“I’m six weeks into my new executive role, and I’m drowning…” I often hear this from clients who have recently taken on a new senior leadership role. Expectations are high, the stakeholder world is complex, there’s plenty to learn, and there’s a real sense of urgency. There’s a real buzz associated with getting stuck in so intensively,

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How can I get my organisation bought in to my new strategic plan? I was recently coaching Craig, a leader who’d just taken on a new C-Suite leadership role and needed to put in place a strategy and plan. He’d worked late nights and weekends on this, and was really pleased with the result. He’d presented

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“I’m an excellent functional/operational leader, but in the CEO role I need to become a strategic/transformational leader.” This is the kind of comment I often hear from clients who have recently taken on the CEO role, and they’re right. The CEO role is a move out of the comfort zone of functional leadership or business

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“I’m a do-er and a fixer; I love talking about my work but I hate self-promotion. So how I do I talk about myself to my new organisation?” Two extremely competent and successful clients, both with new and more visible executive roles, asked me pretty much the same question this week. So here are three principles to help

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When you’re at the top of your organisation, who supports and challenges you?Who’s your role model and inspiration?Who are the people who have your back?Who’s your tribe where you can relax amongst peers? The difficulties of finding CEO communityAs you rise through an organisation and assume increasing responsibilities, it can be harder to find peers who

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As CEO, what decisions are truly yours to take, and which decisions should you be empowering other people to make? This is a key question for any CEO or senior leader to answer, and it’s a recurring topic of discussion amongst my CEO clientele. Failing to get clarity on this will result in disempowerment for your

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Peter Franks is a Partner with the internet and technology industry focussed headhunting firm Neon River.Having spent the last seventeen years advising CEOs and other senior executives on how to build out their senior management teams, I’ve noticed a few common themes that often explain why hiring processes go wrong.

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In previous articles we’ve looked at the example of Google and started to think about coaching the team, as a team, as a way to help the whole team reimagine success and collectively identify the patterns and roadblocks currently limiting its performance. The question then becomes: can I do this myself as the team leader, or should I

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Google’s secret weapon? When Google hired Eric Schmidt as CEO, investor John Doerr advised him to bring in Bill Campbell in as his coach. Eric was sceptical. He was an impressive top-performer. He’d been CEO of Novell and CTO of Sun, and he held a string of impressive academic credentials (BS, MS, PhD). Did he really need

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If you want to take your team from good to great, you need to rethink the assumptions and mental models that are keeping you stuck at good. When we find new and more powerful ways of thinking about teams, new avenues and opportunities become clearer. One of the mental models that has quite probably found its way into

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One of the paradoxes of modern business is that we’re increasingly using data to inform decision-making, but there’s a real lack of actionable data on the people that solve problems, drive initiatives and innovate solutions. Over the last 20 years, businesses have adopted personality assessments such as MBTI, DISC, Insights and the like. Whilst these increase self-awareness and

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Marketing gurus recommend that if you want to get noticed, pick a fight. This seems to be the strategy adopted by Benjamin Hardy in his new book “Personality isn’t Permanent”, subtitled “break free from self limiting beliefs and rewrite your story”. The fight he picks is with personality tests (Myers Briggs / MBTI, DISC, and the

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When you’re navigating complex, volatile and uncertain times, it’s incredibly valuable to step back as a leadership team and plan some bold moves. But when a physical leadership retreat may not be possible, is it really worth thinking about a virtual leadership offsite? Isn’t that just too painful? In this article we put forward some bold virtual leadership retreat

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When you’re leading through a crisis, there are a series of shockwaves that are going to hit you, your team and your business. If you know what they are, and you have a model to think through their implications, then you can anticipate what’s going to be happening and be ahead of the curve. There are three

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In the current situation of 100% remote working and social distancing imposed by the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis, it’s more important than ever to create a sense of engagement and ownership in your team. But these key principles are timeless and should be in every leader’s toolbox at every stage of the economic cycle. William is a

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Any successful person will eventually come to the realisation that the thing that’s stopping them from achieving greater results is … themselves. We can (and should!) talk about mindset, skillset, drive, emotional intelligence, and so on. But ultimately what it’s going to come down to are the observable habits and behaviours that result from all of that. In other

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I spoke to a client this week. He’s the CEO of an incredible high-growth tech company that’s just raised around $200M in financing. We started to explore what the next level looks like for him and for the firm – he’s able to switch gears from fund-raising to accelerating growth – and it’s clear that

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I just got off the phone with a senior leader at a multinational. He’s experienced, highly competent and in the middle of a turnaround situation. During our call, I asked him “so what’s your vision for your team next year? How do they need to grow and step up? What would you like them to be doing

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18 powerful questions you need to askIf you’re taking on a new leadership role, your first 100 days are critical. As you’ll be aware, the stakes – for you and your organisation – are high. Check out this graphic from McKinsey, a consultancy:As you can see, 90% of leaders who had a successful transition deliver

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How to avoid the common traps that limit C-suite leaders’ future successYou’re a high achieving founder/executive with an impressive track record. You’re a quick-thinking strategic problem solver. You love the challenge of fast-moving, complex situations. You’re always among the first to catch a vision. But despite that, you don’t feel that special inside because of the deep sense that

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Many leaders stop growing because they’re getting great reviews from their boss and strong feedback from their people. Unfortunately, they don’t realize they’re still only in the first phase of their leadership journey.Perhaps you’re getting results from your team that bolster your company’s bottom line. Your people respect you and look to you for direction. You

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Warning: This article has the potential to change your business and your personal leadership forever. If you’re looking for a quick piece of content candy, I advise you to skip this article and get back to work. However, if you know that what got your organisation here won’t be enough for its next phase of

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“You’d better be damn sure when you wake up that you’re doing what you want to be doing as opposed to what you feel you ought to be doing or what somebody else thinks you ought to be doing.” What’s your next big leap forward for your career or business? Perhaps you’re highly motivated by your current

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Do you know this issue? You have very capable, strong performers on your leadership team, but team meetings and discussions are… unsatisfying! It’s so frustrating because you know the calibre of people in the room and you know the team could be accomplishing so much more together.Well, I’ve been working with a couple of really strong,

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Si vous êtes un entrepreneur, un porteur de projet – bravo !  Vous êtes parmi ceux et celles qui ont une vision, une passion et un vrai désir de changer le monde, au moins un petit peu.  Vous êtes passé de ‘spectateur’ à ‘acteur’, et pour cela je vous félicite. Mais d’après mon expérience, les entrepreneurs

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Time and time again leaders watch as pivotal moments get forgotten and real opportunity to play at a new level fades away. Here’s how to stop that from happening.How most leaders cripple team developmentWe’ve all been there. You turn up to the annual team offsite meeting. You suddenly remember what happened at last year’s meeting. Or

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Strong, strategic leaders are an incredible asset – but they can easily and permanently undermine the long-term success of the team. Here’s how you can avoid this common but often unseen pitfall.Superstar leader, strong team – but growing disengagementI was working with the Senior Leadership Team of a UK company. 10 experienced people around the table,

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You might have a focused strategy, a great product and relentless execution, but if you fail to harness the power of one key leadership perspective in your team, your impact will remain moderate. In this article we’ll cover the key to skyrocket your team’s influence and achieve your goals faster than ever. But first, a quick story.How

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If you’re an entrepreneurial, visionary leader but are frustrated at your team’s performance or their reluctance to ‘get on board’, the good news is there’s a huge opportunity to increase performance. There’s an essential leadership perspective on your team that you may actually feel is holding you back, but in fact can make all the difference.A

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“I want more innovative thinking from my organisation.” We hear this all the time from C-Suite leaders. Well, what if there were actually game-changing ideas that you simply weren’t hearing?When a missed perspective results in missed opportunitiesI was coaching the exec team of a high-growth tech firm, and had some in-depth discussions with the two

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If you are a driven, strategic leader, you might be creating unnecessary resistance, stress and drama in your organisation because you’ve unintentionally shut down a critical leadership perspective on your team. Here’s how you can avoid this common trap.A Visionary Leader…. An Organisation in TattersWhen I was at Cisco, a new leader came in to

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Overload and frustration. These were the two key themes emerging from our Organisational Leadership Survey. You might resonate with Valérie, a regional VP in an online advertising firm who I spoke to last week. Valérie has a team to manage but also has individual goals to achieve. She’s got a couple of star players she relies on extensively,

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What’s holding your specific team back?  What’s stopping you get the business results you want? It’s a crucial question. ​Until you can pinpoint the key limiting factor, it’s incredibly difficult to make major progress in your team’s productivity or effectiveness.  To use an analogy, there’s no point tuning up the engine if the car has a flat

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Q. Why do people scramble to answer the telephone? A. Because their grandparents did. Human behaviour always lags technology evolution. When our grandparents installed their home phones, a phone call was a very expensive form of communication, reserved for the weekly catch-up with distant relatives or for urgent and important notifications. So when the phone rang, you

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I was speaking with the CEO of a fast-growing technology firm a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing how to build on their success by taking internal engagement, communication and alignment to a new level. “I generally recommend starting with the senior leaders,” I explained. “Because leaders define culture, and people need to see their

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Here’s a shocking fact: The average team comes in at just 55% when we measure team health and performance across 5 dimensions. Like you, I’ve been in teams good and bad. At their best, the sense of cohesion and synergy is phenomenal. My last couple of teams at Cisco had exactly that dynamic – collegiate, results-focused,

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It’s hardly new news – but digital disruption is now top-of-mind in practically ever sector. You probably have your own favourite stats on this issue. Here are mine. 63% of industrial players and 81% of tech companies are experiencing significant disruption, or are expecting it within 12 months. (Source: Russell Reynolds Associates). Digital disruption poses an existential

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Effectiveness is more than productivity.  Whereas productivity is ‘doing things right’, effectiveness also includes ‘doing the right things’ and can be seen as a chain that links your daily activities to your deepest needs, desires and hopes for the future. So if you want to live a successful, accomplished life, tuning up your personal effectiveness is

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Remember Clayton Christensen’s classic, The Innovator’s Dilemma? It was the brilliant observation of how well-managed market leaders would almost invariably fall prey to disruptive technology, and fail to capture the next wave of value. What was startling about Christensen’s work was that the incumbent firms were well-managed and made rational decisions at each stage of

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It’s well known that the proportion of M&A deals that fail to create the expected value remains alarmingly high. A survey a couple of year ago from by Aon Hewitt found that nearly 50% of companies had failed to achieve their stated value-creation objectives from the deal. So what’s going on, and what can leaders

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Most leadership development is a dead-endPut it another way, it promises a lot but generally doesn’t result in lasting organisational impact. Why is this? Well, let’s take a typical scenario.  Does this sound familiar?Bob comes back from a two-day leadership training offsite with 40 other  VPs from his company.  He’s found the program engaging and interesting and

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If you are looking to scale your company significantly and penetrate new markets in the coming year, you’d better beware. Recently, as part of my leadership consulting work in tech, I’ve spoken with CEOs and COOs of several exceptional start-ups who are on exactly that journey. Often the focus is on preparing systems and processes

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“The key differentiator between Tech companies that are built to last, and those that die after launch, is that leaders recognise their intrinsic duty to not just build a product but build a culture.” ~ Granny/Maxfield/McMillanOne of the interesting paradoxes of the tech industry is just how important people are to success! The fast pace,

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