The Importance of Understanding your Personal Values

The Importance of Understanding your Personal Values

For many individuals today, fulfillment in their work is a driving factor in their decision to take on a leadership role. The same is true of those in existing leadership positions. We often hear directors and hiring managers discuss a person being the ‘right fit’ for a role. What we hear discussed less often, is whether or not a role is the right fit for the individual. You may have the talent and capability to perform well in a leadership role however, when the company’s values do not align with your own, it can be difficult to engage with not only the work, but also your team.

Understanding your Personal Values

Getting clear about what your personal values are can help to provide guidance in what it is that you are looking for in a company that you want to work with. Our values indicate what is most important to us and what motivates us to achieve greatness. A personal values assessment helps to identify our most strongly held beliefs. This understanding will give you a greater insight into whether or not you would feel satisfied working for a particular company. When their values do not align with yours, you may face resistance in attempting to implement strategies. While the company you work for defines policies and certain rules, it is your own values and priorities that determine your personal leadership strategy and how it will be achieved. 

Better Working Relationships

People who share the same values as those they work with are much more successful in achieving results compared to those with conflicting values. Having shared values doesn’t necessarily mean that you will share the same opinions as others, but it does mean that you share similar goals and intentions. Discovering your team and personal leadership values helps to build more effective working relationships. Sharing connected values enables individuals to more easily relate to one another, communicate ideas more effectively, and overcome difficulties much faster.

More Committed Employees

When an individual’s personal values are aligned with those of the company, their motivation and engagement with the work increases. They know that their contributions are important to the overall success of the organisation, and so are more dedicated to performing at their highest potential. Senior leadership assessment can be a useful part of the hiring process to determine how an individual will support the company’s vision and values. The alignment of individual and company values leads to greater success for both parties because their priorities are each focused on achieving the same end result. 

Better Decision Making

Our values are what contribute most to the decisions we make. Developing leadership excellence teaches us that it is important to draw on our personal experiences and beliefs in order to lead more effectively. A clear understanding of our values allows us to make better decisions in the face of uncertainty. When faced with difficult choices, asking ourselves which option most aligns with our values and what we are striving to achieve can be a guide towards the choice with the greatest chance at success.

Leadership assessment tools are integral when training for leadership excellence. They afford us the opportunity to reflect on the things that matter most to us and how they affect the way we lead. For individuals, understanding your personal values lets you know that the decisions you make are in service of your goals. Organisations also need to have an understanding of the personal values of their employees to ensure that overall growth and success can occur. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

The Importance of Understanding your Personal Values

How Coaching Leads to Excellence

Executives have understood the benefits of coaching in achieving personal goals for decades, and we are now seeing these benefits extend towards teams as well. Coaching as a leadership style can be much more effective with today’s workforce than traditionally authoritarian leadership. The value of coaching has become increasingly important to individuals and organisations as a whole for enhancing team performance and achieving success. 

Develop a Strategic Plan

To successfully reach the goals you set out to achieve, you need to develop a strategic plan. This is true both of personal, team, and organisational goals. The strategic plan is your road-map that guides you towards specific targets and milestones. Senior leadership training and coaching can be useful tools for identifying those targets, as well as the skills you and your team will need to achieve them.

The path to achieving success may rely on the integration of a leadership development program to mitigate challenges caused by potential skills gaps. Team coaching for leadership excellence can help to embed new skills to drive change as well as provide a safe space to discuss real-time results and conflict. This ensures that difficult conversations are constructive, allowing for problems to be resolved sooner, and performance to increase.

Coaching Leadership

In high performance teams, the role of the leader is more often one that supports rather than manages. The leader as coach is responsible for maintaining team focus on goals and outcomes, while individuals ensure day-to-day tasks are completed. A leadership excellence program enables executives to better coach, grow and develop people within their team while simultaneously improving performance. This allows for more manageable accountability for both leaders and direct reports.

Executive leadership training improves organisational performance when delivered across all levels of a company. The skills you embed in current teams and existing leaders does not only result in increased short-term performance. High potential talent and individuals who will become future leaders gain integral skills needed for elevated positions, contributing to their personal, as well as company growth.

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.

How Coaching Leads to Excellence

The Importance of Leadership Excellence for Performance

The Importance of Leadership Excellence for Performance

The consistently changing market, customer, and technology landscapes of today’s business environment has demonstrated a shift away from traditional hierarchical leadership structures. Emerging organisations have a different business paradigm, meaning that to remain competitive, existing organisations can no longer rely on the leadership of an individual or small executive team to meet the challenge. The talents, skills, energy, and ideas of the entire organisation must be harnessed to see continued success. 

Why you need leadership excellence

Effective leadership is integral to any successful organisation. Leading high performance teams requires the skillful application of influence and inspiration of others to transform potential into reality. In developing leadership excellence leaders understand how to wield their influence in order to inspire enthusiasm and passion for projects that lead to more engaged and productive teams. When organisations have effective leadership practices in place, an organisational culture develops that is open in its communication. Everyone understands the vision and objectives of the business, and has the opportunity to share ideas on how they can be achieved or improved. People feel a part of the conversation and that they are an important part of building the success of the organisation.

When these conversations are constructive, they have a valuable and positive impact. Effective leaders are able to bring out the best in their teams by encouraging personal investment. Offering high performance training to individuals at every level of the organisation not only demonstrates your investment in their development, it invites them to do the same. As individuals enhance their own capabilities, tailored development programs can ensure that you instill in them a clarity around the values and vision needed to achieve organisational goals. 

Using leadership excellence to drive performance

High performance team leaders understand the importance of providing space for teams to reach their full potential. Individuals who have held decision making positions within high performance teams will be better equipped to take on greater responsibility as the needs of the organisation evolve. Training and experience in high pressure environments ensures that future leaders have the skills needed to keep up with the rapidly changing business landscape. 

Developing emerging leaders through high performance training not only increases the longevity of your organisation’s leadership, it also improves individual’s performance in their current positions. The best high performing teams are frequently shown to have had resources invested in their development. The return organisations receive on this investment occurs repeatedly as individuals progress in their careers and development. 

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

The Importance of Leadership Excellence for Performance

3 Steps to Building High Performance

3 Steps to Building High Performance

A strong relationship between leaders and their team can make a significant impact on productivity and performance. There can be little doubt that great leaders produce better business outcomes. When it comes to leading high performance teams, actively seeking opportunities for improvement is what ensures and maintains their success. 

Understand your Leadership Style

Effective leadership stems from a great self-awareness that means leaders are able to continuously improve business relationships and push for exceptional results. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have preferences in the ways in which we lead others. Becoming cognisant of what our preferences are, and how this forms our personal leadership style, allows us to implement business strategies that are more effective. When we know ourselves better, we are able to leverage leadership excellence to drive performance.

Advocate for Innovation

Developing high performance in teams can be as simple as challenging them to think more innovatively. The success of many high performance teams is often due to their ability to come up with new ideas and creatively solve problems. Leaders of such teams are willing to experiment and take risks in order to reach higher levels of achievement.  Building effective teams along with real leadership is one of the most important drivers of organisational success. A strong capability to innovate in service of their goals enables teams to outperform expectations by delivering exceptional results.

Engage Learning with Experience

Performance training programs are continually proven to be more effective when the lessons are then applied on the job. Too often, we will engage in shorter workshops or seminars but fail to incorporate the lessons in practice. Effective leaders develop their leadership in action; discovering strategies that drive performance, and learning from mistakes. In order to inspire lasting changes in the performance of others, leaders need to make a deliberate effort to display changes in their own behaviour.

The success and growth of any business is largely dependent on the implementation of strategy by leaders and the performance of their teams. Great executive leaders understand the necessity of leadership development training for building high performance at all levels of their organisation. Developing our leadership style and implementing our learning to push for innovation leads to stronger, more outstanding performance. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

3 Steps to Building High Performance

5 Reasons for Building Leadership Excellence

5 Reasons for Building Leadership Excellence

Great leaders empower and inspire us to perform at our best. Effective leadership allows space for direct reports to flourish and make valuable contributions towards both their personal and organisational goals. Senior leadership training provides the opportunity for leaders to develop and leverage their ability to influence the behaviour of others that improves performance. 

Increase Productivity

Leaders who regularly practise leadership excellence understand the value of encouraging self-sufficiency in their teams. Their primary  role is one of motivation rather than instruction. Teams are able to drive their own success with the support of their leader. Effective leaders inspire passion and pride within their team to increase productivity and achieve results. A leadership excellence program helps participants to create a framework that allows teams to be independently motivated and high performing.

Better Decision Making

Training for leadership excellence builds higher levels of emotional intelligence. This gives leaders a greater perspective when it comes to decision making. Developing our emotional intelligence is advantageous to mitigating risks or potential negative consequences of our decisions. Understanding how our emotions affect our choices allows us to gain insight into the driving forces behind the behaviour and decisions of others. As leaders, we must support others in recognising their own unconscious emotional biases to allow space for more informed decision making.

Retain High Performers

An investment in leadership development training significantly reduces the likelihood of losing your top performers to other opportunities. Identifying high potential talent and nurturing their development can ensure future, long-term success. Programs that focus on refining and implementing business strategies help participants connect and commit to the goals of the company. Providing leadership training to high potential employees supports career pathways,  succession planning, and increases retention.

Builds Confidence

Confidence is an important pillar of effective leadership. Leaders must have the confidence in their own knowledge and capabilities, as well as that of their team members, in order to drive success.  Both established and aspiring leaders experience self-doubt from time to time. Unfamiliar challenges and changing business landscapes can create uncertainty. The benefits of leadership excellence provide us with the groundwork for figuring out how to overcome these challenges. We may not have the exact answer to a problem, but we are able to rely on our ability to source the solution and lead teams effectively. 

Implement Effective Leadership

One of the benefits of leadership excellence is developing the capability to uncover your personal leadership style. There are a number of different leadership styles, each with unique benefits and disadvantages. Understanding your personal ‘life-story’ and how to use it as a tool for leadership, builds a connection between you and your team. Leveraging this connection can help you to hone a leadership style that your team will best respond to.

Building leadership excellence creates more effective leaders and higher performing teams. Strong leaders are able to connect their personal experiences to their leadership style and inspire confidence and motivation in others. Their role is to support and develop the skills of their team members to foster an environment that values growth that leads to increased performance.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

5 Reasons for Building Leadership Excellence

The Importance of Building Good Habits

The Importance of Building Good Habits

We often set ourselves aspirational goals when we are feeling highly motivated and energised, only to find later on that we do not possess the tools needed to reach those targets. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt, or perceived inadequacy in our own capabilities. In turn, we lose motivation to act in pursuit of our goals and we stop making progress. Reducing the scope of our goal setting however, is not the solution. After all, developing leadership excellence requires clear and ambitious goals. To achieve those goals, we need to give ourselves the advantage of having the right tools in place that allow us to succeed.

Turn Goals into Habits

An issue that often arises when setting goals is that we want – or even expect – that we will be able to achieve them in a short timeframe. Even when we understand that logically, lasting change takes time and effort to accomplish. The number one way you will reach your goals is to create habits around them and build them into regular actions. It is about transforming the idea of what we want to achieve into actionable behaviours that contribute to greater, long lasting changes. 

The formation of entirely new habits makes them inherently difficult to stay consistent with because we are not used to performing that behaviour. In order to affect change, the best course of action is to anchor the habit you want to create to a specific time, location, or both. Using this method, the time and location become a trigger for you to implement the new habit you are forming. The Actionable Habit Builder calls this the New Habit Formula:

When (trigger) happens, instead of (current behaviour), I will (new habit).

When building new habits, specificity is important for establishing a metric by which we can measure our progress. The Actionable Habit Builder is a useful tool for senior leadership training because it encourages us to create specific habits that lead to effective behavioural changes.

Amplify Motivation

Our motivation to complete tasks is one of the most unpredictable factors in reaching the formation of new habits, even ones we want to initiate. When we experience high levels of motivation, it is more likely that we will enthusiastically commit to immediate action. However, if we are constantly waiting to be in the ‘right’ frame of mind before we take action, we simply don’t; and our behaviours do not change. It becomes a question of how we overcome feeling demotivated in order to make positive changes.

One of the benefits of executive coaching is that it is an opportunity for participants to explore their goals with someone who understands their underlying motivations. Working with an executive coach reveals the deeper thought processes that go into decision making and habit formation. In coaching leadership excellence, you are given a deeper understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. The relationship you form with your coach allows them to identify key factors that may be getting in the way of consistent habit practices. They can then assist you in creating strategies that overcome those roadblocks. Through regular coaching sessions, you and your coach work together to implement those strategies and hold you to account. Forming new habits takes time and effort to succeed. There will be times when your self-motivation depletes. When this happens you need to understand why that is happening and what you can do to overcome it so that you are still able to make progress.

Making lasting changes in our behaviour can be a daunting and difficult undertaking without the right support in place. Habit building tools and executive coaching programs provide support by allowing us to dig into what it is we want to change and why it is important that we do so. They hold us accountable so that we can see for ourselves the progress we are making. Forming good habits has many positive benefits on our behaviours and when tied to larger goals, helps us take regular action to achieve them sooner.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

The Importance of Building Good Habits

Leading People, Leading the Organisation

Leading People, Leading the Organisation

To elevate leadership capabilities towards leadership excellence, we must build upon the skills that allow us to excel at the individual and team levels. Of the four key elements that contribute to leadership excellence, we have already investigated two. In continuing this discussion we turn to the final two – Leading People, and Leading an Organisation.

Leading People

The best leaders know that to be effective, they need to earn the respect of those who follow them. Training for leadership excellence teaches us the importance of engaging in difficult conversations when leading teams. To truly reveal the best in those you lead, you must also understand the underlying motivations that drive them to succeed. In establishing these strong relationships you gain the ability to influence the actions and beliefs of others. Through building a connection between them and the vision you share with them, they become empowered to achieve team goals.

Harnessing the language of coaching is important for empowered leadership. Becoming a mentor to the people in your team, demonstrates your willingness to assist them in their senior leadership training and development. Giving them the freedom to use their talents autonomously leads to greater engagement and return on investment – by reducing potential skill gaps.

Leading the Organisation

Leading the organisation is truly the moment when the differences between leadership and authority is brought to light. The title of manager or CEO might give a person authority over others, but the following they gain is one of obligation, not by choice. A leadership excellence program helps participants to become the kinds of leaders who attract their following through inspiring confidence and trust. 

Training for leadership excellence at the organisational level requires the development of observation skills to diagnose workplace challenges and change. Successful change management must be led from the highest level in order to permeate through the whole company. Forward thinking leadership is meaningless unless you have the right systems in place and people to carry them out. Executive leadership training teaches participants to use their position to recognise challenges and implement solutions that bring about lasting change. 

Leadership development programs with a focus on reaching a personal connection with your people elevate the effectiveness of the leadership itself. Leaders who promote a culture of support, development, and high performance earn a reputation for success. The organisations they lead gain a competitive advantage and become an employer of choice for high potential talent. Building on the ability to lead the self and teams, true leadership excellence is a result of understanding what it takes to lead organisations and the people within them.

How do you balance authority and leadership?

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

Leading People, Leading the Organisation

Benefits of the Team Management Profile (TMP)

Benefits of the Team Management Profile (TMP)

The key to organisational success lies in the ability of people to work effectively together. This only occurs when individuals understand their unique contribution and use these insights to implement change. The Team Management Profile is a research-based psychometric profiling tool for personal, team, and leadership development that delivers a framework to build high performing organisations. It gives individuals the self-knowledge and strategies required to improve their performance and work.

For the Individual

As a personal development tool, the Team Management Profile helps individuals discover their strengths as a contributing member of their team. When we do not enjoy the work we are doing, motivation is low and results in poor or average performance. The Profile asks individuals to reflect on their role and identify their preferences for certain tasks. They gain a holistic depiction of their individual approach to work. Often what is found is that people are taking on tasks that do not excite them, or provide a sense of accomplishment. When teams achieve a higher level of connection between their work preferences and job demands, it increases the team’s energy, enthusiasm, commitment and motivation, as people are undertaking work they enjoy.

Gaining an understanding of your personal Team Management Profile allows leaders to form a complete idea of their leadership style. This can be particularly useful for potential leaders and those looking to advance to more senior positions. As a detailed, work-focused feedback tool, the Profile provides insights into how an individual approaches work, and working with others. This allows them to develop strategies to improve working relationships, and harness their strengths to make progress in their career goals.

For the Team

From a team perspective, the Profile is even more invaluable. Once you have a map of the team’s collective strengths and areas for improvement, a team can easily strategise on maximising their strengths and minimising the gaps. Designed specifically for use in the workplace, the Team Management Profile provides a complete approach to building balanced, high performing teams. Understanding an individual’s strengths and approach to work, helps leaders to diversify their teams and ensure that there are as few development gaps as possible. Teams that understand each other’s approach to work are better collaborators, better communicators, and better at engaging with conflict resolution. Collectively, this allows for enhanced team productivity. 

Where gaps do occur, the Team Management Profile assesses the likely impact of the least represented roles in the team. From this, an action plan can be created that might involve re-delegating tasks, outsourcing the skills needed, or implementing training programs. By linking the learning back to a concrete training and development plan, the Profile provides a proven framework and model to navigate change. 

The TMP is about learning, not assessment. The Profile can be used throughout organisations to improve performance and achieve better business outcomes. The Profile provides a common language and framework for individuals, teams, and organisations to recognise their strengths in the workplace, enabling positive, lasting change. Constructive, work-focused information helps individuals understand why they work the way they do, and how they can develop strategies to improve how they work with others. The Profile and related materials provide insights about your work preferences in relation to leadership style, team building, interpersonal skills, and communication.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

Benefits of the Team Management Profile (TMP)

Measuring Leadership Excellence

Measuring Leadership Excellence

Understanding leadership excellence is important for leaders at every stage of their development journey. It establishes a clear measurement of where they have started, how far they have come, and where they still hope to go. Such measurements can be calculated through the implementation of leadership assessment and development tools. Receiving these assessments regularly are a valuable part of any leadership development journey.

When assessing leadership excellence, the two facets most often associated with strong leaders are their character and influence. In particular, it is how a person’s character contributes to their influence that indicates their level of leadership excellence. 


A person’s character is the driving factor behind their ability to influence and lead their team or organisation. Those with a strong character tend to be viewed by others as being trustworthy, responsible, and fair in their decision making. It is these skills that make them appealing and incite positive responses from other people.

It can be difficult to assess for a quantifiable measurement of these aspects of character, but it is possible to gauge these characteristics by interpreting how a person’s peers and employees perceive them. The 360º Feedback Report is designed around this model of assessment. Both the individual and a select group of those they work with are asked to complete a survey that, when compared, provides a complete picture of the leader’s character. 


Influence is one of the biggest measurements of leadership excellence. Being able to inspire and motivate others into reaching their fullest potential is a critical aspect of your role as a leader. By making use of leadership tools for individuals as well as groups, you begin to form a clearer impression of the impact that the individual’s leadership skills have on the performance of their team.

An individual’s ability to influence the behaviours of those around them stems from their existing interpersonal relationships. Having good character and establishing trust between yourself and others, allows you to build effective interpersonal relationships. The benefits of leadership assessment tools like the Trust Inside Assessments include in-depth measurements of a person’s ability to build trust at both the individual and team level. 

Character and influence are two of the defining aspects of leadership excellence. The higher a person’s character is perceived to be, the greater the amount of influence they are able to impart onto others. To gain a full understanding of an individual’s measurement of leadership excellence, the best leadership assessment tools should be administered at both the individual and group level. 

What characteristics are most important for you as a leader?

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.

Measuring Leadership Excellence

How Executive Coaching Builds Leadership Excellence

How Executive Coaching Builds Leadership Excellence

Executive coaching can teach us ways to approach our daily life with balance and mindfulness. Developing leadership excellence provides the opportunity for leaders to build a high-level capacity for visionary thinking in addition to improving the practical skills needed for driving performance within their organisation. Receiving support in their development journey, creates a leadership team that values continual education and improvement to remain competitive. 

Skills Assessment

All leadership coaching must begin with an assessment of current strengths and developmental needs. To get a complete picture of what this looks like, participants will find great benefit in completing both introspective reflection as well as gaining insight from a 360º Feedback Report. Engaging with both styles of skills assessment significantly reduces biases – especially when conducted anonymously – while also demonstrating how your self-perception aligns with that of those around you.

Know the Leadership Skills Most Often Needed

Discovering your areas of improvement will be most effective if you are aware of the core skills leaders most often need. The best executive coaches will be knowledgeable of what these are and how you might work towards building them for yourself. Though it is important that you conduct your own research into these as well. Leadership has been studied for decades and the definition of leadership excellence has altered over time. There are some competencies that have remained consistent. To be an effective leader you need emotional intelligence, expertise, influence, and the right character. Each can be developed, but all will take dedication and hard work to grow into leadership excellence.

Develop Personal Understanding

One of the primary goals of an executive coaching program is to establish a strong understanding of yourself and your personal leadership style. There can be as many ways to lead successfully as there are leaders. Finding what works for you and your team is more important than fitting yourself into a preconceived model of what leadership ‘should’ look like. Coaching for leadership excellence aims to provide participants with a deeper understanding of themselves and how they may use their ‘life-story’ as a touchstone for leadership. It is how your developed personal capabilities fill gaps that make for effective leadership.

Unlock Leadership Potential

The phrase ‘executive coaching’ is not an indication of the seniority of its participants, rather it refers to the high level of leadership skills you are able to develop through engaging with the program. Providing senior leadership training to individuals looking to expand their capabilities unlocks previously untapped potential and creates cohesive leadership throughout your organisation. Leaders who feel more supported will have an increased engagement and overall performance within your organisation. 

The development of leadership skills through executive coaching programs helps to create meaningful, sustainable change at the individual and organisational level. Coaches guide participants to realising the full scope of their abilities through regular one-on-one sessions. Current and aspiring leaders benefit greatly from learning how to incorporate their own experiences into establishing a leadership style that engages and inspires those around them to reach their highest potential.

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

How Executive Coaching Builds Leadership Excellence

How Leadership Excellence Benefits Others

How Leadership Excellence Benefits Others

In developing leadership excellence we cultivate a workplace environment that encourages constant growth and improvement. Through leadership excellence programs, participants gain the confidence and capability to lead teams effectively. They are role models of behaviours that become standard practice and inspire others to perform beyond expectations. 

Leaves Room for Improvement

Often when we talk about leadership development, people confuse excellence with perfection. It is impossible to achieve perfection, attempting to do so limits creativity and results in more failures due to added pressure. Striving to achieve leadership excellence, allows space for mistakes to be made and performance to be improved with each iteration. Executive leadership training emphasises the importance of reducing workplace stress that frequently accompanies organisation with a totalitarian approach to achieving goals.

For teams to become consistently high performing, it is necessary to both develop and sustain leadership excellence. Sustainability means that there is always the goal of producing the best quality product or service, while also striving to be better in the future. Processes, technologies, and industries progress all the time. Believing that your organisation already has the ‘perfect’ version does not leave room for innovation or improvement. Ignoring the value of creativity will leave you stagnant and struggling to catch up to more open-minded companies. 

Executive coaching programs provide leaders with a means of developing innovative thinking that opens the doors for input from a diverse range of sources. Coaching for leadership excellence requires an established, trusting relationship between coach and client. The right coach will be able to challenge you to expand your capabilities and become more receptive to new ideas. 

Become a Role Model of Leadership Excellence

Leadership excellence programs aim to teach participants ways to coach, grow and develop the people they work with. The most effective way leaders can do this is to set the example of influence they are hoping to impart. It is the actions we perform that others will watch and critique. Your team will notice if you are not living your values. If you are expecting excellence, you must also become excellent. 

It is much easier to influence the behaviour of others and unlock their potential by being the model that you wish to see. Senior leadership training doesn’t only benefit participants, but everyone they work with from then on. What is learnt in such programs impacts the way you lead and develop others. Being the standard and role model of excellence, you not only realise your own potential but the potential of those around you as well. 

Learning how to harness and model leadership excellence can have a number of advantages on individuals at every level of the organisation. While it is important that our leaders provide a clear example of behaviours to be followed, they should also set the expectation that perfection is not the ultimate goal. Leaders who engage in executive coaching programs to develop their ability to influence their teams, will see an increase in overall performance throughout their organisation.

How do you demonstrate excellence in your workplace?

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.

How Leadership Excellence Benefits Others

Defining Leadership Excellence

Defining Leadership Excellence

It is easy to recognise leadership excellence when we see it, but when asked to define what that looks like many people struggle to identify specific characteristics. The truth is that leadership excellence looks different to everyone. However there are two key areas which, if intentionally cultivated, help to bring us closer to defining leadership excellence. Training programs that focus on these two aspects of excellence should form the basis of your executive leadership development.

Practical Excellence

There is no escaping the necessity for leaders to see to the practical day-to-day operations of running a team or organisation. Ensuring that tasks are completed on time and are of high quality is an important aspect of successful leadership. Demanding excellence from your team is not enough to guarantee that their resulting work will meet high performance standards. It is the role of a great leader to set, and then help them to achieve goals for your team that will push them beyond their perceived limitations. 

To do this, you must be clear with your team about what these goals are and why they are important. Providing them with motivation to reach their goals will result in more success and stronger performance overall. Developing leadership excellence in a practical manner does require that your team has access to the resources they need to achieve the goals you set out for them. This demonstrates to them your own dedication reaching those same goals with excellent results. 

Interpersonal Excellence

Establishing strong interpersonal relationships with the individuals you work with is pivotal to building a high performing team. Developing senior leaders must understand this and strive to create these connections early in the formation of their teams. 

Leadership development programs like Dare to Lead™, teach participants how to form these deeper connections within their workplace in order to build trusting and honest relationships. Gaining a personal understanding of the individuals on your team can have lasting mutual benefits. Learning the personal values and goals of your team allows you to offer support and opportunities for them to develop their skills while they are contributing to a greater vision.

Training for leadership excellence should include a focus on both practical and interpersonal excellence. Individuals who have strong personal connections with their leaders are far more likely to be motivated to perform at a higher standard and aim to reach their goals. Executive leadership programs that teach participants to establish and sustain trusting relationships are the foundation to developing leadership excellence. 

What is the most important aspect of leadership excellence for you?

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.

Defining Leadership Excellence

6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence

6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence

Leadership excellence is not always a measure of how successfully a manager’s directions have been followed. True leadership excellence is much more the result of their ability to inspire their teams to achieve the extraordinary. They must be effective communicators, decision makers, visionaries, students, and coaches. Undertaking senior leadership training programs can help leaders become more effective and successful.


Maintaining a consistency in your beliefs and values affords you the ability to lead with integrity. Operating with a guiding set of principles will make it easier not to compromise those values when faced with challenges. To lead with integrity we must first develop an understanding of what our personal values are. A personal values assessment will help to determine how the qualities you value in leadership align with your perception of the current and desired culture of your organisation. Hold yourself accountable, and others will do the same.


Everyone likes hearing that their efforts are appreciated. Great leaders know this and express their gratitude freely, no matter how small the contribution. This is not to say that they are over praising individuals when they are meeting expectations. Rather they display genuine appreciation for necessary but often overlooked efforts made that have a significant or positive impact on the project. Acknowledging your team’s ongoing hard work and celebrating their accomplishments, reinforces a strong work ethic and fosters a positive team environment. 


The key component of genuine praise and criticism is that it is provided honestly. Compliments mean more to us if the person giving them, truly means what they are saying. Similarly, we are less likely to take personal offence to criticism if we can recognise the truth of it ourselves. An often cited example of this idea comes from Brene Brown. In her book Dare to Lead™, she states that “Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind.” This is a significant focus of the Dare to Lead™ leadership development program. It is better to be honest in your critiques to allow for  development, than it is to be vague in an attempt not to hurt someone’s feelings.


If you have ever found that your team’s progress on a project has stalled because they are waiting for your approval, you may consider removing yourself from the process if possible. By delegating entire processes to your team and entrusting them with more responsibility, you empower them to make better decisions and become high performers. Engaging them in leadership training programs, and even coaching them yourself, promotes autonomy and accelerated performance amongst your team. Delegation does not mean that your role as leader transfers from you to someone else. In developing leadership excellence, you understand that mistakes will occur. You should still be following up on delegated tasks and providing support when necessary.


Having a clear vision or direction for your organisation is an integral trait of leadership excellence. Defining this vision and communicating it effectively with your team ensures that each individual understands the goal you are aiming to achieve. Communicating vision and inspiring others to act on it is a trait that is not always considered particularly skilful. This could not be further from the truth. Developing insightful foresight takes just as much practice and experience as any other leadership skill. Doing so can be the difference between a successful execution or an unsuccessful one. 


Great leaders constantly seek to improve upon their existing skills to keep up and even get ahead of industry trends. Training for leadership excellence means identifying areas that can be improved and building upon already proven strengths. For some, this may require them to identify those areas with the help of a Hogan 360º Report or assessments from an executive training program. Industry standards and processes are always evolving and leaders must evolve their expertise along with it to continue to grow their success.

Building leadership excellence requires dedication to both yourself and your team. Senior leadership training can be an effective tool to help leaders understand their own values and how to become better communicators. Leadership development is an ongoing process that will only result in benefits for you, your team, and your organisation as a whole. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

6 Skills Needed for Leadership Excellence

Building Effective Leaders

Building Effective Leaders

The process of  identifying those capable of taking on senior leadership positions is an ever evolving challenge for most organisations. Potential candidates whether they be internal or external, must be assessed on both their existing skills as leaders, and their ability to develop the necessary competencies for more senior roles in the future

One tactic for building effective leaders has been to engage prospective candidates in simulation-based learning. It allows individuals to develop the specific skills needed while giving them practical experience in applying them. From here, the challenge becomes how do we assess the outcomes of this learning? How does this feedback contribute to the creation of a focused, development plan?

Assessing Potential Leaders

When developing high potential leaders, simulation-based learning can be used by senior executives to get an idea of the candidate’s strengths and provide them with opportunities to improve. The feedback that candidates receive is integral to their development as future leaders. Leadership assessment tools such as the Hogan 360º Report help in building a leadership profile for candidates that outlines the competencies in which they are skilled as well as those that they are developing. Executives who hope to support the career goals of their employees can also use these assessments to build focused development plans for those individuals. This may include leadership training programs or providing them with an executive coach who will work closely with them to achieve their goals.

Developing Potential Leaders

Whether one, the other, or a combination of both, the candidate should also be accessing leadership assessment and development tools regularly in order to keep track of their progress and success. By building regular assessments into their development plan, potential leaders are able monitor their growth using measurable data. When the time comes that they are being considered for an elevated position within the company, executives can look at the various assessments that have been made through their development and determine whether they have achieved the necessary competencies for the role.

Assessment is a vital component of leadership development, though it is not one that many individuals regularly take advantage of. Building effective leaders can only begin once a profile of the competencies has been completed. Leadership assessment tools should be prioritised as a primary resource for executives and potential talent for ensuring that individuals are receiving the training that will have the greatest benefit for them and the organisation as a whole. Leaders who develop a tangible awareness of their abilities become more effective in leading their teams because they understand their limitations. This establishes a culture where the most important thing is not to have all the answers, but to collaborate in order to find the solution.

About the Author: The Leadership Sphere

The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.

Building Effective Leaders

Making The Move To Online Learning For Leadership Development

Making The Move To Online Learning For Leadership Development

The way we connect, learn, and work has undergone a significant overhaul since the Coronavirus pandemic reached a global scale at the beginning of the year. As we approach the final weeks of 2020, let us reflect on the impact that this shift in operations has had and what lasting effects we may take into 2021 and beyond. Online learning has been one of the most discussed and debated issues to arise in the wake of this continual change. Though the focus has largely been on schools, it is worth investigating how we might approach the topic as it relates to online leadership development. Incorporating virtual leadership programs into your learning and development benefits not just the participants, but the whole organisation. Delivering this kind of training online, participants can take ownership of their own learning. Interesting though is the varied perceptions of what online learning is, and we should note that online learning may be self paced online learning, or a virtual classroom (which is an adapted version of face to face, for learning and development activities such as leadership development, which has best impact when delivered by an expert facilitator, live).

Advantages of Online Learning


Often, face-to-face training programs are run over the course of one or two days thus limiting the amount of time participants and facilitators must dig deeply into the material. When participants are given control over how and when they interact with their program means that they can take the time they need to truly immerse themselves in the learning. It also allows for the learning to take place around a potentially busy schedule rather than interrupting several days work on other commitments. This kind of self paced leadership training makes it possible to revisit topics of interest or misunderstanding as much as is needed. 

Saves on Resources

Just as online leadership programs provide a flexible option for participants, they are also a flexible option for organisations. This is because online training can be delivered at a fraction of the strain on resources as classroom style programs. Several of the costs associated with face-to-face programs can be eliminated – space, time, and distance often being the biggest obstacles. The greatest benefit of this approach is that it may allow for more people to be offered the opportunity to participate as these added restrictions are no longer a factor. As a result, team members would not have to miss out on reaching their highest potential as leaders or developing vital skills.

Progressive Learning

Though virtual programs were popular prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus, the pandemic forced many who weren’t already using the available technology to adapt quite quickly or risk falling far behind. The globalisation of most industries means that in order to be forerunners in the field, you must be embracing of innovation. The switch to remote learning and operations is something that has been occurring more and more over the last decade, even for areas beyond compliance, such as leadership development programs, development of high performance teams, executive coaching and other leadership initiatives. What might have taken another few years to become ‘the norm’ happened rapidly over a few short months. By adopting the use of new technologies as early as possible, the more prepared your leaders (and organisation) can be for the future of learning and development.

Improved Virtual Communication & Collaboration

In addition to gaining the technical skills to keep up with new learning tools as they are developed, participants of online training programs also gain the advantage of discovering how to work with others in a virtual environment. This is an unquestionable advantage in the face of globalising industries. The far reaching access to online training allows participants to take part from anywhere in the world. This provides the opportunity to discuss ideas and network with people with a broader range of past experiences and perspectives, expanding your own cross-cultural understanding. Leaders have adjusted the way they manage teams because of remote settings, and how we coach and mentor in new ways that make staff feel that they are supported, albeit from a different physical location.

It was for these reasons above that The Leadership Sphere made the decision to move the extremely successful Dare to Lead Program from being an in person workshop to an online facilitator-led course. In doing this, we have been able to continue to provide this service in a way that allows leaders in different states and  even countries to come together to share in their learning. In a global environment that is constantly shifting and evolving in new ways, we must prepare ourselves with the skills needed to evolve with it. By making the move to online learning for leadership development we can remove some of the obstacles that may hold us back and instead, allow ourselves the advantage of learning from those with whom we may not have otherwise had the opportunity. 

For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can support your leaders with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.

Making The Move To Online Learning For Leadership Development

The Five Benefits to Leadership Development You Need to Know About

The Five Benefits to Leadership Development You Need to Know About

There is no denying that leadership development programs make an enormous impact on an organisation’s overall performance as well as to the performance of employees at every level.  The key is for people to be able to recognise their strengths as well as their limitations. It is only after identifying these areas that we may begin to address them. While organisations deserve and should expect a unique program to meet their needs, it is clear that no matter the starting point, the results of excellent leadership programs are the same.

One important goal of any leadership development training program is to provide the skills and know-how to be able to build trust and foster a healthy, safe culture. It could be said that a lack of trust is perhaps the biggest missing link in a company’s potential for success. In a recent survey by Edelman Trust Barometer, they found that only 37% of people thought their company CEOs were suitably credible or trustworthy (1.2). This is an astounding statistic and has a direct impact on performance.

Better communication

When leadership development opportunities are offered to all employees, we begin to see a shift towards an improved communication within teams, between management levels, and across departments. Leadership development programs open up people’s hearts and minds to new possibilities. Lower-level employees are encouraged to share more of their ideas and those in higher positions become more receptive. When employees trust those in management, communication improves, information is shared more freely and individuals are more likely to contribute in forums such as team meetings.

Recognising Talent

This is perhaps the most undervalued benefit to leadership development. Often times, the people who are best suited for leadership already exist within the company. Leadership development programs offer these people the chance to be recognised – particularly those not currently in a leadership role. These opportunities also help to foster a sense of company loyalty and employee engagement, while at the same time improving the efficiency of the business.

Creates Capable Leaders

By providing leaders with the skills they need to successfully navigate the ever-changing and often unpredictable business environment, organisations are able to overcome obstacles much more quickly (2). Capability in leaders also allows organisations to better shape their business strategy from the top-down by ensuring leaders are equipped to implement it.

Improves Company Success

Strong leaders are a fundamental element of successful organisations. When companies invest in placing the right people in leadership positions, other employees are then more motivated to perform better and achieve goals (3). Leaders who are ‘role-fit’ encourage creativity and innovation while simultaneously ensuring their team is focused on their common objectives. Companies who place greater value in leadership development are also shown to have stock market returns that are five times higher than those who don’t (2).

Employee Retention

As previously mentioned, leadership development is an important factor in enhancing company loyalty. Employees are much more likely to remain with the same company for longer when they feel they are being valued and supported by their leaders. In fact, a joint study conducted in 2018 by recruitment firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon found that 53.6% of individuals say “their top reason that keeps them from quitting their job is the loyalty they feel to their team, boss, coworkers or their company” (4). Essentially, what these people are referring to is trust.

What impact does trust have in these areas?

Everything we have talked about above coexists because of trust. Trust is the foundation for so much, including communication, the identification and development of competent leaders, and the fostering of a culture that values and encourages ideas to power up company success.

By taking the time to implement new leadership strategies it is possible not only to improve areas in which a company may be deficient but also to build upon existing strengths. When we look at the benefits of leadership development we can begin to see why such programs are important too, and impact on, all areas of business. Not only this, but we can see how each of these particular benefits stem from having a strong foundation of trust.

The Five Benefits to Leadership Development You Need to Know About

Ten Features of World Class Development Programs

Ten Features of World Class Development Programs

The times are changing but…

While our world is changing rapidly, it could be argued that our management practices have not kept pace with these changes. In fact, I think we’re trailing badly.

In reality not much has changed in 100 years. The training and development industry largely rehashes old theory and practices and makes the same mistakes. At the most fundamental level however, our overall quality of management and leadership is poor and is based on archaic notions based on the industrial age.

“We should stop trying to make people happy and instead make them better equipped to deal with the challenges of today’s organisations.”

While more than 75% of learners report high levels of satisfaction with learning programs, in our heart of hearts we know that there is no correlation between ‘happy sheets’ and the successful application of program learning and subsequent performance. We should stop trying to make people happy and instead make them better equipped to deal with the challenges of today’s organisations.

We think we’re driving a Ferrari but we’re really driving a vehicle from the 1900’s

Our Top 10 Features / Practices

Our research and practice in learning and development over two decades has allowed us to assemble a ‘top 10’ list that all development programs should at least consider integrating. I’m not suggesting that programs should have all ten, although that goal is certainly achievable (see Actionable Conversations for example). Programs that manage to incorporate many of the practices are more likely to be effective, sustainable and cost-effective.

So here are our top 10….

1. Solid context

Ensure that programs are framed and positioned in a strong context that includes an assessment of the market / external environment, strategy, the customer and the organisation’s vision for the future. Only then can an organisation determine the type of leader it needs and therefore the type of program it should invest in. We should dispense with generic competency based models and generic programs that are not targeted.

2. Just-in-time & strategic

If point #1 is true (above), it also holds true that training should be more agile, responsive and ‘just-in-time’ to meet the specific development needs now and in the short-term. Too often organisations get caught in the trap of looking too far in to the future to try to determine leadership needs. A more pertinent question is to ask ‘What do we need right now and in the coming 12 months?’

3. Leader-led / expert-driven

Developing people should be led internally – harvesting every opportunity, everyday. This should be a blend of informal in-the-moment; semi-structured (e.g. monthly leader-led conversations around a mission critical theme); or more formal training provided by outside experts who can bring a perspective and skills sometimes not present internally.

“Developing people should be led internally – harvesting every opportunity, everyday.”

4. Real-world & practical

Please don’t read ‘real-world’ and practical as just being focused on skill building or superficial training that doesn’t challenge people around their mindsets and behaviours. The most effective development programs invite people to play at their edge. The best programs are transformational, where participants can never view themselves or the world in the same way again (the ANZ Breakout program was a good example of this where I was the head of program delivery between 2001 and 2007).

5. Transfer of learning is primary

Learning can suffer three fatal flaws: (1) it occurs in a vacuum; (2) is not linked to a learner’s role or business unit objectives or (3) learning remains in the classroom. Research tells us that the most important factor in program participants being able to apply their learning back in the workplace is their manager.

6. Supports both leader and learner

We tell our program participants that their 1-up manager should almost feel like they’re going through the program, such should be the level of communication, sharing and support that happens in that relationship. Unfortunately this is more aspirational than fact. Secondly, programs that are leader-led have the added benefit of developing both the team member as well as the leader running the session.

7. Mechanisms to support accountability

I like to call this the ‘scaffolding’ that helps support learners. Examples include regular development meetings with their manager; scheduling time for reflection on behaviours and approach; formal or informal coaching / mentoring; and perhaps most importantly, developing habits and practices (see # 9).

8. Doesn’t break the bank

This perhaps goes without saying, however if programs are going to be rolled out in large volume then they need to be cost-effective and provide a measurable return-on-investment.

9. Focuses on the pathway to get there

One observation I have made repeatedly is that we over-invest in goal setting and under-invest in the pathways to get there. In other words, you can set all the goals you want, but if you don’t have a plan to get there, the goals are useless. And the pathway to get there is through developing habits and practices that move you toward the goal everyday. Read my post on LinkedIn on Habits and Practices.

10. Reinforced & Rewarded

Accountability is an over-used word in organisations, however if you want people to do something different, there has to be accountability built in to development programs. Also, we are all human. In a world that is quick to criticize or cut-down, the basic human need of support and acceptance is enduring. Reward the right behaviours – and oh, don’t forget to reward the right intention and effort.

By at least considering all ten features in this list and how they might be incorporated in your development programs, you stand a very good chance of delivering what you set out to do in the first place, develop people in a way that makes a difference to them and to the organisation.

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Ten Features of World Class Development Programs