A little context
Doesn’t the world need happier high performing teams who are in service of people and planet?
For sure, the most challenging and satisfying work I do as a leadership coach and facilitator is with executive and leadership teams.
The energy of individual and collective brilliance and what happens in and between relationships, spaces and projects is fascinating, in all the complexity and messiness. And the potential for positive impact, immense.
I have witnessed the journey of many a team. These include the intensive periods with the executive team of Direct Line International, Scott Bader and Google Cloud. And regular strategic retreats with leadership teams in UNESCO, IFAD, WFP, Eurid, Pfizer, Innovaacom and others.
The multi-dimensional nature
There are so many dynamics at play working with leadership teams. The personal mirrors the systemic and navigating that is a delicate, courageous and complex undertaking. I have learnt that much of what holds us back from realizing our potential is our disconnection with ourselves, each other and nature itself. So I provide opportunities for teams to explore these through real embodied experiences, deep self reflection and skilled dialogue with a whole systems, mindful and nature based approach.
Some of this work has included:
- Helping the team connect with their true nature, vision and journey.
- Giving space and support to explore underlying team and power dynamics to enhance performance.
- Supporting the team to have those missing conversations.
- Exploring what it is to be a multicultural virtual high performing team.
- Building trust and new ways of being and doing to enable sustainable change.
- Role-modelling a learning culture through gathering lessons from the past and undertaking rigorous goal setting and visioning for the future.
- Widening perspectives and deepening connection.
- Facilitating upskilling in presence, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, resilience and creativity.
In particular I have noticed executive teams appreciate:
- The importance of stepping out of your day to day, to retreat and be together in a conducive environment to explore what matters at a personal and strategic level, even though it is challenging for you to take this time.
- The value of being truly seen, to have someone you trust mirror back and give feedback, even if you find it uncomfortable.
- Experiential activities and tools as stimuli for uncovering themes and issues, even if you may roll your eyes at the start.
- The skill and art of how someone like me as a facilitator can help you transform your conversations at an individual, team and organisational level.
Top tips for top teams
Here are a few articles I have written as a result of working with leadership teams over the years.
- Talk as the primary leadership tool
- See your VUCA world as an opportunity also to embrace mystery
- Nigel is an experiential simulation that brings up so many points of discussion with a team
- Gather your 3 supporters
- How to connect in a meaningful way when you see each other once a year.
- Retreat and explore what is left unsaid
- Celebrating is important as is building individual and collective belief
- Teams love it when you use sport as a metaphor
- How you can facilitate multi-cultural teams (as interviewed by Impact International)
- What an enlightened executive sounds like (I interviewed Jean Claude-Pierre who was the Group CEO for Scott Bader on the #earthconversepodcast)
- We can embrace it all (a poem inspired by the Direct Line International team!)
- And what we can do when we inevitably crash into some rocks
A future vision
My own vision board includes working with more executive teams who are dedicated to your own and collective evolution in service of people and planet. I envision you coming to Mallorca, to literally walk your talk, to connect deeply with yourselves, each other and the earth that is our home.
I am sure we will see more executive boards include Nature on the Board, as inspired by UK based cosmetic company Faith in Nature, who have generously shared the legal process as open source on their website. As we know, there is one thing getting a place on the board. The other is to be able to ensure that we can voice our truth, be heard and can co-create with others for the good of all. I offer my expertise to help you do that.
You can reach me here.
Like many freelance consultants, the majority of my corporate leadership work has been as an associate or collaborator with a ´bigger entity´. Respecting that the case studies and client relationship belongs with them (In this case, some with Impact International), it is also important for me (and my potential clients) to understand the contribution I have made and can make in service of #peopleandplanet. Hence this piece. Looking forward to our conversation.