What Leaders Really Do

Leadership success is not accidental, but comes from a purposeful series of steps that enact change in a shared ownership of a preferred future. John Kotter’s book offers some crucial insights into What Leaders Really Do. Far from disparaging management, since this provides the mechanics of success, leadership provides the blueprint in several key ways that are not always seen in those with the role description to lead. Continue reading


Situational Leadership for Healthy Growth

Many great people management principles and books are timeless. The ‘situational leadership’ model of Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard is one such gem from the 1970s. It offers four styles of leadership that need to be flexibly applied for dealing with different people and situations. Although only a guide, these are most helpful when considering the best ways to help people move forward so as to inspire their healthy growth. Continue reading

How Identity Impacts Leadership Success

If you were to earn more money would it change you, or just make you a richer version of yourself? As one rich man once said, we’d all like the chance to find out! Character determines our destiny and is shaped by values we don’t just choose, but live. It ‘leaks’ out of us very naturally in our everyday choices and interactions. That’s why a leader’s identity is a reflection to others of their inner world, often more than is realised. Most of our leadership iceberg is below the water, but it props up what is seen. So how does personal identity actually affect the success of our leadership? Continue reading

Saving Leaders From Themselves

In leadership development, strategy can provide order and system to what needs to be done in a shared approach to success. While others will have strengths that we don’t, they will also have some weaknesses. Anticipating and adjusting in light of these can help grow teams and their leadership skills. This needs us not to assert ourselves with an ‘I-told-you-so’ or an ‘I-know-better’ attitude, but to bring the best out of others without having to take the credit. Here’s some helpful keys to doing this with a more stimulating focus on strengthening people, rather than on the more intense approach of overcoming problems.   Continue reading

Every Leader’s Strategic Lift

Winston Churchill said, after the Second World War, that “it is wise to look ahead, but hard to look farther than what you can see.” Few leaders would disagree with the need for a compelling and clear vision to lift the eyes of those who will then see further, but success is also found in the ‘how’ of arriving at a preferred destination. Visionary leadership sets the course, whereas strategic leadership charts it. To compel people to go from A to Z needs us to first show them how to go from A to B. Continue reading

Emotional Health for Improved Leadership

Being emotionally healthy is often a matter of perspective. Though we might feel we can quantify other people’s responses to life, the responders themselves may be of a different mind as to the rightness of their actions. This is why leaders’ own judgments need great care. The brain partly assesses situations quickly through the recognition of behavioural patterns but it also stores memories along with emotional tags. This means that leaders’ treatment of people can contain an inherent, though unintentional, bias. There are three major triggers for such lose-lose outcomes in otherwise-well adjusted leaders, each with a clear remedy and some suggested resources. Continue reading

1917-2017: Leadership Lessons from the ‘Great War’

Recent growth in the ANZAC legend reached its peak with the 2015 centenary of the miscalculated Gallipoli landing of the First World War which claimed more than 11,000 members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was later said that, had the outstanding Australian General, Sir John Monash, commanded all the allied troops, the war would have been won earlier. Australian contributions to success in this ‘Great War’ are often undersold, but the 100th anniversary of three key battles reveals some important leadership insights. Continue reading