Picture1A time for new beginnings.  New life.  Spring is here and it is a great advantage as it brings in the positivity. Build on the cycles of nature.  Lets start again. Breathe deeply.

A time of rejuvenation as the sun begins to shine and evenings get lighter.

As a leader and manager it is important to find and adhere to the ‘inner compass’ that you believe in, and walk the talk in all aspects of professional life.  The ‘inner compass’ relates to the values and beliefs that you adhere too, for instance the values may be authenticity; inspiration; open communication in the work environment, to mention a few.  Whilst your belief set may be deep rooted but unique to yourself.   When you  work against your inner beliefs you feel very uncomfortable, as such it is important to work in alignment (rather than out of alignment) with your inner compass.

In turbulent times, stand firm, lead, inspire and create positive energy within the environment in which you work.  Turn the negative into the positive, but most of all don’t work to someone else’s compass which may in no way match your own values or beliefs. As such be aware, so as not to compromise your ‘inner beliefs’.


A New Year – New Goals – 2016!

Presentjan2016As the New Year begins everyone is talking about setting new goals for the coming year.  All well and good as focusing on our goals helps us to be specific about what we want.   It is difficult to move forward if you don’t know where you’re going.  After all life is a journey – and who knows better how to drive the journey than you.

Personal goal setting may be supported by a professional coach; however, you can be your own coach!   Get the vision in place, focus on the goal setting and be very precise about the dates by which you wish to achieve this goal.  Align your goal setting to your personal and professional values and happiness.  Prepare a new step by step process for yourself on how to achieve your goals across the year.

Make the necessary changes in your every-day activities in pursuit of your goal, however small that may be.   After all, doing the same thing again and again leads to the same of what you have right now.  Commitment and motivation are the main criteria for being successful within this process.   Commit from a deep level and then proceed.

Visualising is even better.   Spend time with yourself and really visualise in detail what you want to achieve.   Focusing on the vision keeps the goals at the forefront of your agenda. Create a visualisation board for your personal and professional goals.  Or create a poster for the wall or just write out a list or use PowerPoint slides.   Whatever works best for you?

Finally, look and seek out support for your goal and the changes you need to make in order to achieve the goal.   When leading change and moving in any new direction, you do require support from friends, family and your peer group.   Find the support.

With this in place stay positive (think positive and be positive) and use your resilience when times seem tough.


Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.



Presentation5In real terms the ability to be resilient is at the heart of leadership. Without resilience you can waver. However, if you can be like the bamboo and sway in the wind until you regain your centredness then you are more likely to survive when the waves crash in.

Being centred means not spending too long crashing against the wall or melting down when too many things become out of control. It is the ability to quickly get to your centred self that makes the difference. We all have to admire those who have acquired and developed their resilient selves. They bounce back quickly.

Resilience is also linked to awareness and self-awareness and identifying emotional control as part of emotional intelligence (Goleman & Boyatzis). For instance, this means self-regulation – the ability to control yourself and think before you act. In other words control your emotions.

Awareness of the signs that are leading us off track is important. It maybe irritability; it might be quick temperedness; or it might be feeling tearful or aspects of depression. All of which are signs that all is not well at this moment.

So what can we do to find our centred selves? Ask yourself is this permanent or just short-term? This makes a big difference as if it is short term then it may be part of  a ‘plug-in and lead’  whilst  stressed on a short-term basis. That way you know it won’t last and you will step out of this period of activity. However, if it is on-going then you have some serious questions to ask yourself.

First, be aware of the signs and honestly identify them so as not to be in denial. We all have different signs.  Be aware of your own signs.  Second, ask for help in order to get support. Talk to friends. Three, find some relaxation techniques, practice mindfulness; exercises; quiet space; long walks; listen to music.  Manage your ‘energy’ in everyday situations.

Finally, learn the lessons appropriate to the set of circumstances.  Developing resilience is a major part of  leadership.


Picture1perceptionHave you ever thought my assumptions about this situation/person were all wrong. How many times have you stopped in your tracks when you realise that your own perception of a situation was in fact not reality at all. Sometimes it comes as quite a shock. Of course, we are not talking fact or detail here, this is all about assumptions.  This is because we may have a fixed view of the world and have not been open to another perspective. It really has to do with your mind and how you see/view the world. It involves the inbuilt assumptions that we make on a regular basis. However, sometimes we are gently taken on a journey where we view the world differently or we are literally struck by a different reality and realise our assumptions are, in fact, just that, assumptions and not reality at all.

As such, there is a gap between the truth and how we perceive it. Across the summer I had this experience and it immediately showed me how out of touch I could be with the reality of a situation. A good coach always asks a set of questions, and explores the reality rather than the perception of their coachee.  Good questions always help this process. This can be seen as part of reflexive learning. I first came across the theory and practice whilst doing an online course as an instructor for PhD’s. It was a light bulb moment when I realised how important questioning really is and how we get trapped in our meta-cognitive views of the world. Sometimes getting unstuck can involve some questioning of the reality of your thoughts. How did you get there?   Why do you think the way you do?  This type of thinking is part of reflexive practice in management.


Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.



BeAuthenticTwo words! The first is ‘being’ – yes being not doing. Being suggests being in the moment rather than constantly rushing forward or backward. Just ‘be’.

The second is authentic. Authenticity implies honesty and integrity. This is someone who operates as their real self rather than their faux self (or a self with lots of hidden and false layers to hide behind). Authentic is operating from true self.

The question you may want to ask is  – what sort of person do you want to work with? How hard is it when your work with individuals who are not real, not honest and present different sides. It may be that you know instantly when you meet someone if they are hiding behind their real selves. A lack of sincerity and maybe a façade pervade. I know who I want to work with – I want to work with authentic individuals where ever possible.

We are all leaders today, who are working and collaborating with other professional colleagues which can be challenging as well as joyful. However, when working with those who are authentic (in real self) and contributing in an honest way makes the collaboration more successful and contributes to creating greater levels of synergy and creativity. It may also bring more meaning to participation in the workplace environment.

Followers like authenticity in leaders. This is because an authentic person is open; communicates from a deep place; thus in turn they become a powerful communicator.




Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.


Gandhi’s Leadership Legacy


Gandhi held no official political title; he commanded no army and he amassed no great wealth.  Although Gandhi held no political office he held great influence. Although he was instrumental in the Indian Independence movement, Gandhi’s influence extended beyond the borders of India to the rest of the world. Gandhi won hearts and minds. This truly exemplary leader derived his power from the conscious citizenry. This leader is Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence inspired millions. He spent his life fighting to overcome modern forms of enslavement and oppression, religious hatred, gender oppression, and, what he saw as the worst form of violence, poverty. Gandhi was an uncompromising opponent of violence. He knew that using violence to fight violence corrupts and debases even the most noble of causes and leaves a legacy of bloodshed.

One of the strategies that made Gandhi an effective leader was his ability to build bridges between communities. In particular, Gandhi provided leadership by example. He walked the talk. Added to this, Gandhi’s critique of technology and economies that benefit the powerful and marginalize the powerless is all too relevant today. However, his way of dealing with this was to influence by peaceful means.

What can we learn form Gandhi?  Gandhi’ strategies included embracing non-violence, being the change, leading by example and  building bridges.  In this way he inspired millions across the globe and left a lasting legacy. Even today people across the globe study the work of Gandhi. There is much to learn.


“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”  Gandhi, Mahatma

Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.


Leadership – What we can learn from Aristotle

Leadership – Part II – Aristotle

PictureAristSo what does Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) teach us about leadership?  Despite the 2,000+ historical time frame the Greek historical figures brought us democracy. The ability to debate, converse and listen and take a democratic approach. In the Western world we have embraced this thinking and we have a lot to thank the Greeks for in this respect.

A democratic leadership style in contemporary management is attractive rather than repellent. People feel part of the process because their opinions count and they are listened too.  In particular when the democratic voice is ‘strong’, note should be taken by the leader, in order to pivot in this direction.

We all have to deal with constant pace of change in the form of technology, global finance and economic and environmental threats of many sorts and varieties.  However,  it is within contemporary management that the process of leading can make the greatest impact especially when this approach involves taking into consideration others opinions and views and listening to the majority voice.

A more collaborative and informal style of leadership rejects a persistent command-and control of yesteryear.  Become an effective better leader, by understanding not only the array of leadership styles and approaches, but by truly appreciating those leadership styles that are positive and effective for contemporary management within the current climate.

We are all professionals working together towards the same goal, as such leadership styles need to reflect this by being flexible, trusting, open and respectful of others needs and opinions. Trust with professionalism is the operative word.

Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.


What Can We Learn from the Leader – CONFUCIUS

Picture1Sage2We have a number of amazing leadership guru’s from history including Confucius, Aristotle and Gandhi. What can we learn from them? Starting with Confucius – the great Chinese Emperor. Confucian social philosophy was based primarily on the principle of “ren” or “loving other” whilst at the same time exercising self-discipline. His golden rule principle was “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.” Added to this, he believed that leaders needed to exercise self-discipline in order to remain humble. Humble is a great quality in leaders, and those who follow this principle are more approachable to their followers. Moreover Confucius was known for his compassion. He defined compassion as having three components: empathy for understanding the feelings of others; caring for the other person; willingness to act in response to the other person’s feelings. Confucius left a lasting mark as he taught people to live with integrity. Even today there are Confucian Institutes in Universities all over the world.

How can we relate to this today in the contemporary business environment? We can learn to have compassion through our leadership style by using emotional intelligence. We can become resonant leaders who use their EI dimensions including self-awareness; self-management; relationship management and social awareness. We can create a positive environment where these principles are cultivated. What we need are more leaders who operate in the positive with most importantly empathy and integrity.

What is important is intentionally creating a style where we learn from the above.

Finding Solutions

PictureweatherThe New Year 2015 has arrived with a bang. The rain, the winds, the hurricanes and snow have swept into our lives at the beginning of this new year! In the world, everywhere things don’t seem to be getting better but rather are getting worse. The weather and the natural world have an even bigger impact upon us than we can possibly imagine, and as yet the full impact has still to be revealed. Solutions on a postcard please!

Whether at a personal, business or international level the answer to most issues is  – try to move towards finding solutions. Be solution focused! However, what holds us back are the different opinions and viewpoints we hold in our minds eye. We all look and view the world from a range of different perspectives. These are often derived from a set of values which are either adopted from others, in our overall history, or have been chosen. It is these views, perspectives and values which have the most impact. It is these perspectives which take us into loggerheads with others, or help us adjust and find solutions. Finding gentle ways to re-focus and change perspective may hold many keys to our lives.

Change perspective and find solutions!

Janette Young, Knowledge Futures is a Consultant, Coach and Learning Facilitator.   Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  the inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a web world.  Elsevier.



Picture1celebratedec2014Are you celebrating enough? It is great advice and a good question to ask yourself and those around you. Are you celebrating your success? Are you celebrating all the small achievements that have been made along the way? Are you celebrating the milestones?

Believe it or not it is good management practice to celebrate all the success (big and small) that you achieve. It’s positive, vital and creates more energy. The advice is always to celebrate every small success.

Let’s get celebrating!  Why wait.  A great lesson to learn, and put into practice