September 2018

Guiding Principles

I have recently been working with a group of leaders in the global IT business. In a group coaching session one of the participants from this group, who is a few months into the role and had a very heavy travel schedule, mentioned that he has been spending a lot of that time getting to know his teams and the markets across a number of countries. During our discussion I asked what his agenda was when he visited the teams and he responded that he had a process. These were a set of four principles that he has used for many years. He uses these principles for both himself and his teams as a guide and to ensure that everyone is aligned. I was impressed that he could articulate these ideas and I thought the principles were good. I decided I would share them in this newsletter as a way to prompt you towards thinking about your Guiding Principles.

The Principles ( I have modified them to fit this context)

1) Is the action I am taking in line with meeting my Targets/Outcomes/KPIs ?

2) Is what I am doing helping to develop my team?

3) Is this process scalable?

4) Is this global best practice?

What I like about these principles is that they encourage us to reflect on our own actions and consider how we are supporting our teams. They assist us in considering if our results can be replicated in a systemic way and if it aligns with best practice.

Do you have a set of guiding principles that you can articulate succinctly? If so what are they? Please share what they are and how you utilise them.


Ask Dr. Tom:

I get quite anxious when having to present to groups. How can I reduce this anxiety?

Dr. Tom's Thoughts:

Most people get anxious when having to present to groups, so that is completely normal. Someone told me a long time ago that both new and seasoned presenters ‘get butterflies in their stomachs….the only difference being with the butterflies flying in formation’ for the seasoned ones!

I’m going to assume that you are well prepared in terms of content so here a few quick tips on managing the anxiety:

1. Doing some stretching and meditation prior helps to calm the nerves.

2. You are not your anxiety….learn how to disassociate and observe the anxiety.

3. The anxiety is adrenalin and it provides you with energy during the talk.

4. If possible, talk to and connect with people prior to the presentation

5. Look for some friendly faces in the audience and smile at them.

6. Have fun and enjoy the experience.

7. Build your confidence by looking for opportunities to present more!


Book Recommendation


A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World, Daniel Goleman

Best selling author of Emotional Intelligence and long-time friend of the Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman shares engaging discussions with the Dalai Lama on issues affecting humanity in the modern world ranging from poverty, environmental disregard and ineffectual governments. The Dalai Lama offers his unique vision for a global system that is equitable for all, uncompromising in its compassion and delivers hope and potential in the reshaping of humanity. It is lively, thought provoking and insightful.

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