4878_500 September 28

What you could learn from ‘Leading Quietly’ by Joseph Badaracco (2002,181 pages)

How do you change an organisation from within?  Some would propose heroics, battling hard to bring about the change needed.  Others suggest that success lies in a quieter form of influence.  Joseph is part of a growing body of academics and practitioner that suggest that leaders should avoid the ‘hero’ option, and seek to change people […]

59cf7e00c140f42921fb2874f34caece September 27

What could you learn from ‘Followership’ by Barbra Kellerman (2008, 261 pages)

“A leader is someone who has followers” Peter Drucker I am sure that you have done far more leadership training, than training on being a follower.  While teamwork, collaboration and cooperation are often key criteria in job descriptions and company mission statements, there seems to be little evidence that businesses are investing in building followers. In ‘Followership’ Barbra explores what […]

readinglistleadershipbs September 27

What you could learn from ‘Leadership BS’ by Jerry Pfeffer (2015, 220 pages)

While leadership is difficult to define (see here), good leadership is hard to miss.  Like beauty, good leadership is subjective, depending as much on the observer and context, as much as it depends on the leader. In the book, Jeffrey takes on the five pillars of current leadership: modesty, authenticity, telling the truth, trust and […]

pendulum-626622_960_720 September 22

Leadership hack – 010 beware the pendulum of leadership

Most organisations act to magnify the intent of their leaders.  The corporations of the last century, with clear hierarchies and control mechanisms, were designed to ensure that direction issued from the CEO and the board was understood and executed.    While the recent trends of decentralisation and empowerment have gone some way to reduce the role of leaders […]

meeting-1219540_960_720 September 15

Leadership hack 009 – running a good meeting

Meetings are the bane of the modern world.  They are unsexy, and often very, very dull.  Many of us have so many meetings that we struggle to get any ‘real’ work done. One way to claw back time is to get rid of meetings.  While this nuclear option has its advocates (see here and here), unless […]

51-QeIYwqFL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_ September 12

What you could learn from Frugal Innovation: How to do better with less by Navi Radjou & Jaideep Prabhu (2016, 220 pages)

Everyone wants to be seen as innovative.  Innovation has been one of the top business buzz words over the last few years.  Once the preserve of multination corporations and their huge Research & Development (R&D) Labs, innovation has been transformed by technology firms and startups who are able  to innovate faster, and with fewer resources. […]

deepwater_horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010 September 09

Leadership hack 008 – there are only ever three business problems

You face a huge variety of problems every day.  Understanding the type of problem you face helps you determine the best way approach and solve it. Most problems can be distilled down to: Diagnosis – not knowing what to do Alignment – not being aligned on what to do Execution – not being able to do […]

51KdMKbXAsL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_ September 03

What you can learn from ‘BCG On Strategy’ by Carl Stern and Michael Deimler (2006, 403pages)

Strategy, like leadership, is a contested topic.  The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has a long history of innovation in strategy consulting, having been the powerhouse behind the growth share matrix, the experience curve, time-based competition and the rule of three and four. Perspectives, BCG’s publication, seeks to expose their latest thinking both within the company […]

8-degrees-exhibition_181110_07a-low-res September 02

Leadership hack 006 – alignment is not agreement

Aligning people when everyone agrees is easy.  However, you will often disagree with others on what you are trying to achieve and how best to achieve it.  Disagreement is not harmful, most of the time it is beneficial to have our ideas and assumptions tested – two minds are better than one.  However, if a […]

overtime August 26

Leadership hack – 005 giving clear direction

Why are we surprised when a piece of work comes back and it was not what we were expecting?  There are two possible reasons.  The first is that the person you asked to do the work did not understand what was expected of them.  The second is that the person you asked lacked the skill […]

Golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana qinlingensis) adult male yawning showing canines, Zhouzhi, Shaanxi, China. August 19

Leadership hack 004 – controlling the monkey

We all do it.  Someone questions the work that you have just completed or your thoughts on a topic or problem, and you feel the threatened.  You roll our eyes, become defensive or even worse, passive-aggressive.  Deep inside you know that your response is unhelpful, and does nothing to solve the problems you face or […]

The-Phoenix-Project-721 July 29

What you can learn from ‘The Phoenix Project’ by Gene Kim,Kevin Behr & George Spafford (2014, 338 pages)

How do you ensure that IT supports the business? How does your business transform in the digital age? In the book ‘The Phoenix Project, the authors argue that closer integration of development, operations and risk provide a competitive advantage by enabling the other business functions to succeed.  The authors argue that the ‘Three Ways’ are […]