The Growing Edge

Blog

Get set for real impact by putting strategy first

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Peter Drucker once said “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. I love developing strategy, and I believe it’s crucially important, but I’m with Peter Drucker on this one. Even the most visionary strategy won’t be implemented successfully if it doesn’t align with your organisation’s culture, and if your culture is not healthy. Similarly, systems are essential. Without them, it’s difficult to effectively implement any strategy, or to harness people’s energy to do their

Read More »

How to Create Psychological Safety at Work

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Every leader probably knows they need to be creating psychological safety for the people they lead.  But it’s also worth considering whether you actually feel safe to speak up to the leaders you report to with your concerns, questions, ideas or mistakes as a leader. I remember one time when I decided to speak up about struggling with my wellbeing when I was under huge workload pressure in my leadership role. When

Read More »

Getting to grips with negativity bias

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Human beings have a natural tendency to focus on the negative aspects of experience. It makes sense that we do this, given that we are hard-wired to keep ourselves safe. This is negativity bias – the tendency we have to “attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.” (Vaish, Grossmann & Woodward, 2008).  The down-side of negativity bias for leaders is that it can take you into

Read More »

How Leadership Presence Transforms the Way You Lead

Here’s a transformative goal I want to suggest for all leaders in 2023:  cultivate extraordinary leadership presence. Presence is the capacity to pay attention wholeheartedly by being aware of the whole of your experience – body, feelings and thoughts – and aware of other people. When you show up in your leadership with this type of presence, you will begin having a leadership presence that is substantial and noticeable. This is because leadership presence enables you to connect deeply with

Read More »

Showing Up with Integrity

Do you show up with integrity every day? And if you do, what does integrity actually look like?

C.S. Lewis famously said “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” When leaders make this choice – whether consciously or unconsciously – to do the right thing, simply for the sake of doing the right thing, they are moving into the territory of ethics.

Read More »

Putting people at the centre of culture change

Is your organisation’s culture holding you back from success? You could have a clear vision (your Why), great systems and processes (your What), but if your culture isn’t healthy (your How), you’ll never bring people with you. That’s why I offer people-centred solutions to today’s big leadership challenges. This is how you bring people with you, and how you achieve transformational culture change. If you think about your Why, What and How as a model for the development of your organisation,

Read More »

What’s even better than believing in yourself?

Great leadership can be found every-where. But if you’ve ever been a leader, you’ll know it takes a good amount of self-belief, as well as belief that what you’re doing really matters, to be an effective leader with real impact. I used to be a CEO in the non-profit sector and that was a pretty challenging gig. Now I’m helping other people to lead, with courage and resilience, and teaching them how to build thriving teams. You’d think it’s easy

Read More »

Essential Skills for Courageous Conversations

What’s the courageous conversation you need to have?  If just thinking about initiating a difficult conversation makes you feel anxious, and you find yourself avoiding the conversation, read on. In the workplace, there are some big subjects that leaders should be talking about – but which they sometimes avoid. 😔 Mental health😨 Stress😡 Bullying🥺 Discrimination😲 Poor performance👺 Unethical behaviour🤑 Money🤐 Something else? How would you actually tackle these challenging conversations? It takes some courage and confidence, but there are also

Read More »

Getting into flow will save you time (so you can get more done)

Is time your biggest leadership challenge? Would you like find more time in your day so you can get more done? Improving your focus at work saves you time because you’re using the time you have more efficiently.  This sounds simple enough, but actually staying focussed for the whole day is the hard part. With so many tempting distractions, your attention can easily be drawn elsewhere. Like me, you probably end up doing several things at once, with every task

Read More »
Leadership Presence

You too can have extraordinary leadership presence

Do you aspire to have extraordinary leadership presence? I used to think some people just have it, and some people don’t. But now I truly believe leadership presence is a capacity any-one can cultivate. You too can have extraordinary leadership presence! We’re addicted to distraction. When you’re in a state of frequent, or even constant distraction, it is difficult to focus, and it’s likely there will be an edge of anxiety surrounding you. It can be sensed by other people

Read More »

Self-care is your number one responsibility as a leader

If you’re in a leadership role, a key responsibility you have is taking care of yourself. I’d never thought about this before, until one of my mentors pointed it out. I find this idea very challenging because it takes the wind out of all of my excuses for not fully embracing self-care. What excuse can I have really for not caring for myself? In a way, self-care is my number one responsibility, because if I don’t take care of myself,

Read More »

Digging deeper into values

I’ve been digging into values lately, so I can start living my values more wholeheartedly. Some people will probably cringe at the mention of the word values. Perhaps it feels like values have been done to death. I would say it’s actually the opposite – we need to be exploring our values more.  Leadership experts talk about values so often, because values really matter. When I talk about values, I’m not talking about things you like doing – like travel

Read More »

The secrets to building an engaged and productive team

Whether you’re leading a small team or a whole organisation, engaged and productive teams are an essential ingredient if you want to have an impact through your leadership. Teams are the lifeblood of an organisation. If teams are not engaged and productive, you probably won’t get very far, either as a leader, or with the purpose you’ve been employed to serve. There are so many strategies you could adopt to build a more engaged and productive team. Lots of these

Read More »

How Emotional Intelligence can make you an outstanding leader

Emotional intelligence is so important for leaders to be able to navigate the waters of emotion that are present in the workplace. The waters are sometimes smooth and sometimes choppy. When you take the helm, steer with awareness of your own and others’ emotions, collaborate with the people who are travelling with you, and maintain awareness of where your colleagues are going. Steer purposefully, appreciate the skills others bring to the journey, inspire those who wish to follow, and enjoy

Read More »

It takes courage to lead. Are you ready to take the leap?

What is your greatest fear? Perhaps it’s spiders, or heights (that’s one of my favourites), or one of the most common fears in the workplace – fear of public speaking. Whatever it is that really scares you, it’s always more helpful to lean in instead of pulling away. Moving towards the things you’re afraid of can be scary, but have you ever regretted it when you’ve done this? I haven’t, because I’ve discovered that when I face my fears, the

Read More »

When disaster strikes, gratitude is really worth the effort

Last week I dreamed about my own death. A big truck drove right up close to a high-rise building and slammed into a pillar holding the building up. As I sat in my car nearby, I watched the building falling on me. No fear. Just the thought – I am going to die. Just like that. I can’t stop it. It’s happening right now. Then I am gone. The dream was intensely vivid and when I woke up, I knew

Read More »

Self-Care in the time of COVID

I’m the first person I know with COVID! I really don’t recommend that you get it, if you can possibly avoid it. I don‘t know if I’ve had the Delta or Omicron variant. Whichever it was, it was NOT mild. It’s taken more than three weeks but I’ve now officially been released from isolation.  I still have lingering symptoms, so I really hope I’m not heading towards long COVID! I’ve actually had chronic fatigue twice in my life, so I’m

Read More »

How to make your New Year’s resolutions succeed (if they usually fail)

I remember a conversation I had in January 2021 in which I talked about my intentions for the New Year. I deliberately called them intentions, not resolutions, because over the years, I have not had much success with resolutions. Unfortunately, the word “intentions” turned out to be a free pass for me to not follow through. Despite my best efforts, not one of my 2021 intentions was achieved.  This is because — whatever you call them — resolutions often fail.

Read More »

Distraction is addictive: Here are 5 ways to kick the habit

I’ve been watching re-runs of Big Bang Theory. It’s amazing how I manage to find time for TV even though I don’t have time for all the work that’s piling up. Let alone time to go to the gym! Big Bang Theory is hilarious, and I do enjoy watching it, but I’ve started binge watching it at all times of the day, and late at night when sleep eludes me. Distraction really is addictive! All the research says it’s rewiring

Read More »

What do you really, really want? (It’s not about you)

A classic coaching question that gets people thinking more deeply is “what do you really, really want?” It often trips people up because when I ask this question, I’m not talking about your personal goals. I’m talking about Purpose. By Purpose I mean the deep-seated purpose that is the source of your passion, inspiration and fulfilment. To explain what Purpose is, Simon Sinek has popularised the concept of finding your “why”. So as you dive into exploring your own why,

Read More »

Get set for real impact by putting strategy first

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Peter Drucker once said “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. I love developing strategy, and I believe it’s crucially important, but I’m with Peter Drucker on this one. Even the most visionary strategy won’t be implemented successfully if it doesn’t align with your organisation’s culture, and if your culture is not healthy. Similarly, systems are essential. Without them, it’s difficult to effectively implement any strategy, or to harness people’s energy to do their

Read More »

How to Create Psychological Safety at Work

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Every leader probably knows they need to be creating psychological safety for the people they lead.  But it’s also worth considering whether you actually feel safe to speak up to the leaders you report to with your concerns, questions, ideas or mistakes as a leader. I remember one time when I decided to speak up about struggling with my wellbeing when I was under huge workload pressure in my leadership role. When

Read More »

Getting to grips with negativity bias

No time to read? Listen to the audio. Human beings have a natural tendency to focus on the negative aspects of experience. It makes sense that we do this, given that we are hard-wired to keep ourselves safe. This is negativity bias – the tendency we have to “attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.” (Vaish, Grossmann & Woodward, 2008).  The down-side of negativity bias for leaders is that it can take you into

Read More »

How Leadership Presence Transforms the Way You Lead

Here’s a transformative goal I want to suggest for all leaders in 2023:  cultivate extraordinary leadership presence. Presence is the capacity to pay attention wholeheartedly by being aware of the whole of your experience – body, feelings and thoughts – and aware of other people. When you show up in your leadership with this type of presence, you will begin having a leadership presence that is substantial and noticeable. This is because leadership presence enables you to connect deeply with

Read More »

Showing Up with Integrity

Do you show up with integrity every day? And if you do, what does integrity actually look like?

C.S. Lewis famously said “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” When leaders make this choice – whether consciously or unconsciously – to do the right thing, simply for the sake of doing the right thing, they are moving into the territory of ethics.

Read More »

Putting people at the centre of culture change

Is your organisation’s culture holding you back from success? You could have a clear vision (your Why), great systems and processes (your What), but if your culture isn’t healthy (your How), you’ll never bring people with you. That’s why I offer people-centred solutions to today’s big leadership challenges. This is how you bring people with you, and how you achieve transformational culture change. If you think about your Why, What and How as a model for the development of your organisation,

Read More »
Maria Brett, Mindfulness, Leadership and Transformational Coaching

Subscribe to The Growing Edge Blog and Newsletter