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Leadership
10
Apr
2009
Bull, rabbit or eagle?

In business simulations with top executives, CHPD has observed three typical responses in how top executives deal with a crisis.  These are responses they see being enacted in the real business world as the recession affects the way business is being done.

 
07
Apr
2009
Kevin Roberts on creativity and leadership
Kevin Roberts is CEO worldwide for Saatchi and Saatchi, whose goal is to be the 'hottest ideas company on the planet.' 
 
30
Mar
2009
When an employee cracks up, it is in the boss's interest to lend a hand

A sign of the times perhaps.  Evidence from a study by Coventry University demonstrates that the recession is increasing the pressure on employees. 

 
16
Mar
2009
Learning to say no

In this article, the author demonstrates the benefits of saying no.  It made me think of a very successful former colleague, who stands out as someone who sets herself very clear goals and then focuses her gimlet like gaze on achieving them - and achieve them she does.

 
11
Mar
2009
The benefits of training during a recession

I read in my local paper of the decision by one of the councils in the area to make a huge cut in the training budget to contribute to balancing their budget and keep their council tax increase to a reasonable level.  This, at a time when councils are under pressure with increased demand for services and expectations of greater efficiency.  It seemed an easy, but short term solution to the financial pressures.

 
16
Oct
2008
How to Get Happy: Tactics From the UK's Cheeriest Company

I love this article by Gill Corkindale from the Harvard Business Publishing site, which sets out the guiding principles that Happy a small IT company in the UK uses with its employees and customers.

 
11
Apr
2008
Karren Brady in the news

It was good to see Karren on the front page of the Times on 10 April. Unfortunately this time not for her inspirational leadership (see previous blog entry), but instead being arrested for alleged corruption as part of the City of London Police's ongoing investigation into corruption in football.

 
09
Apr
2008
Playing to win

According to Karren Brady, Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club (BCFC), “what makes a business great is the staff”. And she should know, as she has turned around the fortunes of the Club since her appointment in 1993 when she was just 23 years old.

 
08
Apr
2008
Flexing your leadership style

In the final article of the Times ‘Career’ series on leadership styles, the benefits of using the most appropriate style for a given situation are highlighted – ‘much as professional golfers pick the right club for each shot they need to make’. The most effective leaders are able to draw on a variety of styles to suit the demands of a specific situation. Having said that, very few people will be able to flex their style easily across all 6, as between 2 to 4 is the normal range.

 
20
Mar
2007
Between a rock and a hard place?

 

girl_supporting_boulder-212This type of research is not new - in fact I recall many years ago, more than I care to remember, reading something similar about how different levels of staff in organisations perceive each other.  And of course, there is always someone else to blame for the lack of recognition, training, empowerment etc etc.

What I find interesting about this piece of research is the apparent short term memory loss of the senior managers interviewed.  They appear to have forgotten completely that they were once members of the ‘mushy middle' set themselves. 

How did they get to where they are today?  Did they suffer from the lack of management and leadership that creates a barrier to performance?  Did they fail to deal with underperformance in their teams?  Did they have the poor influencing abilities and managerial competencies that they notice in their direct reports?  Apparently not...

This research is in my view an indictment of the participants' own leadership qualities - and that most powerful quality of all - leadership by example.  Senior managers have to devote time, energy and commitment to developing their people - investing in good quality training and development.  Good investments, financial or otherwise, do not provide returns overnight - in fact the best returns are often secured in the long term. 

Managers at all levels have to recognise talent and good performance and reward it accordingly.  Too many managers spend time bemoaning those employees who do not perform rather than praising and providing development opportunities for those who perform well. 

If you are a manager spend time regularly assessing the talent you have in your team - notice the good performers and cast your mind back to when your contribution was recognised by your manager.  Positive feedback and recognition are powerful motivators.  Practice them more with your team and turn your ‘mushy middle' into a force to be reckoned with.

This article appears in the March 2007 issue of Connection, the magazine of the Cambridge Network www.CambridgeNetwork.co.uk

 
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