Cultivating leadership composure

Cultivating leadership composure is an aspect of leadership development which does not get too much explicit attention. Yet, as we face ever increasing demands on our time, constantly interrupted with technology, this is becoming a leadership differentiator.

Can we remain composed and focus our attention on matters that are most important on a day to day basis?

One way of cultivating such composure is through a coaching engagement, where you have the opportunity at regular intervals to step off the treadmill, explore the challenges you are facing with a ‘thinking partner’ and consider what is most important to focus your attention on so you can maximise your effectiveness. We are on auto-pilot so much of the time, going from meeting to meeting whilst we drive results. I along with many leadership development professionals are advocating ‘conscious leadership development’ where we endeavour to lead in a more conscious way, understanding our impact on others, making conscious decisions at every moment available to us and understanding our triggers and how we can best manage them.

If this resonates with you, you might be interested in exploring a coaching engagement with me, or one of the leadership programmes I am involved with:

Law Society of Ireland

Institute of Banking Executive Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership and well-being

Being composed is a hugely important element of leading effectively, being grounded and leading in a conscious way, whilst minimising our reactions to our triggers. That’s pretty easy to write down, but so hard to do especially when we meet unanticipated challenges every day of the week.

business-meditation1Image Source: http://maybusch.com/5-ideas-for-keeping-your-composure/

 

I was reflecting on how such leadership composure can be cultivated and I came across some really interesting resources. This particular post will focus on the well-being element, with more to follow…

We all know that it is so much harder to be composed when we are under stress or not feeling well. Nurturing our well-being is an underrated aspect of leadership. I would like you now to reflect on your own well-being.

I have three simple questions which I would like you to slowly consider. I am a big fan of keeping a reflective diary when developing our leadership capacity. This could be the first exercise to note in your reflective diary.

  • What does well-being mean to you? (e.g. when you are in a really good state of well-being, what does that look like for you?)
  • How would you rate your well-being right now on a scale of 1- 10?
  • What actions could you consider taking that would improve your well-being by just one point? (Consider your sleep patterns, healthy eating, family time, ‘off-time’, exercise, yoga, meditation, being close to nature or anything else that resonates with you personally).

 

(Questions borrowed and adapted from Dr. Mia Leijssen of University of Leuven).

WXN Leadership & Mentoring Programme

I am delighted once again to collaborate with the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and WXN in their WXNWisdom Mentoring Programme. This programme is a blend of mentoring sessions with a Top 25 winner as well as 3 full day experiential leadership workshops. Orla Nugent (MBA Programme Director) and myself leverage our training in ‘adaptive leadership’ from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in bringing leadership to life.

There are a few places left. If you are interested, for more information see: https://www.wxnetwork.com/ga/mentoring/wxnwisdom-top-25-mentoring-programme/

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What Leadership can learn from ‘Clowning’

If your reaction to this blog title was disbelief at the possibility of a connection, then read on…. I felt the same! A few years ago a colleague a friend of mine mentioned that she did her master’s thesis on this topic and it conjured up images of a circus act which didn’t connect in any favourable way in my mind with leadership.

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My colleague, Annick runs a leadership development business in Geneva and I admire her for bringing her personal passions (both clowning and sailing) to her work. I signed up to one of her ‘leadership labs‘ a couple of years ago as the use of theatre for leadership development was definitely unknown territory for me.

What did I learn? I was astounded at what leadership and clowning have in common. When I say ‘clown’, think Marcel Marceau and explore some of these possible connections.

  • The need for a strong presence
  • Visibility and exposure (good and bad) that results from putting yourself out there
  • An ability to connect
  • Being in the moment… being able to be fully present and aware of events and possible consequences as they happen
  • Adaptability to whatever the environment presents
  • Ability to feel the mood
  • Not taking oneself too seriously.

The leadership lab I took part in was a fascinating experience for me personally and taught me to broaden my perspectives. By stepping into a space I was less familiar with, I learnt.

 

Annick is now taking this another step further and she has a new value propositions ‘the corporate jester’. If you have a conference or meeting coming up and you are looking for something a little different, this is definitely one to be explored. Annick brings her character ‘Margret’ to an event and through use of humour and play, she can:

  • Raise awareness of existing patterns, behaviours and habits in a non-traditional way.
  • Bring across key messages, even on sensitive topics, in a light hearted yet memorable manner
  • Demystify issues, complex or sensitive topics in a humorous way.
  • Raise awareness of existing defense mechanism and stimulate readiness to change of behaviours,
  • Suggest alternatives & different ways of looking at things
  • Generate a sense of togetherness, connecting people around the common issues without blame, motivating them to work together in the same direction.

I look forward to seeing Margret in action in Ireland!

 

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Exciting new Leadership Programme for those in the legal and financial services fields

The Law Society of Ireland is launching a brand new Leadership Programme for those with ten plus years experience in Law or Finance. The programme will comprise group learning as well 1-1 coaching sessions which are tailored to your specific learning agenda.

I am delighted to be involved in this programme. For further details click here for the brochure or get in touch for more information.

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Everyday Coaching Conversations

I came across this lovely, simple article today from the Center for Creative Leadership, which shares three tips for engaging in coaching conversations in our day to day lives:

– Listen carefully

– Respond thoughtfully

– Resist imposing our own solutions.

This is so simple, yet illustrates the lovely nature of a good coaching conversation resulting in new thinking and empowerment.

Wellness for Success – 1 day programme

A good friend and colleague of mine, Antoinette Moriarty of the Law Society is launching a new programme (running on May 14th) which I am delighted to share. As the title explains, it is about ‘wellness for success’. Antoinette is running this in conjunction with Walt Hampton (U.S. Lawyer, business coach, speaker), Seán Ó Tarpaigh (who runs a mindfulness practice) and Smashing Times (a Theatre production company).

This programme is open to lawyers and non-laywers alike. I have included the links here for anyone interested.

Brochure

Booking Form

law society

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