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22/2-10 at 05.38 Louise Metcalf
I have to admit that, sadly, I was not at all shocked to read about the amount of money that Geoff Dixon was paid out when he left Qantas midway through 2009: $10.7 Million or 10% of Qantas’ Net Profit. Yes, 10%. Even after the following litany of disasters and savage cost cutting: Qantas lost 88% of its company value during the previous financial year 2008/2009. Qantas issued an ultimatum to the Qantas Pilot’s Association in July 2009 that they should convince pilots to reduce their flying time and thus reduce ...
22/2-10 at 05.31 Louise Metcalf
(this letter has been de-identified of course!) Dear Pax, The results of our last survey show that 65% of our staff are unhappy with how they are managed. I have no doubt that this is affecting our turnover rate which has climbed a bit, even during the financial crisis. We currently train supervisors through a workbook and "on the job", but I don't feel this is working anymore. What should we do? HR Manager, Really Worried! *** Dear Really Worried, Actually we often find that leadership and management abilities ebb and flow in organisations. When there is ...
22/2-10 at 05.20 Louise Metcalf
We've had some interesting bullying issues happening for a few clients recently and I think it's important to clarify something... ...bullying isn't always committed by the supervisor. Sometimes bullying is committed by the senior manager and/ or the subordinate and the supervisor is actually the victim. I'll relay one interesting incident to explain this. One of our clients called us in to help with a supervisor they thought had "gone bad". This person had been an amazing performer so I was genuinely surprised to get this phonecall. My immediate thoughts were some issue at home, however further investigation revealed that this person was actually STILL an ...
22/2-10 at 05.19 Louise Metcalf
Pax has been doing presentation after presenation in the industry forums in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane recently on how strategy influences the types of leadership competencies required and thus, the leadership style. It's been an interesting time with a great response in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and a really odd response from Melbourne. I'm not sure why this happened, but the feedback I have gotten from the Melbourne workshops is "not believable". Strange. We have all been wracking our brains as to why the folks in Melbourne took our message as not believable. Our brainstorming resulted in: Did they not understand our extensive experience ...
22/2-10 at 05.17 Louise Metcalf
What good timing! The Renewable Energy bill has been passed in the Senate and there is the launch of a fabulous new book by my friend Ken Hickson. For those few who do not yet know Ken, he is a much reknowned author and journalist. These days he focuses on communicating the message that renewable energy is the only way to go. Ken's book ABC Carbon is my favourite read at the moment, mainly because it inspires me to keep going in my efforts to create great leaders in sustainable organisations! In the book, Ken has brought together some of the best ideas ...
22/2-10 at 05.15 Louise Metcalf
If your mind often wanders during speeches and, dare I say it, reading articles (!) then it's time to stop feeling guilty. It's good for you! Everybody knows what it's like to have your mind wander and we often berate ourselves when we realise we've done it, especially if we feel we've missed something important. Research psychologists have also been avoiding the subject as they've felt it was too difficult to study and probably not worth it. Their minds were wanding too! Recent, brave, psychologists have managed to figure out how to do it though and they have found: the mind wanders around 5.4 times ...
22/2-10 at 05.14 Louise Metcalf
Not that I plan to buy any of these shoes. The ones I drool over are 7 inch heel, pink crocodile leather or something similar and, let’s face it, it’s not like I have opportunity to wear something like that. That kind of shoe really isn’t appropriate for a tailored suit and a board presentation. Not in my profession anyway! But here I am, greedily drooling over them all the same. Greed is a fascinating human behaviour that hasn’t been studied very much at all. Given all the bad press lately, you would expect to find greed in the psychological disorders ...
22/2-10 at 05.12 Louise Metcalf
Power and power of position often dictates who is and who is not heard in an organisation. Unfortunately, and very logically, power often attracts people who desire it and desire for power often comes from a sense of personal anxiety. The point of power is that it allows you to control. That control then helps to reduce the anxiety you might feel about the world, or the people in it. Another unfortunately. People who have a lot of anxiety often react quite negatively to threats to their control. So if you find that someone in your life reacts quite negatively or aggressively ...
22/2-10 at 05.09 Louise Metcalf
We all make decisions every day. Which way to comb our hair, whether to buy coffee or boost juice in the morning, what colour shirt to wear, etc. and although some decisions are fairly straight forward with little risk involved, some decisions are life-changing and complex. Strategic decisions are the most challenging as they involve questions like, “what’s the best manufacturing process for this product? Do we focus on quality or efficiency? How should we structure the quality review process?” These are all questions that have multiple possible solutions, many of which may be quite workable. But which is the right ...
22/2-10 at 05.06 Louise Metcalf
The last newsletter I sent out sparked a phonecall from a dear friend and client who wanted to know “Just how depressed are you?” I guess, when you are a naturally happy person and you send out two rather sombre email newsletters, it’s bound to raise a few eyebrows! And it was a sombre time. But, as this good friend rightfully said, time to lighten up. But why do we do that? Why should leaders be more positive than they feel, or the situation seems? Negative thinking has a rather interesting effect on the brain. It tends to diminish blood flow ...