Category Archives: Employee Engagement

Examples of how leaders can engage their team through small wins

The 1 question all future leaders should ask themselves – every day

The 1 question all future leaders should ask themselves – every day
I play golf once a week (also go to the driving range). Nothing surprising about this really. But…………. After every game I go to a cafe and whilst waiting for my scrambled eggs I reflect on my game. I ask myself: What shots could I have played differently today? You see, I still want to improve! When I worked in corporate life I did something similar. At the end of the day when I was travelling home I would ask myself, What could I have done differently today? Perhaps I missed a chance to ... Read more

8 ways to overcome a fear of failure

8 ways to overcome a fear of failure
No-one really wants to fail*. But the fear of failure can be paralysing. Here are 8 practical ways to overcome this fear. 1. Separate the failure from the person Part of the problem with failure is the personal stigma. If you fail, you worry that you will be branded a ‘failure’. Yet this is certainly not the case. Most entrepreneurs, for example, (in the US anyway) view a failed business venture as a badge of honour. Separating failure as an activity from the person might encourage ... Read more

A key innovative behavior – bouncing

A key innovative behavior – bouncing
One of the most important innovative behaviours is what I call ‘bouncing.’ It’s when one person has an idea and they bounce it off another person. The concept of bouncing has a long history in creative collaboration. For example: “We’d sit down and say, ‘OK, what are we going to do?’ and we’d just start off strumming and one or the other of us would kick off some kind of idea and then we’d just develop it and bounce off each other.” – Paul McCartney on his ... Read more

How can you be an amazing leader – everyday?

How can you be an amazing leader – everyday?
I worked with a leadership group today of a major financial institution. In my workshop I asked the group: How can you be an amazing leader – everyday? The emphasis was on the everyday. Because leadership in an organisation is often more about the everyday type rather than the big dramatic gesture. We did a Blitz and the 9 most common responses were: 1. Smile 2. Be fully present in any meeting. 3. Actively listen 4. Give immediate feedback. 5. Be energetic. 6. Conduct a quick scrum at ... Read more

Why every leader should have an ideas buddy

Why every leader should have an ideas buddy
Leadership can be a lonely role. But to create and innovate I believe every leader should seek and maintain someone who they can bounce ideas off (and you can help them as well). Lets call this person an ideas buddy. A person who they trust and can make your idea better. But also five you some critical feedback as well. I was reminded of this dynamic with a recent interview in the New Yorker with Jonathon Ives (by Ian Parker) when he (Ives) was talking about his relation with Steve Jobs. ... Read more

When to think big – when to think small

When to think big – when to think small
There are time when you need to think big and other times when it is better to think small. These 2 different types of thinking complement one another. This is similar to Daniel Kahneman’s idea of thinking fast and slow. Here are some examples when you might want to think big: – You are feeling in the flow – Feel inspired – When you do your best thinking (I do mine first things and late at night) – In a planning or strategy session – Trying to create a ... Read more

Have you had a few little breakthroughs today?

Have you had a few little breakthroughs today?
I love the idea of little breakthroughs. For too long we have all been seduced by the idea that a breakthrough has to be big, game-changing or disruptive. But perhaps there are also smaller, everyday varieties. I came across the expression little breakthroughs from author, Daniel Coyle who is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent,Lance Armstrong’s War, and The Secret Race and Hardball: A Season in the Projects. I quote from a recent blog ... Read more

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?

What’s the secret of continuous improvement?
Feedback! This was beautifully illustrated to me with my daughter at her school recently. She is entering her critical final years at a private school (lucky for her). The principal highlighted to the parents that the school had built a powerful feedback system for all their final year students. She gave the example of a student obtaining say a mark of 10 out of 15 for an essay at the beginning of term. The teachers then kick into action and give some practical, specific and actionable ... Read more

What do high-performing, innovative teams have in common?

What do high-performing, innovative teams have in common?
Diversity. This diversity can take many forms. For example in: – perspectives - personality - roles - experience - skills - age and sex Having greater diversity in a group means the range of ideas or solutions expands dramatically. It also means that there is less chance of groupthink hence decision-making should be more effective. But there is one catch. Diverse teams still need to interact and communicate intensely. In short: Diversity plus collaboration equals innovation success. ... Read more

9 ways leaders can celebrate small wins

9 ways leaders can celebrate small wins
One of the features of the small wins approach is the emphasis on celebrating at the end of a project. In fact, part of the reason I like small wins is because the projects are small and frequent, there are there are many more opportunities to celebrate. Remember the win could be the attainment of a goal and/or a new insight or piece of learning. But many leaders don’t know how to celebrate with their group or team. Part of the reason according to BJ Fogg, PhD, Director, Persuasive ... Read more