Team Development Lessons Taught By My Dog – 15 Lessons

Jake is the newest member of our team / family. He is an 18 month old labradoodle (pictured) and the last 15 months have been an exercise in joy, commitment, frustration and persistence. When I think on the impact our new member has had on the rest of the family, I have realised that it is not very different to a new person entering a team in business. I have also realised that animals know an awful lot about being in a team – they have existed and survived in packs for thousands of years.

Here are some of the lessons learnt with Jake on being a good team member and being a good leader of a team.


Which Elevator Floor of Leadership Do You Work at Best?

If you have been in a leadership or management role for any length of time, I am sure you would have heard some of these statements or know the analogies:

  • Leaders do the right things, and managers do things right.
  • A good leader will lead by example, and let their actions do the talking.
  • A leader should have a helicopter view and be able to see their organisation as a whole, and not get stuck in the weeds.

How Great CEOs Meet the 5 Expectations of Their Team

‘Where there is great power, there is great responsibility’, Winston Churchill, 1906

Leading any group of individuals takes time, effort and courage. When assuming responsibility for a business or a team, there is both privilege and an expectation of service to that business or team. A CEO, or any leader taking ultimate responsibility for a business and the people within it, has 5 expectations to fulfil and maintain. Failure to attend to any or all of these expectations creates both short and long term issues for both the business, and more importantly, the people in it.


Do You Have The Weapons You Need For Success?

HawkeyeI was one of the first people to see The Avengers – I love Marvel comics that have been turned into movies. One of my favourite characters is Hawkeye, an expert bowman who has a specific arrow for seemingly every situation that arises. Need to unlock a security keypad? He has an arrow for that. Take down a large-scale alien spacecraft? He has one for that as well.

What type of Hawkeye qualities do you and your team possess? Do you have an arrow (skill set) for every situation you have to encounter?


5 Leadership Development Lessons Business Can Learn From The Military

More often than not, business leaders wait too long to identify, nurture and develop leaders in their business. By the time most businesses consider leadership development training, poor communication, values and behaviours have become so ingrained it can be hard to undo. These mistakes can hamstring both the individuals development and the businesses future. I believe there are 5 lessons managers could learn from leadership development in the military.


Is Your Business Health at Risk from Self-Diagnosis?

Diagnosis Self dreamstime m 27149049Managers could use their training budgets far more effectively if they thought about problems in their business the same way as they thought about their own health.

In a time when money is tight and training budgets are precious, part of the problem is that Managers often self-diagnose a problem in their business and go straight to the remedy, without often considering what all the symptoms are.

If you were ill, you might live with the illness for a while and try and plough through it, thinking that it will go away over time. But if the illness is a little more serious, only then do you go to the Doctor. It might seem obvious, but the Doctor doesn’t just hear what you have to say and then prescribe medication. To do their job properly, they ask questions, run some basic tests and confirm their thoughts with relevant data. If the illness is more serious, they may refer you to a specialist for further tests.

The same applies to business.


Leading with a ‘little l’

lead learn puzzle tilesLeadership is a very popular topic at the moment. Politicians don’t show enough of it (or the right type), mining CEO’s are vocal about it and football teams have so much of it they have leadership groups and sub-groups. Everyone has an opinion on what is good leadership, and (according to the media) it seems that all of the identifiable leaders in Australia seem to lack it in some substantial way.


Book Review – Effective Leadership

Leadership in the current climate can seem incredibly complex. Constant change, an uncertain economy and information overload add complexity to what can seem like a daunting task – leading people. Effective Leadership was written by John Adair in 1983, yet the core principles were discussed in Training for Leadership in 1968.


Book Review: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time

I am one of those people that heads to the Management Book section of the airport bookstore, hoping to find something new and interesting for a flight. On a recent trip to Malaysia, I was engrossed in this book that I missed forgot about the other entertainment options such as movies and music.

Jack Covert and Todd Satterstein provided for me what I am trying to provide for you – a short cut to the great management books for people who don’t have time to read them all. I think I appreciated this book more because it always nice to have confirmation from an independent source regarding the titles that you think make a difference.


‘He/she who hesitates is lost’…..really?

We have all heard of the fight or flight response. Two options, not much information, stress mounting, time critical decision. Yes or no? Go backward or forward? Left or right? Buy or sell? Fight or flight? What is often forgotten when people talk about fight or flight is the third response – not making a decision (perhaps because in nature, where Walter Cannon first described the response, those animals that hesitate don’t survive).


3 Simple Actions to Dramatically Improve Your Reliability

What would it take for you to be your word in everything that you did today?

What impact would it have on your business if everyone was their word today?

I know what you are thinking – that will never happen! But imagine for a moment if it did. Imagine a workplace where everyone decided ‘I am going to be at work on time today, no matter what it takes’, and they all arrived on time.


Is Your Team Flying Blind To Your Expectations?

There is an 85% Chance They Are – Here’s How to Fix It

How many times have you thought ‘it will just be easier to [insert task] myself’?

As a leadership facilitator and Executive Leadership Coach, I have the privilege of working with a large number of committed, hard-working leaders. One particular challenge that many of these leaders face is getting things done –


Sneak Peak – Velocity Leadership CheckPoint

We are pretty excited about this!

For the last 10 years, we have been using psychometric profiles as a start point of both our Leadership Programs (mainly the Accelerator and Velocity workshops) as well as our Executive Leadership Coaching. It has provided a useful start point from which to make content decisions upon, as well as provide key indicators for leaders looking for where they need to focus their development effort.


Leadership With A Little ‘L’

Leadership is a very popular topic at the moment. Politicians don’t show enough of it (or the right type), CEO’s are vocal about it and football teams have so much of it they have leadership groups and sub-groups (and can still perform poorly on and off the field). Everyone has an opinion on what is good leadership, and (according to the media) it seems that all of the identifiable leaders in Australia seem to lack it in some substantial way.

Have we made the definition of good leadership so unattainable that mere mortals can’t achieve it?


The 7 Reasons to Engage a Leadership Coach

A question we are asked at Kameleons – Developing Leaders is ‘Why have a leadership coach?’ and ‘What can a coach bring to me and my business?’. 

I often answer the question by asking ‘Name me a high performing sports star, athlete, singer, dancer or artist that doesn’t (or didn’t) have a coach?’

To answer the question properly, we sat down as a group and discussed what our clients had told us in regards to the benefit coaching brings and the impact that it has on a business.


‘Knowledge is Not Power’

Have you heard the phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’? Personally, I think it is rubbish. There is something about it that just does not ring true for me. Perhaps it is the little used Physics degree talking quietly to me – power is about energy. Knowledge is a form of ‘potential energy’ – it has the power to do something if it is used correctly – or used at all.

Why the discussion about knowledge and power? 


‘It Takes a Team To Fulfil a Dream’

It takes more than 1 person to fulfil on a dream, a vision or a business strategy. If you ask any great leader how they achieved their goals and set about achieving thir vision, they will name a mentor, a coach, a trusted advisor, friend, relative or team to helped them along the way and guided them to achieving that goal.

Importantly, a team, coach or mentor provides leaders with both a sounding board for ideas and a critical eye and ear to keep them on the right path.


Is Your Training Strategy Putting Your Business Health at Risk?

‘Can you do a 1 / 2 / 3-day leadership course for us?’ is the type of question we are often asked at this time of year. If the provider you are talking to says yes without asking more questions, you could be putting your business health at serious risk.

I am a firm believer that effective training and coaching can have a significantly positive impact on both leadership, effective decisions, team engagement, reliability and sound business results.


January 2018 -Will you Reset, Change Tack or Stay the Course?

The end of year 2017 seemed to come very quickly this year, didn’t it? The end of 2017 found many of us scrambling to complete reports, briefs and accounts before the end of year ‘cut off’ – but few of us had the time, energy or inclination to prepare for the new year ahead. In many ways, the start of a new year is like a ‘reset’ button for your business – leaving behind what took place last year and focussing attention on what could, should and will happen in the new financial year.

Think about this – where else in your business would it be useful to apply the same concept of a reset?


It Takes A Lot More Than Motivation To Build A High Performing Athlete (or Business Team)

‘Go, go, go!’ I heard many parents yell at the State Sprint swimming championships on the weekend. I am sure the excitement, passion and vested interest the parents held for the athletes in the water made them feel they had an impact, but for the athlete in the water (50 metres away with head down in the water focussed on the race) it had little.

I observed a CEO recently doing the same thing for her staff – she pulled out her phone and played a pre-recorded video of her grandson yelling ‘Go, go, go!’. This was her mantra that she would share at the end of a call with her team or a meeting. Feeling motivated yet?