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.

The Leader’s Work-Life Balance Matters as Much as Your Own

The Leader’s Work-Life Balance Matters as Much as Your Own

What leaders say is far less important than what they do. That’s one of the clearest conclusions I drew from a recent study focused on how they experience their lives at work in a global, Australian-based IT firm.

Companies seeking more sustainable high performance from their employees need to meet four of their core needs: renewal (physical); value (emotional), focus (mental) and meaning and purpose (spiritual). Continue reading

Could excessive Social Media Use lead to Low Self Esteem and detachment from Reality?

Could excessive Social Media Use lead to Low Self Esteem and detachment from Reality?

The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by one company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning – often before even getting out of bed. Of course, social interaction is a healthy and necessary part of human existence. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings. Continue reading

These 5 Tips will keep you Focused and help you Achieve Life/Work Effectiveness!

These 5 Tips will keep you Focused and help you Achieve Life/Work Effectiveness!

I have an Executive client who used to wake up, stumble over to the phone, and immediately get lost in a stream of pointless notifications. This digital haze continued throughout the day, keeping him from accomplishing important tasks. He was distracted, anxious and ineffective as a leader. He knew he had to change but could not seem to break free from the behaviours that kept him locked into the same cycle. Continue reading

Are You Sleeping with Your Smartphone?

Are You Sleeping with Your Smartphone?

Do you check your wireless device when you’re not working? What causes you to do so? Does the job require it? Do you like feeling needed? Not sleeping enough?

Yes, the client or customer might call. Yes, there are stresses from managing across time zones. Yes, there are real external and legitimate factors that affect how much we work. But, none of this adequately accounts for how much we are actually connected. Continue reading

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do. Continue reading

The Need for Goal Setting for the Senior Executive/Manager

The Need for Goal Setting for the Senior Executive/Manager

Over the last few days in late August, I had 2 very energetic and relevant discussions with two senior Managers from – oddly – the same Institution. One is a client of my firm, whilst the other a potential client.

They share one thing in common – where they want to be in 3-5 years’ time, and not knowing how to even get somewhere, whilst maintaining what they call ‘work/life balance’. Let me say right now on this point – and please excuse the French – this is a crappy term. It suggests our lives are in two distinct and separate parts. Not true! Continue reading

7 Things Leaders Do to Help People Change

7 Things Leaders Do to Help People Change

Ever tried to change anyone’s behaviour at work? It can be extremely frustrating. So often the effort produces an opposite result: rupturing the relationship, diminishing job performance or causing the person to dig in their heels. Still, some approaches clearly work better than others. Continue reading

7 Ways to Improve Talent Management and Retention Programs

7 Ways to Improve Talent Management and Retention Programs

Making the right investments in learning and development programs have never been more important – or more of a challenge – for business leaders.

Unfortunately, despite spending billions of dollars globally on learning and development programs, many executives still grapple with how to improve and enhance their effectiveness. As research shows, the need to revamp and improve learning programs is an important concern among HR executives – but it should be a very real concern for C-Suite even more so!! Continue reading

Why are Australian Companies not investing in their People?

Why are Australian Companies not investing in their People?

One of the most compelling experiences we are confronted with as members of an Executive and Business Mentoring firm is that companies, generally speaking do not see the need to invest in the leadership and professional development of their people. Why you may ask? Continue reading

Are You Controlled by Smartphones?

Are You Controlled by Smartphones?

Why can’t some people remember when we last spoke to a client? Why, over the course of 30 minutes, does a senior executive trade 22 emails to organize a simple lunch meeting, only to be cancelled on last-minute? Why does a banker waste the entire day on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Continue reading

Four Tips for Building Accountability

Four Tips for Building Accountability

“Accountability” is a favourite word to invoke when the lack of it has become so apparent — such as with the global financial crisis early this century. It is also a loaded word and political football in major sectors crying out for reform, such as health care and public education. Continue reading

4 Things You - The Client - Should expect from Your Mentor

4 Things You – The Client – Should expect from Your Mentor

If you’re about to engage a new mentor and want to be sure it will pay dividends before you invest time and money in the relationship, there is a simple way to gauge how effective they will be.

Over the past years, as an Executive and Business Mentor, I’ve noticed four things that separate the best mentors from the mediocre pack. Continue reading

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