Queen's University IRC

Leadership Development

Key Learnings for Building our Future

Canada’s Pandemic Response: Key Learnings for Building our Future

What if the entire population becomes vulnerable due a pandemic? COVID-19 took the world by surprise, then by storm, compelling us to adapt to new realities which considerably impact our individual, social and professional lives. The Canadian Federal Government, responsible for leading the pandemic crisis response, had to take effective and swift action in a rapidly shifting environment, driven by a new and mysterious threat. Implementing a multitude of effective responses across the country during COVID-19 posed a significant challenge for the Federal Government with regards to speed, agility and performance, and they proved up to the task, using an action learning, collaborative and iterative approach.

A Coaching Differentiator

A Humble Mindset: A Coaching Differentiator

As a leadership coach, I regularly reflect on the approaches which support the essential relationship between the client and coach. Something that allows these approaches to work more effectively is an overarching mindset of humility, a mindset that applies to both the client as well as the coach. I do want to be clear that ‘humility’ for me does not imply weakness, nor is it the opposite of a tough-minded approach to supporting a client in his or her developmental goals. Rather, it implies a respectful environment that recognizes that the most appropriate coaching relationship is one in which client and coach work on strategies, plans and actions that will result in positive impact.

Strategy or Culture? What’s Your Leadership Challenge?

Strategy or Culture? What’s Your Leadership Challenge?

Change was in the wind. As is true for many industries, the insurance industry was facing significant change. Making the shift from a regulated to a deregulated industry seemed a daunting challenge for the 100 year old RockSolid Insurance Company. The question for the executive team was how to craft a strategy and initiate change in ways that would enable the company to compete successfully into the future.

Competencies Required

From HR Practitioner to HR Leader: Competencies Required

You have your CHRP designation. Now as you begin to climb the ladder to success, what else must you learn to advance your career? One start is to develop the competencies you will need to become a true HR leader. But here the confusion begins. There are many different competencies and competency models proposed by various academics and associations. If you cannot determine with confidence which to trust, how can you decide where to invest your time, money and development efforts?

Active Curiosity in the Coaching Process

Active Curiosity in the Coaching Process

Coaching skills are enhanced and potentially of greater value to the client if informed by an actively curious mindset. In turn, a curious client can increase self-awareness, discover areas in which they can be even more effective and try new approaches and behaviours which will align intention more closely with desired outcomes. Conversations between two curious individuals, client and coach, can raise discussions to becoming part of an exciting and valuable ‘learning community’.

Courage and Coaching

Courage and Coaching

For some time I have been curious about ‘courage’ and its relationship to leadership. I am specifically interested in the part that courage plays in a leader’s decision to work with a coach, but also in the courage it takes for a coach to help their clients become as effective as possible in their leadership roles. Courage is not a new topic in serious conversations on leadership. It has been considered a significant attribute of the most effective leaders for many years.

How Leaders Can Use it to Their Advantage

Emotional Intelligence: How Leaders Can Use it to Their Advantage

Ever catch yourself thinking, “Why did I just say that?” or “I didn’t handle that discussion as well as I could have.” We are all human and can make poor decisions in the heat of the moment. Afterwards, we are often left wondering how managing our emotions could have made a difference in the situation. But for leaders, reacting emotionally can have a negative impact that ripples through the organization. We can all become more effective by understanding emotional intelligence and learning how to strengthen our own emotional intelligence.

Network Mapping as a Tool for Uncovering Hidden Organizational Talent and Leadership

Network Mapping as a Tool for Uncovering Hidden Organizational Talent and Leadership

This article will focus on the practice of social network mapping within organizations to deliberately leverage and engage intra-organizational sets of informal connections that are less “hard-wired” than formal organizational working relationships. In particular, the article will highlight the applications of the tool to identify hidden talent and leadership within the organization to support succession planning initiatives and diagnose internal communication and decision making blockages.

The Next Tsunami of Environmental Disasters in the Workplace

Managing Under the Microscope: The Next Tsunami of Environmental Disasters in the Workplace

There is a new wave of environmental disasters that are just beginning to splash onto our daily news feeds. Workplace cultures are the next targets that will be publicly examined and debated in excruciating detail – just ask the CBC, Amazon, or the Lance Armstrong “company machine.” All the dirty laundry of inappropriate behaviours and unacceptable people practices are flooding out in the wash, and every detail is being hung out on the public line to view.

Sustainable Leadership Development Framework

Leadership Sustainability: A Framework to Sustain Culture Shifts

This article synthesizes my experiences in developing a Sustainable Leadership Development Framework. This framework moves through four stages that help build and ground the implementation of an organization’s leadership development strategy through a vision and strategic steps that result in lasting organizational culture shifts. Examples of wise practices will be given to highlight the key concepts of this framework so that you too can use these strategies to increase the potential of leadership sustainability in your organization.

What Every Change Manager and Change Leader Needs to Know Before Jumping into Implementation

Change Management 101: What Every Change Manager and Change Leader Needs to Know BEFORE Jumping into Implementation

Are you the leader of a change effort and stuck in the weeds? Have you read the latest Change Management book, but no one seems to be following you? Are you frustrated that your team or your organization seem to have forgotten that you shared your vision with them already? It could be that you have a sense of your vision but you haven’t defined it in detail. It could be that your vision doesn’t captivate your team. It could be that you are focusing your efforts on creating the perfect plan.

Continuous Learning Leadership

Rising to a ‘Seat at the Table’ for HR Practitioners: Continuous Learning Leadership

Today many vice presidents and other senior executives in human resources (HR) have earned a seat at the executive table by showing their organization’s senior teams that HR operations contribute at least as much as Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance, IT or any other department. The key to this is continuous learning. Jack Welch, former 20-year CEO of world class GE, now an itinerant management guru, is often quoted: “An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.” Executives who aspire to lead organizations have to spearhead that learning first by learning steadily themselves and that is nowhere truer than for HR.

Internal Coaching: An Organizational Perspective

Internal Coaching: An Organizational Perspective

A number of years ago, I proposed the idea to the organization I worked for that we should consider having an internal coach. There were a number of reasons why I thought this would be a good idea, not only for the organization, but also the individuals, and taxpayers (as we were public sector), and finally for me. From an organizational standpoint, we had been using external coaches for a few years and in some cases had realized some value. The problem with external coaching was that it is: a) Expensive  b) Harder to access, and c) External coaches in many cases did not understand our business.

Why Coaching Must Play an Integral Role in Leading and Managing in Today's Workplace

Why Coaching Must Play an Integral Role in Leading and Managing in Today’s Workplace

In my consulting work over the last 25 years, I've seen a significant shift in the role of coaching in the workplace. During this time, coaching could not remain static. It had to evolve to accommodate the many changes and disruptions we have seen in the business world, such as new technologies, the globalization of markets and competition, the rapidly increasing pace of change, and new demands on employees to work faster, smarter and be more productive more efficient and effective.

Essential Attributes and Behaviours of a Change Leader

This literature review examines the topics of change management and leadership by exploring how leadership attributes contribute to and/or hinder the successfulness of a change initiative. The main question undergirding this report is: What are some of the essential attributes and behaviours of an effective change leader? Three broad themes are included in this report: …

Essential Attributes and Behaviours of a Change Leader Read More »

Change management: How change leaders mitigate employees’ change-induced stress

Introduction At the most general level, organizational change is present when a workplace experiences a difference in its functions, members, leaders, or form (as cited in Weick and Quinn, 1999). This change subsequently requires an adaptive response on the part of employees (Jex, 2002). Evidence suggests that perceptions of stress in the workplace result from …

Change management: How change leaders mitigate employees’ change-induced stress Read More »

Teaming for Today's Complex Challenges

Teaming for Today’s Complex Challenges

While teams have traditionally focused on their own insular work and processes, today's teams must take a whole-systems perspective and engage system players in the learning journey. Accordingly, they are more focused on getting a holistic understanding of the challenge, securing required resources and expertise, and defining the process members will follow.

Scroll to Top