LeaderShape Executives to Present at Leader Development Forum

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From chief executive officer to chief financial officer, companies have all sorts of chiefs in their executive ranks. However, as redundancies affect morale, the need has grown for those in leadership coaching roles to have one title in common: Chief Motivational Officer. LeaderShape Keynote speakers Greg Young and John Knights will join the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership's HORIZONS AND FUTURES LEADERSHIP FORUM: a series of thought-leading seminars to address the business leadership issues of today and the future. The series, supported by the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Business and Business Link, will address executive leadership concerns in the current economic climate and for the future.

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Horizons and Futures Leadership Development Forum.

On Monday 1st June LeaderShape CEO, Greg Young, will address business leaders on how to develop emotional intelligence for top-level leadership. The seminar, entitled "EMBEDDING LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE" will be held in the glorious setting of Grade II listed manor house Eynsham Hall, Oxford, nestled in 3,000 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland.

On Thursday 25th June, LeaderShape Chairman and Chair of the Oxfordshire Learning & Skills Partnership, John Knights, discusses why leaders need to operate beyond their ego for the benefit of all stakeholders. TRANSPERSONAL LEADERSHIP: 2009 shows how leaders and their organisations can create sustainable success, a world-class economy and environment together in Oxfordshire.

For further information on the Leadership Development Forum call 01865 810149. In the meantime John Knights shares eight of LeaderShape's top tips to help business leaders navigate their business through the current economic turmoil.

1. Encourage an open, questioning and listening culture that encourages innovation.
Leaders have to realise that employee motivation is not just good to have; it is the most significant need in organisations right now. In unsettled times your role comes with real responsibilities, critical to keeping employees working productively and confidently when fears about the future can overwhelm enthusiasm.

2. The innovative leader.
Overcome fear of the unknown and encourage experimentation, don't let management paralysis settling in. Leaders retreat to the executive suite and don't communicate with employees the importance of their work and the path ahead, because they don't feel they have answers.
Leaders must provide reassurance, communicate the company's situation and make workers feel that they are vital to its long-term survival.

3. Break the silence.
In silence there is a lack of direction, employee motivation slides and fear grows. An honest e-mail from on high works for the big picture, but regular face-to-face chats are essential for gauging staff reactions, offering reassurance and for you to hear how people are finding new ways forward.

4. Business leadership in tough times.
Ensure people are trusted and empowered; communicate your Strategic Vision and inspire people to act. Use the Intranet to express your team's concerns, and ask for suggestions on how to increase efficiency.
Offer modest rewards and just watch the hands rush to the pumps.
And use your imagination. Sober times don't mean that every thank you should stop. The old champagne parties may be off limits, but there are plenty of other options - from charity fundraisers to camping trips, work in the community to helping within schools.

5. Unlock the creative but under-used talents of teams.
For instance, encourage employees to join teams to brainstorm and improve brand strategy or sales processes, or get them more involved in building customer relationships by getting out and meeting clients.
Rather than "make-work" these are issues that may have been postponed because of the rush of commitments in busy times. If done now, they will create long-term value for your organisation.

6. Drive the organisation with passion, belief and enthusiasm.
The times may demand a 'state of the nation' address, but remember to promote your achievements. Tap into the spirit of what makes your company tick, and turn concerns into grounds for excitement.

7. Unblock barriers to profitable growth.
Ask employees to make suggestions under such themes as: "the biggest barriers to reaching our goals," or "bureaucratic things we do that drive you crazy." Making work less hard can powerfully enhance motivation, and getting staff involved in making the decisions demonstrates that their work has a direct influence on their future.
Then tell people how change will affect them. The bigger issues like figures, redundancies and restructuring are important, but don't neglect the little things: if you're removing canteen privileges and subsidised travel, say why.
And be consistent. Your top bosses can't post phenomenal expenses claims when they're telling everyone else to tighten up.

8. Strengthen competitive positioning.
Encouraging employees to take more initiative and become more involved, rather than waiting for direction and answers in difficult times, can inspire remarkable creativity, energy and motivation.
Don't be afraid to push your employees. You may think challenging assignments and potentially longer working hours will cause resentment, but employees will thank you for allowing them to be engaged in work that was part of the solution.

LeaderShape focuses firmly on the practical "how to" of leadership and team development: Through the executive leadership coaching, business mentoring and leadership skills training of individuals, groups and teams they develop leaders. Call on 0870 990 5576 or visit LeaderShape to discover what they can do for the leaders and future leaders of your organisation.


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Danielle Grant
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