Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Category

Leadership

Leaders should be force-multipliers of commitment

‘Force-multiplication’ is a term used in military science and warfare and refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence multiplies) the effectiveness of an item or group, giving the troops the ability to accomplish greater… Continue Reading →

Managers, ‘keep an eye on the weather’ of your employees

In coastal cities, particularly those where frequent cold fronts make landfall in the winter months, weather conditions are known to change rapidly. This happens to be true of Cape Town, a beautiful city located at the south-western tip of Africa… Continue Reading →

Most people quit their bosses and not their jobs

“When the well is dry, we find out the price of water” (Anon) Do not let your most loyal and best people quit to find out how valuable they are – recognise, incent and reward them now before they look… Continue Reading →

Leadership styles and their impact on change facilitation

In major change initiatives, once the design is complete and the change project begins, there are two fundamental change processes: planned and emergent. Conscious change leaders orient to both – attention needs to be given to emerging dynamics and the… Continue Reading →

Encouraging the transformation shift from resistance to commitment

I have recently done some work for a non-governmental organisation – their strategy had changed (what was previously an organisation who themselves implemented projects within communities had now moved to a strategy of influencing partner organisations and government departments to… Continue Reading →

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 →

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