Leaders are expected to ‘get it right’, although it’s not always easy to determine what the right course of action is in all situations. Many leaders make the wrong choices, some resulting in highly damaging consequences.
There are organisations who appear to constantly be getting things wrong, ending up in the news for all the wrong reasons. Then there are others who are managed by ethical leaders who inspire their team members to follow suit. These are the leaders who continually appear to make the right decisions and take the right action at the right time.
I recently witnessed a senior leader speak to new leaders in his practice and share what he said was one of the most important bits of advice he had been given at the same point in his career as his audience. He was told to make time to think – even when life was so busy it didn’t seem there was a moment to waste in thinking because only doing would, well … do. Since hearing this, his discipline has been to carve out time every week to sit with a blank sheet of paper and simply listen to himself and what he wanted, to think through those things and craft ways to achieve his plans.
The start of a new year is a time when we might consider the idea of bettering ourselves. For leaders giving consideration to improvements is particularly important for the sake of their own personal and professional development, and also for their teams and the business of which they are part. We might think about things like: how will I boost my chances of success, how will I inspire others or how will I steer the business towards greater success? It’s certainly not enough to simply ‘decide’ to better oneself in general terms.
Coaching for leaders is like coaching for elite athletes. Athletes know that to reach the top of their game they need to push themselves, challenging their know boundaries in order to improve performance. Being a leader, being responsible for others, is really no different because it is something to learn, to improve, to enhance – and, we can become smarter, more thoughtful, sharper leaders when we engage with executive coaching.
‘Trust and confidence is crashing’ – the headline from an article summarising the feeling of supporters at this year’s World Economic Forum at the Swiss retreat of Davos. With the ever-present tensions surrounding the economy, jobs, inequality and migration among other things, it almost feels like it could be applied to pretty much any current affairs bulletin right now.
Defining culture is perhaps not something we can cover extensively in this short blog – it seems there are countless definitions associated with this broad theme. Some examples however include: a way of life, ideas, customs, and social behavior – of a particular group, people or society, at a particular time. In an attempt to put it succinctly, I like to think of culture as simply the thing that holds us together.
If we acknowledge that (organisational) culture provides us with values, symbols, or cues to help us realise the accepted behavioural ‘norms’, then I wonder what happens when culture is lost? What signs might allow us to recognise this? And how can we cope?
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