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

Follow us on Twitter @posleadership


Friday, December 30, 2011

Positive Leadership: Goal Setting for the New Year

Are you planning to make some new goals for next year? Do you make New Year's Resolutions? How about setting some milestones or objectives? Do you have a dream or is it all just a wish? Are all of these terms about goals and goal setting the same? Let's take a look.

A wish is something you set with no plan to get it and you do not change your behaviour even a little bit to do anything about moving toward it. Example; you think, "I wish I could make more money!" That is a wish if you do not begin to do anything to move toward it.

A resolution is something you set that you know you need to do this year but you will abandon long before you get close to achievement. Example; you say, "This year I'm going to lose 30 pounds so I can get into the new clothes I bought last year that I was going to lose 30 pounds to get into."

A goal is something you set that you actually have a plan to attain. You might even have it written down if you are really committed to it. A goal has a definite finish line. It is defined so well that if someone asks you if you have a goal for the year you do not hesitate to say so. For it to qualify as a real goal it must have a suspense date. Example; you write "I am a master class golfer by the end of this year."

A dream is the kind of goal that evokes emotion in a person. It's more than just a big goal; it is life defining and something that often requires sacrifice. Example; you dream "Within the next five years I want to wear GB&I on my back competing in a World Championship."

All goals require milestones or objectives to be reached along the way. Setting short term, mid and long term objectives makes the big task manageable. We cannot always foresee the obstacles and opportunities that lay ahead but we can get moving down the road.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Positive Leadership: How Passionate is Your Leadership?

Leaders who create extraordinary new possibilities are passionate about their mission and tenacious in pursuit of it. Many people have good ideas, but many fewer are willing to put themselves on the line for them.

Passion separates good intentions and opportunism from real accomplishments.

To determine whether your passion matches your aspirations, try these 12 questions.

1. Do I feel strongly about the need for this?
2. Does the idea fit my long-held beliefs, values, and convictions?
3. Have I dreamed about something like this for a long time?
4. Do I think that this is vital for the future of people I care about?
5. Do I get excited when I think about it, and convey excitement when I talk about it?
6. Am I convinced that this can be accomplished?
7. Am I willing to put my credibility on the line to promise action on it?
8. Am I willing to spend time to sell it to others who might not understand or support it?
9. Can I make this the major focus of my activities?
10. Am I willing to devote personal time, above and beyond organisational time, to see that this happens?
11. Do I feel strongly enough to ignore negativity and fight for this?
12. Am I committed to seeing this through, over the long haul?

Passing the passion test is doesn't guarantee success, but without it, the journey can't even begin.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Positive Leadership: Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Positive Leadership: Adopting a Positive Attitude

‘If I had one piece of advice for a young person, it would be to make a careful evaluation of the circumstances in which they find themselves, and locate in that setting whatever they can possibly locate that gives them a positive attitude about the life they have to live.’ Sandy Tatum (USGA Past President)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Positive Leadership: A Challenge for Scottish Rugby

“Another great example is the Scottish rugby team. They have never beaten the All Blacks and I genuinely wonder if – deep down – they really do want to. If they do, then perhaps they talk themselves out of it before they even go out onto the pitch. They have lost games by 30 points and talked about playing well. It seems to me that the players are just happy to have played against the All Blacks, and that their focus is more on playing well than getting the result. I have a peer from my playing days – a highly respected Scottish international – who still talks about the time that they played the All Blacks in 1990 and lost. He tells me that they should have beaten us. My answer is simple: maybe so but you didn’t. Even 20 or so years later, he is still bringing it up; in fact I heard him speak at a rugby function a few weeks ago and he said – I kid you not – ‘one of my greatest memories was when we almost beat the All Blacks.’” Sean Fitzpatrick, Former All Black Captain


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Positive Leadership: Integrity in Golf

In 1955, Arnold Palmer played with Gene Sarazen, the 1935 winner, in his first competitive round at the Masters. He dined frequently with Bobby Jones, battled Jack Nicklaus in his prime and has known every significant golfer since. 

What is it about golf that he most values and wants to pass along to a younger generation?

"The integrity of the game. It's hard to describe what I mean by that. You immediately think of honesty, but it's more than that. It's a lifestyle. It's something people see. It's something that golf delivers to the public like no other sport.

Truthfulness is part of it. Most of the golfers I've known along the way had good character. Certainly the best ones did. That doesn't mean they never did anything wrong. They all had a drink now and then, but the top golfers generally have all been upstanding. I think that's very important to impress on the young players.

Integrity, in Palmer's mind, isn't far removed from style. The way a player dresses and walks and comports himself feeds into the way he plays. You could spot Hogan or Nelson halfway across the course, just walking, not even swinging, and know instantly who they were. They owned who they were.”


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Positive Leadership: The Connection Between Leadership Strategy and Business Strategy

When comparing the Global Top Companies for Leaders to more than 470 companies worldwide, the ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ study identified a strong connection between business strategy and leadership strategy. 

All of the Global Top Companies have articulated a clear business case for investing in leadership as a strategic imperative.  

Nearly 85% of Top Companies say their leaders can explain how the investment in leadership affects financial performance, while only 54% of all other companies in the study can say the same.  In fact, 92% of Top Companies say their stakeholders understand how their leadership strategy creates value, compared to just 78% of all other organisations in the study.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Positive Leadership: Gary Player, a Legend

Gary Player (born 1 November 1935) is a South African professional golfer. With his nine major championship victories, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades. here he talks about his life in golf and what makes him a champion.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Positive Leadership: Creating a Contagious Leadership Team

What if leadership in your organisation were like a pot of boiling water?

 It begins with a pool of cool water. When you apply heat, one or two little bubbles (leaders) begin to appear. Then there are four, then 16, then 256, then a potful of bubbles. This leadership "bubble effect "creates "hot molecules" - individuals who model and pass on leadership qualities to others. Then it becomes contagious throughout the organisation, one person to another.

Before long you will have created an organisation of Contagious Leaders.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Positive Leadership Approach to High Performance in Business


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Positive Leadership: Gary Player's 10 Commandments

Gary Player is one of the greatest golfers of all time. He has lived his life based on the following commandments, enabling him to realise success achieved by very few.

  1. Change is the price of survival.
  2. Everything in business is negotiable, except quality.
  3. A promise made is a debt incurred.
  4. For all we take in life we must pay.
  5. Persistence and common sense are more important than intelligence.
  6. The fox fears not the man who boasts by night but the man who rises early in the morning.
  7. Accept the advice of the man who loves you, though you like it not at present.
  8. Trust instinct to the end, though you cannot render any reason.
  9. The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but that while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night.
  10. There is no substitute for personal contact.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Positive Leadership: Winning

“It’s impossible,” said Pride.
“It’s risky,” said Experience.
“It’s pointless,” said Reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the Heart.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Positive Leadership: The World As Steve Jobs Saw It

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. 

Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again


Friday, December 09, 2011

Positive Leadership: Global Leadership Forecast 2011

The Global Leadership Forecast 2011 is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind. Over 2,600 organisations across 74 countries have provided perspectives on the current state of leadership in their organizations and future talent-related needs. The study is based on data from 1,897 HR professionals and 12,423 leaders.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Positive Leadership: Life Lessons Through Sport

As Stanford University Quarterback Andrew Luck awaits Saturday's Heisman Trophy ceremony, his father, Oliver, a former NFL quarterback and current athletic director at West Virginia University, shares his thoughts on life lessons through sports:


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Positive Leadership: Is an Organisation Values Driven?

What do US companies, Zappos, Ben and Jerry’s, and Southwest Airlines have in common? They are all financially successful, values-driven companies.

A lot of companies claim to be values-driven. They publish their values and use them in marketing messages. However, this does not necessarily mean their values guide decision-making and behaviours company-wide on a day-by-day basis.

To know for certain, you can investigate whether leadership practices and company policies are aligned with their published vision and values. But there’s a simpler and quicker way to tell: pay attention to your own experience as a customer.

Here are five quick ways you can tell if an organisation is really values-driven.

1. Employees remember what the company’s values are.

Ask three employees what the values of the company are.

Can they quickly recall them?

Do they repeat the same values?

2. Employees can describe specific activities and behaviours that demonstrate what the values look like in action.

Ask the employees to give you examples of how the values they listed are lived in the company –what behaviours or actions do they see that exemplify each of the values?

It’s not enough to just have a list of values. The same words can mean different things to different people. 

Values like “teamwork” “innovation” or “ownership” need to be clearly defined so they are understood by all and can be implemented consistently.

3. The company’s values are visibly integrated into how they do business and are not just something extra they do on the side.

It is common knowledge that since its inception, Ben and Jerry’s has built a reputation for caring more about people than profit, providing leadership in social and environmental responsibility. And although the company was sold to Unilever in 2000, CEO Jostein Solheim recently provided reassurance that the essence has not changed, stating:

“The world needs dramatic change to address the social and environmental challenges we are facing. Values led businesses can play a critical role in driving that positive change. We need to lead by example, and prove to the world that this is the best way to run a business. Historically, this company has been and must continue to be a pioneer to continually challenge how business can be a force for good and address inequities inherent in global business.”

4. The company’s public message matches your own experience as a customer.

Our advice to companies is Don’t make a claim and then miss the mark, consistently. We consumers resent it and you actually lose credibility.

5. Use your own personal experience to identify the real company values.

Anyone who has flown on Southwest Airlines can tell you without reading their ads that having fun is one of their core values. And indeed, on the careers page of their Website, Southwest Airlines recruits specifically for people who “want the freedom to be creative, dress casually, and have fun on the job.” 


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Positive Leadership: Passion and Attitude

Tiger Woods returned to the winners circle this past weekend and demonstrated in the process why his passion and attitude are so important to both winning and the world of professional golf!

Positive Leadership: Everyone Can Learn

Do you know people who talk about children who can learn and ones who can’t? Or, children who can be helped and ones who can’t? Well, they are wrong, and we will tell you why.

Some 30-odd years ago, the great Japanese teacher, Dr. Suzuki, who taught over 20,000 children to understand and play the violin like virtuosi, had some words of wisdom to share with us. He said, “People today are like gardeners who look sadly at ruined saplings and shake their heads, saying the seeds must have been bad to start with – not realising that the seed was all right, and that it was their method of cultivation that was wrong. They go on their mistaken way, ruining plant after plant. It is imperative that the human race escape from this vicious circle.” These words have value even today.

You see, Dr. Suzuki did not believe that some children were gifted while others were not. He believed that every child could be superior, and that every child could be educated. Talent, he believed, was no accident of birth, but a purposeful effort, a powerful creation.

Let’s teach our children to understand that when they see someone of ability, they see a person who has been carefully taught, and who has worked hard to realize their unlimited potential. Let’s teach them that they have the same unlimited potential. And let’s teach them to believe in sustained effort, self-discipline and self-determination.

We have the opportunity and the ability to raise an entire generation of superstars every day. Why would we settle for less?


Monday, December 05, 2011

Positive Leadership: Identifying Future Leaders

One of the best ways to identify a potential leader is to ask people: “Who do you enjoy working with?  Who do you respect in the workforce?”  The names you hear in answer to those questions are the kind of people you want to identify as potential leaders and promote.

Great leaders are great because their people trust and respect them, not because they have power. So think about it: Who do people trust and respect in your workplace? Who do people go to for advice who might not be a leader now?  Those are the ones you want to identify. Those are the ones who have the potential to be leaders, because people are already attracted to them.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Positive Leadership: Congratulations to Macfarlane Gray!

Positive Leadership is delighted to work with Macfarlane Gray, winners of the Best Independent Firm in Scotland award for practice excellence at the recent British Accountancy Awards Dinner in London.

The judging panel quite rightly said “Macfarlane Gray has achieved success driven by constant innovation and won with the development of client focused programmes, which allows it to provide bespoke and targeted service. It is clear that its success over many years has been based on its motto “growth through quality”

Congratulations to everyone in the Macfarlane Gray team!


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Positive Leadership: Winning On and Off the Field

The most outstanding player in college football this generation, Stanford senior quarterback Andrew Luck has redefined his position by being the coach on the field and consistently putting the Cardinal offense into the perfect play. Andrew's individual QB success, the offense's success and the team's success at Stanford are incomparable. He is a true winner on and off the field!


Friday, December 02, 2011

Positive Leadership: What Makes Silicon Valley Different?

As a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Dana Mead supports entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to make major impact through life science technologies and ventures. In this lecture, Mead talks about Venture Capital, offering great insights about Silicon Valley and life as a venture capitalist.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Positive Leadership: Inspiration

Two great motivational speeches from British Lions coach, Jim Telfer in South Africa in 1997: