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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To improve organisational health and well-being, you need Servant-leadership

“The great leader is seen as a servant first” Robert Greenleaf 1970

In the week after the UK’s May Day public holiday, along with my colleagues Doctors Steve Glowinkowski and Henry Ratter, I spoke at the BakerFish (see www.bakerfish.com) organised conference on servant-leadership.  Our combined aim was to bring a practical contribution to the event.  Together we outlined how Glowinkowski International’s (GIL) diagnostic methodologies can assess the quality of servant-leadership in organisations as well as explaining how this can be developed.

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Driving for Results

Setting SMART goals for individual and team accomplishment and instilling high positive expectations for their achievement.

Driving for Results is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Driving for Results – published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Mobilising Available Resources

Mobilising available resources is about matching resources to business priorities and objectives to ensure your team’s capacity to deliver is balanced against demand.

Mobilising Available Resources is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Mobilising Available Resources – published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Operational Decision Making

Making sound business decisions and taking action to resolve immediate issues and pursue opportunities.

Operational Decision Making is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Operational Decision Making – published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Driving Execution

Translating strategy into operational reality and establishing systems to ensure effective implementation and delivery of business goals.

Driving Execution is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Driving Execution –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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How to trust and be trusted – a healthy behavioural vaccine

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)? 

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Team Development

Using appropriate methods and interpersonal styles to develop, motivate and support a team toward successful outcomes and achievement of team and organisational business objectives.

Team Development is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Team Development –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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LARA Leadership Learning eBooks on Amazon Kindle

Time to Refresh & Renew your Leadership Skills.

Now published – my LARA Leadership Learning series of 10 eBooks. You can buy them online or borrow and read them for free if you subscribe to Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Targeted leadership refresher and learning modules. Just right for Refreshing & Renewing your leadership skills.

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Class Reunion – Leading Others Gothenburg 2007

How good is your training retention and application? Here we look at ‘Setting Objectives’ from the Leading Others programme.

This is the first in a series of Class Reunion articles where I reflect on leadership training courses I have facilitated in the past. I look back at the leadership learning lessons from the course and select one topic for special focus in each article. The topic for this article is Setting Objectives.

My questions for the participants is: how much of the learning have you retained; what has experience taught you in the interim; and how are you applying it now?

My challenge to anyone who has attended leadership training in the recent past is to Reflect, Refresh & Renew.

  • Reflect on the skills you learnt – including referring back to your notes in the course workbook.
  • Refresh your knowledge of the subject and re-learn how to use the skills – including examples of how you have developed your skills and knowledge since the course.
  • Renew your commitment to applying the skills in your daily leadership practice – including sharing this commitment with your manager and/or leadership coach as part of your continuous professional development.

Read on for more about my focused leadership learning topic for the Class of ‘07 ….

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