8 Leadership Lessons from Minnesota – RIP George Floyd

I’ve been watching the protests in the United States and thinking.

I’ve watched the events that have been unleashed in retaliation to a man whose neck was kneed upon by a cop.

I’ve been watching as #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd started trending with over 3,000 mentions per hour

The effects of one knee on one neck has become a symbol of oppression. I can’t breathe adding fuel to the Black Life matters spark that sets our consciousness on fire.

In the midst of all the confusion, terror anger and hurt there is the hope.  The hope that is bolstered by cops kneeling with protestors in a show of compassion.  The hope that is felt when seeing a line of black men shielding a cop separated from his unit and the hope when cops join protesters to continue a peaceful march

What a time to be alive when in the worst of fear we see great symbolism for hope and of hope.

It is with this hope in mind that I am thinking about leadership.  The change it can create and the difference that our leadership can make, whether in our communities, in our families and in our organisations.

I have hope that as we leaders recognise our privilege we will leverage our power to be the change that is needed in our societies.

I sincerely believe that leadership is the 5th wave of production and that which can really propel our countries forward.  Therefore when I look at what is happening in the wider world I look for the takeaways for leaders.  As I looked at the Minnesota protests I asked myself, what are the lessons for leaders from this scenario?

Today I will share with you the 8 takeaways for leaders from the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder,

1. Leaders let teams breathe. There is no one best style of leadership. Leadership is contextual, we change our style to suit the demands of the situation.

We make split second decision that this is the way that we are going to be at this time.

Whatever your style leaders only know their impact by listening to the feedback from our teams. We listen to both the said and the unsaid.  If your team never puts suggestions on the table then ask yourself. “Am I giving them room to breathe?”  Thinking requires oxygen.

Leaders who are larger than life and have a know it all attitude, can literally suck all the air out of the room. They leave little room for the team members to think, to participate to share or to be creative.

“I can’t breathe” could very well be what your team is saying when being micromanaged, treated badly or not allowed to bring ideas to the table or  participate in decision making.

2. Leaders take your knee of team members’ throats. Some leaders are really great at letting voices be heard and seeking opinions and feedback from team members. Others not so much.

Some leaders get no resistance to any plans that we make. Team members are all compliant and do just and only  as they are told. They share opinions only amongst themselves, never with the leader.  Check yourself.

If not one ever gives negative verbal or nonverbal feedback, if it’s your way or the highway, if you do not value the teams’ opinions then chances are that your knee is on team members’ throats and they do not or cannot speak freely.

You can choose to be the leader who supports difference of opinions and thoughts, discusses ideas, and encourages creativity so that you can get the best solutions to problems. All it takes is a shift in your position.

3. Leaders hold other leaders accountable. I personally know some great leaders.  I’ve interviewed some. These leaders respect, encourage and motivate team members.  These leaders believe that they work with adults and enjoy learning and sharing with them. Most leaders are like this. We think about team members in a way that honours their humanity and gives them the benefit of the doubt.

Yet on leadership teams there is always that one leader.

You know the one – The leader whom we mince past.  We barely speak to Leader X because we disagree with his disrespectful tones, his awful comments, and his hideous gossip all directed at team members.  We try to not talk to Leader Y we avoid contact and rush off.  What we do not say to Leader X and Y is that their behaviour is unacceptable.

The entire leadership team gives consent to leaders X and Y when we are silent about their ill behaviour. 

We become culpable in our silence just as these leaders who display terrible traits.

Our teams look at us bewildered and plead why leaders let Leaders X and Y behave like that.  And as these leaders carry on our leadership suffers as we lose face and credibility with our teams. We become the other 3 cops standing by doing nothing. We are part of the problem,

4. Leaders promote equity justice and equality in your teams and organisation. Equity demands that we treat team members fairly and impartially. Apply policies and procedures the same way to each team member especially when the interpretation or application is at the leaders’ discretion.

Know when you are setting precedence and don’t give to Peter unless you are willing to give to Paul.

Equality asks leaders to ensure that team members have equal status, equal rights and equal opportunities. The leader is to create opportunities for all.  This means that sometimes we have to stop and hold the hands of the less experienced or less competent to help them build their muscle.

Equity and equality are backed up by justice which assumes that the leader is a reasonable man or woman and so can act in a way that is fair to all parties at all times.

5. Leaders remove all isms. There is always that one person on the team who we are drawn to, more so than others.

We tend to trust people who share our background and experience more so that others who don’t. We know that people who attended the same school as us, people who grew up in the same religion or people with similar socioeconomic backgrounds are just like us and probably hold similar beliefs and values.  We may lean toward hiring, helping, supporting these person more so than others.  We may be more patient, with these, give them a listening ear and want the best for them.

Leaders be careful we can’t afford to go with these feelings, we can’t treat these team members differently from others it’s called favouritism.

When we promote these people beyond their experience and qualification without regard for others we are practicing cronyism.

When we ascribe qualities to people because of their ethnicity or racial composition it’s called racism. 

When we identify characteristics in others based on the shade of the skin or texture of their hair it’s called colorism /shadism. 

Stop and think for a minute. All of this is related to slavery and colonialism.

Leaders if you are falling into these old traps set by slave or colonial masters more than 400 years ago get a grip.

These isms rob your organisation of diversity, new perspectives and much needed change.  It also may be the  reason that you are losing your talent, why team members are frustrated, or have lost enthusiasm  and seem to have no interest in the company’s longevity

6. Leaders Check your assumptions.

  • What do you assume about the people that you work with?
  • What do you assume about their intelligence and their interests?
  • What do you assume about what they deserve, or the quality of lives that they should live?
  • Do you think that they have enough and should want nothing more?
  • Are you thinking that what is available for your family should or should not be accessible to team members?

Leaders we have a responsibility to the people that we work with to assist them become the best version of themselves that they can be and inspire them to go even beyond their ambitions.

If we assume the worst of them guess what we get – the worst of them.

What we assume that others deserve is what we will inspire others to achieve. 

7. Leaders check your self – I cannot forget the nonchalant face of that cop as he knelt on the neck of George Floyd for 8 solid slow minutes. That cop did not move, he did not flinch even as he knew he was being taped.  He was being a cop.  He was right and George Floyd was wrong.

This was not the cop’s first rodeo. He had other infractions and complaints made against him which went unchecked. George Floyd’s death was the natural trajectory of the cop’s previous behaviour.

What about you leader?  How many complaints were brought against you?  What is the turnover like in your team? What did the employee engagement survey suggest about your leadership?

There are many data points both internal and external to the organisation that give us feedback on a daily basis about the state of our leadership.

We all have to stop, check our behaviours and determine if the way that we are is the way that we want to be.

Our emotions our gut feelings and our hearts and souls are our internal compasses that tell us when we are wrong.   Externally we have family and friends who point out our shortcomings,   Whatever our feedback mechanisms we each have the ability to self-examine, to admit when we are wrong and to make amends and self-correct  We cannot be tone deaf to our  impacts on others.

8. Leaders you can create the spark. We have seen how the murder of George Floyd inadvertently is creating both havoc and hope. This is a great question for our leaders.

Are you creating havoc or hope?

Imagine for a moment that everything that you do creates change.  Is the change havoc or hope?  I am inviting leaders to lean on the side of hope.

Think for a minute of one thing that you can do today to create change in your organisation.

It could be something that promotes equity, or equality or justice.  It could be something that removes an oppression or suppression or something that limits the isms that exist.  Maybe you can finally give Leader x or y honest feedback.

Imagine that every leader in this country can create acts of hope that tell team members I want to work with the adult that you are and celebrate your humanity,

Those are my 8 lessons from the murder of George Floyd and all that ensured after

  1. Leaders let teams breathe
  2. Leaders take your knee of team members throats.
  3. Leaders Hold other leaders accountable
  4. Leaders Promote equity justice and equality
  5. Leaders remove all isms..
  6. Leaders check your assumptions
  7. Leaders check your self
  8. Leaders you can create the spark

What about you what were your takeaways from the Minnesota events?

I challenge leaders to be the change that you want to see. Your leadership is what we need to make a positive change in our communities and our countries,

My intention is to fuel your leadership spark so that together we can bring change to the systems that we live in.

At this time I am hosting free 30 minute online sessions with teams to discuss the way forward and how to get ready for the future. If you want to host a free online session for your team then Contact me on Linked in or Instagram at Maxine Attong.  You can call or send me a whats app to 8687247642 or visit my website http://www.MaxineAttong .com.




Leaders – Don’t call the PoPo

Verb Phrase: Call the PoPo

Origin: Black American cultural/ political expression

Context: Organizational

Definition – A leader who (ab)uses the power or privilege vested in him/her by the organization to consciously or unconsciously discriminate against or to sully the reputation of or to belittle or to harm or to incriminate a person with less power/ privilege within his team or the wider organization.

1) Mr Smith called the PoPo when he berated the people who were laughing at the water cooler.  He explained,  “ This is an office. Laughter suggests that they are not working.”

2) Sandra is exhausted, she’s been up 3 consecutive nights with her sick baby. Her manager is aware and empathetic. She puts her head down for a moment. Mrs Jones calls the PoPo as she says to Sandra’s manager ”I cannot have Sandra on the  the special assignment. She’s lazy, she’s sleeping on the job”

3) John’s kids eyes grew wide with astonishment as they watched Mrs Knight shout loudly and say mean things to their father. As John averted their eyes, he and his kids shared the deep knowledge that Mrs Knight was calling the PoPo on John.

Have you as a leader ever called the popo on your team members? What could you have done differently? What other examples of leaders calling the PoPo have you witnessed? Please share them

If you liked the article, please share or comment or repost.

(image by ODOBESTI)

3 Leadership Tips from Starbucks Settlement

By now you would have heard the news: the two men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were discriminated against by the Starbucks barista, accepted a settlement of USD1 each and got the city’s commitment to fund a USD200,000 grant program for high school students aspiring to become entrepreneurs.
As I read  their decisions and listened to their interviews I noted three tips, that would assist leaders to effectively lead their teams and to make better decisions.

Tip 1 : Leaders have long term vision – Nelson and Robinson are college students who undoubtedly could use the money. Yet, instead of cashing in on the situation they looked ahead, a little further down the road at their bigger vision. The swiftness of their decision, the manner in which they navigated this murky and dramatic situation suggested to me that these guys had a vision long before the event occurred. It was therefore easy for them to turn a negative into a positive since they viewed the event as an opportunity to move one step closer to their overall vision.

Leaders are also asked to have a long term vision. How many of us have a long term vision for ourselves and for our teams? The leader who has a long term vision is not distracted by what happens, she uses her long term vision to temper the effects of the present situation. Her vision becomes a barometer and the question she asks herself when difficult situations arise is “How can this situation serve my long term vision?”

Tip 2: Leaders are focused on others and not self– The decision to set up a fund for entrepreneurs moves the spotlight from Nelson and Robinson to other unnamed and unseen parties. They are creating opportunities for others to shine. They are building a legacy by providing a service to others.

How many of us as leaders have created opportunities for team members to grow? How many of us turn the spotlight on team members or put things in place for them to achieve their dreams? Leadership is about others and as the leader leads he also serves. While there may be a personal long term benefit for the leader who builds a legacy, it is often done by willingly sharing the spot light in the short term. As leaders we need to encourage others to build their skills, to increase their capabilities and to become leaders.

Tip 3: Leaders make economically sound decisions. – In one interview Nelson and Robinson explained that there is cost to a lawsuit, both in money and time. They consciously made an economic decision to accept the fund for USD200,000, even though there was a high probability that a lawsuit would result in more money.  They are also sharply aware that the USD 200,000 grant is only for one year and have begun discussing how to sustain the grant beyond the first year.

Every decision that we make as leaders directly or indirectly impacts on our companies’ bottom line. Do you think about the bottom line when making decisions? Our leadership does not exist in a vacuum, it exists in the context of an organization that has a mission and vision therefore our decisions should also reflect these. Those of us who work in for-profit organizations, have a responsibility to ensure that our decisions make a positive contribution to the company’s bottom line and that secure the company’s sustainability over the long term. This aspect of leadership is not often discussed, but leaders cannot be economically naive.  We have an economic responsibility to our companies and the teams that we lead.

 What thoughts did you have as you watched the Starbucks settlement unfold?

If you are a leader and want to increase the effectiveness of your team and your personal contributions as a leader, then drop me a line. I’m here in service.

(image by TriniChow)

7 Questions from the Chamber of Commerce

Two weeks ago, I attended the Chamber of Industry and Commerce AGM and luncheon This was a sold out event and I understood why.  The occasion was an opportunity to (re)connect with persons whom I knew, to meet new people, to learn about what others were doing and to share a bit about myself.
As I listened to the presenters share about their new projects, I identified 7 questions that they asked themselves to determine their next steps and to make decisions. I thought that today I would share these questions with you:

1) What is my Vision? – This speaks to your overall vision for yourself, for your business or for your family.

2) How do I want to live? Determine the quality of life that you want for you and your loved ones. Identify what a day in your life looks like – what you are doing, where you are doing it and with whom you are doing it

3) What do I want? – Determine what you want physically, emotionally and spiritually

4) What is my core? Identify the skills, competencies and talents that you have at this time

5) How can I expand my core? Decide how you can easily build on your existing skills to increase the probability of getting what you want

6) What are my low hanging fruits? Think about what is easy for you to access right now that will take you one step closer to your vision or to what you want.

7) What am I doing now for five years in the future? Decide where all of this is leading you to. This is your pull factor that will keep you going.

Which of these questions resonated with you?  Which of these questions were the most difficult to answer?

I answered these questions myself and some of my answers were insightful, setting me on a new path and different directions.  It was good to stop and stick a pin and look at the way ahead.

If you need assistance answering these questions then feel free to give me a call.  I will be happy to assist you to answer these questions.

Starbucks – Time to do the hard thing

There was an outcry over the recent actions of Starbucks team members. In one instance the barista called the police on two men who were waiting for a friend and in the other case the barista refused to issue the bathroom key to a man. In both instances, the men were identified as black.
Starbucks immediately responded. The leadership apologised and shortly thereafter team members from 8,000 stores attended racial bias training.

From these events I conclude Starbucks leadership empowers frontline staff. They trust the staff to make decisions and to act on decisions made, without seeking permission. As a result, the baristas made decisions about who were allowed access and who were not. Why? Because that is the way that Starbucks does things. It is its culture.

By extension, I conclude that if two separate employees can authoritatively discriminate against two different black males, with no fear of recourse, in two distinct circumstances, then at Starbucks, this is the way that black males are treated. It is its culture.

Company culture is reflected in what is done and deemed acceptable at the very lowest levels of an organisation. Culture is demonstrated by the actions of the persons whom are away from the mikes, away from the glitz and glamour and who will never grace the cover of the Forbes and Fortune 500. These are the people who tell the world exactly what your company stands for and its core values.

A well written apology in sincere tones and  racial bias training sessions are great first steps for the leaders to say to staff that this is not whom we are. Yet we know that words have no meaning without context, and that if leaders do not reinforce the training then it goes to naught.

Starbucks’ leaders have done the right thing, now Starbucks’ leaders need to do the hard thing. Leaders at all levels of the organisation need to self reflect, to be honest in admitting the current culture and to determine how the company should move forward. Whatever the decision, leaders need to ensure that the operations are realigned to actively support what is espoused.

I offer Starbucks leaders the following questions to begin the process:

  • Where are black males In Starbucks?
  • How do we treat with black males in the Starbucks?
  • What are the things that are said about black males in Starbucks?
  • What are the things that are not said about black males in Starbucks?
  • What sort of jokes are made about black males ?
  • What is the our policy and procedure for reporting discrimination?
  • What does the data from these policies indicate to us?
  • Are we satisfied that the policies work or are easy to use or are being used?
  • How do we discourage micro-aggression?
  • How do we educate non- POC (people of color) about micro-aggression?
  • What are the black voices within Starbucks saying on this matter?
  • What conversations do we have on race?

For the rest of us leaders, the the lesson is clear – Culture is what our staff does. What  our staff does tells the world what our culture is..

What is your company’s culture? What does your staff do that isn’t aligned to your culture? What are you going to do about it?
If you want to change your company culture and ensure that staff behaviours are aligned to your core values then drop me a line. I can help.

(photo credits :Trinichow)

Words have Meaning

I love words. I doodle with them. I take them apart – shredding bigger words into smaller pieces. I appreciate the art of double entendre and I get a kick out of homophones. Words are a load of fun.
Last week I held my breath as two creative minds dabbled in word play over my blog post. I thoroughly  enjoyed their arguments and marveled at their wit.
It’s not with any stretch of the imagination that this week I am thinking about words and how we make meaning of them.

We communicate with words in organizations. They share our Vision and Mission. We hang them as core values on our office walls and they become performance yardsticks ( or big sticks) as we evaluate behaviors.

Organizations spend a lot of time and money crafting these words, yet, when I work with leaders and teams and ask, “What do these words  mean?” The responses are never loud, the answers are never certain.

The meaning of words is constructed daily, deconstructed and reconstructed to bring new meaning and nuance. Words are also contextual, they shift shape and take their forms from us.  Think about it – in the 1960’s the word gay expanded its meaning to include sexual orientation and bling was entered into the Oxford dictionary in 2002.

While dictionaries provide definitions they often do not indicate how words play out in our everyday life. It is you, it is I, it is we, who through our interactions, our experiences and the tapestry of our lives who give words life.

When I think of the word share, I understand how organizations get words wrong. Share is defined as inter alia “have a portion of (something) with another or others” Oxford Dictionary.

Families A and B both agree with this definition and have decided that they want their families to share. They believe that it is a value that will lead to a Happy Household and make the Living Easy.
As a member of Family A if I want to borrow my sister’s dress, then I can use it. If I see a piece of chocolate, and I want it, then I can have it.
As a member of Family B If I want to borrow my sister’s dress, then I ask her permission. She can grant or deny permission, and  I will abide. If I see a piece of chocolate and I want it, then I find the owner, and ask  permission. The owner can grant or deny permission, and I will abide.
Both families have successfully instilled the virtue of sharing within their households and both families are happy with the outcome – Happy Household and Easy Living.
Both families share and each shares differently.
In Family A sharing is based on the need of the commons. Once the resource exists within the family you are free to share in it.
In family B, sharing is permission based. If you are not the owner of the resource  then you need to be granted permission to share in it.
Neither family is right or wrong, each has constructed a contextual meaning of sharing, that serves the family well.

It’s not a problem for the rest of us either, until the day that members from  both families work in an organization that espouses Sharing as a core value.

Then what?

I love words. I know their power. I know how important it is to establish one shared meaning of the words that we use in our organizations.

What do the words in your organization mean? Are you certain that the meaning is shared by each and every one?

If your organization needs help defining its core values, and establishing shared meaning among team members, then  contact me. I know words and I can help.

A Review of Lead Your Team To Win

A review by Catherine Da Silva of Silva Publications Creating Safe Spaces .A brief review of Lead Your Team to Win .By Maxine Attong Published by River Grove Books .

In her new book Lead Your Team To Win , local author/ Management Consultant Maxine Attong sites the advantages of managing strategically by a certain keen consciousness for the holistic well being of the employee .This takes into account creating the necessary outlets and inlets for team expression, exchange ,innovation and sharing in a positive -safe space, As home is where the heart is..so too the office is where we strive to achieve our professional and life goals .

The Safe Space is the ” happy place” within the organisation where team members should not be ostracised or criticised for venting , self expression, formulating solutions and inventing new ways to enhance processes and projects. Quite apart from the traditional top down ,linear type of management techniques ,safe spaces advocates for collaborative team efforts ,facilitated with inclusiveness and sensitivity for all involved ,towards achieving “optimal performance ” says Attong.

The 226 page book is a variable manual for those wishing to look at leadership from a different point of view. Chapters like The Concept of Caring,Trust, Decision Making ,serve to navigate the reader cleverly and with great honesty.Attong incorporates case studies , personal experiences and check lists for ease of reference and recall. It’s relativity to real life is formidable and down to earth and would be as instructive to anyone interested in establishing and maintaining conscious and creative spaces for success. “When I was solely focused on the results ,by any means necessary,the space could not be safe. ” This is one of my favourite quotes from the book,for we must go gently to and move fluidly in the spaces which are dear to us , and which dare us to think and create.

Lead Your Team To Win, available on Amazon is the second in her continued works to provide a unique approach to managing teams. Change or Die her first book occupied Amazon’s best seller list for six weeks in its category, and is readily utilised as a teaching and reference tool for Attong’s Team workshops and guest lectures at key regional and international events .

3 facts about Difficult Conversations

As leaders we often need to have difficult conversations with our staff and it’s never an easy task. Sometimes these conversations happen at planned times – the disciplinary meeting, the performance review; sometimes they evolve – a simple matter erupts and we’re in the middle of a difficult conversation.
These conversations are not unique to the organisation, they occur in our personal lives as well – with our spouses or our kids or the contractor who has not yet competed the job.
The content of the conversation rarely makes the conversation difficult. The three factors that make the conversation difficult are:

  1. Our role in the conversation – Usually it is our beliefs about the topic, our own feelings, our history and our emotional investment that makes the conversation difficult. We  bring ourselves to any conversation, which means there is a possibility for us to be triggered by what the other person may do or say at any time during the conversation. The same can be said for the other person.
  2. The relationship we have with the other person – We tend to resist and dismiss ideas, or opportunities from people we have labelled as irritating, or lazy, or rebellious, or bad worker. Whenever these people approach us we brace ourselves for confrontation.
  3. Our perception of the outcome  – When we believe that the outcome of the conversation can change our relationships or personal status the more difficult the conversation becomes. The more we believe that we or the other person may lose, whether real or perceived,  the more we will deem the conversation as difficult.

Based on this I define a difficult conversation as : one in which you feel vulnerable, where the outcome is unsure and you believe that the risk of the conversation being terminated is high.

What’s your definition of a difficult conversation?

Maxine Attong is the author of two books – Change or Die – The Business Process Improvement Manual and Lead Your Team to Win. She works with leaders to create more effective and efficient organisations. She is a Keynote Speaker, a Gestalt Organisational Development Consultant, a Certified Professional Facilitation, Evidence Based Coach and a Certified Accountant.


Leadership in a VUCA World

This article was published in pwc’s 2018 Budget Review on October 3, 2017

System theorists have long proven that external societal impacts affect an organisational system. When we map the correlation between societal stress levels caused by an increasing crime rate, and infrastructural deficiencies, to reduced productivity levels; we can attest that our organisations are a microcosm of the larger society. What if we can reverse this? What if our leadership can deliberately impact on the larger Trinidad and Tobago society?
We live in the VUCA ( volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, in which the butterfly effect is our new reality. Change on the world stage is felt faster and in larger proportions, leaving us with little time to react. The drastic reduction in oil and gas prices and the trickle down effects have affected all that we considered normal – access to foreign exchange, spending patterns, job stability and economic recovery. When we consider the sobering effects of climate change that have left our Caribbean neighbours devastated and the viability of social media as a platform for change, we realise that we need to review our leadership priorities.
In 2013/4 when tax revenues were at $57.2B, we could easily isolate ourselves from world trends but in 2017 when tax revenues are estimated at $38.7B ( a 31% reduction) we are forced to pay attention. Our economy has flatlined and the government’s capacity for projects has diminished. What is the role of each of us in this new scenario?
If we accept HInd’s* argument that, “on the political and governance front, we are seeing the near collapse of almost every institution of governance and service delivery by the State” then, we also accept that leadership needs to emanate from the other enterprises that constitute the business community in Trinidad and Tobago.
An unemployment rate of 4.4% (2016 Central Statistical Office) means that most of our citizens are employed in establishments where we interact and interrelate with internal and external stakeholders. We belong simultaneously to families and communities, to work teams, and to management and leadership teams within various industries that are nested in the wider Trinidad and Tobago. We are part of multiple systems, that create harmony or tensions within the workplace.

Beisser in his 1970 essay, Paradoxical Theory of Change reminds us that, “change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is …” No longer can we fold our arms and wait for the government, there is a need for a new remit from all of us who consider ourselves to be leaders.
The experiential learning experience of systems is important for our leaders to truly understand the possible far reaching impacts of his/her leadership.We need to be aware of the wholeness of “each part ( of our organisations) the dynamic relationships between the parts, the whole (higher-level) entity they form together, and the interdependence among the parts and the whole,” Stevenson** (1970, p.114).
When we deal with a team member we become conscious that we are no longer dealing with an individual, we are dealing with his family and his community. Therefore by our leadership we can make a difference that will redound to the wider Trinidad and Tobago.
The old paradigm of the maximum leader that thrived in an environment devoid of social media, with an inability to follow international trends or without the presence of  millennials needs to make way for a new remit, where we embrace the ideas of the collective. As the volatility of our external world increases, and as we are still guessing the effects of changed international policies ( Brexit, Trump administration) there is need for more collaboration in the co-sensing of our next move. The leader who makes decisions on his own or with only his leadership team is making decisions from a position that only considers the impacts on the systems that he/ they belong(s) to, with many assumptions about the impacts that will be made on the collective – the families, the communities and the wider Trinidad and Tobago.
More than ever, the call is for leadership to harness the creativity and intelligence of the people with whom we work so that we can make a positive impact on the wider Trinidad and Tobago. We can no longer wait on the economy to get better or for the price of oil and gas to recover, or for a new gas/ oil reserves to be developed. The call is urgent and the response has to be made now. Our economic situation has changed and our world has shrunk.

*Ronald Hinds address T&T Chamber of Commerce & Industry address Sept 2017

*Stevenson, H., 2010. Paradox: A Gestalt theory of change for organizations. Gestalt Review, 14(2), pp.111-126

Who do you impact with your leadership?

What are the possible far reaching impacts of your leadership?

Maxine Attong is the author of two books – Change or Die – The Business Process Improvement Manual and Lead Your Team to Win. She works with leaders to create more effective and efficient organisations. She is a Keynote Speaker, a Gestalt Organisational Development Consultant, a Certified Professional Facilitation, Evidence Based Coach and a Certified Accountant.