Showing posts tagged with: behaviour

The dark side of leadership

Leadership | 0 comments | by Simon Ricketts

We all have one of these in our cupboard somewhere...Do you ever feel that there are people you know who should have been more successful than they are given their talents, experience and abilities? Do you feel this about yourself perhaps? The reality is that we all have our own glass ceiling, self-imposed through our ‘dark side behaviours‘.

Unfulfilled career aspirations and potential, and even outright derailment are all symptoms of our inability to see, focus on and deal with the dark side of leadership. It is tempting to think that these dark side behaviours are overtly negative, and therefore they would be obvious to us and those around us. Unfortunately this is not the case – these derailing behaviours or characteristics or more subtle.

Around a year ago, we took on a psychometric product called Talent Q to offer to our clients as part of our coaching and leadership development work, as part of our armoury in helping leaders to counter the dark side of leadership. The elements that Hay Group have identified as derailers the following (amongst others) as limiters of leadership effectiveness:

  1. Hypersensitivity – are you either too affected by others’ emotions, or not tuned in enough – either way it is a problem for you.
  2. Isolation – too connected to others, or prefer your own company? Extremes are best avoided for leadership success.
  3. Eccentricity – research has shown that not enough creative thought can be just as limiting as being ‘out there’.
  4. Over-confidence – a balance of humility and confidence are required – no shrinking violets, but Attila the Hun had control issues…
  5. Micro-management – are you too across the detail? What would your team say about this?

We have found that leaders find difficulty in assessing accurately their own position on these factors, and so we are now licensed to deploy these reports and debrief fully to help people in leadership position avoid the downsides of the dark side behaviours.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you maximise the positive aspects of your leadership ability, and avoid these limiting factors, contact Simon at, or just call me on +44 (0) 7711 831992.

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Measuring to drive positive behaviour

Leadership | 0 comments | by Simon Ricketts

Driving the right or wrong behaviours?

Are your KPIs or measures the first thing you think about when you wake up each morning and draw the curtains?

Are they your constant source of energy and inspiration that keep you working at peak performance?

Thought not.

Too often measures are imposed on us and they they often represent what the organisation needs rather than what is meaningful for us.

But it does not have to be this way. Measuring to drive positive behaviour change involves a subtle but significant shift away from using KPIs and measures to drive behaviours to one where leaders are using the measures to engage, excite and enable.

We should and can have an emotional connection with our performance objectives and KPIs. This does however require a different approach.

We help our clients achieve this through developing KPIs and objectives that are :

Stretching – to drive us beyond the comfort zone into real achievement
Meaningful – for us, not just for the organisation
Aspirational – so we want to deliver – rather than just complying
Rewarding – there must be a ‘what is in it for me’
Trust – small word, big meaning and effect…

How do your KPIs measure up to these more emotional criteria?

Use KPIs to move your people from mere engagement to sheer excitement and exhilaration!

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70-20-10 leadership development drives real behaviour change

Leadership | 0 comments | by Simon Ricketts

There is currently much talk about 70-20-10 approaches to learning and development in organisations, and with good reason. Consider the following question:

What was the most impactful event in your professional and leadership learning?

Having asked this question of a large number of people now, the answer always seems to lie in bosses they admired (or didn’t…), feedback they received or times when they were thrown in the deep end on a project or task.

Whichever is true for you – why do we not seem to recognise this and build this insight into our management and leadership development strategies?

We have long been impressed with the power of group learning (action learning in particular and variants of it), and the idea of learning that is more self-directed. It seems that we only really learn what is relevant to us at a particular time. For example, learning about strategic planning works particularly well at the time that your company is going through its strategy planning processes. Sounds obvious, but it is an often overlooked key that the real learning only happens when the new knowledge is used and applied. This is also the point where it creates value for the organisation too…

As a result of all of this, development programmes (and coaching) need to move into a phase where they are more varied in their approaches, relevant to peoples’ and organisations’ needs and combining traditional forms of learning with more experiential and social ways of making sense of the learning as it is applied to the learners’ work, and sharing the learning with others to help the organisation maximise the value of the new skills to everyone else. This principle is being expounded through the term 70-20-10, meaning:

  • 10% of development time should be spent on acquiring new knowledge or skills through training, on-line learning or other forms of knowledge transfer
  • 20% of time should be devoted to discussing the application of the learning in the workplace in groups, through social media or other forms of communication
  • 70% of the time should be in the doing – applying the new skills, techniques or behaviours in the workplace to integrate into the learner’s daily practice.

This creates a more varied, stimulating and ultimately impactful development experience that will in time make simple training courses look a little long in the tooth.

Click here to see an example of how we used 70-20-10 leadership development for the University of Exeter in their Leadership South West contract.

For a discussion on how to re-align your development programmes that are not quite delivering the behaviour change you want or need to the 70-20-10 model, contact Simon on or on +44 (0) 7711 831992.

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