Recommended reading

Coaching: how it is viewed, used and the benefits

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What CEOs really want from coaching

If you are unsure how coaching is viewed and used and what its benefits are, this article by Gretchen Gavett summarising recent research by Stamford University/The Miles Group Survey gives some useful insights to how 200 CEOs, Board Directors and other senior directors view the subject.

Formidable leadership – Seth Godin says it so well

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Choosing to be formidable

“Formidable leaders find the tough questions, and then, instead of being afraid to ask them, eagerly decide to seek out the answers. They dig in deep to the details that matter and ignore the ones that merely distract. They bite off more than others can chew but consistently avoid biting off more than they can (because they care so much, it hurts to admit that you’ve reached the end).”

Follow the link to read the full blog. If you have not already, I would recommend subscribing to get Seth’s daily blogs; they always get you thinking and give some great insights to business and our own thinking.

The Little Book of Leadership – it covers it all in a minute!

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The Little Book of Leadership: short, sharp and to the point. Great to share with colleagues and friends.

If you want to read more of Phil Dourado or leadership in general check out

The Secret to finishing is Starting

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Obvious, but sometimes easily forgotten!

What will you start today?


Article: Are you a leader or a follower? by JLCTaggart

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A good article on the leadership hub by JLCTaggart reminding us that leaders are not only found at the top.

This reinforces my belief that there are great leaders at every level and we have to make sure we don’t get in their way and just let them get on with it.

Hope you enjoy.

Your Brain at Work, David Rock – a Google Tech Talk

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An interesting and entertaining talk about how our brain works and some strategies on how to get the best out of it.

Rock’s book  “Your Brain at Work” is worth a read.


Are your values alive?

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No doubt your organisation has a set of values that have been set out as a guide for employees in their day to day work. The importance of walking the talk around the values should not be forgotten.

Clear and consistent values are an essential element of successful businesses. History shows that they truly live the values and bring them to life not through policies and procedures, but ultimately by what they do and how they do it. They are value driven.

Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness is a great read about how he successfully grew Zappos and worked to define the values, keeping them alive as the company grew and using them as a guide for everything the company did in interactions with customers, employees and suppliers.

So let’s not forget that whilst policies and procedures are important elements of an organisation, what counts is what we do and the intentions that underpin it as it is this that will be observed and replicated throughout the organisation. Enron and Lehman Brothers are a few of many examples where the stated values were not demonstrated by the company leaders and disaster resulted.

It is worthwhile regularly reminding yourelf and the team of what the values are and being clear about what those values look like in action. If people do not see the values in action then the piece of paper they are written on is both worthless and useless.



Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

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“Achieving success in work and in life, one conversation at a time”

Scott defines a fierce conversation as “one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real”.

I enjoyed how her passion comes out in the book and the way she challenges us to ask questions of ourself in the first instance and then to ask questions and listen rather than make judgement and give advice. The book is filled with examples illustrating her concepts and gives clear practical steps to follow.

A highly recommended read that will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and bring about real change by making every conversation fierce.

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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“the pyschology of optimal experience”

The author looks at what motivates us, integrating research on consciousness, personal psychology and spirituality in what I found to be a compelling and very stimulating read.

Csikszentmihalyi explains the relationship between our skill levels and degree of difficulty of a task that creates flow and looks at how this can be controlled and managed to help us to happiness and better quality lives.

Although I have just finished it  I am looking forward to reading it again to take even more out of it!

Definition of a high-performing team

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“A small group of people so committed to something larger than themselves that they will not be denied”

Katzenbach, J and Smith, D (1993) The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the high-performance organization.

I liked this . Does your team fit within this definition? Or is it like many teams where the combined efforts of the team add up to less than the sum of the individual efforts?

If you want to undertsand more about team performance I would recommend reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. A leadership fable by Patrick Lencioni


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