Challenging Coaching Leadership Blogs

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  • The Power of the Group – Your Mind is a Terrible Neighbourhood to Wander into Alone

    October 3, 2014Dr John Blakey20190401-200The Power of the Group - Your Mind is a Terrible Neighbourhood to Wander into AloneWorking with the members of my Vistage CEO advisory board always reminds me of the power of the group and this month’s all day meeting was no exception. In the morning, we listened to Jo Haigh, an expert on valuing and selling companies, as she passed on invaluable tips for business leaders preparing for a successful exit. In the afternoon, we re-visited our courageous goals noting progress and re-establishing commitment. There was a round of feedback on member’s strengths as perceived by others in the group and finally we worked on a member challenge using a team coaching cycle. The day ended with a relaxing glass of wine in Ronnie Scott’s London club. All in all, a heady cocktail of learning, sharing, challenge and fun! Read more ›
  • Resilience: 12 tips for bouncing back

    July 16, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-180Resilience: 12 tips for bouncing backIt was a sobering message that I gave to my Vistage advisory board members at our monthly meeting; 'As CEOs and MDs you cannot avoid taking a hit. It is not if but when. You will lose deals. You will lose key people. You will lose sleep. Therefore, the question is not how can you stop yourself falling over because you will fall over. The question is how do you get up again...and again...and quickly as possible?' Read more ›
  • The Support / Challenge Matrix: Coaching Moments of Choice

    October 23, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-160The Support / Challenge Matrix: Coaching Moments of ChoiceIt was an uncomfortable moment. I was conducting a coaching demonstration as part of a challenging coaching workshop. Around five minutes into the coaching, my volunteer from the audience told me the topic they had chosen was not a real issue; it was something they had made up. I paused and realised that, in terms of the support / challenge matrix below, I was at a moment of choice. Read more ›
  • The Surprising Truth about Goal-Setting : Start with the End in Mind

    July 31, 2014Dr John Blakey20190401-140The Surprising Truth about Goal-Setting : Start with the End in MindStart with the end in mind. This has long been many people’s mantra ever since Stephen Covey first coined the phrase in his mega-seller ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. Recently, I came across a surprising validation of this approach when listening to the inspirational speaker, Marcus Child, on the topic of ‘Personal Power’. Marcus showed the following word puzzle as a way of explaining how the brain works. Read more ›
  • The Original Masterpiece: How to restore the hidden potential in others

    August 28, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-120The Original Masterpiece: How to restore the hidden potential in othersIt is my belief that we are all paintings by a grandmaster. Some of us are Picassos. Some of us are Monets. Some of us are Turners. There are different styles and genres, but in each of us we can see the brush strokes of a genius... if we are of a mind to look. Read more ›
  • Turn the Ship Around – David Marquet : From Commander to Coach

    June 18, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-100Turn the Ship Around - David Marquet : From Commander to Coach'Bosses get people to do, leaders get people to think’ – this was the central theme from David Marquet’s presentation to the Vistage CEO community at a recent event in London. The session was based on Marquet’s best-selling book ‘Turn the Ship Around’ which tells the story of how he transformed the USS Santa Fe submarine from the worst performer in the fleet to top performer within two years. Because of Marquet’s credibility as an ex-US naval captain, it is a story that gets you to sit up and listen. In one of the most top-down ‘command and control’ institutions on the planet, how did Captain Marquet shift from commander to coach? Read more ›
  • The Yerkes-Dodson Curve: Performance under pressure

    April 2, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-080The Yerkes-Dodson Curve: Performance under pressureWhat does it take to perform under pressure? This week I witnessed a great example of this skill whilst attending an Olympic trials event in the UK. My client is the Team GB performance director for the sport who is focussed on delivering Olympic medal success at Rio 2016. I sat down to watch the finals event fully expecting that the Team GB athlete, a current world champion, would coast through to win the gold medal. But things did not go to plan.  Read more ›
  • The Joy of Peer Group Coaching

    March 20, 2015Dr John Blakey20190401-060The Joy of Peer Group CoachingRecently, I spoke to a group of academy school CEOs on the topic of peer group coaching. As I was preparing for the session, I decided I was going to go for it. I don’t mean just turn up and speak, I mean really go for it! I decided that I was going to get right out of my comfort zone, take a risk and put myself on the line. Why did I decide to go for it? Well, I believe so much in the power of peer group coaching that I didn’t want the CEOs present simply to understand what I was saying I wanted them to experience what I was saying. I wanted to go beyond the head and reach for the heart and the soul in that room. Read more ›
  • Covey’s Circle of Influence – What is the First Step to World Peace?

    September 19, 2014Dr John Blakey20190401-040Covey’s Circle of Influence – What is the First Step to World Peace?‘World peace is none of your business’ – so runs the title of Morrissey’s latest solo album. It’s a title that made me smile and reminded me of Steven Covey’s concept of the circle of concern vs the circle of influence. World peace would be a good example of an issue that, for 99% of the population, is in the circle of concern i.e. an issue that we can choose to worry about yet over which we have little control. In contrast, Morrissey could have written a song called ‘Family peace is all of your business’ since, for 99% of us, family peace is a good example of an issue in Covey’s circle of influence – issues which we can influence if we choose to exert proactive behaviour. Read more ›
  • Difficult Conversations – Mastering the Key Manoeuvres

    March 7, 2014Dr John Blakey20190401-020Difficult Conversations - Mastering the Key ManoeuvresDifficult conversations are risky conversations. It is like taking your car off-road. The journey can be bumpy, unexpected hazards appear at short notice and you’re often heading into uncharted territory. If you’re going to boldly enter the zone of uncomfortable debate (ZOUD) then, just as if you were contemplating an off-road jaunt in your car, you need to make sure you have the right equipment for the job, that you are well-trained and that you have practised the key manoeuvres. Read more ›

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