Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

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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 →

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 →

Developing character excellence

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility lies in being superior to your former self” (Ernest Hemingway) Character (or perhaps ‘honour’) is a trait that most would like ascribed to them and yet the… Continue Reading →

Finding your feet following failure

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill) Economist and Financial Times columnist, Tim Harford, in his book “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure” noted: “Few of our own… Continue Reading →

Managing multiple bosses

In the movie, Office Space – a comedy about work life in a typical 1990’s software company – the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, make requests of his energy and… 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 →

Awakening the potential genius in you

The word “genius” perhaps brings to mind a prodigy or mastermind of the past, either in the musical, scientific or mathematical fields – Bach, Einstein, Mozart, Aristotle, Beethoven and Da Vinci, to name a few. There are conflicting ideas, however,… 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 →

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