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Friday, June 28, 2013

Positive Leadership: The Difference between Success and Excellence

Most performers believe success and excellence are interchangeable terms. After all, if I'm successful I'm excellent--right? Wrong.

Success is an absolute term. If you are the highest producing salesperson, win the game or beat the earnings forecast you are successful. Success in the performance world is about achieving outcomes better than others by comparison.

Excellence, on the other hand, is a relative term. It is about maximising your personal and organisational potential. If you are the highest producing salesperson but you can sell more, you have not fulfilled your sales potential. If you win the game but could have scored more points, you have not fulfilled your athletic potential. If you beat the earnings forecast but leave some organisational profit on the table, you have not fulfilled the potential of your company. 

If you are excellent you deliver the best performance you are capable of, regardless of the absolute outcome.

If you are excellent, you will be successful but you can be successful without being excellent. Commit to excellence--it's more meaningful. And, by the way, it's also more fun!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Positive Leadership: High Performance Cultures

High-performance cultures deliver sustainable excellence over the long haul.  They do not rely on the latest fad, management trend or leadership gimmick to achieve short-term results. Consistent, long-term performance is based on a set of core values.  

Performers in high-performance cultures want to win just as much as their competitors. But they do so within the confines of values that will not be compromised, regardless of the short-term success that may result by looking the other way, rationalising questionable behaviour or otherwise failing to evaluate the best course of action through the lens of core values.

Many teams and organisations develop values. However, most organisations do not consistently rely on their values to guide decision making, business decisions and how people are treated. The creation of corporate or team values becomes a “check the box” exercise. The organisation pats itself on the back for creating values and proudly displays them on the company website. Yet when you peel back the onion, you find many individuals acting counter to the created values with no repercussions or adverse consequences.  That is, as long as they deliver results. 

True high-performance cultures deliver results and treat people in a manner they can be proud of. In fact, these cultures will not tolerate individuals who do not act from a set of core values.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Positive Leadership: Make The Jump!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Positive Leadership: Do One Thing!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Positive Leadership: Learn How to Embrace Failure and Focus on Your Customers

Garth Saloner is Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He says that small business owners of today should be keeping their eyes on their peers while never taking their eyes off their customers.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Positive Leadership: The 'Extras' of Coaching


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Positive Leadership: Presenting Effectively

Before you start creating slides for your next talk, plan what you’re going to say. A storyboard — a visual outline of your presentation ¬— will save you more time than it takes to create it. First, draw small representations of your ideas on sticky notes. The small space forces you to use simple, clear words and pictures. Limit yourself to one idea per slide: There’s no reason to crowd them. This sketching process will help you clarify what you want to say and how you want to say it. As you storyboard, you’ll be able to tell immediately which concepts are clunky or overly complex (you’ll run out of space on your sticky notes). Eliminate them, and brainstorm new ways to communicate those messages more clearly.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Positive Leadership: Syndicating the Work of Leadership

In this video, Professor Gary Hamel discusses why he believes it is vital for companies to "syndicate the work of leadership" across the organisation.

An edited transcript of his interview with McKinsey's Simon London can be found at: http://bit.ly/McKLeadersEverywhere


Monday, June 17, 2013

Positive Leadership: Being Extreme in Leadership

Jack Welch says that whenever a business wants to make progress, they have to be extreme. Getting the message out takes effort, time, and repetition. You get the behaviour that you reward.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Positive Leadership: The Benefit of Hard Work


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Positive Leadership: Fear


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Positive Leadership: Perspectives on Leadership

In his ‘View from the Top’ speech, Dean of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, Robert Joss defines what it means to lead: "It's any position where you take responsibility for a group with a mission to fulfill." He told students that In order to have the organisation you lead evolve, "you have to be the change you want to see in others."


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Positive Leadership: Bad Leadership

Barbara Kellerman, the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses the theme of her latest work entitled "Bad Leadership."


Monday, June 10, 2013

Positive Leadership: Integrity

When you think about the people you know who have integrity, do you count yourself among them? What does it mean to be a person of integrity? Well, first and foremost, integrity is about truth. And truth is the greatest force we have for personal and planetary well-being.  

No bomb, no hatred, and no prejudice can match the strength of truth. In troubled and uncertain times, truth is our most powerful friend. When we stand for truth, we are confident, whole  and energised.  

Throughout history, every great philosopher and leader has tried to teach us the same lesson - the principle that integrity, or wholeness, is the natural order of things. In spite of the fact that we live in separate bodies, houses, and nations, our essential nature is one of unity.

Any separation we think we see is an illusion that we have mistakenly learned to believe in. As long as we feel separate and isolated, we will behave in ways that result in damage to others and ourselves. Most religious and scientific scholars agree that our entire universe is one huge system - integrated and whole.  

To behave accordingly, then, is to have integrity - to stand up for the truth of our inter-connectedness and our need to care for each other if we are to survive. You see, when we have integrity, we align ourselves with the force of the entire universe. And when we live with integrity, we become very powerful indeed.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Positive Leadership: How Best To Pitch Your Business Plan

Focus your business pitch on yourself, not on your plan!

Potential investors and partners are often more interested in an entrepreneur as a person than in the business plan. That document is important, but be sure to also show these three characteristics:

Passion and purpose. Investors want to know if you’re the right person for this idea. Make your personal connection to the business you’re launching clear.

Resilience. The road to building a business is full of speed bumps. Share some failure stories to show you can bounce back from challenges.

Resource magnetism. Can you attract money, people, and other resources? This is more important than charisma. Whether or not you have a thousand-watt smile, you need to be able to persuade people to join your cause.


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Positive Leadership: 5 Disciplines of High Performance Teams


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Positive Leadership: Learning From Failure


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Positive Leadership: Wisdom


Monday, June 03, 2013

Positive Leadership: What Does Values Based Leadership Mean?

We speak a lot about values-based leadership, but what does it mean?

Whoever we think we are or say we are, our own and others’ perceptions result largely from what we do. That is why, as leaders, it’s important to act from our values.

Of course, we are not wholly defined by our behaviour; sometimes our environment demands that we only express a sanctioned side of ourselves.

We’ve probably all experienced a time when we’ve acted ‘out of character’, for example, we may normally be supportive but on occasion lose our temper.

But the very expression ‘out of character’ suggests that these are anomalous events that do not reflect the way we normally behave.

It’s also important to recognise that how we behave is in part situational. Self-aware leaders know that different times call for different styles. We may need to be tough in driving a legal outcome but empathetic to a colleague who is struggling or when delivering bad news.

Being able to adapt our emotional leadership style does not mean we are being inauthentic; on the contrary, values act as an anchor that allows us to read and respond to situational cues, and respond appropriately.
There’s a lot of talk about values-driven leadership. But what does it mean in reality? And how can we be values-driven leaders?

If you were asked to list your top 10 values, could you reply easily?

Would yours be acceptance, assertiveness, compassion, cooperation, encouragement, equality? Or are you about flexibility, generosity, honesty and humility? The list of possibles is long.

And, if asked, could you show how these values play out in your daily life, and where and how you apply them?

Say you believe in integrity. Then, no matter what the situation, you would ask yourself: how do I respond to this with integrity? You don’t look around to see what others consider acceptable and make a decision relative to them; you make it relative to you.

If a culture is about the way we do things ‘around here’, then the question becomes: how do I do things in accordance with my own values, without being rigid or defending my need to be right?

It’s not always easy. All choices have consequences, including those we refuse to make.

Values are not goals. They’re a deep internal drive and ultimately a shaping statement.

Properly used, values provide a filter that helps us decide what to do and, consequently, who we become. We should live them, not just speak them, and be able to demonstrate our commitment to them in practical terms.