Leadership

The word “snoop” means “to investigate or look around furtively in an attempt to find out something, especially information about someone’s private affairs” and conveys the image of someone prowling around looking for fault inquisitively or in a meddlesome fashion (sticking one’s nose into someone else’s business). Interestingly, in Dutch (snoepen), the word has the…

“Composites” are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The new material may be preferred for many reasons – common examples include materials which are stronger, lighter or less expensive when compared to traditional…

From the earliest histories of populations and cultures, walls have been built not only to support roof structures and other forms of shelter, but also, and perhaps primarily, as a form of defence – to keep marauding tribes and other instruments of hostility out. Walled cities were the norm and eventually walls were used as…

When having to go to the medical doctor for an appointment and upon entering the surgery, the door is shut behind you and all focus of the doctor falls on you – questions are asked about your condition, you are examined and a suggested course of treatment is offered. There are no distractions, no pharmaceutical…

“We are hiring!” Many adverts are boring, but some job postings are fun – like this one I happened to read recently: “Thanks for taking a look at the job description for … We felt a little bit impersonal just throwing you right in there with words like “revolutionising” and “disrupting”. As such, we want…

In many managers, there is a natural tendency to desire that their staff think like they do, agree with what they say and support their ideas – there seems to be a level of personal comfort and security that goes along with employees nodding their heads and following the manager unconditionally, but this is not…

“It does not make sense to hire chess players and then treat them like chess pieces” (Anon) I was always taught to treat the cleaner like I treat the managing director/CEO – i.e., with dignity and respect. This should be true of how we treat people from every level in the organisation, particularly those that…

The 21st Century seems to be demanding a shift in leadership style, character and application – gone are the days of autocracy, manipulation, selfishness, greed and meanness (at least, we would like them to be gone). Our chaotic world (social, business, political, etc.) is calling for sensibility and sustainability, but very few are answering the…

I quite frequently hear the comment from my delegate customers: “I really wish my boss would be more supportive. He/she needs to be present and on my side/by my side”. Whilst I mostly agree with those making the commentary, there’s a fundamental difference, however, between the two phrases – “by your side” and “on your…

Some of the worst decisions made by directors and managers in organisations are those that are made out of selfish interests. The seeming need for power, for being in control and for establishing a dynasty for oneself drives irresponsible behaviour – grabbing at sections of the budget allocated for other meaningful exploits, manipulating relationships to…