Are you the dysfunctional team member?

In the last couple of days there has been quite a focus in the media on the best start-up businesses to work for. The first thing that popped into my mind was “I wonder how the heads of these businesses are doing as leaders?”. Starts ups are challenging on a number of levels. Exciting as a new product or service comes to the market with great passion backed by generally highly intelligent and driven individuals BUT also frequently a lack of leadership skills. We’ve seen a few high profile entrepreneurs exhibiting interesting behaviours of late. As a business grows it becomes less about the individual and more about the team. Great leaders surround themselves with great people and harness the collective wisdom.

As business psychologists we often see dysfunctional behaviour in young businesses through no major fault of anyone’s. Lack of experience and development plus pace of business leads to ‘winging it’. It’s not always young businesses either. We see dysfunction in larger and/or mature businesses where senior managers put their functional team needs above those of the leadership team that they belong to. Patrick Lencioni’s ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ captures this brilliantly.

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Negotiating a salary from a position of strength

Recently I have been coaching my eldest to secure a role in the highly competitive tech world. After a grueling assessment process, he found himself in the enviable position of deciding between three companies who all wanted to play coy about what they would pay for his skills. Of course, these offers did not come all at the same time exactly so careful negotiation was required. There are some good lessons from this experience that anyone negotiating a salary can apply.

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Leadership fundamentals that every leader should know

Over the past 20 years our perception of leadership has changed. Leadership theories have come and gone and leadership gurus have risen then faded away. Guidance on how to be a good leader has evolved and the leadership tool kit keeps changing as new methods outdate the old.

The fundamentals of human behaviour and our neurology however have stayed the same.  It’s these key fundamentals that guide us on how to effectively manage our human assets and how to build high performing teams.


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