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Is it ever okay to sack a top performer?

25 May
May 25, 2015

Susy Roberts, 25th May 2015


The ECB’s decision to exclude star batsman Kevin Pietersen from the England cricket team has divided opinion and inflamed debate. While some see the decision as entirely justified – on the grounds that Pietersen’s ‘a total maverick’ – it saddens me to see top-performers cast aside.

The fact is, the very personality traits that enable someone to rise to the top of their game, such as intelligence, independence, confidence and determination, are also the same traits that can cause them to constantly brush people up the wrong way, if not managed properly.

Presented with the ‘bad behaviour’ of a top performer, the tendency of most managers is to either turn a blind eye or issue threats and warnings until they’re left with no choice but to sack them. There, is of course, a better way forward… Read Full Article →

How not to run a succession plan…

30 Mar
March 30, 2015

Susy Roberts, 30th March 2015


It’s anyone’s guess as to what prompted the Prime Minister to announce his decision to step down in five years, just before an election. While some have accused him of an inadvertent blunder or outright arrogance, the most likely explanation seems to be an ill-conceived attempt to thwart a post-election attempt to topple him.

Whatever the real reason, it’s proving to be a master class in how not to execute a succession plan. As soon as you announce when a role will become available, you raise people’s expectations that they’re going to get the job. Especially when you name the candidates!

Far from securing his position for the next parliament, Cameron has ignited a leadership contest that, should he be returned to number 10, will cause uncertainty and speculation to dominate the next five years – assuming Boris, Theresa and George are prepared to wait that long once they start positioning for his job.

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Why it pays to play to your strengths…

12 Mar
March 12, 2015

Susy Roberts, 12th March 2015


Did you know that when we do activities that we enjoy, that we’re naturally gifted at and derive great pleasure from doing, we become far more productive, successful and motivated than when we force ourselves to do something we suck at?

So much so that organisations who encourage employees to play to their strengths experience far higher levels of employee and customer engagement, productivity and profits than those concerned with fixing people’s weaknesses or using competency frameworks to bring everyone up to the same level.

The good news is that if you’re looking to create a high-performance team, or inject new life into your leadership development programme, adopting a strengths-focused approach is a quick-win solution that can deliver some pretty impressive business results.

Read Full Article →

Is your promotion ladder broken?

06 Feb
February 6, 2015

Susy Roberts, 6th February 2015


Years of restructuring and redundancy activity means most business have become so streamlined that that traditional opportunities for promotion and progression have all but gone. But if the promotion ladder is broken, how do you retain and motivate star performers as they come up through the ranks?

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