A client asked me this very good question in a discussion about leadership capability. You’ve talked about the risk for us as leaders of the organisation, he said, but what are the risks for you as leadership practitioners? What keeps you awake at night?
This is the answer I came up with:
Being spat out. If leaders don’t like what we have to offer, they are in the driving seat and they can simply reject it by disagreeing with it or devaluing it. That’s why we work so hard to tailor leadership work to the real needs of the business, and make
Companies have to move fast these days in order to stay ahead of the game.
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple puts it like this: “There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple.”
We know that the quickest way to shift gears is through a shift in leadership behaviour. In most cases, people think about leaders as individuals. Heifetz and Linsky, however, point out that leaders tend to be people who are placed in positions of authority, and
I’m renewing my campaign on keeping things simple. It’s long been one of our hallmarks as consultants to help our clients make complex things simple. Perhaps it’s in the nature of management to proliferate frameworks and systems and measurement. It sometimes takes an outside view to help organisations back to the essence.
Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at University College London, wrote recently in The Sunday Times of the perverse consequences of performance management systems. They’re meant to systematise how things are done and to encourage the less good performers to do better. Instead, with their complex rules and targets and
The findings of the Lord Davies Review, published recently, with its recommendations on how to increase the number of women on the boards of listed companies in the UK establishes the following as key development needs:
1. Companies should treat women’s leadership as a dynamic and strategic opportunity rather than an equal opportunities issue.
2. Companies should consider raising their board’s and their nominating committee’s understanding of and ability to address unconscious bias.
3. Board placement researchers and interviewers should understand and adopt processes to eliminate unconscious bias.
4. Boards should provide senior women with influential board or executive level mentors either from within the organisation or
This paper is sparked by a dinner discussion, facilitated by Stanton Marris and hosted by Addleshaw Goddard in November 2010 with participants from a number of financial service businesses with the theme Have our leaders led us down the garden path and how do we get back up again?
A recent paper by Douglas Board † suggested that there had been a deafening silence about the role of leadership up to and during the crisis in financial institutions. We wanted to test if a focus on leadership and leadership development had become irrelevant and we wanted to find out if leadership