Positive Leadership has also been recognised as a Top 50 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter @posleadership


Monday, February 28, 2011

Positive Leadership: Use What You've Got

Marilyn Tam is the executive director and co-founder of the Us Foundation (http://www.usfoundation.org). She has had an extraordinarily diverse life, from her beginnings in a traditional Chinese family in Hong Kong to her meteoric rise in the international business. Her long, distinguished background includes prominent executive roles at numerous world-class companies, including CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel & Retail Group and Vice President of Nike.

Whatever qualities you have, no matter how limited or broad that they may be in your own mind, Marilyn Tam has set out to show people how to use what they’ve got to achieve their dreams.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Positive Leadership: Creating a Culture of Accountability

How do successful organisations enable their people to take ownership for delivering on their intended results? Staying competitive usually means finding practical answers to that question. 

From our perspective, creating higher levels of ownership often drives better results and increases the value and growth of the company. To be truly effective in today’s corporate environment, leaders must be able to help find ways to create higher levels of ownership and joint accountability for achieving key results. 

In this video John Spence shares some of his best ideas on how to successfully meet this challenge.

Creating a Culture of High Accountability from John Spence on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Positive Leadership: Building Your Leadership Presence

Here are some thoughts on how you can build your leadership presence:

How You Feel

Be yourself. You need to feel comfortable and confident. The best way to do that consistently is to be who you really are. Putting on an executive-like facade does not work nearly as well as simply being comfortable in your own skin and projecting confidence.

Confidence. You don’t need to have a big, showy personality to have executive presence. Having a strong presence is about confidence, not personality. Even if you are a quiet, humble person it’s about putting your best self out there consistently, not changing your personality.


If you can’t be confident, be fearless. Don’t back off when you are not confident. You’ll come off much worse if you are tentative and worried about what you are presenting. 

Practice and prepare. If you are not comfortable in the moment, then prepare. Don't feel bad about practicing ahead of time. Script what you will say and rehearse it. You will be more confident in the moment, and you will get more confident over time, with practice.

Never mind the details. Don't wait until you feel like know everything. Disconnect "knowing everything" from having executive presence. If you spend all your time learning the details, you will not gain executive presence. You won't be stepping up and putting yourself out there, and to make matters worse, people will always see you in the weeds.

How You Look

Quality matters. It's not about fashion; it's about looking like you care. No one ever felt more confident by wearing a cheap suit. Put some effort in.

Remove distractions. Make sure nothing about your appearance distracts from your competence. Take stock, get feedback. Make changes.

How You Behave

Lead the room. Don't just be in room. Lead the room.

Be fast on your feet. Part of executive presence is being able to actively listen and respond, and not become defensive under attack. You also have more presence if you can be flexible and don't always need to stick to the script.

Be Present! Part of executive presence, is “presence”. You need to put yourself out there. Don’t stay in the shadows. Speak up. Have something to contribute. Be personable. Be the one to ask key questions or put forth recommendations. Don't talk just to talk, but don't be silent just to avoid risk. Step up.

Fit in Socially. You need to be able to fit in to higher level networks. Get over being awe-struck, and find a way to personally connect with people as higher levels. If you can't fit in socially, you will appear junior. You need to make others comfortable that you belong there.

Never Appear Overwhelmed

Ease and grace. Although this is part of how you behave, it’s worth emphasising because appearing overwhelmed is inversely proportional to executive presence. You need to find a way to deal with 'overwhelm' privately, and have others see you as calm and in control. If you appear overwhelmed, no one will see you as ready for more.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Google Page 1 Ranking for Positive Leadership


The Positive Leadership Approach


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Positive Leadership: The Ethics of Excellence

The ethics you live out as you go about your work can provide the foundation for excellence. The high calibre organisation is, after all, merely a reflection of its people.


Positive Leadership: Empowering your Colleagues

A true leader’s success is not measured by their individual accomplishments – it’s measured by the impact they have on those they lead.

Leading means giving others continuous opportunities to learn and grow.  Regardless of your title or position of authority within your workplace, you can show your leadership abilities by empowering others on a daily basis.  

Start by asking yourself the following questions: 
  • What strengths, experiences or best practices can I share with my colleagues that may enhance their overall performance?
  • Do I have a colleague who I can help to achieve his/her professional goals?
  • Which of my colleagues would benefit from additional or new responsibilities?
  • Do I have any tasks or projects that I can delegate in order to provide a colleague with a new, enriching experience?
  • How can I make time in my daily schedule to follow-up and ensure that my colleagues are able to come to me with any questions, concerns or problems they may encounter.
Leading is about inspiring others to perform up to their fullest potential. 

When you provide others with new experiences and help them remove obstacles in their path to success, you enhance their knowledge, confidence and ability to achieve peak performance.  Start today by identifying one colleague who could benefit from any specific knowledge, skills or guidance you can provide.  Then commit to their development by empowering them to learn, grow and achieve new heights of success.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Positive Leadership: Making Decisions

The moment of truth has arrived and it’s time to decide. You have investigated alternatives, narrowed the field, determined all the positive and negative consequences, considered costs and benefits, and, all in all, done a great deal of careful consideration.

But here it is again – that paralysing fear of actually choosing. What if you make the wrong choice? What if what you choose to do doesn’t work? And then you start to sweat and your stomach aches and your head hurts and pretty soon you start to wonder if maybe you should decide not to decide.

Maybe you “have to” choose. Or maybe you’re tired of feeling paralysed and you’re going to bite the bullet and actually do something. But what?

Well, here’s an idea that may help. First, make a list of your choices. Then, rank them with number one the most acceptable, then number two, and so on. Now, focus on your number one option. That’s where your energies should go, that’s the one you should pursue – for now.

Once you’ve chosen, commit to it. Really give it your best effort and a good chance to work. But remember that if number one turns out not to be such a good idea, you can always try the next option on your list, or make another choice.

When you’re stuck, any step in the right direction is a milestone. There’s more than one route to any destination, and this method will give you the breathing room you need to get going.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Positive Leadership: "What Do You Want?"

Have you ever heard of the “if only” syndrome? Maybe you have a touch of it yourself. People with this syndrome often blame others for their disappointments and failures.

They blame their families – “Nobody could succeed with the parents I have.” They blame their friends – “If only my so-called friends would come through for me once in a while.” They blame their circumstances – “It’s obvious that the deck is stacked against me.” Their complaints frequently start with the words “if only,” such as, “If only I had more money. If only I had paid more attention in school. If only I was better looking, a different race, a different age.” You get the picture.

They stumble through life feeling anxious or depressed, dreaming of unlikely events that will transform them, magically, through little or no effort of their own. And, because they envy others, it’s hard for them to feel any genuine pleasure in anyone else’s successes.

The cure for the “if only” syndrome is to take responsibility for your own life once and for all. Give up blame and learn to hope. Give up finding fault and learn to set achievable goals. Give up thinking about what you’d do if you won the lottery, and figure out what you can do with the 50 pounds you have now.

By the way, do you know the magic of taking responsibility for your failures? When you do, you also take control of your success.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Positive Leadership: The Purpose of Leadership

Purpose is at the heart of Positive Leadership. Focusing on the purpose of the team allows good leaders to lead their followers in a way that gets desired results. 

Recent research has looked at the effects of understanding and embracing purpose or the ‘why’ of an organisation.

In one study, Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School visited a call centre at a large American university, where each night employees made phone calls to alumni to raise scholarship funds.

With the permission of the university, Grant and his team randomly divided the call centre representatives into three groups. For a few days, before they made calls, people in the first group read brief stories from previous employees about the personal benefits of working in the job – how they developed communication skills and sales know-how that later helped them in their careers.

The second group also read stories before hitting the phones, but theirs were from people who had received scholarships from the funds raised and who described how the money had improved their lives. The aim of these stories was to remind workers of the purpose of their efforts.

The third group was the control group; they read nothing before dialling for dollars. Participants were also told not to discuss what they’d read with the recipients of their calls. Then a month later, Grant measured the performance of the three groups.

The people in the first group, who’d been reminded of the personal benefit of working in a call centre, did no better than those in the control group. Both groups earned about the same number of weekly pledges and raised the same amount of money as they had in the weeks before the experiment.

However, the people in the second group – who took a moment to consider the significance of their work and its effect on others’ lives – raised more than twice as much money, in twice as many pledges, as they had in previous weeks and significantly more than their counterparts in the other two groups.

In other words, reminding employees about purpose – the “why” – doubled their performance.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Authentic Leadership: How You Can Take the Lead

Betsy Myers can tell you what being an authentic leader means to her. As a woman who has had careers in the private, corporate, and political arenas, Ms. Myers knows that being an authentic leader requires tremendous self-awareness and the right team of people who will act as your support group. 

Ms Myers served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. Prior to this appointment, Myers was the Executive Director of the Centre for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. 

Ms. Myers has drawn her inspiration to succeed and her support from a broad collection of people: her colleagues, public and political leaders, and close family and friends. She knows that leading an authentic life plays a critical role in the making of an authentic leader.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Positive Leadership: Truth

We’ve all heard the saying “the truth hurts.” But while lying to protect someone else’s feelings may seem easier, it can be very damaging in the long run. Let’s talk about truth in relationships.

Lying to someone you love can be devastating and can undermine their trust in you for a long, long time. How do you feel about lying? Would you prefer that those around you keep unpleasant truths from you? Or, would you prefer to know the truth, no matter what?

How would you like the truth told to you? Brutally, with no regard for your feelings? Or tactfully, with a gesture of affection and a few softening words, such as, “Remember, we said we’d be honest with each other, so here goes,” or “I’m no expert, but here’s what I think.”

The truth doesn’t have to hurt if it’s offered with a loving spirit. What hurts is feeling that we have to wear a mask over our true thoughts and emotions. If we want our relationships to last and grow, honesty and truth must be our inevitable goals.

Sure, we will fall from the truth from time to time. It’s only human. But we must put aside our ideas that deception of those close to us is something we do for their own, or our own, good. Hiding the truth leads to living a life of lies. Who needs it? 

It is lies, not the truth, that hurt and the truth that heals. 


Friday, February 18, 2011

Positive Leadership: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World

A former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, Stuart Diamond (Law/Univ. of Pennsylvania) debuts with a superb how-to based book - Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World - on his immensely popular Wharton course on negotiation. The author prepares for any negotiation by asking himself, "What are my goals? Who are 'they'? What will it take to persuade them?" Depending on the answers, he then draws selectively on bargaining tools and strategies described in this anecdote-rich book.

Others in his field assume that most people in a negotiation are rational. Not so, says Diamond. People in the real world—whether friends, store clerks or CEOs—tend to be emotional and irrational in their interactions. Since the 'people' involved make up 90 percent of a negotiation (substance accounts for only 10 percent), you must negotiate based on your understanding of "the pictures in the head of the other party"—a phrase Diamond frequently uses to underscore that psychology trumps the issues at the bargaining table.

Successful negotiators must prepare, learn what makes others tick (through research and small talk), take small steps, communicate clearly, turn problems into opportunities, avoid deceit and embrace differences. Above all, writes the author, they must stay focused on specific goals and connect with the other party. Many of Diamond's suggestions are counterintuitive...This immensely useful book will have wide appeal and leave many readers anxious to put their new skills to work.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Positive Leadership: Build Collaboration

All successful influencers cultivate collaboration to form productive relationships. Effective influence results from two-way dialogue, not manipulation. 

Here are six questions to ask yourself when forming productive partnerships: 
  • What do I want to achieve from this relationship?
  • What does my potential colleague want to achieve?
  • How can I weave these sets of wants together so we are both satisfied?
  • What can I give up without undermining my overall goal?
  • What can my counterpart bring to the table that might not be immediately obvious?
  • What new solutions serve our common goal?
"The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other." - Thomas Stallkamp 


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Positive Leadership: 7 Traits of a Courageous Leader

Here are 7 traits of a courageous leader:

- Does not bail on the team when things get difficult…
- Not afraid to make big requests of others…but willing to pull equal weight to accomplish them…
- Willing to take the first move into unchartered territory…pursuing the unproven by willingly taking risks…
- Moves forward with confidence…even when the outcome is unclear…
- Makes hard decisions regarding people…trusting responsibilities to others early and acknowledging when a team member is no longer a good fit for the team…
- Protects the vision in the midst of criticism, hard economic times, and setbacks…
- Implements needed changes even when they are uncomfortable or not immediately popular.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Positive Leadership: Which Countries Are Best for Women in Business?

JESS3 x Economist: Women's Economic Opportunity from JESS3 on Vimeo.

Positive Leadership: Women & Relationships

According to Tom Peters: "Women look at relationships with more depth and complexity than men do." 

It's essential to understand this if you're working with women in leadership positions or if you're developing products for women.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Positive Leadership: What's Leadership Got To Do With It?

In December 2007, the Health Foundation commissioned an in-depth evaluation of its leadership programmes, including an exploration of the links between leadership and quality improvement (QI). 

The three core enquiry questions for the study were:
· What are the links between QI and leadership behaviour?
· Do different types of QI require different leadership behaviours?
· What are the lessons for leadership development generally and for the Health Foundation specifically?

The results of the study provide the Health Foundation with evidence to develop its leadership development work. The report contains insights into how leadership development can support Quality Improvement in the NHS.

Among the most interesting findings of the research is that it became increasingly clear throughout the study that the effectiveness of leadership development activities is more validly measured in real-time, prospectively, rather than merely in retrospect.

The study also highlighted that participants in existing Health Foundation leadership programmes believe that the top 10 leadership behaviours essential to all are:

1.            Identifies and nurtures talent to build capacity and capability.
2.            Capitalises on the range of skills and talents present in the organisation.
3.            Demonstrates honesty in interactions by matching deeds to words.
4.            Explains the need for change and inspires commitment to the process.
5.            Demonstrates commitment to innovation and to continuous improvement.
6.            Unites staff around an inspiring vision and aligns staff capacities with planned activities.
7.            Takes a ‘helicopter view’ of the system to oversee both short and longer-term issues.
8.            Helps others create their own solutions to facilitate ownership and commitment.
9.            Offers support, rewards achievements and celebrates success.
10.          Gives clear constructive feedback, timely praise and focused recognition.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Positive Leadership: Our Priorities Reveal our Values

It has been said that values are the standards by which we set our priorities.  This means we can understand the values of a person or an organisation by examining their priorities.

Listening to a presentation given by top executives of a large firm recently, we heard them list the company’s priorities:

1.     Top line growth
2.     Enhance shareholder value
3.     Focus on global expansion
4.     Enhance customer satisfaction
5.     Our people.

From this listing, it seems they don’t really value their people. Or at least they don’t put their people before growth. Ironically, the best organisations we have seen, the ones that are actually more profitable for the long-term, all put people before growth on their list of priorities.

As Lou Gerstner, the man who reinvented IBM, said: "Culture is not an aspect of the game. Culture is the game."

So what of other priorities? 

If a company says shareholder value is their main priority how do they value customers? If an executive has their Blackberry at his child’s football match because work it still a priority, then how much does he value the fleeting time he has to watch his children grow up? If the urgent always takes priority over the important, then how much do we value the important over the urgent? If indeed we value things that we are not prioritising or prioritising things we do not value as much, then perhaps it is time to realign our priorities. If we value those kinds of things...


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Positive Leadership: Barriers to Becoming a Leader

Anne Morriss, managing director of the Concire Leadership Institute, identifies the small but common barriers that stop people from becoming leaders.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Positive Leadership: Views from the Boardroom on Employee Engagement

A 2010 survey, Re-engaging with engagement by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found C-Suite executives consistently out of touch with what others in the firm experienced — biased in an overly positive direction:

‘The C-suite displays a consistently “rose-tinted” view of engagement that is not shared lower down the ranks. One important revelation from our survey is the huge disparity between the views of many in the C-suite and those of less senior directors, including just a single rung below board level. For example, 47% of C-suite executives believe that they themselves have determined levels of employee engagement, a view shared by only 16% of senior directors outside the C-suite. More than one in five in the C-suite believe that employees are “much more engaged” than those in rival firms, compared with only 7% of respondents outside the C-suite.’


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Positive Leadership: Helping Others Shine

Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT says, “Success has a much greater influence on the brain than failure.” 

Ned Hallowell comments in Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People: "While of course mistakes need to be acknowledged and, one hopes, learned from, it may be more likely, from a purely neurological point of view, that a person will learn more from a success than a failure.” The brain’s plasticity—its ability to grow and change throughout life—means that none of us are stuck with who we are. With the proper attention we can learn to perform better. “All people want to work hard and will work hard, given the right job and the right conditions, because it feels supremely good to excel.”

Hallowell points out that acknowledgment or recognition serves two important functions. Of course there is the familiar purpose of giving the recipient encouragement, motivation and greater confidence, but recognition also promotes moral behaviour through connection. Hallowell explains: “When a person feels recognised and connected to the larger group, she knows viscerally, not just intellectually, that she has made a contribution others value. Not only does this motivate her to do more and try harder, but it instills a desire to look out for the larger group…. It leads a person to do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

Showing appreciation and giving recognition is part of the Cycle of Excellence process he calls 'shine'. In our busy culture it is easy to overlook opportunities to acknowledge others. Noticing the positive is a daily challenge.
In Shine, Hallowell offers these ten tips for promoting shine with the people you influence:
  • Recognise effort, not just results. Of course, you want the results, but if you recognise ongoing effort, results will more likely ensue. Cheerleading works.
  • Notice details. Generic acknowledgment pales next to specific recognition.
  • Try, as much as possible, to provide recognition in person. E-mail packs much less of a punch than human moments.
  • In meetings—and everywhere—try to make others look good, not bad. Scoring points off the backs of others usually backfires.
  • As a manager, you should know that the self-esteem of each employee is perhaps your most important asset. Recognition is a powerful tool to preserve self-esteem.
  • Acknowledge people’s existence! Try always to say hello, give a nod of the head, a high five, a smile in passing. It’s withering to pass someone and feel as if that person didn’t even see you.
  • Tap into the power of positive feedback. Remember that positive feedback often consolidates gains better than learning from mistakes.
  • Monitor progress. Performance improves when a person’s progress toward a goal is monitored regularly.
  • Remember, as a manager, the more you recognise others, the more you establish the habit of recognition of hard work and progress as part of the organizational culture.
  • Bring in the marginalised people. In most organisations, about 15 percent of people feel unrecognised, misunderstood, devalued, and generally disconnected. Not only is recognition good for that 15 percent to help them feel valued, it is good for the other 85 percent as well, as it boots the positive energy across the organisation.
Hallowell reminds us that “recognition is so powerful because it answers a fundamental human need, the need to feel valued for what we do” and as leaders we are in a unique position to offer or withhold that recognition. 


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Positive Leadership: Are You Integrious?

Integrity does not have an officially recognised word to describe someone possessing this virtue.  

The Integrious Project is working to change that by re-introducing the word integrious into the English lexicon as the adjective of integrity. It’s time to start taking integrity personally. 

IN-TEG-RI-OUS: adj.: Having or characterised by integrity - as defined by The Integrious Project - http://www.integriousproject.com/

IN-TEG-RI-TY: noun: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values - as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


Positive Leadership: Signs of Failing Leadership

Leadership is a process of earning trust and gaining influence while making positive change. This takes time and along the journey, you cannot become too busy and fail to monitor these vital signs for your leadership effectiveness. What fuels the success of a great leader can also work in reverse if you are running on empty.

Here are ten vital signs of prospective failure which every leader should monitor:

1.            Authenticity. When the leader fails to be honest, they are hurting their credibility. When others do not believe you, then your influence is weak. Be real, be honest and see your influence rise.
2.            Vision. At the moment the path is unclear, the leader needs to step away, retreat, and regain a clear focus for the journey ahead. You cannot lead without clear vision.
3.            Passion. If you do not believe in the cause or purpose then why should anyone follow you? Your example of commitment will drive forward the vision.
4.            Stewardship. The job of a leader is to respect the resources entrusted to them and be a good caretaker. If you are wasteful and not maximising resources (time, people and money) you will soon be bankrupt in your leadership.
5.            Innovation. Leaders must be thinkers that ask: how can we be better? Running behind in making a good thing better leaves you playing catch-up and that could be too late.
6.            Communication. Are you keeping people in the dark? If someone is coming to you asking what’s going on, then you have a communication problem. Keep people informed so they can appropriately support the vision.
7.            Personal Development. How are you leading you? How’s the balance in your life? If the personal growth and personal leadership development is lacking then know your endurance tank is running low. You cannot give what you do not have.
8.            Role Models. If you think you have figured it all out, that should be your major warning sign of trouble ahead. Have people around you that you are accountable to and learn from their example.
9.            Discipline to focus. The greatest battle is to focus on what’s most important as a leader. If you fail to set the priorities for your organisation then you are driving in reverse.
10.          Appreciation. Stop caring and watch people start leaving. You know you are not appreciating others when you stop listening! If you fail to appreciate those on your team and those that support your cause, then you will quickly see your influence decrease.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Positive Leadership: Showing Leadership After a Loss

Coach Mike Tomlin had to have been crushed by falling short in Super Bowl XLV, but he showed his character and leadership abilities with one small act after the game.

He was the first to arrive at the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room. But, rather than going in, he stopped at the door and waited for each of his players to get there. He shook each of his player's hands looking them in the eye each time. This couldn't have been easy for him. With multiple on-lookers and long gaps between arriving groups of players. He was there a good eight minutes (or so) to make sure he didn't miss anyone.

It is no wonder that "unified" is the best way to describe the Steelers moribund locker room after the devastating loss to the Green Bay Packers. At least three different Steelers expressed their "love" for their teammates explaining they'd do anything for them. There was no 'finger-pointing' about the loss. This kind of well-built team only comes when you have a true leader at the helm.

Tomlin's small gesture speaks volumes as to his ability to build a cohesive and effective team.


Positive Leadership: Green Bay Packers' Unique Team Leadership

Before the recent NFC Championship game, President Barack Obama said he would only attend the Super Bowl if his hometown Chicago Bears earned a trip. The Green Bay Packers ended all hope of that after defeating the Bears.

After that game, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson took the comment personally, saying he planned on seeing President Obama anyway.

First, Woodson took a page out of Obama’s “One America” campaign, telling the Packers to remain unified—”Let’s be one mind, let’s be one heartbeat, one goal, one more game. One.”

Then the cornerback called out the president to motivate his team.

After his teammates listened quietly to the beginning of his speech, Woodson changed the tone and pumped up the volume: “The president don’t wanna come watch us go to the Super Bowl? Guess what?” We’ll go see him!”

After winning the Super Bowl, the team is usually invited to the White House to meet the president. The Packers made it clear they intended receiving that invitation. Last Sunday they did!  Watch below.


Positive Leadership: Winning

‘Players have to have passion and emotion to succeed and achieve.  Winning and a belief in winning is emotional. It gets the adrenaline moving which sends you on a high when you win and makes you cry when you lose – because it matters. There must be passion to succeed; to achieve and to keep achieving; to raise horizons and expectations. Excellence is continuous; you’ve never done enough; you can never be satisfied, but as the team grows it achieves a special identity – no longer one person’s image – but a reflection of everyone’s interests, their abilities and their beliefs.' 

Sir Ian McGeechan, British & Irish Lions Rugby Coach 1989, 1993, 1997, 2009


Monday, February 07, 2011

Positive Leadership: MBA Oath Provides an Ethical Foundation for Business

This article from today's Financial Times was written by the Archbishop of the Church in Wales - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5c7b7592-307c-11e0-9de3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1DIjtKlS9) . It bears scrutiny in today's world, where values are often mere words rather than actions.

The conclusion is a pertinent summary of the opportunity which adopting the Values of Positive Leadershipaffords businesses today:

'If adopted, an ethical perspective could become as second nature to executives as an economic outlook. That would make a radical difference to the way in which we conduct business because, in the end, conventional regulations cannot cure moral blindness or human greed.'


Positive Leadership: Coach K on Team Building

Says Duke University Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski (‘Coach K’): 

"In all forms of leadership, whether you are a coach, a CEO, or a parent, there are four words that, when said, can bring out the best in your team, your employees, and your family...I BELIEVE IN YOU. These four words can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try."

The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team is  Coach K's first-hand account of how he dealt with such stars as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and all the rest to buy into his "total team" play as members of the US Olympic basketball team. Half a book on basketball, half a book on management techniques, THE GOLD STANDARD captures Coach K's personal style and approach to getting different (and sometimes difficult) people to work hard and succeed in reaching a common goal.



Sunday, February 06, 2011

Positive Leadership: Training Talent

NVIDIA Co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang believes it is essential to train talent to effectively control a different product line, a new geography, or even to take his place. Succession planning of a closed set of hand-picked individuals is a toxic process, says Huang. It's best to treat all employees as a next generation of leaders to build a better environment and long term stability.


Positive Leadership: GROW through Coaching

The acronym G-R-O-W to remind us of an effective strategy for one-on-one coaching.

'All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.' Bill McCartney

Goal – In one-on-one coaching ask the person you’re coaching, “What do you want?” and "How will you know when you’re there?" Try to limit the number of goals to no more than two per one-on-one session.

Reality – Examine the current reality.  It is the role of the coach to cut through the “fog” and help the person being coached to better define what is really going on.  Ask questions like:  “What are the numbers?  What are the facts?  What are you feeling?”

Options – Explore the options for achieving the goals.  Ask questions like:  "What have you tried in the past?  What worked?  What didn’t work?" Look at multiple options, and brainstorm together to find the best option.

Will - When you have chosen a path or an option, ask "When will you accomplish this goal?" Establish a deadline.  This may be the most difficult question to ask, but if you fail to ask “Specifically, when will you do this?” you have not done all you can to coach this person towards success. 


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Positive Leadership: Olympian Thinking

What—and how—you think determines your ability to reach your personal potential and the untapped potential of your organisation. 

Marilyn King is a two-time Olympian in the grueling five-event Pentathlon (Munich, 1972 & Montreal, 1976). An automobile accident in 1979 rendered her unable to train physically for her third Olympic Team. Using only mental training techniques she placed second at the US Olympic trials for the 1980 Moscow Games. 


Positive Leadership: Lessons from an Olympic Athlete

Marilyn King was an American Pentathlete who competed at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. Whilst she was preparing for the Moscow Olympics of 1980 she injured her back which put her in bed for four months. Marilyn was absolutely focused on being ready and prepared for the Olympics, despite the adversity of the back injury. So, she took the situation in which she found herself and instead of accepting it with a 'poor me' victim mentality, turned this around and looked for the opportunity in the adversity.

The Power of Visualization

Marilyn spent her bedridden time watching films of World Champion pentathletes, visualizing and feeling herself going through her event, using the technique we call mental rehearsal to run through her performance, over and over again. Although in 1970's they didn't have access to the type of advanced brain scanning technology that is available today, if we could have seen what was happening inside Marilyn’s head, we would have seen her literally exercising the parts of the brain responsible for her performance. She was keeping the neural wiring fresh and connected around her performance, using the images and feelings of excellence.

Although her preparation had been hampered by injury, (she had no opportunity to have a proper physical run through, all she had managed to do, was to walk the course, visualizing herself performing optimally) she placed second at the Olympic trial with no physical preparation.

Through visualizing, Marilyn used the pictures and feelings of performance to literally wire her performance into her brain. Installed in her subconscious mind it ran on automatic pilot, without her having to consciously think about it. (Recent research has shown that mental rehearsal and visualization actually cause physical changes in the brain.) 

From this experience, Marilyn became convinced as to the power of using the mind to enhance and control performance. She began to research visualization and mental rehearsal and found that it impacts every cell in the body. In her research she would bring together other Olympians to discuss what they thought were common to them, as Olympic achievers.

Marilyn herself didn't believe that she was exceptionally talented physically - above average was her description - so what was the difference?

The Olympic athletes identified four main areas: Mental, Physical, Emotional or (Spirit) and Other. (For many sports the 'Other' is strategy and tactics.)

The 'Mental' section was by far the biggest for the athletes. Her research showed that mental rehearsal and visualization did not in themselves bring about exceptional achievement. To achieve this result, she believes they need to be aligned with Vision, Passion and Action.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize. Marilyn's research with other Olympians identified this, you need a Crystal Clear Goal .... Kept uppermost in your mind. Trust.... that the brain will go to work and the steps to achieve your goal will appear. Passion..... Tap into your passion for your sport; keep coming back to your passion to recharge your focus, regardless of adversity. Know what you want and stay determined to get it. Repetition is the Mother of Learning. 

Physical was the smallest list for the athletes. What did stand out though was the physical act of doing something every day to actualise their goal.

Support was essential... whether it was from parents or from significant others. To surround yourself with people who would support and believe in you whilst you focused on your goal.

Passion is the energy source that drives the goal. Our passion is connected to our values. We all have the capacity to decide what is important to us and focus on it.

Aligning our Mind, Body and Spirit allows us to perform optimally on a regular basis.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Positive Leadership: Defining Yourself as a Leader in Crisis Management

Taco Bell has been impressive in reacting to the recent claims against the quality of its product.  Watch  this interview with Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed on CNBC before watching Jack Welch’s response below.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Positive Leadership and World Leadership Day

Positive Leadership is delighted to announce that its ceo, Graham Watson, has accepted an invitation to become Scotland's World Leadership Day Ambassador (www.worldleadershipday.org).

World Leadership Day ('WLD') celebrates and promotes authentic leadership around the world on or around March 20th of each year and, works collaboratively with its Ambassadors, sharing common beliefs, vision and values. Positive Leadership shares the beliefs, visions and values of WLD.

The core beliefs of WLD are:
  • Leadership determines everything.
  • Every individual is, innately, a leader, creator and innovator.
  • Authentic leadership is courageously demonstrating one’s innate/authentic self, liberating all to so lead, thereby revealing humanity’s unlimited abilities.
  • Authentic leadership is fundamental to the health and well-being of all humanity.
The vision of WLD is:
  • A world that recognises, engages and cultivates the expression of the innate leader in every person.
The mission of WLD is to:
  • Celebrate World Leadership Day as an annual, growing, international event to inspire, connect and transform leadership thinking and development across the globe.
  • Inspire processes worldwide to recognise, engage and cultivate the innate leadership dimension and leadership skill development in every person to give them the courage to step into the unknown territory of leadership.
  • Unite leaders across generations, gender, and cultures to engage in real meaningful dialogue for collective learning and inspired leadership action that addresses the critical issues facing us in the 21st century.
The core values of WLD are:
  • Truth
  • Love
  • Freedom.
Positive Leadership Limited is delighted to be associated with World Leadership Day in this exciting capacity and looks forward to hosting a World Leadership Day event in Scotland in 2012.

For more information, please contact: graham.watson@positiveleadership.co.uk


The Leadership Mindset

Leadership isn’t a role; it’s a mindset. It is the commitment to discovering and living your own greatness, then inspiring greatness in others. This is a daily event. We all can be leaders. We all must be leaders – everyday leaders.

Leaders are clear about who they are, what they believe and how they make a difference; they know their unique talents, strengths and passions and how to use them to add their best value to the world. They focus on greatness, not on adequacy.

Leaders inspire greatness in others; They support and encourage others to know themselves, know their world and find their best fit. They constantly help others achieve their personal greatness, not by insisting that they be like everyone else, but rather by applauding and supporting others to discover their unique abilities – to be true.

Leaders model greatness behaviour; they insist on it in themselves and demand it in others; they hold themselves and others accountable. This has nothing to do with overt power. Rather it is authentic power, and a keen believe that each of us brings our best to the world when we are true to who we are. Leaders demand this of others because the result is a powerful and fulfilled life.

True leaders act like leaders everywhere in their lives. Leadership is a mindset. It a commitment to being your personal best, and inspiring that best in others – everywhere, all the time. They don’t turn it on and off. It is how they live their lives.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Seven-Step Path to Sustaining Success

The Seven-Step Path to Sustaining Success (courtesy of Tom Peters):

You take care of the people.
The people take care of the service.
The service takes care of the customer.
The customer takes care of the profit.
The profit takes care of the re-investment.
The re-investment takes care of the re-invention.
The re-invention takes care of the future.
(And at every step the only measure is EXCELLENCE.)


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Positive Leadership for a Turbulent Age

In the midst of growing financial pressures and ever-changing business needs, organisations must be confident that their leaders are ready to lead effectively. Designing and delivering an aligned leadership programme that creates “ready-now leaders” who are in lock step with corporate strategy and a sustainable network, is essential.

Positive Leadership Limited delivers such a solution.

In this programme, you will:
· access best practices in leading across cultures, companies, divisions and functions
· develop initiatives that can cross global boundaries, and benefit the bottom line
· define techniques to align strategy with leadership needs.

For more information, please contact: lee.torbet@positiveleadership.co.uk