Leadership – does it matter?

There’s a lot of talk about leadership, and it’s a core part of the work we do with our clients. So, it’s worth asking, does leadership really matter, and what difference does good leadership make compared with poor leadership? We ask these questions in the leadership research project we’re currently undertaking in the finance and professional services sectors. One of the clear messages we’re receiving is the impact leadership has on our emotions. A significant proportion of people participating in the research indicate that good

Leadership in the Finance and Professional Services Sectors – We want your input!

Team Spirit

We are undertaking a new research programme into the leadership qualities and behaviours needed in the finance & professional services industry in the 21st Century.  At a time of great change in the industry, the expectations of leaders are enormous.  Yet we sense that the thinking on leadership is not well developed across the industry. We believe our research will help stimulate a timely discussion about the nature of leadership. We are looking to investigate three areas: What do leaders in the industry see as

Navigating Burnout

It is just over 10 years ago when I suffered from ‘burnout’.  I was open about this with my work colleagues at the time but given that my network of contacts has grown further since then, and I’ve just passed a major milestone, I thought it was an appropriate time to share my experience with my broader contacts. From feeling in control of my life, I felt broken inside, experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression.  One minute I was juggling many balls at work

Leadership and Team Development Workshops

We’ve been busy this year facilitating workshops for many of our corporate clients as well as on behalf of the Law Society of Scotland, ICAS and the Professional Bodies Forum. Our workshops support the three key themes that often feature in our work with clients: Leadership, Collaboration and Growth: All our workshops are interactive. We encourage delegates to learn from one another’s experiences and challenges as they discuss the course content. We work hard to create a safe environment where participants feel comfortable expressing their

The Role of Communication in Change

We all know that communication plays a vital role in effecting change. But why is this? Research undertaken in the USA (Wilson & Gilbert 2005) provides some insight. People are generally competent at telling whether a future event will be pleasant or unpleasant. But how accurate are we in predicting how happy or unhappy we might be? The research sought to establish how good we are in predicting the intensity of our emotional response to future events. For example, we may look forward to going

How to be an Effective Leader


In our work we often meet people who don’t view themselves as leaders and yet they are, having perhaps unknowingly transitioned into a leadership role. People often have little choice as to whether or not they become a leader, the decision being largely out of their hands. Who makes the decision? Other people – colleagues, staff, clients and those who are affected in some why by what the leader says and does. Most senior people in an organisation will be expected to act as a

Taking the Step up to Partner

Nothing beats learning from those who have succeeded…. and in order to obtain an industry-wide perspective we have interviewed over fifty Partners and other senior individuals within the accounting, actuarial, consulting and legal sectors, a number of whom we have worked with as coaches. One of the questions posed was “what advice would you give to those seeking to become a Partner over the next couple of years”. The following is a summary of the most common ‘tips’: 1. Understand the role and the sacrifices

Developing Awareness, a foundation for Personal Development

In working with our clients we encourage them to consider the three key foundations of personal development – Attitude, Awareness and Action (which we call the Triple A Model). To maximise development one needs to focus on all three components and how they interlink. In this short article we focus on developing Awareness, by which we mean awareness of one’s needs, thinking patterns and behaviours. Issues that are often raised in our conversations with clients include: -What are my motivators and what do I want

Three ways to turn your group into a Team

Three ways to turn your group into a Team

Most businesses stress the importance of team working. There is a logic behind this. Projects often require a minimum level of ‘critical mass’ and no one person has all the skills that the business (and their customers) may need; indeed there is increasing evidence to suggest that a talented team with a diversity of cognitive thinking and experience should generate superior results compared with an equally talented but less diverse team. But let’s consider the matter from a more basic angle – why do most

How smaller fund managers can develop a competitive edge

How smaller fund managers can develop a competitive edge

All fund management houses seeking to grow their business face the challenge of growing in an increasingly competitive market. In the late 1980s UK names such as Mercury Asset Management, Morgan Grenfell and Phillips & Drew managed a significant proportion of UK fund assets – few will recognise such names now. Nowadays US and European organisations have a significant slice of the pie. At the same time, those who advise their clients on the selection of managers – the investment consultants, wealth managers and IFAs