How to Lead Open Meetings So You Can Empower Your Team

How Do You Run Your Meetings?

Do you use a list of items to go through to check that everything’s on track? Do you solve the problems that come up? Is your team more dependent on you to make decisions than you would like?

Most of us without realizing it keep trying to run things from an operational level instead of from a strategic level. We try and stay in control because we think that way we reduce the risk of things going wrong. While we may talk “accountability”, we don’t hold our people accountable because we don’t trust them to make good decisions. And we don’t trust them because there are neither shared guiding principles for decision-making nor perhaps shared outcomes with targets providing your people with a feedback loop to inform better decision-making.

Green Business

This operational way of managing keeps you stuck, and inhibits the growth of your team. When they need to seek permission or approval before they can make a decision and take action, they begin to disengage. They become much less productive and lose their own sense of personal power. As they comply with your decisions and instructions, they attempt to redeem their sense of personal power by controlling their people or simply complaining. If you hear someone complaining it’s because they’ve lost their sense of personal initiative.


How to Let Go of Control

One of the ways this can be addressed is to empower others through open structured meetings. Instead of a list of items to review, the content, you create an open structure, a channel, through which the content flows. This is a structure that is superimposed around and above the content, like a container with specific pathways within it – the channels through which the relevant content flows. This makes your team responsible for the content, and you, the Senior Executive, for the channel.

As you lift your perspective, you will begin to operate more strategically and let go of control. I know this won’t be easy from a psychological point of view, but the new structure will help. Your people will step up as they realize the rules have changed. It’s a new game! Another way to look at it is that they’re the ones with the ball and they’re on the court! They get to play! You’re the coach on the sideline. You can watch, observe, guide and instruct but at no time do you step onto the court. Instead, you get to coach and mentor your people.


Your Operations Team Meeting

For your Operations Meeting you can use the 4 P’s: Presence, Progress, Problems and Priorities. Each person on your team is asked to bring 1-3 items for each P. Adopting the 90-minute meeting protocol I talked about in my previous post [], you spend 10 minutes on Presence, 20 minutes on Progress, 50 minutes on Problems and 10 minutes on Priorities.

The rules of the game are as follows.

  1. Time is limited so if members of your team want to present their items, they need to get in early.
  2. No one can present their second item until everyone has presented their first item.
  3. When the time for a P has finished, then we move to the next round. In time, this will enliven and accelerate the engagement.

When you begin this process you may wish to start with taking turns around the table. Once your team is more familiar with the process, they will learn to volunteer as the moment greets them.

Jigsaw piecesWe start with Presence to invite everyone to be present for the meeting. This brings the whole person into the room so that we’re more than human resources, we’re people. By sharing any feelings or funny/odd experiences that are affecting us, we open our hearts to ourselves and to each other. This facilitates self-awareness, social awareness, more cohesive teamwork and builds a sense of community. At first it can feel odd but in time, this sharing of who we are by how we are, will help you and your team to build genuine relationships with each other.

The second P: Progress, is important for three reasons. The first is to set the meeting on a positive note. Positive psychology confirms that when we look at the glass half-full, we develop stronger wellbeing. Secondly, we don’t spend enough time noticing and acknowledging our accomplishments. It’s important to recognize the good work we do, the great outcomes we achieve and the challenges we overcome.

During this part of the meeting your role is to articulate and celebrate. Articulate? It’s important to talk about why each success or accomplishment is important. This provides you with the opportunity to share your strategic perspective with your team. Maybe you think it’s obvious, but it’s often not to them. Our teams can’t read our minds. It’s important to explain why things are important and how their actions help to create the future that you want to build.

man with questionsThe third P is Problems. Now each person is invited to present a challenge, issue or problem that they’ve had difficulty dealing with. You role now turns to strategic facilitator. You probably know the answer but instead, it’s important for you to ask questions and enable the team to collaborate on problem solving. At first egos will get in the way as people argue with each other to find the answer. But if you hold the space for mutual inquiry and ensure every idea receives the respect it deserves, you will enable genuine collaboration. And In time, your team members will learn to consult with each other sooner rather than later.

For more tricky situations, the answer may not be as obvious or it may even seem impossible. Deeper questions become even more important to even just understand the predicament, competing factors, hidden drivers and potential ways to take the next step. The next step may be the only visible step forward in the present moment. This is ok – you are now delving in the Emergent Future (Otto Scharmer) which, put another way, is the present as it emerges. Only deeper inquiry below the water line will lead to intuitive insight and new revelations that will enable you to chart your course forward. Deciding on the next action is key.

The fourth P is Priorities. Now you get the opportunity to be more directive. It’s important that team priorities are shared so that the team realizes its goals. So once everyone has shared their perspective on their priorities over the next fortnight, it is important to identify any strategic priorities that the team must address as a team priority. And for them to understand why so that they are totally on board with your decision. Again, taking the time to articulate why you have selected any primary strategic priorities will enable the team to better appreciate your view of the dynamics at play.

The 4 P’s have the effect of changing the meeting from a reporting exercise to a genuine engagement. A reporting exercise is where you simply go through a list of hygiene factors such as budget, HSE and talent issues, and then review progress on all your projects. However this can all be done in abbreviated, written form with a traffic light or similar format. There is no need to talk through all the items. It is expected though that anything at risk or of concern will be selected to fit into one of the 4 P’s. Other issues outside of projects can also be raised allowing for a much broader discussion.

Your Strategic Meeting

A Strategic Meeting is not designed for work in progress. It is designed to review the extent to which outcomes are being achieved. It is time for creative thinking to come up with new ideas that will realize better outcomes in the future. And it is time to consider and review new strategic initiatives that will enable the performance and culture shifts you aspire to.

I suggest a specific three-step engagement process for new initiatives during the Strategic Meeting. The first time the Champion, generally a member of your team, presents the general idea and scope. Everyone else asks questions and can make initial contributions to the proposal. This ensures that everyone is actively mindful of the new initiative. You are the Sponsor of the initiative and will already have invested time with the Champion to develop a brief proposal that you both support.

The second time a full proposal is presented and it is time for active engagement. This is the time when everyone pitches in their ideas and builds on the proposal. This is the main event. For many proposals, there seems to be an extended engagement process where decisions are put off time and time again. But this is the time when all ideas are presented. The time for full engagement.

The third time the proposal is presented at your Strategic Meeting it has been refined based on everyone’s ideas and input. It is time for a decision. Most often this will be a relatively straightforward process given the previous two rounds of engagement.

Given that it is only really possible to engage actively on 1-2 strategic proposals each meeting, there is really only engagement capacity for 12 new strategic initiatives pa.

This engagement process is supported by a very focused engagement between you, the leader and Sponsor, and the team member who is the Champion of the specific initiative. It will generally also include engagement with internal and external stakeholders during the intervening periods between the Strategic Meetings so that everyone who will be impacted is on board. This is in contrast to buy-in where communication happens afterwards. Genuine engagement happens beforehand.

Your Culture Meeting

The Culture Meeting is focused on team dynamics, individual behaviours and systemic patterns within the organization. You can also review People Engagement, Leadership Effectiveness Surveys and roles and responsibilities.

Culture Shifts colourA great way to create focus is to explore a corporate Value at each meeting. The simplest structure is what to Stop Doing, Keep Doing and Start Doing. The traction is the shift from Stop to Start and the ideal scenario is an “instead of” behaviour. For instance, “Instead of debating an issue during a meeting, we will ask a question first to better understand the other person’s point of view”. The other thing to ensure is that you make progressive shifts that are manageable. Change happens one step at a time.

With a leadership coach, you can also delve into the psychodynamics, the emotions being triggered and transferred, and what underlies our own reactive patterns. By invoking emotional awareness, mindfulness and spiritual intelligence, and genuine care and respect for our humanity, much can be learned and better understood to enable true leadership development based on shared values.


Your 121 Meeting with each Team Member

Here it gets really easy. The simplest open structure is a meeting where you ask 3 key questions giving 30 minutes for each question. Your role is as a mentor and coach guiding and inquiring to facilitate their growth and confidence, empathize with their challenges and personal anxieties, and offer encouragement so that they experiment and learn. At first it may feel like you are wasting time because you are not doing anything, but actually you are. You are taking the time to relate to each other and endeavor to develop a better understanding of life at work.

The three questions are:

  1. How is the work going?
  2. How are you going?
  3. How is your team going?


Personal Authenticity Instead of Positional Authority

CCC Jigsaw matchAll these strategies work if you use your personal authenticity as a leader, and not your positional authority. By being fellow journeyers, you will develop a genuine relationship. By extending care and confidentiality, you will build trust. This is not easy but it is developmental both for yourself and your team. Making the shift from boss to coach facilitates this. Getting expert support in the way of executive coaching with a coach who is comfortable with looking more deeply into situations and understands the psychodynamics, will also help enormously for you to make this transition.

Next time we’ll explore the psychodynamics of empowerment further.

Antoinette Braks

Executive Coach in Strategic and Holistic Coaching and Corporate Leadership Programs

I hope you enjoyed this post. It’s my intent to enable clients to make the quantum shift from business operations management to inspiring strategic leadership so they can bring their Vision, Values and Voice to life.

If you would like to keep track of my posts and updates, you can follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter

Please join my Strategic Holistic Leadership Group to continue the conversation.

If you would like a Complimentary Coaching Meeting with me, please click here

All the very best,



The higher our self-expression and the deeper our self-awareness,
The richer our life experience and the greater our soul evolution.
~ Antoinette Braks

How to Get Off the Treadmill So You Can Be a More Strategic Leader

Tired, Stressed, Frustrated?

woman exhaustedDo you feel tired and stressed by the high workload you deal with every day and frustrated by the fact that, no matter what you do, you can’t get off the treadmill. No matter how well you set priorities and delegate more work, it just keeps piling up.

As Senior Executives we’ve developed a sense of misplaced pride in being “busy”! The most common answer to the mundane question: “How are you?” includes “I’m busy …”. We keep busy all day in order to feel productive and accomplished! The day’s events pull us in multiple directions and we feel good because we’re managing to keep up. We use caffeine to keep up the pace and then go home for a glass of wine to release the stress of having survived another day.

In the meantime our dreams are laid to rest and can lie dormant for years, even decades. We leave our high intelligence to create a better future on the bench; we push our real aspirations aside while we focus on urgent daily demands; and we fail to live a purposeful and meaningful life where we leave our own personal legacy in the world. All because we’re stuck on a treadmill that we can’t get off and delude ourselves into thinking that being busy means we’re making a difference!

I’ve found that if we see time differently, use our conscious energy differently and integrate strategic team leadership into our schedules, we can step off the treadmill. We can then use our talents to be true leaders and create a better world in that part of the world we affect and impact.

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi


  1. See Time Differently

When we try to do as much as possible each day, we can become highly effective operators, but we can’t become strategic leaders. The intention to do as much as possible each day has the effect of filling each day to the brim! Indeed we do overtime and take work home to deal with the overflow each day. This leads to stress, fatigue and ultimately burnout. We end up feeling that we’re in a rut and life doesn’t seem to get any better no matter what.

One of the first things we can do is to view time differently. There’s more to time than quantity! There’s quality of time but not in the way we normally think about it. We think about “quality time” as time we spend in genuine relationship with someone, listening and talking from our hearts to support, encourage and enjoy good times with people important to us.

frequenciesBut there’s also quality of time in terms of our different brain frequencies. When we’re in busy Beta, running from one thing to the next, we cannot be creative and innovative. We need to step through into active Alpha brain frequency to access our intuition and realize new insights and revelations that lead to higher order understanding and breakthrough solutions.

When we do this time is no longer just quantifiable. It seems to stretch and expand to enable us to prepare quality presentations in the nick of time, create brand new solutions just as they’re needed and realize new connections and patterns that were otherwise invisible to us.

90 minutesIf we meditate regularly (taking us into the Theta brainwave frequency), we can access Alpha more easily. But there’s also another more practical way. The magic formula is simply 90 minutes. 90 minutes is aligned with our daily Circadian rhythm. After 90 minutes in Alpha frequency we naturally feel like a break and need to shift to mundane work that is less demanding. Provided we do this for 15 to 30 minutes, we’re ready to go into Alpha mode again!

When the famous psychologist Ericsson researched top musicians, and later athletes, chess players and other people at the top of their field, he found that just about everyone practiced the same way. In three 90-minute segments beginning in the morning interceded by a time-out break.

This is why offsite workshops are often run in 90-minute segments. This time period creates an open space for creative thinking. A time to explore questions, probe for new insights and inquire into each others’ perspectives in order to develop our understanding of the deeper concerns, challenges, values and aspirations that are important to us.

So the first step to be a strategic leader and perform to your highest potential is to shift from rolling 60-minute meetings to a series of 90-minute meetings interceded by 30 minute administrative breaks when we cover off emails, phone calls, reports and other desk work or allow time for travel.


  1. Use Our Conscious Energy Purposefully

The second factor that enables us to perform at a strategic level where we work on the world as well as in it, is to appreciate how we use our limited amount of conscious energy each day.

We do most things every day habitually, on autopilot, say around 80% of the time. These are oBrainur habits. Habits require much less energy than when we learn to do something new. This is why it is so challenging to change our habits. We need to do this just one step at a time or move into an entirely new environment so that we naturally revise our automatic behaviours.

When we consciously set up a new program of activities in our brain, and repeat it frequently, we create a new autopilot. This is like driving the familiar route home. We can do this virtually without conscious thinking. However when we drive an unfamiliar route, we need to use our conscious energy to navigate – to decide which lane to be in, to look out for the right turnoff and to be on the alert for traffic signals.

The same principle applies to our weekly schedule. When we run each day differently, where meetings are rescheduled over and over, and there is no pattern or rhythm to our week or month, we need to use our conscious energy on navigation. As we only have so much conscious energy each day, we’re wasting it on navigation when we could be using it on strategic and creative thinking. Rather than feeling energized at the end of the day, we feel exhausted.

So the second step is to create an autopilot in our weekly schedule by setting up a series of repeating meetings. Ideally each 120-minute section begins at the same time each day e.g. 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm. If we have the same type of meeting on a regular basis, we can begin to navigate our week on autopilot just like driving home and conserve our conscious energy for important strategic and interpersonal work.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle


  1. Schedule Strategic Leadership

The third element is to integrate a preset series of meetings into our schedule on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Instead of setting priorities in terms of the work that needs the most urgent attention, we institute a strategic agenda into our schedule. This creates a series of channels that carry the relevant content. As a strategic leader, our perspective shifts from the content to the channel.

This enables us to transcend the noise. The preset series of channels in our diary automatically attract relevant work and divert the irrelevant. They operate like traffic controllers ensuring that our strategic agenda receives the priority it deserves.

Covey's 4 QuadrantsYou may know of Stephen Covey’s research where Baldridge Award winning organizations spent 80% of their time on Important work whereas other lower performing organizations spent 80% of their time on Urgent work. The difference between the two was that the top performers spent 55% of their time on Important Non-Urgent work, in the Zone, whereas other organizations spent 55% of their time on Urgent Non-Important work. The first group was proactive whereas the second group were chasing their tails.

When we proactively devote specific time to strategic leadership, we begin to operate as strategic leaders. I suggest the following:

  • A 90-minute Team Meeting each week or a double each fortnight, ideally on Tuesday mornings
  • The Team Meetings follow a cycle of Strategic, Operations, Culture, Operations on a weekly basis or Strategic/Culture and Operations on a fortnightly basis
  • A 90-minute 121 Meeting with each Team Member every fortnight on a rotating basis on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

Most Executives simply run Operations Meetings with a list of items to go through. This approach is neither strategic nor empowering. Some Executives run Strategic Meetings to review team performance against outcome targets and revise their strategic initiatives to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved. These are essential to create an achievement orientation.

It is relatively rare for Executives to run Culture Meetings yet these meetings focused on Values, Leadership Development, Team Dynamics and People Engagement are essential to consciously shift the culture of an organization. Rather than leadership development being an overlay on daily operations, it becomes part of the operating fabric in the organization to generate evolution.


The Problems that Keep Us On The Treadmill

leverageThe first problem is that we try to do as much as possible each day and have deluded ourselves into thinking that being busy makes us productive and accomplished.

The second problem is that there is no pattern in our activities, each day is different and therefore we need to use our conscious energy to navigate our day as we do when we drive to an unfamiliar destination. This is a waste of conscious creative energy.

The third problem is that we do not devote consistent attention to our strategic agenda, the culture in our organization, and the progress and wellbeing of our individual team members. These are all Important Non-Urgent activities that make the difference between being a high performing organization and ordinary.


Summary of Actions to Take to Get Off the Treadmill

To ignite the quantum shift to become an inspiring strategic leader

  1. Set up your weekly schedule in 90 minute/30 minute sections with each section starting at the same time each day e.g. 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm.
  2. Designate one meeting each week or two each fortnight to Team Meetings following the cycle of Strategic, Operations, Culture and Operations or Strategic/Culture and Operations.
  3. Designate one meeting each fortnight for 121 Meetings with your Team Members rotating them through Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
  4. Set these meetings up 18 months ahead and extend the schedule every 6 months. Do not adjust your set!


uncertain futureThese four steps will enable you to double your productivity and unleash your creativity. They ensure a shared focus for the team near the beginning of each week and free you to focus on priority projects and other stakeholders for the rest of the week. They will lift your focus from operations management to strategic leadership.

More next time on how to design and lead open structured meeting agendas with your team and your individual team members. Open structured meeting agendas in contrast to a list of items to go through, will empower your people and lift their accountability. This can have the effect of lifting People Engagement by as much as 30% within 6 months and lead to significantly Higher Performance.

Antoinette Braks

Executive Coach in Strategic and Holistic Leadership for Senior Executives and Facilitator of Corporate Leadership Programs

I hope you enjoyed this post. I enable my clients to make the quantum shift from business operations management to inspiring strategic leadership so they can bring their Vision, Values and Voice to life.

If you would like to keep track of my posts and updates, you can follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

You can also join my LinkedIn Group to continue the conversation.

If you would like a Complimentary Coaching Meeting with me, please click here.

Look for Your Horizon

On Saturday morning I attended a workshop with David Whyte. He’s a poet and a philosopher who illuminates life experience by sharing the timeless verse of past poets and his own insightful prose.

One of the things he shared was to “look for your horizon”. He suggested we cast our eyes to our own horizon, to what is waiting for us to step towards, to the promise that beckons to us so that we can truly fulfil our own potential. He quoted Wordsworth who wrote the following about his walk home after a midsummer’s night festival:

Two miles I had to walk along the fields Before I reach’d my home. Magnificent The Morning was, a memorable pomp, More glorious than I ever had beheld; The Sea was laughing at a distance; all The solid Mountains were as bright as clouds, Grain-tinctured, drench’d in empyrean light; And, in the meadows and the lower grounds, Was all the sweetness of a common dawn, Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds, And Labourers going forth into the fields. –Ah! need I say, dear Friend, that to the brim My heart was full; I made no vows, but vows Were then made for me; bond unknown to me Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly, A dedicated Spirit. On I walk’d In blessedness which even yet remains.

I had not realized fully how spiritually oriented poetry can be. What vows have been made for you? What dreams beckon to you to fulfil your destiny? What invitations appear before you or arise within you that you as yet have not acknowledged and attended to?

By taking steps forward into an uncertain and unknown reality we create our path. This requires much of us – commitment, trust and faith that by shaping our own identity in the light of our personal horizon, much will be revealed to and through us. Rather than focusing on the results that we feel we must create, to realize our potential we must attend to the revelations that unfold before us.

This is to aspire to be true to our highest selves, to realize our powerful potential. I invite you to set your sights high, to become the strategic and inspiring leader you were born to be. To expand the scope of your role beyond its conventional boundaries and look to your horizon.

In David Whyte’s own words, he writes Santiago …

The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way:
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was athe end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.

I hope you enjoyed this instalment of inspiring poetry and that it has emboldened you to walk your path with courage and confidence.

If you liked this please click on “like” , add your thoughts and connect with me. If you aspire to become an inspiring strategic leader, you can keep up to date with new posts and join in the conversation in my LinkedIn group Strategic Holistic Leadership.

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Executive SOS

Braks_Antoinette_RENDEREDWithBAdge_3Great News! EXECUTIVE SOS has become the #1 Best Seller in Business Management and Leadership!

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.

I hope you all get immense value from reading it and make the commitment to setting up your own Strategic Operating System. It will enable you to make a quantum shift in your leadership capacity from a High “Achiever” to a Sky High “Strategist”!

To find out more about the 7 Steps, click here.

Your Authentic Beliefs Lie Just Beneath Your Conscious Awareness


When I start working with my Executive Coaching Clients, most are frustrated by the daily demands on their time and attention and disappointed by their inability to break free and make a significant difference in the lives of others through their careers. They’re all highly educated, highly effective and in very senior positions. They’ve realized their ambitions but not their aspirations. They feel trapped in the system with their wings clipped.

However what I found when I asked them what they’d truly like to create in the future, they each knew exactly what it is they’d like to see. They each had a Vision of the future that became clearer as they articulated their ideas and gave expression to their deepest desires and heartfelt aspirations.

I encourage you to Open the Door to your Vision of the Future.

First, write it down in a journal or have a conversation with a trusted colleague or your management on what they’d really like to SEE in the future if they fully realized their aspirations.

Secondly, encapsulate this into an Aspirational Purpose Statement that is visionary, distinctive, succinct and memorable.

Thirdly, repeat it often. When we’re buying property we’re often told it’s all about location, location, location. When we wish to set our mind on a specific intention, it’s all about repetition, repetition, repetition. We need to repeat our intention clearly and with genuine intent so that our mind and heart are fully engaged and committed to that intention.

Then you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that turn up that will help you to realize your purpose. The great universal mind and our own are co-creators of the future.

To learn more about how to become an Inspiring, Strategic Leader by setting up your own Strategic Operating System, please follow my blog and you’ll be the first to receive news of book and program releases!

All the very best,


Walking as a Sacred Pilgrimage

Reading Walking Home by Sonia Choquette this weekend talking about her personal experience walking The Camino Way, inspired me to walk from Bondi to Bronte again after a 3-year absence. I had been stopped in my tracks, had knee surgery and learned to live and love again.

I was back on my feel today walking back and forth from Bondi to Bronte. The sea was an azure blue, the sky an almost cloudless teal and the sun shimmered across the ocean as thousands walked by or lay in the sun to welcome the advent of summer.

It’s taken me a few years to take charge of my life again. I’ve benefitted from rehab, taken up ballroom dancing lessons to enjoy life “on my feet” and with personal training have rebuilt my physical muscle and dexterity.

To embrace a new season is to let go of the old, to embrace new friends is to forgive those gone past and to entertain new possibilities is to have hope in the future. Throw yourself into the world you want to create and watch it manifest in your life.

Are You Playing Defence or Attack for Your Vision?

In talking with some of my clients recently, I realized that we’re not always aware of when we are playing to win, on the “attack”, and playing not to lose, or  on “defence”.

When a Vision of the future is important to us, it’s just as important to use our Voice to demand a tremendous commitment to action from others such as new funding, a new investment of time in wider engagement, the release of obsolete programs or the outsourcing of functions that have conditionally been done in-house.

What I find we tend to do is to just make sure we’re safe, make sure we have enough to get through or ensure that our job is secure. We use data to build arguments to ensure we receive what we need to survive. However our Voice is much more powerful than we may think.

What we need to do is ask for whatever it’ll take for our Vision to thrive! To burst alive, achieve scale and make an awesome difference urgently and sustainably. Where there’s no going back, only forward, into a new world where progress is embraced for everyone.

We need to burn our boats, the obsolete ways of getting things done slowly, pedantically, formally and become pioneers again piloting new methods and services to increase economic prosperity and community wellbeing. We need to leave behind industrial approaches to education, food and health that cannot support our prosperity and wellbeing in the future, indeed much hinders it.

If you have a Vision of the future that you’d like to see manifest, then use your Voice to play attack for your Vision. Tell people that it matters. Pilot your methodology to show that it works. And then, with a proven return on investment, demand that the funds, time and people become invested in helping you to make it happen!

I’m a Kiwi and I can’t think of a more committed team than our very own All Blacks. They’re led by the great Richie McCaw. Their Defence is outstanding, and their Attack is even better!! Congratulations on Victory!


McKinsey endorses the Inside-Out Outside-In Approach

McKinsey authors Nate Boaz and Erica Ariel Fox in the latest McKinsey Quarterly say: “Linking strategic and systemic intervention to genuine self-discovery and self-development by leaders is a far better path to embracing the vision of the organization and to realizing its business goals.”

Their research suggests that organizations who do the latter as well as the former, are four times more likely to succeed in a strategic transformational initiative. My experience in organizational transformation epitomizes this. With every major culture transformation, I have put into play new empowering people leadership and management systems in association with a values-based stage-centric leadership development program – now packaged neatly in the Holistic Leadership Program. Continue reading “McKinsey endorses the Inside-Out Outside-In Approach”

Need to Shine at a Job Interview?

A job interview ia a bit like sitting an oral exam. You need to go into the exam with the content top of mind. Once it’s there, then you can focus on your audience and really appreciate how best to answer the depth and scope of a question.

The thing is most people don’t go into interviews with their content TOP OF MIND! Because we all know what we’ve done and what we’d like to do (most of us), so we go into interviews more or less blindly! Then when we’re asked a question, we dive into our minds searching for an appropriate answer!

This “diving technique” comes across as a bit of a scramble, no matter how eloquent we are. And worse, we’re relying on the questions to promote our credentials! Many interviewers do not warrant this degree of trust! Instead it’s much better to prepare by doing these 3 things Continue reading “Need to Shine at a Job Interview?”

Distinguish Development from Performance

If you’d like to create a high performing, deeply engaging organization where people leaders are able to be their most supportive, encouraging and inspiring selves, then it is critical to distinguish development from performance and separate the two processes.

Why is this important? Because it changes the conversation and the strategic construct within which people contribute and grow. When we place a rating on our development as a leader as part of performance management, there are a number of implications.

1. Measuring the “self” in relation to “performance” puts the “self” into emotional jeopardyContinue reading “Distinguish Development from Performance”