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Tag Archives: Role Model



Leading with Character, Building Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations by Gregg Thompson

Great leaders are great coaches. They understand that developing the skills, talents and mindsets of their people is a vital part of their jobs as leaders. However, the concept of coaching can also be confusing. Early in his excellent how-to book, The Master Coach: Leading with Character, Building with Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations, executive coach and trainer Gregg Thompson explains what coaching is not.

They Don’t Need a Friend - A coach is not a friend, he writes. Although coaches can be friendly, the purpose of coaching is to challenge those they are coaching — the Talent, in Thompson’s terms — and hold them accountable. A coach is also not a therapist. As Thompson explains, “Coaching is not the antidote for deeply troubled and significantly distressed individuals.”

Thompson also differentiates between coaching and teaching. Teaching is a unilateral exercise, with the teacher imparting knowledge to the learner. In coaching relationships, both the coach and the Talent are learning together.

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The presidential farewell address used to be a big deal. George Washington started the trend in 1796.

For many decades it was considered the most famous speech in American history. Students had to read it and memorise portions from it until another speech displaced it - The Gettysburg Address.

Although the Broadway hit, Hamilton, recently brought Washington’s speech back to public attention, we don’t celebrate presidential speeches like we used to. I wish we would.

Words have the power to move us. Words have the power to inspire us. Words have the power to unite us. The great speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, once wrote, “When big, serious, thoughtful things must be said, then big, serious, thoughtful speeches must be given.”

When President Barack Obama left office he gave a big, thoughtful speech about serious things.

The Smile: Obama walks out with a brisk gait and an easy, wide smile. He makes eye contact with all parts of the room. Research shows that your audience will form an impression about you within seconds, before you say a word. Make your first few seconds count.

The Humour: After a long, sustained applause by fervent supporters in the audience, Obama had to get everyone settled. “We’re on live TV here, I’ve got to move,” he said with a smile. “You can tell that I’m a lame duck, because nobody is following instructions,” he said as the audience laughed before finally taking their seats. (more…)


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If you want to have successful teams in your organisation, make sure you have successful leaders.  What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.

In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

What do I mean by this you ask?  The way a team is led will have a major impact on the success or otherwise of the team.  In fact, when I asked team members from within a large financial institution what they wanted from a team leader they identified the following values they would like their leader to hold.

  • Trust
  • A commitment to their staff as well as the task
  • The willingness to support and serve the team
  • Inspirational leadership, combined with energy, enthusiasm and appropriate expertise
  • The guts to take responsibility rather than pass the buck
  • The glue to make the team come together and operate as a team
  • A willingness to have fun!

I’ll explain each of these in more detail. (more…)


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Many of the defining characteristics needed for effective leadership -- like having a vision, integrity, commitment and resilience – are innate. Happily, another quality, as essential for success as the others, can be learned.

It is the ability to mobilise a fire-in-the-belly effort among employees to help the leader realise ambitious goals. This quality can be acquired by observing the behaviours of leaders who deploy these skills, by being coached or incrementally with "stretch” efforts by the leader to generate the needed employee commitment.

The power of the leader’s position alone cannot command enthusiasm and dedication from today's workforce. Instead, employees must be convinced that the leader’s objectives are achievable, understand that meeting the goals will provide a personal payoff and be inspired to make their own full force contribution.

To generate the needed support from everyone in the organisation, the leader has to put his leadership on parade: He must be visible, crystal clear about his message and take every opportunity to demonstrate, live and in person, his passion for his goals. Unless he shows how deeply he cares, few others will care and his plan may be seen as another flavour of the month.

(more…)


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As a leader, how you behave has a major impact on others.

This questionnaire is designed to help you gain some further insights into your behavioural preferences and their impact on others.

It is based on the belief that the greater our self-awareness the more effective, positive and beneficial our impact can be.

The questionnaire is in three parts:

Part 1: Emotional Intelligence;

Part 2: Personality Preference;

Part 3: Action Planning

You are asked a series of questions which you are asked to score, reflect upon and create an action plan for improvement.

To download this activity, click on the following link: Personal Reflection Questionnaire


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McKinsey report that executives can thrive at work and in life by adopting a leadership model that revolves around finding their strengths and connecting with others.

They have conducted interviews with more than 140 leaders; analysed of a wide range of academic research in fields as diverse as organisational development, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, positive psychology, and leadership; held workshops with hundreds of clients to test their ideas and undertaken global surveys.

Through this research, they have distilled a set of five capabilities that, in combination, generate high levels of professional performance and life satisfaction.

The five capabilities are:

  • Meaning
  • Managing Energy
  • Positive Framing
  • Connecting
  • Engaging

To find out more about how centred leaders can achieve extraordinary results Click Here


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