Leadership

self-awareness unicorn

Are you a self-awareness unicorn?

Self-awareness is the ability to see ourselves clearly. Research shows that 95% of us think that we are self-aware but the reality is that 10-15% actually are self-aware. This minority are what Tasha Eurich calls “Self-Awareness Unicorns”.

If you haven’t heard of Tasha Eurich, we recommend that you look her up immediately. She has carried out extensive research into the fascinating subject of self-awareness and has written a book called Insight on the subject. At its core is Eurich’s own research and work in the Fortune 500 world combined with a huge study into people who have made dramatic improvements to their self-awareness.

Self-awareness is a surprisingly learnable skill. People who are self-aware are more fulfilled, have stronger relationships, are more creative and more confident. They also perform better at work and are more promotable as they make more effective leaders. So, there is a definite benefit for organisations to encourage their employees to be more self-aware.

the great retention

How much talent will you lose in ‘The Great Resignation’? – Part 2

The Great Retention

The pandemic has presented many employees with the opportunity to reflect on what is important to us, to our families, and to our happiness. Hybrid work is here to stay, and many of us are in the mood to make changes. Companies are warned of a mass exodus of talent – ‘The Great Resignation’.

If you haven’t already, please do read part one of this blog where I discuss how the pandemic changed our attitudes towards our lives and how we want to work. In part two I want to discuss what organisations can do to avoid losing their top talent in ‘The Great Resignation’.

How much talent will you lose in ‘The Great Resignation’? – Part 1

The pandemic has changed our perception of reality

Although it’s now 23 years since it first came out, The Truman Show remains one of my favourite movies. It’s one of those rare films that I can watch over and over. Everything about it works, and if it didn’t, any film with Laura Linney is surely reason enough to do that anyway!

You remember the basic plot, right? Truman Burbank (played by Jim Carey) has spent his entire life as the central character in the world’s most popular reality TV show. He has been in this environment since birth and remains oblivious that every other character in his life is played by an actor. The whole edifice is controlled by a despotic director named Christof (Ed Harris).

As the plot evolves, Truman realises that his entire life is an elaborate construct. The final scene has Truman reaching the physical end of his known world and facing the option of returning to the artificial construct of life as it was. He is encouraged to do so by the “Creator” (Christof). The other option is to move through a doorway to the real unknown world. The movie ends with Truman voicing his signature catch phrase “In case I don’t see ya, good morning, good afternoon and good night!” as he (spoiler alert) steps through the doorway.

Elephant in the room - senior workers

The one with the peculiar shuffle

Look, the time has come, and we can’t ignore it any longer. Let’s talk about the last taboo, the elephant in the room. The grey, slightly cynical fifty-eight year old elephant to be precise. The one who is two years away from retirement, who has clocked up nearly forty years of commendable service, and whose best friend has set up a commune in Torquay. The elephant who is now beginning to view motivation like securing the belt on his trousers. …

Don’t judge a penguin by its waddle

I was recently introduced to a wonderful You Tube video (in German) called ‘Das Penguin Prinzip’ (The Penguin Principle). It provides a charming but very poignant reminder that we really shouldn’t judge the character or worth of someone at first sight.

Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen is a German television host, doctor, magician, comedian, cabaret artist, and author. In this extract, he recounts an anecdote from his time as an entertainer on a cruise ship, and a visit to a Norwegian zoo.

In one of the zoo enclosures, he saw a little penguin sitting on a rock. He looked at the creature and thought: “Look at this poor thing. A flightless bird. Stocky and totally out of proportion. Definitely one of nature’s misconstructions!”

The Penguin Principle

Then the penguin jumped into the water and, through the glass, Hirschhausen watched him swim in the water, nimbly twisting and turning. The onlooker’s jaw dropped, and he was forced to rethink his original assessment of the little creature’s suitability and talents.

Remote working

Confessions of a Remote Worker

You’re trapped and rooted to your kitchen chair with a new worry line adorning your brow, courtesy of your new line manager. But where did the day go so horribly wrong?

It’s Monday morning. The dog has hidden your mobile phone again, so you’ve missed your alarm. Thank goodness for remote working!

Your rush downstairs. After wearily turning on your laptop in the kitchen at twenty-five past eight, you find a notification waiting for you. Over the weekend, your new line manager has quietly slipped in an eight-thirty team strategy meeting.

I can't do wright for doing wrong

Can I give you some feedback?

Is there really anyone out there who hears those word and thinks “oh goody, yes please”?

If there is, you’re a much better person than me!

Take this example, it was a long time ago – but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I’d given a sales presentation to a prospective client with Helen, a new Associate who I was mentoring. Despite not being a traditionally qualified ‘sales professional’, I was actually quite good at what I did. I believed passionately in the product that I was selling, and I had my own sales ‘muscle’ that I used to be effective.

Helen, on the other hand, was very much a qualified sales person. She had worked in sales for one market-leading multinational company for the fifteen years since her graduation. She had been on every sales course suggested – and undoubtedly knew her stuff.

Of squinting cats and great leadership

It’s that tired old question: Can a chubby moggy with a befuddling squint and an inflated ego actually become a great leader?

Working from home during lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity to really observe the behaviours of my three crazy cats – two sisters and their brother. They look and behave so differently. Pablo, the largest of the three, is the one with the squint.

On the surface, their day looks very much like a business operation where targets are set, and tasks need to be accomplished. Team cooperation has to be negotiated carefully.

Bee - finding solutions through team performance

Should businesses be more honeybee in the face of adversity?

I was listening to a news programme on the radio. One of the stories piqued my interest. Why indeed would honeybees resort to using animal dung to protect their hives? I was reminded of all the businesses that had to pivot their strategies in recent times. How could they ensure that their teams continued to perform at their best throughout periods of profound change? Please bear with me on this one!

Death of a Sales Manager

My father gave his life to one company, a well-known white goods manufacturer. Trained as an electrical engineer, he started out tightening screws on appliances. But soon he was travelling up and down the country as a salesman and customer service provider selling household goods to shops.

The job suited my suave and humorous father to the core, and he did very well. So well, in fact, that the company made him Sales Manager, a promotion that saw him catapulted … into an office, where he spent his days managing a sales team.