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? […]
March 29, 2016

What are we doing for new leaders?

In my various work roles over the years I have met, taught and coached numerous people in first-level leadership positions. They came from all industries and sectors, and included retail and hospitality managers, head teachers, nurse unit managers, senior scientists, lawyers and accountants, and team leaders of various kinds. When they start out, new leaders are almost always excited, enthusiastic and full of hope. They think they have made it. But within a few weeks, reality sets in. People don’t do what you want them to do just because you ask them. They don’t care about your great plans as […]