Hello Leaders

Hello leaders (which is all of us) and aspiring leaders (which is those of us yet to recognise the leadership role we play). I’m preoccupied with numbers this week. Actually, I’m always preoccupied with numbers, but this week I’m feeling particularly motivated to share a few stats from a couple of the many recent Leadership Studies out there… Did you know…

  • 77% of organizations indicated that their leadership strategy was only somewhat, or not at all, aligned with their business strategy.

  • 51% of organizations said their leaders are not at all ready, or only somewhat ready, to lead their organizations today.

  • 71% said their leaders are not ready to lead their organizations into the future. Source: State of Leadership Development Study, Brandon Hall Group, 2015

And the Leadership Development Methods Most Effective According to Leaders are:

  • Developmental assignments 61%

  • Coaching you receive from your current manager 57%

  • Formal workshops, training courses and seminars 56%

  • Coaching you receive from external coaches/mentors 51%

  • Coaching you receive from internal coaches/mentors (other than your manager)

Source: Global Leadership Forecast 2014 | 2015, Australia | New Zealand A final play on stats is with my very own Quarterly share. For the next few months I will be sharing my Quarterly monthly and welcome any comments on this as the months unfold. Leaders Coaching As those of you who know me are well aware, I am passionate about coaching leaders and leaders coaching. The power of the coaching conversation is greatly misunderstood and underutilised. Businesses are all talking about agility, flexibility, complexity and innovation, yet the intrinsic role of coaching in navigating successful business futures is missing from the conversation. I have the privilege of working with many leaders across the public, private and NFP sectors and get to see firsthand the dearth of understanding and uptake of coaching as a way of leading. The tendency is to view coaching as a tool to be pulled out of the toolbox in 1:1’s and annual reviews. This is a bit like naively assuming intermittent exercise and the occasional nutritious meal will stave off heart disease. Leaders periodically coaching their people is certainly a great start, but only skims the surface of what coaching has to offer for the leader, their people and the business. Too often when we think of coaching we are presented with the GROW model, which, in its day, was a useful framework at a time when coaching was in its infancy and was still a crude tool. Since then the world has moved on and coaching has become more sophisticated and better understood. However, it still tends to be experienced as something one person (coach) does to someone else individually (coachee) or collectively (team or group). The further elevation of coaching is to use it as a mindset and way of interacting with people, ideas and opportunities. It is a mechanism for stepping into a more agile, brave and innovative way of being and interacting as well as its more traditional use. What’s on in the world of leadership? Lots, and here’s some great samples to whet your appetite: Locally… Percolate: a precursor to progress - Melbourne ICF Australasia Conference – Gold Coast CG Leading Women in Business Event – Main Beach, Qld Globally… Neuroleadership Summit – New York TED… What’s your lollipop moment? Everyday Leadership, Drew Dudley My World… If you’d like to know more about my Coaching for Leaders Program, it’s a topic I’m always happy chat about. Just give me a call or drop me a line. The program takes leaders thinking and interacting to a more nuanced and sophisticated level enabling individuals to get the most out of themselves, their people and their business. A Final Reflection: The experiences that shape us There are many things throughout my life that have shaped my dogged quest for exceptional leadership, but one particular experience stands out as pivotal in my career direction. It began with a 3-year-old boy… I was 21 years old and managing a daycare centre as well as teaching the preschoolers in the kindergarten room when I was asked by the doctor who owned the centre to accept a 3-year-old boy into the 4 year old kinder group due to his aggressive behavior. I was aware of the challenges as I had been supporting the staff on how best to manage the child and keep themselves and the other children out of harms way. The little boy was quite out of control and would pick up anything he could find and swing it around wildly hitting whoever he could in the process. Due to the risk to the younger children I agreed to take him in temporarily so I could assess him and see if I could help him channel his behaviour more appropriately, which I did succeed in doing. But this story is not about the boy, it is about power and hierarchy involving a doctor who just wanted to run her business and have the little boy diagnosed with autism and dealt with elsewhere, a CEO who agreed with the doctor and was happy that the ‘problem’ did not require him to be different as a father..and then there were two quite powerless women – one, a 21 year-old teacher and supervisor who was adamant there was nothing wrong with this little boy that love and attention couldn’t fix and his dedicated mum who loved her children dearly, but struggled in an environment where she spoke next to no English and had to revert to communicating via notes on paper to understand and be understood. Her husband, the CEO, spent a lot of his time travelling so saw the parenting as his wife’s responsibility and judged she was not doing a very good job at being a mum or integrating into Australian lifestyle without consideration for the fact she was completely alone with two boys under 3 when he wasn’t there. I recall vividly the four of us sitting in a meeting – mum struggling to contribute or understand what was being said, doctor trying to coerce me in an increasingly agitated tone to agree the boy had autism and the CEO yelling at me that I had no right to my own opinion or to be meddling in his private affairs. So how did this all play out…I kept the little boy in my room and watched him grow and flourish, I maintained my support of the mum and as for the CEO…when I left the job at the end of the year to go backpacking overseas for 12 months he gave me the most beautiful backpack, a bottle of champagne and asked me to give him a call when I got home to discuss taking on a job as personal nanny to the boys. I used the backpack, drank the champagne and never returned to kindergarten teaching (or nannying) as my journey into leadership development had begun…

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