Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Category

Leadership

Leaders – don’t make assumptions!

“Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac” (George Carlin) We all seem to have a natural tendency to assume the worst in others. When we are… Continue Reading →

Helping employees overcome emotional exhaustion in the workplace

Getting bogged down by circumstances is probably not an uncommon experience for many – the stresses of life (one’s work and personal contexts) seem to close in on one and one gets “stuck”, immobilised and down-hearted. In spite of these… Continue Reading →

Developing an acquired taste for true leadership? It is not just a position

An “acquired taste” is appreciation for something unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it. The phrase is typically used in relation to food or beverages (everyone not taking to them on account… Continue Reading →

Taking talent to the top tier

All companies need them – talented individuals who are not just satisfied with the status quo, but rather who push the perceived boundaries of innovation, creativity and exploration to arrive at better ways of doing things, new or enhanced product… Continue Reading →

Deepening communication style to effect organisational alignment during change efforts

“Smart leaders today engage with employees in a way that resembles an ordinary person-to-person conversation more than it does a series of commands from on high, instilling a conversational sensibility throughout their organisations” (Groysberg & Slind) Achieving organisational alignment during… Continue Reading →

Leaders – care for those you lead

“In a child’s lunchbox are a mother’s thoughts” (Japanese Proverb) On occasion, I also took my turn as a parent preparing lunches for my children when they were in junior school. I was not that creative I guess in what… Continue Reading →

Motivation germinates in a recognition environment

In West Africa, I was enjoying working with and facilitating a workshop for a group of managers from a media company – having rigorous discussions about the topic ‘leadership style’. Many contended that “in that part of the world”, the… Continue Reading →

Engagement catapults the customer service ability of the organisation

“The success of your organisation doesn’t depend on your understanding of economics and organisational development or marketing. It depends, quite simply, on your understanding of psychology: how each individual employee connects with your company; how each individual employee connects with… Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Caring about the emotional wellness & career security of employees

Over the past two decades, Free To Grow, a consulting company based in South Africa, has created rich, stimulating and meaningful learning experiences for well over 1 000 clients and has trained almost 90 000 people during this time. Through many years… Continue Reading →

Believable communication in times of change

The Information Technology project team seemed to be upbeat, certainly if one analysed the tenor of their weekly project reports mailed to everyone in the company. Their “Win of the Week” e-mail was a status update of progress being made… Continue Reading →

Breaking down an unhealthy silo mentality

“Nothing kills ‘one team one goal’ thinking like silos” (John G Miller, author of QBQ: The Question Behind the Question) A CEO of a large business recently shared some of his frustrations with me – he complained that he needed… Continue Reading →

Achieving breakthrough outcomes in a changing environment

Over the past couple of decades, the acceleration of technology and other marketplace drivers have radically changed the very nature of change. Whereas change was once a contained transactional event (and far easier to control), it is now more fluid,… Continue Reading →

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