Not another meeting: the three purposes of meetings

Posted by Steve Whittington on Nov 28, 2016 10:25:36 PM

meetingWe have all been to bad meetings. You know the ones: no agenda, no time limit as to when the meeting is to end, too much on the agenda, a vague agenda, and finally the impromptu meeting aka “let’s get some people together and talk about it…”

I read reams of articles about many people suffering from “death by meeting.” I 100% agree that meetings can be a bad thing, like when there are too many meetings or the meetings do not have purpose or the wrong people are at the meeting. All this being said, meetings are a highly effective tool of getting work done. For many organizations work is conducted through conversations.  Think of meetings in a sporting analogy: meetings are the huddle in which the play is planned. After the huddle, the team breaks and executes the plan. Thus, a meeting can and should be a structured conversation with a purpose so when the team breaks (leaves the meeting) the play can be executed.

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Topics: meetings, Leadership Series, purpose of meetings, Blogs, why have a meeting

The Leadership Lid...are you the lid?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Sep 17, 2016 9:16:40 AM

capped-potentialMany of us have been there: you report to someone that “doesn’t get it.” The frustration in the air is palpable. The leader of the group dictates the progress, the environment and ultimately the effectiveness of the team. The leader is the lid the team bumps up against in their desire to be more.

Every organization, every department, every team, board or division has a lid to its potential and that lid is its leader. The unit will only rise as high as the leader will allow it, either knowingly or unknowingly, based on the leader's capabilities. This principle is very self evident in professional sports: change the coach and the future of the team is changed without changing players.

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Topics: Leadership, features of leadership, Leadership lid, Leadership Series, Blogs

The Leadership Gap

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jul 20, 2016 1:46:15 PM

In a recent podcast called Meeting the Leadership Transition Challenge, my guest Jane Halford of Bolt Transition indicated that 40% of all leadership transitions fail within the first 18 months. While this is shocking in and of itself, there are even more alarming numbers in the workforce composition.

The vast majority of our senior leaders are in the boomer generation aged 50- 69. This group represents 27% of the Canadian population and 31% of Canada’s workforce (as of 2015).  The tipping point where the boomers are the biggest generation in the workplace has come and gone. That's not surprising when you consider that 250,000 boomers retire annually currently and that rate is set to grow to 400,000 annually in a few years.

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Topics: bolt transition, business leadership, Leadership, Leadership gap, leadership transition, Leadership Series, Blogs

The top 3 qualities of leadership I learned from mountain climbing

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jun 2, 2016 9:00:07 AM

Even before I reached the summit of Mount Everest, I had discovered many components of great leadership. Like you, I have read a book or two about leadership. I started creating lists of leadership qualities I had gathered from mentors, books and colleagues. But my profound understanding of leadership came from my experience on mountains leading teams. And as our team descended from the highest peak on earth, I became even more convinced that some qualities of leadership are far more important than others.

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Topics: leadership keynote speaker, features of leadership, great leadership, leadership qualities, Leadership Series, leadership training

The Many C's of Leadership - old

Posted by Steve Whittington on May 26, 2016 7:44:20 AM

The four C's of Leadership
For other blogs on Leadership check out The Leadership Series

Like many of you I have been sucked into a link titled the 3 C’s of leadership or the 6  C’s of leadership and I have read a book or two about leadership.  What I have discovered is that there are many, many C’s of leadership and, depending on the author or the prospective, some C’s are more important than others.  So here is a starter list from the first page of google results:

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Topics: Leadership, leadership coaching, coaching, Leadership Series, the C's of leadership, Blogs

Why you need to challenge your business assumptions

Posted by Steve Whittington on Apr 30, 2016 7:46:12 AM

It iusability-testings easy to get trapped in the rut of “market of one” thinking (if I like this every one else should).  To mitigate this thinking our team regularly takes one of our websites and submits it to a user testing group. This group is tasked to answer questions such as describing the purpose of the site, finding a product, requesting a quote, finding the warranty on a product; typical tasks we want our customers to be able to do easily on our website. Of course (us) the people who designed the site know how to do all of these tasks easily, but what about a first time user?  That is what we want to know.

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Topics: challenge your assumptions, Leading yourself, Marketing Series, self improvement, Testing, Leadership Series, Blogs, user testing

Leadership doesn’t mean being out in front

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jan 20, 2016 1:18:16 PM

 

leadership The Hero Leader

The image of a leader is often an individual out front. Leaders lead. I agree with this. What I do not agree with is the image of the superhero leader. I believe leadership is more about soft qualities such as courage, discipline, patience, perseverance, consensus building, listening, coaching and consistency; as opposed to “hero” qualities of decisiveness, being a visionary and having an unwavering resolve. To be clear, I think the “hero” qualities are needed to be an effective leader, but without soft qualities the leader would charge off in a direction decisively, full of vision and resolve. That "leader" would most likely just be going for a walk by themselves.

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Topics: Leadership, Leadership Series, Soft Leadership skills, Blogs

Can company values be more than just words?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Oct 25, 2015 3:43:23 PM

Core-Values-with-Lightbulb-1024x673I was at a vendor meeting last week.  I was explaining to the two people in the meeting room how our advertising needs to be more than just call to action, the message needs to be 100% on brand, it has to integrate with our event boxes, running an ad one day late into next month or starting a day late is unacceptable because it reflects poorly on our organization.  What I was doing was getting them to understand our value: Make Things Better.  I told them this and one of them smiled and then commented. “You are quoting your company values and I do not even know ours, even though they are printed on our walls.”

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Topics: Company Culture, creating culture, Leadership Series, Blogs

Leaders Lead

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jun 7, 2012 1:30:04 PM

Mount SaskLeaders also listen. In my profession I lead sales and marketing teams, for recreation I lead teams in the mountains. Recently on an attempt of a shark finned unclimbed peak (Mt Saskatchewan; 11, 385 ft in the Centennial Range, Kluane National Park, Yukon) I faced my greatest leadership challenge. The team Prairie Vertical faced increasing consequence every step we took up the mountain, and then conditions turned against us and decisions became black or white, life or death.

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Topics: Leadership, engaged teams, Leadership Series, marketing leadership, sales leadership, setting direction, team building, Blogs, vision

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