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Leadership Blog - Bonar Institute for Purposeful Leadership

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Leadership Blog

News and insights for your purposeful leadership journey. This blog is updated regularly by our multi-disciplinary team of coaches, trainers and mentors. 

Purposeful Directors, Purposeful Board

Governance is too often focused on compliance, but good governance results from a board's ability to make the best decisions possible on behalf of the organization and its stakeholders, given the best information available. Boards do not run the company, but they set the tone and should be helping...

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Road to Clarity

Let me invite you to take a short break in your busy day to embark on your personal road to Clarity. Most people will carve out time for a coaching session with their heads full of various problems, concerns, and gigantic “to-do” lists. Yet they lack the clarity needed to focus on what matters. If...

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Stress gets in the way of Good Leadership

Awareness of stress and how it manifests in the mind and body is crucial for organizational leaders. Ignoring it can lead to diminishing returns both mentally and physically. Stressed, leaders can lose mental focus and become ill-tempered leading to tension in the organization. It can spiral out...

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What makes work attractive to people?

"Human beings are “symbolizing, conceptualizing, meaning-seeking animals," – Clifford Geertz The disconnection between employee aspirations to work and what they really experience at work is being increasingly voiced by their quest for destiny of preferred work and workplaces. This forces managers...

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Spirituality and Purposeful Leadership

Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor in her new book Whole Brain Living says that most of humanity who live urban lives are stuck in the left brain. This results in linear, mechanistic thinking in the past and future tense, structured, certain, analytical, detail oriented, seeks differences, happy to...

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Freedom

“Without freedom, creativity cannot flourish. The right to freedom is crucial to progress in any society, and the context is having a sense of Global Responsibility.” - His Holiness The Dalai Lama Freedom is a deeply rooted value in how we live our lives in Western societies. It is a critical...

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Disruption and Innovation

When COVID 19 hit several months ago, the words we heard most in our collective lives were “disruption, chaos, and disaster”. No one knew or could even imagine how the next few months would play out. At that time, we had no doubt that we would get back to our lives and businesses very quickly....

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Influence the Conversation: Plan for the Worst

When you are preparing to have a difficult conversation, it can be pretty daunting. Here are a few questions that you might find helpful to think about when you are trying to influence the conversation. What could go wrong in this meeting (e.g., emotions, new facts)? What are things you definitely...

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The Bonar Institute’s Influence Planning Tool

Some questions to think about Before going into any high-stakes conversation that requires influence, use this simple tool to make sure you have your bases covered: Action Step SET A CLEAR GOAL. Key Mistake Going in with one's gut instinct instead of a clear goalsetting a fuzzy goalsetting a goal...

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Need to Engage & Mobilize Your Employees?

Some questions to think about Why are you worried/frustrated about employee engagement?What does it cost your organization? What does it cost your team? What is your manager saying about it?Is it hurting quality?Is it hurting productivity?Is it hurting customer service and loyalty? How does it...

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Steps to Executive Renewal

Intellectual Snapshot: Leadership has been described as a role involving chronic stress punctuated by periods of acute tension. Though typically, the working environment places little value on personal renewal, successful leaders learn to deal with the stress in their professional and...

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Cost Questions

On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you assess your own levels of stress?Where does the stress show up?What are the effects of this stress on your job performance? Satisfaction?Whare are the effects of this stress on your personality?How aligned do you feel personally with the organization's...

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Managing in a Time of Crisis

James de Gaspé Bonar Ph.D., CEC, PCC March 29, 2020 Issue: Running a business is predicated on two things: • Making decisions • Executing the decisions made well The importance of rational, effective decision-making in a crisis cannot be overstated and the biggest impediments to making such...

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S.M.A.R.T. Goals

SPECIFIC Ensure that your goals are targeted and clear-cut. Ask yourself questions like: What am I trying to accomplish?Why is this goal important?What resources are required?Are their operational limits that need to be taken into account?Who is involved?If geography is involved, how does that...

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Abusive Leaders, Wounded Workers

"I hate to have to speak to you about this Paul [all names have been changed]… but I feel I have to... I can't go on like this… Sarah's bullying is too much for me". Sarah reports to Paul and is his star performer. "She often humiliates me in team meetings: 'You're dropping the ball Jake! You're...

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Leadership & the Law

As an executive coach, mentor and management consultant, I work with leaders who are required to manage complex legal and regulatory issues on a daily basis. In my experience, clients who have acquired a solid understanding of their legal responsibilities as managers - or owners – are more...

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Between Jobs? Now What?

I was speaking recently with a former colleague who is between jobs. He is an experienced and highly respected senior executive who is struggling to know what to do next. He shared that he wasn't particularly happy in his previous job, and that he wants his next opportunity to have purpose and...

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Avoiding the Rush to Action

In my coaching practice, I encounter executives who are confronting unexpected crises, some which even threaten the ongoing sustainability of their businesses. The pressures on these leaders are great. They feel an urgency to act - quickly - to mitigate the risk to their organizations; and, longer...

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Why New Leaders Fail

In my coaching practice, I see organizations struggle because they fail to offer key executive hires the support they require to successfully integrate into their new organization, their new position, and to learn the intricacies of the corporate culture. This support is a process called executive...

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Coaching as Alchemy

What a wonderful metaphor for the coaching experience. As the sacred practice of alchemy transforms base metal into gold, and transmutes physical consciousness into higher awareness, the experience of being coached by a master fosters the personal and organizational transformation of even the most...

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Ruthless Compassion? Really?

"Ruthless compassion” may appear to be an oxymoron. But, if we think of it as a form of “tough love” adapted for executive coaching, it takes on real meaning. The role of an executive coach is to ask powerful questions and to provide meaningful feedback in the form of observations and assessments....

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Poor Skills Limit Growth

During a recent coaching session, an executive complained of a phenomenon in her company that is limiting revenue growth: younger employees’ poor sales skills. We explored a number of possible reasons for this ranging from inadequate hiring practices to the need for better training to improved...

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From Pain to Purpose

An executive once shared with me the debilitating stress, the pain, he was experiencing in his work environment. He wondered how he could continue to lead his organization when he was feeling as badly as he did… And his deep-seated, unspoken, fear was that he couldn’t. Leadership has been...

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What’s in a name?

James de Gaspé Bonar Ph.D., CEC, PCC January 23, 2015 I am often asked what is purposeful leadership, and why is it the focus of my institute? Based on my work with executives and the review of some of the best thinking on the subject, it has become clear to me that purpose is central to...

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