Leading in the Training Room

Leaders and followers training together

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve spent some time working with a regular client. They are an innovative and creative mid-sized company based over three countries.

While the training was very much focused on how they engage with their clients, one thing in particular struck me about what a great company they are. the range of people on the course.

The small group consisted of one person with “Executive” at the end of their job title, who had been in the organisation for ten months, as well as someone with “C” at the beginning of the theirs and who had been there for many years.

While the training wasn’t designed for a specific management level, I was surprised when I learned how senior that one participant was. The training itself was incredibly successful and the dynamics within the group open, free and courageous. The C-level employee told me how she had pushed to get on the course. She was trying to balance her desire to learn and improve while not taking a valuable place on a small and intensive learning experience really aimed at lower levels.

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The worse blindness is the one when we ‘deliberately refuse to see’!

Last week I met a good friend who used to be my direct report. He recently got promoted as general manager and has always been a great sparring buddy. Besides the fact that I feel extremely proud to see him growing and pleased to be part of it, I also find our talks and engagement inspiring myself as he always add something to the conversations which makes me grow too.

Among different things we spoke about, reminiscing about the time we worked together, the adversities we had – how we surmounted them as well as his/our current challenges, we also spoke about long term ambition and discussed ‘why some people get ahead on their careers and others, even being extremely bright, don’t go so far.

“Opportunities come disguised as hard work.” By Bernardinho (Brazilian volleyball coach and former player).

Then he brought in a very interesting analogy from Indian mythology

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Audi Alteram Partem (Listen to the other side).

In common law, Audi Alteram Partem is a Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”. It is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them. It is a fundamental principle of English common law that a decision-maker should listen to, and take into account, both sides of an argument. This principle is encapsulated in the Latin phrase Audi Alteram Partem, or ‘Let the other side be heard as well’.

Audi Alteram Partem in leadership & project management.

The context I want to bring here is our ability to listen to the two sides of our brain. I am not a specialist on the topic (or any topic) and will share my personal views based on both, readings and work life experience.

As it relates to me, listening to both sides of our brain all the time is not something natural to everyone. We need to practice it. In my case, it took while before I started thinking of it. All of us born with different aptitudes, abilities, and talents. Some people use more the right side of the brain and others the left. If you are not familiar with this at all, i found this short definition about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Continue reading “Audi Alteram Partem (Listen to the other side).”

Needing Direction

It’s been a while since I’ve directed a play. I miss it. I miss the freedom to be creative, I miss watching something take form, I miss seeing other people create performances around me. I miss realising a vision.

This last point is one that really interests me. Directing a play is about the most immediate and swift creation of a product I can think of.

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I never lose. I either win or learn!

This article was inspired by the famous quote “I never lose. I either win or learn.” Nelson Mandela.

Have you ever faced a situation in which you wanted something so much and it didn’t materialize? How did you deal with it?

A couple of years ago, I peered up with HR on a hiring process where we interviewed more or less 20 candidates. We aligned on a number of questions in order to take the best out of the interviews and one of them was for the candidate to describe the time when he/she has had to deal with a setback or disappointment in work life.

There was a wide range of response and examples on what they identified as ‘seatback’. How they dealt with that and the outcome. I will obviously not disclose any specific story but revisiting my notes to produce this article, I found many examples that what was seen as setback was probably an opportunity disguised as temporary failure.

It was a simple but purposeful question with the hidden objective to identify candidates’ ability to cope with seatback and show drive and resilience. Whatever is the source of the seatback, important is how we handle it. When facing a difficult situation, you can choose how to respond to it.

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Trust: The Underrated Enabler

my-brothers

I was traveling from Cape Town to Panama to attend my mother’s funeral and my brothers agreed that I would speak at the ceremony. I was sitting on the plane trying to think what to write since she has been a huge influencer in my personal and professional life. It was an impossible task to fit it all in one speech. Then I decided to just focus in one word that will define her greatest legacy in my life. After hours of thinking that the perfect word was ‘trust’. She trusted me to do well, always. It didn’t matter how much I failed in something, she will always be there to cheer for me.

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Can Quantum Physics Help Us Better Understand Leadership?

Penguin Books

I’m lucky enough to be spending two weeks on holiday with my wife and six month old son in Sardinia. I’ve learnt many things during the first months of becoming a parent. One thing to emerge from the last couple of weeks, though, is that very little reading can occur on a holiday with a young child in tow.

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Good Morning Jessica … Enjoy Life!

JESSICA APPLEWHAITE-WALTERS

I had the pleasure of working with Jessica in Panama when she was in the corporate world. Now she is working on her own account as a life coach for women. Take a look at her new website Jessica Coach.

As soon as you click the link you will smile. Guaranteed. Her smile, the uplifting music and her cheerful persona are infectious. Good luck Jessica. I expect you to change the lives of women around the world.

As Jessica says on her video welcome: “Breath, breath …. enjoy life!

The Collaborative Leader: Learning from the World of Theatre

Charlie Walker-Wise


Have you ever wondered how a Theatre Director brings together a cast of often high ego actors to deliver an excellent production? A Theatre Director can often be like a new Leader: pulling together a disparate group of people that they may not have had any say in the selection of. Here we look at seven key principles of how a Theatre Director works with a company of actors which apply equally to how a Business Leader works within an organisation.

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