Place Based Leadership

“The social world is accumulated history” (Bourdieu, 1986)

“The social space we occupy has been historically generated.” (Skeggs, 1997)

One of the best parts of research is when you stumble across one or two pieces of information that enable your current thinking to ‘fall into place’, even if this is only temporary. That was the feeling I got when yesterday when I came across these two quotes in quick succession. They’re from two of the theorists that I see as being central to my thesis. When this happens, it can be interesting to consider the process of crystallisation behind such moment of clarity.  Continue reading “Place Based Leadership”

My Own Reflection

I’m currently reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda with my middle daughter. I smile, not just at the funny parts, but when Matilda is curled up with her nose in a book while the rest of the family is watching TV. Certainly my parents were not like Matilda’s, but I do remember them making objections to me doing the same, particularly in social situations. Continue reading “My Own Reflection”

Leadership isn’t Hereditary

The latest book I’ve been toting around with me is Antonia Fraser’s two-volume history of Charles II. You’ll remember him, mainly because Parliament beheaded his father, forcing him into exile. Prior to this he was being schooled by his father the King (Charles I) in the art of running the Country.  Continue reading “Leadership isn’t Hereditary”

Creating (or killing) positivity 

On Wednesday the train I normally jump on for my commute home was delayed. Or to put it more accurately, all trains going in the direction I wanted to go were cancelled due to a major signal failure. Although I’m reassured that this is not a regular occurrence, it’s the second time in the three weeks I’ve been commuting that it’s happened to me. People get a real bee in their bonnet about the failings of the transport network (roadworks, traffic jams), but public transport in particular is the victim of much anger venting. If it is late, we are late; for work, for home, and for connecting services. It eats into our time. It creates wasted time. Some people find this very annoying.  Continue reading “Creating (or killing) positivity “

Do women or men make better leaders?

A couple of years ago “scientific proof” that male and female brains operate differently was announced. This was quickly followed by general uproar and the accusation that science was “validating sexism”. More recently the original study has been supplemented by more in depth research, which confirmed that the brains of the different sexes are in fact different. However, those differences are very small Continue reading “Do women or men make better leaders?”

Potential vs performance

20150610-092831.jpg

What’s more important to your company, it’s future or its past? Any business leader worth their salt isn’t going to think twice before answering. The future, of course. No matter how you’ve performed in the past, the future is going to bigger, brighter and better. You’re not moving backwards, you’re moving forwards. Your talent strategy is fully aligned to the vision, with targets cascaded throughout your performance framework, ensuring you’ll have the right people in place to deliver. Well, that’s great, but what’s missing? Continue reading “Potential vs performance”

Inspiration is a Two Way Street

20150108-180508.jpg

These days it’s widely recognised that many of the enabling tools and techniques of Human Resources need to be two-way to have any chance of being effective. A top-down, dictatorial style is no longer working (if it ever did in the first place). Communication and engagement are things we do together with our people, not to them or at them. In an ideal world anyway. Yet one of the key concepts of the latest management theories, inspiration, works very differently. Continue reading “Inspiration is a Two Way Street”