Jonathan Mills

“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…

“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…

“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…