One more time: What conversations do leaders need to have?

Recently I shared my thoughts about the power of thinking about which conversations to stop and start having so as to increase leadership and individual effectiveness. The notion is broader than it seems as first. Conversations we are having with ourselves, quietly and internally, regularly dictate how we impact others. Conversations within organisations massively impact how the employees go about delivering the work of that organisation. Disruptive innovations force organisations to have different conversations, such as moving from a conversation about “how good we are”, to one that starts with “our industry is changing rapidly and we need to change or go bust”.

Often leaders decide to change conversations for non-dramatic reasons.

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Reimagine your ideal leadership impact

The opportunity and ability to stop, reflect and take time to deeply consider what you do and how you do it seems to come too rarely.

In our perception of being time poor and with our task obsessed behaviour, taking the necessary time for a deep reflection seems to be an indulgence, an extravagance, something I will do later or when I retire! Some may even ask “isn’t that what the summer holidays are for?”

I have just had this experience but add to the extended time required for deep reflection, a hiking tour on the other side of the world in their summer and the notion of indulgence moves onto a scale not seen since the last Kardashian wedding!

I have just returned from a week hiking in Cumbria in northern England with 32 other people led by the poet turned philosopher David Whyte.

The feeling of “indulgence” I described earlier transformed into “privilege” over the week as the process of deep reflection led to new and increased understandings, learning and remembered knowings.

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10 transitions every leader needs to master

“I am exhausted – I have transition overload!”

Dean, a leader with many years of international years experience, confessed even he was tired of managing another phase of change in his organisation.

This is not surprising – the more senior the leader, the increasing number of transitions they have to manage.

William Bridges (1991) published “Managing Transitions” where he focussed on the transition as opposed to the change itself. A transition is the internal manifestation of that change that happens within the individual – the psychological impact of the change itself. Whilst this might seem subtle, it is significant as he clarified the emotional impacts the individual experiences during each stage of a transition.

Bridges makes a key point that people experience change even if they don’t agree to or desire it. He highlights three zones of transition people go through when they experience change. He said they are:

  1. Ending, Losing and Letting Go
  2. The Neutral.
  3. The New Beginning
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