Posts Tagged ‘courage’

The Leadership Journey

The Leadership Journey

Nineteen people came together as individuals – working for the same organization but not with a great deal of knowledge about each other.

In a mere two days, they had moved from individuals to three healthy, dynamic and supportive teams.  It felt good participating in and witnessing this coming together and the blossoming of something new.

The first day was setting some frameworks for how they wished their team to work together and the values they wished to live by.

They also learnt about themselves – their strengths and limiters and how significant others such as their manager, colleagues and direct reports actually saw them back in their workplace.

Feedback is never easy especially when it is tinged with what we could improve on. But these nineteen resolute and amazing team members took it in their stride.


Leadership Nuggets: Acknowledge the Truth

Three things cannot be long hidden – the sun, the moon and the truth! – Buddha

Have you had a time when someone – be it a colleague, direct report, supplier or friend who was not quite performing or was behaving in ways that was below par?

And yet you found yourself minimizing, negating or making excuses for their behaviour? You would not be the only one! I too have done this on many occasions, much to my own detriment.


Well – we do this for a number of “good” reasons because seeing, acknowledging and taking action on the truth, as we experience it, isn’t always comfortable.

Let me give you a work example.

Leader denial and lack of accountability

Some years back, I coached a senior executive whose direct report was very good at ‘hitting the targets’ but his modus operandi left a lot to be desired.

The feedback and “air-waves” from his team and others consistently was that the he was a bully.

Teamwork, collaboration, empathy, ‘developmental conversations’ did not figure in this person’s language.

What was present was manipulation, veiled and not so veiled threats, pressure tactics and even down right lying when it suited the direct report, which was often

Despite leading a dysfunctional team with lots of turnover and staff rotation, my coachee – his boss – would not fully acknowledge the situation.

Why was this, you may ask?


MANDELA: 7 Heroic Principles for Transformation


I am delighted to bring this thought provoking guest blog to you by Sharif Khan. Sharif  is a freelance writer, inspirational keynote speaker, and author of Psychology of the Hero Soul, a leadership book on awakening the hero within (mentioned in USA Today and Reader’s Digest). Based in Toronto, Sharif’s latest project is the completion of a manuscript for a heroic fantasy novel. Visit his website or contact him directly at


What can we learn from Nelson Mandela’s heroic legacy of hope to become better human beings? 

Let us use his name as an acronym for remembrance and change:

MissionAction. Nourishment. Discipline. Education. Love. Attitude

Mission. Mandela had a deep sense of mission. In his fight for freedom from apartheid in South Africa he declared: 

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities… If needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mission creates meaning, and meaning is the fuel for sustained achievement. People are willing to lay down their lives for a worthy cause.

Do you have a mission statement for your life and career? What about for your family, team, or organization?

Action. Too many political leaders today do not back up their empty rhetoric with action.

Mandela at his core was an activist, a man of action; so much so, that even in his later years amidst failing health when he announced he was “retiring from retirement,” he still managed to found the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust promoting economic assistance to Africa.

He also campaigned successfully for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Are you actively campaigning for your mission? Do you back up your words with action?

Nourishment. Imprisoned for 18 years at Robben Island for his anti apartheid activities, Mandela was confined to hard labour in a lime quarry where the glare of the sun burned his tear ducts, making it difficult for him to weep for his lost youth. (more…)

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