Leading from a Distance

Leading from a distance has been challenging for many over these last few days and may become even more difficult and problematic in the weeks and months to come. Life is fragile and work is volatile if not uncertain. Emotions are running high. As one might expect, the Change Curve is almost a mirror image […]

Are You an Ambitious or Accidental Leader?

“I’m not an ambitious person. I didn’t set my sights on becoming a Partner,” replied several interviewees who agreed to participate in our leadership research project. And these leaders aren’t in the minority. Many senior executives find themselves becoming what might be described as an ‘Accidental Leader’ – reaching the higher echelons of their organisation by […]

Do leaders need to exhibit confidence to succeed? And what is the role of vulnerability? By Jane Welsh

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s book ‘Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?’ suggests that we assume a correlation between confidence and competence that doesn’t exist. As a result, confident (and even over-confident) people end up in leadership roles. Hardwiring from our early roots dealing with ever present danger and the fight for survival may not be […]

Leadership – does it matter?

There’s a lot of talk about leadership, and it’s a core part of the work we do with our clients. So, it’s worth asking, does leadership really matter, and what difference does good leadership make compared with poor leadership? We ask these questions in the leadership research project we’re currently undertaking in the finance and […]

Leadership in the Finance and Professional Services Sectors – We want your input!

We are undertaking a new research programme into the leadership qualities and behaviours needed in the finance & professional services industry in the 21st Century.  At a time of great change in the industry, the expectations of leaders are enormous.  Yet we sense that the thinking on leadership is not well developed across the industry. […]

Leading Figures contributes a chapter to: Legal leadership: a handbook for future success

As a result of our participation in the Law Society of Scotland’s 2018 Annual Conference we were invited to contribute chapter 6 (entitled: Leading a High Performing Legal Team) to a book published by the Ark Group. For more details please click on the ‘Read More’ button below and then follow this link: https://www.ark-group.com/product/legal-leadership-handbook-future-success-0#.W_V6M-KYQdV Author: Thomas […]

Navigating Burnout

It is just over 10 years ago when I suffered from ‘burnout’.  I was open about this with my work colleagues at the time but given that my network of contacts has grown further since then, and I’ve just passed a major milestone, I thought it was an appropriate time to share my experience with […]

The Role of Communication in Change

We all know that communication plays a vital role in effecting change. But why is this? Research undertaken in the USA (Wilson & Gilbert 2005) provides some insight. People are generally competent at telling whether a future event will be pleasant or unpleasant. But how accurate are we in predicting how happy or unhappy we […]

Guess which of his products Steve Jobs was most proud?

In the final days of Steve Jobs’ life, his biographer, Walter Isaacson seemingly visited him and asked what product he was most proud of. ‘Was it the early Mac?’ enquired Isaacson, ‘or perhaps the iPod, iPad or iPhone?’ If you don’t already know then Jobs’ reply may surprise you. He said that he was ‘most proud of his team […]

How to be an Effective Leader

In our work we often meet people who don’t view themselves as leaders and yet they are, having perhaps unknowingly transitioned into a leadership role. People often have little choice as to whether or not they become a leader, the decision being largely out of their hands. Who makes the decision? Other people – colleagues, […]

Russell and Thomas discuss a Growth Mindset in the context of the ICAS Masterminds Executive Coaching Programme

https://leadingfigures.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Masterminds-The-Growth-Mindset-1280×720.mp4 In this short video we talk about the importance of adopting a Growth Mindset and explain how the ICAS Masterminds Executive Coaching Programme can promote innovative thinking and accelerate the career growth of CAs and high performing leaders. You can find out more about the ICAS Masterminds Executive Coaching Programme exclusively for C-Suite, Executives and […]

Taking the Step up to Partner

Nothing beats learning from those who have succeeded…. and in order to obtain an industry-wide perspective we have interviewed over fifty Partners and other senior individuals within the accounting, actuarial, consulting and legal sectors, a number of whom we have worked with as coaches. One of the questions posed was “what advice would you give […]

Developing Awareness, a foundation for Personal Development

In working with our clients we encourage them to consider the three key foundations of personal development – Attitude, Awareness and Action (which we call the Triple A Model). To maximise development one needs to focus on all three components and how they interlink. In this short article we focus on developing Awareness, by which […]

Developing a Behavioural Edge in the Information Age

Knowledge is no longer power, because knowledge is everywhere – or at least knowledge is accessible everywhere. We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. All we need do is Google a question on our gizmos to find the answer. Or perhaps YouTube it to see how we should do it. Or […]

Afraid that you might be a fraud?

Imagine one of these scenarios: you’ve recently returned to work after a career break and feel a little unsure about yourself or; you’ve recently been promoted to the lofty heights of an executive position and you’re trying to find your feet or; much to your surprise, you’ve secured a senior role in an entirely new […]

Three ways to turn your group into a Team

Most businesses stress the importance of team working. There is a logic behind this. Projects often require a minimum level of ‘critical mass’ and no one person has all the skills that the business (and their customers) may need; indeed there is increasing evidence to suggest that a talented team with a diversity of cognitive […]

How smaller fund managers can develop a competitive edge

All fund management houses seeking to grow their business face the challenge of growing in an increasingly competitive market. In the late 1980s UK names such as Mercury Asset Management, Morgan Grenfell and Phillips & Drew managed a significant proportion of UK fund assets – few will recognise such names now. Nowadays US and European […]

The Primary Reason for Career Derailment amongst Top Executives…

According to the Centre for Creative Leadership the primary reason for career derailment amongst top executives is lack of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Decades of research has also revealed that EI is the reason why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Moreover, studies of 500 organisations worldwide have […]

Wondering why you aren’t being promoted?

If you aspire to reach the top of your organisation i.e. secure a board position or go beyond – but are questioning why your career path has reached a plateau – our research shows that the answer may lie in your leadership skills (or lack of them). Your ability to engage people should not be […]

The Loneliness of Leadership

Research indicates that many leaders experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, even though they are often surrounded by colleagues at work. It can help if the leader feels that colleagues share the same vision and values as they do, as this can create supportive emotional connections. But even then, it is the leader who has […]

Worried that you might not be a natural born leader?

This paper provides a general overview of leadership and its role in an organisational context. It then introduces a leadership framework constructed by Kouzes & Posner and how you might use it to increase your leadership effectiveness. Management relates to the processes that keep an organisation functioning such as planning, budgeting, defining roles, resourcing and […]

Know Your Limits

When as I was younger I enjoyed building things. Lego was a favourite, with the aim of building the longest bridge or the tallest skyscraper (the latter in their final stages would require a chair and inevitably wobble with the slightest touch). Likewise in my business life I also find I enjoy building and seeing […]

Growth Mindset – what it is and how it can help your career

Why does a Growth Mindset that thrives on challenge achieve more than a Fixed Mindset that strives for success? According to Professor Carol Dweck, from Stanford University, the answer lies in the focus of each of each of the differing mindsets. The Fixed Mindset wants to prove it is smart, while the Growth Mindset wants to get even smarter. […]

The Secret to Busking for Business (and Winning Clients)

A couple of weeks ago the temperature in London hit 24 degrees. Going from one client meeting to the next I walked past St Paul’s Cathedral then over the Millennium Footbridge, soaking up the heat in the air as I headed for the Tate Modern. And then I heard him, faintly at first but eventually […]

Leading Your Career

Extract from Glasgow Actuarial Student Society Seminar The Triple A model is a simple tool to help you develop your career to its fullest potential. We have tailored the context and examples to student actuaries at the early stages of their career; however, the principles of the model are applicable at every stage… and it […]