Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations



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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Tapping into your own potential

“I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”. Robert Frost So many… 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 →

Overcoming procrastination with vision clarity

Even the most proactive of people fall into the procrastination trap at some stage or the other. Important activities are sometimes substituted by pressing activities, the same of which don’t necessarily contribute to achieving one’s goals. Some people get really… Continue Reading →

Hiring for leadership uniqueness

Trends change over time. This is not only true of fashion and cultural preferences, but also, and of particular note, the way we do business and hire people to fulfil their respective roles within the work context. Previously, one’s Curriculum… Continue Reading →

Specialising in the impossible

Work is a gift! Work is not only a means to a financial end, but an opportunity for you to express your unique giftedness in special ways. In fact, Thomas Aquinas, the medieval monk and scholar once said: “Without work,… 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 →

A defining mission guides behaviour and refines focus

Dr Stephen R Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame, at an address that I attended in the USA, related a story regarding exceptional client service in a hotel at which he was a guest. He had, through… Continue Reading →

Living and working as a result of a compelling vision

Alinda Nortje, colleague and Executive Chairperson of Free To Grow, during a presentation, related her experiences of facilitating a workshop for UNICEF in a country in the Middle East – as facilitator, there is always a steep learning curve when… Continue Reading →

What’s on your mind? Instilling company vision and values

Many years ago, I noticed a cartoon in a magazine relating to a family – what each family member thought of when one suggested that the family should get a dog. The mother had a picture of a little Chihuahua… Continue Reading →

Cultivating a vision for team effectiveness

The A-Team was an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces personnel who work as “soldiers of fortune”, while on the run from the Army after being branded… Continue Reading →

Visionary leadership, lived to create organisational success

There have only been a few of them – country leaders who have managed to impart vision to the people to bring changes to attitudes and behaviour and thus create a better life for all citizens. Maybe selfishness, power and… Continue Reading →

Constructing your road to success

One of the most frustrating problems we face in Africa is the lack of tangible investment or re-investment in infrastructure, particularly felt in the sub-standard network of roads and tracks that link its countries. In some countries, it is not… Continue Reading →

Intentionally planning a fulfilled future

I love flying – just as well, as I do a lot of it! When I was a boy, dreaming of wanting to become a pilot, one of my greatest memories was attending an air show, watching pilots go through… Continue Reading →

Making new goals stick

Many have made new year resolutions only to fail dismally in the implementation thereof.  Others make goals to improve a certain aspect of their lives, but are not successful in creating a platform for new habits to form and for… Continue Reading →

All departments exist for company profitability

In my travels and subsequent visits to simply many hundreds of companies, I have been surprised at how many companies have departments that don’t operate with the belief that they add real value to company profitability. They perhaps understand that… Continue Reading →

Redefining the “big picture” …

Many years ago, I had the privilege of working in conjunction with the UNDP in Namibia as part of a team who took the government ministers away for a weekend to Walvis Bay on a leadership development exercise. The Prime… Continue Reading →

What palace are you building?

During one of many visits to the beautiful island-country of Madagascar, between workshops in Antananarivo for government employees, I managed to squeeze in a few sight-seeing hours and tour the city. My guide took me to see many varieties of… Continue Reading →

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