A leader for all seasons: how to stay fresh and relevant

A leader for all seasons: how to stay fresh and relevant

Leaders may be lucky enough to stay in their roles for long stretches of time – but if they are trapped in a perpetual present, rather than eyeing the future, they will no longer be relevant

Before I get into the meat of this topic, I just want to drop off a quick phrase that encapsulates what I’m about to discuss: What got us here, won’t get us there. Keep that in mind… you may see it again very soon – and all will become clear! And with that, here we go…

It probably wouldn’t have escaped your attention that Robert Mugabe was recently deposed as leader of Zimbabwe. That watershed – which could easily have been a lot nastier than it was, but miraculously played out within reasonable boundaries – had occurred because, for all his love of power, and his Herculean efforts to keep it over the decades, Mugabe was no longer relevant.

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Why leaders should join the mindfulness mission

Why leaders should join the mindfulness mission

Mindfulness is sometimes dismissed in business circles as New Age fluff – yet it has a powerful knack for refocusing employees and helping them boost their performance

It’s no exaggeration to say that workplaces often feel like the working definition of chaos. Even when it isn’t necessarily the case that chaos is underway, the busiest phases routinely make us think that it is. The abundance of work that we need to get through during those times is often expressed in our physical actions. Gestures and tics become showier; struts down office corridors or around workstations grow more urgent and emphatic; typing gets aggressively louder – and voices climb in pitch. Those are the symptoms of organisations in full flow, and many workers find them unsettling. Could mindfulness be the cure?

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How should leaders enshrine innovation at the heart of their firms?

How should leaders enshrine innovation at the heart of their firms?

UK employees are disheartened that their thirst for innovation isn’t reflected among leadership figures. How can both sides work to resolve this?

It turns out that RADA – the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts – makes as much impact with its views on leadership as its finest alumni make on stage and screen. Part of the famed performance school is devoted specially to the business world, mainly to coach leaders on their body language and public speaking skills. But it also studies a whole series of business trends, and earlier this month it proved that a hotbed of creativity that people don’t usually associate with the cut and thrust of office life can bring some useful insights to the table on where companies may be falling short. Particularly when it comes to something that artists are routinely required to produce: innovation.

In a piercing study of 1,000 UK workplaces, RADA found that 81% of those organisations don’t currently support a culture of experimentation: the essential kindling for innovative behaviour. Indeed, just over one in five employees (21%) in those workplaces said that they didn’t believe senior figures were interested in hearing their ideas. A comparable number (18%) said that even when they did put their ideas forward, those brainwaves were rarely implemented. In the two most painful findings, as many as 16% of staffers said that their senior management teams actively treat new ideas with suspicion and criticism, while 15% believe that their leaders purposely discourage innovation.

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Why leaders must steer clear of blame culture when plans don’t work out

Why leaders must steer clear of blame culture when plans don’t work out

As she publishes her side of her 2016 election defeat, Hillary Clinton stands accused of deflecting blame elsewhere. Here’s why leaders can’t afford to operate a blame culture

It probably wouldn’t have escaped your notice that Hillary Clinton has just published a book. Indeed, over the past week, coverage of the publication has flowed at a seemingly uncontrollable rate, with the former US Secretary of State decisively breaking her silence over a host of deeply uncomfortable matters. Titled What Happened, the book recounts the tumultuous course of last year’s US General Election campaign, which propelled Hillary’s opponent – Twitter-twitching tycoon Donald Trump – into the White House. (Incredibly, that jaw-dropping result is now almost a year old.)

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Managing emotions: why Lumina Emotion is a powerful new coaching ally

Managing emotions: why Lumina Emotion is a powerful new coaching ally

Much as we pretend superficially that it’s not the case, emotions are rarely far from the surface at work. The crucial difference is how – and to what extent – we express those emotions. This presents us with a minefield. Emotions are variables all by themselves, right? But wading through a bunch of them every working day is like trying to cross a whole swamp of variables, with traumatic explosions or a sinking feeling awaiting every misstep.

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