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

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Positive Leadership: Make Others Better

As leaders, our purpose should be to strive to make others better.  

We walk our talk and lead by the example we put forth in our actions, thoughts and words in everything we do.

As leaders, we must strive to ensure to make others better by encouraging others to find their own voice, not holding them back because we fear their capability or wisdom. To make others better means we are holding ourselves to our word, our truth and being honourable in all that we do. Sometimes, we can make others better in spite of what we are doing; even if we are not the best ourselves, we influence others. 

To be a better leader, we must be a leader who believes we are making others better in a positive way.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Positive Leadership: Cultivating #Leadership Success

Here are some guidelines to cultivating leadership success across an organisation:

Make It a Priority: Acknowledge the risk, and put a formal action plan in place. Start by clearly defining the behaviours and skills which make a successful leader in your organisation.

Look Beyond Performance: Have a full picture of the leadership potential across your organisation and don’t restrict that view to only those you think are high potential. Do not confuse ambition with ability.

Replace Subjectivity with Objectivity: Gut instinct won’t do. Using scientific data, benchmark your people against competitor talent and identify leadership shortages to avoid succession risk.

Be Pragmatic & Proactive: Don’t wait for yearly review cycles, instead, employ development interventions at the point-of-pain with individual employees or across departments. This includes where and when to spend learning and development budgets throughout the company.

Cast a Wider Net: Take a global view of where your leadership talent is located and be prepared to use creative strategies to source talent across borders to fill leadership gaps.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Positive Leadership: How to Build a Business

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks about her experience in building two of the largest tech businesses in Silicon valley - 'Think Big, Hire Big, Plan Big!'


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Importance of Trying


Friday, October 26, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Leadership Challenge

Jim Kouzes, along with his co-author Barry Posner, has written what is celebrated throughout the world as the definitive book on becoming a leader - The Leadership Challenge. Here he speaks with PBS host Barry Kibrick.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Positive Leadership: Ideas for CEOs To Communicate Their Message Better

Creating a durable, attractive message that can be distributed widely internally and externally is all important for any CEO today. Here are some ideas:

Start with a broad internal communications strategy. Different companies communicate in very different ways with their people. Some executives share their thinking primarily through voicemail or by e-mailing in the style of “note from the corner office.”

Never sugar-coat the news. Certain rules always apply when conducting meetings with employees. Always tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly. The “everything is great” approach should be avoided.

Always commend and salute your people. It’s easy when the numbers look very good, but even in years when overall results are not good, it’s important that somebody somewhere, is doing a great job that deserves to be highlighted and praised. It provides a measure of uplift even when the news tends to be sobering across the entire enterprise.

Try interactive. Try a new exercise to connect more effectively with employees. For example, a chat room conversation with the CEO. These interactive efforts are not only enjoyable but extremely useful for a CEO. You find things you can take away from each session. Employee ideas are genuinely helpful.

Make certain members of the senior team are on the same page. High quality executive communications isn’t just the responsibility of the CEO. Your senior leadership team to a man and woman must fully subscribe to the corporate mission and be able to articulate it effectively.

Keep it simple. Leonardo da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Who could argue?

Understand this well: not every plan you write down on the whiteboard is going to work. That’s a fact of business life, and no one is immune to the occasional misstep. A lot of people don’t understand that basic precept. They may believe that any sign of failure means the sun won’t be coming out tomorrow. But the basic lessons of communicating with those who work for you—delivering an easy-to-digest message, repeating it frequently as possible, sticking to the facts and the truth and not sugar-coating anything –provide an informational transparency that both illuminates the issues and consolidates support for strategic and tactical missions.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Positive Leadership: Networking

Enhance your career with our top five networking tips: 
  • Be prepared
  • Study the room
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection
  • Say goodbye and move on
  • Don’t try and sell, teach or schmooze!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Positive Leadership: C.K. Prahalad on Leadership

The late C.K. Prahalad was more than an academic; he was one of the foremost business thinkers of our time.

Coimbatore Krishnao -- CK -- Prahalad was born in the town of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. He studied physics at the University of Madras (now Chenai). He worked as a manager in a branch of the Union Carbide battery company, before continuing his education in the United States, and earning a PhD from Harvard. He has taught in India and America, eventually joining the faculty of the University of Michigan's Business School, where he holds the Harvey C Fruehauf chair of Business Administration.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Positive Leadership: Choice, Chance, Change


Friday, October 19, 2012

Positive Leadership: What Makes @TeamSky Special?

What makes Team Sky special is that they keep riding that line! 

And if you don’t know what the line is...

This is the line,
The line between winning and losing,
Between failure and success,
Between good and great,
Between dreaming and believing,
Between convention and innovation,
Between head and heart,
It’s a fine line,
It challenges everything we do,
And we ride it every day.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Positive Leadership: ‘Rules’ for Being a Champion

Firstly, let us explain what we mean by being a champion. We do not mean winning a race or a tournament. There is so much more to being a champion than just winning. Before you can win you already have to be a champion in how you practice, train, conduct yourself and how you behave. If you do these things properly (the process) then you'll achieve your goals (the outcome.

You can only control what you do; not what anybody else does.

Rule #1: Champions Choose to Work Hard
This is very true for all walks of life and not just in a sporting context. You only get out of something what you put into it! After all, 'practice makes permanent'. You can't expect to improve and achieve your goals/dreams if you don't work hard at it.

Rule #2: Champions Practice Intelligently
Putting lots of hard work into mindless practice sessions with no feedback is as useful (if not more destructive) than doing no practice. Length of sessions is crucial, doing shorter practice sessions with total focus followed by breaks between changing activity is more productive than just going at it 100% for hour upon hour. Good practice needs continual feedback.

Rule #3: Champions Live in the Present but Have a Clear Picture of the Future
It is important to stay in the present when it comes to winning. Not to dwell on the past or dream of the future but to have a clear focus of what you are doing right now and not let any failures or setbacks affect the long term goal. To know what you need to do at the current time you must have a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve and what it will look like when you have achieved it.

Rule # 4: Champions Always Want to Learn
The most successful people are eager to learn as much as possible, before deciding what to use and what didn't work for them.

Rule #5: Champions Never Give Up
For a new skill to become automatic it takes quite a great deal of practice and dedication. If something doesn't work first time doesn't mean it won't with practice.

Rule #6: Champions "Just Do It"
If not now, when? How many times have you said to yourself, "I'd love to be able to....." and then done nothing about it? If you have a goal to achieve go about achieving it! Don't just sit around talking about doing it, actually go and do it.

Rule #7: Champions Enlist Help
Champions aren't afraid to ask for help (have a coach) to make them better at something.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Positive Leadership: Leave Your Legacy

Stanford University Communications has partnered with three Stanford Alums to create the institutional messages that will run during 2012 Stanford Athletics television broadcasts. 

The series is based on a film the students made called "#leaveyourlegacy" that they created to show their appreciation for the University. Garrett Gunther (MS '12), Kris Cheng (MS '12) and Dominique Yahyavi (BS '11) combined their skills in story-telling, design, engineering, and cinematography to create these beautiful images that tell the story of Stanford students and their dedication to excellence and innovation. The words are from a speech given by Ray Lewis to the Stanford Men's Basketball team just before their victorious NIT Championship game on March 29, 2012.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Power of Networks

In this RSA Animate, Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world.

Listen to the full talk: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2011/the-power-of-networks


Monday, October 15, 2012

Positive Leadership: Heroic Leadership

After flying to an altitude of 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner yesterday completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane.

Felix reached a maximum of speed of 1,342.8 km/h (833mph) through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:20 minute long freefall. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger. 

For more on this heroic example of teamwork and excellence under pressure, see:   


Friday, October 12, 2012

Positive Leadership: The True Essence of a CEO

When you hear of CEOs, you are probably inclined to think of perks and corner offices. You might also consider the adjectives “greedy, aloof and egocentric”. While in some cases this is warranted, we wonder about how much we like to glorify the role of a CEO.

For centuries people have been intrigued by the idea of power. We see the stereotype portrayed in bestselling books and movies. And countless studies have certainly supported the belief that people in power are created equal. 

Winston Churchill said: the price of greatness is responsibility. That is what we believe is the true essence of a CEO – the responsibility to your employees, customers, community and shareholders. Yes of course, being a CEO gives you the platform to affect change, to make something happen that you otherwise did not have the ‘power’ to do before. But it is the responsibility that is of most value. Nothing is pre-conceived and there is in fact a long road to earning that responsibility.

Being appointed the CEO by a board of directors or shareholder does not make you a leader, but leading is a CEO’s primary responsibility. A CEO is really only empowered and fueled by the confidence that he has earned the trust of his colleagues.

Trust plays a crucial role in the success of a business. And Stephen M.R. Covey believed this. He wrote a book called Smart Trust to highlight how leading companies that have built high-trust relationships with their employees and customers, consistently outperformed non high-trust companies up to three times. 

The typical stereotype of a CEO will continue to make headlines. But as the world changes we need to document better examples and inspire other leaders to take themselves off the pedestals, break down the barriers and tip the scale in the other direction. Whether CEOs are born or made has little significance. It is our firm belief that you are measured by the responsibility, honesty and integrity in which you lead.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Positive Leadership is Pleased to Support the National Breast Cancer Foundation

Positive Leadership is pleased to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation.


Positive Leadership: The Ten Commitments of Leadership

The Ten Commitments of Leadership

Clarify Values – Affirm shared values.
Set the Example – Live the shared values. Teach others to model the values.
Envision the Future – Imagine the possibilities. Find a common purpose.
Enlist Others – Appeal to common ideals. Animate the vision.
Search for Opportunities - Seize the initiative. Exercise outsight.
Experiment and Take Risks - Generate small wins. Learn from experience.
Foster Collaboration - Create a Climate of Trust. Facilitate relationships.
Strengthen Others - Enhance self-determination. Develop competence and confidence.
Recognise Contributions - Expect the best. Personalize recognition.
Celebrate the Values and Victories - Create a spirit of community. Be personally involved.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Positive Leadership: Innovating on a Shoestring

Scott Anthony, president of Innosight, explains how to innovate when time and money are tight.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Positive Leadership: How Winners Achieve Success

How winners 'ACHIEVE' success:

A - acceptance; the ability to accept that you do not always succeed the first time and you must keep on trying until you do succeed.

C - criticism; the ability to receive negative feedback and use it positively to affect your performance. 

H - help; use a good coach to work towards your goals - it is not a sign of weakness or lack of ability to use a coach. 

I - inspiration; be inspired by other people. If someone who you often beat wins against you take inspiration that it means you are good enough to do the same.

E - evaluate; honestly take stock of where you are with your skills and then work on the aspects that need to be improved.

V - vivid; have a clear image of what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and who you need to help you to do so.

E - equal; all people have the ability to do great things. Our future is not pre-determined for us. Genetics plays a role but hard work plays an even bigger role.


Positive Leadership Podcast: Delivering Consistent High Performance Under Pressure In Your Business

Exceptional Leadership: Delivering Consistent High Performance Under Pressure In Your Business

Monday, October 08, 2012

Positive Leadership: 12 Signs That Someone Is Not A Good Leader

12 Signs That Someone Is Not A Good Leader:

1. They are not willing to fail.
2. They only talk and never listen.
3. They don’t develop and produce other leaders.
4. They micro-manage.
5. They are generally insecure or threatened by those they lead.
6. They are not willing to follow and learn from their subordinates.
7. They are more focused on what people think about the results, than the results themselves.
8. They don’t have a genuine care and concern for those they lead.
9.  They put policy over people, no matter the situation or circumstance.
10. They are willing to make the wrong decision, for fear of fall-out from making the right decision.
11. They take all of the credit and none of the blame.
12. They only dream about being like others rather than dreaming about becoming who they are capable of becoming.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Wise Leader

Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, authors of the HBR article "The Wise Leader," explain how the best executives strive for the common good.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Positive Leadership: Stress Can Be Positive!

Firdaus Dhabhar is a Professor of Psychiatry who researches the mind-body connection at the Immunology Institute and the Cancer Institute at Stanford University. He studies the positive aspects of stress on the body.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Positive Leadership: Behaviours Loyal Employees Trust

Here are 5 behaviours for leaders to adopt when struggling to keep employees happy and loyal:

1) Tell the truth. Not everyone is a star. Pick out those with leadership or other valued talent potential and nurture them. This will come back to the business as these individuals, in turn, nurture other workers.

2) Communicate roles and responsibilities. Provide a path to success not only for those with leadership promise but for all employees. Sometimes this will mean difficult changes, but remember the most important skill of a leader: never surprise an employee with bad news. Have a development plan for all, and a get-well plan for those whose performance lags. Make sure everyone knows the plan.

3) Create a workplace culture that values real people relationships. For many employees, workgroup relationships and relationships between managers and workers drive engagement and loyalty more effectively than wearing the corporate branded shirt.

4) Be fair and open. This does not mean treat everyone equally – it means have transparent processes for managing and leading. Employees are more likely to respond positively to change when the process used to manage change is fair.

5) Model the behaviours you seek. Accept your responsibility as a leader and act with engagement, commitment and responsibility. Do this every day.

Each of us possesses skills, strengths, talents and flaws. Each of us seeks to belong, to be engaged, to relate to those around us. Loyalty is built on relationships, shared understanding and trust. Engagement and commitment require loyalty, shared goals and fair treatment. Don’t take loyalty and engagement for granted – create a remarkable culture where there are possible and rewarding outcomes of the workplace.

We are only human after all – Every one of us. Every leader. Every brand. Every workplace. Every person.


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Positive Leadership: Courage


Monday, October 01, 2012

Positive Leadership: When is the Most Important Part of a Coaching Lesson?

A question for coaches and teachers: What’s the single most important moment of a lesson? 

Is it:
(A) the initial explanation of the skill being taught?
(B) the first couple of tries?
(C) the moment things click, when the learner “gets it”?

We think the answer is (D) — None of the Above.

There’s a strong case to be made that the single most important moment of learning happens before the lesson actually begins.

We know that master coaches are extremely skilled at quickly making a strong emotional connection with a learner, to create the bond of trust that’s the foundation of all learning.

But mere emotional connection isn’t enough. The world is filled with extremely charismatic, fantastically entertaining teachers who are wonderful at creating connection but not so great at actually improving skill.

Because it’s not enough just to capture the learner’s attention — you have to create intention: an urgent desire to work hard toward a concrete goal, toward some vision of their future self.

Science is giving us a peek inside that process. A group of researchers at Case Western were able to look at the brains of learners in two conditions. In the first, the coach was judgmental, and focused on negatives and the past. In the second, the coach was empathetic, and focused on the future.

With the judgmental coach, the visual cortex showed limited activity. With the positive, future-oriented coach, however, it lit up like a Christmas tree. The researchers concluded that this correlated with someone imagining their future.

The takeaway: when it comes to learning, brains work exactly like flashlights. It’s not enough just to turn them on; they have to be pointed toward a target.

A few simple ways to do this:

Encourage expression about future goals. Where do they want to be a month from now? A year? Five years?

Ruthlessly eliminate negative statements — especially judgements — that cause brains to shut down.

Count down until some Big Future Event. How many practices do we have left until the tournament? How many more lessons until the recital?  A calendar with Xs is a powerful tool.


Positive Leadership: We Said It Could Be Done! Self-Belief! Congratulations Ryder Cup Team Europe!