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Time to tell a story……

Posted by on 25 Nov 2013 in The Capable Leader | 0 comments

As the year concludes, its time to harness team insight & foresight, through story telling… The holiday season often provides us more time for personal reflection. However few of us take real advantage of that time, more difficult today in a 24/7 ‘always on’ culture. Make team reflection as much of a priority as your personal reflection. There is no better time to ‘think together’ than now, before everyone disappears for the Christmas/New Year holidays. Some leaders round off the year with celebratory drinks or the customary ‘thank for you for a great year’ letter. Others list the achievements for the year as a send off to a weary team ready for a break. A simple 3X3X3 framework reflected in a communication to the group also works: 3 things that went well, 3 things that could have gone better, 3 things that we should focus on in the coming year. Few leaders of teams however leverage the gift of reflective energy that comes to each of us this time of year to consolidate learning through generating group insight and extend learning through unleashing group foresight. A powerful reflective approach to use with your team of reports is to get them to write a narrative or story about the year that has just been and then share with each other. Sounds simple but structured and facilitated well, it deepens business insight, strengthens foresight and aligns the team for the challenges ahead. Stories are powerful ways of building collective purpose, engagement and commitment for the year ahead.  And fun too! Time to use this end of year store of reflective energy wisely….and reap the rewards in the coming year… For guidance on how to facilitate such a process with your team contact...

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Setting the right tone from the top….early

Posted by on 13 Nov 2013 in The Capable Leader | 0 comments

New Leaders who don’t move early to set a tone of openness and authenticity, breed suspicion, doubt and mistrust When a new leader takes the mantle much is expected in the early days by their  followers. Real leadership requires an open and authentic tone to be swiftly set from the top. This way early slip-ups are forgotten as part of trust that the new tone inspires. The way political leadership in Australia is shaping (although some may argue an early call) holds important lessons for leaders everywhere. Prime Minster Abbott’s first weeks have sounded to many (judging from social media traffic which leaders may ignore at their peril) that he has continued his ‘small target play’ as opposition leader with one big difference. He is no longer visible or accessible to live media or the ‘Average Jo Public’, except to friendly ‘known’ audiences, thereby escaping real public scrutiny. Contrary to inspiring a ‘getting down to business’ impression, it is being seen as failing to take his followers along on the journey. In Abbott’s case this has not been helped by the ‘modifications’ the new government has made to FOI guidelines for every department. It feels more like a descending shroud of ‘we will tell you what we think you should know’. Followership is never strengthened by that attitude. Some of the Prime Minister’s more radical views are now starting to slowly emerge through the mouths of others. First the conservative ex PM John Howard (his mentor) speaks ‘honestly’ about how he really felt about climate change, but could not say at the time. Then his chief economic advisor Maurice Newman speaks in support of all the policies that Abbott strenuously denied supporting in any way while in opposition. Perhaps, some will wonder, it was the only way he thought he could get elected. Abbott has yet to publicly distance himself from the sentiments voiced by Newman, which in itself tells its own story. A leader who leaves tough messages to others to deliver  is not employing a great trust building strategy in their early days. But there is a  pattern emerging. His ministers are saying little on any major public policy or any operational issue for that matter. The somewhat naive attitude to Indonesia while in opposition has now turned into perceived disrespect after the election and now has justifiably earned the ire of the Indonesian government. A leader who remains authentic before and after his/her elevation to the leadership role is more likely to earn trust of their publics quickly, inside or outside the company, in this case the country. And then the public assumed that the 3 word slogans would have ended after Abbott’s election to Prime Minister. However...

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