Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations



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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Using courageous energy to boost emotional capacity

Sarah is an intelligent and talented thirty-four year old woman – a graphic designer and skilled one at that. Her business is reasonably successful, but she constantly lives with the anxiety that she will one day be revealed as the… 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 →

Countering entropy in business

The word “entropy”, from a physics perspective, is the corollary of the second law of thermodynamics, the way in which energy flows from a hotter object to a colder one – entropy goes up as the range of possibility and… 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 →

Saying “no” appropriately to achieve success

The human being has all but lost the capability to manage the preponderance of choice – this has been called “decision fatigue” by some. There are just so many options, be it in grocery shopping varieties to choose from, career… Continue Reading →

Appreciation is the foundation of motivation

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once said: “There are two things people want more than sex and money … recognition and praise”. Repeatedly, the one motivating factor that heads employee lists is appreciation for a job well… Continue Reading →

Executing the one goal that is going to make all the difference

One of the benefits of extensive travel, particularly to other cities in the world, is the opportunity to experience client service first hand in a variety of hotels, with some of them being well-known brands.  I don’t always get the… Continue Reading →

Firing on all cylinders

Organisational health – the status of operating efficiently and effectively with a “happy team” of positive and focused employees – not only provides a seedbed for new ideas, innovation and creativity, but also establishes the necessary foundation for the development… 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 →

Leadership – getting the right people executing the right priorities

It is the main task of the CEO or business leader to establish the priorities that hopefully synergise to create a powerful money-making machine. Unless you are a one-person show (like a street vendor), you cannot personally implement them all… Continue Reading →

Focus is essential for strategy implementation

Focus on and persistence with the implementation of a strategy is often lost amongst other pressing issues – handling crises, problem-solving when things break down, protecting oneself in a sometimes politicised environment and dealing with the digital deluge. Frazzled managers… Continue Reading →

Your daily tasks may stand in the way of building a career

Having consulted with a number of firms, I have noticed, almost without exception, the frantic activity of senior and middle management as they scurry from meeting to meeting, prepare presentations, work on budgets, hoping to get the best deal for… Continue Reading →

Arresting the “one step forward, two steps backward” routine

Sir William Edward Parry (1790 – 1855) was an English naval officer and record-setting explorer of the Arctic. He made one of the initial attempts to conquer the perilous trip to the North Pole and, in so doing, travelled further… Continue Reading →

Becoming a God’s advocate instead of a devil’s advocate

I recall very clearly a team’s behaviour in a large manufacturing company, the team largely been made up of engineers and operational/production experts – whenever an idea was introduced to the larger gathering, individuals would attempt to pick holes in… Continue Reading →

Realising your vision for your life

A supervisor who attended a workshop that I was facilitating for a plastics company, in an exercise which examined personal vision and passion, admitted that he had always wanted to become a fireman – to be in a position, if… Continue Reading →

Reflecting deeply to make significant focus choices

I have visited many people in hospital before – to encourage friends and family, pray for their speedy recovery and wish them well. I have also had my own personal moments of being a “guest” at a number of such… Continue Reading →

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