Discover how the best leaders are delivering results - fast!

Leaders, what colour is your SCARF?

leadership Dec 11, 2017

And more importantly do you know the colour of the SCARF of each member of your team?

It's snowing hard here today in our village of Burwardsley, near Chester in the UK. Lovely to get out for a walk into the surrounding hills and be grateful the beauty of nature and the stillness when it snows. Plenty of time to think, reflect and allow the snow globe to settle!

On my walk today I was thinking about how much change we are facing as leaders and how the pace of change just seems to be increasing. I've been running a number of leadership workshops around agility and change over the past two weeks. One of the approaches I teach to understand people's reaction to change is the work by David Rock and the SCARF model. Sorry for the pun in the heading by the way!

It is a great tool to understand how we all react differently. The model describes five key areas of how we react based on our perceived threats and rewards. The five dimensions are:

  • Status, which is about relative importance to...
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No one likes to be bossed, supervised or over managed!

leadership Nov 14, 2017

Leadership for me is all about building relationships with people to deliver extraordinary results. It's very easy to fall into the trap of just focussing on deliverables and hitting KPIs.

I've found it far more effective to build relationships first, set up your team for success and then put your foot on the accelerator for results. That way we get sustained performance and continued engagement. We avoid the dead body syndrome!

When you reflect on what you do, and the leaders around you do, which set of actions below best describe your/their actions?

I'm hoping it's the second set of behaviours!

If you want to learn more about what works in today's digital world then get yourself a copy of The New Leadership Manifesto. It outlines the 10 Leadership Disciplines required for success...

Here's what Dom Price from Atlassian thinks about it...


You can get your copy here: The New Leadership Manifesto

Every success


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I am a leader

leadership Nov 07, 2017

Do you find that as leaders we give so much, all of the time?

And that it can get tiring giving so much and sometimes lonely out there as a leader?

I believe it's important to ensure we receive inspiration too!

Have you found that it's very easy to fall into the trap of trying to solve problems yourselves?  

The reason for this is that we were taught this at school. 

If you went to a school like mine, we were told off for collaboration. We had to work out the answer ourselves and then put our hand up if we knew the answer. The teacher would then tell us if we were right or wrong.

Remember that?

Think about it for a moment, how strange is that.

We were taught that teamworking is cheating and that the teacher is always right! 

In today's world we know it's impossible for the leader to have all the answers. We need collaboration and teamworking. We need to set up our teams for success. We also know that we aren't the teachers. 

We are new world leaders who...

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KPIs have outlived their usefulness as the key tool for leading a business - so why are you still using them?

leadership management Oct 15, 2017

In a world of low volatility, high complexity and which changes slowly you can manage. In a world where learning has a long shelf life and where some individuals know all and where the eldest is the most knowledgeable it's all about doing more of the same and more efficiently. In this world you need to manage.

In this context KPIs really help because we can direct, spot trends, make incremental gains and boost performance. You can get away with people 'just doing' rather than 'thinking and doing'. You just want them to operate more efficiently. And this is easy for us as this is what we were educated for... predictability and stability.

I don't know about you but I've noticed that the world isn't like that anymore! We live in a fast moving world where the velocity of change is gaining momentum - fast!

In a fast moving world where adaptability is so important the over reliance on achieving static KPIs is driving the wrong behaviour, often at the expense of collaboration,...

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How to deliver meetings that ROCK!

Running effective meetings is a key skill we need to develop as leaders. The question is what type of meeting do you run?

Have a look at the graph below and make sure they are on the green line and not like the purple line! Want to learn how to keep them green, then read on...

Here are my top tips to make them 'green' and ideas on how to run meetings that inspire real action:

  1. When planning a meeting the first question has to be, “What is the purpose of the meeting?”
  2. And if there is a compelling reason and purpose for the meeting then the second question is…“What do I want people to do after the meeting?”
  3. Third question is …”How do I want them to feel after the meeting?”
  4. Fourth question is ... “How am I going to take them on a journey and inspire action?”
  5. Always have a purpose for a meeting that is aligned to organisation/team goals and values – and communicate the alignment and reason why you are having the...
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Changing the way change is done in turbulent times

changepro leadership Apr 30, 2017

By Graham Wilson, Author of Leadership Laid Bare! and creator of ChangePro

I'm on a mission the transform the way organisations lead change, fancy joining me in the leadership revolution?

The reason for my mission is that I so many organisations getting it wrong. It still amazes me when I see an organisation spend a huge amount of money on a technical solution and then very little on the change piece... and then wonder why the project fails as the benefits aren't realised!

I also see so many organisations jumping to solution mode before thinking through what really needs to be done and exploring the real change opportunity. An example of this is that I see organisations tackling digital disruption and the digital opportunity by creating an old world digital function tacked on as another silo and then throw serious money on the wrong things using old world thinking and approaches.

I'm also saddened by seeing many Project Leaders overwhelmed, stressed, under massive pressure and...

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Why we need a Leadership Revolution to drive wellness and vitality in today’s business world

By Graham Wilson, Author of Leadership Laid Bare!

It’s a lovely sunny day and life is great. I was up early for a meditative run around the beautiful hills where I live. A chance to think and energise my body at the same time, a chance to watch the sun rise and take stock of the important things in my life. At 53 and running a leadership development company, I strongly believe that maintaining a good level of health and vitality is essential for every element of life.

After a healthy breakfast and a short drive to the Head Office of a global brand, I’m sitting in front of their CEO and the Exec Team. I’m asked about how I will work with them to create a high performance ‘top team’. I look around the Boardroom and all I can see are exhausted ‘grey’ executives! Tired, stressed, unfit, grumpy and not very healthy - no signs of vitality at all! I wonder how much vitality is in the rest of the organisation and how this is impacting on overall performance?..

I ask about the organisation’s...

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Discover the seven secret meeting truths of running meetings that rock...

meetings Dec 08, 2015

How many times have you been in a dreadful meeting? It has been estimated we spend 6 years (yes years) of our working life in meetings that add no value.

I'm on a mission to change that by giving you the tools and techniques to run meetings that rock. Here are 7 simple ideas taken from my Meetings That Rock! toolkit, or as I like to call them meeting truths that dramatically improve your meetings.

Meeting Truth 1: Ask yourself what is the purpose and goals of the meeting and if having a meeting is the best way to achieve your goals. If not don't run one!

Meeting Truth 2: Think about who should be at the meeting, keep it small, be ruthless, make sure decision makers are there, do your stakeholder analysis. Ask who will get value and who will give value to the meeting...

Meeting Truth 3: When you personally invite people (not an automatic outlook invite) make sure you explain why you are having the meeting and sell the value to them. You want them actually wanting to be at the meeting!


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Are you creating an over managed and under led organisation?

leadership Dec 06, 2015

I get asked many times about the differences between management and leadership. I always start the answer with the implications of an over managed organisation and then link that to the individual and then explain my view of the differences.

Here's how it all starts with a crisis of being over managed and under led....

Stage 1: Some combination of visionary entrepreneurship and/or luck creates and implements a successful business strategy.

Stage 2: A fairly dominant position (and thus lack of strong competition) is established in some market or markets – usually a product or service market, perhaps also financial, labour, or supply markets.

Stage 3: The firm experiences much success in terms of growth and profits.

Problems emerge...

The firm needs, hires and promotes managers, not leaders, to cope with the growing bureaucracy.

Which leads to...

Top managers allowing these people, not leaders, to become executives. Some times top management actively prevents leaders from becoming senior...

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Great leaders and diamonds ...

leadership Dec 06, 2015

One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They knew then, that they were in the presence of a celestial being. With great anticipation, they awaited a heavenly message of great importance that they knew must be especially for them.

Finally, the voice spoke, "Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddle bags. Travel a day's journey and tomorrow night will find you are glad and also find you are sad."

After having departed, the nomads shared their disappointment and anger with each other. They had expected the revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to create wealth, health and purpose for the world. But instead they were given a menial task that made no sense to them at all. However, the memory of the brilliance of their visitor caused each one to pick up a few pebbles and deposit them in their saddle bags while voicing their displeasure.

They travelled a day's journey and...

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