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Articles from: Blog
No Mow May

No Mow May

Our commitment to not mowing our lawn until the end of May has thrown us into a curious leadership conflict: we want to provide dandelions for wild bees whilst also trying to fit into our neighbourhood.  We’ve found that our inner process and our actions in this...

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Solving Conflict with Empathetic Listening

Solving Conflict with Empathetic Listening

A conflict between two team members can turn a whole team toxic and unproductive. Empathetic listening helps to get to the root cause of the conflict and to help conflict parties to exchange perspectives and resolve the conflict together.

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Complexity and getting out of feeling stuck

Complexity and getting out of feeling stuck

One of my favourite ways to work with clients who are navigating complex contexts is through “balance” coaching. Co-active balance coaching is about finding and standing in perspectives which serve the client – perspectives which create possibilities, rather than...

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Certainty is a feeling

Certainty is a feeling

Certainty is a feeling. So rather than seeking more certainty, leaders had better choose consciously what certainties will serve their own well-being, their vision, and those they lead. When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. I felt certain about many things,...

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Complexity Needs Leaders from Behind

Complexity Needs Leaders from Behind

The conversation got up this week in Choose Leadership HQ about complexity and leadership. Dave Snowden defines complex systems as ones with some constraints, but where everything is connected, except we don’t know what the connections are. We can assess probability...

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Teams and Mutual Accountability

Teams and Mutual Accountability

How do you distinguish between a team and group? And is that distinction even meaningful? Yes, and it matters, because “team based working” is so prevalent AND not every group labelled a team is actually a team.  According to Katzenbach and Smith, a team is a...

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Are you weary of change?

Are you weary of change?

The very leaders who need to drive change in their organisations are getting weary of imposing yet another change initiative on their organisation. But as a leader, you have no choice.

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How to Help Your SLT Lead Change

How to Help Your SLT Lead Change

Do you feel like the heron or the hippo? Have you ever wondered why your leadership team’s change initiatives keep getting blocked? “Darn it, why won’t they change?” “ACME Consultants promised this would work.” “We followed best practice!” What if it wasn’t their...

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What’s your immunity to change?

What’s your immunity to change?

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” We live most of our lives on automatic pilot. That is as true of individuals as it is of teams. Our teams tend to operate without being aware of the water they are swimming...

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The secret sauce of innovation

The secret sauce of innovation

What’s the secret sauce of innovation? Lots has been written to answer that question. Our take is: There is no secret sauce. That is, there’s no “one size fits all” kind of sauce out there. There’s only your own secret sauce. And its particular flavour depends on

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Do you have Managers or Skippers?

Do you have Managers or Skippers?

Last week, while working with front line managers, I stumbled across something important. It happened when I asked participants to describe a manager / leader / boss that they had worked for and for whom they had had respect and admiration. They used words like...

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Everyone is a leader

Everyone is a leader

When Michelangelo had created David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, someone allegedly asked him how he had chiselled David from the marble. Instead of talking about techniques and process, it is said that Michelangelo answered:
“I saw David in the marble, and carved away everything that wasn’t him.”

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What do you choose for 2023?

What do you choose for 2023?

The first Toastmasters meeting of the new calendar year is always a fun one, and predictable in the way that Linkedin often is. It is filled with inspirational exhortations to imagine your future, create new possibilities, and most importantly, to set goals for the...

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Given that, now what?

Given that, now what?

What is your favourite question to support your clients or those you lead to connect to their agency? Over the last six months, more and more participants in our management development programmes arrive  standing in a place of concern and anxiety. When I ask “What’s...

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Mind over Matter

Mind over Matter

Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile in 1954 is testament that humans can achieve what they believe it’s possible, even if common knowledge is: “It can’t be done”.

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CPR Levels of Feedback

CPR Levels of Feedback

What’s a conversation you’ve been avoiding? A conversation at work, at home, with a colleague, with your partner? Most likely, you are avoiding the conversation not just because of what you think will happen but rather because you don’t know how to achieve the outcome...

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The Hammer and the Annual Review

The Hammer and the Annual Review

A man wants to hang a painting. He has the nail, but not the hammer. It occurs to him to go over to the neighbour and borrow his hammer.But then a little voice whispers in the back of your head: “What if he doesn’t want to lend me the hammer? Yesterday, he barely...

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What to do when leading from the front gets lonely

What to do when leading from the front gets lonely

It’s a common saying that it’s lonely at the top. I experienced that loneliness, though in an unexpected way, during my day out with my Co-Active Leadership tribe and Jude Jennison's five horses Callie, Tiffin, Jack, Admiral, and Mr. Blue.  Co-active leaders don’t...

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No Relationship, No Influence

No Relationship, No Influence

On Friday, 7 October I had the privilege, with Regina Vogel and 10 other members of my Leadership Tribe, to spend a day interacting with horses, under the watchful eye of Jude Jennison. Regina gives a great account of her expereince here. One of the first things I...

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Leading from the Field

Leading from the Field

The Co-active leadership model holds that leadership is multi-dimensional, and that you can lead from self, the front, the back, the side, and the field. Of all the leadership stances, the notion of leading from the field fascinates people the most. To lead from the...

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Is coaching supporting injustice?

Is coaching supporting injustice?

ARTE has released a critical documentary on how positive psychology and coaching has turned happiness into an individual responsibility. Thus it is distracting attention from structural, economic and social inequality, as well as from personal trauma. For me it raised...

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Fear Holds Back Innovation

Fear Holds Back Innovation

“Five years ago, Alex Honnold scaled the sheer face of the 3,000-foot El Capitan escarpment alone and without ropes—the only person to have ever done so. Honnold has great skill and discipline, but he is also blessed with a special brain: an MRI scan has shown that...

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Hybrid Work – The Do’s and Don’ts

Hybrid Work – The Do’s and Don’ts

Everyone's trying to figure out how to make the new hybrid office work. In many companies, the transition to hybrid is a mess. Leaders try to make it work for everyone, and yet all they get back is deep frustration and strife. If you’re wondering how to cook up the...

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Build Psychological Safety

By French choreographer Lola Rudrauf, Ballerinas, Hava and Océane Delbrel. Thank you @culturainquieta Late August always makes me think about the imminent return to school. Whether I was 13, 33 or 53, it's always carried that energy. I remember always thinking ahead:...

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