Author: Kevin Watson

Encouraging Your Team To Share Their Problems

“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of #leadership.” Colin Powell, the ex-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA Do you encourage your #team to communicate with you? Or have you made it so difficult to get through to you that people have given up trying to discuss everyday problems and challenges with you? Many managers create an environment where challenges are not welcome, often stemming from a personal...

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Do Stories Have To Be True?

At this time of year, my grandfather always comes to mind and one particular story that will live on in my family’s memory.  However, this story may not be all true… As I grew up, I recall my grandfather William to be a rather stern man with strong principles. Frankly, I was a little afraid of him at times, yet also in awe of his deeds. As with many others of his time, he won a medal for bravery in the first world war and this held a special place in my imagination as a young boy.  At that...

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Start With A Story

In the meetings you attend, have you noticed the tendency to talk about the facts and figures? It doesn’t have to be that way. Why don’t you open up your next team meeting with a personal story, one that shares one of the many experiences you’ve had. It doesn’t have to be about work. It doesn’t even have to be anything to do with the main topic of the meeting! A short story about something personal is a great rapport builder. It shows that you are human, too. And, people will unconsciously draw meaning from your story, often linking...

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4 Key Leadership Characteristics

There has been a lot written about the difference between managing and leading over the years. I particularly like the four important characteristics of leadership taken from the work by James Kouze & Barry Posner, summarised here as: Honest: leaders are expected to be truthful, ethical and act in a principled manner. In order to gain trust, their words and behaviour need to be consistent.  Competent: leaders must be credible and capable of carrying out what they are responsible for in order for people to follow them.  Forward Looking: leaders must be concerned with the long term, clearly setting, communicating and steering direction.  Inspirational: people follow those who are passionate, energetic and real, inspiring us with their confidence and ‘can do’ attitude  Do you consider yourself a leader, or are you a manager? Then, how do you measure up to...

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The Leader of a Hundred Days

Organisations spend huge amounts of time and money in recruiting leadership talent, yet consistently fail to make the best of their investment.  Studies show that around 50% of newly recruited executives either resign or are fired within three years and only 20% of existing teams will be working for their new leader at the end of two years. So what gets in the way? Among the potential pitfalls to a new leader’s success will be: a set of unclear expectations a pressure to perform early on a focus on the immediate needs, rather than playing the long game a lack of resources to help the new leader orientate To address the issues faced by any new leader, organisations are starting to focus on getting them up to speed, helping them forge effective relationships and providing resources to accomplish what is expected. Prior to engagement, leaders are being set up for success by agreeing their objectives for the first 100 days with their line manager. Often, the new recruits are given access to an external coach to work through these before signing them off.  Within the first 30 days, the new leader then drafts a strategic plan to cover the next six months, identifying opportunities for early wins and specifying accountabilities and performance standards. This includes any personal development the new leader considers critical for success during this period. Alongside this, the leader...

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