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Leadership

"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things." – Peter Drucker. We bring together the best leadership thinking from around the world. These leadership articles provide the knowledge and inspiration you need to be a great leader.

Three key incoming tactics of extraordinary leaders

John Loker

How can a CEO make an outstanding impression when moving to a new company?

Making the transition to a fresh role is a huge test for leaders in the contemporary business world. Getting your early moves right is vital if you want to get the existing team on board and guide the company to singular success.

Why your CIO can make or break your business

With digital data increasingly driving performance, it takes a strong, forward-thinking champion to make sure your organisation embraces that shift effectively.

These days the role of CIO goes way beyond overseeing your company’s computer technology. With businesses from all sectors adopting a digital-first strategy, the CIO holds a transformational position.

Four essential behaviours that set successful CEOs apart

A typical CEO looks almost nothing like the stereotypical one. Great CEOs excel at deciding, engaging, adapting and delivering. Look for these behaviours if you’re hiring one – and develop them if you want to be one.

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How to develop the next generation of leaders

Patrick Tomasso

Most leadership development programmes have a critical weakness: they view leaders as sets of competencies, not as individuals.

In today’s turbulent times we don’t need standardised leaders: we need individuals who work well in their context.

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Six ways to deal with an indecisive boss

Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Reporting to an indecisive boss is challenging and frustrating. Here’s how to turn the situation around.

Managers who can’t pick a course of action, or constantly change their minds, are infuriating. You waste time, switch direction, and your credibility and reputation suffers. So how can you help a wishy-washy manager make decisions?

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What problem are you trying to solve?

Terry Frost

There are few management skills more powerful – or underrated – than the discipline of articulating a clear problem statement before jumping into action.

There are few questions in business more powerful than: “What problem are you trying to solve?” – yet it is so rarely answered. Formulating a clear problem statement will unlock innovation and enable you to get more done, and with less...

Why it pays to show you care

Carol Robertson

Making your employees feel they matter is a powerful tool in the corporate world.

When a leader demonstrates concern for the wellbeing of his or her teams it generates a climate of safety and trust that positively impacts on their work.

Fostering a caring attitude can actively encourage an engaged and satisfied team as well as better productivity. But what if it doesn’t come...

Three ways to successfully adopt the ‘servant leader’ approach

John Kirby

Don’t be bossy. Use empathy and humility to create harmonious and thriving working relationships and watch the results.

If you tend to be an authoritarian or micromanager, there’s a good chance you are not getting the most out of your employees. But companies who embrace the servant leadership philosophy report a major impact on staff engagement, as well as the knock-on effect of...

Five ways to manage your emotions at work

Julie Cockburn

How to perform the ‘emotional labour’ of leadership while remaining true to yourself.

We’re all familiar with the ‘service with a smile’ provided by fast food servers, airline crew or nurses. Yet leaders have to perform ‘emotional labour’ too. Motivating or disciplining staff, appearing confident in uncertain times, and controlling personal feelings are all part of our working lives....

Are you trapped in a CEO bubble?

Kleio Gizeli

It’s easy to put yourself in a ‘good news’ cocoon. Get out of the office today and spend more time being wrong, being uncomfortable, and being quiet.

The CEO’s dilemma is that no new course of action can be launched without your say-so – yet your power and privilege insulate you from information that allows you to see threats or opportunities.

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It’s time to harness the power of empathy

Glenys Barton

If you want to improve performance across your business, science prescribes this surprise superpower.

What would you consider the top skill you need as a leader? Chances are you wouldn’t pick empathy. And what does the term really mean?

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How to combine strategy and leadership for growth and renewal

Bernard Cohen

Neither strategy nor leadership, on its own, is sufficient to bring success to a business. They must be integrated as strategic leadership, using a particular skillset.

Today’s pressures and rapid changes require managers who think strategically and at the same time inspire their workforce. Ford’s Alan Mulally, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Google’s Sundar Pichai are examples of leaders who...

Why leaders need to know the importance of followers and contexts

Caporal

In The European Business Review, Barbara Kellerman argues that the outcomes of leadership teaching are greatly diminished if the essential and growing importance of followers and contexts is not properly recognised.

Kellerman sees leadership not as a person but as a system with three equally important components.

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Why there really is no such thing as a bad idea

Aaron Burden

If you want groundbreaking ideas you should encourage your employees to challenge the consensus.

As a manager, consensus might make for an easier life, but you risk losing a potentially game-changing idea by fostering a herd mentality. “Humans fear being a fool much more than they hope to be a genius.”

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Learn when to share information

Breidamerkursandur by Boomoon

Organisational transparency – sharing information freely with your company’s employees – is said to empower people to make better, faster decisions.

The challenge for executives is knowing when to share information and when not to share information. There are three main areas where transparency can create problems and some measures you can take to avoid oversharing.

Five simple steps to good leadership

C of E by Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Whatever type of company you are running, the basics of good leadership remain the same.

Sophi Tranchell, CEO of UK-based social enterprise Divine Chocolate, and Bill Sandbrook, CEO of US based producer of mixed concrete and aggregates, US Concrete, are two CEOs from different backgrounds and companies who turned out to have a lot more in common than you might think. “Their insights...

Three key ways to mastermind digital transformation

Carpet by Scarlett Hooft Graafland

As the digital world romps ahead at incredible speed, leaders need to be sure they harness the best and most relevant developments.

Technological innovations shake up the industrial globe every day. Keeping track of these – and understanding which ones are essential for your organisation – is becoming a priority for most CEOs.

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It’s time to get real about leadership

office

Aspiring slavishly to contemporary ideals is a sure route to failure

Can you tick all the boxes on the popular checklist of attributes for successful leaders? Over the past few decades the qualities prescribed by the corporate training industry have focused on authenticity, trustworthiness, modesty, empathy, emotional intelligence and a desire to serve others – especially your employees...

How to become a chief executive

Ben Rosett

If becoming a CEO is one of your ambitions, what is the best path to take? Writing on Raconteur, Peter Crush draws from a variety of sources to show how the nature of the job and the criteria for choosing candidates are changing.

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Three things that make you a great boss

Aatik Tasneem

Share a vision, drive results and help employees achieve their career goals for a happier and more productive workforce.

Most leadership advice is based on anecdotes and common sense. Stanford professor Kathryn Shaw took a different approach: data-driven analysis. She discusses her findings with Beth Rimbet and Steve Hawk in a recent article in Stanford Business, and shares three...

12 ways to manage for trust

John Kirby

Build trusting relationships with your employees to improve productivity, accountability and company performance.

Less than half of lower-level employees trust the companies they work for. And the problem’s getting worse: according to the PwC Annual Global CEO survey, three years ago 37% of CEOs were concerned about a lack of trust in businesses; today, it’s 55%.

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Leadership: no style fits all

clothing rack

Being dominating and being likeable can both be good qualities in a boss, and often a hybrid is even better.

In a New York Times article Phyllis Korkki explores the advantages and disadvantages of two key styles of leadership – the dominant leadership style where the boss is in control of everything, and the prestige style where the boss’s main motivation is to be liked or admired....

Surprising strategies of successful leaders

It’s the company you keep – in work and out – that colours your journey to the top.

The tactics most likely to increase your success as a CEO are not what you might expect.

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Four ways to recognise executive hubris

eagle

There’s a fine line between confidence and hubris in a CEO. Spot the early warning signs to avoid disaster.

Most incoming chief executives have pride and self-confidence above normal levels, with good reason. The problem comes when the CEO crosses a line from responsible risk taking to recklessness.

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