A High Tide

One of the greatest things about working in learning is the boundless curiosity of those around you; unfortunately it can also be one of the worst things about our profession too. We are, far too often, enamoured with the latest shiny thing and, as such, open to the accusation that we’re “fluffy” rather than commercial.

Yet our role in business is simple: to make it better. Our job is to improve the quality of our people and make the organisation better at what it does. As Sergei would say “simples”…

So why do we often get it so wrong?

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Trains – going nowhere, slowly

It is the day of the 10th anniversary of the WOW! Awards gala at the Tower of London.  I thought it would salve my anger to write about the train “service” my local train operating company, Greater Anglia, “provides”.  As a  corporate entity it has about as much chance of winning an award as a chocolate remaining in a solid state in a furnace.

Today also saw the annual announcement of the increase in rail fares, 3.1% in January 2019.

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Learning in the new millennial

 

So much written about Millennials suggests that they are turned off by the way generations before them have done things. As someone engaged in professional learning this interests me.

Millennials, it would seem, are more civic and community minded than their predecessors. Lacking the financial security from which their parents have benefitted they are not as interested in a career path as generations before them. Instead, meaningful work, creative outlets and immediate, interactive feedback mean a lot. One only needs to look at a random selection of start-ups  to see this behaviour in evidence.

What does this mean for those of us now who work in more traditional institutions, based on and run by baby boomers or Gen X-ers? It’s an important question because bigger and slower moving organisations still need to employ, engage and retain millennials.

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Leadership is wearing high heels shoes and stepping strong.

Do you classify jobs by gender? What is your first reaction when you learn that the General Manager of a Regional Marine department is a female? Continue reading “Leadership is wearing high heels shoes and stepping strong.”

Look Who’s Talking

The dread of delivering a presentation dogs many of us. There are few who actually relish the prospect of public speaking. Nevertheless, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be brilliant. We mustn’t mess up, must be the expert, must be impervious to doubt, and meet any challenge with a flawless response. Intellectually we recognise that these are unrealistic aims but we still pressure ourselves to be perfect. This striving for perfection is not helpful for myriad reasons, not least because it puts you at the centre of every situation; and guess what? You’re not.

Whenever you’re delivering a presentation you are the least important person in the room.

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Taking care of yourself, on the soft side of Leadership

Taking care of yourself is a daily task, same as any other of your daily tasks in your role as a leader. Your team will really see you and not only listen to you and follow instructions. Continue reading “Taking care of yourself, on the soft side of Leadership”

Many Reasons To Get Off The Bed – LEGACY

For some time now I have adopted the habit of working out early in the morning – usually around 5:00 am. This year and motivated by a close friend, I resumed running and it is impressive how it boosts your energy for the day and the myriad of ideas sparking in one’s mind with working out – there is a scientific reason for that but will not get into details here.

Chewing the fat with this same friend (who encouraged me to resume running) a few weeks ago, he mentioned that the Vicar of our local church and who was an avid runner himself, had prematurely passed away during one of his run earlier that week – heart attack while out running. On the Sunday after that, I went to this church with my son – aiming to participate the sermon but also expecting to hear his eulogy – something I came to know living abroad as it is not common in Brazil.

It was amazing. Whole community was there and his family too. In sum, the Curate conducting Sunday morning sermon said that he was

‘An example in many ways. A great and respected leader, head of family and a trustworthy friend who anyone could rely on for advice and support. A sporty man who loved run and occasionally spent time in the jazz club. A great reference to anyone he interacted with.’

His legacy! And, I believe, building his legacy was (consciously or not) what took him out of the bed every day!

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Gesture: Authenticity and Consistency in the Age of President Trump

As President Trump, as he is now called, took centre stage on Friday 20th January I watched his inauguration speech I was struck again by his hand gestures. Earlier in the campaign Trump’s hands were the subject of attack from his opponents but like so much with this Teflon-coated politician, the bad stuff doesn’t seem to stick. Things that reduce other candidates to rubble, Trump somehow survives.

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The Influencing Leader

The Influencing Leader


How would you describe what a leader does to get things done through others? Is it assertiveness or influencing? A friend of mine asked for some coaching resource material on ‘assertiveness’ and this got me thinking.

I have known John for over 30 years. We are fellow consultants, although we have never done any work together. We work in different areas and in different industries. What we do however is regularly exchange ideas and share resource material with each other. Continue reading “The Influencing Leader”