Leadership Reflections

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Delegation

Posted: March 2nd, 2014

Delegation is not just a matter of handing out tasks. If you tell your people precisely how to carry out tasks and give them no freedom to use their initiative, you are not delegating. Think of delegating as entrusting someone with the authority to make decisions and to act on those decisions.

Be Careful what you wish for!

Posted: January 25th, 2011

We live in challenging times. More than ever, Leaders must display vision, and understand the importance of harnessing the talent of their people to build sustainability. Real Leaders persevere and look for the opportunities. They provide absolute clarity around objectives. Leadership is not for the faint hearted. (more…)

Happy New Year!

Posted: January 7th, 2011

Providing quality service to our clients is our priority. We regularly survey our clients and constantly review our services. We have used the feedback to enhance our offerings and provide more value.  As a result of our customers comments we have made a number of changes

  • We have reviewed our coaching offering to bring you more structure, research and follow up
  • We have redesigned our website to provide you with more resources and information
  • In 2011 we will be offering you the opportunity to subscribe to our Leadership Reflections monthly updates. You will receive resources and tools to help you on your Leadership journey. If you are an exsiting client you will received our updates automatically bit if you wish to be included you can end us an email at shirley@shirleykavanagh.com

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A Role Model For Our Time

Posted: July 5th, 2010

It’s not often nowadays we come across Leadership role models. People who exhibit a defined set of values, capture the hearts and minds of the people with whom they interact, also demonstrate courage, wisdom and leadership. The late Dermot Earley , Former Defence Forces Chief of Staff of the Irish Army was such a role model.Two weeks ago at Dermot Earleys’ graveside, Lieutenant General Séan Mc Canns eulogy gives us an insight into this Leaders impact, “He was our chief. He held us together, informed us, inspired us, told each of us what work we ought to be doing and motivated us to do it. He radiated charm and coloured us with his professionalism. He was our appointed leader and our chosen leader.”

Dermot Earley spoke to many people but it was his words to young soldiers and cadets which should especially resonate “Your attitude is more important than your ability. Your motives are more important than your methods, your courage is more important than your cleverness and always have your heart in the right place.

In organisations, leadership is defined by our ability to become a role model to others and the positive imprint that we leave behind. The Legacy which remains when we ourselves have moved onto new roles or new organisations should define our success. How we inspire, motivate and draw people together in the most difficult times is our challenge as role models. Maybe leaving a legacy is something to which we should all aspire and perhaps it should actually be our starting point when reflecting on how we will conduct ourselves as Leaders.

Essential Reading for every Leader

Posted: March 9th, 2010

The most successful Irish Manager of his generation, the former Unilever boss shares his views on Accountability in an interview with Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times. Click here to read the full article.

The Sagitta Network was launched today

Posted: February 23rd, 2010

shirley219-Edit-EditShirley Kavanagh and Cameron Bray are pleased to announce the launch of the Sagitta Network, a select international group of Leadership Experts working together to share knowledge and build client solutions. Sagitta Network members are experienced professionals whose focus is excellence in Leadership Development, Change, Learning and Organisational Development.

Sagitta is the Latin name of a star constellation and the literal meaning is Arrow. The words we associate with Sagitta are:

  • Clear Direction
  • Future Focused
  • Guidance and Speed
  • Moving Forward
  • Hitting the Target
  • Universal

Resilience, a lesson from a sporting great

Posted: February 19th, 2010

“It’s not how you fall, it’s how you pick yourself up!”This quote came from champion Irish flat jockey Mick Kinnane during an interview where he reflected on his decision to retire, having just won the 2009 Epsom Derby on the wonderful horse Sea of Stars. Kinnane ended his career with almost 1,500 winners and a string of victories on great horses across the world. It struck me that leaving anything whether it is sport or business is best done on a high.

His recollections were positive as he considered his success rather than his disappointments. He reflected on the importance of teamwork and the great success he had achieved. More importantly he looked to his future and how he would focus on training horses. It made me think of the many people who are leaving organisations now and often not by choice. Optimism and confidence is important in these situations. The ability to overcome initial disappointment and reflect on your past in a way that draws out the positives is a considerable strength. Taking the time to consider what you have learned, what you have achieved and the challenges you have overcome, can place you in the frame of mind for building a future rather than lamenting a past.

In his interview Mick Kinnane reflected on the highly competitive environment of the racing world, he recalled the physical effort and the dedication required to be successful. He also recalled the good luck and the great people he had met through his career. When asked by the interviewer how he dealt with the bad times, I was taken by his answer he said “it’s not how you fall it’s how you pick yourself up.” Such resilience is something that can be applied equally to our life in organisations. The resilience to maintain optimism, the resilience to push on through adversity. The ability to see the positives, move on from past mistakes and demonstrate resilience by our ability to overcome the bad times and look forward, not back.

Ignite your Imagination

Posted: February 19th, 2010

Ireland creates a competition to ignite your imagination and reward your thinking. http://www.yourcountryyourcall.com/

It’s not how you fall, it’s how you pick yourself up!

Posted: January 20th, 2010

I heard this quote before Christmas and it came from champion Irish flat jockey Mick Kinnane during an interview where he reflected on his decision to retire, having just won the 2009 Epsom Derby on the wonderful horse Sea of Stars. Kinnane ended his career with almost 1,500 winners and a string of victories on great horses across the world. It struck me that leaving anything whether it is sport or business is best done on a high.

His recollections were positive as he considered his success rather than his disappointments. He reflected on the importance of teamwork and the great success he had achieved. More importantly he looked to his future and how he would focus on training horses. It made me think of the many people who are leaving organisations now and often not by choice. Optimism and confidence is important in these situations. The ability to overcome initial disappointment and reflect on your past in a way that draws out the positives is a considerable strength. Taking the time to consider what you have learned, what you have achieved and the challenges you have overcome, can place you in the frame of mind for building a future rather than lamenting a past.

In his interview Mick Kinnane reflected on the highly competitive environment of the racing world, he recalled the physical effort and the dedication required to be successful. He also recalled the good luck and the great people he had met through his career. When asked by the interviewer how he dealt with the bad times, I was taken by his answer he said “it’s not how you fall it’s how you pick yourself up.” Such resilience is something that can be applied equally to our life in organisations. The resilience to maintain optimism, the resilience to push on through adversity. The ability to see the positives, move on from past mistakes and demonstrate resilience by our ability to overcome the bad times and look forward, not back.

When Sorry is the Easiest word.

Posted: November 13th, 2009

“Sorry”, is not a word we hear often, especially not in an organisational sense. When used it can be used in two contexts, either in the sense of it being a true statement of regret or it can become a hollow phrase of appeasement.

I have been reflecting on people saying sorry over the past couple of weeks. My reflections have been driven by the statements of contrition by politicians over the use, or perhaps abuse, of expense accounts. How easy it is to apologise and expect matters to be closed. The true impact of the word occurs by our actions not just by our words.

For me, sorry only means sorry, when it is accompanied by an indication of what one will do to make sure there will be no re-occurrence of the situation. It then demonstrates to me, that the person apologising is genuine. This is especially necessary in the organisational sense. It demonstrates integrity, an intellectual honesty and strength in ability to listen and recognise when one is wrong. More importantly by supporting our words with intended change, we demonstrate our acceptance of responsibility for our past actions.