January focus: Work smarter, not harder

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leaders Blog

A new decade, a new year, a new month – what better time to have a proper restart?

This is the time to do it, don’t let the autopilot run your life and career, make sure you are in charge of your journey through the year.

As you kick off 2020, stop and think about how you spend your time and how you can work smarter, not harder. What do you need to focus on this year to achieve your goals and ambitions?


If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither one

Russian proverb


Part of this is about TIME LEADERSHIP (not ‘time management’ as it’s about more than just managing your time). It is all about self-leadership, leading yourself entails planning your time well, blocking time for the important stuff too, so the urgent stuff doesn’t win every time.  It’s about thinking short- and long-term.

It could look like something as simple as this for example:

The other part is about HABITS & ACTIVITIES – being outcome focused rather than task focused. Ask yourself:

  • What should you STOP doing? (dare to challenge practices that don’t deliver for the overall outcome)
  • Is there anything you should START doing instead?
  • What should you CONTINUE doing? To celebrate your strengths and success and to ensure you appreciate what you already do well.

And then finally, ask yourself:

How will you stick to your commitments of working smarter, not harder?

Who could support you? Who else could you involve, to help you succeed?

And could there a win-win aspect here too, that helps both parties succeed?

Here’s to a smart 2020!


Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

Peter Drucker

Leadership you can trust

Leadership you can trust

From WeAreTheCity Future Leaders Blog

There’s a lot of talk about trust – all around the world; in politics in particular, but also in business and society as a whole.

We would argue that trust is quite a straightforward thing – without it we have nothing.

We may be able to manage without trust for a while, but over time lack of trust erodes engagement and joy at work.


“No legacy is so rich as honesty”

William Shakespeare


Leaders that want to create long-term, sustainable results MUST be in the trust business.

They MUST earn your trust.

They MUST be trustworthy.

They MUST embody leadership you can trust.

If people don’t trust us, we risk

  • People going behind backs (ours and others)
  • People not daring to speak up for fear of retribution
  • People cutting corners
  • People leaving (employee turnover)

If people trust us, we

  • Invite honesty and differing viewpoints
  • Secure support
  • Build bonds that last

4 tips for how you, as a formal or informal leader, can build trust

  1. Be genuinely interested in people.

Take the time to talk with others and get to know them. Could you trust someone you didn’t know?

  1. Be generous.

Share what you know. Give feedback. Give credit where credit is due.

  1. Be consistent.

Don’t keep people guessing. Be emotionally aware; manage your emotions and the impact they have on others.

  1. Keep your promises.

Simple, but oh so effective. Do what you said you were going to do – or apologise and explain why and what will happen next if you couldn’t keep the promise.

We’re all in the trust business

Trust is the foundation for all great leadership and teamwork.

And in a world that changes faster and faster, trust will only get more and more important.

And we’re all in the trust business – every day, in everything we do.

Peripheral vision for change

Leading change? Working with digital or business transformation? Then you’re probably great at focusing on what to do, when, how and why.

And focus is great. We all know that.

But at times, focus can lead to tunnel vision, that state of mind when we are so focused that we lose sight of the bigger picture, or what is happening around us and how people are responding to the change.

So, to balance your great focus, develop your peripheral vision too. Peripheral vision is taking in information outside of our immediate focus. It’s widening our view to be able to notice what happens around us. And that’s not metaphorically, it’s a question of practicing having a wider visual field.

Some of the greatest speakers, facilitators and trainers have great peripheral vision; they have the whole room within their view field, so they can notice shifts in people, recognising when people react to something, noticing disengagement or excitement.

So whenever you are in a project meeting for example, consciously notice and use your whole visual field (rather than just looking at the person you are talking to for example) – and notice how much more you become aware of.

Want to know more about peripheral vision for change? Get in touch – we’re happy to talk.

The pace of change is so great, there is always something else going on. What that says to me is that you have to have strategic vision and peripheral vision. Strategic vision is the ability to look ahead and peripheral vision is the ability to look around, and both are important.

Carly Fiorina

Door 24: We give away 3 signed Leadership Impact books!

How leaders lead transformation matters greatly. Your impact as a leader can make THE difference in transformation success.

This is why we, as it is Christmas Eve, give away 3 signed copies of Amazon bestseller The Leader’s Guide to Impact” by Mandy Flint and our CEO Elisabet Vinberg Hearn.

Please enter your name below to be in the prize draw – we’ll draw 3 winners before the end of the year.

Good luck!

Door 23: Hearts and Minds

We continue our reflection from day 22 on how to avoid Boomerang Change…

If you are serious about business/digital transformation, take a moment to reflect on how you can bring all the pieces of real transformation together – the WHY, the WHAT and the HOW, keeping in mind that real transformation is more about people than processes and tools.

It’s about connecting with people, with their hearts and minds.

And maybe Einstein said it best…

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking”

Albert Einstein

Isn’t it time to leave Boomerang Change behind and go for Real Transformation?

Door 22: Transformation, not boomerang change

Transformation, real transformation, is a marked, significant change, where the change is so thorough, so disruptive, so – well, yes, transforming – that it can’t go back to what it once was. A bit like how a butterfly can’t transform back into a caterpillar.

Real transformation requires more than a well managed project (to change processes, digital tools, organisational structure etc) – it requires a transformation of mindset, habits and culture.

And that transformation must be led from the top, where leaders themselves transform how they lead the organisation, how they behave, what they prioritise, what actions and behaviours they ignite in others.

Door 21: Share generously

In our Katapult Advent Calendar we continue to reflect on the human aspects of digital/business transformations that truly make a difference.

Things change fast, we all know that. New research, new technology, new innovations, new customer expectations, new regulations – the list is long.

This is also why the need to share is so much greater than ever before. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something others don’t. And when hat knowledge, idea or insight is shared, it’s multiplied.

So share it! Generously share what you know.

Door 19: Leaders as Role Models

The Katapult Advent Calendar continues…

Are you leading a digital or business transformation? Do you know quite how influential you are?

A leader’s focus, actions and behaviours have the potential to truly ignite the transformation. Leaders’ behaviours are contagious – leaders have the power to role model transformation through hope, engagement and digital immersion.

Are you that role model?