Just another blog…

Leadership

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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

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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

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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

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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
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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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MeetUp talk: Building a Tech Culture at Medidata

As part of the TechHeads meetup on 30th July I gave talk titled – Building a Tech Culture at Medidata. It was followed by a YouTube Live Q&A.

A tech culture can be hard to define and even harder to build. My talk covers some of the approaches used to build a tech culture at Medidata. These include a common mission, core principles, and other initiatives to encourage making decisions and learning together.

Here is the talk:

The live recording that includes Q&A is also available here.

Thank you to Duncan Goldie, Woodrow Mercer Group, and Alex Frois from Pusher for making this possible.

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With the current coronavirus pandemic the majority of us are working from home. As leaders, it’s important that we maintain relationships with the people in our teams during this period so that no one is feeling isolated or lonely. This can be difficult though, in the video below I share some of things we are doing to maintain the social activity while being remote.

There are many other good ideas, what is your team doing?

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