Leadership

Managers are employed to accomplish very specific project requirements (e.g. a sales manager has to guide and inspire the sales team to reach certain targets that the organisation has set; a call-centre manager must ensure quality and speed to enable customers to understand and purchase projects or get resolution to problems they are experiencing, etc.)….

Recently, I was deeply moved listening to Benjamin Zander interpret classical music to his students and during a TED Talk, demonstrate his ability to bring out the very best in his fellow musicians. He is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, founder of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and probably one of the best…

“The skill of neutrality is a powerful strength if you want to increase your influence” (JoAnn Corley-Schwarzkopf) I sometimes hear the following comments from employees in different organisations: “I can’t speak to my boss as he is biased; managers here don’t really listen to ideas; the concept of ‘fairness’ doesn’t exist in my organisation; my…

I love classical music, especially some of the compositions from masters of the past. Although I have plenty of recorded music, nothing quite compares to actually attending a concert – the anticipation of the audience, hearing professionals tune their instruments, then silence before the applause as the conductor walks out to take his bow. The…

So many managers seem to switch off the possibility of perceptual internal data-roaming when they arrive at the office. Oh yes, they allow incoming calls from clients, digest information at meetings and give people instructions, but fail to permit their internal “data cards” to pick up and receive important company culture, behavioural or relational employee…

I have often wondered what it would be like to manage managers with a merit/demerit system linked to their potential bonuses – it would be punitive, but oh, so much fun. Just imagine a measurement system application linked to their respective smartphones where they can achieve merit points for doing well, but get penalised with…

“A new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows every corner” (Anon) “Break neither the new nor the old broom – they are both essential if the organisation is to grow” (Jonathan Mills) There are times when a change in leadership is exactly what the organisation needs to stimulate growth, reduce inefficiencies and engender…

“Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind; the others have left and gone to Olympus. Trust, a mighty god has gone. Restraint has gone from men and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth. Men’s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone revere the immortal gods; the race…

With the current pressures that businesses are facing, especially in the financial arena, the urge to force through an idea, proposal or a decision is a temptation every manager has to face. The pressure to get the results that are wanted (either from yourself as a manager or from others in senior positions) seems to…

There seems to be a lot of confusion related to the authority of the manager, especially if the manager has a change project to deliver on behalf of the company. On the one hand, the one managing wants to be able to influence the thinking of the group towards collaboration, the “big picture” and alignment…

Many idioms referring to human behaviour are based on analogies to parts of the body, especially arms, hands and fingers (e.g.: to keep one’s fingers crossed, all hands on deck, elbow room, to be on hand, keep her at arm’s length, he is all thumbs, he would not lift a finger, give someone a free…