Horses are prey animals. Humans are predators. Our wiring is completely different. But horses can teach us an enormous amount about ourselves. And if we can build a rapport with such a different species, it becomes much easier to handle our human relationships.
19th century French composer Hector Berlioz had a profound influence on the development of the modern orchestra. But apart from music, his life provides us with some valuable lessons on leadership, too.
With the modern work environment emphasizing feminine relationship-building skills to the exclusion of masculine competitive instincts, the idea that women make better leaders than men is gaining ground. But perhaps the reality lies somewhere in the middle.
There are innumerable examples of awful management: the media is full of them. But rather than dismiss them, how about learning from them so that we can start to re-pot the seeds of human potential into more fertile ground.
If you want to be seen as a leader, you need to portray the right image to other people. And these days, it seems that 'image' is all about been seen to have the right gadgets.
The demands of leading a team who don't share a common location or time zone are an order of magnitude more difficult than if they are in the same building. That calls for additional leadership skills on top of those normally needed.
Much of what we think is reality is actually closer to fictional reality. In other words, we make stuff up. How we think about our world is mostly our own perception. And so disagreement is just a mental choice to not agree. And that has big implications for how we make decisions.
Great leaders spend years honing their skills. There's no pre-ordained template that they can tap into for wisdom. There's no magic potion or quick fix. And even your smartphone won't help you with this one.
Before we start to pick holes in others, we need to look at ourselves first. That's why managers whose attitude is, 'this is who I am, deal with it' are so toxic, and why the higher up the ladder they climb, the worse the fall-out can be.
Outstanding leaders lead by example. They naturally express a sense that 'we're all in it together' because they make deliberate efforts to communicate the sense that everyone shares the same goals and aspirations and that these ambitions can be achieved as one.
For senior executives, it's inspiration, not perspiration, that matters. More precisely, the ability to motivate and lead others is the most important skill that boards are looking for when they make senior appointments, far more so than their ability to be a 'top performer'.
I recently stumbled across a piece I wrote on leadership a decade ago. It reminded me that while the fundamentals of leadership have changed little, keeping to our leadership ideals can still pose some real challenges.
Vision, confidence and pride in one's own accomplishments are all desirable leadership traits. But they're also signs of a narcissist. Which is why a new study has tried to come up with a definitive answer to the question: do narcissists make good leaders?
The link between security and performance is too often forgotten by those at the helm of organizations. No-one can function effectively in their role if they don't feel secure. And that's as true for leader-types as it is for everyone else.
A key component of leadership is the ability to make sure that other people understand what you want from them. The best way to go about that is to use 'the best words in the best order' - which happens to be Samuel Taylor Coleridge's description of poetry.
Traditional management practices evolved during the industrial age. But while the world has moved on, management has been left behind. The 21st century demands a leadership model that isn't ego-led but based on 'Primus Inter Pares' - first among equals.
Nelson Mandela's qualities and impact as a leader are indisputable. He was courageous and resolute. He was a pattern-breaker. His character and vision were profound. Yet, his most enduring legacy won't be what he did as much as what he didn't do.
Creating, sustaining and leading growth takes a lot more than big goals and hard work. If you want to lead sustained growth, train yourself and your team to think and act more like endurance athletes.
Does your boss ever apologise if he or she has made a mistake? According to a new survey, half of employees feel that their boss never or rarely does, something that is affecting levels of trust in leaders and undermining employee engagement.
The first impressions of our personal brands stick like glue. But the truth of who we are is a lot more complicated and perceived reality depends on who is watching and when. For leaders, that volatility is particularly important.
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