The Executive Mentor Blog

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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

How to Attract and Keep Talented, Productive Employees

How to Attract and Keep Talented, Productive Employees

The Importance of Life-Work Effectiveness

I have a client who is an ascending executive at an international financial firm. His career has always been demanding- long hours, lots of travel, ultra-high performance standards (which he always has met or exceeded). Several years ago, when his daughter was quite young, he was considering changing employers due to the incompatibility of his work’s demands with his need to be a present father. Continue reading

be a life/work effectiveness role model

How you personally handle the Life/Work Challenge that impacts your Team Members and their Productivity!

The Importance of Life/Work Effectiveness

Each one of us holds a set of beliefs and attitudes — a mindset — that determines how we interpret and respond to situations. That mindset shapes how we interact with others, and therefore it also affects the people we work with Continue reading

Why you must take that vacation

Why You Must Take That Vacation

The Importance of Life-Work Effectiveness

When you feel like you’re just one e-mail away from failure at work, it can seem ludicrous to take your eyes off of what you believe absolutely needs to get done to consider what you might regret in the future. Continue reading

How to be a changemaker

Change is the name of the game – and today’s effective leaders must adapt to it and drive it

How to Be a Changemaker

The leadership skills that worked in the past are quickly becoming irrelevant in today’s fast-paced, change-is-the-name-of-the-game world. To be effective, you need to know how to adapt to and drive change. Here are the six core skills that can turn key decision-makers into change makers: Continue reading

Does Stating What Your Company Stands for Affect Your Bottom Line?

Does Stating What Your Company Stands for Affect Your Bottom Line?

 You’d be justified in thinking that the values listed on corporate websites don’t really matter after the Enron case – Respect, integrity, communication and excellence were the values they proudly displayed – until accounting fraud brought down the firm. Continue reading

Why so many Leadership Programs fail

Why so many Leadership Programs fail

What we know about Leadership and what we do as Leaders can be completely different things!

The topic in the Executive Committee meeting I was involved with turned to a difficult area for all.

No one had addressed that issue – the topic seemed untouchable. Continue reading

The Fastest Way to Improve Engagement and Productivity in many Australian Organizations is to Stop Workplace Bullying!

The Fastest Way to Improve Engagement and Productivity in many Australian Organizations is to Stop Workplace Bullying!

Workplace bullying in Australia is probably far more widespread than most leaders imagine. It can become accepted to the point managers don’t even notice it, particularly in industries that by nature foster a competitive work environment rather than a collaborative one. Staff begin to feel that in order to get ahead they need to undermine others or belittle them in front of other staff. Continue reading

Leaders should spend more time mentoring

4 Reasons Leaders Should Spend More Time Mentoring Their People

Leaders of all great, enduring organisations mentor – They create a path for a successor, so as not to leave a vacuum at the top of the corporation after their departure. These leaders are what Jim Collins referred to as “Level 5 Leaders” in his classic book: ‘Good To Great’. Continue reading

6 Ways to turn a Team of Champions into a Collaborating Champion Team

6 Ways to turn a Team of Champions into a Collaborating Champion Team

This is a common scenario: you were excited at having hired some very talented people and you put them together with some star performers in your company, but the results you expected just never materialize! In fact, you found that as a group they underperformed significantly. Continue reading

The Importance of Speaking Out – Your Organization’s Survival Could Depend on It!

The Importance of Speaking Out – Your Organization’s Survival Could Depend on It!

Organizations, like people, can get set in their ways. But relying on established ways of working and solving problems not only stifles innovation but can lead to a lack of perspective and moments of delusion – and ultimately the downward slide of the company Continue reading

Three Ways to give Effective, Lasting Feedback

Three Ways to give Effective, Lasting Feedback

The secret of effective feedback is making it feel like the message is coming from an ally, not an adversary. Unfortunately, in my many years as an executive mentor to senior teams, I find that most managers’ anxiety and discomfort about delivering a difficult message inadvertently makes it come off as antagonistic, rather than supportive – a stressful and difficult experience. Continue reading

3 Important Tips to Help You Overcome Conflicts with Conversation

3 Important Tips to Help You Overcome Conflicts with Conversation

Conflict that is not properly resolved in the early stages will usually simmer away until it explodes into a serious situation. It can be a primary cause of poor employee engagement, employee fraud, IP theft and result in valuable team members to leaving your organization!

Effective leadership, like a good marriage, hinges on how you deal with the tough stuff. But addressing and resolving conflicts requires enormous mental and emotional strength, which is why many of us try to avoid it. When confronted with a problem or dispute, we either move away (flee the scene, rely on others for resolution), move against (quietly using positional power to quell opposing arguments) or move toward (make nice, give in). This is natural. We instinctively want to avoid the risk of loss and social embarrassment, to stick with our points of view, to preserve relationships and the status quo.

But all three strategies are wrong-headed. When you fail to engage with a conflict, you can’t gather the input you need to find a workable solution. And it hurts your image as a leader. Take Sarah, the head of IT at a global technology company. Her job was to develop new engagement technologies in her organization, but instead of embracing critical feedback on her ideas, she ignored it. When people challenged her, she would simply reiterate her points, smile, nod and move onto something else as though the issue had been resolved, leaving everyone frustrated. Team members and colleagues began to see her as a conflict avoider, and she lost their trust.

So how does someone like Sarah learn to embrace, rather than avoid, disagreement? Continue reading

When employee engagement is a problem, there is really only one effective way to deal with it!

The only effective way to deal with employee engagement problems

We face a looming crisis! Employee trust in management and commitment to corporations have been in decline for decades. Yet we know that trust and commitment are essential for high individual and corporate performance and they have a huge impact on your bottom line. Only a minority of companies have managed to buck this decline and have built companies worthy of the human spirit. How do they do it? Continue reading