Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations



Most people quit their bosses and not their jobs

“When the well is dry, we find out the price of water” (Anon) Do not let your most loyal and best people quit to find out how valuable they are – recognise, incent and reward them now before they look… Continue Reading →

Developing an acquired taste for true leadership? It is not just a position

An “acquired taste” is appreciation for something unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it. The phrase is typically used in relation to food or beverages (everyone not taking to them on account… Continue Reading →

Taking talent to the top tier

All companies need them – talented individuals who are not just satisfied with the status quo, but rather who push the perceived boundaries of innovation, creativity and exploration to arrive at better ways of doing things, new or enhanced product… Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Applying total quality management principles to your personhood

“The best reformers the world has ever seen are those who begin on themselves”. George Bernard Shaw Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy introduced to corporations by W Edwards Deming in the 1950’s. The principles have resulted in many… 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 →

Balancing cost leadership with differentiation through focus

You remember some companies for the special attention or additional value that you received upon making your purchase – a free bottle of champagne and chocolates in your hotel room, free pillows with the purchase of a bed set or… Continue Reading →

Constructing organisational vitality

You sense it when you walk in the door – either “this feels like a good place in which to work” or “something is happening here that is causing people to be unhappy and frustrated”. You sense it in body… Continue Reading →

Targeting top talent

To reach targets, drive a strategy with excellence and exceed shareholder demands, organisations need top talent. Gone are the days when employees could just follow process and be reasonably productive for their allotted eight hours – the competition is now… Continue Reading →

Disciplined implementation is essential for strategic delivery

I am frequently involved in strategic planning sessions with my clients. Based on a desirable future reality for the firm, company executives get together to plan the way ahead – develop a strategy to achieve their joint vision. Usually, enormous… Continue Reading →

Consultants – “lower life-forms” or key to enhancing your business results?

There are plenty out there that are bad, really bad – so-called “consultants” that wear the right suits, say the right things, claim experience beyond their years, but who ultimately give the profession a bad name. They parade their “skills”… Continue Reading →

Slow down for orange lights, particularly for performance, attitude or relational issues

When pressed for time, particularly when you are rushing somewhere in your car to make an appointment, clarity of thought sometimes goes out the window. You encounter an orange light and do what most people do – you speed up…. Continue Reading →

Defining and living your role well at work

A senior manager in a large corporation in downtown Manhattan was hosting a lunchtime business meeting in the boardroom of the company. At about 10:00 on the day of the meeting, he took the elevator to the penthouse floor, the… Continue Reading →

Instituting a robust performance culture

I love motor vehicles, especially those that are designed to perform at optimal levels in races on tracks or on the dirt in rallies. The back-up crew of mechanics and engineers are critical to any driver’s potential success, as the… Continue Reading →

Positioning yourself for purposeful promotion

In talking to literally hundreds of people about career development and subsequently, positional growth, I have been struck by the expectation of most people that career growth means promotion – it means progress upwards within a department within the company…. Continue Reading →

Developing a high performance culture

During the past year or so, I have been working with a number of companies on enhancing performance, and subsequently results, through refocusing these business entities on employee engagement and quality leadership processes. Creativity and strategic thinking has not just… Continue Reading →

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