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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.

How to kill bad products

packaging products

When a product fails, should you improve it or kill it? Senior managers are best placed to make the right choice – quickly.

Your engineers and managers work for months, often years, to develop and launch new products. They invest significant resources in research, marketing and distribution. So to see those products go down in flames creates a difficult choice: do you try to improve the...

How to build a winning workplace culture

office

There are many guides to the three, five or seven steps to an ideal culture. But only one golden rule: don’t mess it up.

As a leader, you must watch everything you say and do – because everyone else will, and they’ll put a lot of weight on it. That means it’s easy to mess up a workplace culture – even with the best of intentions.

Improve employee engagement with ‘constructive nonconformity’

Employee engagement is a problem. To fix it, let your workers rebel, break the rules and be themselves.

Throughout our working lives we’re taught to conform. The pressure only grows as we climb the career ladder. Workers and their organisations both pay a price for this: decreased engagement, productivity and innovation.

Eight key skills for today’s leaders

notebook and fountain pen

As the business world changes with increasing pace, leaders need to develop a new set of core skills if they are to keep up, write Louise Axon, Elisa Friedman and Kathy Jordan for the Harvard Business School of Publishing.

The business environment is more complex and volatile than ever before thanks to:

How to make better decisions

reading glasses

The success of your organisation depends on good decision making, a key requirement of good leadership.

The human brain has evolved to make most decisions automatically. Behavioural and neuroscience shows that our brains struggle with information overload, especially when multitasking, leaving them susceptible to subjectivity, bias and errors.

 

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Six steps to getting a seat on the board

chair on beach

If landing a seat on a board is one of your goals, you need to do some serious preparation to make it happen. Writing for Forbes, Stuart R. Levine sets out six actions to increase your chances of success.

“It’s critical that you take smart steps to develop your resources and skills into assets that will showcase your credentials and position you for success,” Levine advises.

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Why you should have a code of data ethics

Ilya Pavlov

Digital technology has put a wealth of human data at our fingertips. How can we be sure we are using it responsibly and ethically?

There’s no doubt that facts and statistics offer valuable insights that can be employed to boost business. But it’s vital to lay down ground rules as a company before using personal information to our advantage, says Paul Daugherty, writing for MIT Sloan....

Five breakthrough leadership lessons

John Kirby

Five key leadership behaviours lay behind rare ‘breakthrough’ success in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) business.

‘Breakthroughs’ are products that expand or create new product categories – often required to maintain or grow a company’s market share. In the CPG market, 80% of growth comes from 1% of brands. Breakthrough success is so rare that of 3,500 new brands only 18 made the...

How to lead from the front

Julie Cockburn

Shift your mindset from your business to your staff to create competitive advantage.

You need strong leadership teams to develop your business. Yet leadership is more difficult than ever because of a shift in focus from the business to individual employees. Writing for Entrepreneur, Glen Llopis says business model evolution is influenced by two factors.

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Six ways to be a trustworthy leader

Jack Smith

Does your team trust you? Maybe not as much as you think. Here’s how to win them over.

Research shows that less than half of workers place a “great deal of trust” in their employer. And while 80% of employees trust their colleagues, only 65% trust senior leaders in their companies. Low levels of trust means employees will look for other jobs and be less engaged and productive.

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How to give good feedback to people who don’t want to receive it

Feedback

Giving feedback should be constructive and helpful, but that might not be how everybody views it

The key requirements of giving good feedback are good intentions, sound preparation and a calm response. The feedback process takes a lot of time, and can be a cause of anxiety for both manager and employee, particularly when you are dealing with somebody who might cry, yell or get defensive...

Six ways to rebuild trust at work

Trust

Trust takes years to build, yet can be destroyed in an instant. But retaining and regaining the confidence of your employees can be achieved if you modify your actions

Trust is a precious resource. Once broken it can be difficult for businesses and bosses to regain, damaging chances of future success.

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How to overcome the limitations of leadership training

Jack Smith, Celebration

Training alone often fails to develop today’s employees into tomorrow’s senior managers. It is systems and behaviours in the workplace that need to change before workers can take an organisation to the next level.

Several mistakes are routinely made when leadership training is offered in a bid to transform good organisations into great ones.

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You can learn to be a successful leader

Not all of us are natural leaders, but mastering some fundamental skills can boost your confidence and performance.

If you struggle with leadership, you might be inclined to focus on your deficiencies. Learning and implementing some key techniques of success will be a more fruitful response, according to business psychologist Dionne Mahaffey writing for Forbes.

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Why a leadership development programme is a sound investment

Help your managers make the most of their capabilities, and both they and your company will reap the benefits.

Natural born leaders are the lottery winners of the business management world. The rest of us need a little help, says CEO and leadership coach John Hawkins, writing for Forbes. That help can come in the form of purposeful leadership management development.

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Use executive coaching as a catalyst for change

A good executive coach challenges your belief systems, helping you see what you’re doing wrong so you can get it right.

We all have our blind spots – preconceptions about ourselves as people and as leaders. If these are allowed to go unchallenged, our own lack of self-awareness acts as a block to our ongoing development.

Find out what good coaching is and why we all need it....

Investing in credibility for greater success

Even the most logical proposals for change can be met with suspicion unless executives deliver them with integrity.

But how do you consistently get your message across to your teams in a positive and believable way?

By taking three key steps, leaders can allow their sincerity to shine and have a greater chance of success. Here’s what a “credibility first” transformation model...

Why your next CEO should be an outsider

When Ralph Lauren installed a discount retail specialist at the head of his luxury brand, he was seeking to secure his firm’s future in a rapidly evolving market.

Hiring your next CEO from outside the company used to be a last resort. But that’s changing as more boards look beyond their own ranks for their next chief executives. Here’s how you can best go about it

Keep calm and carry on communicating

How do you react to an angry customer, a difficult colleague or a tense negotiation? Great communicators face all kinds of conflict and know exactly what to say and how to say it.

Communicate well and others will trust in your ability to lead and support them.

Think on your feet and people will see you as credible, professional, reliable and confident.

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Five reputational risks and how to plan for them

You can’t avoid scandal, but you can prepare for it. Here’s how to plan for five of the most serious reputational risks to your business.

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Redesign your life for the sake of your business

Design thinking can improve your health, wellbeing and, ultimately, your executive performance. 

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How to lead the team you inherit

What can you do if the team you take over created the problem you’ve been hired to fix?

The best-known team-building framework is “forming, storming, norming and performing”. But that assumes you’re building a team from scratch.

In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, Michael Watkins offers a new model: “assessing, reshaping and accelerating”.

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Get ROI on your leadership training

Companies certainly recognise the importance of management and leadership coaching, spending a global total of $24bn on it in 2013 alone. But in a tough economic climate, it’s often the training budget that’s first to feel the squeeze.

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Ron Ashkenas of Schaffer Consulting and the University of Houston’s Robert Hausmann propose a new approach to...

The art of selling your ideas to the boss

If you struggle to secure buy-in for your proposals, then it might be time to change your strategy. There are a number of “issue-selling” tactics that will give your ideas traction and secure the resources and attention they deserve.

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