February 20, 2018

The leadership waiting game

Where are the leaders in our society? There should be many thousands out there. After all, we have numerous captains of industry, government officials, politicians, local community representatives and sporting heroes to play the part. As I see it, our country should be awash with impressive leaders. But I keep missing them. Take a moment to bring the names or faces of some public figures to mind. For now, just consider well-known people who hold an appointed position, like a CEO or government minister. How many would you describe as a ‘good leader’? I have to admit I am struggling […]
February 20, 2018

Coaching the new team leader

First published in InPsych, August 2017 A coaching assignment with an emerging leader is coveted by psychologists who enjoy this kind of work. Coaching is a prime opportunity to help others to increase their effectiveness and satisfaction as leaders. As behavioural scientists we use a toolkit of proven approaches from a variety of discipline areas that result in sustained learning, growth and self-mastery (Skiffington & Zeus, 2003). Every coaching journey is unique to the individual. The organisational environments they occupy vary widely and each person comes to the coaching experience with their own set of hopes and expectations. They also differ in […]
February 14, 2018

Win Like Winx

Over lunch recently the conversation with my niece, Alex, turned to horse racing. Well, not the racing exactly, but the fun of frocking up and waiting with all the others for the wonderful Winx to stride out onto the track. ‘Why does she keep winning?’ I asked. ‘She’s the fastest and best,’ Alex replied. I have a different view. She might appear to be the fastest and best, but that is because she takes the lead and is the first past the post. You might think I am just playing around with words, and that it’s all the same thing […]
September 2, 2016

Women leaders: overcoming the impostor syndrome

I have coached and mentored numerous women, all with great talent and ambition. I read their CVs and listen to their stories about things they have achieved and the obstacles they have overcome along the way. I am almost always impressed with their courage and determination. I see the leader in them so clearly. So why are their initial conversations with me typically peppered with misgivings and self-doubts. ‘Am I leader-like enough?’ ‘Do I have what it takes?’ ‘Am I an imposter?’ To be honest, the men I advise and coach rarely express such concerns. We know why – men […]
May 5, 2016

Leaders are grown, not found

The business world is in the midst of a war – a war for leadership talent. Apparently there is a shortage of capable people out there, creating a recruitment and retention frenzy. Where should we look for them? What should we be looking for? How will we know when we have found a good one? I stopped looking years ago. Not because I think the task is too difficult. On the contrary, I think the world is awash with good people who could make great leaders. The problem is we often don’t recognize leadership potential for what it is. Why? […]