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EMPATHY: What is it, anyway?

EMPATHY: What is it, anyway? | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it

The Center for Creative Leadership did a study with data from 6,731 managers from 38 countries. Their study found that the ability to understand what others are feeling is a skill that clearly contributes to effective leadership. In some cultures, the connection between empathy and performance is particularly striking, placing an even greater value on empathy as a leadership skill.

 

The findings were consistent across the sample: empathy is positively related to job performance. Managers who show more empathy toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses.

 

dr Ada


Via Edwin Rutsch, Mary Perfitt-Nelson
David Hain's insight:

Authoritative confirmation!

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Ariana Amorim's curator insight, May 30, 2013 7:36 AM

What I found most endearing in this post were the definitions of empathy written by second graders. They explained it beautifully.

The author concludes then that "if you can practice empathy at least at the level these second graders describe it, you'll be a great leader".

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, May 30, 2013 10:27 AM

In the article there is a reference to teaching and explaining empathy. It is something we need to model and demonstrate. It cannot be reduced to a simple cognitive exercise.

Florentine van Thiel's curator insight, May 31, 2013 3:30 AM

La capacité à comprendre les sentiments des autres est une compétence qui contribue clairement à un leadership efficace.

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When It Comes to Feedback - Start with Yourself!

Good management is difficult to master, and managers have the particularly difficult responsibility of providing significant feedback — to reports, to peers, and to their manager. Learning how to effectively give and receive significant feedback is the foundation for personal development and growth as a leader. These are guidelines and resources for effectively giving and receiving feedback, as well as guidance for when feedback alone is insufficient.
David Hain's insight:

Relationships don't grow without feedback. This is one of the best guides to giving and getting that I have come across.

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Lets kill leadership

Lets kill leadership | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Modern societies rely too much on employment to provide life-long work for their citizens. Perhaps we should not be surprised. We educate our young principally to find employment. Very few schools and very few teachers see the purpose of education as creating jobs rather than filling them. We are brought up to rely on others to provide us with work. As serfs, we should expect that there are other, perhaps more independent, souls, who have the guts to appoint themselves barons.
David Hain's insight:

What do you think - should leadership be killed? Or is the writer referring to the need to eradicate mindless hierarchies?

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5 ways you can use visualization to achieve top performance

5 ways you can use visualization to achieve top performance | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
I’m a hard-nosed realist who used to look at things like visualization as "woo woo" New Age. Little did I know at the time that I could use visualization to achieve top performance and point to solid science to explain why it worked. Achieving my goal was about more than work and discipline; it was also about physiology.


Whenever we use visualization to achieve top performance, our brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. That is the chemical that becomes active when we encounter situations that are linked to rewards from the past. Dopamine enables us to not only see rewards but also to move toward them. So every time we visualize our achievement, our brain stores that information as a success.

David Hain's insight:

We all have stuff we are scared of. I learned the power of visualisation when I was coached before a walk on hot coals. This brief piece from @LaRaeQuy puts the science and process very well.

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Dehumanizing Always Starts With Language

Dehumanizing Always Starts With Language | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Dehumanizing always starts with language, often followed by images. We see this throughout history. During the Holocaust, Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen—subhuman. They called Jews rats and depicted them as disease-carrying rodents in everything from military pamphlets to children’s books. Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Indigenous people are often referred to as savages. Serbs called Bosnians aliens. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals.

I know it’s hard to believe that we ourselves could ever get to a place where we would exclude people from equal moral treatment, from our basic moral values, but we’re fighting biology here. We’re hardwired to believe what we see and to attach meaning to the words we hear. We can’t pretend that every citizen who participated in or was a bystander to human atrocities was a violent psychopath. That’s not possible, it’s not true, and it misses the point. The point is that we are all vulnerable to the slow and insidious practice of dehumanizing, therefore we are all responsible for recognizing it and stopping it.
David Hain's insight:

Mind your language! Powerful piece from Brene Brown on how dehumanisation always starts with the words we choose to use.

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We Cannot Lead Others Without First Leading From Within | Lolly Daskal 

What makes a great leader? Leadership and management expert Lolly Daskal takes the stereotype of the single, superior figure wielding power over the masses and turns it inside out—literally. “We think leadership is an external quality, but it is and always has been an internal quality,” Daskal says. “Leaders aren’t great because they have power, but because they can empower others.” Effective leadership is as simple—and challenging—as knowing who you are, what you stand for, and how you can use that to serve others. Daskal’s talk introduces you to your inherent ability to lead from within. Are you ready?
David Hain's insight:

Should be required watching for all who call themselves leaders!

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Three illusions of leading teams

Three illusions of leading teams | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Directive leadership is not better or worse than empowering leadership. Each style is effective in some contexts while ineffective in others. To better apply empowering and directive leadership when the occasion calls for it, consider three common illusions of leading teams and how to address them.
David Hain's insight:

If only one style predicted great leadership, most of us are doomed! Good article on the importance of flexing to suit the situation and the people involved.

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Quiet leadership is still leadership (and matters more than you think)

Quiet leadership is still leadership (and matters more than you think) | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
When we think about leaders’ behaviors, it’s easier to notice the big things they do in public: A managers shares some news with her team in a meeting. A CEO makes a controversial hiring (or firing) decision that earns press coverage. A head of state tweets something incendiary. Whether we’re aware of it or not, it’s episodes like these–and what people we trust tend to say about them–that affect our beliefs about whether a given leader is good or bad, not to mention our ideas about leadership generally.

But other acts of leadership are much harder to see, generate little to no discussion, and yet are just as influential. “Quiet” forms of leadership, in other words, matter more than you might imagine. Here’s what that looks like and why it’s so important.
David Hain's insight:

In leadership, a lot of little things often add up to more than a few big things!

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Debiasing the corporation: An interview with Nobel laureate Richard Thaler 

Debiasing the corporation: An interview with Nobel laureate Richard Thaler  | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it

Whether standing at the front of a lecture hall at the University of Chicago or sharing a Hollywood soundstage with Selena Gomez, Professor Richard H. Thaler has made it his life’s work to understand and explain the biases that get in the way of good decision making.

In 2017, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for four decades of research that incorporates human psychology and social science into economic analysis. Through his lectures, writings, and even a cameo in the feature film The Big Short, Thaler introduced economists, policy makers, business leaders, and consumers to phrases like “mental accounting” and “nudging”—concepts that explain why individuals and organizations sometimes act against their own best interests and how they can challenge assumptions and change behaviors.

In this edited interview with McKinsey’s Bill Javetski and Tim Koller, Thaler considers how business leaders can apply principles of behavioral economics and behavioral finance when allocating resources, generating forecasts, or otherwise making hard choices in uncertain business situations.

David Hain's insight:

Some thoughts about how to make better decisions from the man who gave us 'nudging'.

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Not Deep Enough | Unfolding Leadership

Not Deep Enough | Unfolding Leadership | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
It often seems plain that the problems of organizations are really just the problems of us unwilling to go deep enough. Deep enough into seeing things from others’ perspectives (whether customers or staff or peers) and deep enough into our own “stuff,” as well — the stuff that gets in the way of effective leadership. In such a world, which has become fundamentally insensitive, everything is viewed as a product, even us the “producers.” Redundancy of the work, pressures for certainty and results along with a fantasy level of control all mitigate against a deeper form of the learning that we need.

Our proclivity, it seems, is to discard the tender work of interpersonal risk and intrapersonal vulnerability — there isn’t time for it and our days are hard enough and long enough as it is. Isn’t there a way to achieve our goals without seeing our own faces (and fates) in the mirror every time we turn around? Business decisions come daily thick and fast. We accept our small daily humiliations as a cost of simply keeping a place in the machine.
David Hain's insight:

An eloquent plea for the benefits of reflective practice - and risks of  the consequences of not doing this - from Dan Oestreich.

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How to Get Time on Your Side

How to Get Time on Your Side | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
The vagaries of time can be bewildering. One day, you drive through heavy traffic as if in a perfectly choreographed dance number; the next, it feels as if you’ve entered a demolition derby. One day, you’re brimming with ideas; the next, your creativity well is as dry as Death Valley. Timing is everything, right?

Actually, no. That’s what Daniel Pink declares in the last sentence of his illuminating and often surprising new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. “I used to believe that timing is everything,” he writes. “Now I believe that everything is timing.”
David Hain's insight:

What big data shows us about patterns that can be capitalised upon. New book from Dan Pink, reviewed here.

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Don't Wait (Advice for CEOs)

Don't Wait (Advice for CEOs) | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
A CEO asked me about the most common mistakes made by my clients, most of whom are also CEOs. I had to consider how my clients would answer that question, and I think the overarching theme would be: They waited too long.
David Hain's insight:

Take 1 minute to reflect on this profound piece of advice to leaders from the significant wisdom and experience of Ed Batista!

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Going nowhere fast: executive derailment and how to avoid it

Going nowhere fast: executive derailment and how to avoid it | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Maintaining momentum in your career is a challenge for all senior executives because the world of business has changed. You’re responsible for the reputation you create around you.

Careers are no longer simply about climbing the ladder, they’re more complicated, particularly within a matrix organisation. In complex organisational structures,  social capital – your ability to get things done through other people – is now much more valuable than human capital – your knowledge and expertise. 
David Hain's insight:

Feedback really is the breakfast of leadership champions!

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Barriers preventing you from being a better leader

Barriers preventing you from being a better leader | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
It’s hard to press pause and think about how to be more effective, especially when you’re caught in the daily grind.

The inaugural London Business School (LBS) Leadership Institute survey revealed that focusing too closely on day-to-day activities is the main barrier to success for 54% of the 1,248 senior professionals surveyed. According to 45% of executives, lack of strategic thinking is the biggest obstacle to reaching their leadership potential.

In other words, leaders are caught in a what-got-you-here won't-get-you-there trap. They need to grow and learn but, according to research, spend upwards of 60% of their time in constant get-it-done-now mode.
David Hain's insight:

LBS says most busy managers don't spend enough time on their personal development. Star athletes train every day. Maybe managers don't think they need another skills course. But what they probably do need is headspace and coaching to think their way around complexity and speed?

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There Are 4 Types of Managers. One Is More Effective Than the Others

There Are 4 Types of Managers. One Is More Effective Than the Others | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
when it comes to coaching, more isn’t necessarily better.

To understand how managers can do a better job of providing the coaching and development up-and-coming talent needs, researchers at Gartner surveyed 7,300 employees and managers across a variety of industries; they followed up by interviewing more than 100 HR executives and surveying another 225. Their focus: What are the best managers doing to develop employees in today’s busy work environment?
David Hain's insight:

Coaching works, but it's about quality rather than quantity. Think of yourself (and act) as a connector, suggests Gartner.

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See the Tree, Not Just the Seedling 

See the Tree, Not Just the Seedling  | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
With people, do you often conclude that “what you see is what you get?”

When we look at a person's potential — whether it's a coworker, direct report, friend, partner or child, it requires us to see past the “seed” and envision the mighty tree it can become. Seeing potential in others is a paradigm that recognizes growth as an organic principle. It doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a function of growth over time.

After years of watching and helping others to grow in their relationships and careers, I have come to believe that people are fundamentally resourceful, capable and whole—a view that stands in stark contrast with the notion that people are broken, incapable, or needing to be fixed.
David Hain's insight:

Why believing in people - including yourself - is critical to personal growth, and to leadership behaviours.

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Why Technical Experts Make Great Leaders

Say that you called in sick today, but your work still had to get done. Could your boss jump in and do your job?

If they could, you’re much more likely to be happy at work. That’s according to research conducted by our guest today, Amanda Goodall.

She’s a senior lecturer at Cass Business School in London, and she studies expert leaders, like a great surgeon who runs a hospital, or a basketball star who goes on to become a coach.

As it turns out, people managed by experts are much more engaged in their work than people who are managed by generalists, people who might be good administrators but who can’t actually do the surgery, or shoot the three-pointer.

Amanda’s research finds that whole organizations perform better when they have technical experts in leadership roles. She’s here with us today to explain. Amanda, thank you for talking with us.
David Hain's insight:

So, do technical experts make better CEOs? I'm not convinced, having coached CEOs for 20+years. It's more about the person than the qualification.

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Why Leaders Who Listen Achieve Breakthroughs

Why Leaders Who Listen Achieve Breakthroughs | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
As a leader, communicating can sometimes feel like Groundhog Day. No matter how hard you try to get your message across, it is all too easy to find the next day that you face the same blank stares, predictable objections, and questions that indicate that you failed to make it stick — that people just aren’t getting it. One reason leaders find themselves in this cycle is that their approach to communication is based on an outdated mental model. It’s a model best described as a “post office.” They view themselves as the sender of a message and others as the receivers. If problems arise, leaders look for disruption somewhere along the route.

The post office model focuses most leaders’ attention on the sending process, rather than the give-and-take of effective conversations. Even if they invite people to ask questions and truly value their buy-in, these leaders are still preoccupied with their message. This leaves them ignorant about the larger context and reality on the ground, including emerging issues and game-changing opportunities. In the extreme, thinking in terms of the post office model causes leaders to make decisions in isolation or miss the early warning signs of dysfunctional momentum.
David Hain's insight:

In leadership, 'receive' is so much more important than 'send', but so much rarer...Elizabeth Doty in praise of listening.

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Jerry Busone's curator insight, April 30, 11:25 AM

Listening is a skill that requires practice . So many Leaders are solution focused they run down rabbit holes they could have avoided through listening ... all is us in general could work at improving our listening skills

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Oath to Authenticity 

It is important to be authentic as an individual, as a group and as an organic enterprise to create an authentic workplace so we all are encouraged to bring our whole selves to work every day, where it’s safe to be vulnerable and to make mistakes, where we can experiment, where our humanity is embraced.
But don’t get me wrong. Authenticity is not about blurting out loud what you think, it is not about dismissing what other people think/feel, nor about delivering your authenticity carelessly independent of the context. “Being authentic is much more than ‘being yourself,’” says Gareth Jones, coauthor of Why Should Anyone Work Here?: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization. “If you want to be a leader, you have to be yourself–skillfully.”
As beautifully put by Brené, authenticity requires almost constant vigilance and awareness about the connections between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It also means staying mindful about our intentions. Real authenticity actually requires major self-monitoring and isn’t the lack of self-monitoring. In fact, setting boundaries is, by definition, self-monitoring — it’s thinking about what you’re sharing, why you’re sharing it, and with whom you should be sharing it.
David Hain's insight:

We (should) all know that authenticity works, but there's a bit more to it, as this article demonstrates.

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Bin your bias

Bin your bias | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
For their book Freestyle Decision Making, Drs Mona and Ari Riabacke set out to discover the key influences – environmental, social and biological – that trigger bias and prevent leaders from making cool, clear, dispassionate decisions. If leaders can identify what is affecting and biasing their thinking they are more likely to be able to shrug off those forces. “It’s crucial, because otherwise their organization’s future is in the hands of ‘hidden forces’ – their biases,” Mona Riabacke tells Dialogue. “It’s important that leaders acquire awareness of what triggers people to act as they do when they make decisions. Today, many companies seem to believe that it’s all about acquiring more information and better technology. However, in many cases, the most important building block contributing to the resolution of decisions – the human being– is more or less totally forgotten. Gaining an understanding of our biases is a crucial component to improve our decision-making. Leaders should take a step back to move forward.”
David Hain's insight:

We're all subject to bias influences from birth. Recognising them is the first step to adjusting for them. How many of these do you recognise?

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Self-Awareness Can Help Leaders More Than an MBA Can

Self-Awareness Can Help Leaders More Than an MBA Can | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it

Bill George, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, and former CEO of Medtronic, says that self-awareness is the starting point of leadership. Self-awareness is the skill of being aware of our thoughts, emotions, and values from moment to moment. Through self-awareness, we can lead ourselves with authenticity and integrity — and in turn better lead others and our organizations.

We conducted a survey of more than 1,000 leaders in more than 800 companies in over 100 countries, and found that leaders at the highest levels tend to have better self-awareness than leaders lower in the hierarchy. This could be because stronger self-awareness accelerates the promotion process, or because, like Vince, we’re nudged toward enhancing our self-awareness as our leadership responsibility increases.

Fortunately for all of us, self-awareness can be enhanced. Simple steps can be taken to complement one’s traditional leadership skills with it.

David Hain's insight:

How self-aware are you? It's not too hard to find out, and it's so important!

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Tom Wojick's curator insight, April 26, 9:13 AM

“My ego had run amok. I was leading from my head and not from my heart.” This is not uncommon; it happens not only in leadership, it happens in relationships. We don't teach self-awareness in school; we have to seek it. Yet it is critical to success not just in business, but in life. This article offers some helpful tips, however I recommend exploring and developing one's emotional intelligence. I recommend 6 Second's model of EQ: Know Yourself, Choose Yourself and Give  Yourself. It will help you not only become more self-aware, it will help you put that awareness into productive and useful action. 

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How to confront uncertainty in your strategy | McKinsey

How to confront uncertainty in your strategy | McKinsey | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Why do we shy away from dealing with uncertainty? The root of the problem is our tendency to view strategy as a purely intellectual exercise—a sort of corporate game of chess, perhaps even played in three dimensions by its best practitioners. However, strategy poses the kind of low-frequency, high-uncertainty problems for which the human brain is least adapted. People are prone to many well-documented unconscious cognitive biases—overconfidence, anchoring, loss aversion, confirmation bias, and attribution errors, among others. These unintentional mental shortcuts exist to help us filter information for day-to-day decisions, but they can distort the outcomes when we are forced to make big, consequential choices, infrequently, and under high uncertainty—exactly what we confront in the strategy room.


Even the most seasoned executives have only limited experience and pattern recognition in these situations. They must make decisions based on limited information, and results may not show up for years. In the meantime, any number of factors—human, market, lag, and “noise”—can intrude and overwhelm any strategist’s ability to predict an outcome. Trying to improve your strategic decision making is like trying to improve your golf game by practicing blindfolded, and not finding out if your ball went into the hole for three years.
David Hain's insight:

McKinsey on how reframing uncertainty as probability can bring better strategic decision making about.

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Jerry Busone's curator insight, April 30, 11:28 AM

Be consistent Be authentic and be open about it 

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Are CEOs Less Ethical Than in the Past?

Are CEOs Less Ethical Than in the Past? | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
As this year’s CEO Success study shows, boards of directors, institutional investors, governments, and the media are holding chief executives to a far higher level of accountability for corporate fraud and ethical lapses than they did in the past. Over the last several years, CEOs have often garnered headlines for all the wrong reasons: for misleading regulators and investors; for cutting corners; and for failing to detect, correct, or prevent unethical or illegal conduct in their organization. Some high-profile cases, involving some of the world’s largest corporations, have featured oil companies bribing government officials and banks defrauding customers.
David Hain's insight:

Survey shows changing scrutiny conditions and greater appetite fo action as reasons CEOs are more vulnerable on ethical grounds. Interesting to see if the trend continues...

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Ron McIntyre's curator insight, April 26, 1:42 AM

Indications are there but I don't believe it is any worse that in the past. In the past it was usually hushed up more than today.

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7 Critical Tactics To Lead Your Business To A Better Future | Young Upstarts

7 Critical Tactics To Lead Your Business To A Better Future | Young Upstarts | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
This is a relentlessly turbulent time for business, with quicksilver shifts that can upset even the strongest organizations and throw firmly established plans far off course. It’s up to CEOs to find the most effective tools for meeting each wave of change — and it’s a responsibility has keeps many an executive up at night.

The key lies in increasing the capacity of yourself, your team and your business to meet any disruption head-on. That means building a solid eco-system of partners, cultivating a collaborative mindset, and being able to co-sense and co-shape each challenge so you can actualize its opportunity. It means letting go of old systemic beliefs in a quest for truly effective solutions. To arrive at the place with the most potential, use these seven critical tactics:
David Hain's insight:

Otto Scharmer on how the CEO of today needs to develop a new playbook. Always worth reading, Otto.

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CEO Succession Planning in a Family Business

CEO Succession Planning in a Family Business | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
Warburtons is a traditional family-owned business. Run by the Warburton family since it was set up as a bakery in the English town of Bolton in 1876, it is now the largest bakery in the U.K., with 12 bakeries, 14 depots, and 4,500 employees. Although its core product is still bread — accounting for about 70 percent of sales in a country that is the world’s largest per capita consumer of sandwiches — the company has expanded its offerings to bagels, crumpets, potato cakes, and gluten-free products. In the decade up to 2015, Warburtons spent £400 million (US$555 million) on new technology and upgrading factories — and the company continues investing.

Management is now in the hands of fifth-generation family member Jonathan Warburton and his cousins Ross and Brett. That is a remarkable feat, because as U.S. research has shown, only about 30 percent of family companies make it to the second generation. The transition from the previous generation to the current team of Warburton family managers offers useful lessons for other family-owned businesses at a time when business models face the twin challenges of disruption and rapidly evolving shifts in consumer behavior. Warburton recently sat down with strategy+business to talk about succession planning, leveling the playing field to attract talent, and investing for the future.
David Hain's insight:

'Mitigating transitions'. Didn't know the phrase, but as an M&S manager in the 90's I wish someone at that company had...!

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Andrea Ross's curator insight, April 22, 4:40 AM

If anyone is from the UK or has visited and tried a Warburton loaf of bread then you will find this article from their CEO an interesting read as I did. Definitely something I miss from home. Have a great week everyone. 

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The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership

The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership | Coaching Leaders | Scoop.it
How do you figure out the right thing to do? More importantly, how do you develop the habit of making better decisions, time and time again, even in difficult and uncertain circumstances?

Neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to learn what happens at moments of choice inside the human mind (the locus of mental activity) and the brain (the physical organ associated with that activity). If you understand these dynamics and how they affect you and those around you, you can set a course toward more effective patterns of thinking and action. You can replicate those beneficial patterns, at a larger scale, in your organization. Over time, this practice can help you take on a quality of strategic leadership: inspiring others, helping organizations transcend their limits, and navigating enterprises toward lofty, beneficial goals.
David Hain's insight:

Knowing how your brain works can help you to direct your mind towards better strategic decisions. Useful explanation here.

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John Lasschuit ®™'s curator insight, April 22, 5:22 PM

Neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to learn what happens at moments of choice inside the human mind (the locus of mental activity) and the brain (the physical organ associated with that activity). If you understand these dynamics and how they affect you and those around you, you can set a course toward more effective patterns of thinking and action.

Curated by David Hain
People and Change consultant, 25 years experience in Organisation Development. Executive coach. Very experienced facilitator and team developer.