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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Positive Leadership: Winning the Ryder Cup

If this Ryder Cup is to be saved by Europe then each of the team has to take inspiration from Ian Poulter and find the champion within themselves. 

It's simply a matter of pride and, of course, passion.

There are few lonelier places in sport than the final day singles of a Ryder Cup. Nowhere to hide, no-one to hide behind. These men are on their own. Still a team but on their own. While stroke play might be the better test of golf, match play is by far the better test of character. 

Twelve points to be won by twelve great golfers. It can be done! Good luck Team Europe!


Positive Leadership: Being a Winner


Friday, September 28, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Challenges of Goal Setting

When you set goals do you struggle to find the right balance between being too tough or too easy?

Here are the “seven deadly sins” of goal-setting, all motivated by the desire to avoid uncomfortable confrontations. 

As you read the descriptions of these “sins”, ask yourself if you recognise any of them in your own dealings with subordinates (or interactions with your boss):

Backing away from tough expectations: You spend more time negotiating the goal downward than in figuring out how to achieve it.
Engaging in charades: You and your people know from the beginning that the goal is just an exercise to convey the appearance of progress, but there’s no hope of achieving it.
Accepting seesaw trades: When your people take on one goal, they are relieved of another one.
Setting vague or distant goals: The time frame is not explicitly defined or set too far into the future, so no one takes it seriously.
Not establishing consequences: You don’t really differentiate between those who successfully achieve goals and those who do not.
Setting too many goals: By assigning an overabundance of objectives you allow subordinates to pick and choose the goals that they either want to do or find easiest to do — but not necessarily the ones that are most important.
Allowing deflection to preparations, studies, and research: You allow people to spend time planning instead of committing to a real goal.

Setting specific goals in a clear and compelling way — and insisting that people work together to achieve them — is the best way to get results.

Are you putting the right kinds of demands on your people, or are you committing some of the deadly sins?


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Positive Leadership: Assessing Team Performance and Potential

The performance and potential matrix (9 box model) is one of the most widely used tools in succession planning and development. It can be a valuable tool for anyone who works in talent management, or for any manager.

The performance and potential matrix, commonly referred to as “the nine box”, is a simple yet effective tool used to assess talent in organisations. It assesses individuals on two dimensions – their past performance and their future potential.

The X axis (horizontal line) of 3 boxes assesses leadership performance and the Y axis of 3 boxes (vertical line) assesses leadership potential. A combination of Y and X axis makes up the box within the grid that the leader is placed. 1A - High Performance/High Potential, 3C - Low Performance/Low Potential, etc...

The tool is best if used by a team and facilitated by someone who has experience with the process. 

For more, see: http://www.linkageinc.com/thinking/linkageleader/Documents/Jon_Warner_Using_a_Performance_and_Potential_Grid_to_Guide_Coaching_Interventions.pdf


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Positive Leadership: Top-Ranked Leadership Companies Perform Better

Key takeaways from Chief Executive’s 2012 40 Best Companies for Leaders report:  

  • The best companies for leaders generate dramatically greater market value over time than the weakest companies for leadership development.
  • Leading public company CEOs commit a higher priority to leadership development in spite of the added burden of more complex and “distracting” environments with added pressures for short-term financial results.
  • Smaller and private company CEOs spend more of their personal time (25 percent versus 15 percent) on both developing others as well as developing themselves, but are less likely to install systematic processes for leadership development.

Top-Ranked Leadership Companies Perform Better
Summary 10-year performance comparisons*
Chief Executive/Chally Worldwide
Best Companies for Leaders Survey Ranking
Average % Market Capitalization Growth
Top 15% of Resopnding Companies+22%
Bottom 15% of Resopnding Companies-23%
*Includes companies where public data is available for 2001 through 2011. Reasons for unavailable data include merger, acquisition or start-up within the period. A full survey report is available at www.chally.com.


Positive Leadership: Exceptional Leadership


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Positive Leadership: Accountability

Developing colleagues who are accountable to themselves and your team is a huge factor to creating a winning culture in any organisation. 

Here are some thought provoking quotes on accountability you can use with your team:

“Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.”  Pat Summitt, Former Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach

“When your teammate looks you in the eye and holds you accountable, that’s the greatest kind of leadership there is.” Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers Coach

“In putting together your standards, remember that it is essential to involve your entire team. Standards are not rules issued by the boss; they are a collective identity. Remember, standards are the things that you do all the time and the things for which you hold one another accountable.” Mike Krzyzewski, USA Men’s Basketball Coach

“Everybody is going to have to be accountable. If you’re on the field, you have to give me 100 percent. Always. We have to weed out the bad seeds, point blank. If you can’t give me what I’m giving you on the field, I don’t need you on the field with me. I have no problem telling that guy I don’t need him on the field, and I have no problem going to tell Bill (Belichick) I don’t want him on the field. That’s how you win.” Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots

"Coach Belichick holds us accountable everyday. We appreciate when he's tough on us. He gets the best out of us." Tom Brady, New England Patriots

“The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You’ve got to be accountable for who you are. It’s too easy to blame things on someone else.” Lenny Wilkens, Former NBA Basketball Coach

“Leaders must develop a lower threshold for alibis and become better communicators and enforcers of what they want done. If you are more interested in being liked and popular than holding people accountable for results, you have a serious leadership weakness. It is not your job to make people happy. Your job is to get them better. Holding people accountable to high standards and results is nothing to apologize for. Failing to stretch them to their potential is.” Dave Anderson, Author of No-Nonsense Leadership

“New cadet, you are allowed four responses: ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘No, sir,’ ‘No excuse, sir,’ and ‘Sir, I do not understand.’ New cadet, what are your four responses?” It takes a couple of tries before the neophytes learn the codes. It will take a little longer for them to stop trying to explain things. In that phrase, “No excuse, sir” (or “ma’am”) is an early, critical lesson. Take responsibility for your actions. Always. No matter what the consequences. Ed Ruggerro, Author of Duty First

“The big thing that we want is someone who is willing to be accountable on a daily basis.” Jim McElwain, Colorado State Football Coach

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”  Moliere

“Our tradition calls for a commitment to accountability. This is not an assumption – this is a promise that I will be there for you; and I can count on you being there for me.”  Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle High School Football Coach

“If you’re going to lead, you need to make goals.  And those goals can’t come from the top down, they’ve got to come from the people who are responsible for achieving them.  Your job is to help them get there, and remind them every day what their goals are, and what they have to do to make their dreams come true.  Sorry, but showing them a slide once a year about what you think their goals should be just doesn’t cut it, and it never will.  Their goals have to come from them, and those goals have got to be in their bones. Trust your people with that crucial responsibility, and they will never disappoint you.  Far from it, they will almost always set the goals higher than you would have ever dared – and then they are the ones who are accountable for their goals!” Bo Schembechler, Former Michigan Football Coach

“Being there every week for my teammates is really important to me. It's about accountability.” Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

“There is nothing hard-hearted about holding people accountable for high standards and making tough, agonising decisions concerning yesterday’s heroes who no longer contribute. It’s tough love. Leaders must care enough about their people, their futures, and the welfare of the organisation. You’re not getting paid to maintain anyone. You are paid to lead and stretch them. Do your best to motivate and equip these people to perform, but if they don’t, you must stop hugging and burping them and take swift, appropriate action to cut your losses. Dave Anderson, Author of No-Nonsense Leadership

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke, Irish Statesman


Monday, September 24, 2012

Positive Leadership: Today's CEO

Today's CEOs must:

Empower employees through values
Engage customers as individuals
Amplify innovation with partnerships

Source: IBM 2012 Global CEO Survey


Friday, September 21, 2012

Positive Leadership: Curiosity


Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Values of Positive Leadership

Financial performance is linked to organisational performance and organisational performance is reinforced by the Values of Positive Leadership™.


Positive Leadership: How Honest Are You With Yourself?

How Honest Are You With Yourself?

Answer on a seven-point scale, with 1 being 'not true,' 4 being 'somewhat true,' and 7 being 'very true.'

1. My first impressions are always right.

2. I don't care to know what other people really think of me.

3. Once I've made up my mind, other people can seldom change my opinion.

4. I am fully in control of my own fate.

5. I never regret my decisions.

6. I am a completely rational person.

7. I am very confident of my judgments.

ANSWER KEY: For each question, give yourself one point for answering 6 or 7. The higher your score, the more self-deceptive you tend to be.

SOURCE: Del Paulhus, University of British Columbia


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Positive Leadership: Greatness


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Positive Leadership: Finding Thinking Time

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair discusses the advice he received from Bill Clinton about the need to schedule time to think strategically. He spoke at the Stanford Graduate School of Business with Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Positive Leadership: Even The Best Get Nervous!


Positive Leadership: Stay in Touch!

Former Medtronic CEO Bill George discusses how a leader can maintain relationships with employees at all levels of a company. He spoke as part of the Stanford Graduate School of Business' View from the Top series.


Positive Leadership: Team GB - Our Greatest Team


Positive Leadership: I'm A Winner


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Live in the Moment'


Friday, September 14, 2012

Positive Leadership: Creating a Positive Workplace

DaVita CEO Kent Thiry explains how a company can create a positive workplace and promote high performance. Thiry's talk was part of the Stanford Graduate School of Business' View from the Top series.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Positive Leadership: What Drives Great Leaders Through Setbacks

The greatest leaders we know were driven in their overall work - and in their times of greatest challenge - by faith.  For some their faith was religious.  Others described their faith as spiritual.  We call it "faith" because this mindset runs heavily against the grain of conventional wisdom.   Conventional wisdom says two things:  (1) Winning is what matters.  Defeat is defeat. And if you've tried so hard and lost, you deserve to feel awful (maybe for the rest of your life).  (2) Take care of your own self.

Yet in the faith we are talking about, leaders show up with two essential qualities:

First, the results of the past don't matter.  They put themselves whole-heartedly into the new moment they're in.  Indeed, it's this capacity and commitment to keep working, playing, fighting - even when they've lost badly - that doesn't just prove, but builds and solidifies their character.  Second, this faith clearly says: It's just not all about me.  In the times that are hardest, these great leaders lead for others.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Positive Leadership: Perfection is the Enemy of Good


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Positive Leadership: Remarkable is a Tough Choice

Too often, we're presented with choices that don't please us. We can pick one poor alternative or the other. And too often, we pick one.

We were struck by Apple's choice to put a glass screen on the original iPhone. Just six weeks before it was announced, Steve Jobs decided he wanted a scratchproof glass screen. The thing is, this wasn't an option. It wasn't possible, reliable, feasible or appropriately priced. It couldn't be done with certainty, and almost any other organisation would have taken it off the list of appropriate choices.

It was unreasonable.

And that's the key. Remarkable work is always not on the list, because if it was, it would be commonplace, not remarkable.


Positive Leadership: 9/11


Monday, September 10, 2012

Positive Leadership: Paralympics Opening Speech from Professor Stephen Hawking

“Ever since the dawn of civilisation, people have craved for an understanding of the underlying order of the world. Why is it as it is, and why it exists at all. But, even if we do find a complete theory of everything, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations, and makes a universe for them to describe?

We live in a universe governed by rational laws that we can discover and understand. Look up at the stars, and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.

The Paralympic Games are also about transforming our perception of the world. We are all different, there is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit.

What is important is that we have the ability to create. This creativity can take many forms, forms, from physical achievement to theoretical physics.

However difficult life may seem there is always something you can do, and succeed at. The Games provide an opportunity for athletes to excel, to stretch themselves and become outstanding in their field.

So let us together celebrate excellence, friendship and respect. Good luck to you all.”

Professor Stephen Hawking, Paralympics Opening Ceremony. London 2012


Positive Leadership: Britain IS Great! Thanks to all our Olympians and Paralympians for making London 2012 so special!


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Molecule Behind Effective Teamwork

Paul Zak, author of "The Moral Molecule," explains how oxytocin boosts cooperative behaviour.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Positive Leadership: Six Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organisation's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and (of course) know they'll share in the rewards.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Positive Leadership: Becoming Fearless at Work


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Positive Leadership: How to Write a Successful Elevator Pitch


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Positive Leadership: Mental Toughness

Whether you are an athlete in the Olympics or someone in the boardroom, a certain quality is always found in those who remain standing when the storm winds blow.  When rejection hits these people it bounces off them like hailstones.  They bounce back quickly from setbacks.  They feel energised to try even harder after a defeat.  That special quality these warriors are showing is something called “mental toughness”.  

Wikipedia defines this as “a term commonly used by coaches, sport psychologists, sport commentators, and business leaders – generally describes a collection of attributes that allow a person to persevere through difficult circumstances (such as difficult training or difficult competitive situations in games) and emerge without losing confidence.”

Each of us will receive a hit at some point in our lives that knocks the wind right out of us.  Rather than sitting around complaining when we are being pelted by chunks of hail the size of golf balls, we can put on a suit of armour to deflect whatever life throws as us.  That suit of armour is your mental toughness.

You can’t measure mental toughness; you measure its effect.  You can’t measure what’s going on inside a leader’s head, but you sure can measure their behaviour!  You can see mental toughness when someone is running a marathon and they are gasping for breath, and the only thing keeping them putting one painful footstep in front of the next is their strength of will.  You see it when someone is totally exhausted, yet they keep throwing hundreds of shots into the basketball hoop to perfect their free throw. Mental toughness is courage in action.  When you’ve got it, you cope better than your opponents with the demands you face.

How do we develop mental toughness?  Here are a few principles to get you started:

Principle #1: Realise Mental Toughness Can Be Developed.

Some people might be born with a certain personality that seems to handle adversity a little more effectively than others.  But that’s not always the case, and either way, anyone can develop this side of their personality.  Don’t avoid the issue by selling yourself any victim thinking, like “That’s just the way I am.”  How do you build mental toughness?  The same way you build muscles in the gym: by pushing yourself to new limits and increasing the pressure or resistance you are pushing against.

Principle #2: Mental Toughness in the Gym Correlates to Mental Toughness in Life.

The gym is the ultimate proving ground for “tough guys”. You really find out what you’re made of in the gym.
You don’t become successful at anything by letting your foot off of the pedal when the going gets tough.  This includes the gym and your business.  When it hurts to do even one more rep of an exercise, that’s when the real muscle development starts! If you throw in the towel on the bench press, you train your brain to quit when things get tough.  When you force yourself to keep pushing the weight even when you want to give up, you are training your brain to keep pushing. 

Principle #3: Champions Fall in Love with Discomfort.

Winners know that the path to success is steep and rocky, and the path to defeat is like a sign pointing at a waterslide that says, “Slippery, Fun and Easy to Reach the Bottom in a Jiffy!”  Bad habits are easy to slip into, like a warm bed when you’re exhausted.  Good habits are pretty much guaranteed to feel tough for most people because you end up denying yourself luxuries and pleasures. You must learn to do what is uncomfortable for you. To develop the psychological edge, you must have extreme discipline to give up the comfort zone that you train and live in. Delaying immediate satisfaction is the ultimate sacrifice that all warriors must choose.


Monday, September 03, 2012

Positive Leadership: 9 Attributes That Differentiate CEOs

Becoming a CEO is the greatest leap that an executive can make in his or her career. What makes it such an extraordinary transition, of course, is the complexity of the role and the skill that is required to manage that complexity successfully. So, what exactly do CEOs have that other leaders don’t?

To answer that question—and, by doing so, help aspiring CEOs optimise their trajectories and assist current CEOs and boards in making better CEO succession planning decisions—Russell Reynolds Associates analysed its database of nearly 4,000 executive assessments, including over 130 CEOs. These tests measure a number of competencies, such as relationship skills, communication skills and decision-making approaches. 

Their findings reaffirm with quantitative evidence what is perceived to be true about the capabilities that differentiate CEOs from non-CEOs.