Articles

Direct to your inbox
  • All
  • career fulfillment
  • career progression
  • leadership development
  • leadership performance
  • work-life balance

What’s Holding Back Your Intention for Promotion?

Intention is one with cause and effect. Intention determines outcome. And if you’re stuck and not moving forward, you have to check the thought and the action that created that circumstance. Oprah Winfrey Are you holding back your intention of promotion? Is there an internal opposing force getting in the way? An inner force so powerful that it paralyses you…

What’s Your Promotion Superpower?

Your unique value proposition is what makes you stand out from all your peers who are just as talented, work just as hard and deliver results. It’s the value that only you can bring to deliver strategic impact to the business. It’s your promotion superpower. “Success is adding value to the world through your unique gifts” Lewis Howes This week,…

Create a Positive Impact from Negative Feedback

Negative feedback can make us bitter or better Robin Sharma According to a study documented by the Harvard Business Review, 92% of the respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance. But, do you always get the performance improving impact you want from this uncomfortable discussion? If not, then today, I will share with…

I Don’t Know What I Want Anymore

I don’t know what I want anymore is a problem that leaves you frustrated, restless and lonely. Frustrated and restless because as a high achiever, this is an unusual position for you as you have a reputation for fixing problems. Lonely because nobody notices the internal turmoil you are struggling with. Well, not yet anyway. But when you have a…

The Weekly Emotional Roller Coaster

Sunday evening arrives, and so does the dread. Monday you turn professional and it begins to feels calmer. Tuesday brings a stillness, just like before a storm. Wednesday arrives, and so does despair. It’s all about quitting, but blockers keep you there. Thursday feels better; the weekend feels close. Friday calms the beast for the family and you. But it…

Are You A Single Point of Failure?

Are you struggling to find the time to train or coach your team to pick up the work they should be doing? The work you’re holding on to. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to miss a deadline, make mistakes, lose control or something else? Whatever the reason, let’s see how inaction could be impacting your team, the business, your…

What Are Your Objectives Telling You?

Every year, I would struggle to get my performance objectives completed. I would procrastinate over them for days because I was trying to overcome an inner turmoil. Deep down, I had a yearning to do something else. There was even a hint of excitement about it. But what was it? What else was I meant to be doing? I had…

Who Are Your Promotion Saboteurs?

There are promotion saboteurs in your organisation. Some with the intent on damaging your career and others who strangely have your best interests at heart. Today, I am going to share with you who these may be, and how you can mitigate any risk they will cause to your promotion. Your Boss Is your boss raising your visibility with your…

How to Ace the Executive Leader Promotion Process

This week I want to show you how to ace the promotion process and become an executive leader by sharing insights from my own experience as – Someone who got promoted themselves. Someone who coached members of his leadership team to get promoted. An executive leader promotion evaluator and global promotion committee member. And a professional coach who has helped…

Working Relationships Saved My Career

I guarantee at some point in the future that a working relationship will save your career and leadership reputation. There will be a career-limiting issue you cannot solve without the help of others. The help which requires colleagues to go out of their way. If you haven’t built up a strong working relationship with these colleagues, it could be game…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 8

In Part 7 I shared with you what happened when I informed the clients of the changes I had made. This week, I am going to share with you our top observations during the transformation — observations from me and one of my leadership team. Enjoy. Scrum Master Down When the London teams initially selected their scrum masters, one of them was…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 7

Leaders change or leaders change. In Part 6 I shared with you how the teams turned painful day-long planning sessions into just a few hours, what they learnt and how they adapted. This week, I am going to share with you what happened when I informed the clients of the changes I had made. A few colleagues thought I should have included…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 6

In Part 5, I shared with you how we – Determined a release cycle that would meet our agile objectives as well as meeting the release requirements of our stakeholders. Prepared for our first agile planning session. Facilitated the teams to self-organise. This week I am going to share with you how the teams turned painful day-long planning sessions into just…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 5

In Part 4, I talked about how I communicated my global agile transformation vision to the London team. This week, I was going to speak to you about the difficult conversations I had with the business, but I forgot about the additional information I needed to do this. So, this week I am going to share with you how we…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 4

In Part 3, I shared with you how I got buy-in from senior IT management and my leadership team for the agile transformation. In Part 4, I am going to share with you how we organised the agile teams. One thing I forgot to mention in Part 2 was the agile framework we were going to use. The agile coaches…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 3

If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. Steve Jobs In Part 2, I shared with you the personal journey I took to discover the changes I wanted to make to ensure we delivered a $20m portfolio of mandatory regulatory and market-driven projects, reduce the noise…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 2

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust In Part 1, I spoke about I had to make a change to ensure we delivered a $20m portfolio of mandatory regulatory and market-driven projects, reduce the noise and inject some enjoyment back into the team. A tough ask, right? Now, I…

Our Global Agile Transformation Journey – Part 1

In 2013, I put my reputation and senior leadership career on the line by initiating a change program. A program that would change how a global team of 150 would deliver a $20m portfolio of projects. Projects with mandatory regulatory and market-driven deadlines. Was I crazy? Let’s find out! During this and the following series of posts, I will share…

5 Global Team Engagement Tips

Employee engagement can be challenging when you are leading teams in the same region, let alone globally. Here are some tips I have gained from my experience of leading global teams. 1. Time Zone Friendly People unconsciously set up meetings outside of regular working hours for colleagues in other regions, especially ASIA PAC. It is one of my friend’s pet…

Do Leaders Have Location Bias?

Throughout my corporate career, I have been involved in many senior leadership changes and subsequent reorgs. With each change, the location of leadership power and decision making changed, i.e. wherever the new senior leader was based, most of their leadership team were located.

Video – Maintaining Balance Under Pressure

I am privileged to have been interviewed this week by Rebecca Godfrey PhD as part of her Leadership Vaccine Series. Rebecca is a scientist, speaker, trainer, strategist and the founder of Etheo Limited, a Team and Leadership development consultancy. Drawing on her experience holding senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, her aim is to change the way highly regulated…

The Calm Before the Storm

Challenge yourself every day to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances George Bernard Shaw The Storm There is a storm coming, unlike any storm you have seen before – Financial markets are seeing volatility way more significant than was seen in the 2008 financial crisis. Countries around the world…

How to Identify Emerging Leaders in a Crisis

In this article, I want to share with you a story about Sue. Through Sue’s story, you’ll see the subtle signs of how she is emerging as a leader in a crisis. My hope is that you will recognise some of these signs in the emerging leaders in your organisation and help them grow and flourish. The Big Announcement It’s…

3 Lessons I Learnt from a Painful Time in My Career

This week, I wanted to share insights with you about a painful time in my career and the lessons I learnt. Success vs Happiness I was outwardly successful with an impressive title and compensation package to go with it? My family were proud of what I had achieved and enjoyed the lifestyle that I had worked hard to provide for…

How Do You Tell Your Boss His Behaviour Sucks?

You observed your boss in a situation where you felt his behaviour was wrong. You feel that it’s not the right behaviour for a leader in his position. And you know the person receiving it didn’t feel it was right by their reaction to it. But what should you do about it? Well, let’s run through the options. Brush It…

What Do You Do If You Don’t Believe in The Strategy?

As an executive leader and ambassador of the company, an important part of your role is to ensure alignment with the strategic intent of the organisation. That statement looks straight forward on paper, but from experience, it brings with it a great deal of internal and external conflict. Today, let’s take a look at one of the many use cases…

Are You Staying Late to Catch Up?

Let me tell you a story about a guy called Tomas. He is a great guy and is one of the best software developers in his global team. He is very approachable and likes to mentor others. Burn Out Recently, his department hired a new team in Asia, and his boss asked him to train them so they can get…

Top 10 Career Success Articles of 2019

If you want to accelerate to the next level in your career while not impacting your family relationships, you need to focus on 3 principles – Stand Out, Scale Up and Deliver Impact. The articles I wrote in 2019 have been aligned around these 3 principles to help you achieve your personal career goals. In case you missed these, here…

Enhance Your Leadership Capability by Adopting Perspectives from Other Sectors

Joe called me last week and started venting about a new programme he was running. This is how it unfolded. “Work is crazy busy. I’m now running a programme in a business area that I’ve not worked in before. It’s causing me a bucket load of stress.” “For instance, I run a monthly global governance meeting with the stakeholders to…

How Dare You Say No, I’m the Boss

When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself” Paul Coelho I was exchanging messages with someone on LinkedIn this week who had read my Top 7 Career mistakes mini eBook and could see himself making these mistakes as he stepped up into a more senior role. He also shared with me that the…

Are You Visible Enough to Get Your Boss’s role?

Don’t restrict your career growth to your boss or even the company you work for. If you do, you are limiting your career and future to their limitations, not yours. I was speaking with an ex-colleague this week who told me that his boss had moved to a different role and even though he felt like he was his boss’s…

The Story of a Leader Whose Fears Almost Ruined His Career & The Relationship with His Family

Life Couldn’t Be Better Jai is a dedicated family man with a beautiful wife and two young children who are both the apple of his eye. He is highly driven and works hard to succeed but will always spend the evenings and weekends with his family. The only time he will compromise on this is if there is a work…

Overlooked or Lack of Visibility?

The power of visibility can never be underestimated. Margaret Cho Has your lack of visibility resulted in you being overlooked for a promotion? Me Too I’ve been there too and it sucks. But my boss was straight with me. He said, “You can suck it up and we can work together and succeed next year, you can bitch and whine…

4 Strategies to Help With Your Ever-Increasing Workload

“You can do anything, but not everything” David Allen Fact – as your leadership career grows, so will your workload. This is especially true in an industry that is going through so much change. How many hats do you wear today? When you become overloaded, you start to live your life in the reactive zone and quickly move from one…

You Do Have the Power to Make It Better

That’s just the way it goes. You can’t look at that and try to make an excuse. It’s just the way it’s been. It comes down to one game and we’ve got to come out hard and play our best game” Daymond Langkow Well, it does not have to be that way. You have the power to make it better…

Top 10 Ways to Raise Your Game After Promotion

What got you here, won’t get you there”  Marshall Goldsmith You have just been promoted from the Championship to the Premiership, the new money and status are fantastic, but the top four and those in the relegation zone are not going to pay you any respect. Unless you raise your game, they will kick you straight back to the Championship.…

Don’t Just Rely on Your Boss to Build Your Career

You know who’s gonna give you everything? Yourself. Diane Von Furstenberg Don’t restrict your career growth to your boss or even the company you work for. If you do, you are restricting your career to their limitations, not yours. It may not even be the same boss next year. Here are five core strategies I used to build a successful…

Hard Work & Time in Role Won’t Get You Promoted

“It takes more than just fancy flying” Top Gun After coaching many of my own team for promotion and evaluating many others on promotion committees, it takes more than just hard work and time in your role to get you promoted. Here are seven strategies that will improve your chances. 1. Visibility Can your boss’s peers, their boss and other…

What’s the Impact of Not Saying No?

When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself – Paul Coelho Are you constantly saying yes to work from your boss and stakeholders in the belief that it will progress you to the next level? Do you feel overwhelmed, exhausted or stressed? Are you constantly context switching and not spending the time needed…

Install an Escalation Early Warning System

Here’s why you need to install an escalation early warning system with your team. It’s Kicking Off Things aren’t going well with the project, and noise is growing, or you suspect it will. It’s ok you’ve got this under control. You’ve nailed it, you’ve mitigated the risk, you’ve found a way to bring it back on track and let everyone…

Why Your Personal Support Team is Crucial

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller Your personal support team is made up of a small number of colleagues that you trust to give you constructive unbiassed feedback and be a confidential sounding board. Why It Works In 2004, a study by Goldsmith and Morgan on the impact of leadership development programmes…

Be That Dad with The Dirty Car

A car advert made a significant impact on me when my children were young. The advert opened on a well-kept urban street. The sun was shining, and all you could hear were birds singing. There were two houses, both with driveways. On one driveway was a man who was wiping down his car after cleaning it. His car, driveway and…

Stop Being a Hero

Are you overloaded, continually context switching from email, meetings, projects and conversations?  Do you feel like you are never giving your best to anything and are exhausted at the end of the day? “What got you here won’t get you there.” Marshall Goldsmith Reactive Zone If you are, then I bet you are spending too much time in the reactive…

Why Should You Restart Date Nights

Before you had children, you and your partner would make time for each other for a romantic evening out. You would book somewhere special, dress up and spend the evening talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Do you remember? But then a life changing event happened, you became a dad. You and your partner are now exhausted when the…

Promotion Opportunity or Career Suicide?

Have you been offered an exciting new opportunity at work? More responsibility that will take you closer to that promotion you want? Do you feel excited? Good, you should be. But before you accept this exciting opportunity, you should read this post to see if you can avoid career suicide.

Year-End Reviews Made Easy

Yay, we’ve just put up our Christmas decorations. My wife and children always make the house look amazing. As usual, I am like a big kid bouncing around the front room showing my excitement, cuddling everyone and dancing about. If it ever stops raining, then I will tackle the outside icicle lights, penguins and reindeer. For now, I am in…

How to Stop Yourself Going Full Reptile

There’s been many times early in my career when I let my emotions take over my actions and upon reflection, these actions were not those of the future leader I wanted to become. You know the emotions when something goes wrong and you get that feeling of rage in the pit of your stomach. The emotion that kick starts the…

What in Hell Could a Junior Mentor Teach You?

I have been lucky to learn from some great mentors during my career, but they have always been more senior than me. They have got to where I want to get to and I am eager to learn their strategies to success and avoid the mistakes they made. So, what could a junior mentor teach you? Well, let’s brainstorm a…

I Had a Dream

You know the dream. The one where you have it all – A high-performing and thriving career Time, energy and presence to be a great dad or mum A trim and toned body that looks good in a suit and makes you feel confident on holiday

Are Your Ego Driven Actions Career Limiting?

This week, I am going to tell you a story about how I nearly looked like an ego driven idiot.

Get Promoted and Kiss Your Career Goodbye

Are you up for promotion this year? As the end of the year approaches and you still haven’t had any bad news, then there is a high chance it’s in the bag. Imagine what you can do with that extra money and how proud you will feel when you tell your friends and family about this great news? But this…

Are you prioritising money over happiness?

Are you successful in your role and rewarded well for your hard work? Has your lifestyle grown in parallel with your success? Bigger house, luxury cars, 5-star holidays, designer clothes, nice restaurants. Why not, you worked hard for it. But now you have reached that time in your life when you think to yourself “Is this it until I retire?”…

Stop Limiting Your Career Success

Are you limiting your career success because you’re focussed just on short term gains? Let me expand on this thoughtful, but vague question. Objective Aligned Career Success Do you measure you and your teams career success against yearly objectives? Of course, you do, that’s how the HR performance and compensation processes work. And, that’s how you and your team are…

Are You Really Worth Your Salary?

Do you ever think your boss, or their boss are thinking are you really worth your salary?

How to Deal with an Irrational Stakeholder

The post this week will show you a method I have used to turn an irrational stakeholder into a trusted partner.

Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Outlook And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?

When I was a kid, there was a television program called Why Don’t You? that ironically showed you activities you could do with your time rather than spend it watching the television. Their theme tune was Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead? Well with last week’s post about batching…

Reduce Email Overload by Curving Your Addiction

As promised in last week’s post on How to Use Work Boundaries to Find Time for You, this week, we are going to start looking at email overload or as I like to call it email hell. If your prime value to the organisation is to read or respond to an email as quickly as possible then please surf away.…

How to Use Work Boundaries to Find Time for You

I got some great feedback from last week’s leadership challenge on how to find more time to spend with your family at the weekend. A lady from the US messaged me and told me how she involves her son in her weekend choirs by making them fun. It takes more time, but precious time spent having fun with her son.…

Find More Time to Spend with Your Family at the Weekend

I have been thinking a lot about my blog over the last few weeks and how I can provide more value to my readers. My primary goal of my blog is to help my readers, but my goal as a coach is more than that. It is to help my readers make a sustainable change to their lives. The only…

Ten Leadership Hacks to Slash Time Spent in Meetings

A vital part of your role as a leader is to communicate, influence and facilitate agreements. Most of the time this is achieved by running and attending countless meetings. I don’t know about you but spending most of my time in corporate meetings used to drive me up the wall. There were far more valuable and interesting things I would…

How to Shake off those Holiday Blues

If you are like me, you take a well-deserved summer holiday with your family in August. It is a great time to spend a week or two with them to relax, over indulge and spend quality time together. I have just come back from a fantastic two-week holiday in Lara Beach, Turkey. I am rested, tanned and have gained 3…

Create Exciting Opportunities by Building Your External Brand

One of my corporate career regrets is that I never built an external brand. Raising my external visibility during my career break in 2015 and now running my own business, I recognise how important it is being recognised externally. Reading Time – 3 mins

When You Should Ask Your Best Employees to Leave

I am going to tell you about the time that I asked one of my best employees to leave the team. I am going to tell you about the fallout and the surprise I got as a junior leader making a very hard decision. Reading Time – 3 Mins.

Reduce Workload Stress Before Your Summer Holiday

Does it seem that you have to cram in two weeks of extra work before you go on your summer holiday? Do you work late the night before you leave, stressed that you haven’t got everything done? Are your children excited days before you go on holiday, but you just don’t feel it? This was me, until I made a…

As a Team Leader, There is a High Chance Of Failure

Are you a team leader, thinking of becoming one or have promoted someone into a team leader role? You are, then you should definitely read further. Reading Time – 3.5 mins

Reignite Your Career with a Side Business

Have you thought about reigniting your career by starting a side business? Well you may want to because according to the Independent, 40% of UK workers run a side business. Many of them are doing it to follow a passion or explore a new challenge. Could you follow your passion? Reading Time – 2.5 mins

Inclusive Leadership Creates a New Dream Team

Looking back through my deleted blog posts this week, I came across a post I wrote about inclusive leadership. With the positive focus on diversity and inclusion in technology, I thought I would re-share the positive outcome from tweaking my leadership style to be more inclusive in a hope to inspire other leaders to do the same. Reading Time –…

How to Take Control of Job Uncertainty

Are you currently facing job uncertainty? Do you sit at work each day waiting for someone to make a decision about you and your family’s future? Are you hoping that they make the right decision? You are? Well it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a choice. Take Back Control of Your Future When facing job uncertainty, you…

Work Home Balance vs Everlasting Childhood Memories

Is your work home balance limiting the precious time you can spend with your family? Do you get a gut wrenching guilty feeling when you have to choose? I felt the same gut wrenching feeling when my daughter was young. So I experimented with different ways to help me find a balance. A balance that enabled me to have a successful career…

How You Can Use Fear to Take Action with Something Scary

This month has been a great start to my full-time business. But the only reason for this was I used my biggest fear as a motivator to push me out of my comfort zone and take action. Reading Time – 2.5 minutes

How Technology Screwed With My Work-Life Balance and Made My Daughter Cry

How are you managing the risks that technology has on your work-life balance? Well I didn’t mitigate them. It broke my heart and made me feel like an idiot.

Find Your WHY – Start Your Journey Back To Career Fulfilment

I am a big fan of Simon Sinek’s work, but more so since I found my own WHY. This week, I want to share with you why I strongly believe that if you find your WHY, you can start your own journey back to happiness and fulfilment.