The Executive Mentor Blog

Paul Smith, Executive Mentor Keep up-to-date with our thought-provoking and timely articles on executive leadership, business development and career planning. Subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive updates.

3 Popular Goal-Setting Techniques to be Avoided

3 Popular Goal-Setting Techniques to be Avoided

Setting goals that can’t be properly achieved in your organization is really setting your team up for failure. It has a terrible effect on morale, which flows on to employee engagement and productivity. To begin setting achievable goals, you might want to consider throwing away three popular goal-setting techniques. Continue reading

What can mature managers do when they’re sidelined in the workplace?

What can Mature Age Managers do when they’re Sidelined in the Workplace?

Things are getting tougher for mature age employees, even those in management roles. Many of us enjoy our work and don’t want to retire, or we simply don’t want to survive on the lifestyle our meagre pensions and super payouts will give us. Continue reading

Email management

4 Tips to Ensure Your Emails Give the Right Impression

President Lincoln often wrote scathing letters to his generals, frustrated by their inability to bring the war to a close. Angry they had missed golden opportunities such as finishing off the retreating confederate army, who were trapped by rising waters at the Potomac river after the battle of Gettysburg. Continue reading

Why ‘Time Management’ is Just a Myth!

Why ‘Time Management’ is Just a Myth!

David is as hard a worker as anyone I know as a client. He’s not just busy; he’s keenly focused on getting the right things done. And it pays off — he is the largest single revenue generator at his well-known professional services firm. Continue reading

Effective Career Planning

8 Ways to Focus on Career Planning that Works in an Unpredictable World

I stated in a recent presentation ‘Career – Stuck in a Rut?’, that in an unpredictable world, traditional career planning is a waste of time. It’s close to impossible to pinpoint exactly where you’ll be in five years and work backwards. Continue reading

Your boss tells you to get a Coach or Mentor – What do you do?

Your boss tells you to get a Coach or Mentor – What do you do?

How does it feel when you’re told that you need a mentor, whether it’s your boss or someone else? For many managers it feels like a kick in the gut, a clear sign that you’re doing something wrong and your job might be in trouble. For others, who might be resistant to mentoring in general, it raises questions about whether you really need the extra help. Continue reading

Five Steps to Better Family Negotiations

Five Steps to Better Family Negotiations

Discussions and negotiations between family members who own a business are different – different from negotiations between non-family members and also different from negotiations between family members who don’t have equity. This is because family relationships are distinctive kinds of relationships, and having a family business raises the stakes of – and often complicates – a frank family discussion.

Continue reading

digital-era3

Can technologically challenged Leaders continue to be effective in the Digital Era?

There’s a lot of discussion in the public arena about leadership in what’s being termed the ‘Cognitive Era’ where technological innovation continues to accelerate and impact the way people work and the tools they use to achieve tasks.

The question being asked is: can a technologically challenged leader continue to be effective in this era of massive change and increasing reliance on technology?

Continue reading

A good coach or mentor will help you see further than you ever imagined

A Coach or Mentor can really give you the Edge

It can be tough and lonely at the top, so it pays to have an experienced person to point the way

When Peter James moved from London to Australia, he was surprised at the huge difference between the business environments in the two countries. Continue reading

Time to take charge of your career

Isn’t it time to Take Charge of Your Career?

Trying to figure out where you want your career to go – and get a job that’ll take you there?

You are ready to take off, but where, how …………… Continue reading

Avoid Becoming Irrelevant to Employers by taking these 6 Critical Steps

Avoid Becoming Irrelevant to Employers by taking these 6 Critical Steps

In today’s resource-constrained environment, many of us are delivering 120% on the current demands of our job — but devoting little time to developing ourselves further or positioning ourselves for a future move. Continue reading

Want to Advance Your Management Career When Opportunities for Promotion Are Scarce?

Want to Advance Your Management Career When Opportunities for Promotion Are Scarce?

The further up the organizational pyramid you climb, the scarcer opportunities for promotion become. When you’re at this level, you can’t leave career advancement to chance – you need to know the factors that govern advancement to senior levels and more…

In most organizations, professionals who want to move up get lots of feedback. Did you hit your numbers? Make your budget? How did you perform in managing a major project? Many companies provide you with dubious, so-called 360-degree feedback based on anonymous surveys from your boss, peers and direct reports. Continue reading

It’s time to Take Charge of Your Career!

It’s time to Take Charge of Your Career!

Trying to figure out where you want your career to go – and get a job that’ll take you there?

You are ready to take off, but where, how …………… Continue reading

4 Tragic Mistakes that can Completely Derail your quest for a Better Job - and how to avoid them

4 Tragic Mistakes that can Completely Derail your quest for a Better Job – and how to avoid them

People who stayed glued to their jobs during the downturn are starting to dip their toes in the water to see if there is a new position out there for them. But while they have been bunkered down waiting for the downturn to pass, the job market has been changing. If you have been at the same organization for five or more years, you are in danger of making some big mistakes that can completely derail your job search. Continue reading

The Art of Leading by making others Powerful at What They Do

Is the Art of Leading making others Powerful at What they do?

There are things that we as leaders and senior executives want to happen in the work place, but we are disappointed, at times annoyed and even angry when it doesn’t. Why does this happen, and what do we do about it?

We probably have three choices – do nothing and hope things get better; become dictatorial, authoritarian and demand what we want; or believe in our managers and expect them to deliver what we want. Continue reading

How to stop Impressive Leaders forming a destructive Leadership Team

How to Stop Impressive Leaders forming a destructive Leadership Team

“I want your help developing my direct reports into stronger leaders,” John the new CEO of a technology firm told me several years ago

Initially, I approached the request like any ‘consultant’ might.

First, I asked John why he wanted my help. He told me that the firm had stagnated. They had been hovering around the same revenue point for years and their competitors were gaining market share. He saw opportunity and knew that success lay in the hands of his direct reports. That made sense to me. Continue reading

What Leadership Advice would I give President Trump?

What Leadership Advice would I give President Trump?

People across the globe are very polarised in their opinion of newly elected President Trump – they either like him or hate him. But today, he is President elect and will resume office in the near future.

As an executive mentor, I ponder the leadership qualities he obviously must have to have achieved so much in business and to win the election – and the leadership qualities he will need to be a successful president. There are three qualities that I recommend to every business leader I mentor and I would suggest President Trump focus on and develop: Trust, Empathy and Mentorship. Continue reading

3 Ways Leaders Must Become Self-Aware to Succeed

3 Ways Leaders Must Become Self-Aware to Succeed

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Wrote Chinese General Sun Tzu in his book ‘The Art of War’. For Sun Tzu, knowing yourself and your own capabilities was as important as knowing your enemy.

2,500 years later, with the battlefield the marketplace and the enemy the competition, self-awareness remains as important as it was in the time of Sun Tzu. Continue reading

Management is definitely not leadership

Management is definitely not leadership

Probably the reason so many well managed Melbourne companies end up on the scrapheap is a misunderstanding of what leadership really is. And this misunderstanding seems to be commonplace throughout corporate Australia. Continue reading

You can have a Career and a Balanced Life – It’s Your Choice

You can have a Career and a Balanced Life – It’s Your Choice

The Importance of Life-Work Effectiveness

There’s nothing wrong with choosing a lucrative path, but I wonder if you may be setting yourself up for work-family conflict and other challenges later in life. Continue reading