The combative and grumpy Jeremy Paxman has stepped down from Newsnight, the flagship BBC current affairs programme. His aggressive style of questioning raised their own questions within the hierarchy of the BBC-known affectionately as “Auntie”- and the only surprise to many observers is that he managed to stay 25 years with the organisation. The reason for this is easy to see. He was as outspoken and derogative of his employers as he was withering in his assessment of politic
Here are some examples: In a negotiation, y0u are not obliged to react to every offer. You can opt to say or do nothing. Your opponent may want to “fill the silence” and start to back down from their original stance all because you did nothing. This tactic is also termed as aggressive and I would counsel against using this move. Asking a searching question of your team and then wait. If you do nothing, your team will eventually attempt to grapple with your challenge. By doing
There are many times that we need to get work done quickly and efficiently. We often go into “tell-mode” when time is short or we are under pressure. Telling people what to do is ok when we want our own way, to our specific details. The problem is when we come across a situation or a person where it is they who have the power to decide when and how they do something we want done. It is in these situations when we realise the limits of our power and skills of communication. Th
Relationships The core of his success lies in the relationships he has with his players. He knows them intimately to the point where he knows how to get the very best from them. How he does this is very straightforward however his methods are hard to replicate. He forms strong bonds with the key characters in the club. This includes the back room staff as well as the Board of Directors. He knows, through bitter experience, how it is when relationships at Board level go wrong.
Are you one of those people who find social situations difficult and are secretly jealous of those who can just fit into any situation and get along with others easily and effortlessly? You envy those social butterflies who can flit from person to person, smiling and relaxed, seemingly without a care in the world. Getting along with people is a skill that some of us miss out on in early life and we forget that this can still be developed later on in our lives. Being confident
Everybody lies, don’t they? From those little comments that spare someone’s blushes (white lies), to the bigger lies that can change the course of appropriate action towards a way un-required if the lie was left untold. Those little lies like: “Tell them I’m not home.” Meaning: I don’t want to be bothered seeing you right now. We lie: To keep out of trouble To have control of an issue To gain more of a reward than telling the truth Most liars think that there are greater rewa
Objective setting is a key leadership skill. We all know that. Many think they are doing it correctly and they probably are. The power of setting targets is lost on many, because they think that it is a process that HAS to be done. Commanded by senior management or HR, they “go through the motions” of setting targets for their team and getting them agreed as quickly as possible. What is SMART? SMART stands for: Specific Measurable Agreed/ Achievable/ Aligned Realistic Time Bo
Have you ever been paid a compliment at work and then ‘batted’ it away by saying something like: “I was only doing my job.”? We are brought up to be humble. There is something distasteful about someone who is boastful. You make sure that you are deferential to any authority. That’s perfectly reasonable but there is a catch: People don’t hear “Thank you!” Even when it is delivered with sincerity, people deflect a ‘thank you’ away with well-rehearsed lines, built over many year
Everyone has good days and bad days, don’t they? You know those days when everything seems to go wrong, when we say the wrong thing at the wrong time or do the polar opposite of what was required at that moment. As an effective leader, your job is to spot the difference between a temporary blip in performance and a much more serious dip. You need to know about performance issues before they become a problem. There was a time when you could do this just by using your instinct
Congratulations to Rafa Nadal who has added the US Open tennis championships to his long list of achievements. Regular readers will know that I like to link topical subjects with leadership and Rafa demonstrates bucket-loads of leadership each time he plays. What is “Bouncebackability”?
This is the ability to put the pain of personal and professional setbacks behind you and get back to peak performance as quickly as possible. People who have this ability have the following t
What is Good Strategy?
I have run across a great book which I recommend anyone in a leadership position take the time to read:
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
Richard Rumelt In his book, Richard makes a strong case that boardrooms are caught up in “wishful thinking” instead of robust strategic thinking. Taking us through interviews with top CEO’s of the largest US Corporations and companies, Richard paints a picture of a lack of rigorous think
Have you noticed that some people’s behaviour is immature at best and childish in the extreme sometimes? If you are a manager, you may have noticed that your team can “play up” and be difficult? Most children need structure in order to thrive and remain free from harm. Children require direction and encouragement when they attempt something new or complicated for them. They may not know what is needed right now, because the future doesn’t occur to them as something to think a
Emotional Intelligence isn’t just for our work. We could use E.I. to become aware of the quality of the life we already have. By thinking about and dealing effectively with the tension of “The Now” and “The Future”, we can aspire to being grateful for the life we have made and the delights of a future that our work and relationships will bring. Bob Marley understood that some people sleepwalk their way through life, thinking about the future all the time, but not experiencing
3 Ninja Leadership Moves A Ninja Leader knows when to go onto the offensive and can also defend vigorously. Ninjas are well versed in the art dealing with all kinds of people and always have their eyes on the prize, excellence. Here are some Ninja-style Leadership moves to change up performance in the people around you. Warning: Do not try these moves without deep combat Ninja Training. * Compliant Ninja Leader (defence) This Ninja knows that rules and regulations are importa
Getting employees to engage with the organisation in a meaningful and lasting way fills the core of most HR team’s day/ month/ year. Doing this early in the recruitment process pays dividends further down the line in deeper engagement and alignment with organisation goals, vision and mission. When should we start? Here’s a story, which tells us that the earlier you start, the more memorable it is. On July 20, 1969, as commander of The Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong wa
The Building Blocks to High-Performance Teamwork. We all know the benefits of teamwork. But, how well does your team actually work? How do you know? What are the measures you use? Are they accurate? Here are the building blocks of a high performing team from the excellent research of Mike Woodcock: Balanced Roles Do you rely on one or two people to get the work completed on time and up to standards? Or does everyone contribute towards the goals of the team? Clear and Agreed O
Today (23rd April) is the day when we celebrate all that is English with St. George’s Day. We celebrate him because he represents everything we like to think of as the virtues of being English. Famous for his dragon-slaying skills, George embodies the courage and discipline of all of us that are English, or so we like to think, anyway. St. George and Leadership? Every country has a day when they celebrate being a country, whether it is Independence Day or another landmark in
We are taught to think that all forms of conflict are bad. Mothers will want to smooth things over when sons fight, or daughters squabble. Managers are the same. They want a quiet time, with everything nice and calm. This is ok if you want average. This is good, if you just want good enough. Keeping out of harm’s way, putting your head below the parapet, not wanting to get noticed, all of these thoughts are the result of poor thinking. If you want excellence, a way of working
I was coaching a client through some issues recently that they were having at work and in doing so I used a metaphor of a burning platform to explain a way to get real and lasting behaviour change. Many managers have issues around getting their team to make the behaviour changes required for ongoing success and growth. Within this scenario there is good news and bad news. What’s The Bad News? The bad news is that you cannot change someone’s behaviour. That’s right, you read t
Image: Google Regulars to this blog will know that I try to link the issues of the moment with leadership and personal development and this week I’ve been thinking about Easter, which marks the comeback of all time! The picture is David Beckham, who once had a very turbulent time when he started playing for England and also left Manchester United under a cloud, even Sir Alex Fergusson famously hit him with a boot in the dressing room! The delightful and beautiful island of Cy