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“Average managers play checkers; great managers play chess” (Harvard Business Review) I understand the intent behind the saying, “treat everyone the same”, a slogan which is often aimed at managers – meaning “don’t discriminate and don’t have favourites”. The saying, however, doesn’t seem to take into account people’s uniqueness and giftedness. While I strongly believe…

Most forward-thinking organisations are already measuring employee engagement levels within their respective organisations, so for these organisations, the first step in the employee engagement journey has commenced. The knowledge, skills and tools to address the gaps that are identified are often lacking, however, and these gaps need to be closed. This book identifies behaviours and actions that can be undertaken by leaders to engage meaningfully with employees and to create a sustainable environment that leads to passion being expressed, creativity being employed, and productivity being realised.

“I will prepare and someday my chance will come” (Abraham Lincoln) It is not uncommon to come across a great little invention and think, I wish I had thought of that. But bringing even simple ideas to full fruition involves a process – one that is not always as easy as it may appear. Achieving…

“Workaholics are addicted to activity; super-achievers are committed to results. They work towards goals that contribute to their mission. In their mind’s eye, they see the end they want and the actions leading towards it” (Charles A Garfield, Peak Performer) Stephen R Covey, profoundly influential through his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is…

“Confidence develops when you have a deep sense that you can handle the emotional outcome of whatever you face or pursue. Another way to put it is that confidence is the felt sense of a “can-do” attitude” (Joan Rosenberg) Despite many articles from a variety of authors that suggest that growing self-confidence is as easy…

Behind the problems that routinely plague teams and organisations are individuals who either can’t or won’t deal with failed promises, broken rules, missed deadlines or just plain bad behaviour. If anyone addresses the issue, he or she often does a lousy job and creates a whole new set of problems. When problems arise: In the…

“If the deck is stacked against you, reshuffle the cards” (Anon) There’s a part of me that wishes that the above quote could represent life and that managing everything that life throws at you was that easy. It’s not! Life is not a board or card game where, if you are losing, you can just…

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach” (Benjamin Mays) Whomever I speak to of late, people seem to be tired and overwhelmed at best or have lost hope at worst. This listlessness, indifference or lethargy in part has its origins in the…

So much has been written for leaders and managers, team leaders and organisational heads – and rightly so, as there is a huge leadership skills gap in the world. Very little, however, has been written for employees in terms of assisting them with developing the skills needed to enjoy relational effectiveness. So, this book is for you – the employee – to enable you to develop the critical skills you need to construct the crucial conversations necessary to getting results in your relationship with your boss.

“The purpose of pruning is to improve the quality of the roses, not to hurt the bush” (Florence Littauer) Pruning involves the selective removal of “diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound or otherwise unwanted plant material from crop and landscape plants” (Wikipedia). Some horticulturalists call the categories “The 4 D’s: diseased, dead, damaged and deranged”….

“Occasionally the world witnesses a heroic feat or discovers a person with rare talent…but most people know there is another type of greatness that tends to be more quiet by nature, one that generally escapes the headlines. Yet, it is a greatness that, in my opinion, is deserving of higher honour, even more respect. I…

“It is unhealthy to marinate in your own press clippings” (Sam Walton) Humility is the hallmark of true leadership. Those in leadership who display humility recognise that they have been put in a position to serve others, create opportunity for others and bring out the best in others. Humility empowers others. It sets an example…

“Success is never owned. It’s rented and rent is due every day” (Anon) In 1947, the transistor was invented by Bell Laboratories, the research arm of AT&T. Almost immediately, it could be seen that the transistor would replace the bulkier, more expensive and less reliable vacuum tubes that, at that time, were the key components…

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own” (Benjamin Disraeli)  When we treat people with respect, we help them gain confidence and reveal inner potential that otherwise might go untapped. Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him or…

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion” (Paulo Coelho) While meaningful words do have positive impact and can indeed encourage, persuade and influence, actions speak louder than words. Though opinions are important, though convictions carry a lot of weight, though what we think and what we say are both important, they…

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“The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious” (Ted Levitt) A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing or engineering drawing using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. Introduced by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the process allowed rapid and accurate production of an unlimited number of copies. It…

The “sweet spot”, a term used typically in relation to the best point of ball impact on clubs used in the sport of golf, is often misused by club manufacturers when they boast that their clubs have “a larger sweet spot” – suggesting that amateurs have less chance of messing up the shot when they…

“Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break” (William Shakespeare) The world in which we live is hurting currently – not only are there tensions between factions, conflict between other groups and even nations; not only are there real concerns about global warming, pollution of the…

“Truly empathic leaders can even listen to what is being said in the silence” Recognising, empathising with and showing compassion to those experiencing pain sets some leaders apart from others. Being aware of the feelings of others and how their situation affects their perceptions, these empathic leaders are willing and able to appreciate what others…

This book has been written following thirty years of experience facilitating in one way or another. So many books exist for facilitators that illustrate practical classroom techniques, games that facilitators can play, flipchart and presentation methodology, etc. – “Stretch For Facilitators” doesn’t aim to duplicate any of these offerings, but rather focuses on the person of the facilitator in order to assist budding facilitators with establishing a credible foundation for their work. “Stretch For Facilitators” examines the roots of the facilitator role and links the same to company and delegate needs seamlessly.