Ever Heard of the ‘Jonah Complex’?

Are you running from something you know you really need to do?

Ever heard of the ‘Jonah Complex’?

Possibly not – not many people have heard of the Jonah Complex. It doesn’t seem to get a lot of air-time alongside things like ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and some of the other better known ways of thinking about our many peculiarities.

But I think the Jonah Complex deserves some time in the limelight. It has a lot to offer, especially in this brave new world where so many people are reaching for a more balanced, purposeful way of living and working and where we really can’t afford people’s best talents to go to waste!

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Each One Teach One

I feel that now our team looks like that Boy Scout patrol I used to lead during my childhood: we worked hard, we laughed a lot and we would get things done.

I haven’t written in a while because we have been busy putting something together that dazzles me everyday and now when all is starting to make sense, I am writing again. We have such a great group of people that I do not even know who is leading.  Everyday I show up to work and there is a continuous 360 degrees feedback session. 

When I was a boy, I spent a long-time being part of an organization founded by Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the Boys Scouts movement.  There were some practices that until now just made sense to me like each troop was divided into patrols formed by 8 members.  These patrols adopted names from animals that represented the spirit of the team.  They participated in all types of competitions, but there were never individual competitions.  When one competed, you were always representing your patrol, a group who always walked with the leader up front and the sub leader at the back to ensure that we all moved at the same speed and no one was left behind.  I feel that now our team looks like that patrol I used to lead during my childhood: we worked hard, we laughed a lot and we would get things done.

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VOX-POP SERIES – General Ideas from Coaches (Part 2)

What general insights and ideas about coaching are reported by leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class program?

Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.

In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) program. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this program?

In this article I look at some general insights and ideas about coaching as reported by Coaches participating in my CMC program.

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Nothing new under the sun

I realised a couple of weeks ago that I haven’t had a proper break from my work for two years.  Suddenly, I felt wearied.  Accordingly, I furled in my sails and allowed myself to float about on the waves of content concerning leadership, organisational design and development, culture, purpose, values, and finance that flood into my Inbox. 

All the big consultancies and individual practitioner experts like myself issue so much stuff from articles to webinars to videos to memes to animations to… well, nothing new.  In writing my essay, I’m conscious I risk adding to the cacophony. 

However, my aim is to identify some “crotchets of note” that will scythe through the noise. Hopefully, these will provide a clear tempo for healthy organisations to create the conditions that raise rather than harm the well-being of the individuals who work there.

I’m old enough to remember the Irish entertainer Val Doonican singing about O’Rafferty’s motor car, “… used to be as black as me father’s hat, now it’s forty shades of green”.  This seems to fit with all I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to.  Material is cited as being distinct, discrete, and differential in its hue, yet so much appears to be another Pantone shade of grey (rather than green).  

All this got me thinking about whether the principles of leadership that I first encountered in a book from 1968 called “Motivation and Organisational Climate” written by George Litwin and Robert Stringer contain the golden threads on which we should not lose our cognitive and physical grasp.  Their work was informed and influenced by that of David McClelland, Kurt Lewin, and Robert Blake and Jane Mouton amongst many. 

McClelland’s work on motivation identifies people having three main motivational drivers, achievement, affiliation, and power.  The latter has two faces, personalised and social or institutional.  Are we mistakenly celebrating some leaders’ personalised power?  What risks arise from their “must win, me, me, me” drive?  For instance, how much is the pandemic crisis and our world standing on the brink of climate catastrophe due to this self-centred rather than selfless leadership (see later)?  As we combat the global climate challenge, what must be done to nurture and sustain healthy climates in organisations? 

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VOX-POP SERIES – General Ideas from Coaches (Part 1)

What general insights and ideas about coaching are reported by leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class program?

Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.

In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) program. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this program?

In this article I look at some general ideas and insights about coaching as reported by Coaches participating in my CMC program.

Continue reading “VOX-POP SERIES – General Ideas from Coaches (Part 1)”

The Challenge of Changing and Developing Corporate Culture

The classic summary of ‘the way we do things around here’ is not always enough for us to challenge and change corporate culture.

Clients regularly talk about ‘…changing culture in the organisation’ as one of the key outcomes of a project. 

Behind this deceptively simple statement is a myriad of guides, surveys, benchmarks, information, books, and advice on the topic. Try an internet search and it’s likely that there will be some 50 million hits.  In particular, informed and experienced researchers, authors and writers such as Ed Schein, Gert Hofstede, Peter Woolliams and Fons Trompenaars offer various views on changing culture. So against this background there is little doubt that this is a significant topic. And therein lies the challenge…just where do we start?

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VOX-POP SERIES – Coaching Case Studies

Ten Top Coaching Case Studies as reported by leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class program.

Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.

In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) program. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this program?

In this second article in the series I look at Coaching Case Studies.

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A Plague on Poor Customer Service

Its official – using Covid as an excuse to ignore your customers and deliver poor customer service is never going to work!

Hiding behind Covid as an excuse for poor customer service is never going to work. Just recently we bought 6 cases of wine. Absolutely nothing unusual about that – it’s a regular occurrence chez Sherman. We’re a thirsty lot, and dehydration, we’re told, is a dangerous thing. Especially for the elderly. So when one of our top tipples was on offer at a local supermarket, and they tossed in an extra 25% off 6 bottles or more, it was a no-brainer.

Two days later, our wine arrived. Now, here’s a question for you. If you order 6 cases of wine, are you being unreasonable in expecting it to arrive in 6 cardboard boxes? I don’t think so. But Tesco do. Well, to be fair, their staff don’t.  But the bosses at Tesco do.

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VOX-POP SERIES – Benefits & Outcomes of Coaching

I look back at my Coach-the-Coach session notes to discover the benefits and outcomes of coaching as reported by participants in my Coaching Master Class program.

Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.

In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) program. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this program? In the first article I look at the benefits and outcomes of coaching.

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Leadership Interview: Hans Augusteijn ‘Moving Up – the Coaching Journey Continues’

Hans Augusteijn: What are the Top 10 themes as his career moves onwards and upwards?

We last checked in with Hans Augusteijn on the progress of his leadership coaching journey back in 2018. A lot has happened with him since then in terms of his career progression. He has been moving on and moving up. After 17 years with Maersk he has a new role in a new organisation. Hans is now Chief Strategy Officer with Stolt Tankers in Rotterdam.

I have worked with Hans since 2012. In this interview I asked him to reflect on the top 10 themes that have dominated his recent leadership coaching journey.

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