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Category Archives: For Coaches

Management by threats: If you do not read this article, then you’ll miss a new trend!

Sep 29, 2015

Has the stick maintained its popularity for so long because everyone knew that it didn’t cost anything extra to use? You need to buy new carrots every time they fall within reach. And yet, even treats can be turned into threats: “If you don’t eat your vegetables, then you won’t get dessert.” Frightening if/then scenarios have been casually made throughout history. Leaders Middle East asked me to write a piece around a cartoon, where a voluminous and thin-haired boss asks to be accompanied by staff humming the ‘Jaws’ theme whenever he moves around the office. We all know people who could have done that. But shouldn’t they know better by now? Let me give you some inspiration and insights, drawn from the effectiveness assessments of over 60,000 leaders using the Leadership Circle Profile, as well as recent neuroscience findings and empirical studies of teamwork. Here’s a link to the article: http://www.leadersme.com/what-melody-is-your-executive-assistant-humming/ Read More

Culture is a bad excuse for failing to be a good leader

Sep 21, 2015

Several studies conducted in the United States and Europe have shown that about 80 percent of business leaders are not particularly effective. It would require several mediocre leaders to get a job done, as opposed to one more effective leader accomplishing it—if indeed the less effective leaders ever succeeded at all. My experience gives me no optimism that the statistics are any better in the rest of the world. Instead, I am observing confusion outside the West about what good leadership is. The mainstream school of thought on leadership in the United States is popular internationally, but it also has elements that are alien to others. For instance, how can you control your own fortunes when at the same time you look up to your boss as if he was a patriarch and obey his every word? This situation is, however, no excuse for not trying to be a good leader. New research conducted by my friends and work partners, Bob Anderson and Bill Adams, and presented in their forthcoming book Mastering Leadershipdemonstrates that highly effective leaders around the globe have quite a lot in common, while less effective leaders are more distinctively different in various parts of the world. To […] Read More

Fear of introspection on corporate boards

Sep 15, 2015

Can you learn how to become an effective board member in a classroom? The training offered to board members is a big step forward towards professionalizing corporate boards. As a faculty member at the Director Development Program of Institute of Directors (IOD), I observe firsthand how participants have eureka moments of insight as they busily take notes. There seems, however, to be a squeamishness towards boards. It is generally accepted that you cannot learn how to become a good leader in a classroom. You need to master an inner game to become an effective leader, and it takes a conscious personal effort to get there. The small, emerging industry of developing board members has not yet achieved the same recognition. For example, the broad range of board assessments offered tend to focus on a board’s process and procedures as well as its members’ competences and experiences. The questions rarely get personal. It is far from common for board members to give feedback to each other on how they work together as a team or how well the chairperson is performing. This sensitivity is understandable in interactions with groups of people who can fire and hire CEOs, but even board members […] Read More

Who should adapt to who when cultures work together?

Aug 25, 2015

Dubai is probably the most multicultural place on this earth where you can work. About 70 percent of Fortune 100 companies have an office in the city. Most of them manage the business for the entire Middle East and in many case other parts of Asia and all of Africa. Nationals make up just a small minority of the private workforce, while professionals move to here from all over the world. My children’s birthday parties are a bit like United Nations gatherings, where the interpreters are replaced by a common high proficiency in English. Dubai does not, however, have one typical way in which to work, like there tends to be in other international metropolises such as London and New York, where foreigners will quickly sense and need to adapt to the British or American way of working. The picture is much more blurry in the United Arab Emirates. Some organizations have articulated their own unique recipes for how to work, while many meet new hires as indefinable crossbreeds. Each department has its own mix of nationalities, causing problems for collaboration within the whole organization. Should you adapt to people from other cultures or should they adapt to you? Authenticity […] Read More