If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here.

Last week I delivered a series of programs on Unconscious Bias to a mining organisation located in remote outback Queensland.  It was the first time in a very long time that I was without mobile phone coverage or Internet access. 

In some ways, initially it felt quite liberating to know that there was no point to checking my phone for email or text messages several times a day and there was a sense of freedom in not feeling the need to always have my mobile phone nearby.  On the flipside, to a degree I felt that I was no longer in control and I had an initial sense that I was 'out of the loop'.  Simply, I wasn't comfortable having my electronic umbilical cord cut and I was unsure how I would cope.

When I came to the realisation that I would be 'unplugged' for the better part of a week, I decided that rather than fight it and worry about the potential problems that could arise from my lack of responsiveness and the inability of my team to have instantaneous contact with me, that I would accept the situation for what it was. I could do nothing to change my circumstances.  Rather than waste time searching for unlikely possibilities for connectivity that were never going to be really functional, I decided to accept my situation and flex with it to adjust my work and management style.

I relaxed and devised strategies for what I could do, given the resources that I had to hand. I delegated tasks and responsibilities far more than I ordinarily would and altered my work routine to manage my expectations of what I could realistically achieve and what my team back at base could achieve.  I found some unintended benefits - I started to take a more holistic view of our practice rather than focusing on the details which instant communication brings to the fore.  I also found that being forced to make independent decisions made both me and my team more efficient - we didn't need to discuss the minutiae of every issue which came across our respective desks.    

During this time it also occurred to me that we can take this same philosophy of acceptance and flexing and apply it to the general principles of leadership.  The ever-changing nature of leadership demands a high level of agility, adaptability, innovation, creativity and a willingness to accept new challenges. Ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliar work environments all require leaders to bend and flex their work styles in order to get the most out of their teams and the formal and informal structures that exist in every workplace.

The ability to flex and adapt to new environments is a core capability essential to effective leadership.  Rather than always expecting circumstances and people to work within your leadership model, sometimes you just have to rapidly accept what you have to work with and get on with the job.  It might mean that you have to manage your teams in a different style or deliver feedback in a manner that is more direct or indirect to what you are accustomed to; or adjust your expectations of your teams.  Don't waste time trying to change what you can't, rather, work with what you have and flex your leadership style and techniques to get optimum outcomes for yourself and your organisation.  Like me, you may find some strategies and practices that you�ll want to add to your leadership toolbox.

We are always interested in your feedback so please let us know if you have any! 

If you would like to read or follow our Cultural Intelligence Blog go to:

Best Wishes
Tom Verghese

LinkedIn Share Button

Send to Friend
  The Changing World of Leadership  




While the concept of thought leadership is not a new phenomenon 'Sell Your Thoughts, by Matt Church, Peter Cook and Scott Stein' is a useful book for those who are, amongst other things, wanting to build their business as a thought leader.  For those of you who have a message or unique thoughts that you want to monetize, I recommend �Sell Your Thoughts�.

The book offers a solid strategy and many suggestions for individuals wanting to package and sell their intellectual property.  One of the key standouts for me was the step-by-step strategy for building your practice. 

Fundamentally there are three major concepts in the book:
  1. A big idea � building a practice that relies on your own personal exertion, with one business manager to assist you.
  2. Strategies for fulfilling the big idea - honing your expertise, rather than just looking for what 'the market' wants to know.  Have a clear message, find markets who want it and choose the best method that presents your message.
  3. Examples and case studies of people who have done it.
Selling Your Thoughts: How to earn a millians dollars a year as a Thought Leader" By Matt Church, Peter Cook & Scott Stein (2014).

'Raising Your Cultural IQ - DVD and CD

'Raising Your Cultural IQ' explores the issues around culture, the challenges that culture can pose and provides some great strategies on how to leverage on cultural differences and similarities.


'The Invisible Elephant - Exploring Cultural Awareness'
2nd Edition by Tom Verghese

Many aspects of culture are invisible, yet culture has an enormous impact on our lives. Like an Invisible Elephant, if ignored these aspects can lead to misunderstanding, stress and conflict. Alternatively, if attention is given to the Invisible Elephant, it can enhance productivity, improve teamwork and create more joy in our lives.

Book testimonial by Asma Ghabshi
Learning And Development Manager, Shell Oman:

"The Invisible Elephant made my perspective of my national culture in comparison to my personal culture more visible. It has given me a deep insight into dealing with people of different cultural backgrounds."

'Pillars of Growth - Strategies for Leading Sustainable Growth' - Book by Tom Verghese, Kerry Larkan, Steven Howard and Brad Tonini
Written with the business leaders and entrepreneurs of Asia in mind, 'Pillars of Growth' provides a road map to assist you in thinking through four critical concerns that impact the sustainable growth of every business.