Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Category

Leadership

Leaders showing up at work with a transformative disposition

Mary came to work on that cold winter’s morning in Johannesburg, South Africa, making use of the public transportation system as normal, but seemingly now with a spring in her step. Arriving with a broad grin and a warm greeting,… Continue Reading →

Pointing out the way as a leader

I was told by my parents never to point my finger, particularly not at people. Pointing out a passing ship or a whale frolicking offshore was fine, but finger-pointing for me was limited to natural wonders and animals. As I… Continue Reading →

All in the same boat …

The expression ‘in the same boat’ is typically construed as a negative idiom – “you say that you have run out of money – well, I am in the same boat”, meaning that I have run out of money too…. Continue Reading →

Getting back to leadership basics in business

I see it all the time – leaders abusing their power. Instead of enabling the business environment to enhance productivity and engender trust, they manipulate circumstances to suit their own needs. Because they have authority (and this is particularly true… Continue Reading →

Dealing with resistance in the workplace

A distraught manager approached me one day, wanting to pull her hair out. She explained that every time she attempted working with a new idea or approach or implementing a new system, even though the same might be part of… Continue Reading →

Climbing to new heights and maintaining your altitude

According to an old legend, vizier Sissa Ben Dahir presented an Indian King Sharim with a beautiful, hand-made chessboard. The king asked what he would like in return for his gift and the courtier surprised the king by asking for… Continue Reading →

Recognising need and acting on it

As leader, sometimes it stares you in the face – employees blatantly showing you disapproval of a decision that has been made, children voicing their disgust of having to leave a neighbourhood and social context where they have comfortably settled… Continue Reading →

Creating constructive teamwork

Much has been documented with respect to team success or failure. High-performance teams, upon evaluation of performance characteristics, seem to have that “special something” that drives their achievements. Their reputation grows and every success seems to inspire further greatness. They… Continue Reading →

Leading by example

Ancient French legend tells the story of a monastery in France that was known throughout Europe for the exceptional leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks went on a pilgrimage to meet this extraordinary man to… Continue Reading →

Coaching employees towards performance excellence

All athletes, who are at the top of their respective disciplines, have them – coaches to enhance performance, sports psychologists, nutritionists, sports physiotherapists, motivational experts and technologists who fine-tune body movement. Without the input of these ‘assistants’, progress in the… Continue Reading →

Creating a climate of constructive collaboration

Getting all employees to work together to achieve the central goals and objectives of the company is simply business common sense. Common sense, however, is not necessarily common practise. As a company grows, more departments and divisions are created to… Continue Reading →

Cultivating success requires leadership influence

Agriculture is the cultivation of plants, fungi and growth of animals and other life forms for food, fibre, bio-fuel, medicinal and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Until the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of the human… Continue Reading →

Managers, be mindful in your communication

I sometimes get mildly irritated, no, maybe seriously aggravated, by the following: mobile phone conversations held at full volume on public transport; 20km/h speed limits outside junior schools still applying at midnight, sometimes with a speed camera to enforce it;… Continue Reading →

Stimulating energy for productivity

In small and large manufacturing and production-type enterprises, apart from technical issues that may occur from time to time, one of the most pertinent issues faced by leadership is getting the various teams focused and applying their energy appropriately. Modern… Continue Reading →

Using emotional impact to motivate others

“People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel” —Maya Angelou. Isn’t it interesting that we can’t really remember the Oscar winners for the past five years, but we… Continue Reading →

Managers – don’t manipulate, but rather influence

You hear it so often – stories of distraught employees who have had enough. Struggling with disempowerment and the emotional stress that goes with manipulating managers, these employees want to throw in the towel and find a “better place in… Continue Reading →

Emotional understanding and assimilation leads to behaviour change

Turbulence in the economies of countries and in the financial arena in which business plays will never cease. What may have seemed a stable environment in which to plan future growth and corresponding budgets in the past, strategies that ensure… Continue Reading →

Leaders, support your staff

When my children were very young, there were certain environments where my wife and I “let them loose” to play to their heart’s content. They were free to run around and use their pent-up energy in the most creative ways,… Continue Reading →

Specialising in the impossible

Work is a gift! Work is not only a means to a financial end, but an opportunity for you to express your unique giftedness in special ways. In fact, Thomas Aquinas, the medieval monk and scholar once said: “Without work,… Continue Reading →

Leaders – make those decisions

As leaders, we are faced with decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. Many of them, especially the ones that are governed by cultural norms, societal principles or organisational procedures and policies, are easy to make –… Continue Reading →

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