The Authors of Purposeful PeopleBusiness Leaders Making A Difference
Fresh ideas and approaches are on the lips of many leaders, but what does that really entail?
Chris Paton takes us step-by-step through what is needed for truly innovative thinking. The truth is, it’s much easier said than done. It’s challenging to question the current thinking within an organisation. It asks us to work at our edge and out of our comfort zones.
Often, people don’t feel safe enough to speak up because they may feel it’s not their place or that what they have to say may not be welcome.
Our hierarchical structures can be counterintuitive, so we must create a psychologically safe space for people to express their views. When we gain their trust and empower people to challenge the status quo, they can help shape the solutions needed and move forward with confidence.
In times of high volatility, it is a powerful guide for supporting our teams and charting a course through the unknown.
Kay Allen OBE
Kay Allen OBE didn’t want to wait the projected 99.5 years it would take to see true gender equality within senior leadership teams and searched for help she needed to flatten the curve. As an accomplished strategic advisor to senior leaders, Kay knew that fundamental change had to come from the top and that she needed a leader who was just as determined to make the change necessary faster. Sandeep Dadlani of Mars Digital Technologies agreed to be that leader.
In her chapter, Kay delves into the research she conducted. She interviewed the female employees of Mars Digital to glean their insights for a new talent programme that would accelerate progress and deliver a better gender balance.
It’s a fascinating read on what it takes to create an inclusive leadership development programme with bold leaders who understand real change comes from connecting values and purpose to the power of performance in their organisation. After all, an inclusive culture is an innovative culture.
Do traditional hierarchical structures impede success?
Kanishka Misal proposes that organisations may have to reassess competition in their operations to survive future disruptions. If departments and individuals operate as independent entities, we will miss opportunities for “leveraging the human synergies at our disposal.”
Using recent disruptors in the hospitality and taxi industries as his guide out of silos, you will learn how to see the opportunities that sit before us had we been thinking differently and viewing our playing fields as ecosystems instead of competitions.
Does playfulness and comedy improv have a place in traditional organisations? To keep up with the pace of technological change, it may have to.
Dagmar Boettger analyses all the steps organisations can take to adapt to the disruptive forces they face. The challenge for many organisations is acknowledging that the innovation they seek starts with their mindsets and practices. Outside-the-box thinking must allow people to fail and take risks. Trust is the ultimate energiser.
Learn how innovative companies encourage new ways of working – from Google’s hiring practices to the BBCs method of identifying blockers to empowered creativity. It’s a fascinating and inspiring read celebrating those who champion the ‘messy bits’ of constant innovation.
R2W is a careers development company that connects people to opportunity through a technology-driven ecosystem.
R2W unlocks hidden talent that traditionally has faced barriers to entry into aspirational careers, focusing on social mobility and the diversity and inclusion agendas.
In his chapter titled ‘Self Belief’, Andrew reflects on his career path from the military to the boardroom and how the twists and turns of life have taught him to embrace change as a constant – even use it to his advantage.
Sarah Downs is no stranger to performing under pressure, having worked as a nurse for many years.
However, after an epilepsy diagnosis in 2011, Sarah left the healthcare sector to start a business career from scratch. Sarah is now the co-founding director of Doqaru Ltd, but her journey is not without many knocks.
Without knowing where she would fit in, her journey led her to find a role aligned with her purpose, enabling her to draw on her communication, strategy, and leadership experience.
In her chapter, Sarah reflects on her work as a nurse and the transferrable skills she has applied throughout her career, navigating uncertainty, building resiliency and leading with trust in a fast-paced environment.
Having served in the British Commandos for 8 years, Tim Wigham now specialises in executive leadership facilitation across a range of industries.
Tim has excelled at improving team performance in high-cost, high-risk environments, from his early days supporting Springbok World Cup winners to his recent work with executive leaders in the offshore energy sector. Tim is now a Director at Exceed Energy in Aberdeen, delivering world-class well management and performance improvement solutions.
In his chapter, Tim reflects on how critical it is to sustain the right climate to enable teams to deliver excellence. Leaders play a vital role in managing mood effectively for motivation and morale. Tim knows that cracks appear quickly in high-performance teams when qualities such as trust, courtesy and empathy are in short supply.
Our friend and colleague, Kate Philp, contemplates the nature of how we interact and communicate with our teams and what we have lost with technology and living in fast-paced environments.
As our basic interactions as normal people have become minimised, we need to be proactive and get to know our people as people. This means taking the time to form a human connection, know their interests, passions, and initiatives they support out of work. As Kate shares, a little goes a long way. Genuine engagement can build solid and long-lasting foundations of trust.
In her work, Kate constantly draws on her experience in leadership, communication, relationship management and providing solutions under pressure from her time in the military and the lessons in resilience and managing uncertainty that she has learned from dealing with a life-changing injury.
Exceptional CEOs have a deep sense of purpose, focus and clarity about their work, often revealed when speaking about what they do.
If a CEO cannot communicate clearly to their team what they want to achieve or a robust road map to get there, there will be trouble ahead.
Keith Holdt reflects on the successful voyage of a CEO. He calls it ‘The Captain’s Journey’: gathering the right team in the right boat in the right direction.
Success does not come from complexity. If a business is to grow, teams must be focused, disciplined and moving, and then adapt for change or expansion. As captain, the CEO must lead the charge if the business value is to be achieved – Keith shares how you can do just that.
Kate Marshall learned early in her career how vital it was to lead with bold clarity from the head and the heart. To do this, we need to know ourselves and our habitual patterns.
The neural pathways we form in early childhood chart the course of our adult lives. That is to say, people not only view the world from their unique perspective; they see the world as they are.
We cannot move beyond our limiting beliefs and judgemental patterns until we recognise what they are and the fundamental role they play. Understanding what drives our habits and behaviour and who we have become can lead to extraordinary results and fulfilled lives. Until we are honest about this indelible link between performance and our personal lives, we will not achieve success beyond our boundaries of safety.
Kate’s chapter dives deep into the power a clear Purpose has to lead us beyond the comfort zones our minds have created to keep us safe and on to great success.
Takers are always self-serving; their false praise obscures their real intent. If you need to gain acceptance from others, the flattering praise of a taker will soon cloud your judgement and your gut instinct. If you allow a taker into your life, they will take from you. However, if you can stay focused on building value rather than seeking their acceptance, you will create a purposeful life.
In his chapter, Dom candidly shares his story of being led by a taker and the severe repercussions. You will come to learn how to avoid takers and instead gather the makers around you. With time, success and happiness will naturally become the by-products of your purpose-driven life.
Many of us sacrifice sleep during the week and try to make up for it at the weekend. But did you know that your mid-week sleep deprivation could be compromising your immune system, as well as your decision-making abilities?
Tammy McPherson delves deep into the science of why sleep is so cleansing to our brains and why we should start reclaiming our right to sleep.
Tammy cites leading scientific research on its detrimental impact on our relationships, careers, and ability to lead a purposeful life.
Learn the importance of building more sleep time over the long term and actionable tips on achieving good quality sleep that will have a lasting impact on our professional and personal lives.
Jan Rutherford firmly believes you cannot be a good leader until you understand what it means to be a good follower. Drive and risk-taking are valuable attributes, but if those energies are misplaced or contrary to the team’s functioning power, they can be detrimental.
In his chapter, Jan breaks down the intricacies of how an effective team operates, exploring the physical sensations of risk and what it means when you ask your team to operate outside the bounds of their comfort zones.
How far your team is willing to move outside of their edge directly correlates with the amount of risk you should take. Are you fostering a psychologically safe space that allows your team to operate at their best and at their edge?
You will learn how to cultivate a dynamic, self-reliant and supportive team that moves in the same direction, aligned to the same purpose.
Would you describe yourself as a hyper achiever? Have you stopped to consider that you may be paying a higher price for your achievements?
Cat McManus discusses burnout and why the quality and intentionality of the breaks you schedule will feed into the rest of your life. Who do you spend time with to refresh? Do you allocate quality time for yourself? What are the rituals and routines that help refill your resilience bucket?
Cat guides the reader through the tested strategies that help sustain a work/life blend that can accommodate unforeseen stresses. If you’re not ok, how will you continue to look out for those around you?
Colm Gayton examines the intricacies of stress in decision making, candidly sharing his own experience of impaired decision-making.
He uses it to highlight how time pressure, decision fatigue, information overload and much more can diminish the quality of your thinking considerably.
Stress is not to be underestimated. It is a highly complex phenomenon that lays siege on our critical thinking. Modern living means we are constantly challenged by TUNA (Turbulent, Uncertain, Novel and Ambiguous) situations. For Colm, he helped overcome his challenges by aligning with his values and building the strong foundations of a purposeful life, ultimately sharpening and fine-tuning his critical thinking capabilities.
Philip Pozzo di Borgo – Oliver
Innovation is high on the agenda for all organisations, but do organisations have the culture to support it?
For Philip Pozzo di Borgo-Oliver, Foundering Partner of Eureka Europe, innovation is a skill and a capability that demands humility, collaboration and deep trust. And it starts with organisations permitting their people to try and to fail.
Philip takes the reader through the steps of creating a psychologically safe space, allowing for a diversity of thinking, experimentation and creativity. He unpacks the terminology, the thinking and the practice behind an innovative culture that is at its heart purposeful.
In business, we are encouraged to grow networks outside of our organisations but are we missing opportunities to leverage the networks within our organisations?
Chris McKibbin, the founder of Logic Layer, discusses our inherited industrialisation-era view of the workplace and its hierarchical structure that only allows for a flow of information in one direction. Chris makes a robust case for utilising collective knowledge in a time of great uncertainty.
Otherwise, we risk inhibiting innovation, agility and future success. Collaborating as a network is a paradigm shift for organisations.
By unlocking your organisation’s collective knowledge and creativity, you can react to unforeseen challenges and leverage your internal network for success.
Every business should have self-defined Core Values, but do you have your team’s buy-in for those values?
Do they believe in them and have a deep understanding of how they should be put into practice?
Bob Keiller unpacks the practical implications of core values and how they can guide your leadership team’s daily actions. When leadership demonstrates and lives by its core values, it can have a powerfully galvanising effect on the whole team.
When times get tough, can you be sure everyone on your team will still live by the values you set?
With some health issues in the last few years and business challenges in the wake of the pandemic, Jamie shares what he does to stay on the right path, moving towards his life’s purpose without being distracted by its inevitable obstacles.
As Jamie demonstrates, creating a work/life balance takes planning and commitment.
In the book, he lays out all the steps you need to take to achieve that balance.
How do you deal with your inner monologue? Some keep themselves too busy to cope with the constant chatter, others are left paralysed with indecision, and many of us fall somewhere on the spectrum in between.
Learning to assess situations and gather as much information as possible to enable a qualified decision can help quell the inactivity that can spark the chatter of the ‘imposter’.
Adam Harris navigates our inner world for his chapter on Imposter Syndrome. As Adam shares, a wrong decision is often better than no decision at all. Things will never go as we expect them to, so why agonise over a decision? Learning to live with the discomfort of the unknown is an empowered strategy for leadership and our lives in general.
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