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You CAN Judge a Book by its Cover

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Making a positive first impression – the handshake moment – is critical in attracting people and building relationships.

Contrary to popular myth, we can make an accurate assessment within the first moments of meeting someone for the first time. According to research, within the first seven seconds we can make a balanced judgement on 11 key characteristics: wealth, political bias, credibility, religion, desirability, trustworthiness, sexuality, success, ethnicity, sophistication, and education.

Amazingly, this assessment will be 80% accurate.

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Get Yourself Heard!

- By Mindy Gibbins-Klein

In the recession, many businesses forgot about marketing, especially any kind of strategic marketing of their leaders. But it is a well-known fact that people buy from people, particularly people they like. Which is why more business leaders and owners are starting to realise the importance of being seen and heard, even sharing personal views on key issues.

We’re now seeing this reflected in the open communication style prevalent in blogs, social media and even books written by business leaders. People see the leader is engaged, so they feel engaged and they are more likely to do business with that organisation. Continue reading →

The Life of a Deal

- By Jo Haigh

It’s a curious fact that a company is what is called a ‘legal person’. But when you think about it, a company can do many things that a human being can do, including having a baby! We call that a subsidiary. It can get married – we may call that a merger – and it can even be deemed to have killed someone under the terms of the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

So if a company is a legal person, when that entity is put up for sale the transaction itself becomes a sort of lifecycle.

The arrival of a new baby is normally a period of joy and excitement. Sometimes this arrival comes after a long struggle to conceive, making the moment of life even more special. This feeling of exhilaration is very similar to the one that comes with an initial agreement to sell your business, the so-called heads of terms, and when the transaction to facilitate that deal comes to life. Continue reading →

The First-Time CEO

Executive search firm Warren Partners combines head hunting with leadership coaching and board review services. Based in London, Cheshire and Edinburgh, it has clients in the UK and internationally.

When Vicky Lawton was appointed as MD of Warren Partners in 2012, it was her first time at the helm of a business. Despite having previously been the company’s Director of Operations, the step up was still a challenge.

“When you move into a MD or CEO role for the first time within the same company, the dynamics of the relationships that you have built up over time change overnight,” she says. “At first, this can come as a bit of a shock. Suddenly the support systems you’ve been used to don’t operate in the same way.” Continue reading →

Go on, Take a Proper Holiday!

- By Peter G. Vajda

A few years ago, New York University sociologist Dalton Conley came up with the phrase “weisure” as a means of describing the way in which the lines between work and leisure are often blurred. Taking the laptop on holiday and checking emails even if from time to time are not conducive to fully re-charging and taking that well needed break.

toesYet many feel not only that they have to stay connected on holidays and weekends but that things will collapse if you take time off. So in addition to the loss of well-needed time for rest and relaxation, a key consequence of living in a “weisure” world is the loss of personal privacy.

So instead of returning to work rejuvenated, refreshed and motivated, our workplaces are increasingly populated by underperforming, disengaged and exhausted people. Some may even be going through depression or repressing their unhappiness about life.

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Holiday Relaxation?


“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham

Stop Doing, Start Thinking

Turn off your computer and phones. Sit back. Relax. Focus on your breathing.

Empty your head

Stay empty headed

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Now allow yourself to reflect on what’s important today.

Look out of the window or at something that pleases you.

Ignore the weird glances from your colleagues.

If this isn’t working leave the office, find somewhere quiet and start again.

We all need time to stop and stare but sadly this behaviour is prone to ridicule.

If we’re spotted reflecting we may say we have a migraine.

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Are you Plugged into the Cognitive Economy?

- By Grant Leboff

Do you understand where your business provides value for its customers? Do you have real and tangible competitive advantage in your market place?

Although many companies with which I work initially assume that they have the answers to these questions, after some more queries and investigation, it often becomes apparent that this is not the case.

This can be down to a number of factors. However, it is often because a business is looking in the wrong place when trying to understand and create value for its customers. Continue reading →

Limber up your Limbic Brain for authentic Charisma

- By Nikki Owen

Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, Eva Peron, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Dr Martin Luther King. When they spoke, millions listened in awe. When they walked, millions followed devoutly. Six leaders, one powerful attribute – charisma.

So what is this the mythic power of charisma? I define it as something that captivates the hearts and minds of others. To put it another way, when you are being you and you love what you do, you shine.

Studies have found that charismatic leaders outperform their non-charismatic peers by up to 60 percent. But many people believe that charisma isn’t something that can be taught, that if you try to emulate charismatic behaviours that are out of alignment with the essence of who you truly are, you will come across as fake and lacking authenticity. Continue reading →

Case Study: What a Good Idea…

Sometimes all a business needs to transform itself is a really good idea. And it was just such a brainwave  that helped  Richard Blanford, MD of Fordway and a member of Academy CEO Group 14, to re-position his technology business for a sustainable, long-term future.

Like many IT Systems Integrators, Fordway’s traditional business model was based on revenue from winning and fulfilling IT infrastructure transformation projects. This had worked well until the recession caused by the financial crisis in 2008/9 when the supply of potential projects requiring Fordway’s skills and expertise dried up. Continue reading →