Developing Leaders – September 2021. Focus on Leadership & Leadership Development

Hello and welcome to the September edition of our Monthly Newsletter ‘Developing Leaders’, the once a month focus on leadership, leadership development, high-performing teams and business culture. Looking for some light reading as the sun is starting to shine some more?

This month, our short articles are focussed on your leadership development, and in particular, your personal leadership development. Have you wondered what the most important role of a leader is? (in our opinion anyway – there are many opinions on this!) As well as address this specifically, one of the easiest (and hardest!) places to start is looking at our own personal leadership and efficiency first, before looking to the shortcomings of our team.

With the pandemic responses of businesses vastly different, along with working from home arrangements, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our personal leadership has never been more important.

This month has seen an extraordinary take up of leadership training and coaching, with our Emerging Leaders Program, Executive Leadership Program and Diploma of Leadership & Management all running concurrently. While we have believed that leadership development is an important part of business success for quite a while, it seems others are thinking the same thing this month! If developing your leadership (or that of your leadership team) is important to you, please get in touch.

We hope you enjoy the articles and as always, are open to suggestions for future articles on leadership, team development and business culture. Enjoy!

Kind regards, Michael and the team at IMLD

In this month’s issue of Developing Leaders, we share:

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What Is A Leader’s Most Important Role?

In short, a leaders most important role is preventing drift; in themselves, their team and their results. But what is drift? Drift is when you set a path, course, vision or purpose (whatever you wish to call it) and you start to move away (consciously or unconsciously) from what was planned or agreed. Drift manifests itself in a number of ways:

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What is a leaders most important role?

What Does It Take To Build Trust In Your Team?

What does it take to build trust in your team? Have you ever thought about what it takes to build trust with you? ?What does it take to break your trust? ? Importantly, from both a personal, leadership and team perspective – what does it take to rebuild your trust? I agree with Simon Sinek – a team can be defined as a group of people who trust each other.

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Are You Are A More Responsible Or Accountable Leader?

Are you a more responsible or accountable leader? When it comes to leading others, leading teams and leading high-performing teams, there is always a balance between getting your own work completed as well as that of your team. Often we can get caught doing all of our own work, and not paying attention tot he work of our team. Likewise, we can easily be focussed on the team’s work and needs, and leave our own work to the last minute.

Are you more responsible or accountable?

Are You An Aligned Leader?

Effective Leadership Series Part 1: Are you an Aligned leader? What does it take to be aligned in your leadership behaviours?

The IMLD leadership model looks at 5 distinct leadership capabilities – Alignment, Awareness, Achievement, Altitude and Adaptability. Within each of these, there are 5 behavioural leadership traits,

To be an aligned leader, you:

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The Emerging Leaders Program

We have the opportunity and privilege to work with some amazing managers and leaders from as part of their Emerging Leaders Program, which officially starts today.

For the next 6 months, we will be honing some leadership and behaviour skills with some amazing people who work in a demanding and challenging industry.The last couple of weeks has involved Velocity Leadership CheckPoint completion, debriefing with every participant, and setting some clear individual and business goals for the program.

At IMLD we try and stay as social as we can by sharing video’s, articles, posts and our own content as often as possible. If there is an area of leadership, management or high-performing teams you would like us to explore further, let us know via return email or one of the channels above!


Can You Admit When You Are Wrong?

Question: Can you admit when you are a wrong? Put another way – are you a defensive leader?

Alternative: Do you work with someone who never (ever) admits that they are wrong? Instead of recognising a mistake or acknowledging an error, they ‘double down’, and try to convince you that they were right?

This is Defence – ‘digging in’ on a position or opinion when you should shift or change due to new information or circumstances.

Honestly, of all of the inefficient and ineffective behaviours that the BLEEDS part of the AIR / BLEEDS model discusses, I find leaders that use Defence as a default one of the hardest groups of people to work with.

At its lightest, Defence can be never admitting that you are wrong. When under stress and pressure, Defence can be more obstinate ie ‘I don’t accept the premise of your question’ being a recent statement that fits Defence perfectly.

In a team sense, ‘leaping to someone’s defence’ can be seen a good thing, but can create difficulty if the person does this without looking at the behaviour they are agreeing with first.

In my experience, this behaviour is seen less in junior or emerging leaders – it is often challenged by people in authority and questioned. It is prevalent in senior leaders who are not used to (or don’t like) their position or ideas to be challenged.

Defence is just one of the 6 BLEEDS behaviours that can result in ineffective or inefficient behaviour – the others being

To learn more about the AIR / BLEEDS model and how you can be more efficient and effective, take a look at our other blog posts on the AIR / BLEEDS model:

Related Articles:

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Responsibility. Are You A More Responsible Or Accountable Leader?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Blame. Does Blame tarnish Your Leadership Ability?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Leniency. Are You Too Lenient As A Leader?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Excuses. Is Your Leadership Hampered By Your Excuses?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Exoneration. The Standard You Walk Past Is The Standard You Accept?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Defence. Can You Admit When You Are Wrong?

AIR/BLEEDS Series – Shame. Shame Is A Common Leadership Behaviour – Is It One of Yours?


Great Leaders and Managers Are Critical Thinkers

Great leaders and managers are also great critical thinkers – taking the time to consider multiple points of view. Well that got some people thinking! Developing the critical thinking of your leaders and team members can have an enormous impact on the way in which problems are dealt with, meetings are conducted and conflict resolved. In this Diploma of Leadership and Management unit, we focussed on how to develop the critical thinking skills in others.

DeBono’s 6 Thinking Hats For A Leaders Critical Thinking

Using De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats as a base, participants were encouraged to see problems from various different perspectives outside their default, ensuring consideration of as many perspectives as possible within limited timeframes.

Some advantages gained by developing critical thinking skills in your team include:

? Looking at problems from several points of view,

? Considering the views of other members of the team and giving it a voice,

? Not being swayed by emotion or volume of argument,

? Reducing bias and reliance on one particular viewpoint,

? Getting to the heart of an issue quickly, and

? Making decision quickly and efficiently.

Developing critical thinking is important for emerging and developing leaders
Developing critical thinking is important for emerging and developing leaders

In a time when binary thought (good/bad, right/wrong etc) is used extensively by media, it is important for leaders and managers to to think beyond two viewpoints, and explore the best options they have available, and to encourage all of their team members to have a voice in finding solutions to problems.

Diploma of Leadership and Management – Critical Thinking

A pleasure once again to work with the team from LyondellBasell – a group of leaders and managers investing time and effort to improving their skills for themselves, their teams and their business. A shout out to Lee Hartwell for coordinating and organising this program for your business. Amazing to partner with the team at The College For Adult Learning in this new Diploma unit – Develop Critical Thinking In Others.

Great to work with such a dedicated teams!
#leadershipdevelopment #leadership #teamdevelopment #criticalthinkingskills #IMLD #developingleaders

Related Articles:

Diploma Workshop 2 – Develop Emotional Intelligence

Diploma of Leadership & Management

Diploma Workshop 7 – Lead Difficult Conversations


Great Leadership – Be The Leader That Everyone Respects

‘Be the leader that everyone respects and wants to work for.’ Great leadership is about gaining the respect of teams, cultures and businesses through the leaders actions and behaviours.
Which, in short, means:

? Set a clear path and vision for where you are going,
? Set and communicate clear values and behaviours that you adhere to,
? Work hard yourself – but not into the ground – in balance with your team,
? When behaviour drifts (yours or your teams), correct it quickly with clarity and empathy, and
? Acknowledge the efforts of your team and celebrate the wins when they come.

Simple, isn’t it? ?

Being a leader that everyone wants to work for isn’t about being popular or nice, it involves serving a purpose and serving your team before serving yourself.
#leader #team #work #developingleaders #IMLD


Are You Too Lenient As A Leader?

Are you too lenient as a leader / manager? If you are, don’t be alarmed, ‘Am I too lenient on my team?’ is one of the most asked questions in our Emerging Leaders Program as well as our Executive Leadership Program. If you aren’t sure, here are some telltale comments (said to others or in your head) of a lenient leader:

? ‘It was only a little bit late’
? ‘I am sure it will be better next time’
? ‘I am sure they tried their best’
? ‘They are really busy at the moment, I’ll do it myself’
? ‘There is a lot going on at the moment – cut them some slack’
? ‘With work, kids and pandemic – they probably just missed it’

Lenient leaders ‘let people off the hook’ for their performance – in the hope that not saying something will make it easier on them, and / or easier on the person. What can seem like an act of kindness or generosity can just mask what could be a bigger problem.

Executive Leadership Coaching and Personalised Training
Good leaders don’t let their team ‘off the hook’

Leniency isn’t empathy – empathy is a genuine understanding of what someone else is going through and being able to relate / adjust accordingly. Leniency is often about making an assumption, and hoping that it will fix itself.

Lenient Leaders Face 3 Key Problems

Lenient leaders face 3️⃣ key problems that impact their leadership and the team culture:

1️⃣. They end up having to do more work themselves
2️⃣. They undermine the standards fo the team and reduce ‘the bar’ overall
3️⃣. Over time they get resentful and seek to blame others for issues that have stemmed from their own leniency.
Overcoming leniency as a leader requires several steps – and it starts by being very clear on expectations and understanding / discussing consequences (both positive and negative) for actions. It isn’t about ‘being hard’ or lacking in empathy – in fact quite the opposite.

Are you a lenient leader? What is your ‘go to’ lenient phrase?

Good Leaders Challenge Their Own Leniency

Ensuring that you aren’t being lenient on your team doesn’t mean that you don’t care for them or don’t understand the issues / problems / challenges they are facing. In fact, it can demonstrate the opposite. Setting and maintaining a clear standard – whether that it is on the accuracy of work or adhering to deadlines, raises the standard of you and your team. That may take coaching and further training to ensure that it is maintained, and that is also part of being a leader.

If you want to impact your lenient leadership traits and become more effective as a leader, get in touch via the Contact page or book a Discovery call through our Calendly link.

Related Articles on Leader and Leadership:

Shame Is A Common Leadership Behaviour – Is It One Of Yours?

Leadership Can Be Messy

The Traits Of The Most Ineffective Leaders


The 5 Leadership Behaviours That Drive Great Business Cultures

Setting, maintaining and changing a corporate culture can be a particularly challenging task for a CEO’s leadership. Compared to hitting sales targets and ensuring key metrics are met, measuring and checking culture can seem like an incredibly nebulous activity.

Yet the importance of having a strong and vibrant culture has never been more important. With social media increasing the speed and availability of corporate cultural information and a desire for younger generations to work in organisations with greater cultural and value ‘fit’, culture has become an increasingly important measure of a business’s success.

Measuring a culture’s success is a balance of both art and science. Going purely on ‘gut feel’ can ignore some important data that can impact culture; conversely, focussing only on statistics and engagement surveys can mask what is truly going on at the coalface.

There are plenty of large businesses that can charge you thousands of $ to assess your culture (with spreadsheets and charts that looking impressive and aesthetically pleasing). Yet for most small to medium enterprises, assessing culture can be more simply (and cheaply) achieved.  To start assessing your business culture, consider looking at the 5 areas below of alignment, awareness, achievement, altitude and adaptability.

Look at the questions and ask yourself – what would you rate your business out of 10?


Successful businesses (and the leaders and team within them) have a clear understanding of the direction in which they are heading as a business, and the values they embrace to get them there. A clear understanding of their purpose, both from a wider business perspective and in relation to individual roles, provides staff with the clarity and focus to attain results.

  • Are your staff aware of their own values?
  • Do staff have a clear understand how there personal values relate to the businesses?
  • Do senior managers and leaders understand their ‘why’ for doing things?
  • Can senior leaders explain their ‘why’ clearly (and easily understood words / themes) to their staff?
  • Do you regularly measure of you are off track financially, strategically and interpersonally?

Your Alignment score:       /10


‘Before you can lead others, you must lead yourself’. No business can achieve sustained success without a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the team. 

Similarly, no business team can fly high without all individuals in the team being engaged; aware of their own behaviours, assertive in their interactions and happy  in what they are doing. These factors, along with a firm self belief and clarity in your surroundings provide each member of the team the support they need and the ability to have a positive impact on the culture around them. Staff and leaders that are fully aware of their skills – knowing their strengths and being able to adapt and adjust for their weaker areas – provide the best environment for a stainable culture.

  • Do you actively seek feedback from your staff (outside of performance reviews)?
  • Can people safely provide feedback and improvement suggestions upward?
  • Are you and your staff active in discussing strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are personal and professional weaknesses hidden or not discussed?
  • Are staff assertive and free to share their views?
  • Do people step outside their team / department / area to provide advice / suggestion to others?

Your Awareness score:       /10


It is no accident that businesses with great cultures also deliver great results. Or do great results have an impact on great cultures? Whichever way you choose to look at it – how your team achieve results, how often they hit targets and how well they keep their promises to their customers, peers and managers will impact the bottom line.

How well does your business manage the task at hand?  Are things overdue or are they completed on time, all the time? How well your business focusses on getting tasks completed will determine not only where you want to go, but how long it will take you to get there. Strong cultures have a strong focus on achieving tasks at the right level, to the right person, at the right time.

  • Do you and your team meet deadlines?
  • How often are things ‘pushed to the right’?
  • Do you and your team take responsibility for actions or are blame, excuses and justifications rife?
  • Do you have a big attention to detail or do things regularly get missed?
  • Do you have a problem solving or problem avoiding mentality amongst your team?
  • Does your business plan ahead effectively or are you stuck in a constant series of ‘firefighting’ small issues?

Your Achievement score:       /10


Like thew wings on an aircraft, an effective culture can provide you and your business with the lift you need to fly higher and achieve more. Conversely, an ineffective or negative culture can drag your personal, team and business performance down and be highly inefficient. Your ability to understand, communicate and listen to your team, hold them to account and provide constructive feedback all have an impact on how high your team (and your business) will fly.

  • Does your team actively hold you to account?
  • Do you consistently hold your team to account?
  • Are you able to articulate your goals and expectations clearly and effectively?
  • Are there formal and informal ways of providing feedback within your business?
  • Do staff regularly provide development feedback to each other for improved performance?
  • Are you aware of the behaviours that build positivity and lift your team?
  • Does your team regularly display the positive behaviours listed above?
  • Are you aware of the behaviours that erode trust and drag negatively in your team?
  • Does your team regularly display the negative behaviours listed above?

Your Altitude score:       /10


Businesses with strong cultures have the ability to adapt to changes in their internal and external environments – meaning they are both prepared for change, have developed the skills to change and can adapt quickly as needed. Your ability to adapt determines your velocity (the speed and direction in which you and your team travel) and your reliability (how often you complete your tasks, to the required standard, at the required time). Given that reliability is your businesses personal guarantee of achieving tasks on purpose, on time – how well your culture can adapt is crucial to business success.

  • Are your team empowered to be able to make changes in changing circumstances?
  • Is your business overly focussed on process / rule following rather than adapting as needed?
  • Is your business dependable in a crisis?
  • Can you rely on your business to deliver product / services on time in most circumstances?
  • Are you known as a reliable business?
  • Can you rely on your staff in your absence?

Your Adaptability score:       /10

How did you and your business score?

If you scored less that 7 out of 10 for any 5 components of Align, Aware, Achieve, Altitude or Adapt, you have some cultural ‘work’ to do.

Related IMLD Articles:

Related Articles:


Leaders Actively Choose Their Intention

‘Easy or hard is about you, not the hill’. Thank you for sharing Hazel Harrison – a perfect quote for a Monday morning!

This fits so nicely with content of the Emerging Leaders Program last week – focussed on Responsibility and Intention.

The 3 key behaviours that bring life to leadership are:

?. A – Accountability
?. I – Intention
?. R – Responsibility

Leaders actively choose the intention they want to bring to a day, to a meeting, to a situation. They don’t let others intention – or the prevailing mood of the day – dictate it to them.

One of my favourite intentions when approaching a meeting that i think will be boring is to ‘pan for gold’. If I go into that meeting thinking it will be boring – that is exactly what I get. When I come in with the intention of ‘panning for gold’, I know I might have to sift through a lot of dirt, but I am listening for the little nugget of gold that may come out of the meeting. My intention is positive – and my active listening and attention change more positively as a result.

What is your clear intention today?

Easy or hard is up to you – the hill (and the meeting) will still be the same – but you can be different as a result of the intention you choose.
Don’t wait for your hill to change.
#leadershipdevelopment #leadership #coaching #mindset #IMLD #developingleaders


Shame is a Common Leader Behaviour – Is It One Of Yours?

Do you ‘beat yourself up’ when things don’t work out the way you planned as a leader?

There are 6 ways a leader can be less efficient / less effective when it comes to leading themselves and others, having a net negative effect (the others being Blame, Leniency, Excuses, Exoneration and Defence).

Understanding your behaviours under stress is an important development step for a leader.

Shame is one of the most personally harmful. Brene Brown speaks on shame extensively in her books and Ted talks – I see it practically with leaders that have an over-developed sense of responsibility and when actions / tasks don’t meet expectations. They blame themselves – are hard on themselves – and stay stuck in their blame rather than moving forward.

For many, this feels like taking Responsibility for their actions, when in fact they are only owning the mistake – they are not moving forward and taking action on what can be done to address it.
Shame can be difficult to address – because others seeing it and pointing it out can make leaders feel even worse and ‘spiral’ further. But it can be addressed, by the leader as well as by peers and teams members, treading carefully but empathetically to move to responsibility and first actions.

Is shame one of your default behaviours when you are tired, stressed and under the pump? There is something you can do about it.

#leadership #leaders #leadershipdevelopment #coaching #executivecoaching


How you define success as a leader?

How you define success as a leader? Is it your results? Is it your team? Is it how comfortable you feel in leading?

This is a short shout out to the leaders of small businesses, family businesses, teams and anyone who is willing to take on the challenge of leading others. It takes ownership, accountability and a fair dose of responsibility to successfully lead others.

The path is rarely a straight line – it is often messy, it can feel like you are going backwards and you have been ‘here’ before.

Perhaps today is the day to take a moment to be grateful for the team that you have, and realise that you are much further on your path to success than when you started.

#success #coaching #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #IMLD #developingleaders


What Does ‘Dignity and Respect’ Look Like As A Leader?

Dignity and respect are important behaviours for a leader to cultivate within their business, team and for themselves. Agreed! ? But what does ‘dignity and respect’ look like when it comes to behaviours? ?‍♂️

You would be hard pressed to find a person that didn’t agree with this statement – but I guarantee you will find it hard to find 3 people that AGREE on the BEHAVIOURS THAT DEMONSTRATE DIGNITY AND RESPECT.

Why? Because our experience (at home and at work), country, culture, upbringing, choices, preferences, bias, religious affiliation and education (and probably some others I hadn’t thought of) influence what we believe that values like this mean.

As leaders, we can all agree with the statement. Where it gets difficult, is agreeing the behaviours that match the values.

Dignity and Respect Are Important For Leaders

From my perspective, respect and dignity is demonstrated by:

? Not speaking about someone behind their back – if I have an issue, I address it with the person,
? I will openly and honestly appraise your performance.

If you are performing well, I will tell you specifically what you are doing that I love. If the standard isn’t as expected, I will tell you just as clearly and explain what I would like to change (and if I can, how to change it).

I can think of at least a dozen other ????, but you get the picture.

Values are best agreed through the behaviours and actions relating to the values. Thanks Leadership First  for the discussion thread!

I’m interested in your thoughts. In your world, what specific behaviours demonstrate respect and dignity for you?
#leadership #leaders #leadershipdevelopment #culture #respect #dignity #IMLD #developingleaders



If you are unsure of your impact on your leader / team, perhaps you should complete the Velocity Leadership CheckPoint? 25 behavioural leadership traits, focussed in 5 distinct leadership capabilities – a ‘must know’ for any leader or team looking to drive high performance. If you haven’t completed the CheckPoint, get in touch with us today to arrange an appointment. Read through the comments and feedback from those that have – many say that it has had a profound effect on how they lead and perform within a team.