Jonathan Mills

“People who live in glass houses can’t pretend they are not at home” (Anon) Leadership “busyness” is frequently used as an excuse for a lack of effective employee engagement – managers attending a plethora of meetings, deadlines that have to be met, targets that have to be reached, issues in the production processes that need…

In consulting with organisations, I sometimes hear the following statements by employees of their respective managers: “One of my colleagues always underperforms, putting pressure on the whole team, but my boss never addresses the issue” “My boss always tells us that there is nothing he can do about a particular decision as it comes from…

“I look for three things in hiring people. The first is personal integrity, the second is intelligence and the third is a high energy level. But, if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you” (Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway) A person who behaves in a dishonest or deceptive way, either as…

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16) On a number of occasions, I have heard the following words from employees as they explain the ‘pain’ of their respective work contexts to me: “Jonathan, I do what is required of me. I have done my duty to the…

“In vain you have acquired knowledge if you have not imparted to others” (Deuteronomy Rabbah) My friend and former colleague, Gerrit Cloete (owner of Productivity Pitstop), spent a week at the family’s seaside vacation home to catch up with family and friends. Upon his return, he related one of his experiences with me:  “I went…

“Wheel-spinning” literally refers to a situation where a vehicle has lost traction, e.g. on ice, in snow or mud. Here the wheels may spin without the vehicle going anywhere – continued pressure on the accelerator may result in the vehicle digging itself in deeper, thus exacerbating the problem. A new strategy needs to be found…

Some of them get it right – these select chief executive officers manage to exude a hopeful, caring and determined leadership that inspires the staff contingent to aspire to greatness (quality, speed, professionalism, superb customer service, reduction of waste, innovation, good results, etc.). Others “fail” dismally – these CEO’s somehow use authority and positional power…

Removing clutter is liberating – getting rid of the unnecessary and creating space to think and focus on the truly important. Yes, removing junk takes time, but it does eventually pay dividends with clean desks, open spaces and a more conducive living or working environment. Creeping clutter is more difficult to tackle – this type…

Motivation theories have suggested that successful performance hinges on both having the needed skill and also the will to use the skill to achieve, but even motivated and skilled employees may fail to perform if they don’t have a personal certainty or belief that they can cope with what needs to be done. It would…

I wish that I still had 20/20 vision, but many years have slipped by and the time is coming for reading glasses – although reasonably inexpensive, they have the profound ability of bringing text back into focus again and I no longer need to squint to see that which is before me. In geometrical optics,…