Join me as we explore my latest coaching insights.

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.

Does this sound like leaders’ heaven to you? Imagine you are able to negotiate any deal, win arguments and influence people to do what you know needs doing. There’s ample evidence this is possible – the tool is rapport. This post is about the nature and power of rapport and how to build and use rapport to influence and persuade others, at all times with integrity. Importantly, using rapport is notabout being manipulative.

While working with an executive coaching client facing a tricky change management situation, I came across Stop Overdoing Your Strengthsa telling HBR article by Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser. Kaplan’s and Kaiser’s messages about the dangers of over-doing your strengths as a leader are enduring, powerful truths. And their practical application helped my client see that the more forceful she became with her team, the less she succeeded in getting the results expected by the executive committee.

As a leader you need to ask yourself three questions about your network and score of your answers out of 5: [1] How important is the quality of your network to accomplishing your goals, [2] How do you rate the quality of your current network, and [3] How smartly do you work to maximise your network advantages?

Typically, I hear executives answer 4–5, 3–2, and 1–2, respectively. If you’re like most, you are in this zone, so read on…

Richard Branson's 'Dear Stranger' letter is a profound piece published on 3 February 2017. I found Dear Stranger on Happiness, a Virgin blog, packed with wise ideas shared by inspiring people. In publishing Dear Stranger on Letting Go. Stepping Up. I acknowledge Richard Branson and the original source, Dear Stranger, a 2015 collection of inspirational, heartfelt letters to an imagined stranger from many authors, collated by Mind, a mental health charity.

In today’s enterprises truly effective leaders deliver outcomes by persuading for results. Without the ability to persuade, a leader is hamstrung and cannot realise her or his vision where this requires the collective actions of others – direct reports, peers, superiors, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. Competence in the art of persuasion enables a leader to get things done without coercion.

The topic of becoming a strategic leader arises with more than a few of my clients who have been advised in performance discussions that they need to become ‘more strategic’ in their style of leadership. Typically, they’re in senior functional or operational roles and are being considered for enterprise-level positions. To respond, they need to understand how strategic and operational thinking and action differ.