Articles on Leadership

















How To Be A Masterful Manager

Being a successful manager requires many skills.  It is not enough to be technically proficient at doing your job. This e-book by Australia's NO. 1 Productivity coach, Lorraine Pirihi has heaps of practical, easy-to-implement ideas to accelerate your leadership abilities and to help you be the best manager you can be.  











The Coaching Success Profit Generator















Unbalanced Influence: How Myths and Paradoxes Shape Leaders


What do executives consider when making a decision? What motivates an executive to get involved in one activity or initiative at the expense of another? Who does the executive look to for advice - and who does he or she ignore? CCL's Pete Hammett sought to better understand who and what influences executives. The result is Unbalanced Influence, a new book about the myths and paradoxes that influence today's senior leaders.

What Hammett found is that multiple "influencers" come into play to shape an executive's behaviour and perceptions in their efforts to be an effective leader. More notably, said Hammett, is that "these influencers often seem unbalanced."

Colgate-Palmolive's Reuben Mark: On Leadership and 'Moving the Bell Curve'

After an unusually long 23-year tenure as chief executive, Reuben Mark, who is still chairman of Colgate-Palmolive, sees corporate leadership like a baseball game that is won, not by spectacular homeruns, but by singles and doubles.

In a recent Wharton leadership lecture titled, "The Essence of Colgate's Leadership Training," Mark said effective leadership at the $12.2 billion consumer products company pays off in incremental and consistent gains. "The essence of leadership is the idea of continuous improvement. No matter what, you can always coach people to do a little better, and if everyone does that, the whole organization moves up."

Surviving, thriving and driving organisational change.

When implementing change, managers often overlook the most important factor - people!

Velvet-Covered Bricks

As a child, when I misbehaved, I was sure to receive “The Look” from my father. I have vivid memories of the furrowed eyebrows and pursed lips of The Look. It makes me shudder just to remember it. The Look could cut right through my body and penetrate into my soul. There was nothing comforting about The Look, and, invariably, it signaled impending disciplinary measures. The Look was to be respected, The Look was to be feared, and, above all, The Look was to be avoided.

The Invisible Side of leadership

Business people exercise leadership in the community as well as the commercial world, yet we know little about the magnitude, form, and significance of their engagement in this other leadership arena. In many ways it has been the invisible side of leadership. We know that community involvement is widespread: a 1993 Conference Board survey of 454 companies revealed that over 90 percent have formal volunteer programs for their employees and that 86 percent encourage their executives to serve on boards. But research at the Harvard Business School documents involvement that is deep, important to business leaders and their communities, and clearly beneficial to their businesses (see box below).


Leadership and change - an oxymoron?

When it becomes important to re-focus your organization and to change the way it has done its work before, CEO's and managers should think about how they are going to move their people through the 4 levels of readiness that most people experience as they adapt to change.



Blake Mouton Managerial Grid
Balancing Task - and People-Oriented Leadership

When your boss puts you in charge of organizing the company Christmas party, what do you do first? Do you develop a time line and start assigning tasks or do you think about who would prefer to do what and try to schedule around their needs? When the planning starts to fall behind schedule, what is your first reaction? Do you chase everyone to get back on track, or do you ease off a bit recognizing that everyone is busy just doing his/her job, let alone the extra tasks you’ve assigned?

Your answers to these types of questions can reveal a great deal about your personal leadership style. Some leaders are very task-oriented; they simply want to get things done. Others are very people-oriented; they want people to be happy. And others are a combination of the two. If you prefer to lead by setting and enforcing tight schedules, you tend to be more production-oriented (or task-oriented). If you make people your priority and try to accommodate employee needs, then you’re more people-oriented.


Dialogue and Debate

The need for Conflict-Resolving Government challenges us to establish civil discourse.

The following three articles raise our awareness and give strategies:


Authentic Leadership Revisited

Authenticity has become a leadership buzzword, but along the way we’ve become confused as to what makes a leader as authentic. In her article, Wanted: Authentic Leaders, Dr. Saj-nicole Joni steers us back toward the true meaning of leadership authenticity.


Emerging New Century leadership paradigm

As our world grows increasingly complex and, in many cases divided, the need for global leaders who understand and embrace the gifts of diversity, has become more critical than ever. Without more executive, government and geopolitical leaders — who not only understand what it means to honour the true diversity and differences of our world, but walk the talk — we're in for an exceedingly rough ride ahead.



 Synergy creates energy


Living by comparison is fatal vision, for always there will be those who appear better off and worse off than ourselves at any given moment in time. In truth, there is no such distinction as superior and subordinate. We all have unique talents that will blossom and flourish when nurtured.



The Vision Thing: without it you'll never be a world-class organization

We've been studying leadership and organizations for more than thirty-five years and have come to a conclusion: All the world-class organizations we know are driven by three critical factors:



The word "swagger" conjures up images of John Wayne starring in a classic Western movie or Mohammed Ali brashly proclaiming "I am the greatest." Does such swagger fit within the skill set of a leader?

Ever Felt That Working in a Circus Would be a Better Option
Have you ever wondered if it might be easier to run away and join a circus – at least it would be part of your job description to keep all the balls in the air while maintaining balance at the same time!

When you think about your competing priorities – do you ever wonder where to start? What choices to make? How to identify what is the ‘right thing’ to do when the options appear to be in stark contrast to each other?



Overcoming Shyness to Become a Business Leader

Don't let timidity stop you from being an excellent leader. Get over your shyness and get your company on the path to success.


Practicing Servant-Leadership
by Larry Spears

Leader to Leader, No. 34 Fall 2004

Ls many small trickles of water feed the mightiest of rivers, the growing number of individuals and organizations practicing servant-leadership has increased into a torrent, one that carries with it a deep current of meaning and passion.

Effective Communication Tips for Today’s Manager


The 6 C's of Leadership

"...a "C" list of leadership attributes necessary for success in the 21st century. I wish I had enough poetry to come up with this list, but at least I can use my own words in describing the six elements:

Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation

Business literature is packed with advice about worker motivation—but sometimes managers are the problem, not the inspiration. Here are seven practices to fire up the troops. From Harvard Management Update.

Most companies have it all wrong. They don't have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them.

The great majority of employees are quite enthusiastic when they start a new job. But in about 85 percent of companies, our research finds, employees' morale sharply declines after their first six months—and continues to deteriorate for years afterward. That finding is based on surveys of about 1.2 million employees at 52 primarily Fortune 1000 companies from 2001 through 2004, conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence (Purchase, New York).

The fault lies squarely at the feet of management—both the policies and procedures companies employ in managing their workforces and in the relationships that individual managers establish with their direct reports.  Read on ...

Conflict: Constructive or Destructive?

What creates conflict in your organization? Different views on business decisions and strategy? Disagreement about tactics? Poor relationships and personality clashes? Conflict occurs for many reasons. But, by changing how you respond to conflict, you can reduce its harmful effects and maximize its useful ones.

"If it is well managed, conflict can have positive outcomes," says CCL's Brenda McManigle. "Conflict can lead to better decision making, expose key issues, stimulate critical thinking and fuel creativity and innovation."

This week's tip comes from Ron Sargent, CEO of the big office resources firm, Staples. He made a point of being involved in customer service.  "Get your hands dirty," he said.  "Before you can be a great leader, you need to understand the inner workings of the business and where and how the greatest impact can be made."

Building Expert Power - Lead From the Front!

By James Manktelow

There are many types of power that leaders can use.

These include problematic ones such as the power of position, the power to give rewards, the power to punish and the power to control information. While these types of power do have some strength, they put the person being lead in an unhealthy position of weakness, and can leave leaders using these power bases looking autocratic and out of touch.

More than this, society has changed hugely over the last 50 years. Citizens are individually more powerful, and employees are more able to shift jobs. Few of us enjoy having power exerted over us, and some will do what they can to undermine people who use these sorts of power.

However there are three types of positive power that truly effective leaders use: Charismatic power, expert power and referent power.

This article teaches the technique of building expert power.  Read on ...

Leadership: Its Time Has Gone  by Michael Schrage

From Our:  Ten Most Enduring Ideas

The bitterest business rivalry over the past decade hasn’t been the struggle between free trade and protectionism, between capital and labor, or between Microsoft and everyone else; the bitterest rivalry has been leadership versus management. Leadership won — but it’s been a Pyrrhic victory at best.

Read on ...

 The Qualities Of Skilful Leadership

By Jim Rohn

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.

What's important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

Read on ...


Leadership success Tip

Do what needs to be done to ensure that the goals for your area of responsibility are clearly defined.  Write them down, commit to them in a report, or use them to chart a course of action.  If they are flexible then the parameters and degree of flexibility also need to be clearly defined. 

In a Bad Spot? Try Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a not a concept most of us are likely to encounter at work. This excerpt from the new book Resonant Leadership describes how self-awareness can help you stay calm in a crisis.

Navigating the unknown
When dealing with a crisis or the unknown, we simply cannot predict what is to come. It takes confidence and optimism to let go of preconceived notions while also studiously opening oneself to new information and solutions. The process of opening up can make us feel vulnerable, even afraid. Many leaders simply shut down in order to avoid this kind of uneasiness. Many also shut down to prove to people around them that they are decisive and know what to do (even when they do not). Avoiding openness—and vulnerability—results in a narrow focus and can ultimately cause you to slip into mindlessness.

Most of us experience times when it seems easier to give up what we believe, step away from our principles and go along with the status quo. Sometimes, behaving in the politically correct way is a lot easier than staying true to ourselves. Then it becomes all too easy for people to demonstrate values only when someone is watching them or it is convenient. Sometimes we feel vulnerable simply because no one seems to see things as we do, and no one else seems to have the courage to stick it out and do the right thing. When we feel like this, it is easy to lose confidence in ourselves, to question whether in fact we are doing the right thing or just being stubborn. Knowing where your personal line is, and also having people around you who share your values, whom you can trust and talk to, makes a huge difference.

Read the whole article

Are You Management Material?


Many people end up in managerial roles by default, not necessarily because they had all the attributes that a great manager really needs. You have to have certain skills and abilities to manage others successfully.

Discover if you have what it takes to be a highly effective manager.

Take our Free Assessment today click here





Refreshing Lessons in Empowerment

A lemonade stand is no Fortune 500 company, but with refreshing simplicity, it reveals some of the key principles of empowerment.

Defining Leadership - Trying to Understand


 You can ask ten different people what their definition of leadership is and you will probably get ten different answers.

 Leadership doesn’t have a specific definition. By giving it a definition, you are putting restrictions and limitations on the word and the true value of leadership.

Leadership is something that is complicated to explain and understand. It is formless; it doesn’t take on a particular shape or form, nor does it go in one particular direction.

A great leader can adjust to any situation at any given time, under any circumstance, and still come out successful.


A Contrarian Leadership Guide - Insights for Success at Work and at Home

One of the most respected and sought after executive coaches is Marshall Goldsmith. His primary insight is that “good manners is good management”. Now you may ask yourself, why would impressive and successful executives need help with manners and behavioral issues? After all they most likely acted out consciously or unconsciously Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” to get to the position they hold. But don’t be misled by the aura of success or turn your back on the human condition and its foibles. Perhaps you have experienced a boss with bad manners?

The advice that Marshall offers is contrarian to the good habits advice offered by other experts, and is built around the bad habits that can derail talented executives and most of us from a successful path

Judgment and Strength of a Leader


The greatest psychological challenge in setting and acting on priorities has to do with resource allocation. Whether in a group meeting or through conventional budgeting and capital approval processes, you have to demonstrate judgment and courage in making resource allocation decisions that reflect your business priorities and in following through to ensure that the things that should be happening in fact are. You have to do the analytic work to separate out the facts and assess the opportunities and risks, but you also need to call upon your inner strength and judgment as John did as CEO of his company. 

The Four emotional Stages of change

Design and plan your change management strategy to recognise and support the transition phase. Do this and you will reduce the impact of the inevitable drop in productivity. More importantly you will gain the on-going commitment of your people.

The Secrets of Great Groups

Personal leadership is one of the most studied topics in American life. Indeed, I have devoted a big chunk of my professional life to better understanding its workings. Far less studied -- and perhaps more important -- is group leadership. The disparity of interest in those two realms of leadership is logical, given the strong individualist bent of American culture. But the more I look at the history of business, government, the arts, and the sciences, the clearer it is that few great accomplishments are ever the work of a single individual

Team building and change

Here are a few key lessons ... about dealing with change and uncertainty that you can use to help your organization reach its goals:

The Art of enlightened leadership

If you are a student of the art of leadership, the subject of enlightenment will probably be of interest to you. It may be that you are a leader in your industry, your community, your field or area of expertise. You find yourself inspired by stories of great leadership. You are moved by the example of individuals who embody such qualities as vision, courage, compassion, creative thinking, bold decision-making, and selfless service to humanity.

Aligning Action and Values

Executives spend too much time drafting, wordsmithing, and redrafting vision statements, mission statements, values statements, purpose statements, aspiration statements, and so on. They spend nowhere near enough time trying to align their organizations with the values and visions already in place.

Could you lead in a crisis?

In Sydney recently, Thomas Locke described what it took to lead 7,000 FBI agents during the '9/11' tragedy and recovery period.

Within 24 hours of the planes flying into the twin towers, Tom was given the job of leading the FBI's investigations.

Here are his leadership principles:


Everyday Leaders - A New Balancing Act

With the tug and pull of multiple demands and time always scarce, the constant juggle of priorities can leave many everyday leaders feeling overwhelmed and out of balance. CCL's Joan Gurvis and Gordon Patterson, authors of Finding Your Balance, offer these tips to regain your equilibrium.

Leading Transition: A New Model for Change

Change is nothing new to leaders, or their constituents. We understand by now that organizations cannot be just endlessly "managed," replicating yesterday's practices to achieve success. Business conditions change and yesterday's assumptions and practices no longer work. There must be innovation, and innovation means change.


Boosting team effectiveness through inter-generational strategies


This article describes current thinking on the four main generational types (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, X and Y Generations), their typical attributes and how to best utilise this diversity in the workplace and build team performance.


Mastering the Art of Influence

When it comes to getting your employees to do what you want, don't discount the effect of a positive impact.

Leadership, Integrity and the Credit Card Business

Chenault believes that it's a lot easier to be a good leader in good times than in bad, but a reputation for leadership over the long term is established during times of change. "Today, the stakes are incredibly high. The need for leaders to stand for something and act from principle is more important than ever. Things that were acceptable five or ten years ago will today cost you your career. You can make a few mistakes, not a lot ... a few. But if your people believe that you have the right values, they will tolerate a few mistakes. In fact, they will stay with you. They want to see that you are decisive and compassionate, because you are asking people to take risks, to take chances. But don't confuse compassion with a reluctance to act decisively when necessary


LBJ's Deliberate March for Power

Managers could learn a lot from the power moves of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. "Johnson was brilliant in the way he went about choosing mentors," says Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Robert A. Caro in this interview excerpt from Harvard Business Review.


Myths Dispelled: What Really Motivates People

Within every organization lies the opportunity for employee performance improvement. And, if you’re a manager or in upper level administration, motivating your team is a must: it can be one of the quickest ways to increase the bottom line of your business.

Because of this, a great deal of time and effort has been invested in motivation practice and theories. Despite the various researchers who have worked to understand exactly what motivates us and the numerous theories that have been applied, one common denominator prevails: To understand motivation, one must first understand human nature.


On the Rebound
Did a good employee slip through your fingers? You have a second chance.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Delegate

Find out why sharing your responsibilities and authority with employees is essential for business success.

Building Strong Teams
1/ Have very few rules – If there’s too many no one reads them . Or conversely an organization can be so rule driven that nothing gets done. Don’t set up rules based on hypothetical situations that may never happen. As your team grows and you gain experience through making mistakes your new rules can be built around your mistakes.

2/ What is your Mission - Different from the goal( A goal measures whether your on purpose or if you fallen off purpose. If you want to go to Los Angeles that is a goal if you end up in Chicago you are off goal. Focus on Mission Be on purpose at all times . Continuity keeps you focused with measurable team goals… helps you to measure whether your on purpose

3/ Speak in a manner that supports others or don’t speak.. Demeaning language not acceptable. Drains people. Swearing creates a negative environment. Words are tools… the most powerful tool we have… can hurt someone or build them.

How often have you been hurt by people’s words. The old adage … if you can’t say something good about someone don’t say it.. Bad language changes the whole vibe of an organization

4/ Acknowledge the other persons point of view. Listen to their point of view. You may learn something you didn’t know before. You may gain valuable info.

Continue reading "Building Strong Teams"

The Toxic Entrepreneur
It's time to take a hard look at yourself to see if your behaviours and attitudes are creating a toxic environment at your company.


Secrets of Successful Teams

Are You Management Material?


Many people end up in managerial roles by default, not necessarily because they had all the attributes that a great manager really needs. You have to have certain skills and abilities to manage others successfully.

Discover if you have what it takes to be a highly effective manager.

Take our Free Assessment today click here


by Chris Widener

To be a success is not always to be a success individually. In fact, most of the time we achieve our successes as part of a team.

We are all part of teams. Our family is a team. Our place of work is a team. The community groups we belong to are teams. Sometimes we are the team leader or "coach," while other times we fulfil the role of follower, or "player." It is so important then for us to understand teams and how they work, especially those who achieve success - the achievement of their desired goal.

In my life I have been on some successful teams, and some not so successful teams. This includes both athletically as well as professionally. When I was growing up, I worked for seven years with the Seattle Supersonics, our local National Basketball Association team. They were at times unsuccessful, and, in 1979, my second year working there, the most successful team in the league, winning the World Championship. I have been able to see firsthand what makes the difference between the unsuccessful teams and the successful ones.

Here are some principles that I know, when implemented on a regular basis, can turn any lackluster team into an outstanding one! These principles can be applied to your family, your business, your organization, and yes, your sports team.
  Read on ...


 Leadership: Leading Your Business

by Loral Langemeier (Excerpted from The 7 Steps to Building, Leading & Protecting Your Business series)

"Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence." -- Barnard Montgomery, British Field Marshall

You are the leader of your business whether you realize it or not.

Your job as the leader is to inspire, motivate, hold and communicate your vision to your team. Leadership is very proactive - you want to be in front of the situation instead of catching up to it or feeling like it's being dropped on you. I call this future pacing.

All good leaders must mentor someone to become a leader themselves

Don't Send Your Ducks to Eagle School

The first rule of management is this: don't send your ducks to eagle school. Why? Because it won't work. Good people are found not changed. They can change themselves, but you can't change them. You want good people, you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.

Read on ...



"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches but to reveal to them their own"

Benjamin Disraeli

Leading in Times of Transition
12 Leader Competencies: What It Takes In Times of Transition

For many leaders, managing the business and addressing the needs of workers are at odds. They ask, "How can I make the tough decisions if I have to focus on the emotions and concerns of my employees?" The answer isn't about choosing either the people or the business, according to CCL's Kerry Bunker. Instead, the answer lies in being authentic and building trust.

Article continues

Look Up to Those Beneath You by Dr. Denis Waitley

The most successful business leaders today are like great coaches who manage by inspiration, instead of intimidation. The command and control, management style is obsolete. In this fast forward global marketplace, there is no such distinction as superior and subordinate. The key to getting and staying on top is to provide a resilient, positive working environment. This requires that you "check your ego at the door" and that you seek alliances with others who may have different talents or strengths than you do. This is what synergy is all about.

David Ogilvy, founder of giant advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather, used to give each new manager a Russian doll, which contained five progressively smaller dolls inside. A message inside the smallest one read: "If each of us hires people we consider smaller than ourselves, we shall become a company of dwarves. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we will become a company of giants."

To become a giant in the eyes of others, and to succeed in the 21st century, look up to those beneath you! Consider these action ideas as you lead your team:

Article continues

"Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries."
--  Corita Kent

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