Category Archives: Leadership

Farewell Smith Guttridge & Associates

waving_goodbye_oval_sign_PA_500_wht_4550I’ve decided it’s time to hang up my laptop and take a well-earned break from work.

Working with associates at Smith Guttridge has been wonderful; such a buzz working with creative, passionate people who all believed in doing the very best they could for clients (and helping each other at the same time).

So I’ll be spending more time on my music project, photography and family (not necessarily in that order).

I’ll still be writing my Bizpsycho blog over at bizpsycho.com as well as other lifestyle stuff.

I’m planning to transfer some of the posts from here to Bizpsycho and leave this blog up until the registration expires.

So thanks to everyone who took the trouble to read this. My blog was read in 111 countries but primarily in the USA, the UK, and Spain.

But thank you those readers from Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan, Iceland, Moldova, Qatar, Guernsey, Luxemburg, Afghanistan, Macao, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan among others.

Truly an international readership. Any blogger will tell you how much they appreciate an audience.

 

 

Too many e-mails plus bad management stressing out staff

laptop_mail_PA_500_wht_2109Professor Sir Cary Cooper has hit out at the avalanche of e-mails most workers now suffer from at work.

In a speech at the British Psychology Conference in Liverpool he said UK productivity was the second lowest in the G7 group of nations (20% below the average and 40% below the USA) which he believed was due to our embracing technology “too enthusiastically”.

He thinks companies should shut down their servers to discourage employees from checking e-mails in the evening and at weekends and especially when on holiday – which he described as sick. (Some companies are already doing this in Germany).

He would like to ban in-house e-mails between members of staff in favour of face-2-face communication and thought c.c. e-mails a waste of time.

He thinks too may people are just showing up for work (“Presenteeism“) but not doing anything productive.

Research at the University of Sussex confirms that when when staff are given company smartphones they put in an extra day a week checking and responding to e-mails.

Experts say that there may be help round the corner from even newer technology such as Slack and Yammer which provide an open stream of communications not requiring you to open e-mails. (Is that really an improvement?)

employee_diciplined_1600_wht_5635But it’s not all down to the technology. British managers are notoriously poor at praising and encouraging staff. Cooper likens a good boss to a parent figure balancing criticism and praise.

However UK employees don’t have to wait long to be criticised in his view but they can wait a long time to get any praise for good work. And that could be a problem with younger workers who expect praise and good treatment at work.

 

Female Managers………………….

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

25946-12i4hlr

There are only three countries in the world where you are more likely to have a female than male boss, according to a new study by the International Labour Organisation: Jamaica, Colombia and Saint Lucia.

Britain comes in at number 41 out of 108 countries ranked according to their percentage of female managers, with 34.2 per cent.

The United States in number 15 on the list with 42.8 per cent while Algeria (4.9 per cent) and Pakistan (3.0 per cent) are at the bottom of the list.

Here are the 10 countries which have the highest percentage of female managers according to the International Labour Organisation:

1. Jamaica 59.3 per cent

2. Colombia 53.1 per cent

3. Saint Lucia 52.3 per cent

4. Philippines 47.6 per cent

5. Panama 47.4 per cent

6. Belarus 46.2 per cent

7. Latvia 45.7 per cent

8. Guatemala 44.8 per cent

9. Bahamas…

View original post 149 more words

Does your face fit a leadership position?

military_business_handshake_1600_wht_9795Broad-faced men are more aggressive and better at sport but in the military thin-faced men are more likely to rise up the ranks.

Scientist in Finland have been researching some WW2 archives relating to the “Winter War” in 1939-40 ( a great feat of arms by the  Finnish army resisting overwhelming soviet forces and well worth reading about).

The archives have details on almost 800 soldiers in three Finnish regiments including photographs, number of children, and the rank attained.

Wider-faced men tended to have more children but usually attained a lower military rank.

In men face shape is influenced by testosterone levels making it a proxy for evolutionary success hence the fact that generally speaking men with broader and shorter faces are more aggressive but less trustworthy.

The researchers point out that dominance in the military may be better predicted by leadership qualities otter than aggressiveness.The military relies on a strict hierarchy, which requires trust and fear of punishment to be maintained

See also “Take me to your leader

 

Women ‘blocked from boardrooms’…………..really?

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Nearly one in five women believe it is almost impossible for a female to reach a senior management role in business, according to a report. In a survey of 2,000 working women by communications giant 02, half replied that all the decision-makers in their company were male.

women-blocked-from-boardrooms-136395565022803901-150120005015

A review into diversity has recommended that 25% of company boards should be made up of women, but the report said progress towards meeting the target was not moving fast enough.

More than a quarter of those polled said they dreamed of becoming a chief executive, but a third said they had failed to meet their career expectations, blaming poor quality line management, a lack of training and negative office politics.

Women said good luck often led to success in business, rather than skill, ambition or determination. Ann Pickering, O2’s HR director and board member, said: “As an employer, today’s findings make for uncomfortable reading. We…

View original post 395 more words

My most read business posts in 2014

dscf1285.jpgOnce again the techies at WordPress provide me with an annual report with lots if statistics. They remind me I posted a measly 47 posts last year, and some of them I re-blogged – so thank you bloggers who allowed me to do that.

My blog is now read in 111 countries but primarily in the USA, the UK, and Spain. But thank you those readers from Papua New Guinea,  Uzbekistan, Iceland, Moldova, Qatar, Guernsey, Luxemburg, Afghanistan, Macao, Tanzania and Krygystan among others. Truly an international readership.

The top ten posts were:

1st : Stress back on the agenda? This was 4th last year and in the top spot in 2012

2nd: Teams and Diversity not so simple which was in 5th spot last year

3rd: Women are the winners at work which was in top spot last year

4th: Saying thank you makes good business sense a jump from 16th place last year

5th: Leadership & Influencing and even bigger jump from 21st spot last year

6th: No-one wants to be rated as average This was 3rd last year and in 2nd spot in both 2011 & 2012 – obviously I struck a chord with it.

7th: Erotic Capital – boobs, botox and making the most of yourself a slight drop from 6th spot last year

8th: Rude, arrogant and powerful up from 11th spot last year

9th: Leaders without any shame jointly with Leadership capabilities necessary for a successful merger

10th: Women in Leadership – too nice? Too bossy?

For the second year my most-read posts have been from earlier years with only those in bottom three places from 2014. This probably reflects the paucity of my output in 2014. So must try harder!

My most read posts in 2013

Veterans as ‘Military Alumni’

Steve Rose PhD

Military Alumni

“The returning warrior may not realize it, but he has acquired an MBA in enduring adversity and a PhD in resourcefulness, tenacity and the capacity for hard work.” – Steven Pressfield

The concept of ‘veteran’ is usually associated with honor, but in some cases it may carry a stigma. Finding work after leaving the military can be frustrating for individuals who feel employers do not understand their value, associating their service with a stigmatizing view of PTSD. An individual I interviewed said the following:

“Nothing was more demoralizing than trying to find work with a military resume… the literacy of the general population to reading military, they all read it as a PTSD case.”

Embittered and shocked at how difficult it was to find employment, this individual took certain things off of his resume hoping to reduce the perceived stigma, minimizing his deployment to Afghanistan to the point where it…

View original post 344 more words

Chief Executives get richer by hiring remuneration consultants

stick_figure_crank_pound_500_wht_7405Organisations are using remuneration consultants to give a “cloak of respectabilityto justify over-generous pay increases, according to a study at Cambridge University.

Those that use external experts end up paying 7.5% more to their CEOs than those who set their pay in-house.

The Judge Business School analysed a thousand American companies and found a direct link between the hiring of executive pay consultants and higher CEO pay.

Professor of Finance Raghavendra Rau argues that the common practice of benchmarking pay against similar sized companies is counter-productive as it prompts each company to pay slightly above average.

“If everybody wants to be above average, the average will keep going up”  (and this applies to other aspects of organisational life e.g. see “No-one wants to be rated as average”).

It’s not necessarily the large multi-national consultancies – for example, Towers Watson, PwC, and Hay Group –  that are to blame as  when smaller “boutique” consultants are used CEOs are paid about 10% more.

Shareholders have been known to rebel against advice on boardroom pay e.g. at Aviva and Burberry.

Former chancellor Lord Lawson caused a storm last year when he described pay consultants as “a profession that makes prostitutes thoroughly respectable“. As you  might expect that didn’t go down well with the Remuneration Consultants Group which represents the industry and which said he was “ill-informed“.

I posted about the impact of using inter-company comparisons four years ago as I believed it had led to the inflation of public sector pay especially in those organisations which had been privatised.

Interesting as this latest study is, talking about 7.5 – 10% overpayment doesn’t mean much to the average employee when average pay for directors at British blue-chip companies rose by 21% to £2.4 million this year according to Incomes Data Services with CEOs taking home about £4.5 million a year.

Pay differentials between the top and the bottom of companies have never been more extreme, or obscene.  In America most people think that CEOs earn about 30 times what the average employee earns when the reality is it’s currently 350 times! No wonder some observers are warning that “the pitchforks will be coming out.

 

Authentic Communication

Otrazhenie

From http://hr.toolbox.com

 Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis of successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out, this reticence causes and perpetuates all kinds of problems: uncomfortable issues that never get addressed, resentment that builds, unfit managers who get promoted rather than fired, and on and on. Often these situations don’t improve because no one tells anyone what is really happening. We are so rarely brave enough to tell the truth…

From The Grumpy Poet

However, authentic communication is not simply about saying what we think at all costs. Communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding the sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest. Speaking truth fully without hurting feelings comes naturally to some and is an acquired skill for…

View original post 327 more words