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  • Passing the baton : White Water Group
    literature on the subject The reasons why leaders hang on for too long range from personal issues e g loss of social identity fear of boredom to trust of successors ability to continue their work to family pressure not to retire We would like to explore two themes today making leaving attractive and raising your confidence in your successors Doughnuts are good for you In his 1994 book The Empty Raincoat Charles Handy used the American doughnut donut as a metaphor for managing work and meaning imagine inverting it so that the dough is at the centre donut experts call them munchkins then there is a void then an outside boundary At the centre is your work that which appears essential on a day today basis The void represents potential all the other things than one can do either to extend work beyond one s role or to do other meaningful things Wise leaders fill the void continuously adding more dough The boundary is there to represent a limit without a boundary it is easy to be oppressed by guilt for enough is never enough Leaders often have a core that is way too big they do not take the time to develop other aspects of their life So when you threaten to take the core away there is nothing left Other leaders are highly stressed always pushing the boundary out thinking that if they stop the world will collapse The wise leader will both achieve meaning during their tenure but also have something to turn to when it is time to pass the baton Sir Alex may seem totally obsessed by football but he also has a lifelong involvement in horse racing charity work and labour politics his doughnut will not be empty when the core gets taken away in a couple of weeks Another example is Bill Gates who seamlessly switched his great skills away from Microsoft and towards his foundation The courage to practise delegation The issue of trusting successors is actually a straightforward one start early identify candidates and prepare them properly The infrastructure exists boards are in charge of managing succession HR Directors deploy talent strategies But these count for nothing if leaders do not practise the habit of developmental delegation Over the years we have interviewed dozens of Chief Executives and asked them how they spent their time most devote a surprisingly high amount of attention to actively developing people To quote one of them I see my day job as distributing problems and checking solutions beyond this managing stakeholders and stretching people while supporting them are the other areas where I can add value In our experience professional delegation and timely feedback are skills which need to be learnt and practised Many senior leaders not just entrepreneurs are incredibly amateurish at getting the best out of their teams It is like purchasing a very expensive sports car but only ever running it on two cylinders It typically starts with their own beliefs and

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/passing-the-baton-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • But how do you really feel? : White Water Group
    and will plan in advance how they can bring people with them by provoking positive and constructive feelings In every situation emotions are a data stream leaders neglect them at their peril Above all they should never just hope they won t happen In order to be a truly emotionally intelligent leader you have of course to start with yourself Aye there s the rub Hamlet Learning to recognise your own feelings give them legitimacy and then deal with them appropriately is a precursor to being skilled at dealing with other people s emotionally charged reactions Those at the most senior levels have classically been expected to demonstrate stiff upper lipped stoicism play their cards close to their chests and indulge in what psychologists would usually describe as denial often because of their fear of how others might perceive their responses As a result they can be disfunctional due to lack of emotional literacy Science tells us that leads to pretty grim consequences for people s health well being and judgment Recognising and categorising an emotion influences the emotional experience itself For example correctly processing emotional reactions to traumatic events e g loss of a job restricted bonuses delayed promotion leads to health benefits more adaptive behaviours better relationships faster results and better working memory Being able to label feelings makes people more magnanimous towards others All of which contribute to success Social psychologist James Pennebaker describes verbally labelling an emotion as much like applying a digital technology language to an analogue signal emotion and the emotional experience If an emotion remains in analogue form it cannot be understood or conceptually tied to the meaning of an event Once an experience is translated into language then it can be processed in a conceptual manner It can be assigned meaning coherence

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/but-how-do-you-really-feel-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • The time of the cohort has arrived : White Water Group
    you combine the X Factor culture of today it is not surprising that young leaders are continuously looking for their 15 minutes of fame Most companies are ill equipped to deal with this behaviour they don t handle alumni well they don t understand the strengths of the new generation and they often place bets on individuals rather than cohorts In praise of the flexible team From Meredith Belbin to Alf Ramsey we know that the best team is not necessarily made up of the best players Yet we persist in perpetuating a star system for our leaders We won t go into the social psychology of stardom for every Apple led by a narcissistic leader there is an Exxon run by a strong if anonymous team less glamorous but just as profitable and easier to assemble Our argument is that the time of the cohort has arrived flexible and highly effective teams of the same generation In all areas from sales to creative problem solving teams work best Cohorts are well suited to the networked economy they are constantly learning and are a good match to the global optimism of emerging Gen Y leaders This represents a challenge incumbents are now late Baby Boomers shameless individualists followed closely by cynical Gen Xers Many don t get the concept of a full life cycle of employee relations from recruit to high performer to alumnus ambassador to perhaps employee again either directly or though an outsourced relationship Talent Management v Star Management The classic tool for Talent Management is the GE Matrix a tool to map of performance versus potential and cull 10 of laggards each year This reinforces the star system and is ill suited to the cohort principle We prefer to use a version of the matrix where we look at individuals suitability to their current role and whether or not they are ready to move up Each quadrant will call for very different interventions but each time building on the strengths of the individual in order to extract maximum engagement and performance We define Talent Management as a blend of activities that will lead to the creation and retention of a predictable and cost effective pool of high performing leaders In other words it s OK if people move on particularly if they remain brand ambassadors and we can manage their life cycle predictably We look at a group of high potentials not stars Everybody gets a customised programme yet not all will stay we are maximising the probability of group retention via individual attention Don t reward past performance shape potential instead Our observation is that senior management tends to ask HR to develop talent interventions along a class divide the senior ranks get an executive coach and mingle at Harvard while lesser mortals troop off to an obscure institution in the suburbs Their logic is that of reward for past performance and cost management too many of them to spend serious money We see the divide

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/the-time-of-the-cohort-has-arrived-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • Stereotypes and Authentic Leadership : White Water Group
    real disservice We know the old clichés he is ambitious emotion free decisive she is good with people sensitive and distracted by family None of it tells the full story Men often get stuck with the big strong brave epithets that lock them into pursuing plans they may not actually like and keeping going when they should get out of dodgy situations The stereotyping of men often looks more attractive than the way women are treated but is just as restrictive forcing a narrowness of thinking collusion and perpetuating traditions because everyone complies We know these descriptors rarely fit but cause men and women to be perceived differently in the organisation For example you hear banker mother of three with all the unconscious bias that it implies but you don t hear banker father of three despite fathers caring deeply about their parental role Through our work with senior clients here are biases we have observed We discovered that male bosses were much more emotionally intelligent when dealing with their female reports knowing the stresses in their lives and handling them sensitively In contrast they had little idea what the men were going through As a result men were still given career opportunities while the women were protected from stress given fewer challenges resulting in missed opportunities and ultimately a more limited career Unwittingly senior men were adopting a caring fatherly role towards female reports overlooking their professional needs The men were given little emotional support and were left to be brave about it all Pressure on men is not just about career progression and earning power it extends to expectations of manly behavior too one city trader described the ribbing and unpleasantness he experienced when he took paternity leave following the birth of his child Only his own extreme

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/stereotypes-and-authentic-leadership-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • Leadership Blog - White Water Group - Executive Coaching | White Water Group - Part 4
    on 12 05 2012 Categories 12 ideas for 2012 Blog Leaders in action Tags Olympic Flame Enthusiastic leadership trumps pessimism This week the Olympic flame was lit by the rays of the sun and it started its journey around Greece this in Read more Executives are marathon runners not sprinters By François Posted on 12 04 2012 Categories 12 ideas for 2012 Blog Leaders in action Tags Resilience In the next 10 days two of the World Marathon Majors will take place in Boston and London Over the past 100 years the record Read more Education for girls Confidence for women By Averil Posted on 12 03 2012 Categories 12 ideas for 2012 Blog Women Tags Coaching Women to Lead Women The 101st International Women s Day took place on March 8th We take away from events around the world three important observations Education for Girls Read more Women of influence losing patience By Averil Posted on 12 02 2012 Categories 12 ideas for 2012 Blog Women Tags Women on Boards ⅔ now favour quotas and want men more involved A year ago the long awaited Lord Davies report on women on boards came out and made Read more Leadership and Resilience Sometimes we just need the proof By François Posted on 30 01 2012 Categories Blog Leaders in action Opinions Real People Tags Health Leaders Leadership Life McGill University Resilience Work Life Balance There are many ways to convince somebody that changing a behaviour might be a good idea In most cases the simple rational argument is not Read more Peak retirement of baby boomers By François Posted on 12 01 2012 Categories 12 ideas for 2012 Blog Leaders in action Tags Baby Boomer Leadership Pack Wembley Stadium with pensioners Now multiply by 10 This is roughly the number

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leadership-blog/page/4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • Going down in the world? : White Water Group
    I applauded his intention to do something he considered meaningful with the next decades of his hopefully long life He shook his head and replied that partners in his firm typically only lasted eighteen months after retirement By this time we had reached the barriers My pass wouldn t let me through We said Goodbye and I watched him walk away while Security released me I couldn t get him out of my mind though I didn t even know his name He had pursued his goals amassed his wealth and now assumed he would be dead within two years The fatalism was shocking In the past this same statistic applied to many professions especially doctors Surely it is different now as more people enjoy longer life According to Positive Psychology research has well being and longevity lie in maximising the following positive emotion engagement relationships meaning and accomplishment For those of you at earlier stages in your career start amassing these as well as wealth For you whoever you were Sir and I only know which well known firm you are from retirement need not be a death sentence but a chance to make a new start and go

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/going-down-in-the-world-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • What’s love got to do with Leadership? : White Water Group
    a professional firm recently it became clear that they did not want to open up because their level of trust in each other was so low Is that any way to do business Our work now is to build trust and respect so that the intimate conversations that will move relationships and the business on can occur An all male group of bankers recognised that intimacy was one of their greatest challenges blocking them from truly knowing how other people in the team functioned Repeatedly when anyone disclosed any real feeling they were met with jokes and banter which ensured no deep conversation took place Intimacy feels risky but is a very powerful relationship tool It is deeply satisfying to know that someone really knows you understands you and somehow still likes you Do you look into the eyes of your people and see their heart and soul Passion With engagement figures still terribly low the 2012 CIPD survey on engagement in the workplace s headline figures were that only 38 are actively engaged at work and 59 are neutral leaders have a challenge to stir up passion in their organisations Are people marking time till retirement Or at least calculating how much they have to save before they can leave Being caught up and engaged leads to higher well being greater satisfaction happiness and lower anxiety and not surprisingly higher productivity at work Do you stir up people s passion for you as a leader for the strategies you are introducing for the customer and shareholder or for the company itself Commitment You have taken vows together Commitment cuts both ways This can be the less sexy side of the triangle and can smack of duty and possible loss of excitement especially if the burden feels uneven The upside

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/leaders_blog_post/whats-love-got-to-do-with-leadership-4/ (2015-11-08)
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  • St Valentine’s Day | White Water Group
    Women in Business Blog News Research Shop Free Resources Our Shop Free Resources Tag St Valentine s Day Home Top Founding members of the Association for Coaching Enter your details below to sign up to our blogs First Name Last

    Original URL path: http://whitewatergroup.eu/tag/st-valentines-day/ (2015-11-08)
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