Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

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Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire

I had to do some grocery shopping today and couldn’t help noticing the following words on the till receipt: “Do it with passion or not at all!” I fortunately love my job and put passion into what I do, but… Continue Reading →

Establishing recognisable themes in the workplace

One of my most loved music genre’s is ‘classical’ – not only compositions from the so-called ‘greats’ (Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, etc.), but also the lesser-known composers that have influenced music style in the 20th Century. This morning, it was… Continue Reading →

Taking a firm stance without treading on people’s toes

Safety boots, essential footwear for certain production and manufacturing environments, are typically designed to protect employees’ toes and feet in the event of an unfortunate accident. I call this a defensive strategy – being protected if something bad should happen…. 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 →

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 →

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