Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Straight from the horse’s mouth

“Straight from the horse’s mouth” is an expression commonly used to imply that supplied information is credible, trustworthy and reliable. It is, in other words, considered to be the truth. In essence, this means that the information was obtained first-hand,… Continue Reading →

Growing emotional intelligence to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others

“Winnie-the-Pooh,” as he was originally called, first appeared in a story written in 1926 by A.A. Milne, who based the characters on his young son, Christopher Robin, and the boy’s stuffed animals. The original toy bear was named after Winnie… Continue Reading →

Taking responsibility for your attitude

Cockroaches are not my most favourite insects – these ‘bugs’ are considered repugnant by many folk, however, certain species are eaten in some parts of the world. These hardy insects are an ancient group, belonging to the order Blattodea, the… Continue Reading →

A diet of customer-centric values produces an appetite for extraordinary customer service

A friend of mine had the unfortunate experience of having a heart attack. He told me that it was like having an elephant sitting on his chest – the pain, the helplessness, the debilitation. Upon recovery, the doctor who had… Continue Reading →

Coaching to improve the skillsets of employees

Acclaimed athletes and international sports teams have many of them – coaches for different aspects of the game or discipline. This group of professional advisors often includes physiotherapists and masseurs, sports psychologists, nutritionists, fitness specialists and even doctors, quite apart… Continue Reading →

Communicating authentically in times of change

Business leaders are being stretched – having to make tough choices and subsequent changes for improvement, or even survival, in difficult financial times. These changes affect people, structure, processes, tasks and systems, so effective communication becomes essential during the whole… Continue Reading →

Supervisors – the critical cog in the engagement gearbox

In organisations, supervisors occupy the proverbial “ham in the sandwich” position, getting pressure from above to implement objectives and deliver on targets and pressure from below over issues like available and effective resources and organisational wellness and culture concerns. Many… Continue Reading →

Overcoming the most common mistakes made by leadership in change initiatives

Businesses can be wildly successful at change – exponential results could become achievable consistently. Greater profitability, growth in market share, improved customer satisfaction, engaged employees, stakeholder commitment and product innovation all become possible once potential is tapped and actualised. Unfortunately… Continue Reading →

“Celebrating diversity” and “tolerance” are completely different concepts

“Be with those who celebrate you, not with those who tolerate you” (Keith McEvoy) We are different in many ways, but one thing that we have in common as people is that we all have a variety of likes or… Continue Reading →

Granting employees their respective “voices”

“Often, poor leadership is masked by those with the loudest voices and strongest opinions” (Nick Fewings) Many employees are highly skilled, adept at problem-solving and creative in fulfilling organisational goals. Some are business builders and grow the company’s reach (brand… Continue Reading →

Closing the performance gap with effective performance conversations

Behind the problems that routinely plague teams and organisations are individuals who either can’t or won’t deal with failed promises – some have just not performed well, missed deadlines or behaved badly; others have broken rules or have been involved… Continue Reading →

Most people just need jobs

“We need entrepreneurs who will come up and create businesses, yes; but not everybody’s an entrepreneur”. (Strive Masiyiwa: Founder & Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless Group) In a world that is plagued by many problems, “entrepreneurship”, as a topic for Global… Continue Reading →

Using dialogue as an effective component of your change strategy

“You support what you help create” (Alinda Nortje: Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow) In a world of increasing turbulence, including unpredictable financial and socio-political contexts, leaders are under pressure to transform their organisations towards achieving sustainable growth. This “transformation” may… Continue Reading →

Don’t crack under pressure

Jack William Edouard Heuer was born in 1932 in Bern, Switzerland, as great-grandson of Edouard Heuer, the original founder of TAG Heuer in 1860. He holds an Electrical Engineering degree and a master’s degree in production and management from the… Continue Reading →

Being optimistic in the face of adversity

An optimist was once defined as a fellow who believes that a housefly is looking for a way to get out! Well, that’s maybe ‘silly’ optimism. Expressing some humour, James Branch Cabell (The Silver Stallion) said: “The optimist proclaims that… Continue Reading →

There is a difference between having a manager and being managed

To have a manager and ‘to be managed’ are not the same things. To have a manager means having a coach, a leader and a guide. It implies collaboration with a colleague, achieving alignment around the things that matter most… Continue Reading →

Dispelling suspicion through leadership trustworthiness

We don’t know who to trust anymore! Many political and some business leaders keep letting us down. In fact, they deliberately manipulate circumstances (tenders, the system, etc.) to suit their own selfish desires. Money that should have been directed to… Continue Reading →

Developing character excellence

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility lies in being superior to your former self” (Ernest Hemingway) Character (or perhaps ‘honour’) is a trait that most would like ascribed to them and yet the… Continue Reading →

Finding your feet following failure

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill) Economist and Financial Times columnist, Tim Harford, in his book “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure” noted: “Few of our own… Continue Reading →

Managing multiple bosses

In the movie, Office Space – a comedy about work life in a typical 1990’s software company – the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, make requests of his energy and… Continue Reading →

Stereotyping stands in the way of leadership effectiveness

Stereotypes can influence first impressions and can negatively impact the possibility of a healthy relationship. Categorisation (stereotype) deals with putting people into boxes – perhaps mildly, based on their interests, their respective professions, their hobbies, etc., but more strongly, by… Continue Reading →

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