Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Category

Leadership

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 →

Culture transformation should be tackled holistically by company leadership

Many companies languish with cultures that neither meet organisational needs nor address the core needs of individuals and teams. Although leadership teams intuitively and experientially know that culture impacts on how people behave and perform, few leaders know how to… Continue Reading →

Leaders need to reassure their organisations when going through change

Some time ago, Microsoft announced that it would acquire the professional networking site, LinkedIn, for US$ 196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at US$ 26.2 billion. In an e-mail to LinkedIn employees, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, explained why… Continue Reading →

Cultivating a sense of community at work

The door was open and I received a comforting welcome when I arrived at the potential client that morning. Whilst waiting for my presentation to the executive leadership and sipping on a needed cup of rather good coffee, I was… Continue Reading →

When your most motivated employees become quiet

Tim McClure, Professional Speaker and Brand and Leadership Consultant, noted: “The biggest concern for any organisation should be when their most passionate people become quiet”. Highly motivated individuals – their participation, their creativity and ideas and their keenness to be… Continue Reading →

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 →

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