Join me as we explore my latest coaching insights.

The pandemic has taken the covers off an issue that has long affected leaders and the people they lead: human needs and loss.  McKinsey’s The hidden perils of unresolved grief highlights how losses related to basic human needs affect us all, for example, the loss of our sense of direction (Wonder where I am heading), or control (I feel overwhelmed), or identity (Asking myself who I am). The resulting self-doubt and erosion of confidence sap energy, productivity and happiness. In today’s post, I explain how to recognise and manage by turning losses like these into inspiration for yourself and those you lead.

Today's post Look back. Look forward. Using the power of simplicity to succeed returns to the classic story of the hedgehog and the fox. The modern incarnation of the ancient Greek poem – made famous by Isiah Berlin – stems from Good to Great, the best-seller by Jim Collins. The Greek poem held that ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’. Hence the title of today's post Look back. Look forward. Using the power of simplicity to succeed.

Stop managing the probable. Start leading what’s possible. exhorts my readers to lessen their reliance on a fixed mindset that there’s a standard way of doing things and strengthen their growth mindset that new and different ways can be learned.   Stop managing the probable. Start leading what’s possible. is drawn from the work of McKinsey over recent years. In January 2021 McKinsey wrote ‘Standard problem-solving works well with standard problems, but sometimes – as we have recently learned – we face unexpected and novel ones. Using the standard tool kit to narrow down the ways of addressing them is exactly what we should not do’.

In the month since I posted Leading with inner agility on Letting go. Stepping up. leaders have shared with me their experiences of working with the idea of developing their inner agility. Their questions have prompted today’s post in which I delve deeper into practical ways to strengthen your inner agility. As a leader, you have your lens through which you see situations and personal and professional ways of responding that you have learned over many years. 

The COVID-19 crisis, accelerating change and the geopolitical tensions of interdependence are amongst the profound, long-term phenomena making organisational agility an urgent global imperative. Witness rampant rethinking of business models, rapid embracing of digitalisation and adoption of radically different workplace practices. These disruptions call for transformational leaders. My post today outlines the challenge these leaders face and what personal practices can help them cope personally and professionally.

The reasons vary, but at some point in your executive career, you’ll need to reinvent yourself. Whether you want to advance more rapidly in your organisation, switch into a different kind of job or move to a new city, you must reinvent yourself by building on your unique talents and drawing on your passions.

Own the room explores why and how commanding a strong leadership presence is critical in navigating career transitions effectively. Career progression is always associated with changes in your key audiences. And so success in a new role is heavily dependent on influencing how you are perceived by these audiences. The phrase owning the room was first used over a century ago to describe someone who drew positive attention to herself socially because of her manner speech and body language. Amy Jen Su’s and Muriel Wilkins’ Own the Room is a first-class book; I have used the title and some of their ideas in this post.

In Practising dialogue I examine the role and power of holding a conversation based on dialogue in contrast with a discussion or a debate. It’s through dialogue that people work together to create shared understanding; and thereby harness diversity, collective knowledge and fresh insights to enhance problem-solving and decision-making. Whereas, in discussions and debates the focus is more narrow and the intent is usually to arrive at one point of view as expeditiously as possible.

Today's post, Experience shapes leadership at every level, explains why growing as a leader requires on-the-job experiences that become progressively more challenging as you transition from one level to the next. Research – and my coaching work with hundreds of clients – show the most effective way to advance your career is through on-the-job experiences that develop your competencies and confidence as you move from one level to the next.

Controlling your emotions is a critical skill for leaders. How well you control your emotions influences your effectiveness as a leader, your personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. This ability is a function of your emotional intelligence (EQ). This post is about how you manage two of the components of EQ: Awareness of your emotions and How you react to and manage these emotions [1]. Awareness always comes first – you can’t control your emotions if you’re not aware of them.