Steve Sitton

Just another leadership blog…


There are many things managers need to do and the majority involve working with others. Doing this in an efficient way that doesn’t disrupt others is a challenge! It could be asking a simple question or needing more in-depth information. The people you need have their own responsibilities, they could be having their own challenges or deeply focusing on something. So how do managers make requests to people without upsetting them?

First, what do I mean by a request? In this context, it’s the need for something from another person. It could be an answer to a question or a need for another person to carry out some sort of task. Ultimately, it’s something that they won’t be expecting and will likely interrupt them in some way.

We know, in reality, there are times as a manager when things need to happen urgently. This should be an exception though. The… Continue reading


Do you have those days when you wake up in a good mood then on your commute you have a bad experience with someone and it ruins your happy vibe? Or maybe there are meetings you don’t look forward to because you know someone attending will bring the tone down? I’ve had many of these! But I also remember the opposite, looking forward to certain meetings because of the good camaraderie we had in the team. If someone was down we would inject some fun to boost the mood because we all got on. All our actions or moods affect those we interact with, are you bringing people around you up or down?

The majority of the time I have a positive outlook but I know there are times I’ve been short or snappy with people. Sometimes we get chances to apologise, other times not. It can be hard to… Continue reading

5 Qualities Great Leaders Have

“We need leaders who add value to the people and the organization they lead; who work for the benefit of others and not just for their own personal gain. Leaders who inspire and motivate, not intimidate and manipulate; who live with people to know their problems in order to solve them and who follow a moral compass that points in the right directions regardless of the trends.”
Mary Kay Ash

There is an abundance of blogs out there listing the characteristics a leader must have, many of these cover common traits such as trust, empathy, communication, humility, self-awareness. These are important but I see then as entry level qualities for a leader. Great leaders should excel at the foundational qualities while also having something extra that makes them stand out and be someone who people want to follow.

Below are 5 qualities that make that extra difference.

#1. Caring Heart… Continue reading

Investing time wisely

Thinking about time amazes me, memories of growing up seem so long ago but that is probably my age! Sometimes we wish time would go more quickly, other times we want to savour special moments. But time can also be frightening when you know you can’t get it back. This is why time is often called the most precious gift. So what we do with our time is important, in the context of the workplace and leadership, time management is a skill that needs practise.

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
Stephen R. Covey

This is relevant to all of us, are we investing our time in something of value?

I recommend watching this talk by Andy Walker called Optimize for Time. He gives advice on how to use time in a way that enables teams to improve. I enjoyed it and it made… Continue reading

The bane of filler words

How many times have you listened to someone talking and you hear “er”, “um”, “uh”, “ah”, or “like” every other sentence? These are ‘filler words’ and I want to declare war against them! They stand out to me now, whether it’s conversations with friends, live interviews on the TV or people giving public talks, it seems alarms bells go off in my head whenever they are spoken. Even “you know” is common now in conversations even though it doesn’t add any value to the sentence. It’s something I find annoying and really hard to listen to but… and here’s the thing, I’m guilty of it myself!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these words cannot be used, it’s the over use, every other sentence, that should be stopped. I notice it in myself, if I’m asked a question or I’m thinking about something in a conversation before I say… Continue reading

LeadDev - Motivating Engineering Teams

LeadDev recently hosted a panel discussion on ‘Creating and sustaining motivation in your engineering team’. I recommend listening as many topical points were covered that may spark ideas around motivation in your teams.

My takeaways:

  • Motivation can be considered on 3 levels: Individual, Team, and Organisational.
  • Fairness – there should be an appearance of fairness. Leaders must understand the processes in the company to be able to justify decisions/levels to their team in one-on-ones.
  • Stay interviews could be considered to fix things before it gets too late. Ask candid questions to understand individual motivators. What do people enjoy/not enjoy about coming into work? Gives understanding in how to help people.
  • Peers are a motivation to stay, are people around you challenging you to be better? Find a place to learn from your peers. Peers can help you keep ‘on track’. Reminds me of the First Team mindset.… Continue reading
Burnout risk during this pandemic

I miss my commute to work. That’s something I never thought I would say! Working from home continually seemed like a dream at the start, an extra lie in each morning followed by the first catch up online in my dressing gown. But over the months I realised that work and life have blended into one, I have lost that separation. My commute gave me that, it was my mental way to separate the two. Many of us are in the same situation, forced to work remotely, we’re ‘always on’ and likely putting in more hours than pre-Covid. This should cause a few alarm bells to go off as burnout could be on the horizon!

I enjoy communicating with people, whether it’s in meetings or simply socially around the office. I miss the face-to-face connection. Zoom calls can only do so much, they certainly don’t help with the casual conversations… Continue reading

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