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Leadership Blog

Mindstrong’s Leadership Blog addresses the key themes and challenges facing leaders, teams and businesses.  Focusing on all aspects of performance improvement, our Leadership Blog includes posts on topics such as; tackling resistance to change, the benefits of coaching, giving and receiving feedback and tips on how to enhance team performance and build a winning team.

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“To grow or not to grow?” That is the real question for many small businesses

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SME Business Growth

  The decision as to whether to take steps to actively grow your business might sound like a no-brainer (surely everybody wants to grow their business?), but for many small business owners, it’s not so straightforward. Losing Control.   Firstly, … Continue reading

Goal Setting – Where does it all go wrong?

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Goal setting - Where does it all go wrong?

  With a New Year comes change.  Many of us will set goals this January, whether they be personal or work-related, but it’s a sad truth that most of us will fail to achieve those goals.  In our latest white … Continue reading

How a team’s perception of their leader directly impacts team effectiveness (with a festive twist)

Filed in leadership, self-awareness, team effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 3770 - 0 Comments

Team effectiveness

The strength of the relationship between a leader and the members of their team directly impacts team effectiveness and performance. Put simply, a team will give more effort to a leader they trust, respect and like. If we were to … Continue reading

Leading a Team: Inspire Action

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Leading a Team: Inspire Action, Mindstrong Ltd

  In the final part of our ‘What is Leadership?‘ series, we look at what it takes to inspire action from your team. For many leaders, this can be particularly daunting.  You’ve worked hard to ensure the mechanics are all … Continue reading

Emotional Intelligence – Social Awareness & Relationship Management

Filed in effective communication, Emotional Intelligence, leadership, leadership development, Personal development, personal effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 3500 - 0 Comments

Emotional Intelligence Relationship Management

Having explored the Self Awareness and Self Management dimensions of Emotional Intelligence, we now turn our attentions to, arguably, the more difficult aspect of EI: Social Awareness and Social (Relationship) Management. SOCIAL AWARENESS – The ability to ‘read’ other people’s … Continue reading

Emotional Intelligence – Self Awareness & Self Management

Filed in Emotional Intelligence, leadership, leadership development, Personal development, personal effectiveness, self-awareness, by Tracey Davison on 3474 - 0 Comments

Emotional Intelligence self awareness

  Earlier this year we published a whitepaper on Emotional Intelligence (EI), in it we cited research that had found that 90% of top performers have high EI.   Additionally, it was found that EI is responsible for 58% of job performance.  … Continue reading

How can I create Accountability in my Team?

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Team accountability - Mindstrong blog

In a continuation of our theme ‘What is Leadership?‘, this week we look at team accountability.  We all know that if a team are to realise their collective potential and deliver the results we want and expect of them, there … Continue reading

What is Coaching?

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What is Coaching - Leadership Blog

Continuing our exploration of the five core aspects of leadership, this week we ask what is coaching and why is it so critical to effective leadership? What is Coaching not? In answering the question ‘what is coaching?’ it is useful … Continue reading

What is Empowerment?

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What is empowerment - Leadership Blog

  Last week we defined leadership, outlining five core aspects of effective leadership, the first of these being empowerment.  So this week we ask “What is empowerment and why is it so critical to effective leadership?” What is empowerment? empower: … Continue reading

What is leadership?

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What is leadership - Leadership Blog

  “What is leadership?” is a question I get asked a surprising number of times.  Being a leader is daunting, expectations are high and so naturally you want to know what is expected of you. The Main Responsibilities of Leadership … Continue reading

Leadership Development: A lesson in self awareness….from a 9 year old!

Filed in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, leadership, leadership development, self-awareness, by Tracey Davison on 3114 - 1 Comments

Leadership Development: self-awareness - Leadership Blog

  Yesterday my daughter told me that she’d set herself a new (school) year’s resolution “to be less bossy”.  She went on to say that although she was only ever just trying “to do the right thing”, she was aware … Continue reading

Coaching for Growth & Development, Part 4 – Praise

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Coaching for development - Leadership Blog

By the age of 5 you will already have received the majority of praise that you’ll receive in your entire life. For every 1 piece of praise you receive, you receive 14 pieces of criticism. Rather depressing facts, particularly when … Continue reading

Coaching for Growth & Development, Part 3 – How to set goals

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How to set goals - Leadership Blog

Goals should exist at every level within an organisation; individual, team and organisational.  Goals drive change and growth and used as part of your coaching process,  will reinforce and encourage a growth mindset and heighten performance effectiveness. When setting goals, … Continue reading

Coaching for Growth & Development, Part 2 – Leaders: Can you handle the truth?

Filed in Business Growth, coaching, growth mindset, leadership, leadership development, mindset, Personal development, by Tracey Davison on 2812 - 0 Comments

Coaching - Leadership Blog

  Continuing our series on coaching a mindset change, this week we put the leader under the spotlight. Warning:  If you “can’t handle the truth” then look away now. There’s no two ways about it, it is leaders who are … Continue reading

Coaching for Growth & Development, Part 1 – Do you have the right mindset?

Filed in Business Growth, coaching, growth mindset, mindset, Personal development, by Tracey Davison on 2796 - 0 Comments

Coaching - Leadership Blog

Coaching works.  It delivers individual and team performance improvements and organisational growth.  In fact, respondents in the 2013 CIPD Learning & Development Annual Survey reported coaching to be the most effective activity for talent management. When coaching for growth and … Continue reading

What can leaders learn from World Cup coaching methods?

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Coaching methods - Leadership Blog

As England Manager Roy Hodgson prepares his team for their opening match against Italy this Saturday, a nation wonders what he can possibly say that will inspire the team to glory.  It’s a problem that all leaders face – how … Continue reading

What are the Benefits of Coaching?

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Benefits of coaching - Leadership Blog

Organisations and leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of coaching in successful leadership. But whilst there are some who’ve eagerly jumped on board, others have been more hesitant, unsure as to the benefits of coaching and whether the … Continue reading

How to encourage commitment from your team

Filed in employee engagement, empowerment, encourage commitment, leadership, leadership development, teamwork, by Tracey Davison on 1484 - 0 Comments

encourage commitment - Leadership Blog

In our last post we explored the reasons people follow a leader, concluding that people do so either because of committment – to the cause, process and/or team, or because of compliance – because in doing so they are either … Continue reading

What makes people follow a leader?

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follow a leader - Leadership Blog

Why do people follow a leader? Well, people’s actions are always, arguably, in some way self-serving and so they will follow a leader either because there is some reward for doing so (even when the ‘reward’ is not desirable, but … Continue reading

Hi, my name’s _______ and I’m a perfectionist

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Tips for perfectionists - Leadership Blog

“And what would you say your weaknesses are?” “Well, I am a bit of a perfectionist” How many times have you heard, or even used, this in interviews?  It’s the ‘go to’ answer because it’s a flaw that sounds like … Continue reading

Does flexible working bring greater productivity?

Filed in coaching, employee engagement, flexible working, leadership, productivity, team effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 1424 - 0 Comments

greater productivity - Leadership Blog

I used to work for a company whose standard (but optional) practice was to take half an hour for lunch each day (as opposed to the full hour we were entitled to), meaning on Fridays we were able to leave … Continue reading

Personality Profiling – A waste of time or a valuable development tool?

Filed in Emotional Intelligence, leadership development, Personal development, personal effectiveness, personality profiling, by Tracey Davison on 1241 - 1 Comments

Personality profiling - Leadership Blog

Personality profiling as a development tool doesn’t have a great reputation. People tend to either be suspicious (“what if I give the wrong answers or get labelled as a certain ‘type’?”) or dismissive (“it’s nonsense, I know I’m an introvert, … Continue reading

Addressing Resistance to Change

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Resistance to change - Leadership Blog

Change is necessary.  Without it we cannot develop and grow, but people are naturally resistant to change and perhaps this is why research done by the CIPD found that the majority of change initiatives (60%) fail to meet their stated … Continue reading

Why are People Unable to Talk to their Leaders?

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Good communication - Leadership Blog

We all know that good communication is critical to a leader’s relationship with their team and yet some alarming new research from The Ken Blanchard Group has revealed that whilst 64% of people wish they could talk to their boss … Continue reading

Tackling Employee (Dis)Engagement

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Employee disengagement - Leadership Blog

In our last post we looked at the relationship between engagement and time-wasting activities within teams.  In an extensive study (over 25 million responses) into engagement conducted in the U.S. by Gallup, engagement was found to have a significant impact … Continue reading

How and Why your People are Wasting Time

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workplace productivity - Leadership Blog

The 2013 Wasting Time at Work Survey, conducted by Salary.com sheds some light on workplace productivity.  It found that 69% of people admit to wasting time at work on a daily basis, with the biggest time wasting activity being interacting … Continue reading

What Makes a Great Team Player?

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team player - Leadership Blog

Anyone who follows Formula 1 will know exactly what a well-oiled (you’ll excuse the pun), highly efficient team can achieve; with pit stop times becoming increasingly shorter.  These people are all ‘team-players’; focused on the same goal and highly motivated … Continue reading

Balancing the Leadership scales – Praise vs. Constructive Criticism

Filed in constructive criticism, feedback, leadership, praise, team effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 796 - 0 Comments

How to give constructive criticism - Leadership Blog

First ask yourself, which one do you find more comfortable giving – praise or criticism?  Now be honest with yourself – do you give more of the one that you feel most comfortable with?  For most people, the answer will … Continue reading

Does playing Sport competitively make you more successful in Business?

Filed in Business Growth, business success, Personal development, sport/business link, by Tracey Davison on 793 - 0 Comments

link between sport and business - Leadership Blog

A recent article on the BBC Business pages examined the question of whether sporty women make better entrepreneurs.  Indeed, there is growing recognition of the link between sport and business for both men and women.  In two recent blog posts, … Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Leader of Them All?

Filed in 360° Assessments, coaching, leadership, leadership development, personal effectiveness, self-awareness, by Tracey Davison on 1744 - 0 Comments

heightening self-awareness - Leadership Blog

The leader you think you are may not be the leader you actually are. Heightened self-awareness is critical to personal and professional development, but for most of us criticism is hard to take – even when it is born out of self-reflection. Continue reading

Selling on the Sidewalk: How to Create a Change Ready Team

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change ready team - Leadership Blog

Last week, the BBC’s Business page reported a story about a pair of innovative shop owners in Philadelphia who have set up a ‘mobile’ shop to take their products to the customer, rather than waiting for the customers to come … Continue reading

Can Teams Apply GB Cycling’s ‘Marginal Gains’ Approach to Enhance Performance?

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enhance team performance - Leadership Blog

In our last blog post Exceptional Coaching = Exceptional Performance…just ask Andy Murray, we asked whether the principals of sports coaching can be applied to business.  Extending this theme, we look at one of the most successful sports teams in … Continue reading

Exceptional Coaching = Exceptional Performance…just ask Andy Murray

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coaching for performance - Leadership Blog

He’s done it – Andy Murray has won Wimbledon; the one he’s dreamed of since he was a boy.  But what is it that’s taken Andy Murray from a good player to an outstanding one, made his dream a reality … Continue reading

The Little Red Hen – A Lesson for Teams

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good teamwork - Leadership Blog

The Little Red Hen is a children’s story with a moral and one that provides us with an excellent analogy for good teamwork.  Just as the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf teaches us the pitfalls of telling lies, … Continue reading

Low self-esteem: The Leadership Taboo

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improve self-esteem - Leadership Blog

Recent findings from a study undertaken by the ICF (International Coach Federation), found that of the main areas addressed in coaching engagements, self-esteem is addressed by at least 28% of clients.  Whilst we do not know what percentage of these … Continue reading

4 Tips to help Leaders Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

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improve efficiency - Leadership Blog

Getting to the end of another day and realising that you’ve not done any of the things you had planned is a common problem for leaders.  When you are responsible for more than just your own performance and development, there … Continue reading

Avoiding the ‘Corporate Away Day’ Mistakes made on The Apprentice

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corporate away day - Leadership Blog

When last week’s episode teaser for The Apprentice promised a corporate away day task, I was intrigued.  (For those who didn’t see it, the candidates were split into two teams and their brief was to provide an away day for … Continue reading

Trust and Leadership Part 2 – The 7 Steps to Building Trust

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build trust in teams - Leadership Blog

In last week’s blog post we explored the importance of trust in leadership, this week we look at the ways in which leaders can build trust in teams. In a recent interview published in The New York Times, Harry Herington, … Continue reading

Trust and Leadership Part 1 – “This is your Captain Speaking…”

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Trust and leadership - Leadership Blog

Trust and leadership have not always been recognised as essential partners for success in business.  In the past, leadership was more dictatorial in style, leaders made the decisions and those decisions went unchallenged.  Employees who were engaged were not essential, … Continue reading

8 Defining Characteristics of a Winning Team

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build a winning team - Leadership Blog

How do you build a winning team? Surely if you knew the answer to that you’d be very rich indeed? Well, the formula required to build a winning team is not so elusive as the recipe for Coca-Cola; it is … Continue reading

Constructive Criticism Part 2 – How to Embrace it

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giving and receiving feedback - Leadership Blog

In last week’s blog post ‘Constructive Criticism – How do you take it?‘ I explored the three common responses to constructive criticism  This week we look deeper into the process of giving and receiving feedback by looking at how we … Continue reading

Constructive Criticism Part 1- How do you take it?

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ways of receiving feedback

The purpose of constructive criticism is to highlight areas that could be improved upon, so that the individual concerned can make changes which will result in improved performance and effectiveness.  Whether an individual’s performance improves following constructive criticism, depends little … Continue reading

To Mentor or not to Mentor?…That is the Question

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Benefits of mentoring - Leadership Blog

When The Gallup Organization embarked on research to determine what makes a great workplace, one of their key findings was that there appear to be 12 dimensions that consistently describe great work groups; ‘My supervisor, or someone at work, seems … Continue reading

4 Body Language Tips for Outstanding Presentations

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Improve presentation skills - Leadership Blog

“Where body language conflicts with the words that are being said, the body language will usually be the more ‘truthful’ in the sense of revealing true feelings.”  Glen Wilson. The importance of body language in communication is not a new … Continue reading

Praise Part 2 – How should Leaders praise their Teams?

Filed in feedback, leadership, Personal development, praise, team effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 758 - 0 Comments

responsibilities of a leader - Leadership Blog

Last week we explored the importance of praise and why it can be difficult for leaders to give it. This week we take a look at one of the key responsibilities of a leader: giving praise and recognition; focusing on … Continue reading

Praise Part 1 – Why it’s so important and why it can be difficult to give

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Benefits of praise in the workplace - Leadership Blog

We all love receiving praise; it’s a way of acknowledging our achievements and it shows us that others have been paying attention. On top of all that, it makes us feel really good. Giving praise however, is not always so … Continue reading

Why Empowering your People is the Key to Unlocking their Potential – Part 2

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Empowering people - Leadership Blog

In last week’s blog post I began this blog topic by exploring what empowering people means, why it’s so critical to team performance and what holds leaders back from taking this approach.  This week I continue by considering how leaders … Continue reading

Why Empowering your People is the Key to Unocking their Potential – Part 1

Filed in building trust, employee engagement, empowerment, leadership, organisational effectiveness, team effectiveness, by Tracey Davison on 564 - 0 Comments

Empowering your people- Leadership Blog

As a leader, the constant flow of leadership trends and buzz words can be over-whelming and it can be difficult to know how to ‘filter out the noise’ and focus on those which will bring real results.  One such phrase … Continue reading

Can leaders Really Maintain a Close Friendship with those they Lead? – A Guide to Managing this Complex Relationship

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how to lead a friend- Leadership Blog

Most of us, at some point, will either have led or been led by someone that we considered to be a close friend.  But what impact does friendship have on the working relationship?  Can leaders really maintain close friendships with … Continue reading

RIP Unproductive, Boring Meetings – How to Breath Life back into your Meetings

Filed in leadership, leadership development, personal effectiveness, presentation skills, team meetings, workplace productivity, by Tracey Davison on 532 - 0 Comments

boring meetings- Leadership Blog

At the weekend I purchased a little book entitled ‘The Worst-Case Scenario Pocket Guide: Meetings’ by David Borgenicht and Ben H. Winters.  An amusing pocket guide on how to survive boring meetings, it offers some unique suggestions on how to … Continue reading