit across the entertainment conglomerate.
Is the optimal case for organisational leaders to cultivate the cultural flexibility to display aspects of all the attributes of the labels? The article does not need to be read in one go. Consider each of the five “shifts” separately over their own mug of tea or coffee.
Continue reading “Mindset shifts”
In part 1 of this blog, I raised some questions about the need to change our approach to leadership during and beyond this coronavirus crisis to nurture and sustain the quality of organisations’ climates. In so doing, I revisited some of organisational psychology’s foundational theories, notably the work of Kurt Lewin. In this second part, focusing on Lewin’s seminal environment formula that avers behaviour to be a function of personality and situation, I explore why understanding one’s own and your employees’ personality is so important to creating a healthy climate.
Continue reading “Knowing me, knowing you (part 2)”
Are you relying on the “scientific evidence”?
Social media displays countless articles about managing teams dislocated from their normal, intact work location to working from home. Many offer novel suggestions to deal with the novel virus. However, do they fall into one of three less effective categories of “science” (or research), namely popularist, puerile or pedantic, see Figure (1) below.
Continue reading “Knowing me, knowing you (part 1)”
The curse of the virus
“May you live in interesting times,” states the Chinese curse. Courtesy of a global pandemic that arose in Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei, we certainly are. (Conspiracy theorists may counter that America introduced the virus covertly into China, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/conspiracy-theory-that-coronavirus-originated-in-us-gaining-traction-in-china.) The world is in lockdown. Even President Trump has had to backtrack from saying it was a non-event and all would be sorted by Easter to saying things are going to get far worse. The picture of the huge US navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, entering New York harbour is deeply dispiriting.
Continue reading “COVID-19: the sequel”
This is the third and final look at the ABC of Leadership and Management.
T is for training
Does training (or L&D) activity add value? Is there a return on the investment, if, indeed, the C-suite regards it as such rather than an expensive, preferably avoidable cost? An article entitled “The Great Training Robbery”, published by Harvard Business School, merits reading during the festive season, see https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/16-121_bc0f03ce-27de-4479-a90e-9d78b8da7b67.pdf. It says US firms spend something like $165 BILLION on “development” of which 90% generates NO performance uplift within 12 months.
The new vogue of e-training commoditises learning into read this, watch this, listen to this, do this tick-box exercises. This may satisfy compliance but the learning cycle of acquisition, assimilation and application of new knowledge does not complete a full cycle. The old practice of discussing expectations of performance uplift before undertaking any training, reviewing and committing to them immediately afterwards then subsequently tracking progress appears to be a redundant managerial practice. Is it all too humdrum?
Might that have something to do with the job descriptions including leading the team and growing its capability as the last in the list of objectives – see my previous blog (letter S)?
Continue reading “An ABC of Leadership and Management (part 3)”