Tips, News & Views / 163 posts found

Leading with values is a choice

by Iyas A
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So many people today have swallowed the values pill and say that companies *need* a clear set of positive values to succeed. Especially on the speaking or coaching circuit. Bullshit. Companies have succeeded without articulating any values. Some with a set of insidious (and not articulated) values. Heck, some have grown profitable off the back of killing kids in countries where tobacco laws are more lax. Or selling weapons to dictators. No, I look at it like the conversation our parents has had…

Newer isn’t always better – 1 of 4

by Iyas A
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We make running business a lot harder than it needs to be. One way is our addiction to the new when the answer is already under our noses. Here’s the first of 4 ways I REGULARLY see people, especially business owners, biting themselves in the arse. The thrill of the kill makes us obsess over winning new clients way more than new business with existing ones. If you’re in B2B, tell me honestly, does your team get as much of a fist bump / high five / British (non-tactile!) pat on the back from…

Sea Drone to Clear Up Plastics

by Iyas A
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This floating drone operates at the point of entry of plastics into the ocean, and like a whale shark, just skims the water hoovering up all plastics it finds in its way. It can consume up to 200 litres of trash in each trip! As @Richard Hardiman, CEO says, “the idea is that they constantly clean up the water so you never see a buildup of waste.” Making money by helping clear up the oceans. Purpose and Profit. Good luck, RanMarine.

Values Go Both Ways

by Iyas A
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I’m pretty obsessed in the work world about companies having and living a set of heart-felt, positive values. And I devote most of my work to helping companies succeed in a way that is aligned with those values. So I’m delighted to see the increasing focus on what company values mean to its employees, and how it treats them. Too right! But less is said about the values that people need to demonstrate to the company that employs them. And that to me makes it a very asymmetrical relationship.…

Don’t fear failure. But do respect it.

by Iyas A
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Leaders are encouraged to not be afraid of failure. And I get this. To an extent. It’s rare that something great is created without the risk of failure. And bravery is knowing there is a risk of failure in doing something great, yet going ahead and doing it. But foolhardiness is to do it without giving serious consideration to managing the risk. And wastefulness is not to learn from it if it goes wrong. But consider how your team would feel about following you from one failure to the next?…

Philosophy interlude! JS Mill on why your team must be able to disagree with you

by Iyas A
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Just back from my extended holiday (hence the lack of posts this week!) to pick up my eldest son’s GCSE results. The new new GCSE system (I was O levels!). I’m really chuffed with how he’s done. But it prompted me to look at some of my old school and uni notes, and I was surprised at what turned up. Philosophy was part of my degree, and keeps bringing up surprises at work where I least expect them to be. I wrote recently about my strong belief in fostering ideas in teams (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/your-team-must-be-able-to-disagree-with-you/),…

If you want your business to make a difference, make sure it makes money

by Iyas A
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If you want your business to make a difference, make sure it makes money. This is not about “me first”, which I abhor and have written about elsewhere (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/the-me-economy/). It is about ensuring that your business is in a position to serve the causes it cares about. I’ve seen analogies comparing businesses with people. Those individuals who have (worthily in my view) abstained from personal wealth in order to dedicate their lives to the…

Leadership makes you neither superior nor infallible, but is simply a role you play

by Iyas A
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The best leaders I’ve known have always intimately got that being a leader is more of a role that they play than an hierarchical position in which they sit. Meaning that they don’t lord over you. They don’t assume that they have all the right answers. They don’t expect you to do everything they say simply because they said it. They don’t expect you to subsume your power of independent thought into theirs. They understand that they have a responsibility to agree or create…

How did we allow technology to undermine our commitments?

by Iyas A
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Once in a land we all lived in a long long time ago, I’d call a few people to arrange to meet. We’d fix a date, then we’d all magically find ourselves at the agreed location. Today, I email out a doodle poll. A quarter of the invitees reply. The most popular date and time isn’t quorate, so I send a link on WhatsApp to try to get more answers. A few more people reply, but we’ve now lost the original dates as people have reallocated the time as they didn’t get a…

Interview for Values fit, not Cultural alignment

by Iyas A
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Do you interview for cultural fit? I did. And I was wrong. I’ve interviewed well over 1000 people. As the person responsible for my team (whether in my own company, on the board of another, or as a senior manager post-acquisition), I was the “culture” part of the interview for a long time. What became apparent to me as the team grew was that culture was becoming broader, but what remained steady was our set of values. Using culture as a recruitment criterion is hard. It works well…