Signs of a Leader (Hint: They might not be the boss.)

signs of a leader

This is the first part of a two-part series. Next time: how to find leaders worth following.

It’s a simple question, but perhaps not an easy answer – what are the signs of a leader, as opposed to just a “boss”? Are you just someone people report to? It’s different to head up a team on an organisational chart, to put in performance reviews and assign work to people. Yes, you’re the boss.

But being

It’s Lonely At The Top — Why Women CEOs Face More Shareholder Activism

It’s been widely reported that among the FTSE 100, there are more CEOs named David (nine), than CEOs who are women (seven). The problem, of course, is not David (any of them), but Goliath – in this case, not one massive adversary but a number of challenges faced only, or disproportionally, by female CEOs. For example, women CEOs face more shareholder activism than their male counterparts according to an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology. But why?

Shareholder activism is usually a sign of lack of confidence in management, and management’s ultimate leader, the CEO. Assuming shareholders are

High-Performance Employee Burnout: the Cost and the Cure

Let’s face it – everyone loves a rock star employee. Companies are thrilled to have employees who not only meet, but exceed, deadlines or sales goals or budgets.

As long as there aren’t interpersonal or other management-related issues, employers will usually reward these workers with bonuses or promotions, or at worst, let them run on auto-pilot. But there’s a potential downside with an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude toward these workers – the risk of high-performance employee burnout.

To prevent a rock star from becoming a one-hit wonder, it’s imperative that employers try to identify and prevent burnout.

Do you have what it takes to be an active follower?

At one point in the Disney animated film Peter Pan  the Lost Boys sing

 Following the leader, the leader, the leader.  We’re following the leader wherever he may go. Tee dum, tee dee, A teedle ee do tee day, Tee dum, tee dee. It’s part of the game we play.

Did you ever wonder if there are rules for following the leader?  In the game of business is there opportunity for a differentiated playbook when you are follower? Or, should you just ‘keep your head down and do as you are told?’

I was curious about this so I

5 Ways Your Leadership Will Benefit from this Vigneron

I love rebels.  I admire those leaders who can see a different future and are able to pull it into the present.  They play by their own rules. They don’t conform to status-quo or dogma. Yes, I still get goose bumps when I watch the ‘Here’s to the crazy ones…’ commercial from Apple.

Here’s a shout out to a leader who thinks differently – Bordeaux winemaker Jean Gautreau.  I think there are several important lessons we can learn from his success.

In 1969 Sociando-Mallet was a forgotten and derelict property on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Over the past five decades, through considerable expansion

What I learned about leadership at the bottom of an African coal mine

I am only one of two corporate psychologists I know of who has worked at the bottom of a coal mine, let alone one in a remote part of Africa.  There I learned three important lessons about decision-making, teams, leadership and social impact.

I place a high value on rolling up my sleeves and getting out in the field to actually see customers and products in action. If I didn’t, I would become distanced from reality

I once had a client in the mining industry.  While working out in the field with some of the leaders, my colleague Bill and I had