Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends, colleagues and clients from everyone at DavittCorporatePartners

Breakfast Briefing with Dr. Martyn Newman – a summary


Breakfast Briefing with Martyn Newman – a summary by David Keane

It was a crisp but thankfully dry Friday morning when approximately 60 senior executives gathered at the Hampton Hotel for an exclusive breakfast briefing with Dr. Martyn Newman.  DCP was delighted to welcome Martyn back to Ireland for what promised to be an engaging and inspiring talk on the challenges facing leaders today and, as usual, Martyn did not disappoint. Under the cloud of an ever deepening crisis in the Eurozone, Martyn explained how, we as leaders, can really make a difference in our respective work places in what remain challenging conditions.  Martyn’s talk focused on the importance of Emotional Capital in the workplace and how orgaisations that are rich in Emotional Capital thrive, even under the most difficult economic conditions. Here are the main points from Martyn’s talk:

Two decades of research have now shown us that good leaders do not use their authority to dominate followers and simply tell them what to do. Nor does being exceptionally charismatic make a person a good leader. Research published in a recent edition of The Scientific American Mind challenges this idea stating that leaders with charismatic personalities often manipulate others into conformity. Although coercion through using sticks or carrots may work in the short term, neither sticks nor carrots will drive sustainable change.

According to these reports, a new picture of leadership skills has emerged that better accounts for leadership performance.  In particular, this research points to three keys insights:

  • Leaders are most effective when they tap into the aspirations people hold in their hearts. In other words, when they understand what people want, they can help people make the link between their aspirations and what the business can achieve for them.
  • They recognise the fundamental need that people have to belong to a group, so they build shared identities for people at work.
  • They possess advanced skills in being able to engage with the real drivers of performance in people – emotions.

Great leaders have the skills to manage their emotions well and influence the emotions of other people toward positive outcomes. In other words, leaders must become masters of mood and lead organisations that excite, energise and enthuse their customers.

What specifically are these skills, can you really measure them, and more importantly how can people in business build them quickly and cost-effectively?

After analysing more than ten years of scientific data exploring the link between emotional intelligence and leadership, research psychologists at RocheMartin have identified ten skills that powerfully predict leadership effectiveness. These skills form the basis of an exciting new model of emotional intelligence and leadership – Emotional Capital. In addition, they can now be measured accurately in any business using a powerful new psychometric tool – the Emotional Capital Report (ECR).

Ten Dynamic Emotions that Drive Leadership Success

The most effective leaders score higher than the average on each of these ten particular scales of emotional intelligence. The highest scores were on:

Self-Reliance – the emotional power to accept responsibility, back personal judgements and be self-reliant in planning and making important decisions.

Self-Confidence – the ability to maintain self-respect and personal confidence.

Relationship Skills – the ability to build and manage relationships characterised by positive expectations.

In terms of leading a business, these three competencies enable a leader to model self-assured behaviour; communicate a clear view of the organisation’s vision and direction; inspire the confidence of others, and gain their support and commitment to building successful relationships – not only with employees and customers, but with everyone the business touches.

A second cluster of high scores that distinguish these leaders include:

Optimism – not just ‘the glass is half full’ kind, but optimism as a strategy – as a way of dealing with difficulties and sensing opportunities. Emotionally intelligent leaders look on the brighter side of life and sense opportunities even in the face of adversity. They are resilient, can see the big picture and where they are going, and are able to focus on the possibilities of what can be achieved.

Self-Knowing – emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of their emotional experience and have the capacity to recognise how their feelings and emotions impact on their personal opinions, attitudes and judgements. In other words, they remain open to discovering new things about themselves and are not afraid to modify their behaviour.

Self-Actualization – high scores on this skill suggest that these leaders know how to manage their reserves of emotional energy and have achieved an effective level of emotional balance. They appear to thrive in setting challenging personal and professional goals and their enthusiasm is likely contagious.

The final group of skills that differentiate effective leaders from the rest include:

Straightforwardness – this suggests the ability to express feelings, thoughts and beliefs openly in a straightforward way, while respecting the fact that others may hold a different opinion or expectation.

Adaptability – the ability to adapt thinking, feelings and actions in response to changing situations and be tolerant of others, and receptive to new ideas. In other words, they are champions of change.

Empathy – this is the skill that enables a person to grasp the emotional dimension of a business situation and create resonant connections with others. This is also the skill that makes talent dance in an organisation.

Self-Control – emotionally intelligent leaders have the ability to manage their emotions well and restrain their actions until they have time to think rationally. They are able to stay calm in stressful situations and maintain productivity without losing control. This skill is critical to building and maintaining a consistent leadership presence and for becoming a ‘trusted advisor’ to people.

Emotional Capital – An Important Addition to the Balance Sheet

These leadership skills add real commercial value to the balance sheet, and this value can be measured in any successful business as emotional capital using the Emotional Capital Report (ECR). If emotional capital is the creative energy that your people bring to work and the enthusiasm that customers have for your company and products, then emotional capitalists are leaders who manage their own emotional energy well and know how to inspire others to create products, solve problems and deliver superior service.


Dr. Newman’s excellent book “Emotional Capitalists – the New Leaders” is available to purchase from the RocheMartin website or from Amazon.

Inspiring Leaders – World Business Forum (Synopsis Part II)

Inspiring Leaders – World Business Forum in New York City 5th-6th October 2011

A Synopsis by Adrienne Davitt Part II_______________

Other contributors of ground breaking ideas on how to succeed at local, regional and global levels included:

Ben Zander – The Art of Possibility

Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1979, Ben is more than just an acclaimed musician and director, he has the gift to inspire.  He believes that “we are about contribution. It’s not about impressing people. It’s not about getting the next job”. He also believes that art and music can be used to energise our interpersonal connections, add value to our new global society and lead to innovation and the successful adoption of new practices. By going beyond limitations, taking risks and embracing expectations, we can create new possibilities to transform people and business. He states emphatically that we are moving into a new world and the next 30 years are going to be possibly the most exciting yet.

Marina Gorbis – Toward a Human-Centred Future

Marina is at the forefront of researching and understanding the psychological and behavioural implications of the modern digital world on both an organisational and individual level. She is the Executive Director of the Institute for the Future and believes adamantly in a global perspective. Some areas she discussed were:

  • New rules for a new era: how to create, share, cooperate, grow in a world of options and constraints
  • Transformative technologies vs existing socio-economic models
  • Consumers and their recharged identity: networked, neuro-social and yet autonomous
  • Disrupting institutions: how technological innovation, extreme environment and rapid adaptation are shaping the new organisation

Patrick Lencioni – The Unwavering Truths at The Heart of Great Teams

Patrick is an expert on how to build winning teams. Concerned with developing “healthy” organisations, he uses past experience and the understanding of human psychology to help companies realise their potential. He believes that a great team is the ultimate competitive advantage because it produces a group whose best interest is that of the organisation. Both the operational and behavioural components of a business need to be considered in order to understand how to work together. He also emphasises the importance of trust, relevance and recognition creating commitment and organisational clarity. “Teamwork is a strategic choice”, he says.

Seth Godin – Are You Indispensable? Changing the Way Leaders Think

One of the most innovative thinkers in modern marketing, Seth staunchly that to succeed in a world overloaded with information and products, you must stand out. From business endeavours to book marketing, he practices the same strategies he preaches and has turned himself into his own most successful brand. His excitement rather than fear of the implications of the free, unlimited digital world has allowed him to use creativity to achieve success.

Seth rejects traditional marketing, choosing instead to invent his own strategies that give him an advantage in the digital age. The focus of his most recent, best-selling book is a linchpin: someone within an organisation that is indispensable  – that is too unique and valuable to be replaced. The only people who can become linchpins, who have any hope of changing things for the better, are those who have the capacity to do “emotional work” at a high level – to be true artists at whatever they set their mind to doing.

Claudio Fernandez-Araoz – Great People Decisions

Claudio is a top global expert on hiring and promotion decisions, repeatedly chosen by Business Week as one of the most influential search consultants in the world. After 25 years of executive search practice, Claudio is convinced that “nothing is more important for your success than making great people decisions” because everything we achieve as leaders will depend on the people we have chosen.

Great people decisions produce extraordinary job performance, great personal development and strong organisational morale. He states two key things: first, the most successful leaders are incredibly focused on people decisions. Second, most of us find these decisions brutally hard and are not good at them – even if we believe we are! Making great people decisions is not an intuition or gut feeling, it is a discipline that can and should be learned for our personal and professional success.


Inspiring Leaders – World Business Forum

Inspiring Leaders – World Business Forum in New York City 5th-6th October 2011

A Synopsis by Adrienne Davitt_______________________

Adrienne has just returned from an excellent, intensive (but very inspiring) two days in New York, where she was one of 5000 business leaders at the World Business Forum.

The themes covered this year were:

  • Global Leadership Challenges
  • Managing Top Teams & Talent
  • Megatrends
  • The New Economic Order
  • True Leadership & Purpose
  • Management Innovation
  • Creativity

Absolutely world-class presentations by the following have added to our drive to be leading edge in both our thinking and what we can offer our clients. Speakers included:

Bill George – Professor of Management at Harvard Business School on Rediscovering Authentic Leadership

Bill George is one of America’s most respected contemporary corporate leaders, best known for his time at Medtronic, the world’s leading medical technology company. Bill’s leadership philosophy stems from the belief that the world’s best leaders are the ones that have an authentic grasp of who they are and how they want to impact the world. He proposes a new kind of leadership for the 21st century, one that empowers at all levels of organisations (this fits very nicely with our current recommended reading – The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma).

Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers: Why Success Can Be So Personal

What are outliers? An outlier is someone whose success is so extraordinary that it inhabits a space outside the boundaries of everyday existence. Malcolm contends that our understanding of success is crude and he digs down to come up with a better set of explanations.  He has developed into one of the most culturally stimulating and thought-provoking modern writers. Instead of looking at tall trees, he thinks we should have been looking at the forest i.e. an Outlier’s culture, community, family and generation.

Tal Ben-Sahar – Positive Leadership: Why Happiness is Good for Business

What is positive psychology? For much of its history, psychology has seemed obsessed with human failings and pathology. Positive psychology, however, looks at how to improve human functioning and make normal like more fulfilling. Positive psychology aims to make rigorous academic ideas accessible to all. Tal taught the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”. He believes that by asking more positive questions, we can help people and organisations to thrive by focusing on what works rather than what doesn’t. He firmly believes that happiness is good for business.

Howard Schultz – Managing Vision and Culture; The Makings of a Global Brand

Howard Schultz is Chairman, President and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company. He has been recognised extensively for his passion, leadership and efforts to strengthen communities. Not the usual CEO, he describes himself as a hands-on leader and a coffee culture connoisseur. He spoke about the journey of inspiration from concept to execution and how to make the customer experience innovation in a cup of coffee. Connection, Conversation and Community are the critical factors to enduring success, he believes and quotes “risk more than others think safe, dream more than others think practical”. He emphasised the need for effective succession planning and a Top Team made up of people with skills you don’t have. He also believes that the rules of engagement are changing in business globally and that value for your people and community = shareholder value. “Humanity needs to be our guiding principle, not just our shareholder value.

Gary Burnison – CEO of Korn/Ferry International – Executive Recruitment and Talent Management solutions provider

The key questions asked in a recent survey on Executive Talent & Leadership are:

  • What role does talent and leadership play in a challenging economic environment?
  • What are the most important competencies/characteristics for today’s leaders?
  • How has leadership changed?
  • What are the pressing talent concerns impacting the global labour market in this new world?

Angela Ahrendts – Leading Creativity-Driven Businesses: A Case Study

In 2006, Angela became CEO of Burberry and has since been responsible for a strategy that has seen Burberry’s annual revenues increase by over 60% and ensured that Burberry is now regarded as one of the leading British brands in the world. Angela “lives” the brand and Burberry was recently voted the 13th most innovative company in the world. She has achieved this by focusing on the following:

  • Developing a balanced, connected team. The Creative Director and the Chief Technology Officer are aligned and equal
  • By putting the brand first and emphasising the importance of the cultural context to Burberry’s creativity, the brand is elevated over individual egos
  • Recognised early on the implications of the digital imperative and relaunched the company digitally worldwide within 9 months
  • Continuous balancing of art and commerce means that everyone is energised, intuition and innovation are key components to success as its a young business with an average executive age of 30
  • A very clear vision is required, aligned with an equally clear strategy

More to follow…

Institute of Directors Autumn Lunch

IoD photo

Andrew Harley, Adrienne Davitt, Amber Hanna and David Keane from DCP

DavittCorporatePartners were delighted to host a table at the Institute of Directors Autumn lunch in the Four Seasons Hotel where An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD was the Guest Speaker.

Igniting Innovation & Ideas Conference

Below is the report from the “Igniting Innovation & Ideas” Conference in Manchester on September 14th 2011 courtesy of Benchmark for Business.

Innovation Conference Report – Kjell Nordstrom & Chris Barez-Brown

Approaches – How we deal with challenges defines who we are


By James Houlihan, September 2011

With the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, I recalled a conversation from a journey on the railroad to Farmingdale last year with a couple of fellow passengers and how they mentioned that “they must book their flights with Ryanair for their forthcoming vacation in Europe”. This is not a particularly remarkable or memorable statement but allow me to explain why it struck me as particularly interesting.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the airline industry was facing its most significant challenge up to that point in time. One company took an alternate approach to the crisis and used the events as part of their growth strategy – all this despite the slump in passenger numbers.  In late 2001, Ryanair (the “Southwest” of Europe) signed a deal with Boeing for the delivery of approx 150 aircraft (at a significantly reduced cost) commencing in 2002. Given the events of previous few months you would be forgiven for thinking this was madness (but not if you know Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair). The strategy has been a massive success with passenger numbers climbing from 9m in 2001 to 74m in 2010 and Ryanair had the aircraft to accommodate those passengers at nearly half the price they would otherwise have paid.

We are all faced with various challenges in our professions. One of the important factors is how we navigate towards and implement a solution. The perspective we adopt is always within our reach and ultimately influences the outcome (albeit there are some uncontrollable factors). Had Ryanair accepted the slump and narrowed its focus, one could be
fairly certain it would not be the success it is today – one of the few profitable airlines in the world with over $5 billion cash on its books.

Even the challenges we are faced with in our professional lives can be very much overshadowed by events in our private lives.  When facing challenges, it is our perspective and our approach to the situation that defines who we are.

Autumn Breakfast Briefing

On the 28th October 2011, we will be hosting a breakfast briefing for our key clients and colleagues. We are very fortunate to be able to offer this unique opportunity to hear Dr. Newman speak about his latest research in the area of inspirational leadership.

Martyn L. Newman Ph.D., D.Psych., is a consulting psychologist with an international reputation as an expert in emotional intelligence and leadership. As well as holding senior positions at leading universities in Europe and Australia, he has had many years of experience working in leadership development and management consulting across Europe and Asia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney and holds an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters of Psychology, and a Doctor of Psychology from La Trobe University, Melbourne. Martyn is a captivating keynote speaker on the power of building emotional intelligence in the workplace.

This event will be held in the Hampton Hotel on 28th October 2011, if you would like to register your interest please contact Amber Hanna. (amber@davittcorporatepartners.com) or +35316688891

Attendance is available for €50 and includes reading materials and a continental breakfast.

7.30am for 8am start

Effectively Leading with Emotions

Effectively Leading With Emotions

Amber Hanna

It is becoming increasingly crucial for leaders to know how to use emotions to influence, at an individual and an organisational level. Aside from regulating their own emotions, managers often have to deal with and manage the emotional behaviour of others.

One way managers and leaders can use emotions is by becoming aware of ‘Emotional Labour’

The term emotional labour (EL) refers to the effort expended to display socially acceptable emotions as part of a job role. First introduced by Hothschild (1983) emotional labour was developed from research investigating service employees and their requirement to present socially desirable emotions when dealing with customers.

Organisational rules on what emotions should be expressed in given situations gives rise to the need for employees to regulate their emotions to be in line with these rules.
The crucial aspect of managing emotions for leaders is using their judgement wisely to display the appropriate emotion

Humphrey et al (2008) argues that EL is an important and often overlooked function of effective leadership. The term ‘leading with emotional labour’ has been put forward by Humphrey (2005, 2006) to describe managers who use emotional labour in order to influence the ‘moods, emotions, motivations and performance’ of their subordinates.

It is possible for managers to use EL as a tool for leadership. Studies have indicated that leaders have a strong influence over the moods and emotional states of their group members, thus this influence can be used to in a positive or negative way. McColl-Kennedy and Anderson (2002) found that leaders could influence employees’ feelings of frustration or optimism. By using a transformational leadership technique leaders were able to influence employees’ feelings of optimism in a positive way, these feelings of optimism were also linked to stronger performance, indicating leaders can use emotions to improve performance among team members. Pirola-Merlo et al (2002) argued that an important emotional function of leaders is to help their subordinates to cope with negative events and workplace obstacles. They found that leaders with a facilitative or transformational approach were able to help employees overcome the mood damaging effects of negative events, this reduction in mood damaging effects also contributed to improved performance. By performing the correct display of emotions in a situation, leaders can influence their followers and coworkers for the better.

By offering leadership training in how to express emotions effectively companies can encourage their management teams to experience more genuine emotional expressions. It is possible for leaders to master the skills involved in genuine emotion expression, by encouraging this an organisation can make the workplace more productive and enjoyable for leaders and their followers.

By crafting charisma through the use of positive emotional displays to portray a message with passion and sincerity a leader can foster an emotional connection with his/her followers. This raises awareness of the fact that leaders and followers are emotionally connected. Research has revealed that emotional contagion occurs between leaders and through this process leaders can influence the emotions of their followers. Positive emotional expressions have been linked with organisational outcomes such as increased performance, extra-role compliance and perceptions of leader effectiveness, indicating that emotions are a powerful tool available to leaders to increase organisational effectiveness. By being aware that emotional labour is a valid construct not only for those in the service industry but also for leaders some of the negative aspects can be reduced.

The Challenge of Change – Part 2

The Challenge of Change – Part 2

By Tom Moore July 2011

Every organisation plans and feeds back to a greater or lesser degree but there is a tipping point that only a relatively small number reach. When applied to the proper extent, planning and feedback become game changers; they allow managers and management click together like Lego. They provide the mechanism and the anchor through which the individual and collective change can be achieved. The big advantage is that the change agents are part of the day-to-day fabric of the business so that achieving the difference can be a gradual, but quick transition. It allows the change be rippled down from the top in in a logical, progressive way.

  • The availability of facts changes the nature of meetings and it speeds up and improves decision making. Managers increasingly think in terms of impact.
  • When problems are pushed to the surface at the earliest possible point, and their true nature is clearly identified, the focus shifts from discovery to resolution. Failure to address issues becomes clearly evident.
  • The combination of task defined roles, and relevant operational facts, fosters accountability and responsibility. It supports a safer, higher level of autonomy so that the management structure moves closer to an almost federal model. This is an important component of the collective agility.
  • The need for individual support shows up in a clear and unambiguous fashion. When the requirement for training, coaching or other such interventions is clear to all involved, the benefit of the intervention will be faster, greater, and more directly related to the underlying problem,
  • When a manager becomes confident that they can always have access to the facts they need, that they, and all those around them, understand what they need to do, their approach changes. When they have the confidence that the feedback structure will prompt them when they miss the need for action or intervention, the change is accelerated. They don’t need to fire fight to the same extent; they can directly address and resolve the underlying problems rather than just manage their impact.

Things like this are formative; they change the individual manager and also change the management as an entity in its own right. It becomes real “on the job” learning. The approach is top down and the focus for any individual manager is on their tasks or objectives. At the same time, the process is building and reinforcing generic management skills. These include an evidence based approach, problem solving, objectivity, autonomy, accountability and responsibility, real delegation and so on.

The process follows a number of simple rules that makes change quicker and more likely to stick.

  • At all times it works out from the current reality, there is no quantum leap involved. The difference isn’t what you do, it’s the extent to which you do it.
  • The process is part of the daily habit at all stages.
  • Change can be quick, shallow, and incremental with continuous gain targets.
  • Both recognition and consequence, essential components of autonomy, become a logical and natural part of the equation.

Wiktionary has one definition of osmosis as “picking up knowledge accidently without actually seeking that particular knowledge”.  That’s a good way to learn. If the mechanics of management are appropriately structured, managers can learn and develop by doing their job. Change becomes much less of a challenge.