Reflections on leadership in time of crisis

Stencilled image of a man against a wall with a caption that says "made in crisis"

If someone had asked me a year ago ‘what is the worse that could happen while you lead a major organisation?’ my answer would have been ‘people not engaging with our plans and vision’. Dealing with the consequences of a pandemic was the last thing on my mind. The unpredictability, suddenness and impact of the … Read more

Don’t let technology control you when you speak!

I’ve run a lot of workshops over the last few weeks. Typically, an email exchange takes place between myself and my host regarding the equipment I’ll need and whether I’ll be using slides or not. Most of the time I present, everything happens smoothly and I’m capable of handling any small glitches happening on the … Read more

Handling data is now an essential part of leadership

One of my major discoveries during my leadership journey is how essential data and numbers are to effective decision-making. Additionally, ubiquitous computers and smart devices now make collecting and analysing numbers easier than ever. Yet at the same time, few leaders can handle data confidently and to harness it to craft strategies and power their … Read more

Self-evaluation or why you should watch yourself speak!

I spent a couple of hours during the Christmas break to watch the recording of my recent speeches. It is an exercise that I had somewhat neglected in the past as I discovered that I hadn’t done a self-evaluation of many speeches, some even stretching back to 2018! It was time well spent and reminded … Read more

Black start or another reason why leadership is hard

I recently remembered a conversation with a good friend of mine. More specifically, her use of a rather arcane electrical engineering term, ‘black start capability’ to refer to a set of attributes that made some leaders stand out from the rest. In her opinion, very few leaders actually have a ‘black start capability’ and this … Read more

Practice often to become a confident speaker

This Monday I delivered a technical speech to secure help to implement a data project for the organisation I lead. Technically, the speech was good, my objective was clear and so was the central idea at its core. However, a couple of things didn’t go as planned and I ended up learning valuable lessons from … Read more

How to introduce a speaker with aplomb

The way a speaker is introduced can help establish the speaker’s credibility and get the audience engaged even before the speaker begins his or her speech. However, introducing a speaker with aplomb is another speaking skill in itself and one that a lot of people get wrong. Let’s learn how you too can introduce a … Read more

Top tips for running an online meeting

Over the past few months, I’ve increasingly started using Zoom for conference calls and online meetings in my senior leadership role for Toastmasters International. Yesterday, I facilitated an online meeting followed by a series of virtual workshops. Online meetings are a powerful tool to add to your leadership and communication arsenal. Here are some of … Read more

Complacency, the gatekeeper of poor leadership

There is one sentence that’s always guaranteed to annoy me in the context of leadership it is “We’ve always been good!”. This sentence encapsulates poor leadership in so many different ways. It can also be condensed into a single word … complacency. Complacency in all its forms is often the gatekeeper of poor leadership. What … Read more