Good leaders understand the need to continually hone their instincts and skills so they can effectively grow teams, bridge divides, influence action and accelerate results. But, even the best leaders need an outside voice on occasion to help bring fresh perspective. We come alongside leaders to help them navigate important challenges and develop actionable solutions. Grounded in research and real-world experience, we provide authentic knowledge and guidance that help grow leaders, forge global partnerships and improve organizational strategies and outcomes.
Leading Across Cultures
Leadership today is often much more than local. It is regional, national and global. There are many challenges facing leaders and organizations seeking to expand and survive in a rapidly changing and competitive environment, and not all are used to operating outside of their immediate cultural context.
- What experience does your team have in relating, leading and working across cultural boundaries?
- How do you deal with cultural differences and resolve conflicts?
- What development opportunities do you give your leaders to help them become more informed and effective as global leaders and thinkers?
- How are you developing culturally competent leaders?
- What is your CQ (Cultural Quotient) or Cultural Intelligence?
Behind the ability to listen, ‘awareness’ is often regarded as the second most important characteristic for leaders to have. Obviously it relates to what is going on around you, but more importantly, it is what is going on in you and how it influences how you lead others. It is your internal script — how your beliefs, attitudes, emotions and experiences affect your perception and interpretation of what is happening around you. It shapes what you value and what you consider to be important.
- What key values have you grown up with that influence your leadership experience?
- How should the experiences from your past, your family, your leadership journey shape how you lead others today?
- How do you integrate painful and hurtful experiences into your leadership experience?
- Do you know when your personal leadership style creates unresolved tension, conflict and loss of productivity?
- Are you a reflective practitioner?
Virtues and Character
It could be argued that the global financial crisis of 2008/09 was not due to a lack of competency as much as a lack of character. In a culture that thrives on competition and the pursuit of achievement and accumulation of wealth and status as symbols of success, it is important to note that none of us are immune from its trappings. Yes, people get excited about great vision, well-executed strategy, being fulfilled at work and knowing that their contributions are valued. However, what keeps them motivated and engaged is seeing grounded and humble leadership who are driven for results and what is best for the organization, not building a monument so they can be worshipped.
- In what ways can your leadership character influence your organization’s culture and how the brand is perceived in the marketplace?
- Is the character demonstrated by your leaders consistent with the organization’s core values? If not, how should you address this?
- To what degree do you believe your own spin and that of others around you?
- What do you do when pressure from your Board and shareholders conflicts with the responsibility you feel for your staff?
- Have you noticed how a lack of character in one area of your life quickly erodes the confidence others place in you for other areas?
We are all faced with one of life’s paradoxes: change is constant.
Personally, professionally, corporately and at home, change brings new challenges, priorities and adjustments. Unstable financial markets, changes in consumer behavior as it relates to managing personal debt and global economic and political unrest all converge in such a way where organizations are faced daily with making significant decisions that affect the livelihood of their staff and the sustainability of their organizations. All of this brings an organization’s mission, strategy, operational distinctives and results into greater focus and under closer examination — not only by the consumers and constituents they are targeting, but the Boards they are accountable to, the leaders responsible for their success and the staff for whom current job security and future career advancement are of great interest.
- Do you perceive disorder, chaos and inefficiency as obstacles or opportunities?
- How effective is your current organizational structure in delivering results?
- Are your people and plans in alignment with your mission?
- How are you developing resilience in your leaders and staff?
- What strategies are deployed to transition key staff through disengagement and disenchantment with difficult decisions?
Strategy & Operations
Traditional, hierarchical leadership structures are increasingly giving way to new models that recognize organizational cultures consist of a diverse range of people who respond differently to alternative styles of leadership. Outdated and irrelevant structures have the potential to result in unhealthy over-centralization of decision making, knowledge management and talent management. The results are potentially destructive dependencies around leaders who have a fortress mentality and a monopoly on all major decisions, critical information and the organization’s critical resources.
- Is it easy to articulate and defend your strategic focus to key stakeholders, or is it convoluted and complex?
- How is your brand reflected internally through your operations and is it consistent with what you would want your customers (or donors and constituents) to experience?
- Do you have a messaging framework that values internal and external stakeholders?
- To what degree do your leaders share your vision?
- Do you lead in a way that ensures you will achieve your mission?
- Are new leaders emerging and being empowered to make good decisions that are in alignment with your strategy?
When one considers the long-term value of an organization’s core mission and business, it is difficult to look beyond the importance of recruiting and retaining the best talent. A growing concern for many senior executives is that once the global economy has stabilized there is the genuine risk of losing talented staff to other organizations willing to invest in their long-term development. Recruiting top talent is simply not enough and extremely costly when the talent is short-lived.
- Are you maintaining your competitive advantage by investing in your leaders and those aspiring to be leaders?
- How do you identify leadership potential that is buried deep within your organization?
- Do you have the right people in the right positions?
- It is estimated that the average person will have 13 jobs by the time they reach the age of 40. What strategies do you have in place to develop and retain your staff?
- Are you growing your talent as if your business depended on it?