Courageous Leadership

When I ask people about the attributes of leaders they most admire the word “courage” is often mentioned.  And when I ask them what courageous leaders do, they talk about actions such as making unpopular decisions, standing up for what they believe in, calling out poor behaviour, putting themselves on the line by taking calculated… Read more

The Secret to Google’s High Performing Teams

What’s the secret to creating a high performing team? Over the last few years, Google has spent millions of dollars researching the performance of different teams to try and find why some teams were consistently more effective than others. In a recent article in the New York Times, Charles Durhigg shared the results of Google’s… Read more

Applying the No Dickheads Rule

It’s commonly accepted that having “Dickheads” or “Assholes” in an organisation isn’t good for morale or performance. Many organisations specifically include an “ND” Rule in their Values and Behaviours. The Sydney Swans (my AFL team) have famously incorporated the Rule as part of their winning culture and this has been replicated throughout the sporting community.… Read more

Mastering Elephants – How to have a Hard Conversation

Effective leaders have “hard conversations” about accountability and performance.   They address the “Elephants in the Room”.   When they don’t have these “hard conversations” and fail to talk things through, problems fester, morale suffers and productivity drops, while the quality of decision making is affected as people fail to collaborate and communicate. In spite of the… Read more

Nice Guys v. Jerks – Who wins?

There is an interesting academic debate going on in the US about whether it is “nice guys” or “jerks” who finish on top in business. This is an old debate that seems to have been sparked by Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs that, in many people’s opinion, painted him as an asshole (using the US… Read more

Is there a Downside to People Skills?

Ask anyone.  It’s a good thing to have people skills, no matter what the job.  Have you ever seen a job ad asking for poor people skills?  No, for everyone knows that effective organizations need people who can get along with others and work well in teams. This stance is supported by management research.   The… Read more

High Performance Teams – Paul Wilson, Petbarn

Paul Wilson is the Managing Director of Pet Barn, Australia’s largest pet specialty retailer. Since buying a small chain of 8 stores in 2005 Paul and his partners have grown the business so that it now has 130 stores together with and 100 vet practices in Australia and New Zealand, employing more than 2500 people.… Read more

Liz Broderick on High Performing Teams

Elizabeth Broderick is the Sex Discrimination Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, Global Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Leadership Group, a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women and since her appointment in 2007 has… Read more

High Performing Teams – Interview with Grant O’Brien, CEO Woolworths

Grant O’Brien is the Managing Director and CEO of Woolworths, Australia’s largest retailer. Woolworths has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand with interests in food, liquor, petrol, general merchandise, home improvement and hotels. The company employs more than 198,000 people and serves around 28 million customers each week. Grant’s rise to CEO… Read more

5 Steps to Control Your Anger

    The following blog was written by my colleague Craig Runde, Director of the Center for Conflict Dynamics at Eckerd College. I thought you might find it useful. “Conflict is rife with emotion. One that we frequently encounter is anger. While it is often a secondary emotion that is initially triggered by fear, anger… Read more