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Dr Mike’s Blog

The Last Word on Hansen (for now)

Steve Hansen may be celebrating his last media appearance but I really hope we hear his voice again, not on rugby but on management, leadership and performance. You will know that I am a total fan of his leadership philosophy and practice. I’m sure there are great leaders out there […]

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Self-Taught Genius

I was mucking around on guitars in a music shop when an assistant asked me if I was self-taught. I replied that I was and asked her how she knew. She said that trained musicians played pieces whereas self-taught people tended to improvise (the technical term when mucking around on […]

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Upside of anger

More opportunities to learn about leadership from the head of one of the world’s most successful organisations! The All Blacks started poorly against the lowest-ranked team in the competition and were clearly guilty of complacency. And here begins a lesson in devolved leadership (we described earlier as the transfer of […]

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Creating on-field leaders

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about performance culture. One of my reference points is the All Blacks who exemplify a self-regulating performance culture (which I discussed in “Why the All Blacks are the best in the world”). There’s one dimension which I think underpins everything else – the […]

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Moon shot culture

I know the time for the anniversary of the moon landings is over, but sometimes things take a while to percolate through my mind. A few weeks ago my friend Bob Weston told me about a podcast he had listened to (after he’d listened to ours of course) about the […]

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The third voice – the magic of collaboration

Emmy Lou Harris has collaborated with many (perhaps even most) of the great recording artists over the last 30 years in the country/folk rock space. She said, “When you combine two unique voices it creates a third phantom voice.” I know what she means. My most important collaboration is with […]

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Sometimes listening isn’t

One of the key topics in our Active Management Programme (AMP) is on communication (in fact it underpins several topics). In a recent AMP Co-lab meeting with a client’s team, we discussed both clear transmission and listening actively. Mark made a wonderful observation that sometimes listening is not conducted face […]

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Are you living your CV or your eulogy?

Recently I posted an article called “Your professional decline is coming (much) sooner than you think”. It has generated a lot of interest, and it highlights a conversation I have with lots of people, especially those over 50. My thinking is that we have three adult ages: Stage 1 (20s-30s): […]

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Be more useful, not more productive

I think we should waste more time. We are bombarded with productivity hacks, articles on getting more done, podcasts about fitting more in, optimal work times, reducing distractions, flow etc. People worry that they have no more time to use more efficiently. We’ve gone overboard. Let me be clear: when […]

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