Contracting, Meaning, Love: My Coaching ‘Big Three’

I’ve been trying to figure out the factors that have been present when my coaching has been at it’s best. Here’s where I’ve got to…

Earlier this year I spent some time looking back at coaching work over recent years. Part of my reflection was about trying to figure out what had made the best assignments better than the others. In this post I want to share with you the outcomes of my reflections – my ‘coaching big three’ success factors.

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What is innovation?

This is the first of two blogs about innovation.  This first one considers the broad theme of innovation and sets out that it isn’t all about making major leaps forward.  It identifies how innovation is reliant on people.  The second essay will explore that aspect more deeply. 

The theme of innovation is now such an over-used buzzword that the approach to doing it effectively has drifted out of sight. Theory drowns out the practical. People look at innovation as something big organisations do and, perhaps, not do especially well. Innovation relates to massive, scene-shifting developments.  One reads about innovation causing the tectonic plates of business to shudder. 

Such magnitude 8 earthquakes occur far less frequently than most people recognise.  Most innovation comprises far smaller tremors. These should occur consistently and constantly. Without them organisations’, big and small, may see their viability and relevance to their end users diminish?

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Climate change – what needs to be done: part 2?

In the second part of my blog about Climate Change, having considered as extensively as I could the real scale and impact of the threat to our planet’s health, I want to move on and consider some of the people dynamics.  Who should do what and how? Who do we need to lead us, men or women, the private or state sector?  What are the views of young people who will be far more impacted than people like myself by the consequences of Climate Change.

Mark Goyder, whom I mentioned in part 1, often uses this Native American phrase, “We do not inherit the world from our forebears, we hold it in trust for those that follow.” We have not fulfilled our fiduciary duties as trustees especially well, have we? Looking forward to what needs doing, the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederary sets the fundamental principle, “Make your decisions based on their impact seven generations out from today.” Not seven quarters as some of Bill Gates’ remarks in his book indicate to be the expectation of the investment and finance community.

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Climate change – what needs to be done: part 1?

In August 19, I posted a blog entitled, “What if Greta is correct?”, see https://www.tsp-uk.co.uk/general-leadership/what-if-greta-is-correct/.  I want to come back to the topic of Climate Change. During my recent holiday I read Bill Gates’ book, “How to avoid a climate disaster”, as well as the Economist’s special report on Climate Change published to coincide with COP26 in Glasgow.

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Happy 5th Birthday Blog

The Leadership Coach Blog is Five Years Old Today

This blog is five years old. Hurrah. The first article – ‘Understand to be Understood‘ – was published on 19 May 2016. Five years and 237 articles later and we’re still going strong thanks to our Guest Authors, Subscribers and Regular Visitors. Thanks for your support.

Most visited posts in the last year:

A baker’s dozen of valid and practical leadership actions – part 2

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.

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Northern Power Women – Levelling up by Powering On

Introduction

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. 

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Trust

Introduction

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?

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Leadership in a COVID-19 World

The Covid-19 pandemic means supporting the basic and psychological needs of staff with a different style of leadership.

The effect of Covid-19 has invoked uncertainty over health, income, and indeed our very future. The effect of the pandemic means that normal life has been overturned. The metaphorical alligators are amongst us…

‘When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp’

Against this backdrop, leadership in companies has also been challenged. Guiding staff through uncertainty demands a radically different approach than leading in times of relative stability. 

But recent experiences with clients have highlighted outstanding examples of managers and directors, by instinct, in response to Covid-19. They have swiftly adopted a new approach in the direction of their businesses and staff.

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Praise!… Welcome to the revolution!

We are living in difficult times.  A lot of reflection on what is right and what is wrong is happening at the moment.  We have started questioning ourselves about our ways and what we can do better.  During my high school years, I was a very enthusiastic basketball player.  By enthusiastic I mean that I played every day but was never a good player.  I struggled most of the time, so I spent most of my basketball ‘career’ in fixing mode.  My coach constantly told me “when things are not going well, go back to the basics and you will find the solution”.  A couple of months ago, I decided to go back to the basics and reflect on how I could add value to the people around me.

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