listening

It had been a long day for the New York City taxi driver and he was really looking forward to a shower and bed. The evening traffic had been busy and he was tired – he was satisfied with the day’s takings, but he now needed a rest after whisking couples off to restaurants and…

Globalisation, made possible over the past half-century through more speedy and efficient forms of travel (commuting intercontinentally) and telecommunications (mobile technology and fast data transfer through the internet), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies and governments all over the world. S Guttal (Globalisation, Development in Practice) notes: “As a complex and…

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…

“And the soul is like the eye: when resting upon that which is truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands and is radiant with intelligence; but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she has opinion only and goes blinking about and is first of one opinion and then of…

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…

I have recently done some work for a non-governmental organisation – their strategy had changed (what was previously an organisation who themselves implemented projects within communities had now moved to a strategy of influencing partner organisations and government departments to implement projects). During the workshop, there was a sudden realisation that the requisite skills for…

“You support what you help create” (Alinda Nortje: Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow) In a world of increasing turbulence, including unpredictable financial and socio-political contexts, leaders are under pressure to transform their organisations towards achieving sustainable growth. This “transformation” may include the adoption of new technologies, major strategic shifts, process reengineering, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring,…

I see it all the time – leaders abusing their power. Instead of enabling the business environment to enhance productivity and engender trust, they manipulate circumstances to suit their own needs. Because they have authority (and this is particularly true of the chief executive officer/managing director position), they have the ability to manoeuvre people like…

Ancient French legend tells the story of a monastery in France that was known throughout Europe for the exceptional leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks went on a pilgrimage to meet this extraordinary man to learn from him. As they began their journey, they almost immediately began to argue over…

We hear the stories often – a manager complaining about employee attitudes that are not aligned to company values; a hurt parent remonstrating about a daughter or son who seems to have gone off the rails; an exhausted mother of three small children relating her tiredness of having to cope whilst her husband is off…

I am surprised at how many people hate feedback, whether it centres on performance, personality, character or behaviour issues. There seems to be a fear that the one giving the feedback does not have your best interests at heart and that the feedback will be detrimental, rather than uplifting, in terms of your growth and…