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    The Latin word for new is nova, you know, as in innovation. So, to innovate means to do something new. Doing something new means stopping doing the old. Stopping doing something means changing. Change is one of the most challenging concepts that organisations face. Effective change only comes about when leaders drive it. 

    You simply can't innovate without LEADERSHIP.

    Earlier this year the results of the largest study into Australian leadership (Study of Australian Leadership) were released. One of the key findings was that more capable leaders are more innovative. It also said that innovation is a critical source of productivity growth and competitiveness.

    It's simple - if you want to become more productive and competitive, you must have your leaders driving change that leads to increased value for your customers.

    Here are some practical tips for leaders to drive innovation

    • Start asking questions like 'Why are we doing it this way'
    • Start listening - to your people, ask them for ideas
    • Start experimenting - pilot new ideas and learn what happens
    • Learn from best practice - who are the leaders in your area?
    • Give people permission to fail - not everything will work

    Let us know if we can help your leaders drive change and embrace innovation.



    A recent survey of leaders that I am working with revealed two important facts. 1. They are time poor. 2. They have trouble letting go. Trying to do everything, in turn, leaves them with less time and they end up feeling even more frustrated and inadequate as leaders.

    Effective delegation is, almost universally in my experience, a key to helping leaders to become more effective. Here are the most common reasons why people don’t delegate. How many are you guilty of?

    • By the time I show them how to do it, I could have done it myself. This is short term thinking. Showing someone how to do something, then supporting them while they master it may indeed take time, but in the long term there will be significant return on that investment of time.
    • They won’t do it as well as me. Perfection is the enemy of production. Often a job doesn’t need to be perfect, but we labour over it and waste time.
    • They won’t do it the same as me. This borders on arrogance! Who cares as long as it gets done?

    Effective delegation can be achieved by using the following method – CREST.

    CONTEXT: Here’s why this task is important (some background).
    RESULT: Here is the specific outcome required.
    ENQUIRY: Here’s all the information you need in order for the task to be completed.
    SUPPORT: Here’s how I’ll help and support you to do the task.
    TIMEFRAME: Here is when the task needs to be completed by.

    BONUS TIP: Make a list of everything that you, as the leader, currently do. Now, put a tick next to the tasks that only you (no one else in the organisation) can do. Put a cross next to your current tasks that someone else could do. Start to delegate these tasks.




    I first heard this over 30 years ago when I was listening to cassette tapes by the personal development guru, Zig Ziglar. The words spoke to me then and they speak to me now.

    Ten years ago, someone told me about something that had “literally, changed their life.” It was a video called ‘The Secret’. I was interested so looked into it. My memory of the the premise of the documentary was, if you really want something, all you have to do is ask the universe for it and it will somehow appear.

    Now, I really believe in positive thinking, creating a vision for the future and self belief. But the thing about The Secret that bothered me was, it seemed that all you had to do was ask for something and it would turn up. You could be sitting on your lounge in your track pants, eating chips and BOOM, your dream job would land in your lap. I didn’t buy it (the concept or the video).

    Back to Zig Ziglar’s tapes. 10 two letter words that can change your life. My take on this was that if you want something great, like a dream job, a big house, a fulfilling career or a great relationship, then fundamentally the responsibility is yours. Sitting back, waiting for good things to happen – expecting others, the government, or the universe to grant them to you is futile.

    Sorry folks, but from my point of view, there is no substitute for developing a vision for the future based on what you are passionate about, good planning and hard work.

    Are you taking personal responsibility for the way your life is turning out?



    American author and speaker, Jim Rohn is known for his motivational quotes. I am a fan of many of them, but this one is my favourite. “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Let’s unpack that a bit as it has implications for all of us, particularly if you want to get better at leadership.
    If you spend most of your time with negative people, it follows that your mood might also be brought down. If you spend time with positive people, you probably feel uplifted by them. Jim Rohn reckons that if you could measure either the negativity or positivity of all five, you would be the average of the group. I’m not aware of any scientific evidence to back the claim up, but I certainly believe the sentiment of it.
    If you want to be fitter and healthier, start hanging around people that value fitness and health. If you want to be a speaker or an author, find groups of like minded people and spend time in their company. Many of us, by the nature of our chosen careers, spend time with fellow work mates and colleagues, so it may be a challenge to spend time with others beyond this group. But this is a choice that we can make if we want it bad enough.
    People who aspire to be more effective in their leadership need to spend time in the company of others who want the same thing. Here are some ideas and options that might result in you widening your current circle of contacts.
    • Find a coach or mentor and have some one on one sessions to challenge your thinking and create a bigger picture.
    • Join your professional industry association and attend regular meetings and conferences.
    • Become a board member of a charity or not for profit. Your fellow board members are there because of the expertise they bring and you will learn from them.


    I'm not much of an historian, and certainly not a military historian, but the name of Field Marshall William Slim keeps coming up in my leadership reading. Slim commanded a British field army in Burma fighting the Japanese in the '40s. Here are some things that Slim did that made him highly effective as a leader, despite being low profile.

    1. Keep it simple. Slim regularly received 100 pages of orders when what he really needed was five. He writes in his book that the most important part of an order was the 'commander's intent'. I'd call that vision.

    2. Establish a battle rhythm. Despite spending three and a half years fighting the Japanese, when at the time an 12 month deployment was more common, Slim maintained his energy and focus by exercising, reading and sleeping. He trusted his men to handle things while he rested.

    3. Planning is everything and nothing. Slim was a mad planner and made sure of everything before going into battle. Even then, not everything went to plan and when it didn't, he was flexible about changing.

    4. Ruthlessly enforce standards.  Slim made it known exactly what he expected and ruthlessly followed through. His people responded and he achieved results. For example, malaria was rife at the time and was a major threat to his troops. He banned shorts and short sleeves to protect against mosquitos.

    Here's my favourite quote from Slim.

    "When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take, choose the bolder."