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Adapting to change in an age of acceleration

Heavy fog found me sitting in a crowded Sydney airport lounge recently, when two men asked if they could join me at my table. It’s very hard to say “no” when there are three seats and you’re the only one the sitting there! As Tony, Carlo and I introduced ourselves our conversation surprisingly turned to anxiety, especially anxiety in young people and students related ...

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How does leadership differ across cultures?

Culture significantly influences how the following statements are made, and in particular, how people respond to them. “We should take the initiative” “We should wait until we are asked for help” “This could turn out to be a great political manoeuvre” “Let’s not do anything, as it might be seen as a sign of weakness” “We ...

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Humility for leaders is not enough

“Egos drive people in every occupation.”[i] But when humility is absent, leaders lose the ability to listen and focus on what is important. Jim Collins describes the resulting behaviors as “arrogant neglect”. When these behaviors exist, organizations enter the first stage of organizational decline.[ii] In his research comparing ‘good to great’ compani...

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Narcissistic leaders and the bottom-line

In a series of narcissism studies, Professor Alex Frino, Dean of the Macquarie School of Management, concluded that "there was a clear correlation between the level of CEO narcissism and the company’s use of ‘earnings management’ – a technique which takes advantage of the flexibility in accounting rules to inflate profit figures.”[i] The more narcissistic...

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What do leaders do when their values are in conflict with the organizations they lead?

While 95 percent of the eighty Board Chairs, CEOs, executives and senior leaders who responded to LCP's 2018 Global Leadership Survey agreed there is a link between character and performance, we asked them how they responded when there was a conflict between their own personal values and those of the organization? They are grouped into three dominant themes: 1. Resignation 27 perce...

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What powers your growth and profit?

What powers your growth and profit? Book Review GROW: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s 50 Greatest Companies Jim Stengel, 2011 The better you understand the people most important to your business’s future, the more you can stand for something fundamentally important in their eyes and the closer you can come to being an indispensable part of the...

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Redefining courage

In 2007, Robert Eckert, the CEO of Mattel Toys, chose not to recall millions of toys he had learned contained excessive lead. Instead of taking responsibility for the products and their failure to comply with safety standards, he blamed the Chinese manufacturers. While some might argue Eckert was brave to resist a global product recall with huge financial implications for his company, most w...

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Deconstructing character

All of us, at some point, have been frustrated at the ineptitude of some leaders. This is especially true when their actions have revealed an overt attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’, or self-preservation, at the expense of others. This frustration only increases when we have a perception that nothing can be done to address the lack of character shown by the people in leade...

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Have we lost the art of serving?

I have observed that for many organisations their focus has shifted from serving a need (outward orientation) to serving themselves (inward orientation), sometimes with disastrous consequences. The idea of service can be quite different depending on the organizational context. For businesses, 'service' has more to do with making profit from meeting an identified need in the market pl...

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Learning to ask the right questions

You won't agree with, or like, everything that Levitt and Dubner present in Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, but it does make you wonder if we are asking the right questions at the right time.[1] Sometimes conventional wisdom is more about convenience Levitt and Dubner appeal to the person in the street who doesn't have time to read all of th...

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