Category Archives: Leadership

Making the highest and best use of your positional power

For organizational leaders, there are two main types of power: positional and personal. Positional power comes from titles: chief executive officer, vice president, director, or manager. Those with personal power may or may not have titles, but their charisma, relationships, and influence draw others to them. While some people have one or the other, the leaders who make the biggest impact have a blend of both.

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What Harvard Business School graduates can teach us about high-achieving women (study)

Goldman Sachs made headlines recently for a two-day technology conference in London it was organising where 76 people were scheduled to speak, but just five of them were women. Of the five women speaking, only three of them were Goldman Sachs employees, one of which was drafted in at short notice to replace a male speaker. The gender disparity was quite shocking, particularly within a business that runs a 10,000 Women program, which invests in and trains female entrepreneurs.

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How to take a more meaningful approach to corporate social responsibility in 2017

Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, has risen in prominence over the past couple of years owing to the growing social conscience of today’s consumers. Nowadays, the rising generation of buyers would prefer to spend their money on a brand, service or product that displays strong ethics, is tied to worthwhile charitable causes, and takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Similarly, up and coming businesses and entrepreneurs are showing preference for investing in tools and services provided by socially conscious businesses which share similar values to their own, over and above a big corporate name.

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How to successfully delegate decision making

There’s some irony in the fact that taking the decision to delegate decision making can sometimes be a tough one, and particularly within a small company where autonomy has generally rested with you. It can be a time-consuming process and often requires a mindset change on your part, along with a willingness to let go of a certain amount of control. It can sometimes be tricky to find the right balance but when managed successfully, the delegation of some decisions brings with it great benefits and can be highly worth the investment of time.

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Questions successful business leaders ask during interviews

If you’re fortunate enough to be interviewed by Richard Branson one day (hopefully on Necker Island!), don’t expect to hear questions about your career history, strengths or weaknesses. He’s not a fan of the traditional job interview, and in his book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership,” the Virgin Group founder explains the importance of hiring individuals who are a good ‘personality fit’. Focusing conversation on academic and professional achievements, and talking through a CV, would in many ways be a waste of time, he argues.

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How to keep staff motivated this Christmas

December can be one of the most challenging months of the working year, and keeping employees engaged and focused on their work can be tricky. According to a recent study, two-thirds of employees will use paid time to do their online Christmas shopping at their desks, meaning that businesses could stand to lose hundreds of hours in productivity. There often ends up being fewer man hours to get the same volume of work accomplished, and for some, end-of-year targets need to be met and budgets and planning for the year ahead finalised. Juggling work with personal family commitments can create a number of pressures and distractions, and so it’s no wonder that during the festive season, employee morale and motivation can dip.

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10 meaningful quotes by Bill Gates – the world’s second richest man

Successful businessman, entrepreneur, self-confessed ‘geek’ and philanthropist Bill Gates is a bit like Marmite. While some love him for his achievements as an entrepreneur and his contribution to technology, others who maybe aren’t Microsoft fans, find it tricky to connect with him on any sort of personal level. Famously publicity-shy and socially awkward, he has never  had the easy appeal of Richard Branson, for example; but he’s an individual to revere for not only his business and technology conquests, but also the work he’s done for the world’s disadvantaged. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation boasts assets worth $37.1 billion, which Gates has personally contributed $28 billion to, as well as working full time for.

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10 Ways To Build A Winning Personal Brand

Personal branding is nothing new. Julius Caesar’s three-word mantra, ‘Veni, vidi, vici,’ clearly demonstrated his winning-at-all-costs persona. Politicians have successfully developed and packaged their brands to win votes and build coalitions of political power. Today’s marketer, networking aficionado and job seeker find even greater pressure to build a personal brand given the digital tools that are widely available for branding and marketing a personal image and philosophy. However, some young people baulk at the idea of becoming a brand because it seems impersonal. The struggle to develop an identity influences many people to scream, ‘I’m not a brand; I’m a human being!’

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5 TED talks on inspiring leadership

Leadership is a significant issue facing not just business, but the world in general, at present. In the business world particularly, times are changing, and workplace hierarchies have undergone some massive shifts in recent years, paving the way for more distributed forms of leadership. Today’s rising generation of workers are showing preference for flat, collaborative organisational structures, with few hierarchical levels and looser leadership. Google has championed this business model for quite some time, on the basis that it helps to attract more talent and allow for more rapid business growth.

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8 books famous business people swear by

8 books famous business people swear by

At this time of year, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be lying by a pool, with an iced coffee in one hand and a book I’ve been longing to read in the other. Nowadays, my reading time is whatever I’m able to grab, on the train to a meeting, while supper is cooking or when the kids are in bed. But I read religiously every day, and always have done, as it’s my source of escape from the daily grind, and the place where I go to learn more.

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What great leaders do in every meeting

There are an infinite number of books and articles written about how to lead. There are few written about where to lead. Where does the work of leadership get done? Given that the average manager spends almost 50% of each week in meetings, how they show up in those meetings will either demonstrate their leadership skills or showcase their leadership deficiencies. If this is true, meetings matter. Meetings matter a lot.

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How top managers motivate and energise employees

How top managers motivate and energise employees

People typically leave a company for one of three reasons. The first is that they don’t see themselves as a good fit for the business, or feel that their work matters. The second is that they haven’t forged close enough bonds with their co-workers, or established enough respect for them. But the third and most common reason is that they’re unhappy with their boss, which in up to 75% of cases is the single driving factor.

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What is ‘Presence’, and how can you get it?

What is 'Presence', and how can you get it?

At an ‘Executive Presence’ workshop I was running recently, the corporation’s chief council stood up to make a few introductory remarks. She recounted how while talking to a recruiter she listed all the qualifications she was looking for in her next hire, and she concluded with “presence”. There was a pause, and then the recruiter replied, “presence, well that will definitely cost you more”. Wow, I thought, people are finally figuring out that presence itself has value; it’s a commodity.

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The biggest workplace trends to look out for this year

The biggest workplace trends to look out for this year

The workplace has been steadily evolving over the past year or two, and big changes have come afoot in the first part of 2016. In the UK, the shift towards co-working has exploded, which has been led in part by the increasing number of individuals choosing to go freelance, who want more flexibility and control over where and when they work. Currently there are 1.4 million freelancers working in the UK, and the continued growth of virtual collaboration tools and technology, as well as the increasing acceptance of remote working, has given the freelance economy a tremendous boost.

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