Conversations about leadership, learning, coaching and change.

emailtwitterfacebooklinkedin
line

leaders

Do you know someone at work who isn’t performing as well as they could?

With nearly three quarters of people reporting that they are not engaged at work, I have many clients asking what they can do to change this.

“How can I get rid of low performers or poorly engaged staff?”, is a refrain I hear a lot.

Then it’s time for a bit of tough love.  So I say, there are two reasons for that:

  1. Someone hired the wrong person – who is that someone and what are you going to do about their recruiting and interviewing skills?
  2. You hired the right person and something has changed since your hired them.  What are you as a leader going to do about it?

Leaders need to think like gardeners

Gardeners don’t blame the plant when it fails to thrive.  True leaders, like effective gardeners, look at themselves first and then the environment.

As a keen gardener, I’m struck by the thought that if you are a leader, you can do a lot to help those around you withstand the cold winds of shrinking budgets and increasing targets by thinking about it from a gardener’s perspective.

Gardening is about both leading and managing change. Here are three leadership lessons from successful gardeners.


read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line

Senior executives have never been so well rewarded.  In the UK it now takes the average CEO only three days to “earn” what the average employee takes home in a year.  On top of this, lottery-sized exit packages and gold-plated pensions give those at the top unprecedented material security.

And yet… Not everything feels secure

According to The Economist, the average life expectancy of public companies shrank from 65 years in the 1920s, to less than ten in the 1990s. Public scrutiny is increasing and innovation is a source of both creativity and disruption. Whilst a golden parachute might break the fall, life in the C-suite is becoming ever more precarious. In just ten years the average CEO tenure has fallen from 8.1 to 6.3 years and is getting shorter all the time.

In an uncertain climate, good leadership matters more than ever

McKinsey has published numerous papers linking organisational health with profitability, innovation and shareholder return.  So every year the spend on leadership and management development training and change and culture consultancy increases.

And yet…  Lack of good leadership is costly

Dissatisfaction with the results of all this training and development is on the rise.  Employee engagement numbers remain stubbornly low and, depending on the survey you read, between 50 and 60% of staff would fire their managers if they could. According to Deloitte Shift Index American companies are 75% LESS productive than in 1965.

What should leadership achieve?

Erik de Haan in his book The Leadership Shadow summarises decades of research:

“Leadership is the function devoted to harnessing the organisation’s effectiveness”

This speaks to the fact that everyone in an organisation has a leadership role in order to harness that effectiveness.

However, many studies point to the crucial role of senior management teams:

“The prize for building effective top teams is clear: they develop better strategies, perform more consistently, and increase the confidence of stakeholders.  They get positive results and make the work itself  a more positive experience both for the team’s members and for the people they lead”   – McKinsey,  “Teamwork at the Top”

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line

It’s estimated that around 75% of change initiatives fail. A failed or interrupted change program is really just disruption. Disruption is costly –  to the bottom line and to the emotions, energy and engagement of all involved.

Change fails because we start in the wrong place

Most change programs start with a reaction – to the market, to what is happening “out there.” Senior management or HR departments see other companies doing this or that and decide, “that’s where we need to be. Let’s get a plan together, let’s add some targets – some carrots and sticks – and let’s get our leaders to sell this vision.”

Wikipedia summarises the literature more formally:

“Regardless of the many types of organizational change, the critical aspect is a company’s ability to win the buy-in of their organization’s employees on the change. Effectively managing organizational change is a four-step process:
1. Recognizing the changes in the broader business environment
2. Developing the necessary adjustments for their company’s needs
3. Training their employees on the appropriate changes
4. Winning the support of the employees with the persuasiveness of the appropriate adjustments”

Change fails because it’s reactive and focused on selling a vision

Vision is incredibly motivating in getting us to move from where we are to where we really want or need to be. But you need to know EXACTLY WHERE you are starting from.

Imagine finding yourself in a strange city where you can’t speak the language, or read the signs, and you’re hungry. You find a wonderful restaurant on Google maps but GPS can’t locate where you are. Knowing where you want to be, and being highly motivated to get there, is not going to help.

For lasting change you have to start with the present – where you are right now

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line
Close encounters with elephant:  A lesson in leadership

Close encounters with elephant: A lesson in leadership

by Moyra Mackie on September 20, 2014

“The role of a great guide is to get clients as close to the animals without fear.”

Said the man on the right of this picture as he described Nic Polenakis, (centre above) a Zimbabwe guide selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the “10 Great Tour Guides Who Can Transform Your Trip”.

Watching Nic in action certainly transformed my trip, giving a demonstration of leadership in action

Zimbabwe guides hold Professional Guides Licences, one of the most difficult, extensive and well-respected qualifications of its type in Africa.  Qualifying takes 4-5 years, including 2 years’ apprenticeship with another pro guide and a 2 day written exam.  The pass rate is around 5%.

I confess that in the moment that we came across that bull elephant standing between us and our tented room, the only thing that mattered was how Nic handled the tension – ours and the elephant’s.

Leadership is about how you show up

I had only met Nic an hour before, but I trusted him implicitly.  His rigorous training and extensive experience gave him the courage to handle our fear. He easily modelled the way he needed us to respond. read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line
In praise of gatekeepers

In praise of gatekeepers

by Moyra Mackie on August 16, 2014

Whenever you see managers who are really leading, who are able to prioritize their time and focus on the strategic and people aspect of the role, the chances are they have a great gatekeeper working for them.

Whether you call these gatekeepers Chiefs of Staff, Personal Assistants or – not a favourite word of mine – “admins”, they are essential to the high performance of their bosses.

Gatekeepers help managers to lead

In the fifteen years or more that I have been helping managers and their teams, I believe that I can predict how able a manager is to adjust to change by the quality of the gatekeeper who works for him or her.

After all, in a change process you need to protect and manage your time in order to focus on new ways of doing things and not fall into old, easy habits.  Whoever has control of your diary has the power to make or break that change.

Great gatekeepers show great leadership

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line

Are you and the people who work with you engaged?

When I say “engaged”,  are you engaged as in focused and connected with others? Or are you engaged as in busy, behind locked doors, not available?

Being available?  Is that not touchy-feely stuff?

The hard facts are that Gallup has just analysed 25 million responses to their employee engagement survey and found:

“Of the 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs,  30% are engaged and inspired at work, so we can assume they have a great boss.

At the other end of the spectrum are roughly 20 million (20%) employees who are actively disengaged. These employees, who have bosses from hell that make them miserable, roam the halls spreading discontent.

The other 50% of American workers are not engaged. They’re just kind of present, but not inspired by their work or their managers.”

See what happened there? It’s not about employee engagement it’s about leaders

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line
Accelerate your leadership development

Accelerate your leadership development

by Moyra Mackie on May 3, 2014

Leadership development matters

If every manager has a team of six or eight direct reports, it’s easy to see how many people can be motivated by effective leaders or demotivated when they are neither led nor managed.

Effective leaders develop high performing teams that produce results.  Ineffective leaders manage disengaged teams.

Disengaged teams are sadly more common than high-performing ones, leading to lower productivity, more sicknesses and absences and higher turnover.

Increasing engagement means improving leadership skills

Which is why I am so proud of the leadership development program the team at Mackie Consulting has created.

The design principles underpinning the program are that leaders need to:

We believe that training doesn’t work, learning does

Watch the video below to find out more.

Then contact me to find out how Mackie Consulting can help your managers achieve leadership excellence.

 

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line
How kids build our leadership muscles

How kids build our leadership muscles

by Moyra Mackie on April 5, 2014

This weekend my eldest son turns eighteen.  So I’m in reflective mode.

Of course it makes me feel OLD.  And I’m asking myself, “How on earth did that happen?  How can I be the mother to an adult when I still feel like I’m finding my way?”

It makes me think that the most important leadership role we ever take on is the one we have as a parent

Just like leading in corporate life, we get a real live person to take care of without a manual, a training course or a coach to help us out.
read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line
Are you an accidental or intentional leader?

Are you an accidental or intentional leader?

by Guest contributor Sheri Spencer on August 16, 2013

We are all leaders

Leading is the way we motivate and move others and ourselves into action.

We all lead in every area of our lives, either intentionally with purpose and passion or by default, unaware of our influence and impact.

What kind of leader are you?

Every day there are endless opportunities for all of us to lead and to harness the powerful energy that exists within and around us.

This energy shows in our thoughts, emotions and actions. Individuals exhibit energy, but so do groups. These forces can be destructive or constructive.

The founder of the Institute for Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), Bruce D. Schneider, categorizes within Energy Leadership ™ the types as either:

  • catabolic (destructive) or
  • anabolic (constructive)

These energy categories are further divided into 7 Levels of Energy

Each level is characterized by a set of thoughts, emotions and actions.

The Individuals or groups that are primarily catabolic react to their circumstances with worry, fear, doubt, blame and anger.

Those that are primarily anabolic take responsibility for their thoughts, emotions and actions, look for and create opportunities that engage, enable and empower all, with an authentic ability to motivate, inspire themselves and others to be extraordinary.

An Energy Level is not good or bad; there are advantages and disadvantages at each level. It really depends on the situation and the desired outcome.

What can you do to engage, enable, and empower?

read more…

Guest contributor Sheri Spencer

Sheri Spencer practices Energy Leadership Coaching. This partnership enables and empowers you to connect your inner purpose and passion with your outer goals to fulfill your aspirations and potential. As a coach, her only agenda is to help you achieve and sustain what you most deeply desire, so that you grow from good to great.

More Posts

line

How often do you see your manager?  Or, if you are the boss, how much does your team see of you?

And I don’t mean seeing the back of your head through the glass paneled door as you beaver away at emails or phone call.  Or a hasty acknowledgment as you move from meeting to meeting.

What I mean is:

How available are you to your team?

read more…

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

line