To succeed in any organization, you must understand 'office politics'. The first rule is to be visible, doing good work is not enough if you're not associated with it. You must learn to shine.
Let me tell you about Chris who's an experienced pharmaceutical Healthcare Executive. He's delivered results as a sales head early in his career and had been moved to head office in Europe in an administrative role.
Chris made everything run smoothly. However, he did it in an under-the-radar manner, so when he wanted to step up to a country manager role he was not deemed ready.
Chris had not followed the first rule of office politics:
How could Chris have gained visibility instead of just quietly making things efficient?
Executive Coaching is effective for leadership development, because leaders require high levels of Self-awareness and behavioral flexibility.
Executive Coaching comprises of a series of confidential conversations focused on facilitating strategic self-awareness about what underlies behavior, actions, reactions, and interactions. Coaching facilitates the 'coachee' to gain insights into how they execute business strategies, and manage change, conflict and people.
Having a trusted confident (Executive Coach), who can provide feedback and, through questions, clarify intentions, values and objectives is invaluable to a leader.
Without coaching, many executives plateau in their development of critical interpersonal and leadership skills, because they have been promoted for behaviors that are no longer effective at the leadership level.
Leadership development is often hampered, surprisingly, by too much winning. People are promoted for...
In 2017 it was my pleasure to interview the legendary Brian Tracy on Self-leadership - a topic I have been speaking and writing about since 1999.
In case you don't know - Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker and self-development author of over 70 books. His popular titles include; 'Earn What You’re Really Worth', 'Eat That Frog!' and 'The Psychology of Achievement'.
You can watch the video of my interview of Brian above, and here is the transcript of his definition.
"Self-leadership is the starting point of everything. Self-leadership means that you decide exactly who you are and what you want, and then you write it down and you make a plan and a goal, and you work on it every day. And especially Self-leadership means you accept complete responsibility for your results and outcomes; you don't blame other people, you don't make excuses, you say, 'I am responsible", I'm in control, I'm in charge of my own life.'
And when you do that,...
Global leadership is the new standard. When companies were just national, you could make it to senior-level or even the top with a mix of competence and confidence (of course a few good connections could also help).
Today, successful companies are international or global and to be a leader requires something extra. Just doing a good job on your home turf is no longer enough, you have to be visible and you have to have impact.
For example, a senior manager in India or Indonesia could be successfully managing thousands of people, meeting targets, but have no visibility in a global organization. On the flip side, an American or European manager may fail to lead in Asia or South America, because they just don’t understand how to get things done in those cultures.
I was recently having a conversation with a US-based, charismatic, ‘C-level’ executive of a global company, about the direct reports of his peer who worked in Asia. He expressed his frustration that these...
I remember being impressed by 9 critical leadership truths that were being promoted at my children’s school. What impacted me was the fact that as a leadership coach and consultant, I am often talking about these very same qualities and skills with my ‘adult’ clients.
This image (taken by my daughter, Tasha) shows the school's ideal student with a combination of qualities and skills – wouldn't it be great if managers and leaders valued the same qualities and worked on their skills?
Leaders and children develop from the inside-out (Bryant & Kazan 2012) and so it is great that being self-aware is promoted. The school sees self-awareness as developing self-discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, reflection – all great qualities for today’s leader. With self-awareness, we can become a self-manager which includes the skills of; meta-cognition, independence, perseverance, diligence, organization, and responsibility.
If you were to get a report...
Any photography enthusiastic understands that, whilst the subject remains the same, the choice of lens will change how it is viewed. What is true for cameras is also true for people, as we all see the world through our own lens of perception and bias.
A wide-angle lens gives you the 'big picture', whilst other times you will want to 'zoom in' to see detail. To have only one lens would cause you to miss out on so much.
Let me ask you a question; "Do you like to have the data points and build a picture from what you have, or do you prefer to start with a big picture and then work out the details later?"
Neither of these approaches are right or wrong, 'Big Picture' and 'Detail Orientation' are both useful, but the premise of this post, is that to be an effective leader, you need both, plus the ability to focus.
Some leaders focus on the positive and some on the negative and it shows in how they speak. What we say is a ‘reflection of the 'image' we...
I am humbled that I have had an impact on Grant's career and also vicariously on all the people that he impacts. The synchronicity that he has recently renamed his company Planful, meaning rich in plans - is not lost on me.
The dictionary tells us that legacy (n) is:
"Something that is a result of events in the past"
But, when I am working with leaders, leadership teams or MBA Students, I tell them that Leadership Legacy (n) is:
"The actions you take NOW that impact the future"
The emphasis is on the now. Legacy happens in the now, we don't have to wait until the future, we create our legacy with the planful intentional behaviors we enact today. Intentional behaviors are at the heart of Self-leadership.
Self-leadership is defined (Bryant & Kazan 2012) as:
December 16th, 2019 (with about 4,000 other people in Singapore), I had the pleasure to listen to insights and perspectives from Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.
I must confess that I am a fan of his humorous oratory style, and it was a pleasure to listen to him ‘riff’ on wide ranging topics with an intoxicating mix of humility and gravitas. So, here are my takeaways:
1) Anyone in a leadership position needs to build an effective team of people who are smart and have integrity – then get out of their way.
2) A lot of the problems in the world are caused by old men, who stayed too long and confused their personal interests with that of the nation.
3) We need more women in National Leadership – imagine if every country in the world was run by women for just 2-years.
4) We need leaders who understand complexity and...
So much is spoken and written about the need for leadership in organizations, but do we know what we mean by the term ‘leadership’?
If you Google the term ‘leadership’, you get 2.2 Billion results! And, the definition doesn’t help much:
“Leadership is the action of leading”
– well that’s deep! And the synonyms include; authority, control and management - all of which are at odds with many modern descriptions or effective leadership.
As an Author, Coach and Speaker on the topic of leadership, I resonate with this quote:
“There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are people who have tried to describe the concept” (Bass, 1990)
Wait a moment. Before we decide on a definition of leadership, let us first ask, “Why Leadership?”
We need Leadership because the World is Complex and Changing Fast. You’ve probably heard the term VUCA. VUCA is an acronym...
Do you ever underplay or understate your real value?
Do you shy away from praise and recognition and say things like, “it was nothing”, or “It’s just my job”?
Discounting is a common behavior, but one that is more common in women than men.
With confidence and presence being key predictors of success in life and work, discounting is costing you money and your well being.
Usually, because somebody or something (parents, siblings, school, friends, boss, media) has done a number on our self-esteem. Self-esteem literally means self-value and if you fail to value your ‘self’ nobody else will.
When Coaching or teaching Executive Presence, I often come across cases of discounting, but the good news is that this can be turned around by applying Self-leadership strategies.
Often discounting is driven by the desire to appear or be ‘humble’. The...