Connect and then lead

“Connect and then lead” – what a great message. Great leaders build trust with their teams, backed up by strength and competence, to build connections so they can inspire and lead.

I think that in days of old (and in just a few of today’s organisations), we forget that leadership is about PEOPLE first – not strength or competence. Leadership is actually followership, if you think about it.

How good are you at inspiring followers?

By |February 15th, 2016|Leadership Development|0 Comments

How hard do you push your team members?

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”    Patrick Lencioni
We’ve been working a lot recently with teams who through building trust and relationships are arriving at a place of healthy, constructive conflict in service of maximising team achievement and results.

If trust is absent, many will either avoid putting their head above the parapet and openly disagreeing with others or pushing you harder, or will push in a way that is destructive and counter-productive.

By building strong relationships based on deep trust, it becomes okay to disagree or to push others – and yourself – harder, because there is a shared goal or purpose towards which you are working.  And disagreement or a push is more likely to be viewed as ‘just another perspective’ rather than potentially destabilising when you know it’s because they just want the best for the team result.

How deep are the relationships and trust in your team?  How do you know they are deep enough to allow healthy conflict?   How do you encourage creative conflict so that people can have their say?

What are your experiences of the impact of trust – or its absence – in teams?

By |December 8th, 2015|Leadership Development, Team coaching|0 Comments

Real life learning: Volunteering and “step-changing” your organisation’s potential

As I landed and emerged from the plane, an onslaught of ‘new-ness’ hit me:  The nauseating stench  of diesel fuel, the thunder of flights landing and machinery running, the throngs of people bustling about their business, the sheer number of buildings and grey shapes looming in the early morning light, the colours from the advertising boards jarring at me from everywhere. And that was just the airport.  Waiting for a bus to take me to my destination, I was overwhelmed by the ‘bigness’ of it all, and the variety of people waiting alongside me for the bus.  The locals seemed unfriendly, making no eye contact and standing in silence, clutching their bags against unknown threats, the evident tourists trying to appear nonchalant and confident in this unknown land.  No one spoke, everyone hunched against the early morning cold.

I was filled with a sense of dread and horror at coming to this unfriendly, cold and grey place. What had I done? It was culture shock in the extreme – I was hit by a sense of displacement and unreality, shying away and almost cowering against the unfamiliarity of my new home.


And where had I come to?

London Heathrow, returning home from a three week trip to Namibia in Southern Africa, where I volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary in the open countryside and 40 degree heat.

The contrast between my simple life on a Namibian farm and Namibia’s colourful people, with Heathrow’s grey people and super technology, had shocked me into seeing the UK from a new perspective.

After 3 weeks of life in simple conditions (a permanent tent, with an outside shower and toilet block, little electricity, and a ‘shop’ that opened on the farm only twice a week […]

By |May 22nd, 2013|Leadership Development|0 Comments