How to be a Great Future CEO

How to be a Great Future CEO

In leadership circles there is a lot of talk about how to be a “great” leader. This is only natural, I suppose, as no one wants to be “average.” Leadership is a highly competitive environment, and it’s not enough to just pass. As leaders, we are driven to excel.

What Does a Great Leader Look Like?

The challenge in achieving greatness, as a leader, is that the conventional wisdom of what a great leader looks and acts like: “a tall, white, male that’s highly extroverted, pushy and self-promoting, a risk taker,” is incorrect.

While there are certainly more men in top leadership roles, the number of women in these roles is growing. You only need look through the pictures of the leaders of the Fortune 500 companies and other corporate ranking sites to discover that great leaders come in in all genders, races and backgrounds.

So, what does that tell us about the qualities of great CEOs?

Well, there have been lots of studies on the personality traits great leaders share, but a recent study by Russell Reynolds Associates pinpoints some specific characteristics which are interesting.

Two key characteristics of great CEOs.

The study found great CEOs have ‘an ability to embrace appropriate risks and a bias toward acting and capitalizing on opportunities.’

So, we’re talking about people who are movers and shakers. They don’t spend ages thinking about what to do. They weigh up the consequences of their plans, and if the benefit outweighs the risk, they act.

Supporting characteristics of great CEOs.

The study also found six other characteristics that make great CEOs stand out from the pack. They are:

  • drive and resilience
  • original thinking
  • the ability to visualise the future
  • team building
  • being an active communicator
  • the ability to catalyse others to action

What does all this look like in the workplace?

What does a CEO with all these characteristics look like? From that list you’d expect them to be loud, outspoken and able to whip their teams into a frenzy of action.

The reality may be different.

Great CEOs can also be quiet achievers; people who step up when they need to, and who seem to do it all from behind the scenes. Just don’t mistake their quietness for weakness.

Strong CEOs all share the same characteristics:


Great leaders are future forward in their thinking. They don’t hold onto traditions. They are original thinkers, ready to throw out standard processes and procedures, and embrace change. They are always on the lookout for new ideas. They anticipate the future, and don’t allow themselves of their teams to be held back by the ‘what ifs’.


What’s the difference between a good manager and a great leader? A great leader will never give up. They can pick themselves up if something goes wrong and start looking for different ways to reach their goals. They have an inner drive and motivation to reach the goal they see so clearly. A fail is only temporary, and it doesn’t hurt unless you focus on it. Great CEOs feel the pull of their goals more than the sting of a failure.


Great CEOs know their limitations and are prepared to let others step up when they have the expertise or skills to do what needs to be done. It’s a bit like a game of chess. They know what needs to be done, and they have a talented team to help them get there. Of course, for this to work, the CEO must inspire the team with the desire to help, so there’s a good deal of caring commination going on, too.

Don’t overlook the people skills.

From the study, the overall picture of the great CEO is dynamic, focused and with an internal strength driving them on. But in saying that, don’t overlook the people skill behind the action. Without nurturing the relationships and keeping the lines of communication open, the CEO would be a lone wolf.

Do you have what it takes to be a great CEO? If not, what leadership skills could you work to make the transition to excellence?

If you’re ready to be a great Future CEO let us help you rock it.

We have launched our amazing and self paced Online Leadership Attitude Academy and Toolkit to build Great Leaders for only $295 plus GST at

Mentoring or Coaching with Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder of LeadershipHQ will help you take that next step to excellence. Contact us today at [email protected] and let’s get started.

Why your business isn’t as gender inclusive as you think, and how to change that.

Why your business isn’t as gender inclusive as you think, and how to change that.

‘’How gender inclusive is your business?’’

‘’It’s very inclusive. About 50% of our employees are women. We have a new policy which encourages female recruitment.’’

‘’That’s great! How many women do you have on your board?’’

‘’Oh. One.’’

‘’And how many female execs do you have?’’


‘’OK. What about your senior leadership team? What percentage of women do you have there?’’

‘’Yeah, maybe 10%? But we have around 20% at middle management level, and probably 40% or more at the lower levels.’’


At the moment, this is pretty typical of most businesses. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, only 16% of CEOs and 27% of Key Management Personnel in Australia are women. Businesses are conscious of the need and the benefits of having a better gender balance across the organisation, and they are trying to get there.

But gender diversity is about more than numbers.

It’s about what is really going on inside the organisation.

A report released last year by The Boston Consulting Group suggests what’s really stopping your business from moving forward with gender diversity. Do you know what it comes down to? The report says it’s a “a mismatch between the perceptions of women and those of senior leaders—who are overwhelmingly male at most organizations—regarding the main challenges to achieving gender diversity.”

Mismatched perceptions.

They give this example. When asked, women say their biggest blocks to building a leadership career are obstacles to promotion and issues with retention. Male leaders think the problem lies in recruitment, so businesses are focusing their gender diversity efforts on a system which is not the main issue.

Another example the report gave was the issue of flexible work programs. Across the board, men and women ranked it as the most effective gender diversity intervention, yet senior males ranked it at number eight.

What it boils down to is this.

Until you go out and talk to the people involved – the women in your business – you’re never going to know what the real issues are. You can’t be a gender inclusive organisation if you’re not dealing with the biases or mismatched perceptions behind the decisions which are being made.

You can’t solve a problem when you only have half the information you need.

Take a look at the gender breakdown throughout your business. Where are the females well represented? Where does that representation stop?

Now go out and find out why that is. Talk to your people, male and female, and you’ll be closer to the truth than you’ve ever been.

Now is the time to show leadership in gender equity and to take steps towards improvement.

To help your current and emerging female leaders, consider enrolling them in empowHER so they learn to understand and use the skills they have. Strong female leaders will add balance to your business and ultimately boost your bottom line results. Call today on 1300 719 665.

3 Steps to Motivating Your Organisation’s Key Employees with Blue Ocean Leadership

3 Steps to Motivating Your Organisation’s Key Employees with Blue Ocean Leadership

One of the top challenges of leading change in your organisation as you leave the “bloody waters” of direct competition to create new markets and demand in the open spaces of “blue oceans”, is getting your people to “opt in” and “buy” your leadership. Motivating your employees to reach their full potential and give their best efforts is a significant challenge. After all, when most of us are given the choice, we tend to prefer sticking to the status quo in the mistaken belief that it promotes stability for ourselves and our company. Change is scary business.

However, if we want to be innovative and find our way to less competitive, open market spaces and maximize both our profit potential and the utility that we offer our customers, we must not only accept change, we must lead it.

It’s absolutely imperative that as leaders we find a way to sell our leadership to the key influencers within our business. We need these key players “on our side” so that they can help to “tip the scale” and help to motivate all employees to get on board and commit to being fully focused team members. Blue Ocean leaders lead change and engage employees so that they “opt in”. These fully engaged team members take ownership and engage our customers who in turn engage with our non-customers and bring them on board. In this way companies can grow both rapidly and at a lower cost.

The following 3 steps, inspired by ‘Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant’, can help you to get your employees to “opt in” to your leadership and fully engage with your customers.

  • Place Emphasis on the Acts and Activities of Your Leaders
    Leaders can boost the motivation and results of their team by providing regular, constructive feedback on their team members? acts and actions. This practice should be implemented at each level of leadership so that each level focuses less on the personalities, values or abilities of individuals but rather coaches them on what concrete steps they need to take to improve their performance. By giving guidance and direction, any employee and any leader, can improve their performance over time. This will motivate employees and leaders at all levels to constantly seek to improve their performance and give their best efforts.
  • Ask Your Employees to Help You Help Them
    Ask your direct reports and other team members what they need from you to be able to perform their job the best. After all, who knows the most about what is needed to accomplish a task or reach a goal than the one who must perform it? Sometimes, despite their best intentions, some managers hold their employees back and prevent them from reaching their full potential by not giving them what they need, when they need it, in the amount that they need. Your own people are your best resource for what it takes to serve your customers, cut costs, or innovate operations. So, give them a stake in the results by seeking their direct input.
  • Empower Your People at Every Level
    Micromanagement kills innovation and it can lead to resentment, pettiness and even laziness among employees. Many of us have had the misfortune of either working for such a company or being one of its customers. For example, as a customer, perhaps there was a problem with your order, and when you contacted the company to try to fix it, no one could help you, or it was a big hassle. As an employee, you could see where improvements could be made to lower your employer?s costs or improve service to customers, but the organisation had no structure for you to make your suggestions heard or you had no power to effect change. Eventually you stopped shopping there or you stopped putting forth your best effort and you just started putting your time in so you could collect your pay cheque. This is a common scenario at many companies, especially larger ones, and in time many of these companies will ultimately fail.

You can motivate your employees to put forth their best efforts and claim ownership by empowering them at all levels of management. Your front line managers should be serving your customers, not their bosses. They should be empowered to make decisions that meet the customers? needs and solve their problems. The middle managers in your organisation should be there to coach rather than dominate and control your front line and senior management should be focused on the larger goals and mission of your company rather than micromanaging day to day business operations.

By following these three steps, your employees will take ownership of your company and their actions. They will become focused on seeking ways to improve and innovate the day to day operations of your company, which will help your company to grow rapidly while decreasing costs and increasing service to your customers.

How can you use Blue Ocean Leadership to help your organisation sail into new market space? If the idea seems too big to contemplate, talk to us about our Leadership Coaching programs and how we can help you navigate ahead.

3 Steps To Boosting Your Organisation’s Effectiveness.

3 Steps To Boosting Your Organisation’s Effectiveness.

Leaders have a vital role in improving the effectiveness of their organisations, because at the end of the day it all comes down to the individuals and how functional they are when they work together under a skilled leader. Innovative leaders need to adopt a three-fold approach in order to bring about real change within their environment.

  1. Choice
  2. Recognition
  3. Accountability



You, as the leader, are the commonality; the person that brings everyone and everything together. Presenting information and telling your followers that ?this is the intended plan? will only get you so far. You want your team to understand your vision and enable them to make a choice in supporting you so it seamlessly becomes their vision as well. The wonderful thing about this process is that when your team members see others acting in a certain way, their brain kicks in with a process known as mirror neuron activity. What this means is that you only need a few hearty followers to show their support for your cause and others will soon follow.



Recognition, particularly before the group, can do wonders for the team as a whole. Positivity can spread like wildfire and celebration of work well done will set the standard necessary for others to achieve similar recognition. Meaningful rewards will also go a long way into benefitting organisational results; if someone is particularly keen to get an award such as an afternoon off then they are certainly going to do their best to achieve it. Knowing your team and understanding “what” will be a motivational factor to “who”, is all part and parcel of being a great leader.



I like the word accountability because it can have such a positive effect on a team but too often the word gets associated with negative connotations such as blame or criticism. By allowing your organisation to be aligned with those who choose to support you, then your team will go that one step further and understand that they have to be committed to the cause via both their actions and the results. Understanding the “why” of what your team do from both their perspective and yours will enhance their significance and worth as part of the team.

Choice, recognition and accountability are three very strong words. When used appropriately by a leader, they can strengthen an organisation dramatically particularly when they are directed towards the key influencers.

3 Keys to Easily Building New Skills and Talents!

3 Keys to Easily Building New Skills and Talents!

We are really good at the things we do often and, because we are good at them, we choose to do them often.

We tend to ignore the things we are not so good at, and that is a pity when there are simple ways to turn these into talents and skills, too.

Today I want to show you 3 keys to easily building new skills and talents.

1. Understand how your brain works.

Let’s take a look at the brain.
Every time you do something regularly, you are building up a strong pathway through the nervous system and brain. You are building up the myelin in specific areas.
Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. So the more often you perform a task or action, the smoother the ride is for the impulses being sent around your body.
You can expect that the first few times you perform a new task, the ride will be a little bumpy but we know that through repetition, you will improve your performance because your brain will help you do it.


2. You must practice with full attention.

In a book called The Talent Code, Brian Coyle tells us that deep practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
So what is deep practice? It?s a form of attentive practice that fires off parts of the brain.
Coert Visser describes it like this:
A first step in deep practice is to look at the task at a whole. One way of doing this is to observe an experienced performer. A second step is to divide it into its smallest possible chunks (components) and practice and memorize these separately. Then, link them together in progressively larger groupings. A third step is to play with time, first slowing the action down and then speeding it up. Slowing down helps you to attend more closely to errors, creating a higher degree of precision.

So deep practice isn’t just about doing. It’s about analysing, thinking and observing the task as it is done. It?s embedding it in the brain through extreme attention, and the struggle to perfect each component.


3. Be prepared to struggle.

You are learning something new so straight away you will be out of your comfort zone. Most of us hate making mistakes and find it really uncomfortable it we don?t get it right immediately. Yet it is often through struggle that we learn best –  the lessons really stay with us.
When we find a task difficult, we are forced to slow down and work at half pace or less. That gives us time to think as we act, engaging the full capacity of the brain in your learning experience.
Whenever you struggle from now on, know that you are learning something!

These are three important steps or techniques that you can use in your next skill development experience.

Please come back and let us know how you find applying these techniques to your learning.

If social media influences your decisions, you’re probably stuffing up.

If social media influences your decisions, you’re probably stuffing up.

Social media is an amazing tool for gathering information and for gauging the mood out there in the real world.

Or is it?

How often do we see comments these days about the lack of transparency on Facebook or Twitter? I regularly see people – or even memes – reminding people not to be jealous of what they see on social media. It’s only part of the picture.

Think about it. What do you post about? At a guess, I’d say most of us post about the good stuff. We don’t tell people about the struggles that go on behind the scenes, or the fight you had with our partner over work, or complain about our work.

We’re not giving a balanced view of what’s really happening, are we?

So, what does that mean for you as a leader if you’re relying on what you read on social media?

It means you’re making decisions with only half the information you need. Your decisions and your leadership are misguided.

What’s the problem with acting on social media information?

You’ve only done part of your research.

You don’t really know your team – your people.

Your decisions might be ok, but you’d have to put that down to luck!

If things aren’t working, your decisions are stuffed up.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time…

It’s easy to say you don’t have time to go out and research. We’re all feeling the pressure of deadlines and life in general. Believe me, I know what it’s like to be pulled in a dozen different directions at once. And they’re all urgent, right? Well, they are to someone, apparently.

But think about it.

How long do you spend on social media looking for answers? And be honest. You have to admit that it’s almost impossible to go onto Facebook or another platform and not be distracted by what you see there. I’m guilty of that, too. All those funny images or interesting links…

But there does the morning and nothing has been done.

When you’re making an important decision, avoid social media.

You know what I’d like to see?

I’d love to see you skip social media when it’s time to make decisions as a leader. Save all that time you’d have used in front of the screen and find your information the old-fashioned way.

I’d love to see you change your leadership attitude and get back into the real world.

Be the amazing leader you are; get out there and reconnect with your team. You’re dealing with humans – multidimensional beings. Go out and talk to them. That’s where you’ll find the real information; the good, the bad and the stuff you don’t want to know but should!

Skip social media and go straight to the source – get back in touch with your people. You’ll make better decisions, and make them faster and with more confidence. You’ll have more buy-in from your team, too, because they’ve been part of the process.

Technology is great, but it can truly get in the way of our relationships. And a leader who doesn’t have a relationship with his or her team members is no leader at all.

If you’re relying on social media for your research because you are hesitant to talk to you team, you need our help.

And if you’re struggling with decision making as a leader, you need our help, too.

Through our Take Charge 2018 program, we’ll help you to change your attitude, take charge and get results. The program gives you all the tools, guidance and support you need as you take action. ‘Take Charge’ gives you the confidence and skills to reach your highest potential.

And right now, you can Take Charge of 2018 for half price!

The LeadershipHQ Alumni Network are committed to developing leadership throughout Australia and have offered to pay 50% of eligible applicants Take Charge Membership for up to 5 participants.

One of those could be you!

No more stuffed up decisions for you, my leadership friend. Talk to me (Sonia) and let’s make this year your year of superb choices!

Just Rock It! Sonia x




Art of Not Giving a Crap in 2018

Art of Not Giving a Crap in 2018

How would it feel not to give a crap? This week I spoke with Jane Hall on Talking Lifetyle Radio about Why Not Giving a Crap Can Change Your World. Yes not giving a Crap.

It is more challenging than you think.

Where do I start. I feel maybe the book is a good place to start as an analogy.

So I finally publish another book called Just Rock It! One of the best things I have ever done and also one of the most challenging. I wanted to write something that would change the world of Leadership and how we can all rock the world. I wanted to write something that would help everyone stand tall and shine with gusto. I wanted a book to stop poor leadership and bullying. I wrote this book for you.

Guess what, I made it the most challenging in my own head!

The one question I get asked about all the time after I published a book is “How long did it take me?” I published a book, does it matter how long it took! I felt like it took BLOODY FOREVER is what I want to say; however I always reply with – a few years and I wish I knew it was going to be as easy as it was as I would have done it sooner. The one thing that made the difference to finally, yes I mean finally after years writing it, was that I did not care what people might have thought of it. Crazy I know! It was the one blocker for me to get it finally finished. Then I decided I didn’t give a crap what others thought, only what I thought and what I accomplished. Easy isn’t it? Maybe not as easy as we think.

So here I am promoting a new book, it is a book about how to rock the world.

Last year, I read the book called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k by Mark Manson. Have you read it? Yes there are a lot of Fu*ks in the book and it pretty much covers what I thought about life and yet had not been able to put my finger or maybe that word on it.

Thing is, it is true. Let me explore this with you as it is something I practice (well most days) and something I teach and coach in all my work. Essentially it is learning how to focus and prioritise your thoughts effectively – and how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on your finely honed personal values? In turn, it is about the choices we make everyday. Bingo! Easy…

However, what resonated to me was the way he talks about how we NEED the negative experiences and struggles in our lives. Sometimes we need to get off this ban wagon of everything is perfect, let’s dance on the positive life of rainbows and post the 80,000 great things we have and do each day on Facebook – and maybe focus on the struggles and negatives. We are human if you had forgotten. We need the negatives to truly appreciate the positives. Side note – If you have not been exposed to Brene Brown’s work please google her too.

Let me share this with you, the most negative and devastating thing that happened in my life 13 years ago; ended up being the most defining and powerful change in my world. It was that day I made a choice to reinvent myself and reframed the experience (yes I did spend days crying in a corner grieving as well) as one which will make me. Have this ever happened to you? A negative experience ending up being a powerful or life changing one? However we don’t take risks or even believe in ourselves, as we fear the one thing that could shake us up?

In turn, there are days where I feel building and growing an amazing business whilst being a full time solo mum is such an incredible and exhausting struggle, but I get up and do it everyday. Why? Because it is my life and there are many great positive experiences that come out of it.

Let me share how I see myself. I am courageous and brave everyday. I am different and unique and I embrace this everyday. I don’t compare or try to be the greatest. I am enough and I am great already. I don’t think I am special or better than anyone else; I am living my life to the fullest to make a difference. Thing is; we are all special and we are all great.

So here I am, trying to make a difference to the world. Okay maybe not trying, I know I do. The one thing that has made the biggest impact to me making a difference is this – I don’t give a crap. I don’t give a crap with what people think that don’t matter to me, to the thoughts that don’t serve me, the worry and stress about things I have no control over and I don’t give a crap on the little things that don’t matter. I give a crap about my purpose, what makes me different, why I make a difference and how, my daughter and her well being and those people and parts of my life that mater. Truly matter. Yes holy crap; simple.

So where am I going with this. Yes it is about not giving a crap, it is about focus and choices and being the unique person you are. What it is really about and something I speak about all the time in my speaking and leadership work is –

We are going to die. Yes all of us.

I want to focus on only giving a crap about what I can do each day to be the best leader and person I can be. This is what leadership and life means to me. Not giving a crap about all the bells and whistles; but giving a crap on how I can make a difference to those and the world around me. How I can be the ripple effect.

Mark Twain once said –

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at anytime.”

I am not prepared to die anytime soon, however I know that I am not afraid to live life and go for it.

As Mark states in his book –

“You only have a limited about of fu*ks to give. So you must choose them wisely.”

That’s why I am I published Just Rock It! I really give a fu*k about it.

Give this a go, and watch your world transform. Practice the art of not giving a crap or giving a crap on what matters and let me know how you go!

Don’t be afraid. You got this.

We truly give a crap about Leadership. We want to create a world of Great Leaders and Great Leadership. We would love to make you rock. Check out our amazing program and events below – 

Emerging Leaders and Women in Leadership Programs –

Take Charge Public Program

Online Leadership Academy Program

Free Book Launch & Take Charge Breakfast

Remember YOU ROCK! x


10 Traits of the Confident Female Leader

10 Traits of the Confident Female Leader

We all know confident women, confident female leaders. They light up a room when they arrive and they always leave a positive impression. They seem to have an indefinable something that makes them special, and perhaps even inspiring.

Very little stands in the way of emulating the confidence of those female leaders who inspire you. And it’s unlikely they were born so confident. It took mindfulness and practice, so if they can do it so can you.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. – Coco Chanel

Confident female leaders:

  • Use their words wisely, with respect and consideration. This is particularly true when speaking of other women. They have no need to gossip, or drag others down to make themselves feel better. Women with confidence are too excited by their plans and dreams.
  • Don’t take anything personally. Women who lead confidently know the only person they can control is themselves, and they are not responsible for anyone else’s emotions or behaviours. You cannot control what others do, only how you react.
  • Use their power for good instead of evil. They know their strengths and capabilities, and seek opportunities to make the world around them just a little better. Whether that be by mentoring another woman in their team and helping them achieve their own goals, or fighting for human rights, they are selfless and share their talent with others.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Confident female leaders won’t take credit for another’s success. Firstly, they have more respect for themselves and others, but also they celebrate the achievements of others, and the satisfaction of having assisted on the journey is more than enough. They support women, and don’t compete with them
  • Trust their instincts. They are thorough and decisive, and when they have made a decision they stick to it. They don’t hesitate or second guess, and this in turn instils confidence and motivates the team they lead.
  • They don’t lead to be liked. Confident leaders are not afraid to make the tough decisions even though they may not be popular. She can handle opposition and will deal with it rationally and fairly, with the conviction to stand by any decision. Those she leads respect her for her ability to follow through and be consistent.
  • They learn from their mistakes. Bumps in the road do not knock confident female leaders off course. They do not expect perfection from themselves or others, and know that with success and responsibility comes risk and sometimes failure. The ability to get up and get on with it after a setback keeps them moving forward and inspires others.
  • Believe in balance and reward. Working hard in the times of heavy workload is balanced with a break and reward for the team when the job is done and the load lightens a little. Confident women lead by example and put in the big hours when required but they are not afraid to celebrate and regroup and take a breather in preparation for the next challenge ahead.
  • Don’t waste time on worry. What if’s and should have been’s don’t exist for the women who is confident in her leadership. Worry changes nothing and is a waste of energy and focus that can be used to move forward.
  • They are authentic. Understanding their own motivations and being clear in their belief systems, confident leadership in women who inspire and motivate is effective, credible and consistent. Insincerity is obvious and unacceptable to those you lead, even if they can’t quite identify what’s not right. Authenticity is central to female leaders with confidence.

If you are unsure of yourself, people won’t listen and if you don’t believe in the course you set, then others won’t be motivated and inspired to follow you. Perhaps you’re almost ready to become a confident female leader by unlocking your unique leadership potential. We’d love to help you and if you think you need help with any of these steps, please contact us.

You can do it. You’ve got this.

10 Tips for Confident Leaders

10 Tips for Confident Leaders

Being a leader can take a lot of courage and putting yourself out there. You’re not only expected to produce an extraordinary outcome, but take a diverse group of people along with you. On top of that, your team is also expected to perform and produce, and work closely and collaboratively.

Your team members rely on you for decision making, taking the right steps, and, ultimately, leading them to success. However, if they have a moment of doubt about your abilities, or sense you’re unsure, you’ll lose their respect, and quite possibly their desire to put in the required effort.
You’re already a leader, though, so it isn’t much of a step from there to command respect and appear confident. Here are the top ten tips for being a confident leader.

1. It’s not personal. If something goes wrong, or one of the team is frustrated or disgruntled, it’s not about you. As a leader, you’ll be the sounding board for your team, and at times this can get a little uncomfortable. It may even sound personal, however it rarely, if ever, is.

2. There are no favourites. If you have a truly diverse team, you’re likely to experience conflicts and clashes. It’s important to hear out both sides equally, and feedback the concerns without emotion, and without favouritism. Even if you agree vehemently with one member, being neutral is essential.

3. Make decisions. Confident leaders are those who can think quickly under pressure, and call the shots when required. It is not so much the decision you make, but the indecisiveness that causes you to look unsure and shaky. Do something; don’t leave the team in limbo.

4. Acknowledge achievements. Even the little wins can have a big impact on the team, so it’s important to recognise these milestones. Just as importantly, acknowledge individuals for their contributions and efforts, as well as the team as a whole.

5. Credit where credit is due. There’s nothing worse than someone taking the credit for the hard work you’ve done. It’s a good way to lose all the respect and trust you may have had for them. As a leader, you’re likely to be the one acknowledged for the overall output or the success of the project. Average leaders accept the praise; great leaders give credit where the credit is due.

6. Responsibility and Accountability. Leaders will accept responsibility and be accountable for all that happens. If things go well, of course, they’ll distribute the credit. When things don’t go so well, a confident leader will work out what went wrong. Was it their communication, the decision they made, the system they set up that contributed to the issue? Then they go about fixing it.

7. Communicate honestly. This is where a confident, competent leader really comes into their own. They don’t try to appear as though everything is running smoothly, and will ask for input or ideas when needed. If one of the team isn’t performing, they support them while they discuss the reasons behind the lack of performance. Honest communication combined with genuine support will get your team out of almost any negative situation it encounters.

8. Respect. Leaders understand that this goes beyond valuing a person’s position or perspective, and involves their individual circumstances and needs. They aren’t frustrated by a person’s need to learn in a certain way, or their need to leave early to care for a family member. They’ll also ensure that the rest of the team adopts this same attitude towards all team members.

9. Trust their instincts. It’s this trait that allows a leader to make decisions quickly and efficiently. They not only have a highly developed sense of ‘gut feel’ but know it is essential that they listen to and follow it.

10. Don’t Lead to be Liked. Good leaders honestly don’t care if you like them or not. They’re there for the success of the project, not necessarily make new friends. Like the first point, none of this is personal, and they’re not doing this because they need more friends, or need more people to like them.
Confident leaders don’t need the approval of anyone. Confident leaders are about what they give, and how that comes across, not what they’re getting out of it.

Do you need help to be that leader? Remember, we all need a little help sometimes! Get in touch, join one of our programs or start some coaching. This is your time to lead!

How your emotions affect others

How your emotions affect others

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been happy or content and someone walks in; a work colleague, your partner, a friend, and they’re just plain angry or upset?

The lovely emotions you were surrounded by are gone and you start to feel a little angry or upset for them? Or even with them?

A good day can suddenly go bad, or, quite the reverse. You can be lifted out of wallowing in sadness by the jovial antics of those around you.

This phenomenon is referred to as ‘emotional contagion’ and it happens because, as humans, we are connected to each other emotionally.

You may remember from an earlier post that “Our ability to live in community with others is due to one of the most strongly wired networks in the brain. Our brains were tapped into listening and empathising, well before we used it as a tool for decision making and analysing.”

You may also remember that:
• Our brain registers social pain in exactly the same way that it registers physical pain.
• Our brain contains a set of neurons called mirror neurons.

Their job is to make you feel as if you are living in the other person’s mind and experiencing their thoughts and emotions

As a leader, whether a manager of a company, department or project, or a business owner leading a team of workers, your emotions will have an impact on those you are supposed to be leading. This will affect their concentration, productivity and performance in either a positive or negative way.

You can inspire and motivate your team through emotion and in turn, your team can inspire and motivate you. The problem in most organisations is that no one is managing the emotional mood within the organisation. It’s left to chance and consequently there are conflicts and clashes that leaders need to deal with, which should not have occurred in the first place.

Knowing that your people will experience your emotions through their mirror neurons, you are in a position to consciously create the emotional tone within your team. As leader, you can set the tone for your team by carefully managing your own emotions and choosing which you will allow to show. This requires a good understanding of yourself and an emotional self-awareness at all times.

Your team will feel what you appear to feel. Ask yourself what type and level of emotion will best benefit your team and your workplace and start building it.

Keeping our Workmates Safe…!

Keeping our Workmates Safe…!

What would be your last word?

Recently, I spoke at a breakfast in front of 12 leaders as well as on a Rail Project in front of 140 staff in Brisbane on Keeping our Workmates safe and understanding safety and the brain. We all learnt some powerful insights into how our brains function and how decisions are made by how we feel and how easily the brain can be distracted. Our fantastic exercise on distractions in front of the crowd was a great example of how we can’t multi task and the brain can’t cope with too many things at once. Their brains also got rewarded by some amazing meat trays too!

And I am talking about internal distractions (fight with the partner, what bills to pay, planning the Xmas break) as well external distractions (text messages, emails, mates talking on the paddock).

It has been proven we cannot multi task – sorry ladies! I cannot cook, clean, wash my hair and talk on the phone at the same time and I have tried! I suppose these things have become habits and I am not conscious of what I am doing so I think I can do a number of tasks at once. We can do a few tasks at once, but how effective are we truly being?

So when we form a habit like driving, it becomes a behaviour that is unconscious and we are in autopilot. We think we are so great at driving as we do it most days, that we can also do other tasks like texting on a mobile or eating a sandwich. But we can’t…we are distracted and not focused. We are not present. We are unsafe.

That text while driving could be our LAST WORD.

Watch this video and you will see what I mean…

How did that make you feel – what do you think you would do differently? Would we say to our kids, hey it’s okay to drive and get distracted by text messages! Do you think our kids are at home and thinking; hey Mum and Dad it is okay to be distracted at work or onsite? As we are parents to our kids, our roles are to keep them safe. As we are leaders at work and onsite, our roles are to keep our workmates safe. Stay focused, stay present…

Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you to keep your workmates safe!

7 Mistakes New Leaders Make in the First 6 Months

7 Mistakes New Leaders Make in the First 6 Months

The most common leadership mistakes made by new leaders

And how you can avoid making these leadership mistakes yourself.

Stepping into a leadership role for the first time is challenging and rewarding, but it can also be scary at times. These are some of the common mistakes new leaders make, and I offer a few tips to help you get off to the right start.

Mistake 1 – Forgetting about people

If you’ve never led others before, you may find it tempting to keep performing your former job duties and look at leading as simply another task to complete. As a leader, it’s not about how much work you can get done, but how much you can use your people skills to motivate others to give their best.

Place your focus on outcomes, rather than your personal activity level. As a leader, your primary job is now to act as a facilitator, identifying roadblocks that cause people to get bogged down. You must also connect your team with the tools and resources that they need to perform at their best. Focus on your people and not solely on tasks or processes.

Mistake 2 – Forgetting about your strengths

No one can excel at everything. New leaders often mistakenly feel that they need to be perfect in every area. It is useful to learn new skills, but to be an effective leader, you must focus on sharpening those skills that help you to stand out from other leaders and which truly define you.

Think about what do you do best, what are you known for and what area of leadership comes naturally to you. Focus on developing the areas where you already have some natural ability and that make you great at what you do. While it’s a good idea to know your weaknesses, always play to your strengths.

Mistake 3 – Not taking risks.

As a new leader, it is only natural to feel hesitant at times and doubt yourself. Rather than holding yourself, or your team, back for fear that you might make a mistake, you need to trust your judgment and be willing to step out of your comfort zone to try new ways of doing things.

Innovation is critical to gaining the upper hand against your competition and delighting your customers. Encourage your team to try new ways of doing things to improve performance. Encourage creative problem solving and innovation. The ideas are there. You just need to find and apply them.

Of course, there will be times that you and your team fail. Just be certain to embrace whatever lessons you can from your mistakes and move on, quickly. An occasional failure along the way is integral to ultimate success.

Mistake 4 – Not being yourself.

To inspire others to give you their best, you must have mutual trust and respect. This is impossible to build unless you are both authentic and honest with yourself and others. While it’s important to be upbeat and positive, don’t shy away from telling the truth when it needs to be said. Acknowledge the challenges that you and your team face. Have integrity. Be direct. Define realistic goals, hold your team, and yourself, accountable. Walk your talk.

Mistake 5 – Not saying what you think

One of the most difficult areas for new leaders to get right is feedback. Your team doesn’t just need to hear from you when something is wrong, you must let them know what they are doing right!  Be prepared to give and receive honest feedback.

Offer praise when your team is performing at their best. Always make certain that you are giving your team the tools that they need to meet their goals. This includes providing additional training and opportunities to build competence and learn new skills.

In addition to providing feedback, ask for unbiased, constructive insight into your own performance. Look to peers and others to offer feedback about your strengths and what areas you need to work on to improve your performance.

Mistake 6 – Overlooking your wins

Don’t forget to celebrate milestones and wins, no matter how small.

New leaders are often so focused on the big picture that they forget to acknowledge the successes hey achieve along the way. Celebrating your successes is a great way to help keep you and your team motivated and pushing forward. This is especially true when you hit obstacles and other roadblocks that make achieving your goals seems elusive and unobtainable.

Mistake 7 –  Becoming too comfortable

Complacency is the worst thing that can happen to a leader. Once you have achieved some success in your leadership role, don’t get comfortable. Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep learning and growing! Always be looking for ways to take on new challenges and opportunities and expand your leadership role.

Becoming a leader is not always easy, but it IS always worth it.

What mistakes have you seen new leaders make and how might you help them if you see it happening elsewhere?  We’d love to hear about your experiences so please leave a comment below.

If you want some help developing into an effective leader or growing your team of new leaders our Emerging Leaders program could be just what you are after. Give us a call, we would love to chat you through it and see if it is a great fit for your organisation.

The Neuroscience of Fear and Vulnerability

The Neuroscience of Fear and Vulnerability

Fear, Vulnerability and how opening up to your authentic self can make you a better leader.

You might think that fear, vulnerability and confidence don’t belong in the same sentence but according to Brene Brown, they actually do.

Many of us have been raised to think of vulnerability as a weakness. It’s something to cover up – your weak point – and you need to protect it from view at all costs, or you’ll be hurt. Brown takes the opposite point of view, saying that vulnerability is power.

“Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment. It’s the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for: joy, creativity, faith, love, spirituality,” she says. “And the whole thing is, there is no innovation and creativity without failure.”

In an interview for Forbes magazine she goes on to say, “When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.” In her opinion, entrepreneurship is all about vulnerability.

In fact, by allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you will build your confidence and learn to trust yourself and your judgement.

Possibly one of the most difficult parts of being a leader is learning to allow yourself to be vulnerable and learning how to model that for your team. I don’t blame anyone for being afraid when they let their guard down. Not everyone is going to understand what you are doing, or why, and not everyone will be willing to follow your example.

As leader, you need to create an environment in which it is safe for your team members to expose their vulnerabilities.

Luckily the brain can be your best ally in this situation.

The hippocampus is the part of your brain which involves memory and learning. It helps us put situations into context, based on our experiences, so we know how to react and when it’s ok to express our vulnerability. It’s the hippocampus which will help you overcome fear by drawing on the memory of similar circumstances in which you managed yourself well.

What that means for leaders is that you may need to build opportunities for success into the process of exploring vulnerability. It means that you may need to help your team members notice what is happening to them during those moments of vulnerability. The more mindful they are during those moments, the more information is stored in the hippocampus, to be drawn on later, as they need it.

A trait which seems to be a weakness is actually a strength.

A team which is strong enough to show vulnerability is a team which is confident enough to be creative, loyal, adaptable and focused. It’s a team in which each member has learnt to trust themselves in the face of risk, and to learn from every experience.

If you would like some help boosting your team effectiveness through their understanding of the power of vulnerability, give us a call to see how we can help.

Decoding Leadership Effectiveness

Decoding Leadership Effectiveness

Creating Leadership that works!

So much discussion centres on leadership. We at LeadershipHQ know as well as anyone, because of course we add to it!

In all the sentences, articles and conversations, it can be difficult to assess what appears to be most important in terms of skill and behaviour, for you personally as a leader as well as for your performance. One size never fits all, but sometimes, it would be helpful if there was a code or a guideline to help make some of the decisions and strategies easier, or for emerging leaders to concentrate their attention when seeking to improve their performance.

Mckinsey & Company surveyed 189,000 people across 81 organisations around the world to help identify patterns around the behaviours and leadership skills that should be encouraged. Based on their own extensive experience, they came up with a list of 20 leadership traits which they then surveyed against the extensive sample. In their articleDecoding Leadership, What really matters they shared their findings in detail but one of the most compelling findings was

“leaders in organisations with high-quality leadership teams typically displayed 4 of the 20 possible types of behaviour; these 4, indeed, explained 89 percent of the variance between strong and weak organisations in terms of leadership effectiveness (exhibit).”

4 kinds of behaviour were found to make up 89% of leadership effectiveness.

Behaviours leading to leadership effectiveness:

1. Solving problems effectively.

This was an unsurprising inclusion, and whilst it seems like a simple process of information gathering, assessment and decision making any leader knows it’s not always as simple as that. Whether large or small, problems solved well sets the best leaders apart from the rest.


2. Operating with a strong results orientation.

Identifying and prioritising the highest value work and then encouraging the importance of efficiency and productivity in these areas brings results and keeps everyone focussed on task and goals. Setting objectives and communicating a vision are only successful if they are followed through with a results driven focus.


3. Seeking different perspectives.

Being blinkered and restricted in information gathering doesn’t always give the full picture. Leaders who are not only aware of organisational as well as industry trends and changes, but seek input from team members and other stakeholders reduce bias in their decision making. This results in a better analysis across a number of dimensions and therefore better decisions and performances.


4. Supporting others.

Another inclusion that was expected, leaders who care and consider how others feel, show interest, build relationships and therefore trust help to inspire and motivate others to overcome challenges are a cut above.


There is no formula to leadership, and no two leaders or roles are ever the same, nor should they be, and the very best leaders are adaptable and continuously learning. However, this research does provide valuable information that might help you direct your own learning and development.

If you feel we can help you in these areas or any others, please contact us to discuss solutions, programs and interventions that will help you and your organisation to achieve maximum success.

Strengths Based Training and Organisational Positivity

Strengths Based Training and Organisational Positivity

Strengths Based Training and Organisational Positivity

One of the techniques we draw on in our leadership courses is strengths based training. This is a technique that I love because it is focused clearly on the positives.

Often, when something stops working in an organisation, people start looking for what is going wrong. With strengths based training we look for what is going right. It’s a different approach to problem solving that brings impressive results.

When leaders look for the gaps in their team’s knowledge or skills, they are instantly creating a disempowering workplace. Of course it’s not deliberate; it’s the way training has traditionally been managed – find a skill gap and fill it. You probably know how it feels when you’re told that you need to “improve on …” or “change the way you…” It can be dispiriting to find that there is yet more that you need to learn in order to keep up with the rest of your team.

Instead, strength-based training is based on the belief that everyone has their own set of strengths and abilities, and an inbuilt potential for personal development and change. We all do something right at some stage! Strengths based training boosts the individual’s self-confidence by showing them what they already do well and using that as the foundation for growth.

Strengths based training shows people how to use the skills they already have in order to bring about the change they need to make. Neuroscience has taught us that the human brain organises itself by strengthening the connections and pathways used most often. When you have a powerful basis on which to build, why wouldn’t you use it?

What does this mean for your organisation?

What does that mean for the individual?

Studies show that taking this positive approach to training actually boosts confidence, well-being and individual willingness to be actively involved in change. It changes the organisational environment into one of positivity and forward thinking.

What does that mean for the organisation?

When the teams are happy and confident, an organisation can expect to see a boost in profitability, a higher rate of productions, a reduction in workplace accidents, better client service and an improvement in employee retention.

If your organisation is still targeting only the negatives, it’s time you changed your approach.

At LeadershipHQ we train leaders to use Strengths Based Leadership and the principles of strengths based training to bring positive change in their teams and gradually throughout the entire organisation.

Are You Hiding Behind Your Leadership Mask?

Are You Hiding Behind Your Leadership Mask?

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.  

Bruce Lee

If you are a new leader in the present-day world, you may find it natural to adopt a new identity that will help you hide your vulnerability and uncertainty.  Everyone has the image of the perfect leader in their head and it is not uncommon for someone to choose to imitate that model in the belief that it will help them deal better with their team. However, research in the area of leadership so far proves that hiding your real self – hiding behind a ‘mask’ – only makes it much harder for a leader to achieve their set goals.

One of the problems emerging as a result of using a ‘mask’ when leading your team is strongly related to the trust of your colleagues. When you are yourself, you behave in a certain natural way – you behave authentically. The problem is that even if your new team members haven’t known you before, they will feel that something is not right, even on subconscious level. Team members will mistrust you without really knowing why.

Although in the beginning you may consider having a ‘mask’ on and playing a role an easy thing to do, many cases involving leaders not being themselves show that over time it becomes harder and harder to maintain this superficial self. This may be a result of the efforts required to maintain what is almost a double identity, or you may start to feel you are ‘betraying’ your real self.

Most leaders who have placed themselves in this position find that once they have cast away the mask and started being themselves, it is easier to communicate with their colleagues and team members, and to achieve the various goals set for the team.

Being yourself, showing who you are and what you want to achieve, produces far better results in a far easier way. It allows you to use the neural pathways which were already developed, so that your actions are instinctive and not premeditated.

It is natural to be anxious about your new leadership position and to think yourself not fit to cope with it. However, the way to actually make things work and start achieving results is not by hiding behind masks and creating new identities, but by being yourself.

Use your own skills and talents and trust in your own judgements.  Someone has seen your leadership potential even if you can’t see it yet.

Do you need help getting to the core of your leadership potential? Need some help removing the mask? Get in touch! We would love to help you.

The Future of HR

The Future of HR

What is the real future of HR?

And what does that mean for leadership in the Human Resources sector?


It has long been the responsibility of Human Resources (HR) for finding the right people for their organisations. In addition to recruiting top talent, HR has traditionally been responsible for training and development, as well as employee retention, and providing management of employee benefits, including insurance and payroll.

That’s no longer enough to justify the existence of an HR team. To meet the needs today’s workforce, the role played by HR must change and evolve.

HR Must Evolve Past Traditional Boundaries

Organisations and their people are losing out by keeping HR functions separated from the rest of the activities. The very structure of the workplace is rapidly changing. To ensure that organisations can recruit the top talent that they need, and that people have the necessary support to produce their best work, HR must change the way it sees itself, and push past the old boundaries.

The HR of the future needs to become human-focused in a way it has never been.

HR is Decentralised

Rather than thinking of HR as a single department, some HR responsibilities will be incorporated into every level of the organisation, no matter where the teams are located. That means learning to think globally about people issues.

To do this, HR must focus on building leaders who can build up and work with teams which are geographically widespread. There are challenges here including technological cultural and interpersonal, but the biggest challenge lies in equipping leaders with the skills needed to make people feel part of a cohesive team, even if they are not sharing an office or even a country.

HR should also focus on creating new opportunities for their organisations to share and exchange talent through collaborations and partnerships with external third parties.

Focusing on the Individual

This is something the millennials have asked of organisations, and to which organisations are just starting to respond. More and more, organisations will need to think about the person, not the team or business entity. Society has changed and people are looking for something worthwhile; a job where they feel they are really contributing.

For HR, this means ditching the blanket approach to personal development and performance management. While there may be a general framework to follow, it’s now all about offering people the opportunity to improve themselves both as individuals and as team members. HR will need to find ways to help people harness their talents and put them to constructive use, and that may mean working outside the traditional ‘job description.”

HR is Pivotal in Leadership.

It’s easy to push out the HR functions into the rest of the organisation, but it’s not so easy to push out the skills that go with it. Leaders will need to be more flexible than ever before, so HR programs will need to concentrate on building communication and interpersonal skills. And not just the kinds of programs we’ve had before…

Leaders will need much deeper and more practiced skills to manage the human needs that come with every team, particularly when they are globalised. They will need to know how to create a career for their team members; a career that allows them to contribute to the world, and which brings them back to work, day after day. They will need skills to help them build cohesive teams, and foster a sense of belonging, no matter where the team members happen to be in the world. Leadership will be clearly about people, not processes.

The future of HR revolves around leadership development. By upskilling HR practitioners, they will become the new frame of reference for leadership behaviour and performance.

To produce great leaders, HR will need to BE great leaders. That’s the real future of HR.

If this inspires you, check out our LeadershipHQ Human Resource leaders program. We believe that one of the best and most effective ways to create and respond to change is to equip an organisations “people” people – HR! Get in touch to find out more.

Leadership is an Attitude

Leadership is an Attitude

Attitude, not aptitude determines altitude

Zig Ziglar

A few months ago I was speaking about Leadership and Confidence to 200 University students. It was one of the best days I have had this year.

What struck me was not only their commitment to being there, listening and really being involved in the presentation, but their lack of self-belief. I asked them, “Do you see yourselves as leaders?” Maybe if that 50% of them put up their hands, if that. Yes kind of a confronting question to ask a group and then ask them to put up their hands. It was a little daunting.

Most of them did not see themselves as leaders. Why? They saw leadership as a role or title. They don’t have CEO, Manager, Managing Director or Leader in their title (maybe some did), so how can they be leaders.

It is not about role or title.

This is how I see it, we are all leaders. We can all be leaders. Leadership is about Attitude. It is how you see yourself. It is how you turn that leadership attitude into action.

Why? Guess what if you don’t see yourself as a leader, you are not one.

As Henry Ford once said, if you think you can’t, you can’t. If you start to see yourself as a leader, you are and will be one. Yeah I hear you saying, really? Or maybe even bring it on! It is about YOU. Putting up your hand to be the best you can be, learning about leadership (yes we can learn!) and about who you are as a leader and not being afraid to fail – and succeed!

As you know we love the Neuroscience space. This is because we see our brains as our most important leadership tool.

Thing is, what we find is that leaders are afraid to stand out and step up. What happens if I fail as a leader? What happens if I succeed as a leader?

I recently spoke at Xmas event for a global organisation on Leadership is an Attitude – and our fear of failing and succeeding. I said don’t be afraid to fail but afraid not to try! What really resonated to me at end of my presentation, was that CEO said one of the greatest moments in her career is when she realised she was afraid of success. This stopped her from trying. Then she decided that she could do this (she changed her attitude, you guessed it) and put her hand up! And look where she is now.

Marianne Williamson once said –

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.

Don’t be afraid. Believe me I get it, the brain finds it easier to focus on threats than rewards. This is from evolution and our focus on survival. We can change this focus. I promise a dinosaur won’t eat you!

We are the Director of OUR Brain; we can change your perception and attitude. Imagine if you saw yourself as a leader. You wanted to make a difference, lead with integrity and character, inspired and influenced others, created a shared vision, motivated those around you to be the best they can be, created a engaged and positive workplace, coached and mentored your team, lead with purpose and passion and also build our future leaders.  You can do this!

Imagine if we all made this happen and all made a difference. I think we would be leading a difference world if we all had the attitude that we are leaders. Leadership is an Attitude and We Lead Our World!

At Leadership HQ we love how all of our programs help the participants and organisations that they work for develop their own “leadership attitude”… and of course, I love it so much I even wrote a book about it! It matters that much to me!

We are all leaders…Attitude Reflects Leadership

By the way at the end of my presentation, I asked the University Students the same question, and most of them put up their hands. I had tears my eyes.

We can all make a difference.

Why leaders must be authentic

Why leaders must be authentic

Authenticity can transform a good leader into a great one as the ability to be authentic in a leadership role can, in turn, foster the development of authenticity in others.

You may know leaders who show the opposite traits of authenticity?  They are the leaders who tell people what they want to hear, often saying one thing and then doing another.  They are the leaders who always take the most popular route with their decision making, rarely taking a stance on anything.

Authentic leaders, on the other hand, are true to themselves and their own set of beliefs.  They are both motivated by and act on their own personal convictions.  This personal truth is the backbone of a great leader as they show strength in their integrity.  Quite simply they are who they say they are.

Neuroscience has shown us that it is not always easy to be authentic.  Human brains are dual-wired.  One system encourages people to behave as expected and say the words the listeners want to hear.  This is the system that urges people towards conformity and belonging, which is part of the regular human survival instinct.  The other wiring meets the need for individuality and allows people to have original and differing thoughts.  Authenticity is based on a fine balance between the two.

Balanced, authentic leadership has a positive effect on those that follow.  Trust is developed between the two positions helping to build confidence and optimism in a given environment.  Individuals and groups tend to respond well to authentic leaders generally going over and above what is expected of them and enjoying a happy and more positive work environment.

An authentic leader is one who is clearly in touch with their own values and strengths.  They have a tendency to possess and inspire passion in their chosen field and have their own unique vision.

To achieve this level of authenticity, a person must have a clear understanding of:

Greatness can then be achieved as decisions are made and actions realised in accordance with their own self-awareness.

 “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey was definitely onto something when she said this.  While money can be a great motivating factor, there are many other benefits that demonstrate that being true to yourself will definitely prove your worth to those around you.

Leadership should not be done alone! Need some help? That’s where we come in! Get in touch with LeadershipHQ for more information on how to strengthen your leadership and bring value to your business or organisation.

10 Ways to Engage Your Team

10 Ways to Engage Your Team

10 Ways to Engage Your Team and (more importantly) keep them engaged!

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

Ask almost any manager “What is the most difficult thing about your job?” Many of them will answer employee engagement, motivation, team chemistry or something to the effect. This quote by the late Steve Jobs perfectly articulates how balancing teamwork and production can be a delicate process.

So, what are some ways to engage your team? Let’s discuss 10 things that you can do or say that will create some spark in your business.


No quicker way to find out what works for each individual than to simply ask. Those with an introverted (thoughtful, solitary) side will probably not like the loud, “rah-rah” environment. People with an extraverted (energetic, outgoing) side will likely not respond to an email of congratulations. It’s about finding balance.


Embrace change

Accept and encourage ideas as part of your team culture. Nobody likes archaic, static environments, so seek to build a culture of innovation and creativity.


Give feedback

Feedback is necessary, even it is less than ideal. Performance will always be the primary driver in business, so be willing to take someone (including you) outside of their comfort zone. Honest and frank feedback is key to employee, team and company growth.


Resist the “golden rule”

Treat people the way that they (not you) want to be treated. Remember (this is key) that each individual’s personality, communication style, and other work preferences are likely to be different. Understand each person on your team and engage them according to these preferences.


Give credit

People should be given credit for a job well done. Even a simple “Thank you” or “I appreciate your effort” will go a long way in making your employees feel positive and motivated.


Show interest

This means showing employees that you care about them personally, specifically about their life, goals, and any challenges that they are facing.


Develop strengths

Gallup, the data-based news and research company, states that focusing on your employee’s strengths is likely to increase engagement. Focus on what each individual brings to the team and develop them accordingly.


Focus on new team members

Research indicates that employees are most engaged during their first six months. Use this knowledge to implement and execute a plan or initiative that will build on their morale.


Incorporate new training

Use tools and learning programs to further your team’s knowledge and track progress. Budgetary constraints are likely to prevent a large and elaborate program, so use some creativity to do this.


Keep employees informed

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than a new initiative, policy or program that employees are informed about at the last minute. As soon as feasible, let your team in on any developing trends that may impact them.


So there you have it! 10 things to help you engage your team and lead them to the next level. Want to take your leadership further, well that’s where we come in! Get in touch with the LeadershipHQ team to discover how we can help you engage your team and kick goals in your workplace.