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The Language of Leadership

Today we explore the letter - M. M stands for being a Mum - it’s a different style of leadership.

I became a Mum 14 years ago today. I had been a Step-Mum for a few years (and still am) and becoming a Mum presented a new type of leadership. We learnt very quickly that children watch and listen to everything you do and say. We started an experiment 14 years ago and choose specifically the words we would use and not use in front of our children e.g. not to swear, raise our voice or have a fight.

This experiment has paid off and our kids never swear, they are calm and know how to communicate. Parenting is a choice, and I chose to be a mother who was going to be a positive, confident and proactive role-model.

The key M words I identified are:

·       Movement 

·       Motivation 

·       Mastery

·       Mindfulness 

·       Memory

Image: N2Growth via Google

Image: N2Growth via Google


What about you? What M words show up for you when you think of, speak about and practise leadership?

So let me tell you about these words I use:

Movement – great leadership creates a movement, a cause is followed and people want to be part of it and what it stands for

Motivation – knowing what motivates you and your people is the key to leading relationships

Mastery –  learning, improving, changing, experimenting and attempting to master our leadership

Mindfulness – its what cuts through the complexity of personality, projects and processes – learn to breath and be in the moment

Memory – listen intently with no distraction and you should be able to remember what is said, who said it, what their name is and if and what action is required

I will enjoy being a Mum for the remainder of today. It’s life’s greatest gift and I need to ensure that I help my kids be the future leaders of tomorrow.

We’re almost half way through the leadership alphabet. You can catch up on A-L on my website – check out my Thoughts page.

And, I need your help to hear and learn your perspective as it helps me broaden my understanding of leadership.

Are You A Lazy Manager?

Working with many young and aspiring people in the various workshops I lead, I get to hear their view of the world - stories of the leadership and management which is occurring day in, day out. I hear a few magnificent examples of what we want to emulate in leadership however I listen to too many descriptions which would shock your pants off, descriptions of their managers' actions & in-actions.  

You would think in 2015 we would have read enough, heard enough and learnt enough about what good leadership is about - but, and it's a BIG BUT, people still don't do it - let alone do it right.

Warning: Please don't read on if you are feeling slightly anxious, you are probably OK, this is to be read by those who think they are doing swell as a leader! I want you to read this with your team/staff and allow them to provide you with feedback.

Since January, I've kept a list of the common unacceptable behaviours and actions which your people are persevering with - how guilty are you? 


1. Communicating with others using one style, your preferred style neglecting that of the team's bilingual, multi-style requirements.

2. Act as a 'parent', raising your voice, talking down to others and reprimanding in front of their peers. 

3. Don't use manners (common courtesy - saying 'thank you'), gratitude (positive praise) or proactively developing relationships with your team.

4. Hosting lengthy, meaningless meetings which don't engage and involve the attendees and generally bore the pants off everyone. 

5. Performance conversations with team members are annual, feedback from the team is only asked via anonymous 360 degree surveys and you only provide feedback about performance when things go wrong. 

The list grows as I continue to ask 'your' team about your leadership. I hope one day soon these stories cease however we all know that habits are tough to break or change. So, you're going to have to make a concerted effort to be a more effective and respected manager and leader. You probably need help!